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Racial Weapons


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew


I've never been best pleased by the default racial weapons in D&D/Pathfinder. Mostly, I don't like the "automagic" proficiency that elves and dwarves (and others) get, so I am removing those entirely. Some martial weapons might be reduced to simple weapons for specific races to keep with established flavor. I do like that "racial" weapons get treated as Martial instead of Exotic for those races.

As it stands, there aren't many racial weapons, especially for races that aren't elves or dwarves, with humans having none. I would like to rectify that, with your help.

Below is a list of the most common player races for my homebrew world. Flen are just halflings with a different name. Firbolg are medium sized giants who tend to be rustic nomads. Otherwise things are pretty standard.

Player races:
Human
Elf
Dwarf
Gnome
Flen
Firbolg

Basically, I'd like to add two or three racial weapons (at least one melee and one ranged) for each race that are normally exotic, but considered martial for everyone else.

If you would like to participate, please post the full stats for the item plus a little text on what it looks like and (if not directly obvious) how it would be used.

Thank you very much!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Honestly, humans have a big boost already with their bonus feat, so tacking a racial weapon on top of that seems to me to be overkill. But if you're determined....

Humans: Spear/Sling - Your ethnicity may vary, but these were basic military weapons for thousands of years.

Elf: Katana/Bows - I see no need to mess with the classics here.

Dwarf: Hammers/Handguns - Dwarves are usually presented as the most technologically advanced race. Why not have the rules actually reflect that?

Gnome: Tekko-kagi/Shuriken - Gnomes have always struck me as being kind of creepy and secretive, so my weapon choices reflected that.

Halflings: Shortswords/Hand Crossbows - Eh, why not?

Firbolg: Tetsubo/Throw Anything - A giant club and the ability to pick up and throw rocks, sheep, etc... seems appropriate.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Son of the Veterinarian wrote:


Elf: Katana/Bows - I see no need to mess with the classics here.

Wait. When the hell did the katana become a 'classic' elf weapon?


I think he's thinking of the very katana-like scimitars that you see on fantasy book jackets.

Here are a list of random weapons that I just sort of pulled together. Obviously none of them have been playtested to see how broken they are, but I like them all. The dwarven waraxe and elven curveblade are augmented versions of those that appear in the core rulebook, as I feel those weapons are sort of weak. I have them balanced (theoretically) based on the cost of a feat and not on them being "free" martial weapons for the specific race, which may or may not be a problem.

My thought on the humans would be that, if they want a free exotic weapon as martial, they get a bonus feat at first level. I know EWP has a +1 BAB requirement, but the only ones who care about a weapon being martial have good BAB. 3/4 BAB classes only get select martial weapons (if any martial weapons at all) and not carte blanc access to all martial weapons. 1/2 BAB classes really don't care about weapons, usually.

Quote:

Elven Longbow [Ranged]

S: 1d8, M: 1d10, Crit: 18-20/x2, Range: 110 ft, Damage: P, Weight: 2 lbs, Cost: 100 gp

The elven longbow stands slightly taller than the average elf, at nearly six feet. The draw on the bow is surprisingly light for the power that it packs. Unlike a normal longbow, however, an elven longbow cannot be made into a composite bow, as the special qualities of the arlinshil wood are mitigated when combined with bone or harder woods. You need two hands to use a bow, regardless of its size. An elven longbow is too unwieldy to use while you are mounted. If you have a penalty for low Strength, apply it to damage rolls when you use an elven longbow.

Elven Curveblade (augmented from Core) [Two-handed Melee]
S: 1d8, M: 1d10, Crit: 18-20/x2, Damage: S, Weight: 7 lbs, Cost: 80 gp
Special Properties: Disarm

Essentially a longer version of a scimitar, but with a thinner blade, the elven curve blade is exceptionally rare. You receive a +2 circumstance bonus to your Combat Maneuver Defense whenever a foe attempts to sunder your elven curve blade due to its flexible metal. You can use the Weapon Finesse feat to apply your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier to attack rolls with an elven curve blade sized for you, even though it isn't a light weapon.

Elven Spear-Staff [Two-handed Melee]
S: 1d6/1d6, M: 1d8/1d8, Crit: 19-20/x2, Damage: B/P, Weight: 3 lbs, Cost: 3 gp
Special Properties: Blocking, Double, Trip

An elven spear-staff is a double weapon appearing much like a quarterstaff with a broad bladed spearhead on one end. The elven spear staff is both an offensive and defensive weapon, able to block attacks as well as strike from either end. A spear-staff may be wielded in one hand as a spear, but it loses the blocking property.

Quote:

Dwarven Waraxe (augmented from Core) [One-handed Melee]

S: 1d8, M: 1d10, Crit: 20/x3, Damage: S, Weight: 8, Cost: 30 gp
Special Properties: Sunder, Trip

A dwarven waraxe has a large, heavy axehead mounted to a stout handle. The dwarves designed the end-heavy weapon for maximum striking power with a single hand. The large head is attached only at the top to the haft, creating a hook that can be used to trip an opponent. A dwarven waraxe gains a +2 to your Combat Maneuver Bonus on sunder attempts.

Dwarven Crossbow [Ranged]
S: 1d8, M: 1d10, Crit: 20/x3, Range: 120 ft, Damage: P, Weight: 8 lbs, Cost: 125 gp

The dwarven crossbow consists of a stout wooden stock and a flexible metal bow. Designed very similar to a normal light crossbow, a dwarven crossbow does not come with a windlass, but must be strung by hand. All dwarven crossbows are made with a particular strength rating (that is, each requires a minimum Strength modifier to use with proficiency). If your Strength bonus is less than the strength rating of the crossbow, you can't effectively use it, so you take a –2 penalty on attacks with it. The default dwarven crossbow requires a Strength modifier of +0 or higher to use with proficiency. A dwarven crossbow can be made with a high strength rating to take advantage of an above-average Strength score; this feature allows you to add your Strength bonus to damage, up to the maximum bonus indicated for the crossbow. Each point of Strength bonus granted by the crossbow adds 100 gp to its cost. If you have a penalty for low Strength, apply it to damage rolls when you use a dwarven crossbow.

