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View Full Version : To Reach or not to Reach?



Saph
2007-07-12, 05:51 PM
Reach weapons - Glaive, Guisarme, Longspear, Ranseur, etc. How good do you find them? Which classes are they best suited to?

I've always used non-reach melee weapons just because everyone else did. Just recently, though, I've started playing a Glaive-wielding Duskblade, and I've been amazed at how effective it is. At low levels, fighting enemies like kobolds, goblins, and orcs, getting a free attack on an enemy as he moves into range is huge. And at mid-levels, where practically every melee monster seems to have a natural reach of 10 feet or more, a reach weapon of your own stops you from getting AoO'ed every time you try to hit it back. What does everyone else think?

- Saph

wormwood
2007-07-12, 05:54 PM
I think it's kinda funny that last week I rolled up a Glaive toting Duskblade. I haven't gotten to try it out yet, though.

Dhavaer
2007-07-12, 05:58 PM
Glaive toting Duskblades everywhere, apparently.

I like them, particularly comboed with Improved/Superior Unarmed Strike.

Skjaldbakka
2007-07-12, 06:02 PM
I think reach weapons rock, especially for the 'protect the squishies role' that a fighter-type is Supposed to fill. Reach + Stand Still can actually let you, y'know, STOP people.

Tellah
2007-07-12, 06:58 PM
Glaive toting Duskblades everywhere, apparently.

I like them, particularly comboed with Improved/Superior Unarmed Strike.

Naw, just buy yourself some spiked gauntlets and save the feats.

Saph
2007-07-12, 07:05 PM
Naw, just buy yourself some spiked gauntlets and save the feats.

I'm using just one spiked gauntlet. Leaves the other hand free for somatic components. Plus it looks cooler. :)

- Saph

kjones
2007-07-12, 07:44 PM
Reach weapons work well with the Combat Reflexes feat. Otherwise, you can easily get swarmed by many small creatures after expending your one AoO to take out one of them; then, when they've filled every adjacent square, you're helpless. Make sure you have a backup weapon handy! (But really, who doesn't?)

horseboy
2007-07-12, 08:21 PM
Reach weapons work well with the Combat Reflexes feat. Otherwise, you can easily get swarmed by many small creatures after expending your one AoO to take out one of them; then, when they've filled every adjacent square, you're helpless. Make sure you have a backup weapon handy! (But really, who doesn't?)

Short Haft helps with that. (PHBII)

Falrin
2007-07-12, 08:49 PM
Or just drop the weapon as free action, pull out your second (a greatsword) as a move action and use your standard action to hit the thing with your only attack.

Person_Man
2007-07-12, 10:03 PM
Generally, I always use a reach weapon whenever possible. In most cases, I end up getting a few extra attacks per combat, and with the right build, it also has huge combo potential.

I think the only exception might be when you're in a very crowded dungeon. But even then, you should just learn to keep space between the PCs.

Shoyliguad
2007-07-12, 10:06 PM
An even deadlier combo is an ogre monk weilding that, no matter what you are still going to die, get a mage to cast enlarge person and I can't think of many things deadlier.

Leon
2007-07-12, 10:37 PM
I like them, particularly comboed with Improved/Superior Unarmed Strike.

Im finding that combo to work quite well, My druid has (had) a Glaive and when i can hit it works quite well

Just have to save up for a Iron one so im not suffering any penalties

Superior Unarmed Strike is what i'll be taking at 6th level

Dhavaer
2007-07-12, 10:42 PM
Naw, just buy yourself some spiked gauntlets and save the feats.

Bah, feats don't weigh anything and you always have them with you. Much better than gauntlets.

Edit: SUS gets better damage, as well.

TheOOB
2007-07-12, 10:55 PM
Well, if you're going to use a feat to cover for your opponents too close to use your reach weapon, you might as well get a spiked chain, at least then your weapon enchantment applies agienst foes next to you.

