Superior Quality Staff?

Noble Mage Character carries a Staff and Dagger that he pays 29 resource points for (20 for superior arms +9 to make superior dagger into a throwing weapon) Noble Mages is also an Enchanter and has plans for these items.
What weapon stats should be used for a superior staff?
What skills should be used to make your own staff?
(Weaponsmith does spears, Carpentry selects trees and shapes wood, Carving shapes and engraves wood) Should it be a linked test of all three?

Not all weapons come in a superior variety. Staffs don’t.

Daggers and throwing daggers are actually not the same weapon at all, and your 9 RPs are buying you a brace of extra SQ throwing knives. Unless you also want a nice knife at your belt you can just go with run of the mill.

Making a short staff is not terribly challenging. I’d say you could use Weaponsmith or Carpentry. Carving is more decorative. You only use linked tests if you have multiple intents; this sounds more like a good time for a FoRK.

So making a staff would be a Weaponsmith Ob 1? (Basically a spear without the metal point and flange). To make one without the proper tools is Ob 2, and to do this unskilled with beginners luck is an Ob 4. If you fail the test you have made an inferior quality (shoddy) staff (Ob 2 in combat). I have seen and used poorly made, average (run of the mill) and well made (superior) staffs in my life. Everything from a hastily trimmed tree branch to a well balanced hardwood staff, varnished, laquered with metal rings and a leather wrapped central area for a hand hold. It was a joy to use and behold.
As far as the game goes Enchanting requires superior crafted items to enchant them and has given us two examples of enchanted staffs. So it stands to reason that superior quality staffs could be made, even if that quality is purely esoteric and has no effect on combat. (IRL: you can swing a well balanced weapon faster and harder wood delivers a stronger blow as it absorbs less force back into itself than a softer wood).

I think the idea is that a crummy straight piece of wood is a poor quality staff—not necessarily bad at being a staff or walking stick, but really not ideal for fighting. A straight staff of hard wood with ferrules is run of the mill as a weapon. You can make superior-quality version, but it’s no different for combat purposes.

As I think about it, a poor quality staff is probably more a Scavenging test than a crafting test. Run of the mill would be Weaponsmith or Carpentry Ob 2, I think; it’s not really much simpler than a spear.

Weaponsmith says “to make a poor quality weapons, fail the test!” ( pg. 308 ) I did miss read the Ob 1 for knife as being for spear (which, as you say, should be an Ob 2 test). As Carving is the careful shaping and engraving of wood (pg.263) I could see it being used to shape a branch or sapling into a staff. This would allow any peasant with a knife in his traveling gear to make his own staff on the road (simple shape = run of the mill staff), if he wanted to choose a particularly straight and sturdy branch/tree to start with and embellish it with engraved symbols or emblems he could make it into a superior quality staff. (Note that a complex carving or shape is an Ob 3 test, 2 Ob higher than the simple shape test and a +2 Ob is what seperates a run of the mill weaponsmith test from a superior weaponsmith test).

Regarding a Scavenging test, if I state I’m scavenging for a staff, the gm sets the obstacle in accordance to how likely one would be found. If I make it I’ve got a run of the mill staff, if I don’t I might get a staff with a complication (or none at all).

There’s a simple “is it reasonable” question with intents/tasks. Do you carve a staff? No, you don’t really. The Carving skill is for whittling and embellishment; it’s not for shaping large blocks of wood.

Again, I think a poor quality staff is, essentially, an ordinary piece of straight wood used as a staff. Perfectly serviceable for most staff purposes, maybe, but it’s not a very good weapon. A weapons-grade staff, in run of the mill terms, is not just higher quality wood, although it helps. It’s also banded and given ferrules and is a definite weapon of war.

Scavenging because the biggest difficulty in just having a staff is finding the raw material, i.e. straight wood. You don’t really make that, you find it. Crafting only comes into the picture when you’re improving on that base.

Scavenging a staff isn’t really any different than scavenging a knife or a tool kit. You’re looking for the item, not the parts to make it (although that would be an interesting complication). If you are successful at scavenging a staff then a staff is what you have (possibly discarded, lost, or overlooked by the previous owner). The last staff I made (IRL) I made from a lightning struck tree limb which I whittled down to approximately a 3" diameter (after stripping off the bark of course), it was about 6 1/2 ’ long and sun bleached white.
The only tool I used was my belt knife. (This was over 35 years ago) hardwood (oak) staff lasted a good 5 years (mostly on my wall).

