Are Reach Weapons Completely Useless?


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I'm looking for suggestions / advantages here.

I really would like to play with a spear but in %99 of the cases, 10 feet reach weapons (such as longspear or fauchard) seems completely worse than their normal counterparts. Whips can be OK but polearms seem completely useless.

Consider any melee character with a reach weapon. There are 3 cases:

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1) Attacking an average melee character, aka Sloppy Joe:

So we have 10 feet reach and he has 5. On each round, we take 5 feet steps away from him and make full attacks. He also full attacks by taking 5 feet steps towards us. In terms of AoO, when we are 10 feet away, we can make Attacks of Opportunity he can't. If he's near, we can't, he can. Completely evens out (unless we're against a wall or a cliff etc., then we're worse).

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2) Attacking a melee character with the "Step-Up" feat, aka Achilles

Now we really should just drop the polearm and use our fists. Combat goes like this:

Player: Takes a 5 foot step away, intends to full attack.
Enemy: Uses immediate action, makes Step-Up towards player (could also get an extra attack with a feat).
Player: Can't attack due to reach wep. Runs away by provoking AoO or just drops the weapon and uses unarmed strikes / gauntlets whatever.

So we can't even attack with our reach weapon, EVER. The only sensible option is to use a combat maneuver, which requires extra feats, stats and involves risks. Much worse when you are attacking creatures of a bigger size category / multiple legs for trip / high CMD etc.

IF you take the "Polearm Master" archetype, then you can attack with -4 attack penalty (which is huge) but the enemy doesn't have any penalties and proceeds to wrecks face (+ weapons like greatsword have much better damage output anyways). ALL other classes and archetypes in the game suffer much worse.

___________
3) Attacking any ranged character (spell casters or ranged wep users), aka Sloppy Tony

So you're against a spell caster. Combat goes like this:

Player: Attacks from 10 feet way.
Enemy: Takes 5 foot step towards or away from us. Casts spells or makes ranged attacks and does the full damage. Casters that utilize touch spells have derpy faces right now.
Player: Dies or fights until he dies. But he eventually dies OK?

Feats like Distruptive doesn't work, enemies never provoke any Attacks of Opportunity. Step-Up doesn't work with reach weapons. We can at least full attack but they have been able to attack from range anyway (could be 2+ rounds). Spell casters could cast spells and take move actions to run away during initial rounds. That's at least two full attack advantage (1 missing from us, + the 1 they do).
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Reach weapons have worse damage outputs compared to normal weapons as well. The only advantages I can think of is as follows:

1) If you take Reach combat feat, only on the initial round (with initiative), you can attack at 15 feet with -2 AC. Melees will attack once on that round while you full attack and it'll be the same as above for the remaining rounds.
2) IF YOU HAVE LONGSPEAR: Brace effectively prevents charges. Although you better kill a fighter with that or you're screwed.
3) IF YOU HAVE A LANCE: Your charges with a mount hurt twice as much. And that's if you are on a mount. Useless on tunnels, tree tops etc.

These are very situational and minor benefits to what costs to use a reach weapon. Should we just house rule that spears are non-reach weapons to attain the flavor and NEVER play in PFS?

Am I missing something here?


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Reach weapons are best if used in cooperation with other characters which can prevent the enemy from getting up in your grill.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Wait until you see a Trip specialist with fauchard before you pass judgement on reach weapons.


Try using one in combination with something like lunge, enlarge person, etc. Once you threaten 15+ feet you can effectively pin a mage/archer until the levels where point blank master or trivial concentration checks become a thing.

As for the melee guy, you'll get one aoo as he closes. Sure after that it would be the 5 ft dance. But even then you could probably find some method like the grace spell to get 10 feet back. Thus giving him one attack to your two.


Leitner wrote:

Try using one in combination with something like lunge, enlarge person, etc. Once you threaten 15+ feet you can effectively pin a mage/archer until the levels where point blank master or trivial concentration checks become a thing.

As for the melee guy, you'll get one aoo as he closes. Sure after that it would be the 5 ft dance. But even then you could probably find some method like the grace spell to get 10 feet back. Thus giving him one attack to your two.

Actually Lunge is a great feat but as a 3/4 BAB class I won't be getting it until lvl 8 (6 for fighters). At that point they must already have Point Blank Master (level 5-ish).

