Bastard Sword missing trait?


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In the weapon description for Bastard Sword it says: "This broad-bladed sword, sometimes called the hand‑and‑a‑half sword, has a longer grip so it can be held in one hand or used with two hands to provide extra piercing or slashing power."

However, for this to be true it would have the Versatile P trait. Is this a typo or just a flavor thing.


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It's a balance thing. If it had Versatile P in addition to Two-handed (d12) it would be stricly better than the greatsword.


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As Blave says. Heck, it would be literally a Greatsword and Longsword put together, and then some.

They could have added Piercing and made it an Advanced weapon, which honestly I'm a little surprised they didn't.


It would also be better than the longsword. It is in effect the mid point between the two.


The extra text is such because it had versatile P (or S?) in the playtest, iirc.


necromental wrote:
The extra text is such because it had versatile P (or S?) in the playtest, iirc.

It didn't. It did, however, for piercing damage INSTEAD of slashing, but that was just a typo.


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I'm still glorying in the fact that it's a martial weapon through and through now. The bastard sword has always been one of my fave weapons, and only got more favorite-er when Bastard's Sting got made for the antipaladin, so being able to just pick one up with any ol' fighter makes me smile.


necromental wrote:
It didn't. It did, however, for piercing damage INSTEAD of slashing, but that was just a typo.

That's interesting. So in the end then it's really is just a flavor thing because otherwise it would be to good. Still happy it's in the game as it is a sword type you don't see too much off in any games.


I'm honestly a little surprised it isn't versatile P and an Advanced weapon. Then it would be to the Dwarven Waraxe as the Longsword and Greatsword are to the Battleaxe and Greataxe. But eh, maybe they wanted to make sure there was a martial weapon with the 2H trait.


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Game mechanics aside, why is there even a Bastard Sword in the game? It's literally a Longsword IRL. They're the same weapon...


Katapesh Fried Chicken wrote:
Game mechanics aside, why is there even a Bastard Sword in the game? It's literally a Longsword IRL. They're the same weapon...

Isn't a Bastard Sword what's also known as a hand-and-a-half sword? Which is different from a Longsword, isn't it?


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Edge93 wrote:
Katapesh Fried Chicken wrote:
Game mechanics aside, why is there even a Bastard Sword in the game? It's literally a Longsword IRL. They're the same weapon...
Isn't a Bastard Sword what's also known as a hand-and-a-half sword? Which is different from a Longsword, isn't it?

In reality there is a continuum of size and length. A bastard sword would be indistinguishable from a longsword made for someone a bit shorter than you.

Throughout history, naming and classification of different weapons was super rare, and everyone kind of just commissioned the weapons they wanted. That being said, a longsword was always a two-handed weapon. A bastard sword would be a bit shorter and flexible in one or two handed use. An arming sword is what PF1 calls a longsword.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

This is also ultimately a fantasy universe, and the world itself may have different terms for each of these things then the historically accurate names of our universe.


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Should at least errata that flavor text then, since it is misleading, all balance concerns aside.


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pixierose wrote:
This is also ultimately a fantasy universe, and the world itself may have different terms for each of these things then the historically accurate names of our universe.

Right, and having said THIS, there is a 40 year continuum from at least AD&D, through 2nd edition, 3rd edition, 3.5, Pathfinder, and now PF2, wherein the longsword is a one handed 3ish foot blade, the bastard sword is a hand-and-a-half sword with a 4ish foot blade, and the great sword is two-handed with a 5ish foot blade.

The Exchange

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IMO all blades should have the versatile, buff Greatsword with another trait if you dont want to be at the same ground as bastard sword. Most of the two handed are underperforming compared to the Greatpickaxe


Takamorisan wrote:
IMO all blades should have the versatile, buff Greatsword with another trait if you dont want to be at the same ground as bastard sword. Most of the two handed are underperforming compared to the Greatpickaxe

This makes the bastard sword tread on the longsword niche.


Appletree wrote:
Takamorisan wrote:
IMO all blades should have the versatile, buff Greatsword with another trait if you dont want to be at the same ground as bastard sword. Most of the two handed are underperforming compared to the Greatpickaxe
This makes the bastard sword tread on the longsword niche.

