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#759185 24/02/21 03:08 PM
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Hello dear community,

so just today I downloaded Pillars of eternity 2 deadfire on my xbox, and noticed that they have a pretty solid and logical weapon classification.
This is where I got the idea, to implement into BG3 that there should be SEPARATED weapons for the piercing ones - spears vs pikes.

Spears should stay one handed to be able to use with a shield(like spartans laugh ) and pikes should be two handed, and they should have a bigger reach for example as a compensation.

+++ There is a logical difference for skills too :
Spear :
- you should be able to throw a spear and then you should use a different weapon until pickup (even mid fight for AP of course)
- for spear and shield there could be a counter skill like phalanx, so that when you toogle it you can decrease the next attack dmg you receive and should have a counter attack

and so on laugh if the community and the devs like my idea i should be more than willing to detail this part of the weapon tree.


So what do you think? laugh

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Spears are versatile weapons (can be used both one and two hands) in 5e. I don’t know why Larian made them only two handed. Perhaps it’s an animation issue?

No clue. But yeah, spears should be able to be used with shields but that would reduce their damage to 1D6.

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I agree with most of your post.

The first 2/3 of your suggestions match 5e rules. In addition to being usable one- or two-handed, spears also have the Thrown property in 5e exactly as you suggest.
Pikes, again as you say, are indeed supposed to be two-handed weapons with longer (10 ft) reach.

As to the spear and shield skill, this doesn't match any 5e rules, but it does match well with the other 1x/short rest weapon skills Larian has implemented in BG3. I wouldn't be opposed to adding this skill for spear+shields (instead of the...charge, I think?), as long as it has the same limitation of 1x/short rest. If you want this to be usable at a higher frequency, then it should require a feat (Shield Master) or a class skill (Battlemaster Fighter's parry and riposte maneuvers).

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Yeah it sounds good and of course logical what you say, perhaps for example proficiency could increase your throw range or shield bash skills and so on laugh

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There's no reason why proficiency should increase throw range or shield bash skills, except for the fact that wielding a shield requires proficiency in shields. If proficiency did improve these things, then it would also have to benefit all the other weapons for consistency/balance.

Height is a perfect thing to increase throw range. Or you could wield a javelin, which is more suitable for throwing and thus has a larger range, at the expense of no ability to be wielded with two hands.

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Originally Posted by spectralhunter
Perhaps it’s an animation issue?
That would be my bet. I would also be willing to bet that they are at least looking at a way to fix it.

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Oh, actually this could be added to the Shield Master Feat.

RAW, Shield Master allows you to use bonus actions to Shove enemies. However, in BG3 you can already do this, making the Shield Master Feat less useful.
So, Larian could change Shield Master to work more like what you suggested @Tomo: "While wielding a shield and a one-handed [piercing?] weapon and a melee attack misses you, you can use your reaction to make an opportunity attack." Something like that

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If I remember correctly javelins can be wielded in melee with a shield right now. Can't they?

I have an old screenshot of one of the tieflings wielding a spear and shield during my attack on the grove. I've rationalised it as being a javelin in hindsight.


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Ah spear and shield... only like the most iconic and durable fighting style for most of human history.

Making the spear into a two handed exclusive was just laziness on the part of BG1/2, so it could use the same animations as the quarterstaff and polearms I guess.

Sure it might not be as potent for dueling or rampaging as Sword and Shield, or having an Axe for hooking or whatever, but its undeniably a mainstay over the many millenia.

Even if the BG games are more hollywood than martial reality, I never liked how they made the spear such a weaksauce weapon choice by relegating it to a twohander weapon style. Pikes and Sarissas ok sure, two hands may be needed, but that's why you'd also have a sword or dagger for close quarters when using those in case you get rushed.

Watching people try to duel 1 on 1 with spears is funny, it was obviously a much better weapon with the shield combo and for fighting with a larger group, in lines. Treating them just like javelins or peltasts as thrown weapons isn't really the same. Though I do appreciate the nod to going Roman style there hehe.

D&D has ways been a little silly with weapons, and 5e isn't a whole lot better than 1st edition since its still built on a lot of the same systems and misconceptions as 1st edition. It would be cool if the wizards hired a legit arms master to really overhaul their schemes and make it a bit more realistic for melee classes. In BG1/2 there wasn't much incentive to rock a spear as a warrior, especially since you couldn't use a shield at the same time. Even if that would probably be the go to for most warrior archetypes, right after sword and shield, or maybe sword and axe.

Last edited by Black_Elk; 24/02/21 09:55 PM.
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Thought I'd come back and actually show that screenshot I was talking about:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


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See already just seeing that Tief makes me wish they'd lean into it a bit more haha. Such a classic look!

Though even with the foreshortening, you can see from that one how it'd be even stronger using like an 8' spear over a 5-6 foot javelin. The way spears are weighted you can hold and control it pretty effectively and threaten over a wide area holding at the back quarter of the shaft. So at least he's going underhanded which is much stronger. Overhand is more like for throwing and held closer to the middle of the shaft. But a Javelin and shield isn't much better than a sword and shield for the reach. That's why the classic combo has pretty much always been Spear and Shield, And Sword hehe.