As for the melee, why does he provoke AoO? He was already in my threatened square because he was 15 ft away for that round no?


Johhnie wrote:
As for the melee, why does he provoke AoO? He was already in my threatened square because he was 15 ft away for that round no?

That's why he provokes. You provoke when you move out of a threatened square, even if you move into another threatened square.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

1. You get 1 AoO on "sloppy Joe" when he comes into reach, you don't provoke when you 5 ft step away from him.

2. Opponents with "step up" are really rare. This is barely worth mentioning if at all.

3. If you want a "mage hunter" or "archer hunter" then there are better characters for the job. But reach weapons are about "crowd control" holding down a position and causing AoOs to rain on the enemy. Even against archers and mages simply taking lunge is often enough. And again "point blank master" is not something every opponent archer out there has, far from it actually. Are you thinking of PvP?

4. There's a lot of ways to build a character who can also fight in melee using a reach weapon. Armor spikes and grappling are a way to do this (incidentally this is a good way to deal with mages and archers...) but you can also choose to fight with a Dorn Dregar and even have the feats to make switching to melee range more efficient. Being a dwarf would also male you quite effective as a reach fighter thanks to all their reach feats.

5. If you already built a character tell us race, class and level someone might be able to help you. But the fact you built a character a certain way doesn't mean reach weapons are bad.


Johhnie wrote:

2) Attacking a melee character with the "Step-Up" feat, aka Achilles

Now we really should just drop the polearm and use our fists. Combat goes like this:

Player: Takes a 5 foot step away, intends to full attack.
Enemy: Uses immediate action, makes Step-Up towards player (could also get an extra attack with a feat).
Player: Can't attack due to reach wep. Runs away by provoking AoO or just drops the weapon and uses unarmed strikes / gauntlets whatever.

So we can't even attack with our reach weapon, EVER. The only sensible option is to use a combat maneuver, which requires extra feats, stats and involves risks. Much worse when you are attacking creatures of a bigger size category / multiple legs for trip / high CMD etc.

IF you take the "Polearm Master" archetype, then you can attack with -4 attack penalty (which is huge) but the enemy doesn't have any penalties and proceeds to wrecks face (+ weapons like greatsword have much better damage output anyways). ALL other classes and archetypes in the game suffer much worse.

So the character with a feat specifically to counter the reach problem is giving you problems?

Then invest some resources to prevent that from happening.

Maybe get a Bite attack so you can threaten both 5 and 10 ft away, or get a high acrobatics and just move away from the enemy without triggering his Step-Up?

Even without investing into acrobatics, you could simply move away and ready an attack against the enemy. When it moves through your threatened area you'll get 2 attacks, the same number the enemy will get. (with acrobatics you'll get 2 while the enemy gets 1)

And if you've got a higher base land speed than your enemy you can move away and ready a brace, getting the worth of 3 attacks each round against your enemy's 2 or 1.

Liberty's Edge

Also consider the effects of enlarge person, combat patrol, and similar. Large threatened areas can be very effective. Reach weapons also can make it easier to approach larger creatures, letting you make attacks without eating AOOs to close.


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Reach gets a lot more powerful if you can increase it beyond the normal 10 feet. But even regular reach can completely shut down the Sloppy Joe:

1) the melee guy will provoke when he approaches
2) you use that free attack to trip him, while he is still 10 feet away (he can't attack you at all during that round if you succeed)
3) on your own turn you can full attack and take a five foot step back
4) back to 1)

As you may have noticed your opponent never manages to get adjacent, so Achilles would be just as helpless as Sloppy Joe is. As long as you can reliably trip them, they won't even touch you.
Against Sloppy Tony you simply equip an armor with spikes and end your turn adjacent to them. Now they can't 5-foot-step and cast or even withdraw without provoking. Your armor spikes threaten the squares adjacent to you and while they do less damage they still impose the serious risk of breaking the casters concentration. Next rounds full attack should usually finish them.

Lastly you need to keep in mind that most of the time you are fighting monsters and those can get pretty large. Being able to attack them without eating attacks of opportunity is really useful and a reach weapon can help with that.


