[Runequest] Spears stuck in shields?

Styopa styopa1 at gmail.com
Wed Jul 11 00:31:20 EST 2012


On Mon, Jul 9, 2012 at 2:02 PM, Roger Benham <rog_benham at hotmail.com> wrote:

>  I like this mechanism more.  The pilum had a soft iron shaft, IIRC, so it
> was designed to bend when it hit to make it even more of an encumbrance.
>
> What I'd like to know is how it reduces the shield wielder's chance to
> parry, along with some ENC problems: -20% per pilum embedded?
>
>

I don't think that's enough.  We know the pilum was quite effective at its
designed task, based on it's widespread deployment.
There's two ways to approach this, this simpler way, or the simulationist
way (although having special subrules for the interaction between a
specific weapon and specific shields with subsequent conditions ... well
that makes even my simulationist heart quail at even slowing RQ combat
MORE....):

Considering your typical impressed footsoldier would have a shield skill of
~50%, and our goal (at the least) should be to make a pilum'd shield LESS
attractive to carry than no shield at all.  (If I was a combatant with 50%
shield, and got hit by a pilum and the effect was even -45%, I'd STILL keep
the shield since 5% (plus cover from missiles) is still better than
nothing.)  The primary value of every shield - even hoplite shields - was
in their ability to move to be interposed between the blow and the target.
 Significantly hindering the ability of even the largest shields to move
would make them almost useless.

So I'd say the simple version:
-50% to your parry per pilum stuck in the shield.  If the pilum actually
penetrated* the shield, -100%.  To remove, per impaled weapon.
* a penetrating pilum would be the worst possible circumstance, as the
narrow shaft would project through the hole in the shield, forcing the
wielder to cope with a sharp, pointy spike waving around INSIDE his guard
up to 18" or more.  I think one could rightfully rule that a penetrated
shield is simply useless for its function unless the pilum is withdrawn.

simulationist version:
- worse penalties for smaller shields than larger ones (smaller shields
require more nimble movement)
- worse penalties for trying to move while it's in the shield, even worse
in bad going
- given the hardened head and soft shaft, I'd consider letting a pilum HAVE
a full thrown-weapon damage bonus for the purposes of penetrating a shield
or even armor, but no more than 1d damage bonus to apply to HP of the
target.
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