A short sword is Piercing only?


Rules Questions


Has this been addressed yet? A dagger is both slashing and piercing but a short sword is only piercing?


Yup.


What do you mean has this been addressed?
Yes a short sword is only piercing.
Yes a dagger can do piercing or slashing.


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Just like the long sword is only slashing damage. Short sword has been piercing only since 3.0 (IIRC). Does it make sense? No. A short sword can be used to slash; however, is the short sword primarily a stabbing weapon? Yes.

Just something to think about.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Take a look at the Gladius. Pretty much what you are looking for.

Silver Crusade

Unless my memory is faulty (entirely possible) short swords were piercing in AD&D...


I believe that you are correct, Tempestorm. That *is* what short swords are generally made to do. You could probably cut someone with the edge, but I suppose it would be possible to bludgeon someone with the pommel as well- that doesn't make it a bludgeoning weapon. I think that you can take some penalties to hit to deal an alternate damage type, but that might be optional rules from some other edition/game.

But, yes- there is the Gladius now, so nobody ever has to use a short sword again... Hooray for power creep?

Sovereign Court

Cyrus Lanthier wrote:
But, yes- there is the Gladius now, so nobody ever has to use a short sword again... Hooray for power creep?

I think that there are a few classes (rogue for sure - I think a couple others) who are proficient with short-swords, but not gladiuses. So those classes are still stuck with piercing.

Though as a GM - I'd probably allow short-swords to slash at -2 to hit/damage (derived from what broken does).

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

Historically it appears that the short sword has been used with large or tower shields. Because of the reduced field of movement this provided it was primarily used as a piercing or thrusting weapon


Historically, the idea of two people smashing face against one another with large swords is pretty much non-existent. If you wanted to duel someone, you used special, lighter blades for that. If you were expecting to have to defend yourself against attack as a civilian, you used a dagger, a staff or a lighter blade like a rapier. Other circumstances end up with several people against one or more opponents, and big weapons are a problem in that situation so shorter blades were the order of the day. The romans had little use for the spatha for precisely this reason.


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Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Cyrus Lanthier wrote:
But, yes- there is the Gladius now, so nobody ever has to use a short sword again... Hooray for power creep?

I think that there are a few classes (rogue for sure - I think a couple others) who are proficient with short-swords, but not gladiuses. So those classes are still stuck with piercing.

Though as a GM - I'd probably allow short-swords to slash at -2 to hit/damage (derived from what broken does).

Look, I know this is unnecessary and I don't really need to point this out but it's bugging the s&!! out of me. That word is latin, and that is not how you pluralize it.

The plural of gladius is gladii.


Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Cyrus Lanthier wrote:
But, yes- there is the Gladius now, so nobody ever has to use a short sword again... Hooray for power creep?

I think that there are a few classes (rogue for sure - I think a couple others) who are proficient with short-swords, but not gladiuses. So those classes are still stuck with piercing.

Though as a GM - I'd probably allow short-swords to slash at -2 to hit/damage (derived from what broken does).

PRD wrote:


The gladius is the favorite sword of gladiators, with a heavier blade than the standard shortsword. Feats and abilities that affect shortswords apply to the gladius.

I think that generally means one with proficiency (shortsword) either via a specific martial weapon proficiency feat or class proficiency would allow one to count as proficient in gladius.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I could have sworn the dagger was piercing only. Learn something new every day.

Sovereign Court

Claxon wrote:


The plural of gladius is gladii.

Fair enough - my bad. I was thinking it was like cactuses / cacti, where either is acceptable.

Sovereign Court

Ravingdork wrote:
I could have sworn the dagger was piercing only. Learn something new every day.

That is true of the punching dagger.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

"Addressed"?

As in, it's always been this way, but the rare fellow, like yourself, doesn't like it?

Yeah, that has been "addressed" then.

It's RAW, RAI, and all but a few are just fine with it.


Ravingdork wrote:
I could have sworn the dagger was piercing only. Learn something new every day.

That was the case in AD&D, as well as 3.0; it got changed in 3.5.

Sovereign Court

What we do is have the shortsword be a d6 piercing weapon but if you take a -2 to hit it can be used a d4 slashing weapon.


