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<   No. 543   2004-07-22   >

Comic #543

1 Me: Ah... AD&D First Edition... the good old days...
2 {a table from the book}
2 [graphic]: Polearm Type
2 [graphic]: Glaive
2 [graphic]: Spetum
2 [graphic]: Voulge
2 [graphic]: Ranseur
2 [graphic]: Guisarme
2 [graphic]: Bardiche
2 [graphic]: Fauchard
2 [graphic]: Fauchard-Fork
2 [graphic]: Bill-Guisarme
2 [graphic]: Glaive-Guisarme
2 [graphic]: Guisarme-Voulge
2 [graphic]: Glaive-Bardiche
2 [graphic]: Glaive-Ranseur-Spetum
2 [graphic]: Glaive-Guisarme-Voulge, Footman's
2 [graphic]: Glaive-Guisarme-Voulge, Horseman's
2 [graphic]: Guisarme-Fauchard-Bohemian Earspoon
2 [graphic]: Glaive-Glaive-Glaive-Guisarme-Glaive
2 [graphic]: Glaive-Fauchard-Bardiche-Voulge, Short
2 [graphic]: Glaive-Fauchard-Bardiche-Voulge, Bastard
2 [graphic]: Glaive-Fauchard-Bardiche-Voulge, Two-Handed

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Ah, yes indeed. I can see the memories of all those old gamers out there flooding back...

What the hell were all these friggin' weapons?!?

Actually, I won't be surprised if I get e-mail telling me, "Oh, by the way, a spetum isn't a polearm." I don't really care... All these outré weapon names were basically meaningless back when I played AD&D, and remain so. All you need to know is:

How much damage does it do?
And oh, those AD&D First Edition weapon and combat tables... If you think this comic is an exaggeration, pull out your old copy of the Player's Handbook and turn to page 38. Yeah, look familiar? Now tell me, did you ever use this table?
2013-07-24 Rerun commentary: Looking at this comic now to prepare for writing a rerun annotation about it, my first thought was:

Wow, how did I get such a nice looking scan of that table from the Players Handbook?*

I didn't even notice it wasn't a real, published table until I read the original annotation above. Yeah.

Oh, and to head off any further comment, a spetum is actually a pole arm. Similar to a ranseur, apparently. All I really know about pole arms is I'm darn glad I don't live in an era when I might have to face an enemy wielding one.

Back when I started playing D&D (I started with the Basic set, before moving up to the Advanced rules), all we knew was that they did more damage than a sword. So naturally all the fighters took a pole arm as a weapon. Little did we realise just how impossible such a weapon would be to use in a 10-foot wide dungeon corridor.

* I've occasionally been unsure whether it's the Player's Handbook (a handbook for each individual player) or the Players' Handbook (a handbook for all players). Settling the question with the third option, the first edition AD&D version was actually the Players Handbook, with no apostrophe at all. They added one in the second edition, making it the Player's Handbook.

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