Leon
2007-07-13, 03:00 AM
Well, if you're going to use a feat to cover for your opponents too close to use your reach weapon, you might as well get a spiked chain, at least then your weapon enchantment applies agienst foes next to you.

Bah where's the fun in that.

Hadrian_Emrys
2007-07-13, 04:10 AM
Bah where's the fun in that.

The joy of being able to reach out and touch people without the hassle of, you know, having to touch them. :smalleek:

Then there's that whole comfort in doing-what-has-been-tried-and-true-by-the-legions-before-you thing. :smallamused:

ShneekeyTheLost
2007-07-13, 04:20 AM
Spiked Chain + Expansion/Enlarge Person = 20' of death and destruction. A must-have for any melee battlefield control build.

Swooper
2007-07-13, 05:50 AM
An even deadlier combo is an ogre monk weilding that, no matter what you are still going to die, get a mage to cast enlarge person and I can't think of many things deadlier.
Enlarge person doesn't work on Ogres. See, ogres aren't "persons" :smallconfused:

Droodle
2007-07-13, 06:22 AM
Short Haft helps with that. (PHBII)Shorten grip is even better. Rather than spending a swift action to change your grip (and losing the benefits of reach), shorten grip requires no action and allows you to attack adjacent squares without losing the benefit of reach. The only penalty is a -2 to hit. In my opinion, this feat is vastly superior to the spiked chain or the spiked gauntlet because the spiked chain is cheesy, has a poor critical threat range, and is easy to sunder and the spiked gauntlets are yet another thing for you to enchant. The other benefit of taking shorten grip instead of a spiked chain is that you can use it with any polearm.

Sundog
2007-07-13, 06:37 AM
A scout with a Longspear is a useful combo. You can run around behind the meatshields stabbing past them at their opponents and getting Skirmish damage every round, but never having to tumble or avoid an AOO.

Skyserpent
2007-07-13, 08:28 AM
A scout with a Longspear is a useful combo. You can run around behind the meatshields stabbing past them at their opponents and getting Skirmish damage every round, but never having to tumble or avoid an AOO.

You say that like the tumble check is hard... One can usually manage. Plus Scouts usually go the Spring Attack Route so they also get Mobility!

Person_Man
2007-07-13, 08:42 AM
Shorten grip is even better. Rather than spending a swift action to change your grip (and losing the benefits of reach), shorten grip requires no action and allows you to attack adjacent squares without losing the benefit of reach. The only penalty is a -2 to hit. In my opinion, this feat is vastly superior to the spiked chain or the spiked gauntlet because the spiked chain is cheesy, has a poor critical threat range, and is easy to sunder and the spiked gauntlets are yet another thing for you to enchant. The other benefit of taking shorten grip instead of a spiked chain is that you can use it with any polearm.

Both feats are a waste. Just take a 5 ft. step back. If by some odd fluke you find that that's not an option, just delay until the end of the round and ask another party member to kill one of the people who's completely surrounding you (which they were probably going to do anyway).

Dausuul
2007-07-13, 09:37 AM
Both feats are a waste. Just take a 5 ft. step back. If by some odd fluke you find that that's not an option, just delay until the end of the round and ask another party member to kill one of the people who's completely surrounding you (which they were probably going to do anyway).

Being completely surrounded is by no means the only time you might find yourself unable to take a 5-foot step back. You could be in a narrow corridor with one of your own party members behind you. You could be backed up against a wall, or into a corner, or on the edge of a cliff. You could be in difficult terrain, or stuck in a web spell. You could be planning to move after you make your attack.

I'm not saying Short Haft and Shorten Grip are necessarily worth spending a feat on, but they're not as useless as you make them out to be.

Ikkitosen
2007-07-13, 09:52 AM
Just wear spiked armour. Heck you can even TWF with it if you must.