Think of it this way - If you don't have reach and you're fighting an opponent who does have reach you're going to eat an AoO just to get into range to fight them.
If they're smart that AoO could be a trip. They can trip you on your turn, full-attack and step back 5 feet on their turn, and repeat the entire thing next round. You'll never get close enough to actually attack.
There are ways to counter this, but it's definitely an advantage.

EDIT: Totally Ninja'd.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

These could give you an excellent :

Race: dwarf
Weapon: Dorn dergar (1d10 dmg, 2 handed, you can spend 1 move action to cause it to have reach or work in melee range) and Dwarven Boulder Helmet (you can attack in melee anyway)
Class: Fighter (if you want an archetype mutation warrior for the nifty bonuses).
Some Feats (aside from the usual fighter stuff): Darting Viper, Lunge, Combat Reflexes, Power attack, Great Cleave, Goblin Cleaver, Orc Hewer, Strike Back, Cleave Through, Strike Back, Teleportation Mastery.


Additionally you can acrobatics away and then ready an action, giving you two attacks. At early levels or for 3/4s bab characters this is an easy way to boost your number of attacks before 8th level. Plus both attacks are at full BAB.

Obviously this only works against melee characters, but it makes reach fighters quite strong.


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Combining reach tactics with Combat Reflexes can also allow you to control a large area (especially if you can increase the reach further, such as by getting Large sized). This allows you to position yourself in a way that it becomes difficult for enemies to get past you and to your squishier allies without provoking an AOO.

I'm currently playing a Shaman using a reach weapon, and the combination of reach, Combat Reflexes and his ability to get Large sized has been a real asset. He has also enchanted his weapon with Fortuitous, which helps generate extra AOOs.

In a recent game the group was being attacked by six yeth hounds, and I burned through his AOOs pretty quickly on their approach, taking one down entirely and badly injuring two others, all before he even got his own turn.

Like anything, reach tactics require some level of investment, but they can be quite useful. In my opinion, they are especially useful for 3/4 BAB casters like Clerics, Oracles and Shamans (the latter two of which can particularly leverage different class abilities to boost their combat effectiveness with reach). It allows such characters the ability to get off attacks, while preserving their standard actions to cast spells if they want.


Pole arm wielding monk with spring attack. Great combo. You may have to dip a level into a martial class to help with the weapon proficiency.


I do not play melee without reach.

I usually try to back it up with a "plan b" a bite attack, quickdraw, claws, etc.

Dark Archive

Armor spikes cheap n dirty.


No they're not useless. They're just not god mode by holding one in your hand. You need to make some investment.

Situation one is countered by tripping him before he becomes adjacent to you. Preferably with the trip attack you get when he provokes trying to move adjacent. If you miss the trip AoO, on your turn attack and try to trip again. If this misses move 10ft away and eat the AoO he will get. Now you get another shot to trip him when he closes to attack and will still only get one attack.

Step Up is incredibly rare for NPCs to have, not worth mentioning. But yes its designed to prevent people from just 5ft stepping away. This includes archers, casters, and even reach weapon users from getting away easily from the guy without ranged attacks. However, its uncommon so isn't really much of an argument.

As for situation 3, have a backup weapon of some sort? Move away and hit him with your spear, he will provoke if he tries to cast a spell while you threaten him. And if you can become large size threatening 15 and 20ft squares means the caster can't just move out of your threat range by 5ft stepping, so no matter what they do they provoke.

No offense but you just don't seem to have a good grasp of the tactics you can use with reach.


If you want to force someone to take an AoO to get in on you every time they do so, you're going to need something beyond "just a reach weapon". If lunge is inacessible, and you won't have regular access to longarm, enlarge person, aren't the right kind of bloodrager, etc. the quick and dirty option is pushing assault. You can retrain it later once you have a better option.

Personally, I strongly prefer playing martials with reach weapons.


My only gripe with reach weapons is that there isn't a 18-20 reach weapon that isn't exotic. Because I don't like paying the feat tax for a fauchard, even though that 18-20 crit range is great.

But it's probably because 18-20 crit range + reach is too good, if I'm honest with myself.


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If you're playing a class that already gets martial weapon proficiency, you can just build for non-weapon specific reach shenanigans until you can afford the Cracked Opalescent White Pyramid Ioun Stone (which is like 1500 gp) to rock the fauchard.

