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Re: (TFT) spear & halberd damage

The spear may have been buffed by someone (Howard Thompson 5e Melee afterthought?), but the 2d-1 halberd is (surprisingly, to me) in my fairly early (pre- Advanced Melee, I think) edition of Melee. So I think of the 2d-1 halberd as a Steve Jackson error corrected in AM/ITL, and of the 1d+2 spear as an error/misadventure by Howard Thompson or his post-Jackson editors.

There were several attempted nerfs or mitigators for polearm balance, including:

* The "cutting through polearms" optional rule in Interplay.
* The "you need to move three hexes in a straight line" rule in later editions of Melee, which I don't really like and apparently was a Howard Thompson thing.
* Common house rules that give + 1d6 instead of double damage on charge.
* House rules giving DX penalties for an obstacle in a pole user's rear hex.

I think I may be forgetting one or two. We used the cutting through rules when applicable, but not the others (except GM discretion for obstacle problems). I don't actually think any of them are needed, though penalties for really cramped quarters seem appropriate. Historically, spears and polearms (even javelins) were the primary military weapons anyway - swords were generally backups. Even for "balance" purposes, only halberds and pike axes are really fearsome, and in practice, foes with them often get targeted with prejudice. And they don't always get to charge, at which point they are at -1 damage and have no shield (comparing halberd to morningstar/bastardsword + shield).

--- bofinger.david@gmail.com wrote:


I agree. This is why I say every variant should start with an explanation
of why it's being written.

Looks like the halberd's been nerfed because some people perceived it was
too good, the spear's been upgraded because it was perceived to be not good
enough. Probably someone's house rule that was copied over.

There's no doubt pole weapons are better than swords in the rules as they
are. If we want them to be equally good, ...
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