Is a club a viable weapon for an entire career?


Advice


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Stat-wise pretty pedestrian. Assuming medium sized wielder, d6, 20x2. But really your feats and character stats, class abilities make a huge difference.

So that being said, will you be too far behind the curve, all other things being equal, in say an Adventure Path, Society Play or regular scenarios or modules? Compared to other melee-wielders?

Sovereign Court

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Clubs are pretty lame weapons, and you'll always be behind someone who picked a better weapon and otherwise did all the same optimizations as you did.

But just because you're not as powerful as you possibly could, doesn't mean you're too weak to be viable or useful. Depending on what you're playing, the exact type of weapon is usually only a small part of your overall effectiveness.

For a magus, the difference between a club and a scimitar with a long crit range is enormous. For a 2H style barbarian with high strength who does [weapon]+12 at level 1 (strength 18, rage, power attack), the difference between a club and an earthbreaker is much less important.

Where it gets rough for a while is DR. Clubs tend to be nonmetallic, which means cold iron, silver and adamantine DR are a problem. At least until you get enchanted to +3/+4, but that's fairly expensive. Well-chosen Bane or Furious enchantments can provide a shortcut.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

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If you have access to shillelagh spell, a club suddenly becomes a good weapon, if only temporarily. The damage die increase is relevant at any level.


You'll be a bit behind, but if you're playing as a support class or using it as an archer's back up weapon you'll be fine.


As mentioned above, Shilleagh will turn the tide. Now combine that with a fighters weapon training and you might have something. Fighter advanced weapon training "focused weapon" and "warrior spirit" + Shilleagh will turn your little piece of wood in to a 4d8+1 Brilliant energy baton... or basicly a lightsaber...

EDIT* You can gain Shilleagh on a non druid character by getting "fey magic" alternate racial trait if you´r GM allow it.

Just remember, it won´t always be "ON"... you have it a couple of times per day.... good for surprise boss fights i spose. Or assassination.


Nothing too crippling, as far as it goes. You've gotta mess up on way more than just your weapon choice to become unviable.


Clubs have a few advantages over longswords: They are cheap, can be thrown without penalty (synergy with 'cheap' here) and they count as simple weapons. Average base damage is only 1 point lower than for the longsword, but crits only at 20 hurts. If you rely a lot on precision or elemental bonus damage, it's less of an issue.

Why the comparison with longsword? Because greatsword, bastardsword, falcata etc. need extra investment - a second hand, a feat etc.. With a club you can spend this ressource on something else. Doesn't make it superior to the standard choices, but should be considered.

EDIT: Bludgeoner feat (nonlethal damage without penalty) can be nice, if you play a merciful character - but is not club specific, just bludgeoning specific.


Wood Oracle can cast Shillelagh, gets Wood Bond for better to-hit and lacks better proficiencies. They'll be a support melee later in their career and won't need much more.


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One of my favorite magic weapons in literature is a magic club

"Behold the cursed club Headbasher, which drinks the memories of men. Wrest from the demon Brax with the promise that it should be mine forever, despite it's dread secret. For Brax did not tell me that when I won the club, I won it on the installment plan"

-Hendrek of Melifox, from the Exploits of Ebenezum


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Clubs make great backup weapons. They are cheap. Wood clubs are very useful against rust monsters. As a blunt weapon, it has its uses against oozes and certain undead.

I wouldn't choose a club as the weapon to pay to enchant, or spend feats to utilize better. I would still carry and use one when it is needed.


Due to DR concerns, can I suggest a morning star if this is an aesthetic problem?

It has metal parts for cold iron and such, and some of the art indicates that it could technically just be a club with some spikes driven into it (basing this off of the official image of a spriggan, who use morning stars).

Besides the metal....yeah, doesn't really matter too much.


An inquisitor/druid with a shillelaghed club can use bane to make it effectively a +3 club that will bypass cold iron/silver DR. Eventually they can use a judgment to bypass adamantine DR as well. The Green Faith Marshal archetype fits this thematically well.

If you don't want to multiclass, consider playing a samsaran to add shillelagh to your inquisitor spell list.


For some reason, I like club-using warpriests. Both melee and ranged with now-decent damage. Also a forgepriest can abuse the zero crafting time of a regular club. "I pick up a stick and draw my deity's holy symbol on it with a piece of chalk. Presto, better damage than a sword!"


SheepishEidolon wrote:

Clubs have a few advantages over longswords: They are cheap, can be thrown without penalty (synergy with 'cheap' here) and they count as simple weapons. Average base damage is only 1 point lower than for the longsword, but crits only at 20 hurts. If you rely a lot on precision or elemental bonus damage, it's less of an issue.

