Our group decided to not run with fighting arts for now at least, if only to reduce the complexity of rules-to-learn-in-character-burning. However, this brings us back to weapon skills, which I had some questions about:
The Spear skill entry (Burning Wheel Gold Revised 300) states:
Spears, lances or pikes are versatile and intuitive weapons.
Which implies lances are usable with the Spear skill.
However, there is also a Lance skill in the Skill List (Burning Wheel Gold Revised 280), used for a couched lance from horseback. This seems to be the only way to use a lance, however - they don’t look to be different uses, as far as I can tell.
Since this skill shows up in many squire-ly lifepaths, I would imagine it’s simply a more specialized version of the Spear skill (a la Brawling and Boxing), and you can use either for lances. That said, I don’t know that this is the intent – after all, a skill that is a strict subset of another is not so common!
Another question about lances comes from the mounted combat rules, which say that a Lance test should be followed by a die of fate to drop or break the lance. Can the character willingly drop the lance even if this die of fate does not roll a 1?
While we’re in the mounted combat section, I suppose:
The Weight of Cavalry gives
Downward-stroke hacking, slashing and crushing weapons
+1D to weapon skill while mounted, while The Curved Blade gives curved swords a +2D to weapon skill while mounted. Is this +2D meant to replace the +1D from The Weight of Cavalry, or are they intended to combine to give +3D? I would assume they don’t “stack”, but I’ve been wrong about these readings before.
Also: the rider can script the horse’s actions. What happens if the Horse tries to Avoid or Block while the rider Strikes? Does the rider benefit from this defensive action as well? It’s a bit awkward if they don’t, because the opponent needs to win a Strike before they can move hits from the horse to the rider and vice-versa.