This doesn't help out clerics and oracles without proficiency revelations, but works great for occultists.


The purpose of a reach weapon is in the adjective itself – reach. If you are useless at creating space and maintaining space between your character and the things you’d like to attack, then yes – reach weapons are completely useless – in your hands.

Now, as has been said, if you invest in the right feats, use tactical positioning, then a reach build will really shine. You’ll want things like phalanx formation and combat reflexes – and a decent dexterity score. You’ll want a way to increase your size to further increase your reach. Being large with a reach weapon really shines. Spells like long arm are almost too good.

Fools rush in. Getting your party to play for Attacks of Opportunity make’s reach builds shine even more - setting up a kill zone and allowing things to come to your party. It helps if you play with people who understand using positioning as a tactical advantage -- and don't play stupid because they dumped INT.

Anyway, if you want more info – look up reach cleric builds for one example of how to impress your table mates with your characters massive length.

Dark Archive

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You build for reach just like anyone else. Examples where reach weapons shine:

- DEX based reach rogue (scout archetype) with dip in Monk - Charges for SA, applies level 4 debilitating strike to prevent 5ft steps on sneak attacks. Add in lunge at a higher BAB, pushing assault/dragon style and you can threaten reach squares with the elven branched spear and within with your limbs without having to drop a hand. You can couple this with an intimidate build, corugon smash, and shattered defenses to cause them to run away from you (giving you another AoO).

- All dedicated reach builds should have the Combat Reflexes feat and a DEX of at least 14 to get those additional AoOs.

- Many builds (alchemist, witch type people, kitsunes, etc) can get an extra limb or natural attack to gain an AoO within the reach weapon's sphere of influence without dipping monk/brawler. Armour spikes also work. These all prevent the need to drop your hands off your reach weapon.

- Reach Cleric/caster - Park yourself outside 15ft, cast a spell, collect on AoO when enemy comes to you (increase action economy). As well the longspear is a simple weapon so many casters can pull it off if they can spare some points to physical attributes if they are a SAD class.

- The feat Phalanx Formation allows any reach user to hit from the second line through you allies (same goes for AoOs). Say the dungeon hall is 5ft wide, you now have 2 on 1 on the front line baddie. Also great for a switch hitter who arrives after other people. Imagine an archer with the Deadeye Bowman trait from Erastil, Phalanx Formation, taking pot shots until he drops his bow and charges safely behind the group tank. Then combine that with the dex based reach rogue for SA dice on that charge and the debilitating injury.

- Fortuitous weapon enhancement gives you an extra AoO at -5 to hit, giving you two attacks on an AoO once per round. You can use this to also push them back 5ft or trip them depending on the build.

- Improved Trip and Greater Trip Feats. You get a free trip attempt, which gives you an AoO when they try to stand, and AoO if they move into you, and AoO if they move away from you, which allow you to keep tripping them.

- Pushing Assualt is also a common item on reach builds so you can attack in a 10 ft box and use one of your iterative to push them away forcing an AoO (not sure if the push will give you one, but if they want to close the distance they can't take a 5ft step anymore).

- Provides an always present deterring effect for the GM who is loathe to rush baddies through free AoO thanks to your extended reach to hit your casters. This allows you to potentially pick up AoO against more than one target and really have great action economy.

- All of the above with UMD or a friendly caster who is willing to use your level 1 wands of "Extend Arms" or "Enlarge Person" or both at the same time to reach ridiculous battlefield control.

- A reach weapon holder also threatens more squares to allow for more flanking opportunities for other team members.


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Lovely to see so many adherents to the Church of the Longspear here.

As something to note- when you have lunge, you basically have pseudo pounce.

You have 10' reach +5' lunge +5'step. 20'. That is to the right, and left, forward, back.... so it is a circle that is 45' wide. While not great for an initial charge, this is fantastic for attacking practically anyone when everyone but the back line when everyone closes in.

And that is available to everyone that can grab a longspear.

I will leave out the rest of the area control vs. distance control discussion- I go on the speech too often, and most of it has already been brought up by others in bits and pieces.

Overall- it isn't perfect- nothing is... but it is one of the strongest melee styles available.