Dwarven Pickaxe [Two-handed Melee]
S: 1d6, M: 2d4, Crit: 20/x4, Damage: P, Weight: 10 lbs, Cost: 35 gp
Special Properties: Sunder (see text)

The dwarven pickaxe is a two-handed mining pick that has been modified for war. The heavy, weighted tip of the dwarven pickaxe punches through armor with ease. A dwarven pickaxe gains a +2 to your Combat Maneuver Bonus on sunder attempts, and gains an additional +1 on sunder attempts against medium or heavy armor.

Quote:

Gnome Crossbow [Ranged]

S: 1d6, M: 1d8, Crit: 19-20/x2, Damage: P (see text), Range: 80 ft, Weight: 8 lbs
Special Properties: (see text)

The gnome crossbow functions much the same as a normal light crossbow, and may be used as such by anyone with simple weapon proficiency. The gnome crossbow, however, is specifically designed as a launching system for alchemical ammunition, such as alchemist fire or acid. The gnome crossbow has a larger groove than a normal crossbow and comes fitted with a small piece of leather on the string to help launch the alchemical ammunition. When fired from the launcher, the alchemical ammunition gains the range increment of the gnome crossbow, and any feats or abilities that modify attacks with a gnome crossbow apply when firing alchemical ammunition. When firing alchemical ammunition, the damage type is appropriate to the alchemical weapon and does not deal piercing damage.

Gnome Cutlass [One-handed Melee]
S: 1d6, M: 1d8, Crit: 18-20/x2, Damage: S (see text), Weight: 4 lbs, Cost: 20 gp
Special Properties: Brutal, Non-lethal (see text)

The gnome cutlass is a short curved blade, often with a solid metal basket over the hilt to protect the hand. Designed for very close quarters fighting, such as in tunnels or on the deck of a ship, the gnome cutlass is light and nimble but sturdy. A gnome cutlass grants a +2 bonus to your Combat Maneuver Defense against disarm attempts. A gnome cutlass may also be used to strike with the basket. Doing so deals non-lethal bludgeoning damage, and the wielder does not take the normal -4 penalty to deal nonlethal damage with a lethal weapon.

Gnome Harpoon [Two-handed Melee]
S: 1d6, M: 1d8, Crit: 19-20/x2, Range: 20 ft, Damage: P, Weight: 16 lbs, Cost: 25 gp
Special Properties: Grappling, Reach

The gnome harpoon is a jagged spearhead on a solid wooden shaft and is a slightly modified whaling harpoon. If the user is proficient, he may treat the gnome harpoon as a grappling weapon. The gnome harpoon comes with 100 feet of silk rope, with the harpoon itself only weighing 6 pounds. When grappling with a gnome harpoon, you may choose to move directly towards your opponent at half your speed, or move your opponent directly towards you at one quarter your speed, with a successful grapple check to move an opponent. Even though the gnome harpoon has reach, you may bring a grappled opponent adjacent to you while still grappled with the gnome harpoon.

Quote:

Flen Swiftsling [Ranged]

S: 1d4, M: 1d6, Crit: 19-20/x2, Range: 50 ft, Damage: B, Weight: --, Cost: 2 gp

The flen swiftsling is a specially modified sling to facilitate ease of loading and firing sling bullets. A flen swiftsling takes two hands to reload and, if the user is proficient, may be reloaded as a free action. A flen swiftsling is often made of leather with a bone or wood piece in the pocket, however other variants are known. A flen swiftsling may be used as a normal sling if the wielder chooses.

Flen Swiftblade [Light Melee]
S: 1d4, M: 1d6, Crit: 18-20/x2, Damage: P or S, Weight: 2 lbs, Cost: 15 gp
Special Properties: Blocking

The flen swiftblade is a small, leaf-shaped sword with a simple crossguard. The flen swiftblade may be drawn as a free action while performing any other move or standard action with a DC 10 Sleight of Hand check or if the user has the Quick Draw feat. The flen swiftblade grants a +2 bonus to your Sleight of Hand check to conceal the weapon. A flen swiftblade is often paired with a flen longblade and is used as a defensive weapon.

Flen Longblade [One-handed Melee]
S: 1d6, M: 1d8, Crit: 18-20/x2, Damage: P or S, Weight: 3 lbs, Cost: 20 gp

The flen longblade is a longer version of the flen swiftblade, resulting in a slightly more subtle curve to the outside edges. Primarily used as a piercing weapon, the flen longblade can still deliver devastating slashes. You can use the Weapon Finesse feat to apply your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier to attack rolls with a flen longblade sized for you, even though it isn't a light weapon. You can't wield a flen longblade in two hands in order to apply 1-1/2 times your Strength bonus to damage. A flen longblade is often paired with a flen swiftblade and is used as the primary offensive weapon.

Quote:

Firbolg Hammer [Two-handed Melee]

S: 1d10, M: 1d12, Crit: 20/x4, Range: 20 ft, Damage: B, Weight: 10 lbs, Cost: 8 gp

The firbolg hammer is a large round stone hooked to a heavy metal chain, ending in a wide handle. Special firbolg hammers might replace the stone with a ball of metal (at an increased cost). The firbolg hammer is used one of two ways, either as a melee weapon similar to a flail, or as a thrown weapon similar to a throwing hammer. When used in melee, it is swung in large sweeping motions, maintaining momentum through multiple swings. When used at range, it is swung once around the body and thrown towards the target. The firbolg hammer is considered a boulder for the purposes of feats like Deflect Arrows or for abilities like Rock Catching.

Firbolg Axe [Two-handed Melee]
S: 1d10, M: 2d6, Crit: 20/x3, Damage: P or S, Weight: 12 lbs, Cost: 20 gold
Special Properties: Brace, Reach

The firbolg axe is very similar to an exaggerated halberd, with a longer, sturdier handle. The firbolg axe is primarily used as a slashing weapon, with the large bladed head dealing significant damage. However, the spear pike on the end of the pole is no less effective in combat. If used to brace against a charge, the wielder uses the spear head and thus deals piercing damage.

Firbolg Broadsword [One-handed Melee]
S: 1d8, M: 1d10, Crit: 20/x3, Damage: S, Weight: 6 lbs, Cost: 15 gold
Special Properties: Sunder

The firbolg broadsword is a thick, wide one-handed sword designed for delivering heavy blows to an opponent. A firbolg broadsword grants a +2 to your Combat Maneuver Bonus on sunder attempts and treats its own hardness as 2 points higher when taking damage from a sunder attempt.

