This is a proficiency that is available ONLY to characters who are, or were, Infantry or Marines. It allows a properly equipped rifle with the appropriate style bayonet to be used as a spear in melee combat and it allows the user to defend against another bayonet or spear attack.
A bayoneted rifle CANNOT be thrown as a spear! It is a melee combat weapon only, though it is possible to fire the rifle while equipped with the bayonet. Only a breech loader or repeater rifle can be reloaded for a second or further shots while the bayonet is in place. To reload a muzzle loader the bayonet must be removed OR it will take an extra round to reload the weapon.
To use a bayonet the rifle must be designed to accept one. This means that the muzzle is shaped to fit and attach the type of bayonet designed for it. Examples include socket, clip, sword and so on. Different armies use different style bayonets, so typically a French bayonet will not fit an English rifle. Military rifles are built to handle the blows of bayonet fighting without being damaged. Shotguns and carbines are not made to accept a bayonet. Rifles made for the civilian market, especially tubular magazine repeaters cannot be equipped with a bayonet.
The bayonet itself, when not attached to the rifle, may be used as a large dagger or a short sword if it is a Sword Bayonet.
Using a bayoneted rifle is a two handed attack.
As with other melee weapons a Fighter may make two attacks per round with the bayonet.
If the rifle is loaded the fighter may shoot at anytime in the round but only at the opponent he is facing. If he shoots WHILE the bayonet is fleshed in his enemy, after a successful To Hit with the blade, the Fighter rolls a d20. On ANY RESULT EXCEPT 1 it is an automatic Hit. (1 represents a misfire.) This is treated as a Point Blank Shot. Damage is automatically considered Critical in that it is applied DIRECTLY to the Target’s Health (CN) NOT Hit Points. (There is no dodge or twist to avoid some portion of the damage in a Point Blank shot.
When fighting an opponent with another bayonet equipped rifle, or a spear, the Fighter may use his weapon to parry attacks giving him a +2 to AC vs the enemy’s melee attack. This DOES NOT apply to the enemy firing his/her bayonet tipped rifle! However, the bayoneted rifle MAY be used to parry a spear that is thrown at the fighter, PROVIDED that the fighter is facing the spear thrower and sees it coming. This adds +1 to the defender’s AC vs the thrown spear.
If the Fighter looks away from his opponent in a bayonet fight, for example to shoot at another enemy, his attacker may make an Opportunity Attack against him.
British Bayonet Types
A sword bayonet was standard issue for non commissioned officers.
The standard bayonet was a socket-type spike, either converted from the older Pattern 1853 (overall length 20.4 inches) or newly produced as the Pattern 1876 (overall length 25 inches), referred to as the “lunger”.
A bayonet designed by Lord Elcho was intended for chopping and other sundry non-combat duties, and featured a double row of teeth so it could be used as a saw; it was not produced in great numbers, being considered too costly, and was not standard issue.