Takamori's suggestion would essentially require you to add one trait to every weapon in the game (which would be fine by me, tbh).


Edge93 wrote:
I'm honestly a little surprised it isn't versatile P and an Advanced weapon. Then it would be to the Dwarven Waraxe as the Longsword and Greatsword are to the Battleaxe and Greataxe. But eh, maybe they wanted to make sure there was a martial weapon with the 2H trait.

I wouldn't have any problems with that being made as a weapon, myself. The spread of resistances among monsters seems to reward versatility in damage types more than it used.


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Appletree wrote:
Takamorisan wrote:
IMO all blades should have the versatile, buff Greatsword with another trait if you dont want to be at the same ground as bastard sword. Most of the two handed are underperforming compared to the Greatpickaxe
This makes the bastard sword tread on the longsword niche.

The bastard sword is quadruple the price of the longsword. Maybe that should count for something.

Nobody complains about composite longbows invalidating longbows by getting an extra free trait.


Takamorisan wrote:
IMO all blades should have the versatile, buff Greatsword with another trait if you dont want to be at the same ground as bastard sword. Most of the two handed are underperforming compared to the Greatpickaxe

At that point the Greatsword would just be better than all the other 2-handers.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Edge93 wrote:
Katapesh Fried Chicken wrote:
Game mechanics aside, why is there even a Bastard Sword in the game? It's literally a Longsword IRL. They're the same weapon...
Isn't a Bastard Sword what's also known as a hand-and-a-half sword? Which is different from a Longsword, isn't it?

I talked a really long time about swords:

IRL a bastard sword is a shortsword with a grip for two-hands.

longswords are technically supposed to be two-handers(a weapon designed to be wielded in combat with two-hands, wielded as so), greatswords aren't a real thing(in that swords larger than longswords didn't really exist at the time to be used in general medieval combat), and shortswords historically were anything up to like a 4 foot long sword with a single hand grip(couldn't find a good picture, but see how the grip only has space for a single hand). anything short of like 3 or 2-1/2 would be called a dagger(or if curved a cutlass).

Length is king, and so all swords in the medieval era were designed to be long.

so in DnD what happened is basically, daggers became like 1 foot long modern utility combat knifes, daggers were called shortswords, shortswords were called longswords, and longswords were called greatswords.

THEN bastard swords got introduced as an in between from two-handed to one handed weapons and so ended up between longswords and greatswords. Also bastard swords might not nessarily have a two-hand grip, but a "hand and a half grip" which basically lets you hold onto the pommel and not have it be that uncomfortable/unmanagable.

to reiterate, medieval longswords are generally what you'd call a greatsword(more or less), medieval shortswords are swords with a single hand grip and are usually 4ish feet long, what you'd probably currently call a longsword, and bastard swords were shortswords with a two-hander grip. the whole point of a bastard sword was to allow you to use the sword both with and sans a shield. say your shield gets broken, you can just swap to using your sword two-handed, which you can't do if there isn't normally enough room to put your hand there.

on two-handing, wielding a sword two-handed is about creating a pivot, so when you pull back on the pommel the blade come down on the enemy harder, it's not just about using two arms to push into someone but allows you to get a sizable increase into the force with the hit. normally this all comes from the wrist if you're one-handing, but you can use your 2nd arm instead for this with the right grip.

more on the Greatsword, they were mostly made in the renaissance and early examples of them were more or less designed to be a sword but also a pike, and medieval techniques for using them usually had you using them like pikes but then also let you slash at people closing in, which you couldn't do with an actual pike or halberd. You'll notice that on greatswords they have pretty huge grips and that's so you can wield them like pikes while also being able to maneuver the blade as you would need.


swoosh wrote:
Appletree wrote:
Takamorisan wrote:
IMO all blades should have the versatile, buff Greatsword with another trait if you dont want to be at the same ground as bastard sword. Most of the two handed are underperforming compared to the Greatpickaxe
This makes the bastard sword tread on the longsword niche.

The bastard sword is quadruple the price of the longsword. Maybe that should count for something.

Nobody complains about composite longbows invalidating longbows by getting an extra free trait.

Composite longbows being an upgrade for cash is something I personally don't like. I prefer approx balancing trait count by weapon tier rather than by cash. If a weapon is expensive I'd rather that be more due to an exceptionally handy combo of traits that straight up having more.