So, I like them all, but some may be useless, some may be stupidly powerful and some may just make no sense, but there they are. I'd like to see what other people come up with, and what people think of mine.


Just my thoughts, but....

Firbolg Hammer seems a bit op, as I would spend EWP to get that weapon every day of the week. 1d12 x4, and I can throw it?! There's got to be some crazy rapid throwing build out there for this. I just see firbolg barbarians with charging throw hurling these as they charge in for battle. Cool concept, but might be a little overpowered.

Now, a question, why do the gnomes have a crossbow for shooting alchemical weapons, but their last weapon is a harpoon? First, I don't know why gnomes have a harpoon except to climb on the backs of giants (who will shortly eat them). Moreover, Why design a crossbow for alchemical flasks (dangerous and difficult) but not a crossbow for your harpoon (something we do in real life)? To take a small note from reality, when hurling flask-like explosives, we do not use bow technology because flasks are not aerodynamic. We use sling technology, like the spanish during their civil war. Yes, eighty years ago, military units were still using slings, to toss fire flasks over walls. I think the gnomes may do better with an alchemical sling as opposed to a crossbow. It also makes the ranges a lot more under control.

Lastly, I never got why dwarves who live in lightless caves, and who rely on 60' darkvision are attributed with a crossbow that shoots so far beyond what they are used to relying on for sight. I'm not saying a dwarf wouldn't use a crossbow when the situation presented itself, but I find it hard to make that a racial weapon for them. I would suggest something like a :

Quote:

Dwarven Tomahawk [One-Handed Melee]

S: 1d4, M: 1d6, Crit: 20/x3, Range: 20 ft, Damage: S, Weight: 3 lbs, Cost: 10 gold
Special Properties: Special

The Dwarven Tomahawk is a specialized throwing axe with a thin head and a flat, curved handle. Although usable in melee as a hand axe, the dwarven tomahawk excels as a thrown weapon as its unique design allows the weapon to curve in flight. For characters proficient in the dwarven tomahawk, you may reduce the cover bonus to your target by 2 if you have uncovered line of sight to an adjacent square.

Most effective within darkvision range, and a method to reduce the cover bonus from winding tunnels or natural pillars. Now, that is a dwarf racial weapon.

Sczarni

Most weapons suggested are broken even if they r counted for exotic. giving a 18-20 crit to a weapon that isn t supposed to have that means you must either reduce its damage potential or its bonus to critical...

Elven swords don t look nowhere near katanas...

Back to the original thread
You can do that quite easily.

take a martial weapon eg the longsword.
Give it 1 additional property
eg
18-20 or x3 or reach or 1d10 or a medium to light weapon etc

and you have the exotic elven longsword.

or you can add 2 or 3 properties and remove 1-2

so the elven Rapier might be

18-20x3 1d4 damage light weapon (reduced weight can be held offhand, added x3 crit reduced dmg)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
HappyDaze wrote:
Son of the Veterinarian wrote:


Elf: Katana/Bows - I see no need to mess with the classics here.

Wait. When the hell did the katana become a 'classic' elf weapon?

The rapier has never really made sense to me as an Elf weapon, and I agree that just saying "longsword" isn't flavorful enough.

So since the "classic" D&D Tolkien elf is supposed to be an extremely conservative traditionalist. One who uses somewhat out-of-date weaponry, but who's weapons are of such high quality and has so much experience that it more than makes up the difference, I thought that the Katana (given it's reputation in pop culture) was a good choice.


Son of the Veterinarian wrote:
HappyDaze wrote:
Son of the Veterinarian wrote:


Elf: Katana/Bows - I see no need to mess with the classics here.

Wait. When the hell did the katana become a 'classic' elf weapon?

The rapier has never really made sense to me as an Elf weapon, and I agree that just saying "longsword" isn't flavorful enough.

So since the "classic" D&D Tolkien elf is supposed to be an extremely conservative traditionalist. One who uses somewhat out-of-date weaponry, but who's weapons are of such high quality and has so much experience that it more than makes up the difference, I thought that the Katana (given it's reputation in pop culture) was a good choice.

Why does the rapier - a weapon that is lighter and more elegant (and that can utilize weapon finesse) - not make sense for elves?

Sczarni

HappyDaze wrote:
Son of the Veterinarian wrote:
HappyDaze wrote:
Son of the Veterinarian wrote:


Elf: Katana/Bows - I see no need to mess with the classics here.

Wait. When the hell did the katana become a 'classic' elf weapon?

The rapier has never really made sense to me as an Elf weapon, and I agree that just saying "longsword" isn't flavorful enough.

So since the "classic" D&D Tolkien elf is supposed to be an extremely conservative traditionalist. One who uses somewhat out-of-date weaponry, but who's weapons are of such high quality and has so much experience that it more than makes up the difference, I thought that the Katana (given it's reputation in pop culture) was a good choice.

Why does the rapier - a weapon that is lighter and more elegant (and that can utilize weapon finesse) - not make sense for elves?

what u say is totaly true but i think that the scimitar fits better to the way we picture elves and their weapons...Rapier looks more man-made.

and they have similar properties


I don't picture elves with scimitars. I don't care if Drizzt (sp?) and Eberron did it, but i think of the scimitar as a weapon of the middle east. Besides, in Pathfinder, elves have no aversion to manufactured (man-made) tools. There really isn't anything to them that is 'woodsy' by default.


My deal is that the current exotic weapons just suck. I wouldn't spend a feat on any one i can think of. That said, I wanted the exotic weapon to be worth more than Weapon Focus, which is all an up-sized damage die does.

My basic philosophy was to increase damage by one step, expand either crit range or multiple and add a property. I only gave it expanded threat or expanded crit damage, not both.

On the gnome crossbow, it's based on Jan Jansen's Flasher Master Bruiser Mate from Baldur's Gate 2. The gnome harpoon is because our gnomes are sailors.

More commentary when I get home.


Arisps wrote:
Most weapons suggested are broken even if they r counted for exotic. giving a 18-20 crit to a weapon that isn t supposed to have that means you must either reduce its damage potential or its bonus to critical...

So an exotic weapon must still be balanced against its martial counterparts?

