Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Shield Binds and Rehabilitating the Khopesh

I use Combat and Tactics with my 2e. I use attacks of opportunity (only when people try to move around other people without giving them the proper attention) and I use all the weird attack maneuvers such as guard and block and parry (which should just be called defend). Why? I like all these options, and I like not having to make up rules for them on the spot. It makes fighting more interesting. I know a lot of people will call me a dirty filthy 3eist, but really I don't think its the expanded options for combat that make 3e a hideous creation. There's SO much else to blame (let's not get into it, but just start with Challenge Rating) we don't really need to plop it on the combat. And yes, I can agree with everyone else that Skills and Powers is just wrong. I hate it. It's the worst book in the bunch.

But onwards and upwards: axes and khopeshes. These are hooked weapons that have been used, historically, to a particular purpose. Both have a hooked bill that has been used in war to bind the foe's shield and pull it down for a stab to the vitals, but there is no way to represent this in AD&D... until now.

Shield Bind
A character wielding a hooked weapon may attempt to get the beard of his axe or hook of his khopesh over his foe's shield (as long as the shield is medium or larger) and pull it down to reveal the foeman's breast. A contested strength check follows; if the attacker fails, the defender manages to rip his his shield away. In the case of the axe, it cannot then be used for attacks. The khopesh, however, may instantly be brought to bear to make a piercing attack.

Now, on that topic, the khopesh has been historically shorted by D&D. It's stats are:

Weight: 7lbs Size: M Type: Slashing Speed: 9 Reach: 1 Dmg sm/lg: 2d4/1d8 Knockdown: d8

Now, this is an absurdly slow weapon compared to an arming (incorrectly called a long sword) which is speed 5. Also note that the khopesh is weighted at SEVEN POUNDS while the long sword is weighted at 4. I don't know what they thought the blade looked like, but as you can see in the video above they are actually more akin to short-swords than anything else. I think we can bring them back around by simply reducing their weight to 3lbs., granting them their shield-bind ability, and perhaps changing their speed to 5.

1 comment:

  1. If you like having a few combat options, you might want to check out Lamentations of the Flame Princess - it's got "press," "parry" and "full defense" options for fighters, elves and dwarves IIRC.

    I like the khopesh revision you propose! There's really no reason to include it in the list but give it crappy design.