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Katapesh Fried Chicken wrote:
Game mechanics aside, why is there even a Bastard Sword in the game? It's literally a Longsword IRL. They're the same weapon...

The same reason as most weapon oddities- Gary Gygax had a rather bad book about medieval weapons, and then mixed in some movie fight logic in the mix. And everything was grandfathered from there.

Seriously though? Versatile doesn't seem worth considering in balance terms. The only damage type combo that would be 'strong' would be slashing/bludgeoning- unless something has changed in the monster list, those are the only ones that matter in most situations.

Having some extra piercing doesn't affect much. I somewhat believe that piercing damage is a grand fathered nerf from an older D&D edition (it is on the ever powerful bows, the rogue martial weapons tend to do piercing, and a lot of simple weapons are piercing- although some bludgeoning is in there too because SKELETONS).


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lemeres wrote:
Katapesh Fried Chicken wrote:
Game mechanics aside, why is there even a Bastard Sword in the game? It's literally a Longsword IRL. They're the same weapon...

The same reason as most weapon oddities- Gary Gygax had a rather bad book about medieval weapons, and then mixed in some movie fight logic in the mix. And everything was grandfathered from there.

Seriously though? Versatile doesn't seem worth considering in balance terms. The only damage type combo that would be 'strong' would be slashing/bludgeoning- unless something has changed in the monster list, those are the only ones that matter in most situations.

Having some extra piercing doesn't affect much. I somewhat believe that piercing damage is a grand fathered nerf from an older D&D edition (it is on the ever powerful bows, the rogue martial weapons tend to do piercing, and a lot of simple weapons are piercing- although some bludgeoning is in there too because SKELETONS).

Piercing has a major, albeit niche, advantage of working far far better around water.


And it is an excellent choice in skull and shackles as a result. But otherwise, it is not a routine concern.

In comparison, undead can be thrown into pretty much any situation- regretful remains of failed preceding heroes, creations of the lich, toys of the demon cult, left over that the dragon left in his fridge for too long, etc. their ubiquitous role as fodder makes bludgeoning and slashing take a much higher importance.

Of course, in the new system, the stat differences between weapons often plays a smaller role. So if I had to choose between a scimitar or longsword... I might be more inclined to use the longsword so I don't have to worry about switching weapons during the niche situations.


In PF1 there was a type of bloated zombie that was weak to piercing, though it was obviously less common and may have only been made to balance out how bad piercing is.

Piercing weapons do get the oddly unique ability to reveal invisible foes through martial means via Revealing Stab, though given that requires you to release your weapon I think it's better used with a backup dagger than your proper longsword.

Exo-Guardians

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Bandw2 wrote:
on two-handing, wielding a sword two-handed is about creating a pivot, so when you pull back on the pommel the blade come down on the enemy harder, it's not just about using two arms to push into someone but allows you to get a sizable increase into the force with the hit. normally this all comes from the wrist if you're one-handing, but you can use your 2nd arm instead for this with the right grip.

push-pull can be useful for winden, but it's a weak way to cut. similarly, with a one-handed sword, cutting with the wrist will result in a quick but very weak strike. wrist cuts can be useful for harassing attacks at your opponent's hands or face, but that's about it. for a strong cut (with both two-handed and one-handed grips), your wrist shouldn't really be rotating or breaking at all-- most of the motion of the cut comes from the elbow and arm, and most of the power comes from the hips, core, and legs.


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Katapesh Fried Chicken wrote:
Game mechanics aside, why is there even a Bastard Sword in the game? It's literally a Longsword IRL. They're the same weapon...

And why is Studded Leather still around?


Arachnofiend wrote:
In PF1 there was a type of bloated zombie that was weak to piercing, though it was obviously less common and may have only been made to balance out how bad piercing is.

Rakshasa also have a weakness to piercing. But much like water rules, they are often not used unless they are a main focus of the whole campaign.


Appletree wrote:
Piercing has a major, albeit niche, advantage of working far far better around water.