Arisps wrote:

...or you can add 2 or 3 properties and remove 1-2

so the elven Rapier might be

18-20x3 1d4 damage light weapon (reduced weight can be held offhand, added x3 crit reduced dmg)

A weapon that deal 1d4 and crits on 18-20 for x3 is not balanced against even an existing exotic weapon (though it looks fair enough to me for the cost of a feat).

Personally, I think weapons like the bastard sword and dwarven waraxe are a joke. Dwarves can use the axe as a martial weapon, but the bastard sword costs a feat? Exotic weapons should be worth spending a feat on. The weapons posted by Mauril aren't really breaking any molds, TBH. They're more or less what I expect in an exotic weapon.


Thank you, Foghammer. I agree with Arisps that my proposed weapons are better than many of the current exotic weapons, but pretty much none of the current exotic weapons are any good, in my opinion. That said, here is a little insight on the design process of each of the above weapons:

Elven weapons

Spoiler:

General: Elves are stereotypically finesse fighters. Finesse, to me, equates to crit ranges, so all elven weapons got expanded crit ranges instead of expanded crit multiples.

Elven Longbow: Normal longbow does a d8, so I upped that to a d10. Since 19-20/x2 and 20/x3 are identical, I switched them. This resulted in a d10 19-20/x2 weapon, with no properties, which is kind of weak. So I expanded the crit range once more without lowering the damage die, this replaced the property I would have given a normal weapon. It also has the limitation of not being made into a composite bow, which makes it a crit build weapon instead of a damage weapon, which also makes it interesting.

The new Elven Curveblade is basically the old Elven Curve Blade plus Disarm. Pretty simple really. Disarm just makes sense to me. Elves get a bonus to INT and thus qualify for the Combat Expertise maneuvers more easily. Trip doesn't seem sensible for a thin, curved sword, but disarming with a flourish does.

Elven Staff-Spear: This one was weird and I don't know how well it came out. Basically, I always sort of envisioned elves using spears so I wanted to make an elfy spear. I couldn't think of how to make it special until I started thinking about how spear fighting and staff fighting are actually rather similar in real life (in a 1 vs 1 combat, that is) but the current rules don't really allow for that. So, since the quarterstaff and spear are both simple weapons, making it cost a feat meant adding a little extra to it. So I upped the damage on the quarterstaff and the crit range (standard procedure for martial to exotic for me), then added the trip and blocking properties. I probably ought to include add the brace feature as well.

Dwarven weapons

Spoiler:

General: Dwarves are about doing something right, or not doing it at all. They are also known for impactful weapons, like hammers and axes. So I gave them all expanded crit multiples and left them to only threaten on a 20.

Dwarven waraxe is pretty much as before. I've always wondered why there aren't axes with the trip property. A hooked axehead is perfect for catching a leg and tripping someone, so it just made sense to me. Also, dwarven weapons (especially the pick) just make sense for sundering. When you live in a world where you cut through stone all the time, your weapons will be solid and strike hard.

The dwarven crossbow was built for two reasons. The first was because, well, every image I've seen of a dwarf with a ranged weapon, he's wielding a crossbow. They are sturdy and simple weapons that just work when they are supposed to, and they require a bit more engineering than bows or slings. So I took the light crossbow (the one you cock by hand, rather than by winch), upped the damage die, switched the crit range/multiple to reflect the design concept and added the ability to give them different strength ratings. This was the second reason to make this. Crossbows lose out to bows too quickly because they can't really increase in damage and fire too slowly. I still required Rapid Reload to reduce the load time to fire iteratives, but those iteratives will be dealing comparable damage at the levels you get them. The bow still gets Manyshot and takes no feats to load as a free action or add a strength rating.

The dwarven pickaxe is basically the falchion, reformatted. Since 18-20/x2 is the same as 20/x3 with an up-sized die, I took that and expanded the crit threat once more to x4. Sundering just makes sense for a pick and I gave it a little bonus when sundering medium or heavy armor (a la lucerne hammer). Now that I look at it, it could probably use a larger damage die. 2d6 20/x4 might be better.

Gnome weapons

Spoiler:

General: Our gnomes are both the typical tinkerers as well as seafarers and explorers. So I tried to cover both aspects, but put a little more on the latter as it seems more fun to me. We didn't like gnomes basically being a halfway point between halflings and dwarves, so we made them a little different.

The gnome crossbow, as mentioned, is based on the weapon Jan Jansen wields in Baldur's Gate 2. Basically, it's a light crossbow that can fire normal crossbow bolts, or it can fire Jan's special exploding skull things. So this one is pretty much exactly a light crossbow that can also shoot alchemical items. I don't know if I'd spend a feat on it, but I just might if I was a non-gnome focusing on alchemy. When it's launching alchemical items, it's probably more akin to a slingshot than a normal crossbow, but crossbows just seemed more tinker-y than slings. I considered shortening the launch range from 80 to 50 feet, but I decided against it as it gets pretty much nothing else in the upgrade.

The gnome cutlass was based on the longsword. Increased the crit range and didn't lower the damage die (or, effectively upped the damage die from the rapier) and added the possibly interesting punching dynamic of using the weapon non-lethally. Since I always imagined pirates using cutlasses, and pirates being brutal fighters, I gave it the brutal property (which is really minor and situational) and, because of the hilt design, a bonus against being disarmed. Overall, a little weaker than I wanted, but not bad. I might make it a light weapon instead of a one-handed weapon in the next draft.

The gnome harpoon exists because we have a whole nation of gnome whalers. So I started with the normal harpoon from UC and doubled the range (since throwing a harpoon only 50 feet total is pretty pathetic) and included a longer and nicer rope. Since whaling harpoons are designed to stick in the whale and drag the boat around until the whale gets exhausted, I modified the way the grappling property on the normal harpoon works. Since pretty much all thrown weapons are also melee weapons, I added the reach property, based on the idea that the gnomes originally used medium-sized harpoons and modified them to suit themselves. The extra length effectively becomes a reach weapon.

Flen weapons

Spoiler:

General: like the elves, Flen are finesse fighters (dex bonus, strength penalty, small size), so expanded ranges instead of multiple abound. I also worked on the idea that light-weight weapons are easier to manipulate and went from there. There will be a feat I will write soon that gives a bonus when fighting with a swiftblade and longblade together (it will work for rapier and main gauche as well).

