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Chinese hook swords, such as those used by Shaolin Monks
|Half-Moon Guard||1d4||Sla or Prc||x3|
- Exotic Martial Weapon
- Requires at least Dexterity 13 to wield properly.
- It is roughly the width and length of a longsword at the tip, but weighs only 2 lbs. since most of the main blade isn’t as wide as a real longsword.
- Feats or effects that affect the sword affect all three components (main blade, guard, and hilt spike) except when it wouldn’t normally apply to such an attack type. For example, Improved Critical would double the crit. range of all three components (17-20, 19-20, and 19-20, respectively), but a feat or ability that affects only Slashing weapons would only work with the primary blade and the cross-guard (assuming it is being used to slash).
- Due to its construction and purpose of use, a single hook sword can’t be wielded with two hands.
- Usually sold as a pair of Masterwork weapons, costing 650gp total. They may only be properly crafted as Masterwork quality due to their design complexity and balancing. If created inferior to Masterwork, all bonuses described here are halved and all penalties are doubled. Since it isn’t Masterwork, it doesn’t get the +1 bonus to attack rolls, nor any portion of it, at all. Also, every time it’s used (offensively or defensively), there is a non-cumulative 10% chance that the part used may break off. For example, if blocking with the guard (described below), there is a 10% chance it will break off every time you are attacked (and use it to block). If used to aid in climbing, there is a 10% chance that the hook or the main blade itself may break off.
- If two are used, the off-hand one counts as a light weapon. One alone may not be wielded as an off-hand weapon in conjunction with another weapon because it is too unwieldy for techniques without two in such a case, but it can be used in the primary hand as normal.
- A single hooked sword may be used in conjunction with a shield.
- The hilt-spike can be used as a dagger while grappling or when swallowed whole, provided it is already drawn or easily available, but not while being grappled or pinned. If used in normal combat, attack rolls with it suffer a –2 penalty because the construction makes it harder to attack a wary target normally with that end. However, attacks of opportunity with the hilt spike do not suffer a penalty.
- When fighting defensively, using Combat Expertise to gain AC, or using total defense, the guard of a single sword provides a +1 Shield bonus to AC. This bonus stacks if two hook swords are used, and also with any other bonuses to AC.
- You can use the hooked tip of the hook-sword to make trip attacks. If you are tripped during your trip attempts, you can drop the weapon to avoid being tripped. In addition, +2 to trip and disarm attempts (including the roll to prevent being tripped/disarmed if the attempt failed). If two hook-swords are used, bonuses stack. However, if you opt to drop the weapon to prevent being tripped when both swords were used, both swords must be dropped.
- The hooks can be used to climb by holding onto branches, handholds/footholds, overhangs, and the like, providing a +1 bonus to Climb checks used with one sword. If two are used, bonuses stack. They also increase natural reach by a total of 2 feet in terms of Climb checks, regardless of how many are used (so long as at least one).
- Can be used with Weapon Finesse, but not with Power Attack. If used with Weapon Finesse, can instead opt to use Dex modifier on trip or disarm attempt instead of Str modifier.
- Special Attack: If wielding two hook swords, you may choose to make a single attack (at your highest Base Attack Bonus) with 10 ft. reach by interlocking the hook ends of the two swords and swinging the second sword, guard first, at your opponent. In such a case, the combination counts as a Reach weapon, but can’t be used against an adjacent opponent, and deals 2d4 + Str modifier Slashing damage. Retrieving the second sword is an immediate action available at the end of the attack, successful or not. If retrieved immediately after a Special Attack, it doesn’t provoke an attack of opportunity. Retrieving it after your turn does, even if it’s your turn again. Until the second sword is retrieved, the primary sword cannot be used normally.
1 The stats provided assume the hook sword is being used by a two-armed, biped humanoid. If the wielder has more than two arms and chooses to use more than two hook swords, adjust bonuses accordingly. If four hook swords are employed, the character may make two Special Attacks at once (similar to attacking with an off-hand weapon), provided he has the ability to wield at least four hook swords and can use the second arm as naturally as the first (i.e. ambidexterity in the off-hand). Quadruped humanoids (such as Centaurs) can’t maneuver hook swords properly and generally don’t use them at all.