Never intended to have SQs staves but youre welcome to create one.

When it comes down to intent and task I should tell my gm “I want to make a staff” he asks “So how are you going to do this?” Then I state my intent " I want to find a sutable branch and use my carving skill to shape it into a staff" gm calls for a scavenging or foraging test to find a sutable branch and then sets the obstacle to shape it into a staff. If I blow the scavenging test I cannot find the sutable branch to shape into a staff, if I blow the carving skill I am unable to shape it into a proper staff, it is poor quality at best, and broken at worst.

Again, the carving skill allows you to shape as well as engrave wood. And a simple shape is an Ob 1 (basic staff) while a complex shape is an Ob3 (intricate staff).

How about add 2 pow 2 va - weapon spd 3 2-hnd longer (basically the same as a short spear without the speartip and requiring two hands) it gives a slight advantage over a sword in length and us well balanced for faster spd.

How are you getting VA 2 from what’s, at best, an metal-shod wooden rod?

I’m not.
It’s Add 2 Pow 2 VA - Spd 3 2-Hand Longer .
The only things that changed were the length and speed.

Ah, gotcha. Read that backwards, sorry.

saying a stick can be perfectly weighted for combat is a bit like saying you can build a superior quality frying pan designed specifically for Tika Waylan to bash Draconians with.

A stick suitable for a weapon can be bought or scavaged I suppose. Making it look pretty would be carpentry–with the Ob. Commensurate with the filigree and intricacy of the design, which would have no bearing* on its combat function.

  • when I say “bearing” what I mean is, "not significant enough to be noticeable by the abstract rules of BWG. As you say, you may indeed be able to tell the difference between really well made staves and a simple straight oak branch–but the rules aren’t so fine grained as to show this advantage. Indeed, Mother Nature has probably more to say about a staffs quality in combat than anything a carpenter could do. To be honest, I’m going to go out on a limb and say there may be a conflation of beauty of craftsmanship of the wood working of sticks with efficacy in combat.

True, in the abstract generalizations of weapon rules there is only so much you can do without over complicating things (so we have a sword skill that covers all swords rather than a claymore, rapier, gladius, ect) and some games draw from history while others tend towards fantasy so their allowable weapons and skills will reflect those choices.
To me, a well balanced staff doesn’t do any more damage but it is faster and easier to use than the standard fare (back in the 80’s there was a conpany that produced extremely well made Bo Staffs that were percision balanced with tapered ends. I noticed the difference as soon as I used one).

I agree, but I think an ordinary staff is low-quality and specially made weapons are run of the mill. That’s the cap; there’s no extra effort or expense that can go into making it better.

I think of a hastily trimmed tree branch as poor quality (an untrimmed branch is a brawling weapon) a properly made staff as run of the mill (be it shaped from branch or trunk) where as a superior staff could be fashioned and shaped from any sutable materials and adorned in countless ways (fantasy fiction has featured staves of dragon bone, ebony, gold, volcanic glass, diamond, ect).
Again, much depends upon the world you game in.
Making a superior staff doesn’t seem to be a rule breaker and there are a few different skills to task it with (Carpentry, Carving, Weaponsmith, Enchanting, and Woodcraft). There are many ways to improve upin a staff, and in an abstract system like this, we show those improvements by making it superior.

SQ doesn’t mean fancy, it means better as a weapon. Staffs don’t have enough room to get better. You can inlay it with ebony, encrust it with gems, and gild it liberally, and it’s not going to be better at bashing in heads.

You can change the length, cap it with iron as opposed to wrapping in leather or just using iron rings to keep it from splitting, on the classic quarterstaff cudgel there would be a weighted head piece, your standard end rings could be replaced with triangular shaped end caps that concentrate the force of the blow along an edge rather than diffused along the circumference, choice of wood can also affect the striking force as a softer wood absorbs more kinetic energy back into itself than a harder one. And even if you only make a small improvement in the weapons Add, Power, VA, Length, or Speed you’ve created a superior version of that weapon.
I wouldn’t expect to find them just laying around, wsiting to be snatched up by the wealthy adventurer (as if there were such a thing in BW), but I could see one being tracked down or crafted in game if the need was great enough to justify time time and trouble, let alone the expense to procure one.