The flen swiftsling, like the dwarven crossbow, was built because of iconic reasons and filling a mechanical niche. Halflings with slings are pretty staple. Slings that don't suck are needed. The biggest thing that sucks about slings is the reload time. They don't even benefit from rapid reload, making them pretty much not a weapon you can specialize in. So, upped the damage die and threat range by one step each and added the swift loading property.

The flen swiftblade was basically a defensive dagger. Upped the damage die and crit range and gave it the situational ability to draw quickly. Since it was envisioned as a parrying dagger, I added the blocking property.

The flen longblade is just a modified rapier. Upped the damage die, added a damage type, since cutting with a rapier seems like a thing a long bladed weapon ought to be able to do. It's probably my weakest submission, and might need a boost to keep it in line with the others.

Firbolg weapons

Spoiler:

General: the firbolg are medium sized giants, which share lots of similarities with their kin. They are a +2 Str, +2 Wis, -2 Int race that lives mostly in wild areas that aren't well modernized. There are many who do live in the big cities, but the bulk of the population lives in semi-nomadic tribes.

The firbolg hammer is basically the track and field hammer throw hammer, a big heavy weight on the end of a chain. The spear is a d8 20/x3 thrown weapon that is simple, that also gains the brace feature. So, to convert that to exotic, I upped the damage twice and expanded the crit multiple once. Upping the damage die once makes it martial. Upping the damage die and multiple makes martial exotic. Thrown weapons need to have some way to use them in melee, which is included (it's basically an exotic heavy flail minus the disarm and trip properties). It then gets a very situational bit about it actually being a boulder for things where ammunition size matters, like Deflect Arrows and Rock Catching. This was included for GM consistency, as it really is a a boulder on a chain. The weight will be increase to 20 lbs in the next draft.

The firbolg axe is a greataxe with two little properties added. It's probably too weak, as is. Reach is nice, but I've actually never seen brace used in a game. So, that said, you're basically paying a feat for your greataxe to have reach and an alternate damage type. Probably not worth it. Might need to do x4 crit.

The firbolg broadsword is also probably a little weak compared to the rest. Up-diced battleaxe with the sunder property and resistant to sunders. Not sure I'd pay a feat for it, but I'd take it for free if I was a firbolg. Maybe another property or something else interesting.

So, if you read all that, thank you. If any of it made sense, thank you. If you have any comments or suggestions on how to improve these weapons, I would greatly appreciate it. If you don't like the way I've done any of these at all and want to suggest something entirely different that you think is better, that would be awesome too!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Son of the Veterinarian wrote:
HappyDaze wrote:
Son of the Veterinarian wrote:


Elf: Katana/Bows - I see no need to mess with the classics here.

Wait. When the hell did the katana become a 'classic' elf weapon?

The rapier has never really made sense to me as an Elf weapon, and I agree that just saying "longsword" isn't flavorful enough.

So since the "classic" D&D Tolkien elf is supposed to be an extremely conservative traditionalist. One who uses somewhat out-of-date weaponry, but who's weapons are of such high quality and has so much experience that it more than makes up the difference, I thought that the Katana (given it's reputation in pop culture) was a good choice.

Tolkien is not the only modern model for fantasy elves. You also have the Moorcock Melnibonien/Vadhagh model essentially the ultra civilized decadent race which has made swordwork to quite literally an art form.

In fact I would say that the Elves of later versions of D&D, especially the Forgotten Realms and the Silvanesti of Dragonlance owe much more to Moorcock than they do to Tolkien.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mauril wrote:

Thank you, Foghammer. I agree with Arisps that my proposed weapons are better than many of the current exotic weapons, but pretty much none of the current exotic weapons are any good, in my opinion. That said, here is a little insight on the design process of each of the above weapons:

Elven weapons
** spoiler omitted **...

Well, a couple of things jump out at me right off....

The Elven Curveblade seems badly overpowered to me, at the very least it's far to cheap for what it does. I'd even go so far as to suggest that it be a masterwork-only weapon to reflect the difficulty in manufacturing such a weapon.

The harpoon just doesn't work as a melee weapon. The entire point of a harpoon is that once it's stuck in someone you need to cut it out to remove it. At the first successful strike you're going to be effectively unarmed.

Instead of trying to create a "super-sling" for Flen to carry around it might be easier to just give them rapid reload with slings as a racial ability.

"Semi-nomadic" and "huge broadsword" don't entirely go together in my mind. The axe is fine, it's the kind of multi-tasker a nomad would appreciate, but while nomads had plenty of swords for the most part they purchased them. The kind of time and specialized skills required for a racial broadsword would be better spent on things required for survival.

Might I suggest giving the Firbolg a bow that does 1d10 to take advantage of their strength, but with a standard crit range, and give the Elves a bow with the better crit range but standard damage?


The harpoon is a 2-handed melee weapon in Ultimate Combat. Nothing changed there.

The Elven curveblade is, with the exception of adding disarm, identical to the version in Core, which pretty much everyone says is weak.

I would like to make Rapid Reload work on slings, but I'd also like an option that does it differently too. Sort of coming at the problem from two ways.

I do like the idea of giving them a mighty bow of some sort. However, just moving from 1d8 to 1d10, as mentioned above, does not a good weapon make. A single step for a whole feat is pretty wimpy to me. 1d10 20/x4 with some other situational ability, however, might be worth the time...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mauril wrote:


I do like the idea of giving them a mighty bow of some sort. However, just moving from 1d8 to 1d10, as mentioned above, does not a good weapon make. A single step for a whole feat is pretty wimpy to me. 1d10 20/x4 with some other situational ability, however, might be worth the time...

Given we're talking about a weapon somewhere between a regular longbow and a ballista how about a situational cleave ability? Something like, "Because of the mass and striking power of the arrows fired from a Firbolg bow, upon a successful critical hit the user may roll and additional hit on a target up to 10 feet behind the first using only his BAB."

Sczarni

Son of the Veterinarian wrote:


Well, a couple of things jump out at me right off....

The Elven Curveblade seems badly overpowered to me, at the very least it's far to cheap for what it does. I'd even go so far as to suggest that it be a masterwork-only weapon to reflect the difficulty in manufacturing such a weapon.

