Using heavy weapons without practice

On page 184 of the Cypher System Rulebook it says if you wield a weapon that you are not practiced with, the difficulty to attack is increased by one step. But the description of Practices with Light Weapons states that the difficulty is increased by two steps when using a heavy weapon.

Does the difficulty of using heavy weapons increase when learning to use light weapons or is the text on p. 184 misleading?

Thanks a lot!

(I asked this question on Google+, but I wanted to see if I get different answers here. Maybe somebody has a deeper insight on this matter.)


  • It works by degrees. If you are only able to use light weapons then using medium is 1 step harder, and heavy is 2 steps harder. If you can use medium weapons then heavy is only 1 step harder.
  • Thanks! When my character isn't practiced with any weapons, and is using a heavy weapon, the difficulty is increased by three steps, then?

    Or would that still be only increased by one step (as per p. 184)?
  • There is no class that isn't practiced in some sort of weaponry. Jacks are practiced in light and medium weapons, Nanos with light, and glaives with all. The cypher system corebook is just wrong, not sure how that made it through, I guess because it only applies to nanos. If you are practiced in weaponry then there are no penalties. If you are practiced in light and medium, then heavy is 1 step. If you are only practiced in light, then medium is 1 step and heavy is 2.
  • edited August 2015
    Basically think of this. There is no way to gain practiced in weaponry other than foci or class.

    Nanos take 1 step penalty to medium and 2 steps to heavy

    Jacks take 1 step to heavy

    Glaives can use all
  • Adepts are not automatically practiced in weapons. This comes up several times in the Cypher System Rulebook, even in the example character creation of the adept (p. 37). That's why I'm confused.
  • Oh wow. ok. Hadn't read that yet. That a bizarre oversight. If they are practiced at nothing then light weapons would be at 1 step penalty though the 1 step advantage of light weapons would cancel that out. Medium weapons would be 2 steps and heavy would be 3
  • I havent read the Cypher system corebook yet which is why I was confused. I know all the rules of Numenera and The Strange and those are the rules that the Cypher system corebook go off but they have 4 classes instead of 3. Still seems lame that essentially the wizard class cant even use light weapons...
  • Thanks. Strangely, the sentence that makes this so confusing is also (word for word) in Numenera and The Strange, but even there, it's just plain wrong.
  • Yeah, I know, thats why I was so confused. That sentence shouldn't even exist. It doesn't help anyone
  • AnthonyM said:

    Still seems lame that essentially the wizard class cant even use light weapons...

    They can use any weapon they want, they just aren't as good with them.
  • Yeah but what kind of wizard can't even use a staff...
  • One that doesn't pick up "Practiced with Light Weapons" as one of their 4 starting Adept abilities. It threw me on my initial read through that you get to pick 4 abilities not 2 as in Numenera. But then I realised that they rejigged the types, moving two of the base abilities into pickable abilities and then letting you pick four instead of two.

    For example, the Nano in Numenera gets Genius, Expert Cypher Use, Practiced with Light Weapons, Numenera Training plus two Esoteries.

    While the Adept gets Genius, Expert Cypher Use like the Nano plus four special abilities two of which can be Magical Training and Practiced with Light Weapons so it balances out in terms of ability. So really other than organisational changes, nothing has really changed.

    All they've done is give you the option of playing a bookish adept who eschews physical confrontation but still letting you play the classic magic missile flinging, staff slinging magic from fantasy.
  • I actually have a house rule about staff weapons, they can either be used as a medium weapon, two light weapons, or a light weapon and a defensive asset, so nano's and Adepts with Practiced with Light Weapons can actually make use of a staff.
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