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Taiaha Stats


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Guys,

A bit of constructive criticism here. Whomever did your research on the New Zealand Maori weapon the “Taiaha” for the book “Ultimate Combat” must have not looked into this fantastic and intriguing weapon.

A Taiaha was/is a wooden weapon made of hardwood (usually ironwood) and was the main "Two-Handed" reach weapon of the Maori’s for both offense and defense. It is true it is a bludgeoning weapon, but it was never intended as a piercing weapon. The point on the handle side was actually a facial carving and the point was the tongue representation of the warriors ancestors who crafted it. This side (point) was never placed on the ground as it was a sign of deep disrespect to one’s ancestor(s). True, you could put a point on one, but that wasn't the original intent.

One of these wooden weapons would be passed from generation to generation and was believed to hold the ancestral spirits of the family’s warriors to aid them in battle. The taiaha was a very fast weapon and the bladed end could actually “cut” the opponent and since the Maori’s didn’t have access to iron or steel at this time, it was never thought of as a slashing weapon. The taiaha was more of a short staff than a club or spear. The sharp end was usually dressed with feathers, string and fur to the shoved into the face of one’s opponent to distract more than anything. The point is purely coincidental and claiming the taiaha is a double ended weapon with piercing qualities is a bit far from its actual use. Also, being light and hard (fast) is shouldn’t be gifted with a d10 damage for a medium sized weapon unless you redo the staff to also do a d10 damage. This makes the taiaha better than a mace for damage. A taiaha would have a hard time denting armor (could but wasn’t intended) and damaging the person encased in it as a mace could. What it should get though, is a bonus for disarms as (a whip or even other weapons) plus it is not a single handed weapon, it’s a two handed weapon.

Also, a taiaha doesn’t weigh 10 lbs. Your heavy mace weighs 8, the light weighs 4 and you’d be lucky to have a taiaha weigh 5-6 lbs. The ones I make are in the 2-4 lb range and are still a bit heavy and I’m using ash. The ironwood ones were smaller in diameter and the blade ends carved way down due to the wood quality and weight of the hardwoods available in New Zealand.

Again, a taiaha is a speed weapon for both offense and defense, not a club or quarterstaff weapon that relied on weight to do damage. Sorry, just had to submit this info since I have done quite a bit of research into these extremely unique weapons that were greatly feared by any who ever met the Maori’s on anything but good terms (including other Maori tribes).

Cheers! :)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

So, you don't like how the Taiaha is statted?

Where is the Rules question?

Grand Lodge

That was an interesting lesson on the Taiaha. I have always loved that weapon since watch Whale Rider, and didn't agree with the rules for it either. I simply changed it for my home campaign.

I do agree though, that I would prefer that weapon stats would reflect actual use, but there may not be enough information on hand to tell whichever developer or contributor what they need to know and instead let imagination go wild.

Anyway, I doubt any changes will come of this in terms of re-writes, but I will be cataloging this in my mental files about the taiaha!

Mahalo nui loa!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Flagged.

Grand Lodge

The weight for pretty much ALL the weapons are wrong.

As for detailed usages...yeah those are wrong for a lot of weapons as well. You "issue" isn't something limited to just the taiaha...but the weapon system in general.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

So, you don't like how the Taiaha is statted?

Where is the Rules question?

No, it's way off. Further than most just by being a single handed weapon when it is in fact a two handed weapon.

And true, why would you rewrite an entire book based on an opinion of one. :)

Lucky for me my players haven't found this weapon, but I would have to rewrite in in my campaign also based on personal use and knowlege.

Aeshuura: Aye, I had to contribute what I knew for accuracy. Paizo has been pretty good about correcting quite a bit. Better than the other company so I figured "Nothing ventured, nothing gained". The other weapons they took from the Maori were pretty good, but this one was way off. Another weapon that took quite a bit of skill to use was the Patu, especially the greenstone ones. Weilded like the Fillipino escrima (double weapons for both striking, blocking and disarming) sticks but heavier and able to be twirled around the wrists on the cords for rapid grip changing. They were rumored to be able to decapitate a person by striking them in a thrusting motion above the eyes, inserting into the skull and twisting to remove the top of the head. This would be interesting to adapt to game terms. Especially as a “Fragile” and exotic two weapon skill stone weapon.

Lucky for me my players haven't found this weapon, but I would have to rewrite in in my campaign also based on personal use and knowlege.

Cold Napalm: Yea, but this one I had a personal interest in :) And many of the weapons haven't been too unbalancing. Giving this one the damage of a bastard sword AND a spear as a double weapon weilded one hand was a bit far-fetched.

