D&D 5E Have we misunderstood the shield and sword fighter (or warrior)?

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Thats why I love AD&D. Sword and Shield is better because AC is king over HP. You DON'T want to get hit. No matter how many levels you have cause PCs had about half the HP they have now and healing and raising dead wasn't as plentiful.
Depends on the edition. By 2e's Complete Fighter's Handbook, it was perfectly possible to have a guy wearing leather armor with an AC of 0 at level 1, no shield required, so it wasn't really hard to get low AC.
 

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FitzTheRuke

Legend
It’s viable in some situations. Just usually not the best option.
Oh, I know. I'm actually decently proficient with pole weapons. And I can spin 'em around pretty fancy, too! But the uses in combat for spinning them around are a lot less common than a lot of people think. (Most often, IME, used for blocking/guarding if you happen to be attacked while readying another thrust.) If the opportunity presents itself, sure, you'd strike with the "wrong" end, but it's generally an act of desperation, or rare opportunity.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Depends on the edition. By 2e's Complete Fighter's Handbook, it was perfectly possible to have a guy wearing leather armor with an AC of 0 at level 1, no shield required, so it wasn't really hard to get low AC.
FWIW, a 1E UA Barbarian with DEX 18 in leather armor had AC 0 at level 1 since they got double AC bonus if not wearing bulky or fairly bulky armor.
 




James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Oh no, I loved those limitations. Leveling wasn't even too much of a problem with the whole destroying magic items thing. :D

And the Barbarian Horde! So much fun.
Well other than not being able to trust a cleric until what, 5th level? Even d12 hit dice won't help you when two good hits from an orc has you stuck recuperating in an inn for a fortnight!
 

Digdude@1970

Just a dude with a shovel, looking for the past.
in what world is a spear NOT a polearm??? it's THE polearm

edit: oh god so much was posted in between the time i read this thread and when i went to post
I could buy into a long spear being one in dnd context but short spears, pilla, and staves, not so much. Pole arms used to be strictly two handed weapons that had reach and could be used from the second rank. Now i guess people are suggesting cugels too? Not in my worlds.
 

niklinna

Abstraction is a tool that streamlines gameplay.
in what world is a spear NOT a polearm??? it's THE polearm

edit: oh god so much was posted in between the time i read this thread and when i went to post
I think the argument is more that without an arm on the pole (or staff), the pole is just a pole (or staff). Hence quarterstaff is ruled out. Of the category "polearm". Except the feat explicitly includes it in spite of the feat's name.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
The idea is that you can use a spear in the same way you would a quarterstaff, so if you can use PAM with a spear, then a staff seems perfectly fine. The issue is really the fact that a staff is versatile in 5e, and is allowed to be wielded in one hand for less damage.

How logical that is in real life is only a concern for the DM- as written, it's perfectly legal and not hardly an exploit (if the writer of the Feat somehow forgot that the staff was versatile, or that one handed spears are a thing, and intended to specify two handed use only, surely that would have been given some errata in the past 8 years?).
 

W'rkncacnter

Adventurer
I could buy into a long spear being one in dnd context but short spears, pilla, and staves, not so much. Pole arms used to be strictly two handed weapons that had reach and could be used from the second rank. Now i guess people are suggesting cugels too? Not in my worlds.
a spear is, by necessity, a polearm - it has a long shaft (yes, even short spears - have you ever seen a cudgel with a 2 foot long shaft?), and attached to it is the "main fighting part of the weapon" (the spearhead).
I think the argument is more that without an arm on the pole (or staff), the pole is just a pole (or staff). Hence quarterstaff is ruled out. Of the category "polearm". Except the feat explicitly includes it in spite of the feat's name.
i...don't really care about the quarterstaff, honestly.
 

niklinna

Abstraction is a tool that streamlines gameplay.
a spear is, by necessity, a polearm - it has a long shaft (yes, even short spears - have you ever seen a cudgel with a 2 foot long shaft?), and attached to it is the "main fighting part of the weapon" (the spearhead).

i...don't really care about the quarterstaff, honestly.
Neither do I, sir. Neither do I.
 

Digdude@1970

Just a dude with a shovel, looking for the past.
a spear is, by necessity, a polearm - it has a long shaft (yes, even short spears - have you ever seen a cudgel with a 2 foot long shaft?), and attached to it is the "main fighting part of the weapon" (the spearhead).

i...don't really care about the quarterstaff, honestly.
So a trident too since it has a shaft? Same with flail since it has a shaft? Javelin too? See where I am coming from yet? Pole arms have arms. Halberd, bardiche, all the various combo picks, awls, pikes...
 

niklinna

Abstraction is a tool that streamlines gameplay.
So a trident too since it has a shaft? Same with flail since it has a shaft? Javelin too? See where I am coming from yet? Pole arms have arms. Halberd, bardiche, all the various combo picks, awls, pikes...
Yeah I still don't think the Polearm Master feat cares about anything but the exact weapons it lists.
 


W'rkncacnter

Adventurer
So a trident too since it has a shaft?
yes, actually. it's just a spear with three heads instead of one.
Same with flail since it has a shaft?
depends on the flail - the historically-odd-yet-classic style one handed flail, no. the more historically accurate peasant's flail? there's...an argument there. they certainly have long enough shafts, but i don't really know what the flail part would be in terms of being attached.
Javelin too?
again - yes, actually. it's just a spear meant for throwing.
See where I am coming from yet? Pole arms have arms. Halberd, bardiche, all the various combo picks, awls, pikes...
okay, first off - that's not what an "arm" is. an "arm" is just a weapon. a quarterstaff is a weapon, and thus an arm, as is a spear and even a sword or gun. second - i assume when you say "arm" you mean the "main fighting piece" i was referring to that was in the only actual solid definition of a polearm i could find. okay, that's fine...spears have that. it's the spearhead. javelins also have that, as do tridents. and thirdly - you know a pike is just an extremely long spear, right? that's literally all it is. by including pikes in this list, you have tacitly admitted spears are polearms.
 


Digdude@1970

Just a dude with a shovel, looking for the past.
yes, actually. it's just a spear with three heads instead of one.

depends on the flail - the historically-odd-yet-classic style one handed flail, no. the more historically accurate peasant's flail? there's...an argument there. they certainly have long enough shafts, but i don't really know what the flail part would be in terms of being attached.

again - yes, actually. it's just a spear meant for throwing.

okay, first off - that's not what an "arm" is. an "arm" is just a weapon. a quarterstaff is a weapon, and thus an arm, as is a spear and even a sword or gun. second - i assume when you say "arm" you mean the "main fighting piece" i was referring to that was in the only actual solid definition of a polearm i could find. okay, that's fine...spears have that. it's the spearhead. javelins also have that, as do tridents. and thirdly - you know a pike is just an extremely long spear, right? that's literally all it is. by including pikes in this list, you have tacitly admitted spears are polearms.
I said long spears (two handed) yes including pikes. One handed spears and javelins, no way. Tacitly speaking of course. As an casual medeval fighter, I do indeed know the difference between a pike and a spear.
 



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