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#714339 23/10/20 08:47 PM
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Hey guys,
I would like to address an issue that I know is fairly polarizing. Some time ago RPGs and combat simulation games started this thing of scabbards on the back of the characters (It seems like the Witcher series also had a big part in this). I was really disappointed to see the same thing being implemented in BG3. Now, here is were personal preference comes in. If you think it looks cool and BG3 needs this to compete with other titles...well, this whole point is moot. However, if you are interested in realism (or maybe I should say believability in a context of a fantasy RPG), please read on.

So here are my premises:
BG3 is trying to achieve a certain believability/credibility factor when dealing with (non-magical) weapons.
BG3, being based on DnD 5e, is modeling weapons taken from Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA).

If you agree with these premises, here are my arguments:
1. Historical accuracy: As far as we know (and by "we" I mean historians and HEMA experts), nobody has put weapons on their back in medieval times. Scabbards for swords, short swords, and daggers were always attached to the belt in some form or fashion. Zweihander (in game called a "great sword") were just carried and usually not sheathed. However, there is discussion out there about that, but if you approach it with common sense, it should be obvious why. An that brings me to the next point...

2. Practicality: If you ever get a chance to handle a sword, try it. Put it on your back and unsheathe. If the sword is longer than your arm, it's simply impossible (I think anybody can imagine that, even without the experiment). So, long swords are out by default. Let's say with have a sword which is shorter than your arm's length, a short sword like the Gladius, or a long dagger. Drawing it, would not be a big problem, but then, try to sheath it. Believe me, it isn't easy. And my follow up question would be: Why is it on your back in the first place when it's short? Isn't it more practical at your hip, where you can reach it easier and quicker(!) than reaching for it on your back? Besides, someone might sneak up on you and just draw it for you. wink

In the case of long swords: You could still sheath a sword and THEN put in on your back, or take it of your back and draw it. But why would you do that? Apart from having the sword out of your immediate reach and sight, and not being able to draw it readily, you can't sit down with that thing on your back, and it is likely to get stuck entering through a low doorway, passing under branches, etc., simply because it is out of your own sight. Again, try it at home: Attach a broomstick or something like that on your back and go hiking in the woods with it...depending on your body length, you might not even make it out of the door. wink

In terms of believability, all other weapons are even worse... how do you wear a war hammer, a battle axe, or a quarter staff on your back? How do you attach it? And if you somehow manage to do so, is it ready to be drawn quickly? If you went through the broomstick experiment mentioned earlier, I'm sure you already see my point here.

Sure, in the case someone capable of magic, the weapon might be just attached magically, and more or less just hover there. But then, why would it not hover next to the wielder, being less of a nuisance?

3. If you are still not convinced, don't take my word for it, listen to a historical expert and a HEMA instructor who talks about this subject in this video: https://youtu.be/UKAbw69Mh3g
He is talking about other games and his suggestions are maybe not entirely applicable to BG3, but he makes a few very good points.

And as a final argument, specific to BG3: In BG2 the characters had their weapons in their hands and it looked really good and credible imho.

So, please, dear developers, consider this and make this game stand out from pack of unrealistic and sometimes ridiculous depictions of weapons and HEMA fighting. After all, this is not Final Fantasy, or something along these lines. So how about having each weapon carried in a way that makes historical and practical sense.

As is, there is an option to unsheathe and hold weapons at the ready by pressing TAB. A quick temporary solution might be to add a "realism" check box where weapons would not be on backs by default or...if the community agrees, maybe remove this Final Fantasy stuff altogether?

Other than that, dear developers, keep up the great work creating an epic game that is coming along splendidly!

Randal #714352 23/10/20 08:53 PM
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Mods: This subject might be a subject for the Megathreads section because, although each is quite small, we are getting a lot of threads on the subject.

OP: I agree with your views but others disagree. The subject has been debated quite a lot here, it might be worth trawling through the Search function to see what has already been said..

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Thank you for the reply. Do you have a specific post in mind? If you do, please let me know. My work/life/game balance does not allow me for extensive search on the forum, so I thought I just throw my entire 2 cents in one post and see how people react. I realize that some kids these days prefer floating weapons on backs, because it looks cool, that's why my suggestion for a realistic/arcade option which can be switched in the game menu.