Or if not a sword, then at least something to hook round the shield or break through it, or drag it down and make it awkward to hold (which is what the Javelin was supposed to do), or like an axe, or even flail or curved bladed weapon to reach around. D&D also kind plays fast and loose with other weapon types that might make more sense for mounts, or things like sabres and other slashing weapons with the long archs for example, or spears again lol. But yeah I'd love to see a proper 1 handed spear. I'd also be cool if they went really deep dive on the various polearms types, since those are always cool, but at least for the Spear.

I think one of the kinks with D&D that shows up a lot for melee types is that the shield is conceived of more like just armor with the defense bonus, only for receiving or trying to parry, but not really so much a weapon in its own right, which it can also be. More shield type feats or proficiencies I guess would be one approach. In BG the shield was always just kinda AC boost plus missile defense, but not as much involved in the melee interplay. It's be rad if warriors could bounce around weapons combos more freely to try and counter enemy advantages based on what the enemy is using at the moment. But in BG it was always just kind of, use whatever is +3 enchanted, and not as much switching about for damage type, except for magical stuff like acid/fire for trolls or a passive ability or charged ability attached to the weapon.

Another thing that the weapons specialization system did in BG2 off 2nd Ed into 3rd edition, which was rather counterintuitive, is that it made Melee type PCs who could only specialize (like Paladins, Rangers, Barbarians, Mulit-Class fighters etc) more versatile for switching weapons types around on the fly. Whereas with pure fighters you had an overriding incentive for Grand Mastery or bust, in just a single weapon type.

I always tended to think of a fighter as someone who's arms training was more all-encompassing, using different weapons or countering combo types with different arms on the fly. Or like somebody who could pick up just about anything and kick ass with it. But in BG you had no real incentive to spread the weapons proficiencies around, and every reason to pick 1 weapon type and focus on it exclusively. Which was obviously kinda sad for Spears.

BG2 actually made the issue somewhat more pronounced, since in BG1 and IWD1 originally the weapons were all grouped together into larger categories of proficiency. So for example you didn't specialize in bastard swords, or longswords or scimitars. Instead they were all grouped together as "Large Swords" for the purposes of specialization. Which I think was more versatile than the BG2 system. BG2 introduced "fighting styles" as a thing (including dual-wielding), and specific weapons proficiencies, basically one for every specific type of weapon. They added two extra proficiency points to spend at Char creation to make up for adding all the extra stuff onto the same scheme, but it wasn't quite as flexible for weapons switching as BG1s more generalized types. In BG2 you might agonize over whether to be a Two-Handed Great Sword type fighter, or a Longsword and Board type fighter, but in BG1 both of them would have been covered under the same specialization in "Large Swords." The Enhanced Editions all use the BG2 weapons scheme, that's one of the big retcons in BG1EE.

Unless you were trying to make a wonky "spears only" sort of warrior from the getgo in BG2, it didn't make much sense to even bother being proficient in them, despite the fact that it's like the most iconic weapon of all lol. Maybe for a Human Zerker/Druid with a +5 in scimitar already from their fighter class, and some scattered proficiencies let over from the Dual-Classing process. But otherwise almost never. I guess in BG2 if you were one of those "can only specialize anyway" Alt Warrior types, and you were already trying to focus on 2 hander weapon styles, after already maxing in Two-Handed Swords and Halberds, maybe then Spears just for flare. But otherwise Spears kinda blew for a warrior. Which is too bad, cause spears are a mainstay

Last edited by Black_Elk; 25/02/21 01:58 AM.
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It might be a coding holdover from DOS2. I distinctly recall spears were two-handed weapons there.

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spears are two handed melee weapons.

one handed spears are actually javelin.

hoplites are about the only military unit to be fully one handed with the spear. there is a reason hoplites don't exist any more, yet the spear is still used as a melee weapon to this day.

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Originally Posted by tsundokugames
spears are two handed melee weapons.

one handed spears are actually javelin.

hoplites are about the only military unit to be fully one handed with the spear. there is a reason hoplites don't exist any more, yet the spear is still used as a melee weapon to this day.

Shaka Zulu and many others disagree. Spear + Shield was probably the most common fighting style in history.

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javelins vs spears is an important distinction that many people overlook.

spears are 100% two handed weapons and always have been. The entire purpose of the spear length is to keep shorter melee weapons away while you pierce the body and limbs.

I know this phrase gets used a lot of the internet, but I train with spears and teach how to use spears.

The spear and shield combination was widely used, yes, by almost EVERY civilization that has ever existed, yes, but there is a reason why every one of those civilizations adopted one handed melee weapons as warfare evolved, and relegated spears to front infantry. Two handed weapons and shields are not mobile enough for large group melee encounters where maces, morning stars, and swords were far superior.

