The reality of the staff rules

Just a bugaboo of mine,
The rulebook says staff use is restricted for safety reasons, this is plainly not the case. Tripping isn't allowed in any context, we thrust with polarms and 2 handed swords all the time and the middle 3 feet grip rule is plainly unnecessary within the context of other weapons allowed on the battlefield.
Imho the rules for staff are firmly rooted in the build cost with it being the second cheapest melee weapon and would in essence top all other 2 handed weaponry as a option if its usage were unrestricted. I think the rulebook should either state this plainly or liberalize the usage while upping the xp cost.
 
Staff is a cheap weapon with restricted usage because Alliance is rooted in LotR/D&D-style tropes, and frankly staff is for wizard. There is no "monk" style class, and with apologies to Little John, no design intention to have staff be an offensive world-beater. It's meant to be a primarily defensive tool, and thematically cool for scholars, which is why it is not only low cost but low cost for all classes.

You're not wrong that the safety reason explanation is kind of over-dramatic, although in fairness when a staff was commonly made with 1" radius PVC, you really did not want to have someone thrusting one at you with any force behind it. It probably wouldn't break the game to be above board about the thematic reasons for restricting staff use, but there is no way it's getting the limiters taken off and turned into a real weapon. Old man Gandalf needs his walking stick.
 

JeffL

Newbie
Denver Staff
Just a bugaboo of mine,
The rulebook says staff use is restricted for safety reasons, this is plainly not the case. Tripping isn't allowed in any context, we thrust with polarms and 2 handed swords all the time and the middle 3 feet grip rule is plainly unnecessary within the context of other weapons allowed on the battlefield.
Imho the rules for staff are firmly rooted in the build cost with it being the second cheapest melee weapon and would in essence top all other 2 handed weaponry as a option if its usage were unrestricted. I think the rulebook should either state this plainly or liberalize the usage while upping the xp cost.
In Denver we have consistent running jokes about how terrible the Alliance version of staff is as a weapon. If the goal of the rule is to force staff to be a poor choice (worse than single shortsword, we argue), then cut the BS explanations and make that clear.

Then again, the fix seems awfully easy. Let there be two Styles for staff. Basic Staff - A cheap one that matches the "old-man walking stick" use (two-hands in the middle only). And then a more expensive one that would allow a disarmed fighter to pick up a 6' long stick and not just use it like an idiot.
 

Feldor

Scholar
Marshal
I don't disagree with you.

And then a more expensive one that would allow a disarmed fighter to pick up a 6' long stick and not just use it like an idiot.
I mean, sort of, that is what the Polearm skill is. Polearm requires a "blade", but there are no requirements on that, or restrictions on using a polearm with only one end as a striking surface in the 2.0 rules, beyond having appropriate padding on all striking surfaces. So I'd argue a staff with a pointed** tip would be a "polearm"; and get all the advantages*** over a "staff".

** - no point actually required, but possibly a different color thrusting tip might be a nod at it being a longspear rather than just a staff.
*** - 3 base damage and no requirement for holding it in the middle. With the caveat that you can't also use it to 1H block.
 

Ken

Artisan
Alliance Logistics
Maybe add Warstaff as a special weapon exclusive to 2H Master. All the advantages of Polearm and Staff in one package - two business ends, 1H block, thrusting, relaxed grip rules, and maybe even still counts as a Staff for Archmage purposes.
 

JeffL

Newbie
Denver Staff
I don't disagree with you.

I mean, sort of, that is what the Polearm skill is. Polearm requires a "blade", but there are no requirements on that, or restrictions on using a polearm with only one end as a striking surface in the 2.0 rules, beyond having appropriate padding on all striking surfaces. So I'd argue a staff with a pointed** tip would be a "polearm"; and get all the advantages*** over a "staff".

** - no point actually required, but possibly a different color thrusting tip might be a nod at it being a longspear rather than just a staff.
*** - 3 base damage and no requirement for holding it in the middle. With the caveat that you can't also use it to 1H block.
Sure! Modify the Polearm skill to include using a staff however you want! Great solution.
 

Feldor

Scholar
Marshal
I guess what I'm saying is you don't have to modify the polearm skill. If you tag a physrep as a polearm, that meets the requirements for polearm (length & padding), you can use it as a polearm. If you tag it as a staff, you follow the staff rules for it. But there's a pretty good chance you can use the same physrep for either, as long as its not a min-length staff. (Min length on a staff is 60"; min length on a polearm is 62"; though if your staff is a 60-62" long you can tag it as a 2H-blunt but then you can't thrust with it.)
 

Muir

Fighter
Our combat isn't realistic. It is, in fact, not even remotely meant to be realistic. It's representative rocket tag.

That said, I agree with a lot of the limitations. I don't even really like staff being able to attack with both ends as it stands, because people are terrible about watching their backswings.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
We don't need to change any existing weapon rules.

We'd simply need a different "style" added to the system.

Staff could remain 4, and Staff Mastery would be, like, 4 for Fighters (and follow the Florentine pricing). It would enable thrusting as long as the rep was thrust-legal.

Frankly, I'd be down with this. There's certainly players out there itching to be Staff Fighters, and I don't see a particularly good reason to deny them that. Especially if it's a Staff-specialist Spellsword or Adept.

Heck, make it 3 for Spellswords and Adepts. More incentive for them.
 

Gilwing

Baron
Alliance Logistics
Hilariously, that’s pretty much why I went from earth Templar to scout in the last changeover and then from scout to earth spellsword in this one.
In Denver we have consistent running jokes about how terrible the Alliance version of staff is as a weapon...
Head, crotch, Head, crotch, Head, crotch? At least that's the joke we used.
 

