great spear and horses

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Gilrohir Arncelevon
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great spear and horses

Post by Gilrohir Arncelevon » Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:32 pm

The Great Spear requires two hands to wield it. But what if its carried by a rider? Should it be treated like a lance, such that it can be used one handed (couched under the armpit) when riding - ie use the D&D 5e rules for lances - or should it continue to be a two-handed weapon, much like the Parthian and Byzantine Cataphract (heavy) cavalry used the "Kontus" (a 4m spear/lance) which the rider wielded with two hands whilst guiding the horse with his/her knees?

Given the more "dark ages" feel of Tolkien - I am tempted to go with a two-handed approach and require the rider to succeed with a "handle animal", "athletics" or "acrobatics" skill check DC10 each round or drop the great spear (fall of the horse on a role of 1).

what do people think?

Otaku-sempai
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Re: great spear and horses

Post by Otaku-sempai » Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:46 pm

Gilrohir Arncelevon wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:32 pm
The Great Spear requires two hands to wield it. But what if its carried by a rider? Should it be treated like a lance, such that it can be used one handed (couched under the armpit) when riding - ie use the D&D 5e rules for lances - or should it continue to be a two-handed weapon, much like the Parthian and Byzantine Cataphract (heavy) cavalry used the "Kontus" (a 4m spear/lance) which the rider wielded with two hands whilst guiding the horse with his/her knees?

Given the more "dark ages" feel of Tolkien - I am tempted to go with a two-handed approach and require the rider to succeed with a "handle animal", "athletics" or "acrobatics" skill check DC10 each round or drop the great spear (fall of the horse on a role of 1).

what do people think?
I say, yes, treat the Great Spear as a Lance when the wielder is on horseback. The weapon can be couched in one arm, but one requirement is that the rider must use stirrups (which do seem to be available to the Rohirrim). Otherwise, a rider may only use a Great Spear with both hands.

We had a discussion on this subject a few months ago under the topic: Lance and Riders of Rohan.
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Robin Smallburrow
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Re: great spear and horses

Post by Robin Smallburrow » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:19 pm

As a minimum the rider would need to be Proficient in Animal Handling and have a relevant Cultural Virtue such as 'Born to the Saddle', AND the horse the rider is on would also need to be trained for combat (or I would be penalising the attack accordingly)

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ThrorII
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Re: great spear and horses

Post by ThrorII » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:46 pm

Robin Smallburrow wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:19 pm
As a minimum the rider would need to be Proficient in Animal Handling and have a relevant Cultural Virtue such as 'Born to the Saddle', AND the horse the rider is on would also need to be trained for combat (or I would be penalising the attack accordingly)

Robin S.
I think that is fair and reasonsable. I agree that a great spear can be wielded as a lance, IF the character is proficient in Animal Handling and possesses either/or the Born to the Saddle ability or the Mounted Combat class ability, and the horse is a war horse.

If the player hero didn't have the required skill proficiency, I'd require an Animal Handling roll to get the horse to charge; if the player-hero didn't have the virtue or class ability, I'd give disadvantage on the attack roll. If they had none of the above, I'd stack the penalties. If the player didn't have a war horse, there is no way the horse will attack. period.

Glorelendil
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Re: great spear and horses

Post by Glorelendil » Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:00 am

Personally I wouldn't allow it; armored knights charging with massive spears feels Arthurian, not Middle-Earthian.
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MrUkpyr
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Re: great spear and horses

Post by MrUkpyr » Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:15 pm

Glorelendil wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:00 am
Personally I wouldn't allow it; armored knights charging with massive spears feels Arthurian, not Middle-Earthian.
Glorelendil, I would respectfully disagree.

Tolkien based both Eomer's charge at Helm's Deep and the charge of the Rohirrim at Pelinor Fields on the lance charge of the Winged Hussars at the Siege of Vienna in 1683.

In both, he writes about their lances.

Anarfin
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Re: great spear and horses

Post by Anarfin » Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:27 pm

Glorelendil wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:00 am
Personally I wouldn't allow it; armored knights charging with massive spears feels Arthurian, not Middle-Earthian.
I would not reach to the Arthurian England (even less to Winged Hussars from 1683) to find armoured knights with lances.
Norman knights from Battle of Hastings in 1066 were fighting horseback with lances and their historic period is fitting perfectly to the Rohirrim military level.
MrUkpyr wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:15 pm
Tolkien based both Eomer's charge at Helm's Deep
Sorry for being :ugeek: but at Helm's Deep it was Theoden and Aragorn who were leading the cavalry charge. Eomer was fighting on foot, leading the men from the Glittering Caves ;)

Glorelendil
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Re: great spear and horses

Post by Glorelendil » Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:00 pm

It’s not charging with spears I’m opposed to, it’s the image of doing so with long, heavy spears...the ones that normally take two hands to wield. That strikes me as anachronistic.
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Anarfin
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Re: great spear and horses

Post by Anarfin » Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:46 pm

In 5 ed corebook, lance deals d12 dmg, is one-handed weapon, and has Reach quality and "Special" rule, that states you have disadvantage on attacking targets 5ft from you and that you need two hands to use it while on foot.

Since there is no lance in AiME weapon table, Great Spear is closest to that weapon.

Also, the Beorning cultural Heirloom, Giant-slaying spear (which is Great Spear) is described as: "unusually long great spear made of an ash wood, once used only from horseback"

For me it answers the question. Yes, I would allow the player, proficient with martial weapons and Animal Handling skill, to use great spear as a lance (adding disadvantage on attacks targets within 5ft, if used in one hand from horseback).

Otaku-sempai
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Re: great spear and horses

Post by Otaku-sempai » Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:21 pm

Glorelendil wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:00 pm
It’s not charging with spears I’m opposed to, it’s the image of doing so with long, heavy spears...the ones that normally take two hands to wield. That strikes me as anachronistic.
Since Tolkien actually describes the Rohirrim as having exactly such spears as well as the stirrups that would be required to use them as lances, I'm not sure what the basis is for your objection.
"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

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