Leon
2007-07-13, 09:53 AM
The joy of being able to reach out and touch people without the hassle of, you know, having to touch them. :smalleek:
Reach out and Touch is why you have a Glaive (or other Pole Arm), when they get close enough its time for a punch to the face - if its not something you wish to touch, 5ft away or draw another weapon




Then there's that whole comfort in doing-what-has-been-tried-and-true-by-the-legions-before-you thing. :smallamused:

Boring, there is no comfort in being one of a Herd of Chain brained Sheep

Attilargh
2007-07-13, 10:28 AM
Just wear spiked armour. Heck you can even TWF with it if you must.
I think that in order to TWF with spiked armour, one would need a non-reach weapon.

For giggles, grab a greatsword, spiked armour and an animated shield. You can now be a sword-and-boarding two-handed two-weapon fighter.

Tellah
2007-07-13, 12:35 PM
Both feats are a waste. Just take a 5 ft. step back. If by some odd fluke you find that that's not an option, just delay until the end of the round and ask another party member to kill one of the people who's completely surrounding you (which they were probably going to do anyway).

Well, it's not so much for attacking on your own turn as for getting attacks of opportunity, the way I see it.

KBF
2007-07-13, 01:44 PM
For giggles, grab a greatsword, spiked armour and an animated shield. You can now be a sword-and-boarding two-handed two-weapon fighter.

I don't see it.

Arbitrarity
2007-07-13, 01:52 PM
Enlarge person doesn't work on Ogres. See, ogres aren't "persons" :smallconfused:

Ogres have feelings to!

You can TWF with a weapon and armour spikes, and you can use an animated shield.

So: Right hand: Greatsword, left hand: greatsword, body, spiked armour, flying around somewhere, animated shield. So you TWF with the greatsword and armour, while THF'ing the greatsword, and using a shield.

Ok, best one ever: Thrikreen Multiweapon fighting with 2 gythka, spiked armour, and an animated bashing spiked shield! Not sure about the legality of the shield, but the text on animated says "As if you were wearing it yourself"

Lolth
2007-07-13, 10:26 PM
Mechanically, Reach weapons are made of win in most cases (nasty buggers getting inside them being the only real pain, unless you use Spiked Chains which I loathe), and I tend to combine them with spiked armor for those cases.

On the other hand, I tend to be disturbingly "over-realistic" about my PCs in the sense that, as we're set largely in a city (in our chat) dragging a big long weapon around streets, taverns, etc., just strikes me as being a pain in the bootie. Not one rule to back that, I just feel silly doing it. If I had one of those Gauntlets of Holding a Weapon in an Extradimensional Space (forget the name off-hand) on the other hand...

Saph
2007-07-14, 05:39 AM
On the other hand, I tend to be disturbingly "over-realistic" about my PCs in the sense that, as we're set largely in a city (in our chat) dragging a big long weapon around streets, taverns, etc., just strikes me as being a pain in the bootie. Not one rule to back that, I just feel silly doing it. If I had one of those Gauntlets of Holding a Weapon in an Extradimensional Space (forget the name off-hand) on the other hand...

Oh, I know. We had a character in one short-lived campaign who was playing a halfling rogue and insisted on using a longspear. Not just a spear, a 10-foot longspear. On top of that, she also insisted that she was not only carrying the spear, but concealing it on her body while not in combat.

Nobody had a strong enough stomach to ask any more questions about exactly where it might be being concealed.

Maybe make a disassembleable reach weapon? So that it's in two 5-foot lengths that you carry around, and screw together whenever you're in a battle situation?

- Saph

Leon
2007-07-14, 09:01 AM
Mechanically, Reach weapons are made of win in most cases (nasty buggers getting inside them being the only real pain, unless you use Spiked Chains which I loathe), and I tend to combine them with spiked armor for those cases.

