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Rules Review: Weapon restrictionsby Tomás Sánchez
EXCERPTS FROM DUNGEONS & DRAGONS RULES CYCLOPAEDIA
Chapter 2 : The Character Classes ( Page 26 )
Weapons : A halfling may use any Small melee weapon and may use short bows and light crossbows. ( If you're unsure whether a weapon is small or not, see the Weapons Table found in chapter 4. )
Chapter 4 : Equipment ( Page 62 )
Weapons Table ( Page 62 )
Item Damage Range Cost ( gp ) Enc ( cn ) Notes
One-Handed 1d6+1 15 80 r,HH,L
Two-Handed 1d8+1 15 80 r,2H,L
Weapons Table ( Notes )( Page 63 )
HH This weapon can be used either one-handed or two-handed. Used two-handed, it operates similarly to two-handed weapons ( i.e., the wielder cannot use a shield when using the weapon this way ). However, a character using this weapon, even in its two-handed style, does not automatically lose individual initiative. Halflings and other small races can use this weapon.
2H This weapon requires two hands for use. The wielder of the weapon may not use a shield and always loses individual initiative to characters not using a two-handed weapon. Halfling and small races cannot use this weapon.
L Large weapon.
Weapon Descriptions ( Page 66 )
Sword, Bastard: This popular weapon is similar to a normal sword ( below ) but has a longer blade and a hilt ( handle ) nearly as long as that of a two- handed sword; the overall weapon length may be from 3 1/2' to 4 1/2'. The sword may be wielded either one- or two-handed.
A character cannot use a shield while using this item two-handed. However, it does not cause the loss of initiative. The bastard sword cannot be used by a halfling or other small humanoid.
The solution as you may have guessed is partially hinted on the weapons table paragraph. Those of you who have ruled halflings can wield bastard swords are right, and so did you who ruled otherwise. Halflings should be able to use a bastard sword two-handed. While doing so, they would not be able to use a shield and would always loose individual initiative to characters using one-handed weapons.
The overall weapon length should be proportional to the wielder height much like two-handed swords with humans.
Halflings using bastard swords are very unusual. So those individuals willing to attain a new mastery level ( even basic mastery ) will often be trained by someone from the larger races.