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What is the deal with that Bastard sword? Valid info, please...

The weapon's description, in 2, says: (besides the rest) can be wielded with one, or two hands.

So, is it possible to use it as a two handed sword? And if yes, how?

Wielding it with a shield, or as an offhand, clearly uses it with one of your hands. Now, how to use it with my two hands? Does damage differ?

Post edited by Dee on
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Comments

  • meaglothmeagloth Member Posts: 3,806
    No. Use your imagination. This always bugged me to, but I think the different damage roll than longsword tries to represent this.
    Slightly off topic, in real life, a bastard sword, longsword, and broadsword are all the same thing. People try to distinguish between them but all that naming came later. Swords where just swords. How many things can you pick up and call "hammer" today? It was like that. Sure, we have sledge hammers and mallets and little hammers and big hammers, but they can all be called hammer and no one will correct you.

    Demonoid_LimewireJuliusBorisovAristillius
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    meagloth said:

    Slightly off topic, in real life, a bastard sword, longsword, and broadsword are all the same thing. People try to distinguish between them but all that naming came later. Swords where just swords. How many things can you pick up and call "hammer" today? It was like that. Sure, we have sledge hammers and mallets and little hammers and big hammers, but they can all be called hammer and no one will correct you.

    I agree with @Anduin in that you are significantly oversimplifying things. If a Roman soldier were to encounter a Scottish Claymore, he might identify it as a 'Sword', but would not equate it to his Roman broadsword. He would know the difference. it wouldn't simply be 'another sword'.

    Also the way these things were wielded were often very VERY different. Take a fencing foil versus a standard long sword. One is about finesse and dexterity the other is about chopping and slashing.

    Think of Cell phones as a proxy. Sure one cell phone is pretty much like any other, but still there are flip phones and Sat phones and smart phones, blackberries, etc... all of slightly different use, construction and design. "Modern" man encountering each may identify them as Cell phones, but we would have at least a general idea about the differences and would classify (much in the way you were saying museums did for swords). They are different. We know they are different and how to use them differently.

    Demonoid_LimewireAnduinSCARY_WIZARDatcDave
  • AnduinAnduin Member Posts: 5,745
    @meagloth & @the_spyder another issue... And this will strengthen @meagloth 's argument, is that each sword was handcrafted for an individual. In the industrial age of mass production, it is easy to forget all items in the past, were made by hand... So a big knight would have a bigger sword, whilst a small knight would have a lighter sword. Perfect balance in the hand could only be achieved by increasing or decreasing the length, and took into account the length of wielders arm. It also in part explains the seemingly wasteful practice of burying or bending in half the sword of a fallen knight. I suppose one mans long sword could be another mans bastard sword... but it would never be their sword.

    The sport of fighting with long swords without a helmet is a german sport. A scar from such a duel to the face was a badge of honour. In fact your North American friend has somewhat twisted the whole thing, the academic qualities are the same but it was not about self defence, as it was all about being able to take a blow and walk away... Honest read here http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dueling_scar

    To be fair smacking each other with plastic lightsabers, until your black and blue, is fun enough... So I can understand the attraction.

    But to go back on topic. The hand and a half sword, or bastard sword could be wielded one handed on horseback or two handed on foot. (Think about the danger to the horse wielding a two hander on horseback! ) and I understand that the limitations of the game does not allow you to wield it two handed, but I'm nearly 100% sure there is a mod for it...

    BalladWolkAristilliusJuliusBorisov
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    I see it more along these lines. While what @Anduin said was quite probably true, think more regionally. In Rome, broad swords weren't just 'the thing', they were the way swords were made. Sure, they might have been of varying lengths, they were pretty much all of the same general designs and were wider blades. So much so that there would have been a designation of Roman Sword. If you put that along side a Gaul Long sword, the differences would be plain to see. The Roman soldier may not have called it a Broad Sword, but he would be able to look at the two swords and say "Look at this cheap and flimsy Gaul Blade. It's so narrow and the balance is all off. Give me a Roman sword any day."

    Compare that to the Japanese Katana, another type of sword or the Moorish scimitar and you can clearly see that, although these too are all 'Swords', they are by no means 'the same'. They are regionally and culturally different in make, construction and design. And they are wielded differently.

    So sure, all of these long, sharp, pointed hand held devices of death may have had some variation on the theme of 'Sword', there are definite clear and specific differences. So much so that they deserve their own special classification.

    Another factor, although a Knight may have a sword made specifically for him, when wars came and hundreds or thousands of 'Soldiers' needed to be outfitted with weapons, they weren't individually crafted.

