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Ninja-Bear

Martial Flail Maneuver

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Hello Herodom,

 

I’ve been fooling around with some martial artists. The one I’m working one uses a Two Section Staff or Staff Flail (iirc).  So when I was designing him, I remembered that Dantasy Hero has the flail maneuver whereas the HSMA doesn’t-which seems odd. So here is the break down of Fail maneuver as presented in Fantasy Hero 4th ed.

 

Optional maneuver: Flail cost 0 points

-1 OCV allows you to negate Shield Bonus (upto 3 DCV).

 

I broke this down to as this Flail maneuver

Strike Basis 
-1 OCV = -1 pt

Requires Object/Condition= -2

So far so good, now the tricky part because there is nothing in HSMA (or previous editions)to negate the shield bonus.

So I’m going to Allow +3 OCV to negate Shield bonus = 3 points

 

Total cost 0 points.

 

Now from here I can create custom a martial flail maneuver at cost.

 

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I like it.

 

However, if you're using a flail, should you not be able to bypass shield _defenses_ as well?  Or as an optional "instead?"  My field of personal study was more Civil War / American Frontier / settling the west than medieval, but wasn't that the purpose of the flail-- to wrap around a shield and bonk someone anyway?

 

(seriously: I really don't know if that's factual or not; it's just something i took from how they're built / operate)

 

 

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I like it!  (My Rep-stick is out of charges for the day.)

 

+2 OCV for any circumstances would only cost 2 points.  And based on the rules, a third +1 to OCV would probably normally cost another 2 points (as does the third +1 of DCV).  So +3 would normally cost 4 points, but in this case, it only applies to the negation of a shield bonus, so it's worth less.  In fact, it seems that 3 points might be a bit high.  But then again, 2 points might be too low, so you're stuck with 3 points.

 

Because of the (IMO, slightly high) 3-point cost of ignoring a shield, I might allow it to ignore an even higher DCV bonus - on those very rare occasions when a shield somehow provides more than a +3 DCV.  Like maybe a giant, using a giant-sized shield.  Or a group of soldiers fighting in formation so that they share each others' shield bonuses (at least partially), by forming a shield wall, gaining more than +3 each.

 

But your breakdown looks really good to me.  So you could design a whole flail-based martial art, with custom maneuvers, some of which are based on the standard flail maneuver.  I've never really liked flails, but now I want to build a Flail-Fu Martial Art!

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3 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

I like it.

 

However, if you're using a flail, should you not be able to bypass shield _defenses_ as well?  Or as an optional "instead?"  My field of personal study was more Civil War / American Frontier / settling the west than medieval, but wasn't that the purpose of the flail-- to wrap around a shield and bonk someone anyway?

 

(seriously: I really don't know if that's factual or not; it's just something i took from how they're built / operate)

 

 

Duke that’s what the +3 OCV in effect for to bypass shield bonus. Note that the effect OCV won’t raise your total OCV.   The shield range for OCV bonus is +1- +3. So for example if you have a medium shield +2  then the standard flail would be -1 OCV but you ignore the +2 shield DCV. In the Fantasy book, it notes that this maneuver is a wash for a small shield due to its bonus is only +1. However I did think though that this would still be useful to avoid said shield if it’s magical and you needed to still avoid hitting the shield like it has some sort of damage shield.

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13 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

However I did think though that this would still be useful to avoid said shield if it’s magical and you needed to still avoid hitting the shield like it has some sort of damage shield.

 

Without the defender using a shield, the flail can act like an ordinary weapon, but if the defender is using a shield, then I think it is important to mention that the flail does hit the shield all the time (on a successful attack roll), as that is how they work. Part of the flail or it's chain hits the side of the shield, causing the "pointy end" (the ball, spiked ball, section of the staff, etc...) to then swing around the shield and hit the person behind the shield. 

