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Can a Glaive be stowed in a Ruby Scabbard, as a Glaive is both Polearm and Heavy Blade?

I think RaW means it can, but it somehow feels "wrong" to put a polearm in a scabbard

Group: Heavy blade (Blades are balanced edged weapons. Heavy blades share some of the precision of light blades and some of the mass of axes. Heavy blades are used primarily for slashing cuts rather than stabs and thrusts.).
Polearm (Polearms are weapons mounted at the end of long hafts. All polearms also fall into another category of weapon, usually axe, heavy blade, or spear. Polearms are reach weapons.).

and the Ruby Scabbard ...

Property: This scabbard resizes to fit any light blade or heavy blade. You can draw a weapon from this scabbard as part of the same action used to make an attack with that weapon.

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Sure, why not? After all, there are historical scabbards for polearms. They just don't dangle on your hip like a sword one, but since also a longsword scabbard don't fit a scimitar, the item will magically change to fit your weapon.

Glaive Scabbard

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Is that actually a scabbard in the conventional use, or a cover for the blade section? \$\endgroup\$
    – SteveC
    Aug 20, 2015 at 11:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SteveC Care to clarify what you mean by "a scabbard in the conventional use"? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 20, 2015 at 11:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ It only cover the blade, you are supposed to still carry it on your shoulders. But it allow the "unsheathe" motion that the magical scabbards "requires" to activate. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nibelung
    Aug 20, 2015 at 11:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ from thefreedictionary.com/scabbard : scabbard - a sheath for a sword or the like. The picture seems to fit that definition pretty good \$\endgroup\$
    – Ghostship
    Aug 22, 2015 at 2:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Trish The answer is only providing it as an example of a polearm with a scabbard. There's no claim that specifically a glaive is being depicted. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 14 at 9:40
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Yes, you may.

First there's the rules-first approach D&D 4e is happy with, wherein the story follows afterwards to make sense of the rules: it's a heavy blade, and the Ruby Scabbard says it can be used with those. So you can, and that's that.

Narratively, it's also fine. Polearms do get sheathed. Not for convenience of carrying like with swords, though — you'll carry it over your shoulder whether it's sheathed or not — but to keep the blade protected and in good condition for when you need it.

Whether it's useful for you to protect your polearm with a Ruby Scabbard is up to you. You won't need to draw the weapon typically, but it'd be a sheath you can toss off with a jerk of your glaive.

(You may prefer to call it a Ruby Sheath if it's on a polearm, but that's up to your preferences.)

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RAW: Yes, because it is a heavy blade. The rules say that the weapon that goes into a Ruby Scabbard has to be "any light blade or heavy blade". Since the polearm is a heavy blade, and the rules don't say that any non-light blade or heavy blade weapons cannot go into it, this can be done.

RAI: No, because glaives don't use scabbards. Glaives are polearms that are not sheated into scabbards like swords are. When not in use they are carried around swung over the shoulder, without the use of a sheath to protect the blade. Plus, carrying a sheath for your polearm on you would mean that the pole part sticks out quite a lot when said sheath is affixed to your hip or your back, making it unwieldy and silly-looking. Plus, given the irregular shapes of some glaives had back in the day it would be very difficult to create a scabbard for one that holds the glaive snugly yet covers all of the sharp bit.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Historically, people would have scabbards or sheaths for their polearms, but these would just sit on top to protect the bladed end. The weapon would not be 'drawn' from the sheath, instead, the sheath would be pulled off the weapon. \$\endgroup\$
    – timje
    Aug 20, 2015 at 9:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ You say "RAI" but offer zero evidence for the author's intent. It's a magic item that automatically fits any of the listed weapons; that sounds pretty clear and very much like they intended it to just work. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Aug 20, 2015 at 16:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ Agreed... when magic is brought into the equation, it seems strange to cling to facets of reality. After all, if we were to treat glaives realistically, they wouldn't be carried around at all unless the user is entering an area where he knows he will face danger, like a dungeon or battlefield. I usually give the designers the benefit of the doubt and assume that rules as written are what the designers intended; in this case, it seems like they intentionally assigned all polearms another weapon category and did not exclude polearms from the Ruby Scabbard. It doesn't seem like an error. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 20, 2015 at 17:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ The RAW part is correct. \$\endgroup\$
    – DCShannon
    Aug 25, 2015 at 4:30

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