    My DM used to like to add regional flair. To that end, there were regions where certain types of swords (and other weapons and armor) were only available. If you walked into one shop they might only have broad swords and no long swords. If you asked the smith for a long sword, he would make a broad sword, but might add a few inches to the length, because that is what he knew.

    Anduinlolien
  • SertoriusSertorius Member Posts: 169
    edited May 2014
    @Demonoid_Limewire‌
    The whole one- or two-handed thing about bastard swords is a remnant from the PnP rules, where it indeed could be used in one or two hands with different damage and speed factor as a result.

    Ironically, the stats for a bastard sword in BG are those of the two-handed use, even if it is only used as a one-hander.

    FinaLfrontFlashburn
  • meaglothmeagloth Member Posts: 3,806
    Anduin said:

    @meagloth & @the_spyder another issue... And this will strengthen @meagloth 's argument, is that each sword was handcrafted for an individual. In the industrial age of mass production, it is easy to forget all items in the past, were made by hand... So a big knight would have a bigger sword, whilst a small knight would have a lighter sword. Perfect balance in the hand could only be achieved by increasing or decreasing the length, and took into account the length of wielders arm. It also in part explains the seemingly wasteful practice of burying or bending in half the sword of a fallen knight. I suppose one mans long sword could be another mans bastard sword... but it would never be their sword.

    This is a good point.
    Anduin said:


    The sport of fighting with long swords without a helmet is a german sport. A scar from such a duel to the face was a badge of honour. In fact your North American friend has somewhat twisted the whole thing, the academic qualities are the same but it was not about self defence, as it was all about being able to take a blow and walk away... Honest read here http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dueling_scar

    It isn't a sport! this was a self-defense class, using martial arts techniques taught to medieval warriors. Helmets had nothing do do with. I was merely comparing it to sport fencing. The Latin text(that, to my great frustration, I can't remember the name of for the life of me) started with hand to hand combat, moving up to daggers, sword, swords with armor, spear, ect. They did not just teach longsword. It was a self-defense/martial arts class as sophisticated as any Asian martial art. I have never heard of academic dueling(though I'm glad I have now) and this was not it. This was how to take down an attacker as swiftly and efficiently as possible by any means possible. Also, the "dueling scar" as per the link you provided, was not even a thing until 1825, and was only popular among college students that practiced academic dueling. I'm talking about the Middle Ages; 5th-15th century.
    Anduin said:



    To be fair smacking each other with plastic lightsabers, until your black and blue, is fun enough... So I can understand the attraction.

    But to go back on topic. The hand and a half sword, or bastard sword could be wielded one handed on horseback or two handed on foot. (Think about the danger to the horse wielding a two hander on horseback! ) and I understand that the limitations of the game does not allow you to wield it two handed, but I'm nearly 100% sure there is a mod for it...

    Yes.


    Compare that to the Japanese Katana, another type of sword or the Moorish scimitar and you can clearly see that, although these too are all 'Swords', they are by no means 'the same'. They are regionally and culturally different in make, construction and design. And they are wielded differently.

    So sure, all of these long, sharp, pointed hand held devices of death may have had some variation on the theme of 'Sword', there are definite clear and specific differences. So much so that they deserve their own special classification.

    Another factor, although a Knight may have a sword made specifically for him, when wars came and hundreds or thousands of 'Soldiers' needed to be outfitted with weapons, they weren't individually crafted.

    Good point, but soldiers would(in middle aged Europe) have never had a sword, unless they could provide it themselves. From what I gather, a sword seems to be about 1/3 the price of a horse(very expensive) or about a seasons work in 1500. Soldiers would have spears, clubs, or halberds, ect, which were FAR sayer to use and WAY cheaper, while also being mighty effective. Is Asia, technology had advanced far enough to allow casting, so I believe swords were cheaper there.

    What your DM did was cool.


    AnduinjackjackJuliusBorisovlolien
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    meagloth said:

    Good point, but soldiers would(in middle aged Europe) have never had a sword, unless they could provide it themselves. From what I gather, a sword seems to be about 1/3 the price of a horse(very expensive) or about a seasons work in 1500. Soldiers would have spears, clubs, or halberds, ect, which were FAR sayer to use and WAY cheaper, while also being mighty effective. Is Asia, technology had advanced far enough to allow casting, so I believe swords were cheaper there.

    What your DM did was cool.

    Yeah, my DM had a lot of cool ideas.

    I think of stories where the armories of castles were stocked with swords that the men at arms would wield in defense of the territory. These were often times not custom made for individual soldiers, but were more or less made for the manner house and USED by whom-so-ever happened to be on duty. Absolutely a Knight would have his own sword, presumably made for him. But a sell-sword or soldier of fortune or even guards would not be rich enough to own or have made their own swords. They would take ownership of whatever was to hand at the time.