True, and this reminds me of a houserule I've often used which allowed Piercing to ignore an attack penalty for cramped spaces or difficult terrains which would interfere with swinging a slashing or bludgeonining weapon. Sometimes I just applied that to 2H weapons, at least an advantage for 2H Piercing. Could have helped Piercing, but doesn't look like anything like this is in CRB.


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Bandw2 wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
Katapesh Fried Chicken wrote:
Game mechanics aside, why is there even a Bastard Sword in the game? It's literally a Longsword IRL. They're the same weapon...
Isn't a Bastard Sword what's also known as a hand-and-a-half sword? Which is different from a Longsword, isn't it?
** spoiler omitted **...

Very good analysis, though I would suggest that the primary distinction between “short*,” “long,” and “bastard” sword actually has more to do with the length of the hilt than the length of the blade. Also the terms referred more to the technique than to the sword. Longsword fencing involved the use of two hands, but there are depictions in treatises of swords with clearly two-handed grips being wielded in one hand, with shield in the other.

If I had my druthers, the breakdown would go:
Simple, 1-handed
Knife: 1d4 p, agile, finesse, thrown 10, versatile s

Martial, 1-handed
Dagger: 1d6 p, agile, finesse, versatile s
Bastard sword: 1d6 p, two-hand d10, versatile s
Arming sword: 1d8 p, versatile s

Martial, 2-handed
Longsword: 1d12 p, versatile s
Greatsword: 1d10 s, reach, sweep

*I prefer the term “Arming sword” over “short sword,” personally


Athaleon wrote:
Katapesh Fried Chicken wrote:
Game mechanics aside, why is there even a Bastard Sword in the game? It's literally a Longsword IRL. They're the same weapon...
And why is Studded Leather still around?

Grandfathered, it's just too iconic. Plus it has a stylish punk rock look. Also it fits a niche of being highly flexible but better than padded and normal leather. Of course it wouldn't be all that useful as described and it's just a misinterpretation of images of brigandine, coat of plates, etc, where those studs were rivet heads holding in metal plates. Some of the other bad armors have gradually fallen out, but studded leather has staying power.

The misuse of the term mail for things that aren't maile (chainmail == maile == mail) still bugs me. I cringe whenever I hear "platemail," although it hasn't been in the lists since AD&D 2nd. Banded mail is thankfully gone, joining other non-existent armors like ringmail. And splint mail's new description is much better. It's no longer described as some kind of weird armor made of vertical strips (a full suit of splints, which were historically just used along limbs to augment mail), and instead is now describing an actual real-world armor sometimes called splinted mail. This is a change I suggested in the playtest, so I'm feeling a bit smug (it almost certainly isn't based on me, but I'm going to pretend Paizo listened to my infinite wisdom in this case).

The armor naming bugs me much more than the weird sword names. Because swords never really did have standardized names. But mail always meant armor made of linked wire when it was in use. And some of these other armors are things that only existed in the minds of Victorian historians. Pretty much all swords were just called "sword" in the local language. And even now the distinctions often vary depending on who you're talking to. I would like to see naming a bit more in line with HEMA usage, so I don't have to add extra descriptions when describing real-world weapons to D&D/pathfinder players. "The most popular HEMA weapon is longsword. Well longsword in he HEMA sense, in Pathfinder it'd be called bastard sword. But some consider a true bastard sword a bit distinct from a longsword. But anyways as I was saying..." Having unified terminology across interests would be helpful.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Saros Palanthios wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
on two-handing, wielding a sword two-handed is about creating a pivot, so when you pull back on the pommel the blade come down on the enemy harder, it's not just about using two arms to push into someone but allows you to get a sizable increase into the force with the hit. normally this all comes from the wrist if you're one-handing, but you can use your 2nd arm instead for this with the right grip.
push-pull can be useful for winden, but it's a weak way to cut. similarly, with a one-handed sword, cutting with the wrist will result in a quick but very weak strike. wrist cuts can be useful for harassing attacks at your opponent's hands or face, but that's about it. for a strong cut (with both two-handed and one-handed grips), your wrist shouldn't really be rotating or breaking at all-- most of the motion of the cut comes from the elbow and arm, and most of the power comes from the hips, core, and legs.

sure but at the same time you're using two hands to orient a blade, while I only explained it in manners of applying force to the enemy, it lets you orient the blade faster and with more precision. AS WELL, it makes guarding with the sword less jarring on your wrist, etc. as you say with winden(basically german for winding your blade), for the layman, it lets you have better control over your blade and the enemies' blade and you have better leverage when they collide. you can more quickly and precisely counter and wind a block into a strike.