Randal #714439 23/10/20 09:59 PM
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I was going to do a search but didn't around to it. I'll go see if I can pull some of the threads and link to them.

https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=713786&Searchpage=1&Main=93135&Words=%2Bscabbards&Search=true#Post713786
https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=710692&Searchpage=1&Main=92857&Words=%2Bscabbards&Search=true#Post710692
https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=709895&Searchpage=1&Main=92403&Words=%2Bscabbards&Search=true#Post709895
https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=681531&Searchpage=2&Main=88485&Words=%2Bscabbards&Search=true#Post681531

Last edited by Sadurian; 23/10/20 10:02 PM.
Randal #714441 23/10/20 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Randal

So here are my premises:
BG3 is trying to achieve a certain believability/credibility factor when dealing with (non-magical) weapons.


Considering that you can dip your weapons in fire (candle) to create fire sword/fire bow/..., I think credibility and believability is not really something that matter for them...

Randal #714494 23/10/20 10:45 PM
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Weapons on back are kinda stupid.

Leave it in the Witcher, I would rather my D&D characters and by extension D&D video game characters carry their weapons on the hip.

The only exception would be polearms, greatswords, and halberds which weren't actually carried on people's back either but were normally carried in a cart and what not, not really plausible for a video game.

Last edited by VhexLambda; 23/10/20 10:51 PM.
Randal #715007 24/10/20 11:06 AM
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Ideally, I'd like to have characters carry long weapons over their shoulders when they are not in use. That's unlikely to happen in BG3 due to the extra animation involved, but it would be a nice touch. Perhaps then, people could refer back to the game that first introduces it and use that as a reason why it works in CRPGs.

Randal #715020 24/10/20 11:18 AM
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While you are right that historically there are no evidence of swords on back, it is neither impossible, nor fully impractical.
Here is a video that shows that modified scabbard can allow this, and why whould you want to do this.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EWi2DnDoaI&ab_channel=Shadiversity

But I shure think that rapiers, axes and maces have no place on your back.

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Originally Posted by Dastan McKay
While you are right that historically there are no evidence of swords on back, it is neither impossible, nor fully impractical.
Here is a video that shows that modified scabbard can allow this, and why whould you want to do this.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EWi2DnDoaI&ab_channel=Shadiversity

But I shure think that rapiers, axes and maces have no place on your back.

dang beaten to the punch.

Shad is great. He also says that with some practice it becomes easier and considering our characters are in fantasy world where sword fighting is very present them practicing with grabbing it from their back doesent sound like a far fetched thought!

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Originally Posted by Demoulius
Originally Posted by Dastan McKay
While you are right that historically there are no evidence of swords on back, it is neither impossible, nor fully impractical.
Here is a video that shows that modified scabbard can allow this, and why whould you want to do this.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EWi2DnDoaI&ab_channel=Shadiversity

But I shure think that rapiers, axes and maces have no place on your back.

dang beaten to the punch.

Shad is great. He also says that with some practice it becomes easier and considering our characters are in fantasy world where sword fighting is very present them practicing with grabbing it from their back doesent sound like a far fetched thought!

In a later video he asked his brother to try it. He wasn't as good as Shad, but didn't have mush problem with it.

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Originally Posted by Dastan McKay
While you are right that historically there are no evidence of swords on back, it is neither impossible, nor fully impractical.
Here is a video that shows that modified scabbard can allow this, and why whould you want to do this.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EWi2DnDoaI&ab_channel=Shadiversity

But I shure think that rapiers, axes and maces have no place on your back.


Very interesting and creative indeed! But be aware of what we are doing here, we are coming up with reasons and solutions to make it plausible and possible, while hundreds of years of martial arts never even bothered talking about it, not to mention creating very complicated scabbards to make it work. As much as that guy in the video tried hard to justify it (and he made some compelling arguments and built some solid prototypes) he didn't go to war with his contraptions.

Obviously I didn't either, but there are two major points that make a sword by your hip clearly better (and are not up for debate due to laws of physics): it's in your field of view and you can draw it quicker.

When it comes to implementation in BG3, it would be fantastic to have both, with an arcade/realistic option in the game menu.

In any case, thank you for the video! It's amazing what people come up with when challenged. laugh

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Originally Posted by Sadurian
I was going to do a search but didn't around to it. I'll go see if I can pull some of the threads and link to them.

https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=713786&Searchpage=1&Main=93135&Words=%2Bscabbards&Search=true#Post713786
https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=710692&Searchpage=1&Main=92857&Words=%2Bscabbards&Search=true#Post710692
https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=709895&Searchpage=1&Main=92403&Words=%2Bscabbards&Search=true#Post709895
https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=681531&Searchpage=2&Main=88485&Words=%2Bscabbards&Search=true#Post681531


Thank you Sadurian! I am happy to see that there are other voices that echo the same content!