    Same with conscripts in the Roman and Persian armies.

    AristilliusAnduinjackjacklolien
  • AnduinAnduin Member Posts: 5,745
    @meagloth‌ Yup. When you start quoting and answering, you know you've started a kick ass discussion!

    Lots of medieval texts on swordplay exist. This is seems a good site...

    http://www.thearma.org/manuals.htm#.U3rvNBlwbqB

    Your text must be pre 1600s as they all became sportative after that period...

    jackjackJuliusBorisov
  • CorvinoCorvino Member Posts: 2,269
    There's a big difference between naming conventions now and what things were called at the time, as well. By modern naming standards Longswords are very different to their D&D counterpart, and a D&D-style one-handed longsword would be probably termed a Spatha, Viking Sword or Arming Sword. Similarly a D&D-style shortsword could be a Gladius, Seax or a number of other terms.

    meagloth
  • meaglothmeagloth Member Posts: 3,806
    @Corvino‌ well, the longsword is actually very similar to what we say in game, though I would say that the length and width of the sword that the paperdoll holds looks a bit like a rapier, not being any wider at the bottom, and a bit longer than an actual longsword.
    This is a longsword:
    image
    image
    And as you can see it's very similar to the drawing in the description:
    image
    A viking sword looks like this:
    image
    And an arming sword is a bit shorter than the longsword animation:
    image

    JuliusBorisovlolien
  • dustbubsydustbubsy Member Posts: 244
    a bit off topic, but the one I never got was the scythes in Neverwinter Nights. How the heck do you use a scythe as a weapon?! It even gives a x3 critical bonus, ludicrous for something that would be barely usable to harm people. Were there ever military scythes?

    Of course this is fantasy, they can invent military scythes if they want, yadda yadda...

    Anduinvladpen
  • abacusabacus Member Posts: 1,308
    Back on topic, whenever I build a bastard sword user, I have him take pips in Single Weapon Style... Then he can either use it like that (with the greater critical range/speed representing two handed use), or use a shield.
    I *never* dual-wield a bastard sword.

    jackjackFinaLfront
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    Corvino said:

    There's a big difference between naming conventions now and what things were called at the time, as well. By modern naming standards Longswords are very different to their D&D counterpart, and a D&D-style one-handed longsword would be probably termed a Spatha, Viking Sword or Arming Sword. Similarly a D&D-style shortsword could be a Gladius, Seax or a number of other terms.

    True enough, however a lot of those naming conventions were regional or culturally significant. For the purposes of the Game (where Rome and Gaul and other places don't exist) a certain amount of genericization needed to take place. Not to say that a fair amount of that hadn't already happened in real life, but it was compounded by the need to effectively describe things without reference to things that don't exist in that world.

    Slightly off topic, it is interesting to note that when JRR Tolkein wrote about Middle Earth, apparently Plate mail did not exist in that world. So the Plate armor that we see in the movies is anachronistic. Still awesome movies though.

    lolien
  • meaglothmeagloth Member Posts: 3,806
    @the_spyder‌ id never heard that about plate mail in middle earth. Do you know where you saw it?

  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    A few points, joined this a bit late.

    1. Broadswords iirc were much later than the dnd 'longsword', a general design used since the bronze age, by the celts primarily. Greeks and romans made iron versions, but both felt (correctly) that such weapons were impractical in the tight formations they favoured. Anyways, broadswords properly refers to a reneissance and later era dueling sword that compared to the non-flat rapier looked very broad. It ussually featured a basket hilt and was used to slash as well as thrust. Popular especially among Scots. Very similar to a cutlass, but lighter generally, while differing from a sabre by having a broader blade and being shorter.

    2. General rule of swords: anything longer than the viking sword and used in war was probably for cavalry use, unless it was long/heavy enough to be two-handed, st which point it becomes an onfoot weapon. Internationally speaking, bastard swords (ie katana, the only truly prevelant example i can think of) are meant, as has been mentioned, to be used single handed on horseback, but used with both hands on foot. Very few samurai used their katana on foot with one hand, but some few did use other styles. Western bastard swords were rare, but would probably include the falchion. Further east, bigger dao would be closer to bastard swords than exvlusive twohanders.

    3. Romans took the gladius from the spanish, and favoured it (and the better made drusus) as it could be used with a very awkward shield in a shield wall formation. Romans used something very similar to a longsword on horseback, which we rarely hear about as the romans werent great horsemen. Earlier roman troops used the spear and shield, like the greeks, but favoured longer, narrower shields. Roman heavy infantry btw relied more on shield bashing more than their swords, hence the heavy boss!

