Broad Weapon Combination Question

Can't find a reference for this one yet, and it's a particularly silly one, so hold on to your hats:

I've hypothetically created a Fighting 2 class with a Broad weapon selection. I've chosen:

ii) Any Two Handed Melee Weapons

v) All Missile Weapons.

Fighting Styles:

i) Two Handed Weapons (I can trade this away, but I'll lose the (ii) weapon selection!!)

ii) Weapon and Shield

iii) Two Weapons

I know that Broad (ii) gives me access to any specifically two-handed weapon.

Does it also give me access to one-handed weapons, but only if I use them two-handed (as listed pg41 with the 1d6/1d8 dmg (staff 1d4/1d6))?

There are, 16 one-handed weapons. There are either 3 or 11 two-handed weapons depending on how they count.

Broad (v) is all missile weapons. Missile weapons include these thrown items: (as listed on ACKS pg103)

Axe (thrown) (presumptively this only includes the Hand Axe)
Dagger (thrown)
Dart/Bola (bola is said to use dart ranges in another thread)

The Axe, Dagger, Spear, and possibly Javelin can also be used as melee weapons.

Am I specifically not proficient with them as melee weapons?

Or just the Spear since I can use it 2-handed (and the question above about one/two handed weapons is answered in the affirmative)? 



This thread has some relevant references:

Most notably: A weapon’s handedness is defined by the minimum number of hands to wield it. So this class could not use, say, a spear in two hands, because a spear is a one-handed weapon.

Based on this, my guess would be that this class would be proficient in the missile/melee combined weapons only when they are used as a missile weapon. They could fling a spear or axe at someone, but not use it in melee.

I was under the impression that fighting styles as used here are only relevant to one-handed melee weapons, ie lacking the ability to “fight with a weapon in both hands” does not imply the inability to use any dedicated two-handed weapons (polearm, greatsword, &c) that the class may be proficient with. This seems supported by “The ability to fight with two hands on a weapon is distinct from the ability to fight with an actual “Two-Handed Weapon”. For example, even though a Thief cannot fight with a two-handed weapon such as a pole-arm, he could still fight with two hands using a one-handed weapon such as a sword.” from the thread you linked. In which case you could take Broad ii and v and trade fight with a weapon in both hands away without losing anything (assuming broad v only lets you use weapons at range, which seems like the right thing to me).

Ah, thank you. That also reinforces Aryxymaraki's point about what (ii) is actually covering. 

In which case, choosing Broad(vi) to get any 5 weapons is slightly superior to Broad(ii) - just the 4 real two-handed weapons. (big axe, big flail, big sword, polearm...that's it I think).

Broad(vi) lets you get those four plus probably the regular "sword", thus increasing your possible inventory of magic weapons by quite a bit.

Yea, I'd seen that one, and:

A strict reading of all that indicates you're probably correct in the first case; even though it feels a bit silly - it heavily devalues the "broad (ii)" choice, and that specific choice requires the class to keep Fighting Style 2 Handed - for (edtit:four) weapons. (edit: corrected by jedavis below)


On the second case, however, there's no Fighting Style: Thrown or anything like that. I can fight with a weapon in one hand, a weapon in two hands, or a weapon in both hands, or use a shield and a weapon.

The spear/axe/dagger, etc.; happen to be in a category of weapons called "missile weapons", and therefore I'm proficient with the weapon.

Had I picked those weapons within "Broad (vi): any combination of 5", I expect that I would be able to throw them or wield them one-handed, yes?

So, then, was the intent of the "(v) all missile weapons" specifically to call out weapons used in their thrown form exclusively, as missiles only, or simply as being proficient with the weapon in any of its uses, and included them in the full complement of ranged weapons?

I lean towards the latter, since other categories mix melee/missile weapon types.



Oh gosh. What a mess. This is THE area of the rules I most mangled with my natural language approach. And I compounded it by not-quite-clearing-it-all-up in the Player's Companion.

To make it balanced, one might rule that the Broad (two-handed style) would include not just Great Axe, Morning Star, Pole Arm, Staff, and Two-Handed Sword but also Lance and Spear. 







That's not too bad, then.

Except for the inclusion of the Staff I'd kinda want to rename that grouping something like "High Impact Weaponry"....maybe just make up a two-handed "Maul, 1d10" to fill in a two-handed hammer/mace instead of staff.



If you want to get historical, the description for "sword" on page 40-odd of the book don't match well with what I'm used to seeing in late medieval / early renaissance sword: if you have a 1d6/1d8 sword that's capable of being used in two hands, it's usually what AD&D called the bastard sword (historical spadone / langschwert / ...) and was mostly taught in two hands, with lots of wonderful nasty grappling moves where you bind the enemy's blade and then take one hand off the grip of your sword in order to wrestle with them. Modern replicas are somewhere in the 125cm-130cm range (pommel to tip), around 4'.

Almost anything shorter than that that I've seen or read about has a strictly-one-handed grip.

So if the question came up in this judge's game I'd likely rule that the BTB sword is a 2H weapon that can also be used 1H, is acceptable under broad(ii), and the 1d6 short sword includes the more stereotypical arming sword. 


True, but down that path lies a table defining 57+ types of polearms.... :)

If we allow the 1H/2H weapons to occupy the same space like I would above for melee weapons that are also missile weapons, that does even out the choices between Broad (i), (ii), and (v) quite a bit, at the expense of going against the intent of the Fighting Style concept.

But, eh. I'd be surprised if anyone's ever chosen Broad (ii) for a custom class, to tell the truth, unless alongside Broad (i) for a very melee-centric class. 

All in all the fact Alex was able to drag a smooth build system out of the innards of B/X at all is a hell of a genius move, so one can't poke holes too much without considering the ancestral source.


Good points, Tom. One of the reasons I set short sword at 1d6 and sword at 1d6/1d8 was that I wanted the short sword to be a competitive weapon with the sword. A weapon-and-shield fighter can be happy using a short sword and doesn't need to feel that he's second-fiddle.

I actually own a viking sword, and the hilt is such that it's an entirely one-handed weapon, long blade or not. Histircally I think it's entirely justifiable to put the arming sword (as well as the viking sword and the spatha) into the short sword category. Unfortunately doing so will "feel" wrong to players, as it collapses the gladius and the spatha, etc.

I think it's a virtue of ACKS that the weapons are kept general and thus are easily re-classified for specific settings without unduly messing things up.

The simiple classification of weapons and the versatility of that systems is yet another reason I was drawn to ACKS over the many other great Old School style games out there. The fact that the "short sword" was a useful weapon compared to the sword but each was different was awesome.

Although at that point, you should almost certainly include an additional roll when generating Magic Swords to allow for differentiation between short (or arming) swords and full-sized blades (I suppose you should include greatswords as a possibility as well).  For added fun, you could modify that roll based upon the culture that created the sword.

I use a table like that when generating magic swords, axes, bows and maces. 

Orly? I was looking into that the other day - I'd be curious what you did.

At the moment I'm somewhat basing mine off of the relative occurence of weapon types (by relative occurence of unit types) from D@W units, under the presumption that production follows demand.

Mine is more arbitrary than that:

  1. Swords: shortsword 20%, sword 60%, greatsword 20%
  2. Axes: hand Axe 20%, Battle Axe 60%, Great Axe 20%
  3. Bows: Shortbow 20%, Composite Bow 60%, Arbalest 10%, Crossbow 10%
  4. Spears: Spear 70%, Pole Arm 30%
  5. Warhammers: Warhammer 80%, Morningstar 20%