On the other hand, I tend to be disturbingly "over-realistic" about my PCs in the sense that, as we're set largely in a city (in our chat) dragging a big long weapon around streets, taverns, etc., just strikes me as being a pain in the bootie. Not one rule to back that, I just feel silly doing it. If I had one of those Gauntlets of Holding a Weapon in an Extradimensional Space (forget the name off-hand) on the other hand...

I treat my Glaive as a overlarge walking stick until combat presents its self, then i whip off the cloth that covers the blade


As a Aside: Anything with a Thri-Kreen involved is made of Win and a Pole Arm ibvolved is just the icing :smallsmile:

Leon
2007-07-14, 09:03 AM
Oh, I know. We had a character in one short-lived campaign who was playing a halfling rogue and insisted on using a longspear. Not just a spear, a 10-foot longspear. On top of that, she also insisted that she was not only carrying the spear, but concealing it on her body while not in combat.

Nobody had a strong enough stomach to ask any more questions about exactly where it might be being concealed.

Maybe make a disassembleable reach weapon? So that it's in two 5-foot lengths that you carry around, and screw together whenever you're in a battle situation?

- Saph

Kinda like when you find a Pike on one of the Tiny Demons in Diablo 2

Attilargh
2007-07-14, 09:13 AM
Kinda like when you find a Pike on one of the Tiny Demons in Diablo 2
I personally love the way the bug swarms of Act II drop tower shields and greatswords and stuff like that, after you've killed them with couple of sword swings.

Dausuul
2007-07-14, 09:16 AM
Oh, I know. We had a character in one short-lived campaign who was playing a halfling rogue and insisted on using a longspear. Not just a spear, a 10-foot longspear. On top of that, she also insisted that she was not only carrying the spear, but concealing it on her body while not in combat.

Nobody had a strong enough stomach to ask any more questions about exactly where it might be being concealed.

Maybe make a disassembleable reach weapon? So that it's in two 5-foot lengths that you carry around, and screw together whenever you're in a battle situation?

So long as you don't mind spending a full-round action to assemble it... and I'd say it would have half normal hit points against any attempt to sunder.

Were I DMing for that character, there is no way I'd have allowed her to conceal that thing short of invisibility.

Tough_Tonka
2007-07-14, 03:07 PM
Shorten grip is even better. Rather than spending a swift action to change your grip (and losing the benefits of reach), shorten grip requires no action and allows you to attack adjacent squares without losing the benefit of reach. The only penalty is a -2 to hit. In my opinion, this feat is vastly superior to the spiked chain or the spiked gauntlet because the spiked chain is cheesy, has a poor critical threat range, and is easy to sunder and the spiked gauntlets are yet another thing for you to enchant. The other benefit of taking shorten grip instead of a spiked chain is that you can use it with any polearm.

What book contains this Shorten Grip feat?

Sundog
2007-07-14, 03:10 PM
You say that like the tumble check is hard... One can usually manage. Plus Scouts usually go the Spring Attack Route so they also get Mobility!

Sure, and that's the path I'm going with mine. But you can use the Longspear at level one (slightly difficult to say the same with spring attack!)

TO_Incognito
2007-07-14, 03:17 PM
Are there any one-handed reach weapons anywhere in 3.x?

bugsysservant
2007-07-14, 03:29 PM
Are there any one-handed reach weapons anywhere in 3.x?

As long as you don't insist on using 3.5, which changed the rules (for good reason), I believe heavy lances were medium, and light lances were, well, light. Thus you could theoretically dual wield reach weapons. Or a reach weapon in one hand and a regular in another. Without the necesity of a horse, since I can't find a rule that says lances have to be used mounted. Getting it by your DM on the other hand...

A more legal (and less fun) way to do this would be to take a two handed reach weapon and use it one size smaller. It gives you -2 to the attack role, and the damage is less, but I believe it is otherwise legal to use it one handed.

Edit: Forgot about whips, which are a little funny. Technically they do have reach and they are one handed, but they are more than sub-optimal enough to make up for it. (Although I imagine they are fun to play) Also, they are more like ranged weapons than melee weapons with reach.

