Weapon question


Rules Questions


Why is a falchion listed as a two-handed weapon? Throughout history, it's been a one-handed sword, basically a machete with a crossguard. At best, it's a hand-and-a-half sword, I'd just like to know why it's classified where it is, especially since a bastard sword is now a one-handed weapon.

Liberty's Edge

Personally, I'm wondering why this is a big issue for you, given that the "longsword" does not exist as a proper weapon.

You can call "your characters Scimitar" a falchion if you want, as long as its clear to the GM what you are doing.

The bastard sword is not a one-handed weapon. It's a two-handed weapon that can be used in one hand with extra training. It's also the katana, even though the attacks and combat styles for the weapons are dramatically different in many ways.

Greatswords are a thoroughly ridiculous concept. The "Scottish claymore" example that is often held up as "proof" of the greatswords validity was designed as an anti-cavalry weapon - in other words, a spear made of metal. Also, thanks to proper nutrition, good medical care, steroids, and other effects, humans today are noticeably taller than most humans throughout history, and most humans today find the Scottish claymore rather oversized.

And then, of course, there's the size large Bastard Sword, which is even more absurd, but perfectly legit (the female bare-belly barbarian in the core is using one).

On a personal note, none of the above is a complaint; if I can create an elf that hurls fire from his fingertips while flying on a hippogriff, I'm perfectly cool with over-sized weapons. I'm just trying to put things into perspective.


Jordan73 wrote:
Why is a falchion listed as a two-handed weapon? Throughout history, it's been a one-handed sword, basically a machete with a crossguard. At best, it's a hand-and-a-half sword, I'd just like to know why it's classified where it is, especially since a bastard sword is now a one-handed weapon.

Because we already have the scimitar, which is a one-handed version of the falchion, at least in game terms.

The weapons in D&D/PF don't always adhere to their real-world counterparts too closely, as it was probably deemed more important to provide a diverse set of weapons gamestat-wise.

So we have a one-handed martial slashing weapon with a big critical threat range (1d6 18-20) called scimitar, and a two-handed martial slashing weapon with a big critical threat range (2d4 18-20) called falchion.

It's probably closer to an oversized scimitar than to a falchion in more than one regard, since the falchion, which supposedly combined the weight of an axe with the versatility of a sword, would be more fitting to have 19-20/x3 than 18-20).

So if you want a weapon that is closer to your vision of the falchion, why not get one that does 1d6 slashing damage, 19-20/x3. Should be a one-handed martial weapon. Ask your GM about that.

Edit: It's not really fruitful to look too closely at things' names in D&D (and, to some extent, Pathfinder, since it inherited a lot of its inaccuracies.).

And not just in the case of weapons, you see: Basilisks were classically a serpent rather than an eight-legged lizard, and its gaze killed instead of turning you to stone. Gorgon was the sister of Medusa and not a great big bull with petrifying poison breath. Lamia was turned into a snake-woman rather than a lion-woman (though the lamia matriarch returns the more classical lamia to us). Looking at a nymph did not necessarily strike you blind or dead. And don't even let me start with elves, dwarves, gnomes, and so many others.

For me, taking inaccuracies pertaining to all the creatures that populate the worlds we play in in stride but fretting about inaccuracies in the way the tools and weapons are described is weird.

I see it often that people complain about the one area of knowledge they personally know something about. They never heard about Lamia before the game and didn't know that instead of a made-up monster, it's a not-quite-accurate depiction of a mythical figure as a fantasy race.

They think "warp drive" sounds cool and don't know that it actually means that the ship doesn't move but instead sits in a bubble of space that is then moved around - something that would take more energy than is available in the universe, and would mean you could not steer the bubble from within it.

But then they see a firearm in some modern game which they have personally fired and know that this model has 18-round mags instead of 17 and they complain!

(Note, I don't claim that all of the examples I brought up are accurate, they're just accurate to my knowledge, which isn't that of an expert)

Another person would never have spotted that gun thing but will get their panties in a knot about how Lamia was just one woman that was turned into a half-snake and not a whole race of lion-freakettes.

I think the important thing to remember is that the people who make these games aren't usually professional architects, or gun buffs, or know everything about all the weapons ever used by one human to spiritedly mow down others of his kind, or professors of All the Old Myths, and it's not always feasible to spend time to research everything exhaustingly. So the best thing is to do something that is "close enough", and in all areas.

That way, they get to show off what they're good at: Making enjoyable games. Which sometimes involves reality making way for enjoyment.

