Dagger against Spear! Guard and Reach

I fight a lot with a Dagger (reach 1) and usually, of course, take on others with longer weapons. How does reach work with breaking guard? If I use a standard Action to Break someone’s Guard who has a spear (reach 3), I read i then have an advantage? On Page 123 of the core book under the subheading eeach and Gaurd it has this.

“If the defender’s Guard has been lost,
the attacker gains one bonus d20 for every point of Reach
less than the defender, having slipped past the defender’s
weapon or shield.”

That’s great if I break the Spear mans Guard i am in and get +2 more d20. I cant see how i get to there though?

On the momentum Spend Table:
"Break Guard (2) May only be used on an attack or a Defend Reaction. The target loses Guard.

But How does this work in a combat situation? Is the break Gaurd not a standard action?

Well, you can spend 2 momentum when attacking to break their guard. Then next action against that target you get those extra D20´s unless he reacts before you and regain guard.
Best is if you have an ally who breaks his guard and then you act after that to utilize your dagger and attack better.
Otherwise, attack and break his guard. Either 2 momentum for swift action (or 1 if you are using 2 weapons) or spend a Fortune for the extra attack.


As I understand it guard isn’t a group thing but on and individual basis. I don’t believe he can have an ally break guard for him like that. Disarm the opponent sure but not break his guard.

Aha, allways thought that. Sounds reasonable whem I think about that.
Well swift action or Fortune to be sure the npc dont gets guard back. :sunglasses::sunglasses:

That is what i was stuck at: So there really it is really only feasable to take advantage of break guard if you have the momentum to use a swift action.

But is Break guard considered a standard action? Attack is the standard action. Is it you successfully hit THEN get to spend two momentum to break guard? much like you would to use swift action?

This pertains to losing Guard when dealing with Reach. Let’s say your opponent lost his Guard from a Momentum spend. When your opponent takes a Minor Action to regain Guard does that allow a Retaliation? To regain Guard is a Parry skill test and at first thought is a non-combat skill test. The importance is that the retaliation attack is against an opponent without Guard.

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I’d like to respectfully disagree with the idea that guard is per opponent. If your party of 6 each individually breaks somebody’s guard then they would take multiple turns to recover from that. I believe that it makes more sense that one person knocked somebody’s spear or shield out of the way and created an opening for someone else. That’s teamwork and it’s cinematic instead of Shadowrun-level rules minutia.

Which sounds fun?

Hilda digs her axe deeply into Vil’lain’s shield, dragging it aside and creating an opening that Lorn takes advantage of with his spear to stab Vil’lain in the leg and knock him down, so Shade can jump in with their kris and stab Vil’lain in his exposed stomach.


Hilda knocks aside Vil’lain’s shield.
Then Lorn knocks aside Vil’lain’s shield.
Then Shade pokes Vil’lain’s shield ineffectively because 1:1 in a white room it’s too hard to get successes against long reach.
Vil’lain gets annoyed and fixes their shield twice so that Hilda and Lorn can each knock it aside again.

Second: For dagger wielders—don’t forget that it’s perfectly justifiable to consider an unaware opponent to not have guard. If you’re using a dagger as your primary weapon I’d like to recommend ignoring the melee tree and drink deeply from the cup of stealth. The dagger seems like a hard weapon to use well in an empty white room, but actual gameplay rarely happens in an empty white room. A dagger can be devastating. Also don’t forget to exploit all of the time—whether with observation or stealth or whatever other skill the GM feels is appropriate.


A character either has Guard or they don’t, so it’s entirely possible to remove someone’s Guard and then have an ally capitalise on that.

Also note that, aside from directly spending Momentum to break Guard, there are a couple of other approaches too. As noted, foes who are unaware of their attackers can be seen as having no Guard (so dagger-wielders are great against unaware foes, especially if they can get an Exploit for added sneak attack), and a character who is prone loses Guard, so a weapon with knockback (like bashing with a shield) can be invaluable for dropping a foe’s Guard.


Maybe not a definitive answer to how rules should work, but Matt from Scholagladiatora does a good job demonstrating a lot of what has been discussed in this video.


Thank you for clarifying this.