I wasn't quite expecting to have this level of discussion.

edit: and the server just ate half my post


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Charlaquin wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
Katapesh Fried Chicken wrote:
Game mechanics aside, why is there even a Bastard Sword in the game? It's literally a Longsword IRL. They're the same weapon...
Isn't a Bastard Sword what's also known as a hand-and-a-half sword? Which is different from a Longsword, isn't it?
** spoiler omitted **...

Very good analysis, though I would suggest that the primary distinction between “short*,” “long,” and “bastard” sword actually has more to do with the length of the hilt than the length of the blade. Also the terms referred more to the technique than to the sword. Longsword fencing involved the use of two hands, but there are depictions in treatises of swords with clearly two-handed grips being wielded in one hand, with shield in the other.

If I had my druthers, the breakdown would go:
Simple, 1-handed
Knife: 1d4 p, agile, finesse, thrown 10, versatile s

Martial, 1-handed
Dagger: 1d6 p, agile, finesse, versatile s
Bastard sword: 1d6 p, two-hand d10, versatile s
Arming sword: 1d8 p, versatile s

Martial, 2-handed
Longsword: 1d12 p, versatile s
Greatsword: 1d10 s, reach, sweep

*I prefer the term “Arming sword” over “short sword,” personally

i had written a bunch more on this but i'll just quickly recount what i said.

Longswords were called warswords, why? they're unfit for general protection or travel as they're very heavy, but are very deadly.

oh and longswords are called longswords because they're unique feature is how long they are.

arming swords were called arming swords, because they're cheaper and could more easily be used in the creation or arming of an army.

a cutlass is called a cutlass because it was basically a big knife to cut rope on ships while also usable as a sword.

blah blah, humans are great at naming things.

I think for the sword stats i'd replace greatsword's sweep with backswing or shove, as the weapons benefits were it's ability to control people that moved beyond your reach and it's a fairly large weapon and thus hard to get past what with most of the weapon being a sharp edge.


Doktor Weasel wrote:
Because swords never really did have standardized names.

This is why all of the "this sword is named wrong" discussions frustrate me. The idea of classifying swords into discrete categories is a fairly modern concept. You have people declaring certain swords to be named in historically inaccurate fashions when the terminology they themselves insist is better is apocryphal too.

And that's not even getting into claims that aren't even accurate, like insisting Greatswords were never a real weapon.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Doktor Weasel wrote:
The armor naming bugs me much more than the weird sword names. Because swords never really did have standardized names. But mail always meant armor made of linked wire when it was in use. And some of these other armors are things that only existed in the minds of Victorian historians. Pretty much all swords were just called "sword" in the local language. And even now the distinctions often vary depending on who you're talking to. I would like to see naming a bit more in line with HEMA usage, so I don't have to add extra descriptions when describing real-world weapons to D&D/pathfinder players. "The most popular HEMA weapon is longsword. Well longsword in he HEMA sense, in Pathfinder it'd be called bastard sword. But some consider a true bastard sword a bit distinct from a longsword. But anyways as I was saying..." Having unified terminology across interests would be helpful.

oh please, they weren't just called sword, they were usually called X-sword or Y-sword or a lot of the time they were just called a "CULTURE WHERE THIS SWORD IS FROM"

swoosh wrote:
Doktor Weasel wrote:
Because swords never really did have standardized names.

This is why all of the "this sword is named wrong" discussions frustrate me. The idea of classifying swords into discrete categories is a fairly modern concept. You have people declaring certain swords to be named in historically inaccurate fashions when the terminology they themselves insist is better is apocryphal too.

I mean, the more modern in time you get the more specialized swords got. and some sword usages are just kinda weird.

like rapiers are a renaissance thing, and estocs are not just big rapiers like dnd would have you think, but mini-lances. there's more than just the ordering of bastard sword or the shrinking of sword classification in general that ruffle's my jimmies.

also (about dnd naming conventions) who calls something a longsword when it's like the 2nd smallest sword you can get?


