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Or you could make it so morning stars are balls and chains, as seems to be the case.




A morning star as depicted in BG1 is basically just a spiked mace. Whacking someone with a mace with spikes and one without probably doesn't take a different skill set. Come to think of it, what's the deal with clubs, too?


As for flails, they're actually more like this: http://www.scottishmist.com/assets/farming/Flail.jpg


Flails aren't even in BG2, so if anyone's aiming at sorting out nonsensical proficiencies vs. graphics vs. what the weapons actually are, removing "flails" entirely and re-naming them morning stars with a morning star proficiency, and then making the current morning stars just be maces would make more sense.


Edit: Oh, and if anyone says flails should be included in the game, I demand that there be double-bladed scythes, too. That can be dual-wielded.

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The definitions of flails and morning stars vary wildly (someone who actually studies this can explain why, I'm sure). I'm not going to begrudge BG2 its particular choice of terms for these weapons, but I do think that that using the mace avatar graphic for morning stars is a good idea.

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As for flails, they're actually more like this: http://www.scottishmist.com/assets/farming/Flail.jpg

There's a difference between farming flails (which is what the above image is of) and military flails. Military flails do indeed consist of "one (or more) spiked metal balls attached to a handle with a hinge or chain".


The morning star as seen in the BG games is correct, in that this type of weapon was what the name "morning star" was originally created for. The confusion arose simply because both flails and morning stars were so rare, with almost all medieval knights preferring to use various types of sword. Thus if someone actually saw a weapon they had only vaguely heard mention of in the past, they could easily have called it by the wrong name, or even thought it was some strange variation of the far more common mace (a weapon often used by peasants, since it was both cheap and easy to make).


To add to the confusion, the morning star in BG should technically be called the "footman's morning star" since it's only one of two types, the other being the six feet long "horseman's morning star". But I wouldn't call this a bug, more an oversight :).

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This site seems to be what I would imagine:




Though the spiked mace would fit just as well.



Does anyone know of sources for the term Morningstar as a weapon? The idea of this as a spiked ball on a chain is the one I prefer if only for the fact that to an opponent the swing required for this type of weapon would look like a star rising from behind/over the shoulder of the wielder. (Yeah it's weak...I know!)


Regardless the "spiked-ball on a chain" is one my favourite weapon types.

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The name "morning star" was first used in medieval England, and the weapon itself was invented at the beginning of the 14th century... though I couldn't tell you which country the first ever morning star was created in. The morning star was also known as the "goedendag" (Dutch for "good day") and the "holy water sprinkler" (!)


The weapon which looks like a mace, only with a large spike on the end and more spikes around the circumference, is the weapon the name "morning star" was originally coined for. As I said, flails, morning stars and maces came to be mistaken for one another because flails and morning stars were very rare.


BTW to add even more confusion, there are multiple types of mace, e.g. the flanged mace (which is what most of the BG maces are) and the spiked mace.

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The Morningstar


Also called a morgenstern (German for morning star) and a ball and chain mace. The morningstar was virtually identical to the ball and chain mace, the only difference being that a morningstar always had a spiked ball for striking. Like the ball and chain, the morningstar consisted of a metal ball attached by a chain to a wood or metal handle. By extending the weapon’s center of gravity far from the hand, the wielder created a great deal of momentum in a swing. The increased force of impact upon the target was devastatingly effective against armored and unarmored opponents alike.



A jointed weapon consisting of a spiked, flanged or knobbed steel bludgeon joined by a chain to a short wood or steel haft. Use of the large two-handed flail continued to be taught in fight schools into the 17th century. It was derived from the simple agricultural flail, still used in some parts of the world today.

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Heh, wow, as soon as I posted up above, I knew it was a mistake. My misconception was from way back as a kid when I heard the argument that flails are farming implements and morning stars are the spiked ball and chain thing, and y'know... kids take things at face value.


So anyways, yeah, looks like the morning star and flail should basically be merged into the same thing in BG anyways, right? Since the stick with a ball that has spikes on it is in fact just a mace with spikes.

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Or, should BG2 morningstars and flail be based on their descriptions in the 2nd Edition Arms and Equipment Guide?


ClubMost clubs are stout, hardwood sticks, narrow at the grip and wider at the end. This simple weapon has been used since mankind first began using tools. Anyone can find a good stout piece of wood and swing it; hence the club's widespread use.


The club is the ancestor of the mace, since warriors eventually fitted their clubs with spikes and metal heads in order to increase their deadliness.


As centuries passed, cultures began embracing civilization and advanced technology. They looked down on the club as a primitive tool and a barbarian weapon. Peasants often arm themselves with clubs, sometimes adapting them by adding iron spikes, resulting in the morningstar.



The flail is a sturdy wooden handle attached to an iron rod, a wooden rod with spikes, or a spiked iron ball. Between the handle and its implement is either a hinge or chain link. The weapon was originally used as a tool for threshing grain.

Here it is question of the difference between a morningstar and a mace. Hence:


Since the stick with a ball that has spikes on it is in fact just a mace with spikes.

So, what do we do?

  • Do away with morningstars altogether, rename them all flails.
  • Move morningstars to the maces proficiency and change the animation.
  • Just change the animation.
  • Add options for all of the above. Gah!
  • Nothing.

Remember we aren't going to hunt down all mod-added morningstars, this'll be vanilla BG2 only.

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I don't know about the character animations, but the inventory BAMs for flails, morning stars and maces are all both historically accurate, and in fitting with the pnp & BG2 descriptions.


Also, those Arms and Equipment Guide descriptions were what was used for the weapon descriptions in the games (though some have been abbreviated) :).

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If there is any merging going on, I'd suggest putting weapon types together that would require similar skills to use. I'd say that a rod with a spiked metal ball connected to the rod by a chain, would require much different skills to use, than a club with a few nails through it. I'd probably throw flails and morningstars together, and clubs and maces together.


That said, I believe the fighting style with a morningstar is significantly different from the fighting style of a flail, and the two skills could be kept separated.

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