It s only slightly better than a falchion which is martial so yeah i don t think it worths it as any other but an elf...however if u plan to play someone with a falchion u could consider taking elf with CEB...

I suppose by mwr u mean its +1 to attack is exchanged with properties...

But the consider masterwork CEB will remain balanced as long as it remains mwr...but a mwr weapon can be turned to +1 so eventually it s gonna be overpowered cause it +1 outweigh

The rule is simple u can trade weapon properties but not add new cause that shakes the balance...
We don t wanna play in a world that every elf would carry a CEB that sux...

Sczarni

Mauril wrote:
Thank you, Foghammer. I agree with Arisps that my proposed weapons are better than many of the current exotic weapons, but pretty much none of the current exotic weapons are any good, in my opinion. That said, here is a little insight on the design process of each of the above weapons:

elven Bow. You say "19-20 1d10 is weak without justifeing weak. Is it weak because you feel so? don t forget that with a feat or keen option it would go to 17-20, and 15-20 with 18-20. that s too much. if u want to boost it by a little give it an effective range increment... So elven longbow i visioned it more like

1d10 x3 120 ft effective range(+10 then the composite)

Blade: seriously needs the boost i don t think disarm is what it needs.
1d10 19/20x3 looks better to me. It suprises me there isn t a weapon with that properties since there.
Dagger:The elven dagger should be 1d4 18-20x2

when making race weapons it only makes sence for the fighter classes if they r martial, since only these guys would get em. the other classes could get them anyway when their BaB improves with exotic weapon prof. It matters so if they take martial prof or exotic prof?

I believe the whole endevaur to give martial weapons to races is broken...So i prefer the normal Longswords rapiers to elves


1d10 19-20/x2 is weak because +1 average damage would be a waste of a feat. Even weapon specialization gives +2 damage. By making it 18-20 it becomes worth a feat because it actually adds something significant to your options. Also, it creates an interesting choice of making an archer crit build, which you don't see very often.

Making the Elven curve blade masterwork only is silly to me. So... you can't make one curve blade slightly better than another without magic? I can't have normal curve blades and masterwork curve blades because... that's overpowered? I don't get that limitation.

Regarding adding properties, I can add them and feel that I ought to add them because the current elven curve blade is weak. The same with the dwarven war axe (which I also updated with additional abilities) and the bastard sword and most other exotic weapons. I would not take them, probably even if I got them for free, because niche weapons don't show up in random treasure very often and monsters are almost never statted as wielding them. And they are definitely not worth a feat, outside of flavor reasons, when feats can and often do so much more to make me effective at my job (whatever that happens to be for a given character).

I am striving to mechanically reward players for staying with the established setting fluff, rather than punishing them with weak choices. Want to play a flen who uses a sling because all the setting text says that flen love slings? Here, here's a good sling that lets you be effective in combat while maintaining verisimilitude.

Ultimately, I'm not sure if you understand what the word "broken" means. Does it cause the game to be unplayable? No. It usually costs a resource to gain a little power. Us it the only viable option to choose making all others worthless? No. There are still very valid reasons to choose other weapons. Do the races who get them as martial weapons have a little incentive to take them over a normal martial weapon? Yes, but only if their build aligns with the abilities of the weapon. It makes sense to me that there would be a good deal of dwarves using the dwarven war axe. That's why it's called the "dwarven" war axe, and not just the war axe.

That said, Arisps, I appreciate your input. It made me look critically at my design philosophy, but ultimately it appears w disagree about what is good and what is not good for the price of a feat.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

A bow with a crit range of 18-20? So then Improved Critical makes it such that you're hitting criticals once every four shots on average? My zen archer is going to have a heart attack when he realizes that he's going to be reliably out-DPRing an optimized 2H-fighter...


Even if you can't add your strength to damage, since the elven bow cannot be made composite? If you're right, that's a design concern for me. But since monks aren't proficient in all martial weapons, even an elf monk has to spend a feat to get that bow.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

I'd say it's worth a feat. Without STR to damage, it's possible that it's balanced.

Sczarni

The weapon specialization feat

Prerequisites: Proficiency with selected weapon, Weapon Focus with selected weapon, fighter level 4th.

give these hard prerequirements for exotic weapon proficiency and I may agree that exotic weapons should give average 2 points of damage.


I was making a flippant remark and suggesting that Weapon Spec is sort of weak. The only reason it doesn't suck is that fighters get a ton of feats anyway and every little bit adds up eventually. Even if it didn't have the fighter limitation, I don't think I'd take it as a non-fighter. I often skip over Weapon Focus as a non-fighter martial character because there are other very important things that I need first and by the time I get to having a free feat, that +1 to hit doesn't really matter much.


Mauril wrote:
I was making a flippant remark and suggesting that Weapon Spec is sort of weak. The only reason it doesn't suck is that fighters get a ton of feats anyway and every little bit adds up eventually. Even if it didn't have the fighter limitation, I don't think I'd take it as a non-fighter. I often skip over Weapon Focus as a non-fighter martial character because there are other very important things that I need first and by the time I get to having a free feat, that +1 to hit doesn't really matter much.

This thread is making me curious about a few things.

How long do your games usually go, and what do you see as the "sweet spot" of the level range? Feats probably have different value if you typically play between 8th and 12th level rather than 3rd-6th level.

The weapons you placed above don't strike me as terribly unbalanced compared to core. Some of the wording in design logic about "weak submissions" or things still needing a boost is making me scratch my head- the current submissions seem powerful enough to make specific designs of character for the race appealing, but they are just short of "no-brainer" choices for character types of any race to want to pick to be the best at their chosen role. For some of them, any more of a boost starts to get into the territory of penalizing characters that try to play against type, since they are effectively down a feat to use the weapon most advantageous for their chosen style.

(What is the "brutal" property on the Gnome Cutlass? I cannot find it. Also, I have a fondness for cutlasses that borders on unreasonable, but they really shouldn't be light weapons, as you posited in your design thoughts. They operate more like machetes than fencing sabres- that is to say, they err on the side of "cleaver" rather than "rapier" to make sure they can cut ropes or even wood without having to go get an axe all the time. In a few areas, the words "cutlass" and "machete" are actually interchangeable. If the Gnomish variant is supposed to be lighter, "Boarding Sabre" might be a more illustrative name for the idea.)