IF you can use PoW and PoW:E (Path of War), you get a host of other options for reach weapons. Feats to threaten adjacent squares (taking an attack penalty to do so), to wield polearms/spears in one hand with a shield, and even dex-to-attack (then damage in a second feat) for polearms/spears. On top of that, there's a discipline dedicated to polearms and spears, Piercing Thunder, which has some nice additions.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Red Griffyn wrote:
Improved Trip and Greater Trip Feats. You get a free trip attempt, which gives you an AoO when they try to stand, and AoO if they move into you, and AoO if they move away from you, which allow you to keep tripping them.

Small nitpick: Greater trip gives ALL your allies attacks of opportunity. Not just you. :-D


This has to be the first time I have ever heard anyone ask if reach weapons are useless.

2) You can only make one step-up in a round, since its an immediate action and you can only make one of those per round, and then cannot make a 5 foot step on your action (if we are just talking about step up). So have your people step away from each other, and if the guy follows one of you, that person uses full defense. Also, while I always encourage a GM to modify creatures to make them a challenge, it would be very strange for more then a small number of them to have step up.

3) If facing a caster, trip them, most caster's CMD should suck. If you have more then one attack per round, trip them on the first attack, then make your normal attacks. If they either crawl away or stand up, they are provoking attacks. Some GMs allow for trip attempts on a standing opponent, others don't, but if they stand and try casting, they are going to have to make a concentration check to avoid provoking.

Bracing for a charge is almost always a bad choice. Because the opponent can simply not charge you.

Reach weapons aren't all powerful weapons, but in the hands of characters designed to make good use of them and players that know how to use them, they are very strong.


Claxon wrote:

My only gripe with reach weapons is that there isn't a 18-20 reach weapon that isn't exotic. Because I don't like paying the feat tax for a fauchard, even though that 18-20 crit range is great.

But it's probably because 18-20 crit range + reach is too good, if I'm honest with myself.

Had a Barb take one level in fighter just to get the free combat feat for a falcata and because we had just found a magic set of mithril full plate. Nobody expects the dwarf in fullplate swinging an exotic weapon to rage!


The exploitable part of a reach weapon is that they DOUBLE your reach. So you can double the bonuses you get from reach. Enlarged people smacking people 20+ feet away is pretty crazy.


Finlanderboy wrote:
The exploitable part of a reach weapon is that they DOUBLE your reach. So you can double the bonuses you get from reach. Enlarged people smacking people 20+ feet away is pretty crazy.

I'd avoid enlarge person though, since it has problems with the doughnut that a 5' step can't solve. Armor spikes are a thing, but they are a light secondary weapon- never quite good.

I tend to just be happy with a long arm and lunge.

But I won't get any further into distance v. area.


Interestingly enough, you can grant a bonus 5ft. reach to a rapier or other similar weapon with a Swordmaster's Flair: Blue Scarf - and you don't lose close-range attacking. You can even go TWF with an offhand cestus or light shield and still hold a Blue Scarf, which means that you have TWF that threatens both close and reach. Amateur Swashbuckler: Dodging Panache is good to have if you use a Swordmaster's Flair, but you can actually use a Flair once per day without Panache - and they only cost 2.5k, so having a few isn't that pricey. Using Dodging Panache while already playing reach-weapon hijinks is pretty great if you can pull it off.

As far as polearms go, if you don't want to do the old 5-step dance, the Haft Bash and Close Sweep Weapon Trick feats let you attack at close range with a reach weapon.

For a really interesting build, you could create a character who's good with Flurry of Blows or TWF unarmed strikes... and then give them a reach weapon as well. They can work two-handed reach with all the usual benefits, and then step-in to deliver an unarmed beating while still wielding their reach weapon - unarmed strike is 'body' in general, so you can attack with the fists holding your polearm haft for style points and still AoO spear closing targets at the same time.


Another possibility is to go weapon and shield and get Shield Slam and Shield Brace(*) (3rd level Phalanx Soldier Fighter is a niche alternative to the latter) to let you use a longspear one-handed while you also Shield Bash (and potentially Bull Rush) close enemies. This is fairly feat intensive.

(*)Until www.d20pfsrd.com actually puts in the page that their search links to, use the old one. And no, Archives of Nethys doesn't have it either.


