Pathfinder Pollaxe?


Advice

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

What's the best polearm to simulate the medieval pollaxe? The halberd? The horsechopper? The Lucerne hammer? I'm not sure.


Dwarven Longaxe?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Seems like a halberd to me.


Well, the article you linked indicates that a Pollaxe is distinct from Halberds and Bardiches. It was designed to breach armor so I'd say we're looking for something that grants a Sunder bonus vs armor. It's also not likely an exotic weapon so the primary focus should be in the 2-h Martial weapons with reach. The closest one would be the Lucerne Hammer, though it is distinctly a hammer on the end rather than an axe blade.

Thus, while we can get close, there doesn't seem to be a representation for that particular weapon. Thus, one would need to design it specifically to reflect the real-world counterpart. Basically, take the Lucerne Hammer as a chassis and change the damage from (B or P) to (S or P).

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Or I could take Weapon Focus and then Weapon Versatility so I don't have to house-rule?


Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
What's the best polearm to simulate the medieval pollaxe? The halberd? The horsechopper? The Lucerne hammer? I'm not sure.

All of the above. If you are going for pole-axe flavor all of those, plus Bardiche are just fine. If you are going for Min-Maxing game mechanics, I recommend taking Quickdraw and switching between them, using the right tool for the job.


Or use the weapon building rules in the melee tactics handbook? (or was it weapon master handbook? i forget)


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Is a pollaxe a poleaxe that makes you answer a question when it hits you?


Bardiche.

A. It is the 'ax one a stick' thing- works well enough when trying to wade through the muddy waters of weapon entomology.
B. It is just a plain better reach weapon that most of the items mentioned. It is 1d10, 19-20/x2. IE- the martial reach weapon with actual crit range.


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Daw wrote:
Is a pollaxe a poleaxe that makes you answer a question when it hits you?

Apparently, "Poleaxe" is a linguistic corruption of the original term "pollaxe" wherein "poll" is a Germanic word for "head". It is a militant variant of a farming implement used to smack a cow over the head to kill it. Eventually, the term became bastardized such that "poll" was mistaken to be "pole" referring to the long handle.

Scarab Sages

The best option for a pollaxe as described in the Talhoffer manuals is a Dwarven Urgosh. The spear end is the butt spike and the axe is the main head of the weapon.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Imbicatus wrote:
The best option for a pollaxe as described in the Talhoffer manuals is a Dwarven Urgosh. The spear end is the butt spike and the axe is the main head of the weapon.

Talhoffer manuals? *blinkblink*

Please elaborate! :)

Scarab Sages

Hans Talhoffer was a fencing master and mercenary in the 1400s. He wrote several instructional manuals on several weapons, including the poleaxe, that are still used by historical European martial artists.

Here is a link to a series of articles on the poleaxe.


lemeres wrote:

Bardiche.

A. It is the 'ax one a stick' thing- works well enough when trying to wade through the muddy waters of weapon entomology.
B. It is just a plain better reach weapon that most of the items mentioned. It is 1d10, 19-20/x2. IE- the martial reach weapon with actual crit range.

Except it's not. Pollaxes are not standardized. They're defined by a method of construction and can have a hammer or axe paired with something else. A very unscientific look at google image search for antique pollaxes and excluding things that don't have pollaxe-like construction ndicates that most have a hammer and an axe or spike. They should be non-reach polearms like halberds. Certainly those are the options that don't already have weapons for them since a pollaxe with an axe and spike would differ from a halberd only in the method of construction.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Basically, a pollaxe is a halberd or lucerne hammer slightly modified to be better at breaching heavier armor of the later medieval period. As Pathfinder does not have rules for a weapon being unable to breach armor (e.g. blowgun darts go right through full plate) I'd treat them as normal halberds or lucerne hammers.


Pretty much all polearm etymology is a mess, where even the experts have a hard time agreeing where one family begins and another ends, depending on where it was made, when it was made and it's broad form.
Best you can ever hope for is "close enough". Either halberd or bardiche meet that requirement.


lemeres wrote:

Bardiche.

A. It is the 'ax one a stick' thing- works well enough when trying to wade through the muddy waters of weapon entomology.
B. It is just a plain better reach weapon that most of the items mentioned. It is 1d10, 19-20/x2. IE- the martial reach weapon with actual crit range.

I have not heard of the study of weaponized insects, but i agree it'd be muddy.


The Sideromancer wrote:
lemeres wrote:

Bardiche.

A. It is the 'ax one a stick' thing- works well enough when trying to wade through the muddy waters of weapon entomology.
B. It is just a plain better reach weapon that most of the items mentioned. It is 1d10, 19-20/x2. IE- the martial reach weapon with actual crit range.

I have not heard of the study of weaponized insects, but i agree it'd be muddy.

damn it. I was actively trying to not mix those up, but picked the wrong one. Etymology.

Atarlost wrote:
Except it's not. Pollaxes are not standardized. They're defined by a method of construction and can have a hammer or axe paired with something else. A very unscientific look at google image search for antique pollaxes and excluding things that don't have pollaxe-like construction ndicates that most have a hammer and an axe or spike. They should be non-reach polearms like halberds. Certainly those are the options that don't already have weapons for them since a pollaxe with an axe and spike would differ from a halberd only in the method of construction.

...and similarly unscientific searchs indicate that they could be up to 8' long (ie- firmly in reach range).

It is generally a wild goose chase to try to fully pin down a weapon to a name for this kind of thing.

I just decided to lean towards the 'ax' part of the name, so it wouldn't seem...'weird'. That, and the bardiche is generally one of the better martial weapons. Reach weapons are strong in general, and it has some of the best raw numbers. Halberds are 'meh' by comparison.

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