Weapons Speed

Previous Editions used weapon speed to illustate how difficult it is to strike first with certin weapons.  Often these were the odd or unwieldy ones like polearms. 

IN any event I think weapon speed mods to init might make combat make more sense.    Modiifers will be more rare in 5E.  This is an init mod that can sort of show in-game how the weight and heft of some weapons really slows you down.

Just curious how you'd feel about it.
I agree with SKR, who worked on some of those earlier editions: www.seankreynolds.com/rpgfiles/rants/wea...
Polearms aren't unwieldy - have you ever fought against someone using one?

I agree in essence though - only I'd prefer it if it was a special rule, rather than bring Speed Factor back into the game.

Warhammer had weapons such as this grant the target a +10% bonus to parry or dodge, but since we're not using that mechanism, I'd prefer something like in Lord of the Rings Strategy Game, where two-handed weapons give a -1 penalty to your attack roll, but a +1 bonus to your damage roll (meaning you're less likely to win the fight but more likely to kill the person if you do).
Everything expressed in this post is my opinion, and should be taken as such. I can not declare myself to be the supreme authority on all matters...even though I am right!
I agree with SKR, who worked on some of those earlier editions: www.seankreynolds.com/rpgfiles/rants/wea...

Yes, he makes a strong case against the use of weapon speeds.
I think, if it's brought back, that it should be an optional rule. There are many who favor the use of a weapon speed init mod...and many that don't.

I think, if it's used...that it could bring an unnecessary level of complexity to the game, especially when people switch weapons mid-combat. However, it'll also bring some sort of additional realism to the game...a greataxe is weighted differently and is slightly slower than a greatsword.
I really like this idea as a later combat module. And polearms aren't really unwieldy, but you might need to incorporate weapon reach to indicate the difficulty inherent in reach weapons.
"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs. He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own." --Gary Gygax
Many reach weapons used to have a "Ready" action tied with them...to represent the awkwardness of the item and that it was slow from that awkwardness. This was often the case with very flexible weapons, such chains, whips, and flails...to name a few. Polearms typically had to be "readied" if you were changing the length of the reach...but otherwise were used as normal.

I don't know if these will be the case again...just pointing it out.
To answer one query:  yes.  I have fought against polearm wielding opponents in the SCA.  They are not quicker than other weapons.  The punch-and-slice and the punch and punch-and-swing versions are only quick when sliding it through your hands to punch, and punching with them leaves you really open to attack (but yes, can be a very quick motion).

I like the idea of recognizing how much less agile certain weapons are though.  Weapon speed is one way to do it.  But there may be others.

In the example I just gave, maybe a defensivbe penalty might make as much sense?  The big issue with less wieldy weapons are how open you must leave youself when using them and how much more cautious you therefore are kind of forced to be when striking.  There is a reason why punching polearms were used behind shield walls!

So perhaps when using the piercing attack of a polearm, missing gives opponents advantage?

Same thing for Greatswords, which require (and allow) mighty centrifugal force to be generated and bone crushing force brought to bear.  This also means your sweeping motions leave your side wide open when you rear up to strike OR finish an unsuccessful swing.  You can use them as spears with slightly less leverage too, and in those ways they really do act a lot like a polearm.

Ways to represent it are interesting to me.
Weapon speeds only make sense if you adjust initiative by the speed every round but carry over into the top of the following round after reaching a set number.

Lots more math, not very streamlined.

I still miss them but agree they should not be core.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Sign In to post comments