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ChalkLine

RuneQuest 3 - House Rules

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Warning: confirmation bias ahead.

All of those well-made points* all reaffirm to me that giving the greatsword and bastard sword 1d8+1 impaling damage is 'about right.'

 

 

* genuinely not deliberate

 

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4 hours ago, SDLeary said:

Not to mention that if you are half-swording, that you have significantly better leverage to punch through target... presumably resulting (if successful) in something that would be called an Impale in game terms.

SDLeary

But I'd argue the damage of a Greatsword is based on the use technique that gives the kinetic energy of a blade that's swinging through a 6' primary arc (+2 for the arm, etc).  Thus they have high damages.

I'm well aware that you can choke up on it and use it that way, but IMO if you're stabbing with it it should have the same damage as a broadsword, at BEST.

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19 minutes ago, styopa said:

But I'd argue the damage of a Greatsword is based on the use technique that gives the kinetic energy of a blade that's swinging through a 6' primary arc (+2 for the arm, etc).  Thus they have high damages.

I'm well aware that you can choke up on it and use it that way, but IMO if you're stabbing with it it should have the same damage as a broadsword, at BEST.

'Cept you're jamming it into the other guy using both hands. So either a big base weapon damage or an increased DB for 2-handed use ought to apply. And if you get an Impale, both, since you've got a much longer, and probably broader wound track development tool.

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5 hours ago, womble said:

Given that the evidence for Bronze greatswords in the real world is sparse, they can have points or not, as your game desires. 

Spare is an understatement. Probably closer to nil. Real world bronze swords tended to be on the sort side. A bronze greatsword probably wouldn't hold up well in combat. Warriors had to straighten thier short swords after a battle, and the longer heavier blades would would be even more liable to bending. 

5 hours ago, womble said:

 

 

Steel two-handed swords often did have working points, as ChalkLine says. The classic Landschnecht's zweihander, the claymore and the longsword of Talhoffer fame all could stab you up. Similarly, there are many patterns of hand-and-a-half sword which had effective thrusting points; hardly surprising when they're cousins to the Estoc which was primarily a thrusting weapon.

Sure, but those are from the High Middle Ages, and would be pretty out of period for Glorantha, wouldn't they?

And even those latter swords with pointed tips wouldn't have been more effective than a spear or shortsword as a thrusting weapon. 

5 hours ago, womble said:

Having a point is a really useful attribute in a long weapon. It would be rational for the 'bronze-that's-not-really-bronze' greatswords of Glorantha to have them, if only for the purposes of keeping the target at range, and being able to work in a constrained environment.

Sure, but that's why spears and similar weapons dominated the bronze age. If you can keep them at range, why bother with the weight (and expense!) of a bronze greatsword?

5 hours ago, womble said:

Having a point is a really useful attribute in a long weapon. It would be rational for the 'bronze-that's-not-really-bronze' greatswords of Glorantha to have them, if only for the purposes of keeping the target at range, and being able to work in a constrained environment.

 

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14 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Spare is an understatement. Probably closer to nil. Real world bronze swords tended to be on the sort side. A bronze greatsword probably wouldn't hold up well in combat. Warriors had to straighten thier short swords after a battle, and the longer heavier blades would would be even more liable to bending. 

Sure, but those are from the High Middle Ages, and would be pretty out of period for Glorantha, wouldn't they?

But greatsword is a thing in Glorantha, and you don't, as you say, have any examples of (supposedly) "in-period" Gloranthan peasant-choppers to assert that they wouldn't have points (since a good proportion of the actual combat examples of weapons of this kind do).

14 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

And even those latter swords with pointed tips wouldn't have been more effective than a spear or shortsword as a thrusting weapon. 

I'd argue that I'd rather be stabbed by either a spear or a shortsword than a two-hander. The spear has a limited cutting edge. You can use it in ways that maximise that cutting, but if you hit hard armour, or even ribs, those ways may well result in skating across the surface resulting in no (if skittering across armour) or superficial (if glancing off a rib) damage. The shortsword has more cutting edge and is probably broader than the spear, making a wider wound track that can be expanded more. The greatsword just keeps on cutting as you push it through the target, and is broader yet than the shortsword.

You can eviscerate someone and let their lifeblood pour out of a severed inferior aorta with a  narrowish 6" blade, in one smooth motion. But that takes skill and, for a normal human, would be close to impossible against someone with even middling body armour because you'd have to punch the armour (feasible against scale or lesser), or find a hole (vs any type), then cut the armour as you extend the wound track in the target (difficult but not impossible against boiled leather if your blade is sharp and both you and it are strong; anything heavier would preclude). 