Droodle
2007-07-14, 05:07 PM
What book contains this Shorten Grip feat?It was published in DR331 p28. You can also grab a description of shorten grip (or nearly any other feat out there) here. (http://www.crystalkeep.com/d20/rules/DnD3.5Index-Feats.pdf)


Are there any one-handed reach weapons anywhere in 3.x?Well, there's always the whip and whip dagger....or the shield and pike style (if you allow it).

Lemur
2007-07-14, 05:23 PM
Whips are kind of in a category of their own, since you can't use them to threaten an area.

In 3.0, the heavy lance was a medium sized reach weapon, meaning a medium sized creature could use it one handed. Also, the version of Monkey Grip from Sword and Fist could let a medium sized creature use something like a glaive or spiked chain in one hand.

AtomicKitKat
2007-07-14, 09:46 PM
Undersized reach weapons don't grant reach. You need to use a reach weapon sized for yourself or bigger for increased reach. Oversized weapons don't give you more reach either(the increased length is countered by the slightly altered grip for balance. In the physical sense, not the game concept.).

Leon
2007-07-18, 02:15 AM
A large creature using a Medium 2h weapon in one hand ganers a -2 Attack correct?

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-07-18, 04:21 AM
A large creature using a Medium 2h weapon in one hand ganers a -2 Attack correct?

Correct.


Inappropriately Sized Weapons: A creature canít make optimum use of a weapon that isnít properly sized for it. A cumulative Ė2 penalty applies on attack rolls for each size category of difference between the size of its intended wielder and the size of its actual wielder. If the creature isnít proficient with the weapon a Ė4 nonproficiency penalty also applies.

The measure of how much effort it takes to use a weapon (whether the weapon is designated as a light, one-handed, or two-handed weapon for a particular wielder) is altered by one step for each size category of difference between the wielderís size and the size of the creature for which the weapon was designed. If a weaponís designation would be changed to something other than light, one-handed, or two-handed by this alteration, the creature canít wield the weapon at all.


(My emphasis)

Dareon
2007-07-18, 07:44 AM
Yeah, it gets a little bit silly when you're trying to wield a reach weapon one-handed. One guy I know tried building a character around a Tiny spiked chain. It was made to exploit the Scorpion's Grasp feat from Sandstorm. We called that the Spiked Necklace build and laughed it off the table.

...He then went on to play a Large character (Still Humanoid (human), even, so we could Enlarge him. Campaign-world-specific subrace.) wielding a guisarme. We made jokes about his carrying around a flagpole.

Leon
2007-07-19, 10:53 AM
Correct.


(My emphasis)

Ty

Just thinking of a Large character based off a Minitature, using a Glaive in one hand

giblina
2007-07-19, 11:11 AM
As some things to consider,

All reach melee weapons are two-handed, so you have to be okay giving up a shield or two-weapon fighting for starters.

Whips (and bladed whips) are one-handed reach weapons, but they're more of a melee/range hybrid (you provoke ATOO yourself for using one, and you don't threaten any squares).

To be effective, you're also going to be dumping points into dexterity (for combat reflexes) that you might've been able to avoid if using a non-reach weapon.

Personally, I like reach weapons. I don't always use them (especially if I'm trying for a high AC character), but I'd say I use them more often then not when it comes to melee characters.

Also, for rogues, a 10' reach can heavily increase the number of flanking opportunities you have each round (which means more sneak attacks). Rogues also have a high dex anyways. Spiked chain is the only weapon to which weapon finesse can apply though, and considering that weapon finesse and exotic weap both require +1 BAB it means you're not going to have both feats before character level 6 (unless you multiclass into fighter for 1 level).

Arbitrarity
2007-07-19, 11:43 AM
Wait.. duh.

Check your DMG, look in the "asian weapons" bit. Look at the kusari-gama. Light, slashing, 1d6 damage. Otherwise, it's a spiked chain.