The PF bastard sword should simply have stats of the Katana. As such it doesn't compete with the "great-sword" aka the real life Two-handed sword/Slaughter-sword/Montante. The Katana stats feels very appropriate it was well executed by Paizo.

Maybe I would replace the Deadly Trait with the Versatile (B) to represent using the pommel, quillions etc as club/war-hammer. It also differentiates the Bastard Sword from the Katana ever so slightly


Athaleon wrote:
Katapesh Fried Chicken wrote:
Game mechanics aside, why is there even a Bastard Sword in the game? It's literally a Longsword IRL. They're the same weapon...
And why is Studded Leather still around?

Yeah, I mean, Banded and Ring Mail are finally gone, just the BDSM gear left.


Erk Ander wrote:

The PF bastard sword should simply have stats of the Katana. As such it doesn't compete with the "great-sword" aka the real life Two-handed sword/Slaughter-sword/Montante. The Katana stats feels very appropriate it was well executed by Paizo.

Maybe I would replace the Deadly Trait with the Versatile (B) to represent using the pommel, quillions etc as club/war-hammer. It also differentiates the Bastard Sword from the Katana ever so slightly

NGL I'm still a little internally smug that the final version of the katana closely resembles how I homebrewed it before the full version of PF2 came out the only real difference is that I gave it the monk trait for anime nonsense.

EDIT: I didn't give it versatile though. I actually kind of think versatile is overkill here.

Silver Crusade

Appletree wrote:
swoosh wrote:
Appletree wrote:
Takamorisan wrote:
IMO all blades should have the versatile, buff Greatsword with another trait if you dont want to be at the same ground as bastard sword. Most of the two handed are underperforming compared to the Greatpickaxe
This makes the bastard sword tread on the longsword niche.

The bastard sword is quadruple the price of the longsword. Maybe that should count for something.

Nobody complains about composite longbows invalidating longbows by getting an extra free trait.

Composite longbows being an upgrade for cash is something I personally don't like. I prefer approx balancing trait count by weapon tier rather than by cash. If a weapon is expensive I'd rather that be more due to an exceptionally handy combo of traits that straight up having more.

Composites the Strength requirement from Propulsive, though it's easier to use than 1e's version.


Rysky wrote:
Appletree wrote:
swoosh wrote:
Appletree wrote:
Takamorisan wrote:
IMO all blades should have the versatile, buff Greatsword with another trait if you dont want to be at the same ground as bastard sword. Most of the two handed are underperforming compared to the Greatpickaxe
This makes the bastard sword tread on the longsword niche.

The bastard sword is quadruple the price of the longsword. Maybe that should count for something.

Nobody complains about composite longbows invalidating longbows by getting an extra free trait.

Composite longbows being an upgrade for cash is something I personally don't like. I prefer approx balancing trait count by weapon tier rather than by cash. If a weapon is expensive I'd rather that be more due to an exceptionally handy combo of traits that straight up having more.
Composites the Strength requirement from Propulsive, though it's easier to use than 1e's version.

Sorry, I'm not quite sure what your phrasing is intended to mean here.

I don't actually have a serious with composite bows and non-composite bows both existing, as both serve different characters. The thing I'm not a massive fan of is the price difference for something which is a buff for a large proportion of characters. That's all.

Silver Crusade

Sorry, there was supposed to be a “have” after Composites. I had more written up but deleted because i saw you were just comparing composite vs non so it doesn't make as much sense, what I get for writing just after waking up.


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Rysky wrote:
Sorry, there was supposed to be a “have” after Composites. I had more written up but deleted because i saw you were just comparing composite vs non so it doesn't make as much sense, what I get for writing just after waking up.

Ah, no worries.


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While I get the balance consideration, being unable to stab people with a sword that, in everyone's mind's eye, clearly as a tip for stabbing, is a bit immersion-breaking. Like, if a player saw that they were up against a creature with DR slashing and decided they were gonna stab them instaed with their bastard sword, it'd feel very weird to say no. Like, oh, your sword is in this sweet spot were it's simultaneously too short and too long to be able to stab properly.