But that sort of wound modelling is way past what RQ has ever attempted to simulate.

Yes, a greatsword should probably do less damage when used to impale than it does when swung, but that should, IMO, probably be more than spear or shortsword.

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51 minutes ago, womble said:

But greatsword is a thing in Glorantha, and you don't, as you say, have any examples of (supposedly) "in-period" Gloranthan peasant-choppers to assert that they wouldn't have points (since a good proportion of the actual combat examples of weapons of this kind do).

Yes, but we don't know (as of yet) if those are the types of Greatswords in Glorantha. Do we? The Gloanthan Greatsword could just be a long two hganded weapon not designed for thrusting. 

Where do broadswords stand in the current rules? THey couldn't impale in RQ2 but could in RQ3.

51 minutes ago, womble said:

I'd argue that I'd rather be stabbed by either a spear or a shortsword than a two-hander.

Your choice, but I think the physic are against you. penetrating power for a thrust is about the same for all three weapons, but concentrated on a smaller area with the spear and shortsword. It's the same reason why people generally can't push their finger through a sheet of paper, but can easily drive a pin  or knife right though it. Part of how armor works is by spreading out the force of the impact over a larger area. 

51 minutes ago, womble said:

The spear has a limited cutting edge.

Yes it does, and if I had to get cut by a weapon it would be high on my list. But I said stabbed, and when it comes to stabbing, spears are among the best.

51 minutes ago, womble said:

Yes, a greatsword should probably do less damage when used to impale than it does when swung, but that should, IMO, probably be more than spear or shortsword.

I disagree. It wouldn't stick in as deep or do as much damage, if and when impales. When cutting or chopping, however, it's a different story. 

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You are making unsupported assumptions about the pointiness or otherwise of a greatsword in Glorantha. As am I. Those assumptions differ. Such variety is the spice of Glorantha.

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4 minutes ago, womble said:

You are making unsupported assumptions about the pointiness or otherwise of a greatsword in Glorantha. As am I. Those assumptions differ. Such variety is the spice of Glorantha.

Yup. At least partially. The only "points" (sorry for the pun) that I think we can kinda support with facts is if a greatsword should do more damage on an impale than a spear, if it could.  While I think I could make a strong case as to why is shouldn't, it ultimately doesn't matter since we are discussing somebody's house rules. 

Right now we really don't even know what a Gloranthan "Greatsword" actually is. It could be similar to the Zweilhander, or the Flamberge, or the Claymore, but it could also be something completely different that is as similar to an Earth greatsword as ga-metal is to copper. 

 

Maybe once Swords of Central Genertela is out we can make supported assumptions? :)

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16 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Maybe once Swords of Central Genertela is out we can make supported assumptions? :)

Summoning Martin....there's nobody here that has more meticulously documented and discussed the mechanics and details of Gloranthan militaria.

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3 hours ago, styopa said:

Summoning Martin....there's nobody here that has more meticulously documented and discussed the mechanics and details of Gloranthan militaria.

There is indeed material about swords and other weapons in The Armies and Enemies of Dragon Pass, but whilst it is based as closely as possible upon canon, it is neither definitive nor canon. The entry on greatswords is very short (because whilst they are probably a thing in Glorantha, I don't know what the thing resembles):

Greatsword: a rare long and heavy two-handed sword.

If I were forced to speculate, I'd suggest that an Orlanthi greatsword would be a scaled-up long-leafed sword (the blade resembles a long curved leaf), probably intended as a cutting and slashing weapon, with a point, so you could thrust, but its primary usage would be in open combat with plenty of room to swing it. If used to thrust it would effectively be not unlike a clumsy spear, as the hold has to be way back from the tip, with all of the weight of the blade overbalancing the hilt and would be quite difficult to use (unless you grasp the blade with one hand to guide it - ouch) and would lose all the benefits of its size and weight. If your foe is prone on the ground then you could more easily stab them, lifting the sword up with both hands and then thrusting downwards, but not if they are standing. YGMV.

Edited by M Helsdon
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1 minute ago, ChalkLine said:

As for doing less damage on the thrust, that is covered in the OP

Except that it still does as much damage on thrust/impale as thrust as a spear, which is highly unlikely, as the force of the attack would be spread out over a wider area. A Greatsword would be much less likely to penetrate armor or puncture internal organs on a thrust than a spear.  Not unless it is some form of Estoc or Rapier, but in that case it shouldn't do 2D8 two-handed.  