    4. Swords werent standard equipment in many eras or regions, since metal, especially good steel needed for a 'longsword' tended to be prohibitive; stumpier swords used more wrought iron, which doesnt harden well, and thus a good slashing sword couldnt be made without at least 1/4 steel (ie pattern welded). Swords could be made more affordably if the smith forges the blade of wrought iron, with cutting edges welded on to hold an edge. A spear required far less metal, while a morningstar or spiked club needed no steel and could be made by anyone. Armies historically that used swords as standard gear favoured short stabbing/hacking weapons, to save metal, some of which could be used for armour. The celts though were still a heroic culture at heart by the time they fought the romans, so they prefered bigger swords, and didnt use much armour. I dont think most chinese militaty used daos, though they wouldnt be rare. They werent that long usually either!

    5. Rapiers werent always light, just not flattened; older ones that saw actual combat tended to be as heavy as a longsword (some heavier actually) and were used to pierce the increasingly heavy breastplates as crossbows and bows were slaughtering knights. Gunpowder wasnt popular enough to be significant yet, but crossbows were cheapish and easy to use. It became impractical to use heavy enough armour, so armour lost surface area and got thicker. Helmets and breastplates became the only prsctical armour, and this was thick enough to be hard to chop through, and more rigid as well. Pikes and polearms were popular for commoners. Look up the estoc to see how unwieldy the older piercing swords were! The largest saw twohanded use.

    6. Scythes as far as i know were only used as improvised weapons. Most examples in fantasy arent scythes at all, as they lack the two handles perpendicular to the shaft, which was never straight. As a weapon, you couldnt practically use it to slash, but with modification it could be used as an awkward lucern hammer. IE strike with the point. In most texts ive read, kama were used like a pick, ie for piercing, despite fantasy depictions of slashing. Most 'ninja' themed weapons were used to cirvumvent weapon restrictions... im particularly fond of the fact that smoking pipes had size/weight restrictions, as people were using them as weapons! Hence Happosai perhaps?

    JuliusBorisov
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    @meagloth - I don't remember where I read it as it was a while ago (it was one of the complaints people made about the original Peter Jackson Fellowship movie). Sorry. but having read the trilogy several times, I can't personally think of any reference to Plate mail. I know specifically that it was chain mail that both Gimli and both of the younger hobbits wore. Tolkein crafted an entire world with such loving detail that it wouldn't surprise me he added that level of flavor.

    @DreadKhan - thanks for that information. Very enlightening.

  • abacusabacus Member Posts: 1,308
    @the_spyder‌
    The only people I can think that may have been heavily armed to that extent would be the Uruk-hai or the Knights if Dol Amroth, but I can't recall off the top of my head...

  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    In Return of the king, there's a whole scene where Pippin has to pick out armor for the battle at the gates of Gondor. They talk about him choosing a suit of chain mail that is longer than he can wear and talk about how he has to belt it up. The lack of plate options is more implied than actually stated.

    There is another passage that has Gimli talking about dwarven armor being specifically chain mail. I want to say that takes place in Helm's Deep, but it might have been in Moria. It surrounds the discussion about Bilbo's coat of mithril armor. Again the implication is that chain mail is the best armor around, but it is more a lack of talk about plate rather than a tacit stated fact.

    I actually think the meet of the 'proof' that plate mail doesn't exist arises from the Silmarillian but since I could never get through that book, I couldn't say where.

    As for the Uruk-hai, they wouldn't have plate mail. They wouldn't have the skill to make it. Nor would they have been able to travel the way they did in Plate.

  • AristilliusAristillius Member Posts: 873
    Without any factual basis whatsoever; my impression after reading your comments:
    I imagine that warriors in the middle-ages and odler times would talk about swords in terms of "longswords" "two-handed swords" and "bastard swords" - but probably in not those exact terms. I would think that they would have rough categories, but these would be broad as no two swords would look exactly the same.

    JuliusBorisov
  • CorvinoCorvino Member Posts: 2,269
    edited May 2014
    Just as a spanner in the works I'm going to link the Wikipedia entry for Longswords http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longsword. By modern terminology it it a two-handed weapon. D&D takes significant licence with how it describes weapons.

    Swords were an evolution rather than a static state. Variations such as the Estoc (a weird stabbing 2-hander) got thrown up in response to the armor of the time. Current names did not keep up. Looking back we can define them easily, but at the time there would probably have been a couple of dominant types. Likely they would have been dubbed short, long, personal or war swords as their owners saw fit.

    meaglothjackjack
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