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We have a crossover campaign between Gamma World and AD&D. We use weapon proficiencies, and quickly concluded the Vibrodagger was a "dagger" for purposes of proficiency - it has "dagger" in its name.

But the Vibroblade, we think it is a longsword, but aren't sure if that's the most reasonable analog. The Vibroblade has a somewhat crossguarded 12" handle and a meter (39") blade that is illustrated as long, straight and tapered to a point (p. 106, equipment).

These dimensions appear to be most similar to this weapon: rawlings synthetic sparring longsword, ehich is a longsword.

Here's a second longsword example, italian: longsword similar size, not practice

Question that we need an answer for

Is the vibroblade equivalent to the AD&D longsword, or a different AD&D sword from the weapons table?

This matters due to the penalties for using a weapon without having weapons proficiency.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Could you clarify what exactly your question is? \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Aug 9, 2023 at 17:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ VtC, as I'm not seeing a question here but additionally, the question that I think you're going to ask is going to have an opinion-based answer. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 9, 2023 at 17:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have edited your question to put the issue you need an answer for into play for those who are not familiar with the AD&D weapons proficiencies issues. Please edit again if you need to add further clarification. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 9, 2023 at 18:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think this needs a VtC - "Is a Vibroblade longsword shaped?" seems good enough to me. I don't know the answer to that question. And then a good answer would remind the user that this specific usecase is outside of the realm of the 2 rules sets and give a reasonable experience based tidbit. \$\endgroup\$
    – goodguy5
    Commented Aug 9, 2023 at 20:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh and I assume that someone would say "Vibro blade isn't on the weapons table, therefore it counts as an improvised weapon that does 1d4 damage" \$\endgroup\$
    – goodguy5
    Commented Aug 9, 2023 at 20:05

2 Answers 2

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I believe we have two swords very similar that fits this description. From "Arms & Equipment Guide":

  • Broad Sword: "The broad sword is a heavy military sword with a double-edged blade. Overall sword length is about three and one-half feet, and the sword is designed mostly for cutting. Most broad swords have a basket hilt or a shell guard. A favored cavalry weapon, the broad sword is known in different cultures by different names, usually dependant on the hilt configuration.";
  • Long Sword: "These swords are usually referred to as doubled-edged swords, war swords, or military swords. In many cases, the long sword has a single-edged blade. There is no single version of the long sword; the design and length vary from culture to culture, and may vary within the same culture depending on the era. Among the most common characteristics of all long swords is their length, which ranges from 35 inches to 47 inches. In the latter case, the blade is known to take up 40 inches of the total length. Most long swords have a double-edged blade and a sharp point at the tip. Despite the tip, the long sword is designed for slashing, not thrusting."

Personally, I consider the broad sword more generic and always opt for this proficience when necessary. But you could consider that a vibroblade could be inspired in a specific sword from the past and choose the long sword.

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On AD&D (at least on the main books) there are three long straight blade weapons: longsword, bastard sword and greatsword.

The main difference between the three are size and weight, as depending on that, they must be wielded with two hands, or can be wielded with one or two hands. Also they have different damage dice.

So, if you want to assimilate the vibroblade to an existing weapon for training and proficiency reasons, you should think about which of the three is more similar to the vibroblade description regarding size and weight. And I suppose that actually weight is the main thing here. If anyone would be able to wield effectively a vibroblade with just one hand, you're aiming surely at a longsword... but if you think that its size or weight could make necessary for some characters to use both hands, not because they want to apply two handed stances to their technique, or to apply more strength to their blows, but just to being able to wield it effectively, then you're probably aiming at a bastard sword equivalent.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ in AD&D magical swords and armor are practically weightless and the user of the vibroblade has been using magical swords most of his life. Magical swords also reduce initiative penalties and go faster because they are so light - like plastic light. Like a vibroblade. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tristian
    Commented Sep 4, 2023 at 22:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ point is the magical sword +4 or better and the vibroblade have approximately the same weight and speed, but also the same length. If a vibro dagger is a dagger, is a vibro sword a sword? if so, which? \$\endgroup\$
    – Tristian
    Commented Sep 4, 2023 at 22:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ As I say in my answer, not only the weight is a matter when considering if you need to wield a weapon with two hands, size is too almost as important as weight, otherwise, magical greatswords and bastard swords could be wielded one handed (and any two handed magical weapon), as they're much lighter than their non-magical counterparts. So, again, if you see your characters having to apply two hands to the vibroblade, probably you are aiming to a bastard sword comparison, if not, you cannot fail choosing the longsword. You can, obviously go also for the broad sword if you think it fits better. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bardo
    Commented Sep 6, 2023 at 9:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Keep in mind that nor the longsword neither the broad sword comprises just one type of sword, both are broader categories which contain dozens of similar weapons used in several different, but usually related, cultures. This variations are so many, and so small, that there are many games where instead of two different weapons, they are all comprised under only one, so, there are many games where only exist the broad sword and many other where you can only find the longsword. If you feel that the vibroblade fits on that families, any of that could be valid, or even both of them. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bardo
    Commented Sep 6, 2023 at 9:41

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