EDIT: The duh was refering to me, for forgetting about that weapon. Not trying to insult people on this thread for not knowing about it, particularly seeing as the weapon is said to be appropriate in an Asian campaign, not necessarily the typical demi-European setting.

It was just a random contribution, seeing as there were comments about a lack of one handed reach weapons and some might find it useful to have one.

giblina
2007-07-19, 11:51 AM
Are you talking to me?

Lack of awareness about a rare weapon is not the same as house-ruling. There's a ton of material out there and none of us knows it all.

I wasn't aware there was a 1-handed reach weapon out there. Simple as that.

giblina
2007-07-19, 12:00 PM
:smallsmile: Hey wait though, this is the description I see from open game content...


Kusari-Gama: This small sickle is attached to a length of chain. A kusari-gama is an exotic weapon that can be used either as a double weapon or as a reach weapon. A character can fight with it as if fighting with two weapons, incurring all the normal attack penalties as if using a one-handed weapon and a light weapon. If used as two weapons it can only be used to strike adjacent opponents.

If used as a reach weapon, a kusari-gama can strike opponents 10 feet away. In addition, unlike other weapons with reach, it can be used against an adjacent foe. In this case, only one end of the kusari-gama can be used effectively; it cannot be used as a double weapon. The character chooses which end to use when used as a range weapon. The sickle end deals 1d6 points of damage and is a slashing weapon; the chain end deals 1d4 points of damage and is a bludgeoning weapon.

A kusari-gama can be used to make trip attacks. If the wielder is tripped during his or her own trip attempt, the kusari-gama can be dropped to avoid being tripped.

The kusari-gama gives a +2 bonus on the opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an opponent (including the roll to avoid being disarmed after failing to disarm the opponent).

Use the Weapon Finesse feat to apply a character's Dexterity modifier instead of the Strength modifier to attack rolls with a kusari-gama.

That says to me it's still a two-handed reach weapon from this standpoint...

You're either using it as a reach weapon (in which case you're still holding it in two hands but only striking people with one end of it)

or

You're using it as a double weapon (in which case you have no reach).

But not both ways at the same time. So it is much more flexible than a spiked chain in how it can be used, but it still takes two hands to hold the thing (so you're not going to be using more than a buckler) and you can't dual-wield during the same rounds that you're using it as a reach weapon.

Again... assuming you were talking to me, that wasn't clear :smallsmile:

Arbitrarity
2007-07-19, 12:07 PM
Huh. OGL has a different Kusari-Gama than he DMG.


Exotic Weapons:
Light Melee weaons
Kusari Gama

This small sickle is attached to a length of chain. A kusari-gama is an exotic weapon which has reach. It can strike opponents 10 feet away. In addition, unlike other weapons with reach, it can be used against an asjacent foe. It can be used in all respects like a spiked chain, for trip attacks, disarming other foes, and using its wielder's dexterity modifier instead of Strength modifier for in attack rolls.

Pg 144-145, DMG 3.5. Where did you find that?

EDIT: Ohhh, OA. Interesting. The DMG version was horribly broken anyways.

And of course, I missed the errata. Wait, there is no errata for the kusari gama.

giblina
2007-07-19, 12:28 PM
Hrm.

I checked, and my description is verbatim from the D&D 3.0 SRD.

Apparently they tried to make it less wordy in 3.5 SRD and they ended up breaking the description in the process.

Roderick_BR
2007-07-19, 03:24 PM
I think that in order to TWF with spiked armour, one would need a non-reach weapon.

For giggles, grab a greatsword, spiked armour and an animated shield. You can now be a sword-and-boarding two-handed two-weapon fighter.
"Which style you use?"
"All of them."

Inyssius Tor
2007-07-19, 05:43 PM
Hell, glue Kyton chain-strips onto your armor and you can be a reach tripmonkey, too!