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D&D 3E
Opinions wanted. 
9th-Feb-2006 10:50 pm
Preface: I hate Spiked Chains, I loathe them with a passion rarely seen in this modern age. Being the only weapon that allows for 5' and 10' reach, costs a feat, and really is not that feasable a weapon for things like power attack.

Knowing that I am trying a work-around feat.

Feat: Reach Fighting (Fighter Bonus Feat)
Allows a character wielding a two handed reach weapon (which they are proficient with) to strike opponents at 5' range.

Should it do normal weapon damage? Or would it make more sense that it can only do d6 blunt. (Striking with the haft) Do you think this is over/under-powered? Should it be a per-weapon feat? or maybe a weapon focus pre-req? Help me think outside the box a little here. The feat will be used soon, the quetion is in what final form.


10th-Feb-2006 04:14 am (UTC)
Perhaps a feat that allows you to make a reach attack with a one or two-handed weapon (like a long-sword). Maybe you take -2 AC as you stretch out to attack someone further away from you.

It makes sense that hitting someone with the haft of a reach weapon would do less damage. But feats are supposed to be cool, so maybe it means you're skilled enough to manuever the weapon to hit up-close. Of course then it would make sense to have weapon focus.

I like that idea better. Have it require weapon focus, and maybe a +2 or +3 BAB and allow the wielder to make an attack at short range, maybe as a full-round action (since you have to switch the weapon around, attack, and then switch it back). It also would not allow you to threaten those squares which you do not normally threaten.
10th-Feb-2006 07:08 am (UTC)
The problem with that is that there's already a similar feat in Lords of Madness, but it does this by actually making a characters arm freakishly long.

This would effectively allow a medium character to have a reach of 15 feet, or 20 feet if your suggested feat works with weapons that already have reach.

... That'd actually be a really interesting build ...
10th-Feb-2006 04:27 am (UTC) - Interesting. Just initial thoughts.
I'd say D6 blunt for the closer damage; not realistic but probably more appropriate for game purposes. Definately a by weapon feat probably with both focus and a BAB pre-req to represent a high level of skill (for the reason mentioned below).
It might work out better to make it possible to use a 2-handed weapon as a reach weapon given certain conditions-strength, BAB and feat.

I did the same sort of thing by allowing a modification for weapons that would allow striking at both distance, the mod needing exotic proficiency. I'm still not sure about it though. I can actually see why they don't normally allow it even from a realism (ish) point of view. Although you can strike at a closer target with some weapons, they're probably no wieldy enough to "fence" with at the closer range, which is part of what the limited attacks and AC are supposed to represent.

10th-Feb-2006 04:57 am (UTC)
Standard DM litmus test... Is this feat so good everyone would want to have it. Lets think

Anyone who took this feat essentially has up to a 10' reach. Rogues would love it, fighters would love it. Clerics could essentially love it with the right weapons. It would be a fantastic feat to have, especially if it was with all reach weapons.

I once had a rogue who had a glaive, but also had quick draw so that if enemies got close I could quick draw my longsword and fight them up close. With a feat like this I wouldn't have to.

I'd say one weapon, 1d6 damage (not necessarily blunt... You might be able to choke up on the weapon and still stab/slash with it, but not with the force of the full haft).
10th-Feb-2006 02:05 pm (UTC)
That test fails in this case because in theory anyone can take Exotic WP Spiked Chain.
10th-Feb-2006 07:12 am (UTC)
I would say your suggested feat is pretty feasible. The only mechanical change I would make would be to make that closer attack be at a -2 to hit and the only cosmetic change I would make would be to call it "Choke Up". I would also rule that you must decide whether to use it as a reach weapon or 5 foot weapon only once per turn.

There's also a weapon in Races of Stone specifically made to function like you're suggesting, for reference.
10th-Feb-2006 08:00 am (UTC)
Sorry to burst the bubbles, guys, but this already exists, and is asked about every few weeks, it seems.

Dragon #331 All About Polearms pp.28

Long Strike
Prereq: BAB +2
Extend reach of polearm by 5ft.

Shorten Grip
Treat reach weapon as if it did not have reach; take a -2 penalty for attacks at that range.

There's also a polearm in Arms & Equipment that allows a attach at an adjacent range. I forget the name, though.

There are a stack of polearms and polearm-related feats in that issue.
10th-Feb-2006 02:07 pm (UTC)
Well I have been here for months now and never seen this one come up on this forum. But I think I may go and grab that issue. Seems like the thing to do.

Looks like I will use both of these feats. Thanks.

10th-Feb-2006 03:44 pm (UTC)
This is for the Swashbuckling themed campaign, yes?

I just don't see Zorro, or Artemis, or Jack Sparrow going crazy with a bec-de-corbin attacking people 10 feet away and then changing his grip to attack someone closer when they get within reach.

If you hate the spiked-chain so much, why not just ban it?
10th-Feb-2006 04:19 pm (UTC)
Good point. I haven't had any players want to use this, or any reach weapons, in my campaign, except for one that quickly became the grossest thing on two legs. I'm going to seriously limit this in future campaigns as being, for the most part, woefully inappropriate to the campaign world, if not the genre.
10th-Feb-2006 05:15 pm (UTC)
I generally rule in favour of difficult weapons to be difficult to get access to.

Spiked chains is a drastically difficult to use weapon (not to mention encumbering) and has a lot of potential for self injury if not used properly. I don't think its fair to offer a single feat that would allow a low level character to have instant mastery of spiked chains.
19th-Feb-2006 04:07 am (UTC)
Maybe house-rule it to require proficiency with all martial weapons before you're allowed to take Exotic Weapon Proficiency with a spiked chain?
10th-Feb-2006 05:17 pm (UTC)
Didn't soldiers armed with polearms used to have a secondary weapon, such as a short sword, that they could draw for close-up combat? Just pick up Quick Draw.
10th-Feb-2006 06:56 pm (UTC)
Good point, but the idea that a skilled warrior with a reach weapon should be able to attack with it at closer ranges.
11th-Feb-2006 11:05 pm (UTC)
Not much to add, but I think the -2 for Shorten Grip is to avoid making the spiked chain obsolete: using s spiked chain at 5' and reach and using a Halberd at 5' and reach both cost a Fighter one feat, but the Halberd gives you better damage types, better critical range, better maximum damage. Not to mention a better chance to find one in treasure, as you don't *have* to have a special feat to use it.
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