I handle the enlarged donut hole by taking Quick Draw and just pulling a Greatsword to full attack the person who made it through. It works pretty well most of the time.

Seriously though, a Barbarian with Combat Reflexes + Power Attack and a high Strength+Dex investment can potentially be putting out over eighty damage a round at level 1 if circumstances line up. It needs to be kind of an ideal situation to hit that hard, but even without it is generally very, very strong.


A Wild Stalker Ranger (the Ranger with Rage!) could make a fun fist/spear martial character.

They can use the Greater/Brawler Rage Powers for close combat, which grants free Improved Unarmed Strike and Two-Weapon Fighting; they can use a Furious Amulet of Mighty Fists and a Furious polearm, which is a huge cost-savings for enchanting; and they can cast Barkskin, which means that their neck-slot isn't needed for natural armor. They can also toss Greater Magic Fang on unarmed strikes or any natural weapon they pick up, can cast Lead Blades, and can cast Longstrider to make-up for using heavy armor if they go that way.

They're a little shy on the Rage Powers since they only pick them at 5/6/10/11/15/16/20, but they can always take Extra Rage Power as much as they like. Since they get Endurance for free, they have the option of taking Diehard instead of Raging Vitality to prevent sudden death.

Grand Lodge

Also it's worth noting that the nature of being able to attack squares you're not adjacent too is in itself, very potent.

- You can attack while still getting full cover, from around corners or behind things etc.
- You can attack 'through' your allies preventing a lot of obstruction issues.
- You can avoid Attacks of Opportunities because the enemy can't reply, no need to pick up improved disarm/trip.
- You can use other feats with your reach, my personal favourite is Cleave and Combat Patrol which makes things almost silly as you whisk your way across the battlefield tripping and cleaving anything that gets close like some sort of upside down lawnmower.


Have you ally with a tower shield stand in front of you and you spear from behind all spartan style.


Speaking of the reach issues with 5-steps and step-up and the like, is there anything (short of somehow getting outslug style to work with polearms) to get 10-foot steps on a martial class?

I'm currently planning on playing a glaive-using martial who wants to move at least 10 feet every round, but would prefer that didn't prevent full attacks 100% of the time.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

Speaking of the reach issues with 5-steps and step-up and the like, is there anything (short of somehow getting outslug style to work with polearms) to get 10-foot steps on a martial class?

I'm currently planning on playing a glaive-using martial who wants to move at least 10 feet every round, but would prefer that didn't prevent full attacks 100% of the time.

I don't know of a way to always make 10' steps, but Following Step will let you move 10' when using Step Up. (Plus it doesn't use up your 5' step next round or any of your regular movement next round the way Step Up normally does.) If you use the Stamina system there is a Combat Trick that lets you extend this to 15'.


Outslug style can do 10' steps as a capstone, but it is designed for close weapons.

Even from the best perspective, only fighters can take advantage of this well. It is a 5 feat style total (including weapon focus in a close weapon and lunge). Most of the benefits do not directly help a reach style, and it is a LOONG time spending feats on things that do little to nothing for you.


Outslug Style is great on Brawlers.

Anyway, something to mention is that Enlarge Person is awesome if you have natural weapons. Say by being a level 4 Abyssal Bloodrager so you have Claws and enlarge person whenever you rage.

*hint hint


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IF ASPIRING BARBARIAN AM HAVING PROBLEMS LANCING THING THAT AM ON TREETOP, BARBARIAN RECOMMEND FINDING FLYING MOUNT.

LANCE AM PART OF SIGNATURE ATTACK NAME FOR REASON. AM VERY GOOD REASON, AS WELL.


lemeres wrote:

Outslug style can do 10' steps as a capstone, but it is designed for close weapons.

Even from the best perspective, only fighters can take advantage of this well. It is a 5 feat style total (including weapon focus in a close weapon and lunge). Most of the benefits do not directly help a reach style, and it is a LOONG time spending feats on things that do little to nothing for you.

THEEEEORETICALLY you could shield brace two weapon fight outslug style with your spiked shield but my god the feat investment, im not sure any class actually gets enough feats to do it well


ShroudedInLight wrote:

Outslug Style is great on Brawlers.