JeffL

Newbie
Denver Staff
The problems with Staff in 2.0, as I see them:
  1. No stabbing
  2. Must use both hands
  3. Marked 3-foot section in the middle where you must keep your hands
#1 is silly. The ends of staves are typically the same construction as the ends of swords. If some swords are stab-legal, then some staves can be too. Fixing this would require changing a single sentence in the rules on staves.
#2 and #3 are, I guess, originaly intended to make staff a terrible weapon? (I still find that hard to believe.) I agree this could be addressed by creating a new style.

If we ever get to the point where it matters, I'm ready to argue about how much the "Staff Mastery" should cost. But right now... totally moot.
 

Ken

Artisan
Alliance Logistics
The problems with Staff in 2.0, as I see them:
  1. No stabbing
  2. Must use both hands
  3. Marked 3-foot section in the middle where you must keep your hands
#1 may also be related to the fact that it's a blunt weapon. No blunt weapon in Alliance can stab, whether or not it's got a thrust tip, and whether or not the real-world weapon would be useful to thrust with. They cost less XP to reflect this, but some skills also only work with blunt weapons. It's still a bit of a bummer. An advanced staff skill of some sort could potentially add it, assuming the safety concerns were actually imaginary.

I'm not sure what your point #2 is about. You can wield a staff one handed to block with. It sounds like you want to be able to attack one-handed with a 6 foot long weapon and I'm not sure what that would look like.
 

Parzivel

Artisan
I'm happy to show you what it would look like. It looks a lot like someone attacking one-handed with a 4-foot-long sword made of iron .... but it's two feet longer and wood.

I can imagine a safety concern with two-handed stabs, but since we allow it with pole-arms, that is obviously not the issue. There also shouldn't be a problem having an exception type weapon that is a blunt that stabs... after all, we have spears.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
A staff following the same expectations as other weapons in our systems would definitely not cost 4 XP for the characters it’s designed for: spellcasters.

It is intentionally limited, folks. I definitely would recommend someone proposing a style skill to an owner, because I suspect that’s the best way to resolve it.
 

Darkcrescent

Knight
Chicago Staff
Marshal
Do we really need another long stabbing weapon to this game, and one that doesn't have a big soft pad on the end like a spear or oftentimes Polearms? Who honestly loves fighting against people with spears? I can tell you as an NPC, nothing hits my neck, face or groin as much as a spear.

Even those who use 1h or 2h swords, do you thrust with them often?

As fun as it is to jump on the "staves suck" bandwagon, they are like any other weapon in this game, if you know how to build and swing/control the weapon, you can be pretty good at it. Some weapons are good against other combinations, some aren't. Staff I find is great against polearms and 2H weapons, but not so much against Sword and Board.

All in all, Staff is fine for what it is intended to do. I would not like to see another thrusting weapon added.
 

Feldor

Scholar
Marshal
If you want to be a fighter with a long staff -- long staff is just another name for a pole...
I'm still unclear why folks are not just using a "polearm" tag for your staff when you want to use it just like a polearm.
It'd not let you do channeling stuff.

But I sort of feel like maybe the answer to Channeling is one of:
  • changing/adding oak-of-the-archmage high magic to have a more expensive option that allows the use of non-staff weapons
  • add a weapon-only ritual that duplicates oak-of-the-archmage effect on to the enchanted weapon
  • makes the enchanted weapon count as a staff for purposes of oak-of-the-archmage

----

With all that said, I think we could really use to re-examine how we classify weapons entirely. Most latex swords aren't safe to thrust with, and ironically most latex blunts I've come across are... Which means our current categorization doesn't really make sense in the context of modern physreps. It seems like we should qualify physreps as thrust-safe or not, and then have skill categories based on size. This might result in these weapon skills:
  • small
  • one-hand (48" max)
  • two-hand (72" max)
  • thrown
  • archery
And just do away entirely with thrusting/non-thrusting categories. If you want more fine grained categories, split one-hand in to short (upto 36) & long (upto 48) and split two-hand into great (upto 60) & pole (upto 72). Note that I consider each category to be inclusive of the previous.

MAYBE change the "small" category to be called "non-proficient" and let it include daggers, canes, shepherd crooks, banners, and staves. That lets it be cheap for casters (because wizard-genre) and expand its size to all sorts of things non-combatants carry that could be vaguely weapon-like and used to block. But the category comes with restrictions like "1 base damage, is not considered a weapon for use with weapon skills/profs/backstabs/poisons/weapon-enchants/etc but can be used to as a channel source" and anyone who wants to use a something like that as a real weapon buys the size appropriate skill.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
I definitely recommend folks making propositions to their owners if they feel they have good ideas for rules changes. :)
 

Brooks

Newbie
Even those who use 1h or 2h swords, do you thrust with them often?
Having used a two handed sword for a long time as a adept/spellsword. I can say I thrust with it all the time.

I played a game where staff was just covered the whole length with closed foam. Use it how you like. It actually worked out just fine. Actually a little safer due to no pipe at all showing.

And I would drop two handed sword for a staff you could use like a 2h blunt, but block one handed with in a heart beat. That would be my adept/spellsword dream!
 

Feldor

Scholar
Marshal
Even those who use 1h or 2h swords, do you thrust with them often?
I only use 1h swords, but I thrust with them frequently, especially using a 1H-short when fighting someone with a 1H-long. A lot of folks aren't as good with thrust defenses, and as someone who practiced with fencer's for years I've learned the value of a beat-thrust and disengage-thrust. For my spellsword-at-heart-but-actually-a-scholar I use blunts partially because I was trying to make him a less effective fighter.

As an aside, this is also part of why I build my own weapons. My standards for what is a safe thrusting tip are more stringent than anything I've seen on a commercially bought weapon (except for ActionFlex which we don't allow even though they are safe for full force sparring, and the B3is swords).
 
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