This applies to quite a few weapons, of course, lots of weapons had tips for piercing or small little hammer heads to deal with plate armor, even if that part of the weapon probably wasn't as dangerous as the others. But the lack of a piercing attack on the bastard sword just really sticks out to me as weird even if I can see why the greatsword needs to have some theoretical reason to exist.


Blave wrote:
It's a balance thing. If it had Versatile P in addition to Two-handed (d12) it would be stricly better than the greatsword.

The trouble is that it makes no sense that there would not be a version of the "bastard sword" that didn't have a pointy end that you could stab with.

Also, the text in the rulebook describing the bastard sword is as follows:

"Bastard Sword: This broad-bladed sword, sometimes called the hand‑and‑a‑half sword, has a longer grip so it can be held in one hand or used with two hands to provide extra *piercing* or slashing power."

Even the rule book's descriptive text says that the bastard sword is versatile - piercing!

If they wanted balance, they should have made bastard swords more expensive than great swords, or given greatswords an extra trait. Sweep would be appropriate for a greatsword-- if you look at how the Montante (Iberian greatsword) is used in HEMA recreations, it would be reasonably described as a two handed slashing weapon with the sweep trait.


Bandw2 wrote:

i had written a bunch more on this but i'll just quickly recount what i said.

Longswords were called warswords, why? they're unfit for general protection or travel as they're very heavy, but are very deadly.

oh and longswords are called longswords because they're unique feature is how long they are.

arming swords were called arming swords, because they're cheaper and could more easily be used in the creation or arming of an army.

a cutlass is called a cutlass because it was basically a big knife to cut rope on ships while also usable as a sword.

blah blah, humans are great at naming things.

Yeah, ultimately what we call the different categories of fantasy sword isn’t terribly important. But it would be nice to have the categories break down by use. You’ve got your light, one-handed shank (I like “knife” for that, personally), your slightly longer, one-handed cqc blade (I like “dagger” for that), your long-bladed sidearm with a one-handed grip (I like “sword” or “arming sword” for that), your long-bladed sword with a two-handed grip, which may or may not be usable in one hand (I like “longsword” for this, though separating two-handed and hand-and-a-half into two separate categories of “longsword” and “bastard sword” works too), and your polearm with a swordlike blade (Honestly I’d just call this a two-handed sword, but “greatsword” is fine).

You could further break it down by differentiating single-edged cutting swords from these. I’d just lump the whole Elmslie typology into two broad categories of single-handed “long knife” or “backsword” and hand-and-a-half “war knife” or “great backsword,” the same way that the Oakashott typology gets lumped into “longsword” and “bastard sword.” And for simplicity’s sake I’d just call katanas “war knives”/“great backswords” from fantasy Japan.

Bandw2 wrote:
I think for the sword stats i'd replace greatsword's sweep with backswing or shove, as the weapons benefits were it's ability to control people that moved beyond your reach and it’s a fairly large weapon and this hard to get past what with most of the weapon being a sharp edge.

I went with sweep because what few historical sources we have on two-hander technique involves a lot of big, sweeping motions, basically just warding any attackers off the big ol’ area around yourself. Sweep seemed like both a fitting description, and a decent mechanical representation for a weapon that is primarily used for fighting multiple opponents. Backswing would also make a ton of sense to me. Shove... I get it mechanically, but you’d need to narrate it as warding them off with your whirling blade rather than physically pushing them away with it.


Charlaquin wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
Katapesh Fried Chicken wrote:
Game mechanics aside, why is there even a Bastard Sword in the game? It's literally a Longsword IRL. They're the same weapon...
Isn't a Bastard Sword what's also known as a hand-and-a-half sword? Which is different from a Longsword, isn't it?
** spoiler omitted **...

Very good analysis, though I would suggest that the primary distinction between “short*,” “long,” and “bastard” sword actually has more to do with the length of the hilt than the length of the blade. Also the terms referred more to the technique than to the sword. Longsword fencing involved the use of two hands, but there are depictions in treatises of swords with clearly two-handed grips being wielded in one hand, with shield in the other.

