[.11] Staff vs Twohanders for blocking

Tantarus

Squire
Why can you block one handed with a staff but not a 2hander or polearm? Staff skill is far cheaper. I dont see why it gets an exception to having 2 hands on the weapon? What is the reasoning behind this? It also really hurts templars/adepts as taking a hand off to cast spells opens you up to attack.
 

J'rajj

Newbie
It is my understanding that the reason is so pure casters have a cheap weapon to block with so they dont get wrecked while slinging spells. as for casting with a 2-hander, I just have a packet or two between my fingers while I fight, so it takes little time to take my hand off, toss packet, then go back to fighting.

Also staffs are garbage to fight with in Alliance so you won't be seeing anyone actually fighting with it unless things get desperate.
 

Bruvah M.

Newbie
Why can you block one handed with a staff but not a 2hander or polearm? Staff skill is far cheaper. I dont see why it gets an exception to having 2 hands on the weapon? What is the reasoning behind this? It also really hurts templars/adepts as taking a hand off to cast spells opens you up to attack.
Initially, I thought it might be a safety concern. But staffs are far too similar to polearms and other two handed weapons for there to be a safety issue blocking with one and not the other, IMO.

Overall, the ruling that you take damage when you are blocking an attack with a single arm on your two handed weapon is outright weird. I don’t see the value of it in the game.

It is my understanding that the reason is so pure casters have a cheap weapon to block with so they dont get wrecked while slinging spells. as for casting with a 2-hander, I just have a packet or two between my fingers while I fight, so it takes little time to take my hand off, toss packet, then go back to fighting.

Also staffs are garbage to fight with in Alliance so you won't be seeing anyone actually fighting with it unless things get desperate.
If a cheap weapon to block with was all that was needed, then wouldn’t reducing the cost of one handed blunt (or any other weapon skill, really) achieve a similar result?

Sure, casting with a two handed weapon is fairly feasible in Aliance. But it’s also a fairly common technique to occasionally use a single hand to block attacks with your two-handed weapon.

They might be difficult to fight with, but players can still fight with them. Casters can still fight back with spells and defend themselves at the same time if they use a staff. But they can’t do it if their using a two-handed weapon? The rule is counter intuitive at best or straight-up a way to weaken two-handed weapon users at worst.
 

Gilwing

Baron
Alliance Logistics
I believe it falls into the same reasoning why they got rid of not being able to cast if you were taking body damage. People would charge the caster and once your taking body your not casting. Same thing if you have to use all your time blocking, then your not attacking.
 
Without trying to understand the mind of the designer, and ignoring aesthetic considerations (of which I am certain are part of this decision), I want to look at just weapon design / wielding rules.

Staves are required to be wielded with hands near the middle. This is why they make terrible fighting weapons. They are basically just unwieldy short swords. When blocking, though, this rules means that the wielder has pretty good control of the weapon, even when wielding it with only one hand. At worst, the pivot point is only a short sword length from the point of impact of the weapon being blocked (and is often quite a bit closer).

For any other two-handed weapon, that all changes. It is legal to wield other two-handed weapons with hands nearly at the butt end of the weapon. This is great for getting reach while attacking and almost makes up for the slow speed of the weapon (does make up for it in the hands of some very skilled individuals). On defense, though, this would potentially create a very unsafe situation if it could be wielded in only one hand. With the pivot point potentially almost 6' from the point of impact, a single hand simply doesn't provide enough control to keep the weapon from swinging wildly. Heck, from my observation of combat, sometimes two hands don't provide enough control (but thankfully not often).

The elephant in the corner here is the spear rules. Spears are pretty much just slightly shorter, less padded, off-kilter staves when used for defense. And if wielded in the wrong way, they would present almost identical problems to two-handed weapons on defense. However, without any rules forcing it, the culture of spear use on defense has resulted in a style where almost every person wields a spear defensively with one hand about 1/3rd of the length of the spear from the butt end and usually hanging down (which is quite stable). And while this same style would probably help with stability for a two-handed weapon, the difference in weight (two-handed weapons are longer and bulkier) is enough that this would probably be a lot less safe if wielded this way by the average player.

I don't know that safety was a consideration, but I think that there is a safety issue that can't be meaningfully ignored.