Without hitting the shield the flail would just keep going straight just like a sword or any other non-bendy/swinging weapon. The physics of it requires that it hits the shield to cause the chain to swing around and hit the person behind it. 

 

So if the shield does have some magical effect on it, like a damage shield, then it would still be activated because it is still being hit. 

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I generally play that the flail has the power rather than the maneuver.  So any regular strike would work and the DCV from the shield would not be counted when using the flail.

 

But it sounds fine if you want to make a special maneuver for it.  Just a bit different viewpoint I guess.

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6 minutes ago, dsatow said:

I generally play that the flail has the power rather than the maneuver.  So any regular strike would work and the DCV from the shield would not be counted when using the flail.

 

But it sounds fine if you want to make a special maneuver for it.  Just a bit different viewpoint I guess.

I have to agree.  This seems like a thing that's inherent to the weapon, not to the special specific method of using the weapon. 

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1 hour ago, dsatow said:

I generally play that the flail has the power rather than the maneuver.  So any regular strike would work and the DCV from the shield would not be counted when using the flail.

Which means you get a -1 to OCV if the target isn't using a shield.

 

If you're using a two-sided weapon, like an axe-hammer (featured in a recent movie I think we've all seen), you can choose whether to hit with the axe side or the hammer side.

 

Likewise, if you're using a flail, you can choose to do a regular strike, or you can choose to use the flail maneuver.  It's most beneficial to use the flail maneuver only when the target is using a shield.  And if it's only a small shield (one that provides only +1 DCV), then it doesn't matter which you use.

 

Just like any other weapon - you choose what maneuver you want to do with it.  Strike, Block, Disarm, etc.

 

In this particular case, Ninja-Bear is proposing a Martial version of the Flail Maneuver, just like there are Martial versions of Strike, Block, Disarm, etc.

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12 minutes ago, PhilFleischmann said:

If you're using a two-sided weapon, like an axe-hammer (featured in a recent movie I think we've all seen), you can choose whether to hit with the axe side or the hammer side.

 

Likewise, if you're using a flail, you can choose to do a regular strike, or you can choose to use the flail maneuver. 

How do you use a flail in a non-flail way?  What does that look like? 

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3 minutes ago, PhilFleischmann said:

I wouldn't know.  Just like I wouldn't know how a Martial Strike with a sword looks different from a regular Strike with a sword.

But I'm not asking what the difference between Flail and Martial Flail is, or between Strike and Martial Strike is. 

I think we can both visualize the difference between Strike and Haymaker, or Strike and Grab, or Strike and Club Weapon, or Strike and Trip. 

I'm asking what the difference between using a flail to Strike and using a flail to Flail is, because I cannot conceive of a way to use a flail in a way that renders it not-flail.  (Well, without injuring yourself.  I can imagine some movements that would deliver the haft into contact with the target, but they all leave the flail bit swinging back at you.)

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31 minutes ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

How do you use a flail in a non-flail way?  What does that look like? 

By striking a target normally straight in. The flail maneuver is designed for the flail weapon to avoid a shield by wrapping around it.  So if I use a flail and just strike the goblin with it. No penalty and if the goblin had a medium shield he gets to add his +2 DCV to his normally DCV for defense. If I use the flail maneuver I suffer a -1 OCV to hit but then the goblin if tries to use the shield though doesn’t get to use his +2 DCV shield bonus.

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1 minute ago, Ninja-Bear said:

By striking a target normally straight in. The flail maneuver is designed for the flail weapon to avoid a shield by wrapping around it.  So if I use a flail and just strike the goblin with it. No penalty and if the goblin had a medium shield he gets to add his +2 DCV to his normally DCV for defense. If I use the flail maneuver I suffer a -1 OCV to hit but then the goblin if tries to use the shield though doesn’t get to use his +2 DCV shield bonus.

I'm asking a narrative question, not a mechanical question.  Because I can't visualize a way to "just strike the goblin with it" that's distinct from "use the flail maneuver".  How does one swing differently to Flail instead of Strike? 