If I had my druthers, the breakdown would go:
Simple, 1-handed
Knife: 1d4 p, agile, finesse, thrown 10, versatile s

Martial, 1-handed
Dagger: 1d6 p, agile, finesse, versatile s
Bastard sword: 1d6 p, two-hand d10, versatile s
Arming sword: 1d8 p, versatile s

Martial, 2-handed
Longsword: 1d12 p, versatile s
Greatsword: 1d10 s, reach, sweep

*I prefer the term “Arming sword” over “short sword,” personally

The bastard sword in that example struggles to find a niche, just as it did in PF1 because why use a weapon that sucks both as a one-handed and two-handed weapon when you could just use a weapon that just deals more damage in either? In particular, your arming sword would be JUST as good as the Bastard Sword with the Dual-Handed Assault Fighter feat, which largely eliminates the use for a bastard sword at all.

That said, I really enjoy the idea of a two-hand only sword that's got reach, because that's really the core fantasy of someone using a giant f%#!off sword. I think that would make a great martial weapon, and a D12 version would make for an excellent advanced fullblade.

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I imagine the piercing is just flavor text, but since that's an actual damage type it should probably be errata'd out for this exact reason. Then again, running a monster through with a bastard sword would be pretty satisfying.


Helmic wrote:
Charlaquin wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
Katapesh Fried Chicken wrote:
Game mechanics aside, why is there even a Bastard Sword in the game? It's literally a Longsword IRL. They're the same weapon...
Isn't a Bastard Sword what's also known as a hand-and-a-half sword? Which is different from a Longsword, isn't it?
** spoiler omitted **...

Very good analysis, though I would suggest that the primary distinction between “short*,” “long,” and “bastard” sword actually has more to do with the length of the hilt than the length of the blade. Also the terms referred more to the technique than to the sword. Longsword fencing involved the use of two hands, but there are depictions in treatises of swords with clearly two-handed grips being wielded in one hand, with shield in the other.

If I had my druthers, the breakdown would go:
Simple, 1-handed
Knife: 1d4 p, agile, finesse, thrown 10, versatile s

Martial, 1-handed
Dagger: 1d6 p, agile, finesse, versatile s
Bastard sword: 1d6 p, two-hand d10, versatile s
Arming sword: 1d8 p, versatile s

Martial, 2-handed
Longsword: 1d12 p, versatile s
Greatsword: 1d10 s, reach, sweep

*I prefer the term “Arming sword” over “short sword,” personally

The bastard sword in that example struggles to find a niche, just as it did in PF1 because why use a weapon that sucks both as a one-handed and two-handed weapon when you could just use a weapon that just deals more damage in either? In particular, your arming sword would be JUST as good as the Bastard Sword with the Dual-Handed Assault Fighter feat, which largely eliminates the use for a bastard sword at all.

That said, I really enjoy the idea of a two-hand only sword that's got reach, because that's really the core fantasy of someone using a giant f%#%off sword. I think that would make a great martial weapon, and a D12 version would make for an excellent advanced fullblade.

Yeah, in that setup, the bastard sword is a worse one-handed sword than an arming sword and a worse two-handed sword than a longsword. But I kinda think it should be? It’s a compromise weapon, naturally it’s going to underperform compared to weapons optimized for either of the two niches it’s trying to cover. And it does kind of have a use for the sword and board fighter, as two-handing it can give you a damage boost if your shield breaks after a block. But an alternative might be just to consolidate the longsword and bastard sword into a single d8, two-hand d12 piercing or slashing weapon. Then it’s strictly better than the arming sword (or whatever you call the one handed d8 p or s weapon), but I suppose you could just charge more for it. Or maybe you like... have clumsy 1 when you one-hand or or something?

EDIT: Actually I really like that last suggestion. Just get rid of the bastard sword entirely and make longswords d8 weapons with two-hand d12 and a property that gives you clumsy 1 when wielded in one hand.

Re: the greatsword, in my opinion it should absolutely have reach. Zwihanders, Bihanders, Montante, all those big-ass “swords” were, as near as we can tell, made for fighting pikemen/billmen/halberdiers/etc. They were really not used like other swords, which were sidearms, they had a completely different fighting style, which was all about swinging in wide arcs, keeping that momentum going, to keep anybody from getting close to you. I think d10, reach, sweep or backswing is nice and balanced compared to other reach weapons, and does a better job of modeling how such swords were (probably) actually used than jusr a d12 two-handed weapon.

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