Anyway, something to mention is that Enlarge Person is awesome if you have natural weapons. Say by being a level 4 Abyssal Bloodrager so you have Claws and enlarge person whenever you rage.

*hint hint

Feral mutagen alchemist with enlarge person/longarm extracts mmmmmmmmm

Scarab Sages

Outslug style plus shield gauntlet style plus a blue scarf swordsmasters flair is a build I really want to make.


lemeres wrote:
Finlanderboy wrote:
The exploitable part of a reach weapon is that they DOUBLE your reach. So you can double the bonuses you get from reach. Enlarged people smacking people 20+ feet away is pretty crazy.

I'd avoid enlarge person though, since it has problems with the doughnut that a 5' step can't solve. Armor spikes are a thing, but they are a light secondary weapon- never quite good.

I tend to just be happy with a long arm and lunge.

But I won't get any further into distance v. area.

My barb alchemist, mutagens, longs arms, and then enlarges. He hits people across the room. With his reach weapon. Since i can reach over my buddies since i am larger than them. To get up to me they have to go through my buddies and my AOs. The distance also allows him to safely buff and still take AOs while my allies withdraw forcing the bad guys to provoke to engage them.

The armor spikes are rarely used.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
(short of somehow getting outslug style to work with polearms)

In general, Outslug Style works fine with a polearm... you just choose a different weapon for Outslug Style, but then wield a polearm.

The Tri-Point Double-Edged Sword is a typical martial reach polearm that's part of the Monk weapon group, so a Human(ish) Fighter could specialize in the Monk weapons group and take Martial Versatility: Outslug Style to officially use Outslug Style with the T-PD-ES.


The reason reach weapons are so good and typically show up on so many characters is the amount of action advantage they provide for such little cost.

First consider that as a melee character it effectively adds 5ft. of speed to your movement as that's 5ft you don't have to travel to get to an enemy.

Also consider that as far as zones fo control go a reach weapon on a medium creature adds another 3 squares in which you threaten. These are squares with which you impede movement and enforce your will upon.

You'll note that for many classes with excellent gish style spellcasting but no built in combat style (bards, clerics, shamans, etc.) reach is considered an excellent way to take advantage of personal buffs.

It's worth keeping in mind that you don't have to "force" people to come through you. You merely have to present them with bad choices. IF an enemy has to double move just to get around you to a spellcaster without attacking you've created an advantage for your group by merely being an impediment, no worse than a spell effect that the enemy had to go around.

Also remember armor spikes and such "non-handed" weapons are a thing and should absolutely be exploited by a polearm user when situations arise where an opponent may try to take advantage of your disadvantages. By doing so you trade out the positional disadvantage of a reach weapon for the relative numbers disadvantage of an inferior weapon. Overall better.


A note to the OP, these forums have a very strong bias for reach weapons, so it will be hard to find support for them being useless.

Of course, its a perfectly deserved bias, as with tactics many encounters are made easier with reach. A benefit I am a big fan of is the ability to have 2 attackers in one 5' hallway. Yes, there are penalties for attacking through allies, but its better than trying to acrobatics through the CMD+5 of a creature to move through them (not to mention the potential penalty to acrobatics for moving too far depending on race/positioning).

Will add another potentially fun way of dealing with the problem of entering the reach gap. Shield Slam (via the slayer/ranger bonus feat) as well as shield brace lets you use a shield bash to get an enemy into your threatened area. If you get greater bull rush, you can even push someone through your polearm's reach for an AoO and then get yet another one as they close with you again. Through longarm and lunge up and you now have the ability to safely push them up to 15', and then get 2AoO's and the last half of a full attack. Haven't tried it yet though.


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TarkXT wrote:

...

You'll note that for many classes with excellent gish style spellcasting but no built in combat style (bards, clerics, shamans, etc.) reach is considered an excellent way to take advantage of personal buffs.
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I especially like this for gishy psychic casters (Occultists, Psychic Detectives, Mindblades, etc.). Avoiding the +10 concentration check penalty for spells with thought components is nice.


For the gish angle, a Teleportation school EK is pretty hilarious. No matter what they're doing on their turn - charge, full attack, whatever - they can Shift 15 feet into a new tactical reach position afterwards. Including 15 feet higher into the air.

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