Grand Lodge

Yes well...all weapons I am sure has somebody somewhere with a personal interest. As for unbalanced...most of the exotic weapons says hi.


The way it was wielded by Maori and others who adapted it are very different.

Also the Mayans & Aztecs have a Similar weapon that is used exactly how this weapon is suggested to be used.

Heck the Mayans used it one handed with a shield and would steal be able to TWF the danger thing do to the fighting style.

Now that being said:

The Mayans would probably be Fighter(Phalanx Soldier)
When used in Aztec Honor duels their version was used 2 handed.

My Homerules: It is an Exotic 2-Handed weapon.

P.S.: the Mayan and Aztec version has been shown to weigh upwards of 15 pounds.


Azaelas Fayth wrote:

The way it was wielded by Maori and others who adapted it are very different.

Also the Mayans & Aztecs have a Similar weapon that is used exactly how this weapon is suggested to be used.

Heck the Mayans used it one handed with a shield and would steal be able to TWF the danger thing do to the fighting style.

Now that being said:

The Mayans would probably be Fighter(Phalanx Soldier)
When used in Aztec Honor duels their version was used 2 handed.

My Homerules: It is an Exotic 2-Handed weapon.

P.S.: the Mayan and Aztec version has been shown to weigh upwards of 15 pounds.

Sounds like this one may have been the "Example" for the Taiaha in the book.


The only real difference between them is the fact that the Maori were protective of the carving at the base.

The Mayans and Aztecs weren't.

I do know that the Mayan/Aztec versions when they were used for war normally had the carved edge gaped with a Piece of Obsidian fastened into it for increased cutting power and a sharpened stone for the spear end. Though these were usually only for elite soldiers. We are talking Jaguar and Eagle warriors.


Apologies for the thread necromancy, but as a Maori I feel that I should weigh in here.

1. The Ultimate Combat Description: Except for the final sentence, I have no problems with it whatsoever. No, it does not go into extensive detail because there are space limits with creating a product like this. Additionally, the description includes a metal spearhead because while this is the weapon of such importance to my people and our identity, it's not the weapon of this world. We need to always be mindful that Pathfinder is a game of FANTASY first.

2. One-handed: Mau Taiaha and Mau Rakau teaches a warrior to use this weapon both with two hands and one handed. And I'm not simply referring to the occasional flourish, but many strikes are made with a single-handed grip. That having been said, the majority are made with both hands which would imply that the weapon should, in fact, be similar to a bastard sword or dwarven waraxe. In this, I feel that the final sentence should read "A taiaha can be wielded as a two-handed martial weapon that deals 1d10 points of bludgeoning damage (1d8 if Small) and has a ×2 critical."

3. The tongue: Here I have to disagree rather strenuously with Canerat. While it is true that the tongue often had a facial carving upon it and to thrust the point into the ground was a sign of great disrespect to the weapon, the family of it's ancestor spirit and to Tumatauenga. (One of our war gods and literal father of humanity.) While this is true, the Taiaha is intended to be thrust at and into the body of your opponent. The tongue is used to strike at the soft parts, the eyes, throat stomach and groin. Many times these are feinting stabs but with a willingness to follow through if the opponent is foolish enough to leave the feint unmet. But the main striking section IS the blade, which strikes at the skull, shoulders and arms, ribs, hip and legs.

While it is true that the tongue is typically carved and shaped from the same length of wood, some were in fact sharpened Paunamu/Greenstone (native jade) or of whalebone and such details could be used thematically to indicate a masterwork weapon as these tongues were typically a part of the most carefully carved Taiaha and were, admittedly, rare. If you are attempting to represent a Taiaha from a culture similar (or identical) to the Maori, then a Paunamu tongue would be almost essential for magical weapon and are thematically appropriate for black blades.

Hmmm, A Bladebound Eldritch Scion Kensai... too cheesy? (I know you can't actually do this, which is a pity.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Note: A one-handed double weapon can be used to strike with either end (choose which at the start of the round) using normal iterative attacks; it just cannot be used to gain extra attacks from Two-Weapon Fighting by attacking with both ends (mostly to prevent two-weapon fighting simultaneously with two one-handed double weapons, which was a fairly common question about Medium characters with two Small quarterstaffs for a while in 3.5).

The taiaha is unique (at least in Ultimate Equipment) as the only double weapon that is one-handed when sized appropriately, which has some interesting effects. I actually developed a gnome (Master Tinker, Pyromaniac) eldritch knight that crafted a Fire school "staff" of the master out of a taiaha; the character also crafted a flaming burst spell storing adamantine falcata, which gave the option of doing bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage (or triggering a spell effect) without needing to resort to a "golf bag" of weapons.

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