Why the comparison with longsword? Because greatsword, bastardsword, falcata etc. need extra investment - a second hand, a feat etc.. With a club you can spend this ressource on something else. Doesn't make it superior to the standard choices, but should be considered.

EDIT: Bludgeoner feat (nonlethal damage without penalty) can be nice, if you play a merciful character - but is not club specific, just bludgeoning specific.

The price differential between a club and a real weapon becomes trivial the moment you invest 300g in making them masterwork. If you don't do that and then invest thousands more in enhancement bonuses you're going to lag really badly.

As a martial, druid, rogue, bard, cleric of Sarenrae or Caiden Caylean, or dwarf a club is costing you a 10% total damage increase since you could be wielding a scimitar, rapier, or heavy pick. Because if you valued the ability to two hand that the rapier lacks you'd be using a spear or longspear at least.

As an elf, half-orc, or cleric of Iomedae, Torag, or Norgobear a club is costing 1 damage before a 5% total damage increase because you could be using a longsword, battle axe, warhammer, or shortsword. Again, if you were two handing so it had an advantage over the shortsword you should be using a spear or longspear.

At the very minimum if you are not a wizard a club is costing you 1 damage and the ability to bypass DR/Piercing and fight underwater with a morningstar. Or if you're a monk you're losing flurry.

Ezren uses a club at all levels and that's okay because he uses it as a cane not a weapon and wizards have almost no weapon proficiencies. Anyone else is being penny wise pound foolish.

Throwing away your melee weapon is never a good idea, but if you want a weapon that can be thrown you want something that doesn't suffer range penalties against anyone you couldn't just 5' step and strike normally. A spear does more damage and flies twice as far and the price difference matters only if you're buying several of them at first level.

Shillelegh is a dead end because the enhancement bonus doesn't scale. It will be obsolete by level 8 if you spend money on your weapon at the minimum rate anyone who uses their weapon should.


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Well, if you're in a primitive based campaign you can always go vigilante and become...

CAPTAIN CAAAAVEMANNN!


In the old D&D Greyhawk setting, a saint made a career out of using a club. So it's do-able. :)


In Heroes of the Wild, there is an Oak Staff that functions as a +1 called spell storing club that one can cast Shillelagh on even though it's magic. Of course you can't upgrade it further than that, unless your GM allows it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hey folks thanks for the input. I was considering a someone who wields a practice sword, I suppose examples would be a shinai or bokken. Also he prefers non-lethal approaches which does lend itself towards bludgeoning class weapons (not exclusive but easier especially if I'm trying to avoid going too far from core.) At first I thought about blade of mercy...but he's not really a Saranrae worshipper so I considered Bludgeoner instead. I know, I know, a trait that does the same thing as a feat...and I picked the feat.

Granted reality-wise wooden weapons can be just as lethal as their metallic counterparts, but hey this is high fantasy :)

IME Pathfinder adventures are not really written with my concept in mind so I wanted to see what the community felt if I made this RP decision.

So far leaning towards a basic fighter...or maybe a barbarian just for the 'fast movement' or 'move like a butterfly, hit like a truck' theme. I thought about monk, but a club is oddly not a monk weapon.

Anyway thanks for the suggestions I'm going to work on a few templates now and see what comes up.


Things that have tonnes of bonus damage generally don't care about what sort of weapon you wield, aside from crit range.

The kukri is generally a better weapon than the shortsword, for instance, despite the lower damage die.

An there's some builds that deal so much damage, especially at higher levels, that what sort of weapon you're wielding basically doesn't matter at all.

A barbarian would be an excellent choice. Be sure to grip your club in two hands.


Burnscar wrote:
Things that have tonnes of bonus damage generally don't care about what sort of weapon you wield, aside from crit range.

Too bad clubs have the crappiest possible crit range. You're going to be way behind Falchion Fred, and farther behind Longsword Luis than he is behind Falchion Fred.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This thread points out why most Pathfinder PCs don't go clubbing.

*rimshot*

Scarab Sages

If you are an id rager bloodrager, using a club is the only way you can use all of your class abilities. The beaststrike club counts as a slam, so it will allow emotional focus modifiers to slam attacks.


if you're a wizard it won't effect how viable you are.


If you are a martial character, the feats Bludgeoner and Enforcer can open up a whole new world of hurt.


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Well, Hercules wielded a club... but I get the feeling it was an oversized greatclub wielded in one hand.


RJGrady wrote:
If you are a martial character, the feats Bludgeoner and Enforcer can open up a whole new world of hurt.

If you're a martial character you use an x3 crit warhammer or earthbreaker. Or you save a feat on bludgeoner and use a sap. If you're a rogue you just save the feat on bludgeoner and use a sap. Or you use a morningstar and get an extra point of damage and get to penetrate an extra kind of DR and fight underwater.