Sczarni

I remember reading in some core material that gnomes and halflings are aware that they can't win the strength game, so they prefer a) ranged weapons, b) reach weapons to keep out of their quarry's reach, or c) ensnaring weapons.

Here's my go at it then:

Spoiler:

Gnomish Manacled Net
This small net is similar to a regular net, only it is made of chain instead of rope and its tow line is tied to a special iron manacle. A character wielding the manacled net may spend a move action to lock the manacle to a door knob, tree branch, another manacled net, the wielder's wrist, or other appropriate point. Once the stake is hammered in, the ensnared creature is anchored to the spot until it escapes the net or breaks free(as with regular nets), or until it succeeds at a Disable Device check. The DC of the check depends on the quality of the manacle; masterwork manacles have a higher DC. The net's owner usually owns the key.

Gnomish Crook
S:1d6 M:2d4 Crit:x2 Type: B Special: Reach, trip, see text.
A gnomish crook is a long polearm ending in a large hook, usually constructed from one piece of wood and favored by gnome druids. It has 10" reach, and can be used to make trip or grapple maneuvers at reach. On a failed trip attempt, a wielder may drop the weapon to avoid being tripped. On a critical hit, the wielder may initiate a trip or grapple attempt as a free action, using the original attack roll against the target's CMD.

Halfling Bola Bullet
This ammunition is two pieces of metal connected by a thin silk cord, which folds up into the size and shape of a sling bullet. When fired out of a sling, the bullet entangles its target instead of dealing damage. Additionally, the target must make a Reflex save (DC 10+the wielder's BAB+ the wielder's DEX) or be knocked prone.


Parka wrote:

This thread is making me curious about a few things.

How long do your games usually go, and what do you see as the "sweet spot" of the level range? Feats probably have different value if you typically play between 8th and 12th level rather than 3rd-6th level.

(What is the "brutal" property on the Gnome Cutlass? I cannot find it. Also, I have a fondness for cutlasses that borders on unreasonable, but they really shouldn't be light weapons, as you posited in your design thoughts. They operate more like machetes than fencing sabres- that is to say, they err on the side of "cleaver" rather than "rapier" to make sure they can cut ropes or even wood without having to go get an axe all the time. In a few areas, the words "cutlass" and "machete" are actually interchangeable. If the Gnomish variant is supposed to be lighter, "Boarding Sabre" might be a more illustrative name for the idea.)

The design philosophy for our world is somewhat in line with the design philosophy that spawned things like E6. That is, the range for "normal" people is between level 1 and level 5, with level 5 individuals being relatively well known in their small towns. Levels 6 through 10 are the range of "heroes" and well known figures in the cities and regions. Anything above 10 are world shapers, heroes of great renown that are sung of in bard's tales and carry legends far beyond their actual accomplishments.

A group of level 12 adventurers are the kind to stop world ending apocalypses and challenge kingdoms by themselves.

So, 6-10 would be our sweet spot with us rarely going beyond that. If we do, we expect to leave the Prime and carry out our adventures in parallel worlds or on other planes, since nothing would reasonably be able to stand up against 7th, 8th and 9th level spells in the world we have been crafting for the last decade or more.

So, when a normal character only has 3 or 4 feats to begin an adventure, spending one on a weapon choice ought to be worth his while.

With the restriction of "racial weapons become martial" for each race, you only really have to worry about the cost of playing against type for fighters, paladins, rangers, cavaliers and barbarians. The other twelve classes don't really need to worry about it, since they aren't automatically proficient in all martial weapons.

For a dwarf fighter who doesn't want to go for a sunder or trip build, is he overly penalized to take the longsword or greataxe rather than the dwarven waraxe or dwarven pickaxe? That's a genuine question. I don't think he is, but others might see it differently. If anyone thinks so, I'd like to know why, so that I can modify their design.

Regarding the Brutal property, it's from Ultimate Combat. It's a situational little property that adds +4 to the fortitude save required after a coup de grace.

Also, after some discussion with my game group, I think we might rename the gnome cutlass the "gnome epee", but I do really like the name "gnome boarding sabre". I'll suggest that.


Silent Saturn wrote:

I remember reading in some core material that gnomes and halflings are aware that they can't win the strength game, so they prefer a) ranged weapons, b) reach weapons to keep out of their quarry's reach, or c) ensnaring weapons.

Here's my go at it then:

Spoiler:
Gnomish Manacled Net
This small net is similar to a regular net, only it is made of chain instead of rope and its tow line is tied to a special iron manacle. A character wielding the manacled net may spend a move action to lock the manacle to a door knob, tree branch, another manacled net, the wielder's wrist, or other appropriate point. Once the stake is hammered in, the ensnared creature is anchored to the spot until it escapes the net or breaks free(as with regular nets), or until it succeeds at a Disable Device check. The DC of the check depends on the quality of the manacle; masterwork manacles have a higher DC. The net's owner usually owns the key.

Gnomish Crook
S:1d6 M:2d4 Crit:x2 Type: B Special: Reach, trip, see text.
A gnomish crook is a long polearm ending in a large hook, usually constructed from one piece of wood and favored by gnome druids. It has 10" reach, and can be used to make trip or grapple maneuvers at reach. On a failed trip attempt, a wielder may drop the weapon to avoid being tripped. On a critical hit, the wielder may initiate a trip or grapple attempt as a free action, using the original attack roll against the target's CMD.

Halfling Bola Bullet
This ammunition is two pieces of metal connected by a thin silk cord, which folds up into the size and shape of a sling bullet. When fired out of a sling, the bullet entangles its target instead of dealing damage. Additionally, the target must make a Reflex save (DC 10+the wielder's BAB+ the wielder's DEX) or be knocked prone.

I like these. A chain net used for capturing larger creatures makes sense to me. I really like the Bola Bullets. I'd go ahead and make them deal a modicrum of damage (normal bolas deal 1d4 non-lethal) unless you were being literal about them granting the entangled condition and tripping.

I'm not really sure how to picture attacking with the Gnome Crook. Am I just whacking them with a long pole? I like the trip and grapple options on it and might see about working out how to make a grapple polearm for the gnomes.

Thanks for the suggestions!