It's Pathfinder. I'd say don't get too hung up on realism. If we wanted to, daggers would be piercing weapons, not piercing and slashing, and so would the gladius. You can slash with either, but it is pretty suboptimal compared to stabbing. This is fantasy, though. Let it do what damage type you wish. Realistic combat is overrated.


Can shortbows be used as slashing weapons at a penalty too?

Sovereign Court

Sissyl wrote:
Can shortbows be used as slashing weapons at a penalty too?

Yup, as can maces and clubs.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Are you talking about using the weapon as an improvised weapon?

That is a different story.

Sovereign Court

Cylyria wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Can shortbows be used as slashing weapons at a penalty too?
Yup, as can maces and clubs.

The shortsword I can see - but how in the world do you slash someone with a club? Pull out a jagged splinter first?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Well, the Weapon Versatility feat would allow you to deal slashing with a Club.

Last time I mentioned this completely RAW possibility, some folks completely lost their sh*t.


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Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Claxon wrote:


The plural of gladius is gladii.
Fair enough - my bad. I was thinking it was like cactuses / cacti, where either is acceptable.

Technically, Gladiuses is perfectly fine. It's an adopted word. Words assimilated into a language can either be pluralized using the rules of the parent language or the adopting language. Gladii and Gladiuses both work fine.

That's also why curriculums, syllabuses, octopuses (though that one isn't actually Latin), mediums, formulas, etc. are all acceptable pluralizations of the root words.

Nobody balks when you say "formulas" rather than "formulae" (unless you're in a hyper-academic setting and/or an actual Latin class), so don't sweat "gladiuses".


1 person marked this as a favorite.
fretgod99 wrote:
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Claxon wrote:


The plural of gladius is gladii.
Fair enough - my bad. I was thinking it was like cactuses / cacti, where either is acceptable.

Technically, Gladiuses is perfectly fine. It's an adopted word. Words assimilated into a language can either be pluralized using the rules of the parent language or the adopting language. Gladii and Gladiuses both work fine.

That's also why curriculums, syllabuses, octopuses (though that one isn't actually Latin), mediums, formulas, etc. are all acceptable pluralizations of the root words.

Nobody balks when you say "formulas" rather than "formulae" (unless you're in a hyper-academic setting and/or an actual Latin class), so don't sweat "gladiuses".

Actually, all of these bother me greatly.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Grammar? Sieg heil!


Claxon wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Claxon wrote:


The plural of gladius is gladii.
Fair enough - my bad. I was thinking it was like cactuses / cacti, where either is acceptable.

Technically, Gladiuses is perfectly fine. It's an adopted word. Words assimilated into a language can either be pluralized using the rules of the parent language or the adopting language. Gladii and Gladiuses both work fine.

That's also why curriculums, syllabuses, octopuses (though that one isn't actually Latin), mediums, formulas, etc. are all acceptable pluralizations of the root words.

Nobody balks when you say "formulas" rather than "formulae" (unless you're in a hyper-academic setting and/or an actual Latin class), so don't sweat "gladiuses".

Actually, all of these bother me greatly.

*shrug*

They're all correct, though.

As an aside, and just for my own curiosity, how do you pluralize "octopus" or "forum" or "stadium" or "aquarium"? Do you insist upon parent language pluralization for all of them, or just ones you're accustomed to? I'm not being critical, I think it's interesting.


I have a friend who has a short sword, when you look at the thing you really can see why it's piercing. The thing was heavy and really meant to punch through armor. If you tried to slash with like a dagger it would be very cumbersome and little slow. I could see you slashing using the point but it would dangerous to do so as you'd open yourself up to attack. I'm taking that from knife fighting where you do slash, small control slashes and I can't see how you'd be able to control the short sword like that. I'm not expert though.


fretgod99 wrote:
Claxon wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Claxon wrote:


The plural of gladius is gladii.
Fair enough - my bad. I was thinking it was like cactuses / cacti, where either is acceptable.

Technically, Gladiuses is perfectly fine. It's an adopted word. Words assimilated into a language can either be pluralized using the rules of the parent language or the adopting language. Gladii and Gladiuses both work fine.

That's also why curriculums, syllabuses, octopuses (though that one isn't actually Latin), mediums, formulas, etc. are all acceptable pluralizations of the root words.

Nobody balks when you say "formulas" rather than "formulae" (unless you're in a hyper-academic setting and/or an actual Latin class), so don't sweat "gladiuses".