-MS
 

Tantarus

Squire
Staves are required to be wielded with hands near the middle.
This really isn't true any more, you can slide both hands to one side and swing it. Leaving the unpadded grip out there that can hit people. And making the weapon much like a 2hander that has a 1.5 foot hilt.

It is legal to wield other two-handed weapons with hands nearly at the butt end of the weapon.
Also not really true any more, There is no requirement for grips sizes. Also Polearms can have very long grips, much like staves. Meaning you can grip it half way up the weapon.

Also I am not looking to make a new style of combat. But just would be nice if 2hander using templars could cast spells without losing the ability to block and parry for that timeframe.
 
They can. They can self cast as many spells as they want without losing the ability to block and parry (assuming they are holding a spell packet between their knuckles).

-MS
 
This really isn't true any more, you can slide both hands to one side and swing it. Leaving the unpadded grip out there that can hit people. And making the weapon much like a 2hander that has a 1.5 foot hilt.
Also, I think you are confusing staff weapon construction rules (which may have changed slightly due to the existence of latex) with staff usage rules. This is the first paragraph of the description of the Staff skill:

"
This skill allows the character to wield a
staff. Staff use is restricted for safety reasons,
so a player using a staff must keep both hands
gripped within the middle three feet of the staff."

That is pretty definitive.

-MS
 

Ken

Artisan
Alliance Logistics
a player using a staff must keep both hands
gripped within the middle three feet of the staff.
It doesn't specify where within that 3 feet your hands must be at any given time. The implication being that if you have both hands down at one end of that 3' grip you can swing it like a sword.

While I wouldn't actually swing a staff like a sword, sliding your grip around to change its effective range mid-swing is a normal part of real-life staff combat. Granted, lots of things that are a normal part of real-life staff combat are explicitly or implicitly banned, so I wouldn't be terribly surprised at this point if even the nerfed version of grip extension currently possible were banned for some reason. Reasonable midway: if you want to do that, pad the grip.
 

Tantarus

Squire
It doesn't specify where within that 3 feet your hands must be at any given time. The implication being that if you have both hands down at one end of that 3' grip you can swing it like a sword.
Well, we have a fighter that uses a staff as @Ken describes and Polare plays here so I am pretty sure that is fine within the rules. So @mikestrauss when you say definitive, I suspect you are quiet wrong.
 

Muir

Fighter
Without trying to understand the mind of the designer, and ignoring aesthetic considerations (of which I am certain are part of this decision), I want to look at just weapon design / wielding rules.

Staves are required to be wielded with hands near the middle. This is why they make terrible fighting weapons. They are basically just unwieldy short swords. When blocking, though, this rules means that the wielder has pretty good control of the weapon, even when wielding it with only one hand. At worst, the pivot point is only a short sword length from the point of impact of the weapon being blocked (and is often quite a bit closer).

For any other two-handed weapon, that all changes. It is legal to wield other two-handed weapons with hands nearly at the butt end of the weapon. This is great for getting reach while attacking and almost makes up for the slow speed of the weapon (does make up for it in the hands of some very skilled individuals). On defense, though, this would potentially create a very unsafe situation if it could be wielded in only one hand. With the pivot point potentially almost 6' from the point of impact, a single hand simply doesn't provide enough control to keep the weapon from swinging wildly. Heck, from my observation of combat, sometimes two hands don't provide enough control (but thankfully not often).

The elephant in the corner here is the spear rules. Spears are pretty much just slightly shorter, less padded, off-kilter staves when used for defense. And if wielded in the wrong way, they would present almost identical problems to two-handed weapons on defense. However, without any rules forcing it, the culture of spear use on defense has resulted in a style where almost every person wields a spear defensively with one hand about 1/3rd of the length of the spear from the butt end and usually hanging down (which is quite stable). And while this same style would probably help with stability for a two-handed weapon, the difference in weight (two-handed weapons are longer and bulkier) is enough that this would probably be a lot less safe if wielded this way by the average player.

I don't know that safety was a consideration, but I think that there is a safety issue that can't be meaningfully ignored.

-MS
Tip-down spear is a thing in part because many fighters don't have the wrist strength to use them like rapiers, even with UL spears that are exceedingly light. That said, now I kind of want to make a min-length spear and use it like a thrusting only rapier. Tip down also provides vastly better coverage than even a shield, thanks to it being able to deny the majority of shots via a 6-12" horizontal forearm movement at most. the grip ~1/3 down the shaft leaves a projection above the wielding hand for doing the same blocks for shoulder and arm shots.

