Hard

Defaults: prerequisite skill-4, -8, or -12.

Prerequisite: Any Melee Weapon skill; cannot remove more than half the default penalty.!

In close combat (p. B391), a weapon without "C" in its Reach statistic gives a skill penalty based on its reach: -4 for reach 1, -8 for reach 2, or -12 for reach 3. In addition, swing damage is at -1 per yard of reach; e.g., a broadsword does -1 damage, a greatsword gets -2, and a full-sized halberd has -3. Thrusting attacks do normal damage. Calculate skill and swing damage penalties using the weapon's longest reach, not the reach at which it's currently ready.

This technique lets you buy off half the skill penalty. You may buy it up to skill-2 for a reach 1 weapon, skill-4 for a reach 2 weapon, or skill-6 for a reach 3 weapon.

All of this assumes a normal grip. See Reversed Grip (pp. 111-112) for an alternative. Hilt punches and the like use Pummeling (p. 111) instead of these rules; this technique doesn't apply.

t Close Combat is also available for ranged weapons. This lets you buy off the entire Bulk penalty for close-combat purposes only; see Weapons for Close Combat (p. B391). Those with Heroic Archer (p. 45) don't need this technique.

Combat Riding

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