Note that I don't intent to tell you off for complaining about this. Just putting it into perspective. As a guy who can't watch Independence Day without wondering how you can infect a highly advanced computer of an alien race with a virus you cook up in an hour or two, I know what you mean.


BobChuck wrote:

Personally, I'm wondering why this is a big issue for you, given that the "longsword" does not exist as a proper weapon.

You can call "your characters Scimitar" a falchion if you want, as long as its clear to the GM what you are doing.

The bastard sword is not a one-handed weapon. It's a two-handed weapon that can be used in one hand with extra training. It's also the katana, even though the attacks and combat styles for the weapons are dramatically different in many ways.

Greatswords are a thoroughly ridiculous concept. The "Scottish claymore" example that is often held up as "proof" of the greatswords validity was designed as an anti-cavalry weapon - in other words, a spear made of metal. Also, thanks to proper nutrition, good medical care, steroids, and other effects, humans today are noticeably taller than most humans throughout history, and most humans today find the Scottish claymore rather oversized.

And then, of course, there's the size large Bastard Sword, which is even more absurd, but perfectly legit (the female bare-belly barbarian in the core is using one).

On a personal note, none of the above is a complaint; if I can create an elf that hurls fire from his fingertips while flying on a hippogriff, I'm perfectly cool with over-sized weapons. I'm just trying to put things into perspective.

Great Sword Really i think you may be wrong here BobChuck greatswords did exist although from the little i know of them they were mainly blunt and used to crush through armor and bones

As to the Falchion everything i have seen agrees with Jordan73 a falchion was a one handed sword much like a scimitar however they needed a name for the 2 handed one so chose that one:) (i've looked about but can't find the name of a 2 handed scimitar anywhere).


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Great Swords were often used in conjuction with massed pole arms. They were there to sunder opposing pole arms and to kill enemies that got inside the reach of their sides pikes. Quite a few old training manuals (fechtbuchen) still exist for these tools.


In the 2nd Edition suppliment Combat and Tactics, there is a comprehensive list of weapons, the largest single listing I've seen in any peice of material in any edition of D&D, anyway the Falchion in there is a size medium ("one handed" in AD&D) with a weapon speed of 5 (same as a Longsword) and does 1d6+1 vs small/medium creatures or 2d4 vs large creatures. ALSO on this list is a weapon they call the Great Scimitar, a two handed weapon with a weapon speed of 9 (same as Two Handed Axe) and did 2d6 vs S/M and 4d4 vs L.

Bascially I think when they were making 3.0 they were going through weapons and someone probably said something like this:

"we need a high crit 2-hander
well we have the Great Scimitar we can use
nah, we already have 2 "great" weapons and Great Scimitar sounds kinda lame
lets just take the Great Scimitar and call it a Falchion, that sounds like a cool weapon, all exotic like
oooo yeah, and most people wont even know the difference..."


Bertious wrote:
(i've looked about but can't find the name of a 2 handed scimitar anywhere).

Two-handed curved swords were apparently not very wide-spread. The Chinese and Japanese had some, but I found nothing about a "two-handed scimitar" at all. My search-fu could be weak, though.


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Curdog wrote:
fechtbuchen

Fencing beeches? Is that something for giants? ;-P


KaeYoss wrote:
Curdog wrote:
fechtbuchen
Fencing beeches? Is that something for giants? ;-P

Sorry about that- Fechtbucher is correct I believe

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fechtbuch#German_Fechtb.C3.BCcher

Note picture of two men practicing with what appear to be greatswords.


I would allow a player to take "Weapon Proficiency(Falchion)" in order to wield it 1 handed - it's pretty close to the bastard sword rule.
it's slightly less damaging (2d4 vs. 1d10) but it has a greater critical range (18-20, vs 19-20).


Your two-handed version of a scimitar is essentially an elven curve blade, as per its description. I don't know about any real-life equivalents though.


Thread necromancy
A couple of two-handed curved blades would include the Chinese dadao, iirc, in the slightly curved section there's the Swiss saber, and there's always the kriegsmesser which is the closest thing to be falchion described in the rules that I can think of. There are so many things that are anti historical in the weapon rules that it's hard to believe
I'm thinking about some House Rules. Has anyone made their own versions of the weapons?


Most people just accepted that historical accuracy isn't the point of the weapons table, and that's its all just based on "fantasy weapons".

If you were to do anything I would simply rename the existing mechanics of weapons to fit whatever description makes you happy, but I wouldn't actually adjust the mechanics of existing weapons since striking the right balance is going to be hard if you're not really familiar with all of the rules and existing weapons.

Mechanical balance between weapons is far more important to the game than historical accuracy is.

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