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🎨 Creative Optimal Melee Weapons for Shorter Persons

Killer300

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Okay, yeah, that fits perfectly. Mixture of agricultural eden that Lord of the Rings likes to depict with the practical elements necessary to defeat invaders.
 

Dalillama

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Also, 3-4 hobbits with knives lurking in a vertical to drop on the backs of invaders for some quick wetwork before scuttling back up and away. Maybe garrotes and drop nooses made of thorny vines.
 

Thanaeon

Mostly simulationist
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That said, someone mentioned a tunnel scenario. That's actually a case where I can see a spear being handle. It's a linear delivery system in a scenario that precludes lateral movement. In that case, I think the spear is a win. At least initially. But be ready with the shorter weapon after that because, eventually (armies aside), it will go to the person most intent on closing range and shutting down movement.
This is a very good point, but I'd add a qualifier; it depends on the kind of tunnel. In a typical RPG dungeon, with regular semi-wide corridors and the like, absolutely. In a more natural cave system, something long and inflexible is going to be hard to impossible to carry with you, and you may not be able to deploy it effectively when the time comes if there's enough curviture present.
 

Toxoplasma

Deletrious Protozoan
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Another thing to consider is that speed and pace aren't quite the same thing. A Jack Russel can move around far more quickly than a Great Dane, even though the bigger dog can cover much more ground at a step. While your notional hobbit or goblin probably doesn't march or jog with the speed of a human, it'd be downright weird if they couldn't jump, quick-step, duck, and swing quickly enough to be deeply annoying.
 

Killer300

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This is a very good point, but I'd add a qualifier; it depends on the kind of tunnel. In a typical RPG dungeon, with regular semi-wide corridors and the like, absolutely. In a more natural cave system, something long and inflexible is going to be hard to impossible to carry with you, and you may not be able to deploy it effectively when the time comes if there's enough curviture present.
That strikes me as a time a dagger of some type will probably be the weapon to use instead.

I actually picture the standard gear now of small folk in a D&D type setting being a set of knives, with a slashing knife for hurting the legs of bigger opponents, and a dagger for tighter quarters thrusting.
 

apOweyn

Just talkin bout ap
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This is a very good point, but I'd add a qualifier; it depends on the kind of tunnel. In a typical RPG dungeon, with regular semi-wide corridors and the like, absolutely. In a more natural cave system, something long and inflexible is going to be hard to impossible to carry with you, and you may not be able to deploy it effectively when the time comes if there's enough curviture present.
Very true. Then it’s the gladius or whatever.

Does kinda make you wonder about the ubiquitousness of 10’ poles though doesn’t it. 🙂
 

Lee Casebolt

SUCH a BOY
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There's a lot of "it depends" built into this. Are we talking about duels, or gang fights, or hunting, or warfare? If war, on what scale? Who are the most likely opponents? What's the ground like? Are they in the open field, on broken ground, in cramped tunnels? What kind of materials can they work?

Weapons are the answers to questions.

Humans developed spears for outfighting, and knives for infighting, and a bunch of swords for everywhere in between. There are axes and hammers and staves for "I've got this item which is kind of like a weapon and I really need a weapon right now" circumstances, and bows and crossbows and slings for "there's shit way over there I need to kill" and literally thousands more. One assumes human-like creatures will develop a similarly broad selection of answers given a similarly broad list of questions.
 

Thanaeon

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There's a lot of "it depends" built into this. Are we talking about duels, or gang fights, or hunting, or warfare? If war, on what scale? Who are the most likely opponents? What's the ground like? Are they in the open field, on broken ground, in cramped tunnels? What kind of materials can they work?

Weapons are the answers to questions.

Humans developed spears for outfighting, and knives for infighting, and a bunch of swords for everywhere in between. There are axes and hammers and staves for "I've got this item which is kind of like a weapon and I really need a weapon right now" circumstances, and bows and crossbows and slings for "there's shit way over there I need to kill" and literally thousands more. One assumes human-like creatures will develop a similarly broad selection of answers given a similarly broad list of questions.
You're correct in the general outline of what you're saying, but there's one particular thing where I think you miss the mark; swords.

Because as cool as they are (and trust me, I think swords are very cool indeed!), historically they were more often considered sidearms rather than primary weapons of war. They are the pistols of melee weapons; easily carried backup weapons, which also translates to something that's convenient as a civilian (as in, carried by a person not engaged in warfare) weapon. There have been exceptions - some Roman eras and later-period cavalry being some notable ones - but by and large, the sword was more of a backup weapon and symbol of status than primary killing tool. By contrast, something like a battle axe, mace or warhammer is very much a weapon designed for war, not a tool picked up in the lack of anything better. In fact, warhammers and maces were much better weapons against plate harness than most swords were.

Edit: I'd add that due to its long blade (you don't have to aim to hit the target with a specific part of the weapon, most of it will hurt), there is one area where the sword does excel, and that's fighting unarmoured foes. Which is another reason, in addition to the ease of carry, why it's a good civilian weapon.
 

Killer300

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You're correct in the general outline of what you're saying, but there's one particular thing where I think you miss the mark; swords.

Because as cool as they are (and trust me, I think swords are very cool indeed!), historically they were more often considered sidearms rather than primary weapons of war. They are the pistols of melee weapons; easily carried backup weapons, which also translates to something that's convenient as a civilian (as in, carried by a person not engaged in warfare) weapon. There have been exceptions - some Roman eras and later-period cavalry being some notable ones - but by and large, the sword was more of a backup weapon and symbol of status than primary killing tool. By contrast, something like a battle axe, mace or warhammer is very much a weapon designed for war, not a tool picked up in the lack of anything better. In fact, warhammers and maces were much better weapons against plate harness than most swords were.

Edit: I'd add that due to its long blade (you don't have to aim to hit the target with a specific part of the weapon, most of it will hurt), there is one area where the sword does excel, and that's fighting unarmoured foes. Which is another reason, in addition to the ease of carry, why it's a good civilian weapon.
Also, stuff like the Zweihander, i.e. really massive two handed swords, got used as anti-pike weapons apparently.

But outside of that, this begs something to me:

What anti-armor weapons would be best for Goblins, Halflings, ect.? As somehow, I don't think a full sized warhammer is going to go as well, and otherwise...

Well, is there a knife range blunt weapon that was made into a war weapon we know about?
 

Rose Embolism

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What Lee Casebolt said. In order to answer the question "What weapons would shorter people use", you first have to give the parameters. What technology is available? What is the setting?

For a start, why are we assuming gunpowder isn't available? Because if it is, the obvious answer is "a brace of pistols." If we have only advanced bronze casting in a semiarid environment, the answer's going to be very different.

Likewise he whole "reach" thing. Individual fighting is one thing, groups of people is another, and full armies is a third. And again, technology. reach has very differengt meaning to cavalry or raned fighters.

As Jeeves said, "There's too many imponderables." Narrow down the scenario and we can get smewhere.
 
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