As for the implementation of pole weapons, why not just let the character carry them in their hands, as it was done in BG2 and throughout medieval history? Imagine having a 2 meter long stick in your hand while walking long distances... isn't it obvious that you would use it as a walking stick instead of finding an intricate contraption to fasten it on your back where it would just hit branches on the way?

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I thought PoE2 did a great job with weapons on the character model. One handed swords were on side in a scabbard and dual weapons hung from each hip. Only weapons on the back were the ones too big to wear on the hip.

Edit: even shields wore differently depending on size. Bucklers hung from the hip for example which looked awesome.

Last edited by WinterbornGuard; 24/10/20 06:58 PM.
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Originally Posted by Maximuuus
Originally Posted by Randal

So here are my premises:
BG3 is trying to achieve a certain believability/credibility factor when dealing with (non-magical) weapons.


Considering that you can dip your weapons in fire (candle) to create fire sword/fire bow/..., I think credibility and believability is not really something that matter for them...


I agree, and I am not a fan of this either. But Larian values the input of the community so if we are vocal about having more realism (in the confines of a fantasy world and DnD rules), they will consider our requests! smile

Randal #715618 24/10/20 07:04 PM
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But it looks cool and this is not a reality simulator.

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Originally Posted by RumRunner151
But it looks cool and this is not a reality simulator.


Does it though? I can't speak for all weapons since I mainly like to play casters so normally use a staff. But those staffs pretty much always gets animated as either being glued to your back, or even worse, slightly hover an inch away from your clothes. I wouldn't mind a caster having a hovering weapon but can't that hover beside them instead? smile

Now that I think of it, I wouldn't mind casters carrying their weapons a la King Harlequin in 7 deadly sins. Heresy I know. But I want my sorc to travel around with a pillow, ok!

Last edited by PrivateRaccoon; 24/10/20 08:22 PM.
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Originally Posted by RumRunner151
But it looks cool and this is not a reality simulator.


True, it is not a "reality simulator", but it IS a sequel in the Baldur's Gate Saga in which weapons were never magically attached to the back of the character.
As for "it looks cool", I stated above that there is no point in arguing about that, since it is personal preference. It's also the reason why I suggested to have two options, realistic and arcade.

In the end it comes down to a democratic process and eventually Larian's decision whether they want to listen to the community.


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Originally Posted by PrivateRaccoon
Originally Posted by RumRunner151
But it looks cool and this is not a reality simulator.


Does it though? I can't speak for all weapons since I mainly like to play casters so normally use a staff. But those staffs pretty much always gets animated as either being glued to your back, or even worse, slightly hover an inch away from your clothes. I wouldn't mind a caster having a hovering weapon but can't that hover beside them instead? smile

Now that I think of it, I wouldn't mind casters carrying their weapons a la King Harlequin in 7 deadly sins. Heresy I know. But I want my sorc to travel around with a pillow, ok!


Very good point. It just looks weird. And when a character sits down and half of the staff disappears in the chair or ground, it just looks ridiculous.

What I do not understand is that there already IS a fairly good start of a solution for this in game. When you draw your weapons you are holding the - in this case - a staff, as a person actually would.

Oh, and stuff like this:
[Linked Image]

I think we all agree that this has to go...

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Originally Posted by Randal


I think we all agree that this has to go...


+5

Last edited by PrivateRaccoon; 25/10/20 06:26 PM.
Randal #716565 25/10/20 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Randal
Originally Posted by RumRunner151
But it looks cool and this is not a reality simulator.


True, it is not a "reality simulator", but it IS a sequel in the Baldur's Gate Saga in which weapons were never magically attached to the back of the character.
As for "it looks cool", I stated above that there is no point in arguing about that, since it is personal preference. It's also the reason why I suggested to have two options, realistic and arcade.


I don't really have a horse in this race because it's not really a big deal to me honestly; however, I'd like to point out that they don't have scabbards on any of the weapons and they actually just hover on the hips or backs of the character model. I'm not saying we need them just making an observation.

I don't think we need to go that far as having 2 "modes" it should just be a toggle like hide helm. Just click a box or toggle to move it from back to hip. something like this is so minor that if Larian misses I'm sure modders will get it sorted out.

Last edited by Popsculpture; 25/10/20 06:18 PM.
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