Actually, all of these bother me greatly.

*shrug*

They're all correct, though.

As an aside, and just for my own curiosity, how do you pluralize "octopus" or "forum" or "stadium" or "aquarium"? Do you insist upon parent language pluralization for all of them, or just ones you're accustomed to? I'm not being critical, I think it's interesting.

Forii? Stadii? Aquarii?

And is the plural of Phoenix 'phoenices'?


fretgod99 wrote:
As an aside, and just for my own curiosity, how do you pluralize "octopus" or "forum" or "stadium" or "aquarium"?

"Octopodes", "fora", "stadia" and "aquaria" - assuming I'm trying to make other people feel linguistically inferior, that is.


fretgod99 wrote:
Claxon wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Claxon wrote:


The plural of gladius is gladii.
Fair enough - my bad. I was thinking it was like cactuses / cacti, where either is acceptable.

Technically, Gladiuses is perfectly fine. It's an adopted word. Words assimilated into a language can either be pluralized using the rules of the parent language or the adopting language. Gladii and Gladiuses both work fine.

That's also why curriculums, syllabuses, octopuses (though that one isn't actually Latin), mediums, formulas, etc. are all acceptable pluralizations of the root words.

Nobody balks when you say "formulas" rather than "formulae" (unless you're in a hyper-academic setting and/or an actual Latin class), so don't sweat "gladiuses".

Actually, all of these bother me greatly.

*shrug*

They're all correct, though.

As an aside, and just for my own curiosity, how do you pluralize "octopus" or "forum" or "stadium" or "aquarium"? Do you insist upon parent language pluralization for all of them, or just ones you're accustomed to? I'm not being critical, I think it's interesting.

I go with octopodes. On the others, I don't know the proper pluralization and have never looked it up as I've never tried to use those words plurally.

I do not consider myself a grammar nazi, but certain things just bug the s#$& out of me. I often make mistakes, especially while typing.

I dunno, sometimes I just see/hear something and my brain latches on to it and wont let go.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Around my fourth year of learning Latin, I would accidentally decline nouns of Latin origin in English.

Like 'give me your gladio.' I'm glad that stopped.

Though now I forget when it is gladii vs gladi. Which makes me a little sad. Plural of phoenix is phoenices, iirc. One of those Latinized Greek buggers. Third declendion i-stem

Totally relevant to discussion.


Zhayne wrote:

Forii? Stadii? Aquarii?

And is the plural of Phoenix 'phoenices'?

-um endings typically use "a" (like medium to media).

So:

Matthew Downie wrote:
"Octopodes", "fora", "stadia" and "aquaria" - assuming I'm trying to make other people feel linguistically inferior, that is.

Phoenix could be phoenix, phoenixes, or phoenices (or some other Greek pluralization).

But ultimately, that's basically my point. Insisting on parent language rules for pluralization, etc., doesn't make much sense because we don't do it across the boards.

Claxon wrote:

I go with octopodes. On the others, I don't know the proper pluralization and have never looked it up as I've never tried to use those words plurally.

I do not consider myself a grammar nazi, but certain things just bug the s$*~ out of me. I often make mistakes, especially while typing.

I dunno, sometimes I just see/hear something and my brain latches on to it and wont let go.

And like I said, don't get me wrong, I wasn't trying to pick or be critical. It's interesting to me. I have done (and still do) the same thing for different things (it drives me absolutely crazy when people who speak American English say "an historic" - we aspirate the "h" on this side of the pond, it's "a historic").

Like I said, just curious. Nothing more to see here, folks! Carry on with talk of stabbing things with pointy sticks and whatnot.

/derail


[derail]

Also, I should say that I, too, use "octopodes". But usually only when someone else has insisted that the correct way to do it is "octopi". Otherwise, I go with "octopuses".

Because I'm an ass like that.

[/derail]


fretgod99 wrote:
I have done (and still do) the same thing for different things (it drives me absolutely crazy when people who speak American English say "an historic" - we aspirate the "h" on this side of the pond, it's "a historic").

Jumping in to agree with this statement.

Also, while I'm here, why do people bother houseruling with the shortsword? -2 to make it slashing? Just give me a dagger, I'd rather have the lower damage.

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