The Roman phalanx was the last major use of the tactic.

The real world isn't based on Cid Meyer's Civilization.

I'd alos like to point out that "common" doesn't mean "good" ... I give you Pop Culture as the main evidence.

Last edited by tsundokugames; 25/02/21 08:05 AM.
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Originally Posted by tsundokugames
javelins vs spears is an important distinction that many people overlook.

spears are 100% two handed weapons and always have been. The entire purpose of the spear length is to keep shorter melee weapons away while you pierce the body and limbs.

I know this phrase gets used a lot of the internet, but I train with spears and teach how to use spears.

The spear and shield combination was widely used, yes, by almost EVERY civilization that has ever existed, yes, but there is a reason why every one of those civilizations adopted one handed melee weapons as warfare evolved, and relegated spears to front infantry. Two handed weapons and shields are not mobile enough for large group melee encounters where maces, morning stars, and swords were far superior.

The Roman phalanx was the last major use of the tactic.

The real world isn't based on Cid Meyer's Civilization.

I'd alos like to point out that "common" doesn't mean "good" ... I give you Pop Culture as the main evidence.

Thats actually the opposite of what happened. Once armor evolved everyone ditched their shields in favour of 2 handed weapons. Halberds (and similar weapons like bills), pikes, longswords (real ones, not the one handed fantasy longswords), polaxes, etc. The spear + shield shieldwall became a pike wall which dominated warfare for centuries.
One handed weapons, especially the swords, were just backup and duelling weapons.

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Originally Posted by spectralhunter
Spears are versatile weapons (can be used both one and two hands) in 5e. I don’t know why Larian made them only two handed. Perhaps it’s an animation issue?

No clue. But yeah, spears should be able to be used with shields but that would reduce their damage to 1D6.

Spears as versatile weapons able to be used either 1-handed or 2-handed would make me consider these as opposed to defaulting to the stereotypical longsword/rapier.

Originally Posted by The_BlauerDragon
Originally Posted by spectralhunter
Perhaps it’s an animation issue?
That would be my bet. I would also be willing to bet that they are at least looking at a way to fix it.

Rumor has it, they are busy looking into making Bulls climbing ladders instead of this.

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I wanted to mention the screenshot above because it shows that animations already exist. And we already know that other weapons have Versatile functionality (switching both animations and damage dice depending on usage) so it's not a matter of thay either. It's either that Larian has not yet gotten to make this change, or that they have overlooked it, or possibly that they want spears to have their own animations (which seems unlikely).


Originally Posted by tsundokugames
The Roman phalanx was the last major use of the tactic.

Norse shieldwall begs to differ.


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Norse Shield wall was a stationary infantry tactic, not a mobile melee unit.

The Phalanx, like the Hoplites were, was mobile; their tactic was to move the turtle shell almost like a rugby match. They sat at the front and created wedges in the skirmish that allowed the Maniples to run in and start decimating the barbarians with their sestas, gladius, and other weapons.

The Norse Shield Wall was a breach barrier. Different tactics.

Please stop confusing the actual item for the tactics being employed by the item.

As a melee weapon, a spear is two handed. Always has been. Always will be.

Two equally experienced spear practitioners, one with a shield, one without, the one without the shield will win a duel every time. Every time.

This isn't some slight against Larian. Basically every single video game developer in history gets this wrong.

Valheim spears also drive me insane.

Last edited by tsundokugames; 25/02/21 07:23 PM.
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Originally Posted by tsundokugames
Norse Shield wall was a stationary infantry tactic, not a mobile melee unit.

The Phalanx, like the Hoplites were, was mobile; their tactic was to move the turtle shell almost like a rugby match. They sat at the front and created wedges in the skirmish that allowed the Maniples to run in and start decimating the barbarians with their sestas, gladius, and other weapons.

The Norse Shield Wall was a breach barrier. Different tactics.

Please stop confusing the actual item for the tactics being employed by the item.

As a melee weapon, a spear is two handed. Always has been. Always will be.

Two equally experienced spear practitioners, one with a shield, one without, the one without the shield will win a duel every time. Every time.

This isn't some slight against Larian. Basically every single video game developer in history gets this wrong.

Valheim spears also drive me insane.

You are forgetting the Zulu Impi which basically reinvented the roman way of fighting (post reform, calling it bull horn tactic) with shields and short spears unsuitable for throwing (iklwa). You can of course argue that this isn't a short spear but a long gladius.
Also many medieval tapestries show soldiers with spear and shield.
Despite what Hollywood tries to tell you, Vikings did usually not cower behind a wall to wait for enemies to come to them, but also used aggressive assault tactics. They also used spears a lot both for throwing and close combat (with two different types of spears with different heads).

Spears exist as one or two handed weapons and were used as such. A duel is a very different environment than the battlefield (archers, only one enemy, etc.)

Last edited by Ixal; 25/02/21 09:36 PM.
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