Just off the top of my head, you're at -3.5 to damage compared with the great sword (and -2 compared to a greatclub). As a GM I wouldn't object to the idea of an iron-banded club that does no better damage but can qualify for materials: 'This weapon is usually just a shaped piece of wood, sometimes with a few nails or studs embedded in it.' (For cold iron purposes, I'd just charge twice what 3 pounds of iron would cost.)

It's not an ideal weapon but you still need rules for it because sooner or later someone's going to use one. (And the greatclub should be a two-handed simple weapon.)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Atarlost wrote:
If you're a martial character you use an x3 crit warhammer or earthbreaker.

And Bludgeoner.

Sovereign Court

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

Are u in PFS? How is the DM? As a DM i would allow very generos reading of flavor text and let you trick out the club simply because bending the rules still wouldn't create an OP situation. Remember bat rings in little league metal rings that add weight to a bat. Cold iron rings, silver rings, whatever. That takes care of material DR, versatile weapon gives help with damage type DR. Imp Crit and you have aviable weapon if not a top tier one.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Andrew Phillips wrote:

Are u in PFS? How is the DM? As a DM i would allow very generos reading of flavor text and let you trick out the club simply because bending the rules still wouldn't create an OP situation. Remember bat rings in little league metal rings that add weight to a bat. Cold iron rings, silver rings, whatever. That takes care of material DR, versatile weapon gives help with damage type DR. Imp Crit and you have aviable weapon if not a top tier one.

I don't do much PFS because most of the Society folks in my area of hyper-optimizers and bringing in something that's 10-50% below the curve would just create too much animosity. On the other hand, online maybe.

This would be most likely to occur in a home game...my regular groups rotate GMing AP's via roll 20. And for the most part if it's Paizo, we allow it.

I would probably make a PFS version anyway, just for kicks.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
If you're a martial character you use an x3 crit warhammer or earthbreaker.
And Bludgeoner.

Yes, that's assumed from the post I was replying to. If you're not going for bludgeoner you probably use an nodachi or scythe because they have better crit lines and do pierce or slash damage and a metal bludgeon of some sort because bludgeons can be made of silver without penalty and it's a DR handler anyways.

That's another problem with clubs. Wood doesn't bypass material DR. If you put metal striking surfaces on it it stops being a club and becomes a mace.


I see nothing wrong with a club as a career weapon, unless you are going for maximum damage. I play characters I think would be interesting, at least to me, and I seldom pick weapons or feats that would make the most dangerous or deadly. So playing a fighter with a club would be fun, I'd think. It'd be a great flavor thing and you could tie it into his backstory as to why he favored it.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Heracles used a club for his entire career and it seemed to work fine. Your damage output with a club as a main weapon might not be optimal, but weapon replacement is cheap, almost no one tells you to leave that walking stick behind leaving you the only armed person in your side of encounters, and depending on your GM you might even get away with Captain Caveman style gadgetry.

That being said, if your concept says club, work with club. It is as viable as you want it to be, and if your character evolves with level to change his weapon out (say, staff, mace, hammer, whatever), great! if not, Great! just have fun.


DungeonmasterCal wrote:
I see nothing wrong with a club as a career weapon, unless you are going for maximum damage. I play characters I think would be interesting, at least to me, and I seldom pick weapons or feats that would make the most dangerous or deadly. So playing a fighter with a club would be fun, I'd think. It'd be a great flavor thing and you could tie it into his backstory as to why he favored it.

PCs have a responsibility to their group to be able to do their job. Martials already have a hard time with that when using real weapons. Just leaving a 9.5% damage boost lying on the table by using a weapon with a crappy crit range and multiplier when you could have a 18-20 or x4 crit weapon is not helping. Having a basically free 9.5% damage increase means that some of the resources you don't have to spend on damage can go to something like not failing will saves or not being useless when not in combat if you don't want more damage.

Avatar Unknown wrote:
Heracles used a club for his entire career and it seemed to work fine. Your damage output with a club as a main weapon might not be optimal, but weapon replacement is cheap, almost no one tells you to leave that walking stick behind leaving you the only armed person in your side of encounters, and depending on your GM you might even get away with Captain Caveman style gadgetry.

Heracles is not a Pathfinder character. If he were he'd be the GM's girlfriend who gets to take broken templates for free and for whom rolls are fudged.

Clubs are not cheap. Most of the cost of any weapon is the enhancement and magic cost. It's not something NPCs will ignore because it radiates magic. Also, a masterwork club is very obviously a weapon.

Sovereign Court

You'll be fine. Honestly unless it's a composite longbow, a falcata or like a gun there is nothing really too important about the weapon itself. Just a way to deliver all of your static modifiers and it reacts differently to feats.

Cheap to replace too.


Well it cannot be vorpal :D

But on the plus side you can pick them up anywhere (literally).

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