Mauril wrote:
I'm not really sure how to picture attacking with the Gnome Crook. Am I just whacking them with a long pole? I like the trip and grapple options on it and might see about working out how to make a grapple polearm for the gnomes.

It's probably a boathook, great for the seafaring Gnomes of your setting.

The Brutal property apparently got re-named "Deadly" on the PRD.

A ton of the concerns for weapons probably arise from Improved Crit and the "X-Critical" feats. In your level range, things are probably a great deal tamer.


Huh. So it did. It's also very likely that I just read it wrong (every single time I looked at it). My brain is weird sometimes.

Yeah, with Improved Crit coming so late in our games, it's not a big concern. With the other crit feats almost never showing up, improved crit just adds some more damage, with fighter-y types ought to be dealing anyway.

Sczarni

A dual weapon fighter with weapon focus and specialization is the juggernaut of destruction.

Weapon specialization stacks with crit,naf said.

Consider weapon specialization as a constant rage without the penalties(but only in terms of damage)

Is your concern to create something balanced and viable for everyone or to make something artificial and overpowered?

Exotic weapons are not suppose to be so much better than martial, but only to give a little something better...


Arisps wrote:

A dual weapon fighter with weapon focus and specialization is the juggernaut of destruction.

Weapon specialization stacks with crit,naf said.

Okay, this is kind of an odd assertion to make. Two-weapon fighting is almost always seen as worse than two-handed when trying to be a "juggernaut of destruction," but okay. I'm interested in hearing more of your reasoning on this. What are you basing this off of?

The items he's posted are not awfully bad. The item that stands out as a potential problem is the elven bow, and that is up in the air until someone decides to try to provide objective math for comparison, since Strength to damage will really play with things in the long run.

Arisps wrote:

Is your concern to create something balanced and viable for everyone or to make something artificial and overpowered?

Exotic weapons are not suppose to be so much better than martial, but only to give a little something better...

People who pick the best of everything will probably still not abuse the race proficiencies too much. Each of the races' abilities are not likely to stack up to the Human's floating +2 attribute mod and bonus feat, and the exotic weapons becoming martial really aren't so stupidly good that a human would blow their bonus feat on EWP to pick them up. That is a decent sign they aren't overpowered yet.

One of his stated design goals is to make it more appealing to use the races the way they are portrayed in the setting. Each of them having a purpose-built exotic weapon that becomes martial for them is actually a really smart way to do this. It helps accentuate that other races look at the weapons and go "Why can't Flen make a decent knife? This is all curvy and weird. Can't get a good hack in with this..." because they take -4 to try and use it, while Flen gravitate towards finesse fighting because they can do it easily with the knives they use. It only becomes a problem when the knives are constantly getting picked by people playing Human characters, because the bonuses granted by the knife are superior to having taken Two-Weapon Fighting, Power Attack or Toughness with their bonus feat instead.

Sczarni

Parka wrote:


Okay, this is kind of an odd assertion to make. Two-weapon fighting is almost always seen as worse than two-handed when trying to be a "juggernaut of destruction," but okay. I'm interested in hearing more of your reasoning on this. What are you basing this off of?

It s worse at level 1, but it improves fast

if you compare a 2 shortsword fighter and a greatsword fighter.

Both short swords benefit from weapon specialization,and improved critical.
You can wield two magic weapons but only 1 two handed

ofc it s not that simple cause it gets complicated with reach weapons and high crit weapons as the falchion.

But the two weapon fighting pays off in the higher levels


Arisps, everyone over at the DPR threads would like to have a word with you about optimization. TWF, without a source of bonus damage (such as sneak attack), isn't very good. It's a feat sink. Where the TWFer has to spend 5 feats (TWF, ITWF, GTWF, Double Slice and Power Attack) and have a 19 Dex to do his job right, the 2HF just picks up Power Attack and boosts strength. This means he saves 4 feats and can dump his Dex as low as he cares his Ref to be, meaning that that he has more options on what he wants his feats to do (like pick up damage boosting feats, or lunge, or something that gives him some utility) and deals more outright damage with the higher strength. He also spends less money on his one weapon than the TWF spends on his two, mean the 2HF has better other gear and likely a higher bonus on his weapon.

In any event, this isn't a thread of about TWF vs 2HF. This is supposed to be about alternate racial weapons. You seem keen to say that my options are terrible, and yet the one suggestion I was able to decipher from your posts was... basically a falcata and was expressly against my design principle of not expanding both crit range and crit multiple.

If you'd like to suggest another weapon or specific ways that the above suggestions could be improved, please do so. Otherwise, please stop posting in this thread as you seem to be entirely missing the point.


After some work with the guys in my gaming group, we have come up with a full list of the weapons we like. I'd love to get a few eyes on it to see if we missed anything in our attempts at making interesting, useful and flavorful racial weapons.

You can check out the Google document here.


Any comments on the new weapons?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I do like the Dwaleo. Nice concept.

The Gnome Halfpike and Dartspear don't work for me. I know you were going for sailors and tinkers with Gnome weapons, but these are to far in the "from the labs of Q-branch" to me. They feel like class weapons (ninja/rogue) not racial weapons.

I'm ambivalent on the Gnome Crossbow. I think it too comes across as more of a class weapon than a racial one...how about giving them an upgraded repeating crossbow instead?


Son of the Veterinarian wrote:

I do like the Dwaleo. Nice concept.

The Gnome Halfpike and Dartspear don't work for me. I know you were going for sailors and tinkers with Gnome weapons, but these are to far in the "from the labs of Q-branch" to me. They feel like class weapons (ninja/rogue) not racial weapons.

I'm ambivalent on the Gnome Crossbow. I think it too comes across as more of a class weapon than a racial one...how about giving them an upgraded repeating crossbow instead?

I'd just go with renaming the repeating crossbow by adding the word gnomish to it. No need for an upgraded version.


The half-pike (and a few others) were an attempt to work sideways on a Short Haft feat that we would be introducing. The Human Warspear offers a similar option.

I didn't design the dartspear, so I won't defend that one too heavily. I think it's silly too.

We considered giving the gnomes a repeating hand crossbow, so we could emulate the "pistol and sabre" fighting of pirates and such without having to move to gunpowder pistols. (We are a "no firearms" world.) Any suggestions on how to best implement that?

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