 

 

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Unfortunately, the closest sword in the real world would be a medieval greatsword/war sword and the varieties of these have a very distinctive shape: long and tapering, with considerable shearing power and also, depending upon the design, capable of being used as an effective thrusting weapon. However, the ones capable of this were highly advanced examples of sword smithing (the best dating to the 15th century); others had relatively blunt points and whilst a blunt knife can be used to thrust, it has less penetrating power.

So in order to determine the capabilities of a Gloranthan greatsword, you need to define the blade shape and cross-section, because a tapering blade has different characteristics to a leaf-shape blade in terms of weight distribution. So far as I am aware, the late medieval relatively hi-tech form is not present in Third Age Glorantha, but I could be wrong. 

Edited by M Helsdon

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46 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Except that it still does as much damage on thrust/impale as thrust as a spear, which is highly unlikely, as the force of the attack would be spread out over a wider area. 

You keep saying that. It ain't necessarily so. The Talhoffer style longsword has a pretty much needle point. The japanese Yari (and jo-spear) have approximately 90 degree points (with the edges that make up the point honed to sharpness.

A spear is 'just' a dagger on a long stick. It has no special pointiness not available to other bladed weapons.

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44 minutes ago, womble said:

You keep saying that. It ain't necessarily so. The Talhoffer style longsword has a pretty much needle point.

Which is still wider as the hilt and tapers towards the point. So as the blade penetrate it will spread it's force out over an increasing impact area. 

44 minutes ago, womble said:

The japanese Yari (and jo-spear) have approximately 90 degree points (with the edges that make up the point honed to sharpness.

A spear is 'just' a dagger on a long stick. It has no special pointiness not available to other bladed weapons.

No, but is isn't as wide as a greatsword so the force of the blow is going to be concentrated over a smaller area. 

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I"m afraid I have to disagree. Unless it is a particularly broad-bladed spear, in which case it should have unusual statistics, they should be about the same from all the spears and swords I have looked at. RuneQuest doesn't really have the granularity to distinguish between them.

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8 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Which is still wider as the hilt and tapers towards the point. So as the blade penetrate it will spread it's force out over an increasing impact area. 

So you stab someone with a 300mm spear head. It goes all the way in. Then it goes all the way through. Leaving a wound track the depth of the struck portion of the body, and the width of the spear blade.

Or you stab someone with a 1200m greatsword blade which goes all the way through, leaving a track the same depth, but wider and that does less damage?

Also, spears easily get as wide as some greatsword blades, especially the width of the sword at the same distance from the point as the cutting edges of a spearhead extend. And fighting spears tend not to have long, fine points because such features deform on interaction with shields and armour. Hunting spears have different profiles.

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3 hours ago, womble said:

So you stab someone with a 300mm spear head. It goes all the way in. Then it goes all the way through. Leaving a wound track the depth of the struck portion of the body, and the width of the spear blade.

Or you stab someone with a 1200m greatsword blade which goes all the way through, leaving a track the same depth, but wider and that does less damage?

Not if it goes all the way through, but it won't go all the way through. It will probably only cause a shallow wound. With a thrust your hitting at least as hard with the spear, probably harder, than with the sword, but the spear concentrated the force over a smaller area. Now when the sword is swung, it length acts as a lever which makes it much more effective.Half swording or and such with a sword is an inferior attack, but one that could be useful under the right circumstances, namely when the sworsman cannot or for some reason doesn't want to swing the blade. 

 Basically nothing is better at being a spear than an actual spear. A greatsworsman who gets into a stabbing contest against a spearman is at a disadvantage.  The spearman has better reach , spear, and a weapon that is designed primarily to thrust. 

 

3 hours ago, womble said:

Also, spears easily get as wide as some greatsword blades, especially the width of the sword at the same distance from the point as the cutting edges of a spearhead extend. And fighting spears tend not to have long, fine points because such features deform on interaction with shields and armour. Hunting spears have different profiles.

But the spears don't get as wide as as thick, unless your talking late lances, and they have a lot more force backing them up. 

 

The thing is, the burden of proof here is on you. You're assumptions that Glorantha greatswords could be thrusting greatswords comparable to something out of the High Middle Ages has nothing to back it up. No version of RQ has ever has a greatsword that impales, and nothing from any of the authors even suggests that a that the Gloanthan  greatsword is a thrusting weapon.

If you want to make a claim that the Glorthanan greatsword is based on a thrusting sword then you have to show something from a Glorantha source to support that notion. 

 

Not only that, but if the house rules presented, there is little to no reason for someone wielding a greatsword to want to thrust with it, and cut his damage in half. Realistically it might be useful in narrow corridors 

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