All of that said, I'd be fine with being able to block one-handed with any twohander. I've fought against it in the past in much heavier combat systems than ours, and didn't see a safety problem then, and it would make stun limb much less effective against twohanders by not simultaneously removing all defense and offense.
 

Gilwing

Baron
Alliance Logistics
Well, we have a fighter that uses a staff as @Ken describes and Polare plays here so I am pretty sure that is fine within the rules. So @mikestrauss when you say definitive, I suspect you are quiet wrong.
The middle 3 feet is 1.5' up and 1.5' down (see the center part) So yes, while you can have both hands on the bottom 1.5' of the staff it give you 1.5' left and 4.5' a head of you (assuming you make it max length).

P.s. I had a teammate that wielded it this way as well.
 

MaxIrons

Squire
Oregon Staff
Marshal
So, let's look at this another way. Why don't you want to just take staff instead of 2 handed edge then? There must be a reason that you want to take the more expensive weapon, whether aesthetics, a mechanical advantage, or a reason I haven't thought of.

If it's a difficult choice due to the benefits/costs of both weapon types, than that's a pretty good indication that they are pretty well balanced. When there is a clear winner (OHE vs OHB for example) then there is an imbalance issue.
 

Bruvah M.

Newbie
So, let's look at this another way. Why don't you want to just take staff instead of 2 handed edge then? There must be a reason that you want to take the more expensive weapon, whether aesthetics, a mechanical advantage, or a reason I haven't thought of.
I took Polearm for many reasons. But basically it all amounts to it being how I wanted to play the game. I was, initially, annoyed that I had to spend experience just to use a weapon but I eventually saw why that rule was in place (even though I still disagree with it).

However, what really got to me was that I didn’t even know that I needed to have both hands on the weapon to block with it. I genuinely might not have even played the game if I knew such a terrible rule was in place. By the time I knew, it was too late to change my character.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
I took Polearm for many reasons. But basically it all amounts to it being how I wanted to play the game. I was, initially, annoyed that I had to spend experience just to use a weapon but I eventually saw why that rule was in place (even though I still disagree with it).

However, what really got to me was that I didn’t even know that I needed to have both hands on the weapon to block with it. I genuinely might not have even played the game if I knew such a terrible rule was in place. By the time I knew, it was too late to change my character.
...This seems really extremist. How long did you play the game before you knew you had to use both hands to block?

Additionally, if that single rule would have prevented you from playing, and yet you continue to play knowing the rule...I’m not really sure how to take that, because it seems like you’re happy playing despite that rule.

So...I guess you not knowing ended up working out for you?
 

Muir

Fighter
...This seems really extremist. How long did you play the game before you knew you had to use both hands to block?

Additionally, if that single rule would have prevented you from playing, and yet you continue to play knowing the rule...I’m not really sure how to take that, because it seems like you’re happy playing despite that rule.

So...I guess you not knowing ended up working out for you?
It is quite possible to keep playing despite not being happy with the game. The sunk cost fallacy will do that.

Edit: Spelling.
 
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Bruvah M.

Newbie
...This seems really extremist. How long did you play the game before you knew you had to use both hands to block?

Additionally, if that single rule would have prevented you from playing, and yet you continue to play knowing the rule...I’m not really sure how to take that, because it seems like you’re happy playing despite that rule.

So...I guess you not knowing ended up working out for you?
I’v played for probably five events total thus far. I learned of the issue near the middle of my third event (my second PC’ed event). What has kept me playing the game was how excellent the game was. I love that I have been so free to do what my character wants, and not have to follow railroad plots. I have really enjoyed playing the game with friends, whether I knew them prior to the game or formed friendships during the game. I really enjoyed how I have been subject to realistic consequences and not had them mitigated because I payed for the game. Aliance is one of my favorite LARPs thus far, and I plan to continue coming to the game for years to come.

Yeah, you’re right that it was probably best I didn’t know. But I wonder how many players were turned away because they saw this rule?

I didn’t mean to come off as extreme, but what I posted was my feelings and perspective on the subject. I add them because I thought it was an important issue to bring up.
 
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Durnic

Squire
Owner
Oregon Staff
Marshal
Staff and sword is pretty strong, I've seen @SkollWolfrun work his magic with that setup.
 
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