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14 minutes ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

I'm asking a narrative question, not a mechanical question.  Because I can't visualize a way to "just strike the goblin with it" that's distinct from "use the flail maneuver".  How does one swing differently to Flail instead of Strike? 

I can’t help you then. If can’t visualize it I don’t have the words to explain it. Sorry.

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If I raise the flail over my head and swing it crashing down on the Goblin, it is not going to wrap around his shield if he brings it up to block.

 

I essentially have to "attack" so the ball of the flail passes around the edge of his shield, and the chain brings it curving back inwards to strike the goblin, in order to use the Flail maneuver.

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1 hour ago, PhilFleischmann said:

Which means you get a -1 to OCV if the target isn't using a shield.

I'm not sure where this is coming from, but I haven't played fantasy hero in a long time.  Can you reference where this comes from?

 

 

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Regarding how to use a flail.  Let me see if I can help restate the issue.

 

A short sword can be used to slash and to stab.  The maneuvers are different but the damage the short sword does is the same.

 

What the people who are wondering what the difference is, is what is the difference in usage?  Take a nunchuku.  A nunchuku is basically a flail.  The damaging part of the nunchuku is always the other handle.  If you block the nunchuku with a sai, it basically swings around and still has a chance to hit the target.  A martial artist will swing a nunchuku more efficiently than a non-martial artist and get more speed and power out of a swing, but both will still use the weapon in the same fashion with regards to how the weapon will damage the target.

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2 hours ago, dsatow said:

I'm not sure where this is coming from, but I haven't played fantasy hero in a long time.  Can you reference where this comes from?

It comes from the quote of yours that I quoted.  The Flail Maneuver, as described in the rules, takes a -1 OCV in exchange for ignoring the opponent's shield.  If you're always doing the Flail Maneuver when you use a flail, as you propose, then if your opponent isn't using a shield, you suffer the -1 OCV penalty for no benefit.

 

1 hour ago, dsatow said:

What the people who are wondering what the difference is, is what is the difference in usage?  Take a nunchuku.  A nunchuku is basically a flail.  The damaging part of the nunchuku is always the other handle.  If you block the nunchuku with a sai, it basically swings around and still has a chance to hit the target.  A martial artist will swing a nunchuku more efficiently than a non-martial artist and get more speed and power out of a swing, but both will still use the weapon in the same fashion with regards to how the weapon will damage the target.

You use the flail in a different fashion if the opponent is using a shield from the fashion you would use if he isn't using a shield.

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7 hours ago, PhilFleischmann said:

The Flail Maneuver, as described in the rules, takes a -1 OCV in exchange for ignoring the opponent's shield.

 

I think you misunderstood what I was asking for.  I understand what the -1 OCV is for.  What I am asking for is where the reference comes from.  What book?  What edition?  What page?

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20 minutes ago, dsatow said:

 

I think you misunderstood what I was asking for.  I understand what the -1 OCV is for.  What I am asking for is where the reference comes from.  What book?  What edition?  What page?

From Fantasy Hero 2ed (which uses the 4ed rules). At work so page has to wait.

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So, I've been online looking at flail fights on youtube.  For the most part, the flail seems to be less used to get around one's shield as to counter people using their weapons to block.  It doesn't seem to be a great weapon compared to a sword but it isn't super bad.  But in comparison with other options, I wouldn't want to use one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukvI295xDRw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWVY3EqU6Ok

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haSHLtn-6tE

 

And here's a guy (and he's not the only one) that basically says that the flail isn't the best medieval weapon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ox4sCJnCpzo

 

Finally, here's a historian from the Smithsonian.  Not a video but an interesting read.  He believes the flail might be symbolic or even  an experimental weapon which failed.  He does note that two handed flails did exist, but the flail as a one handed weapon probably did not.

https://www.publicmedievalist.com/curious-case-weapon-didnt-exist/

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