I'm noticing first off that characters get a lot of weapon groups. There also isn't any distinction between simple, martial, and exotic groups, which means it's easier to learn to use more powerful weapons.
So a sorcerer could take as his free weapon groups Heavy Blades and Bows and run around with an Elven Curve Blade (or Falcata, or Falchion) and Longbow at level 1 without any weapon familiarity or weapon proficiency feats. And if I were playing a sorcerer with these rules in play, I would be very tempted to do that.
Yeah when I was moving it to Google Drive it didn't copy the part saying that the Exotic Group is optional.
The way I do it is if the weapon is common to a region then it is at cost. If it is similar to a common weapon for that region it is 1.5 cost and if it is totally different then it is double cost.
This means that a Sword based region might have javelins at cost But a shortspear might cost 1.5 times normal simply because it isn't a common weapon.
I also run it that they pick a region they hail from and all starting gear revolves around that for them.
This actually fits real life. Someone trained in Swords can easily pickup a Bastard Sword And use it in one hand even if it isn't a common weapon in their region. But having one made in say an Ancient Roman based society might be very expensive as that is a rare weapon.
Does that help? In essence I don't use Exotic Weapon Groups But it is an Optional choice. It would also be Weapon Focus and such would also apply to an entire group rather than just one single weapon.
Note: these are based off of Unearthed Arcana's weapon group feats.
I know, I have Unearthed Arcana. I like the idea of weapon groups.
How are you planning on applying Exotic Weapons as an "optional" group? Take "Exotic Weapons" once and gain access to all exotic weapons in all your other categories? Or take "Exotic Weapons" once per category?
Even if Exotic Weapons takes an extra group, you'll still see a lot more use or martial weapons in classes that are normally limited to simple weapons, and your fighters will probably use a lot more exotic weapons. Also, the Weapon Focus rule essentially gives everyone the high-level Fighter-only feat Martial Mastery for free. Definitely boosts character power. If you're OK with that, I think the weapon groups will work all right.
Regional costs for starting equipment could be fun. Just make sure you don't overcomplicate things for your players.
Quarterstaff and sling aren't exactly basic, in that they're pretty hard to use properly compared to a mace.
To be honest I think that a shortbow is far easier to use than a sling, but the RAW simple/martial there is more a matter of balance than reality.
In any case, I don't see many simple weapons being used with these rules.
I can trust me...
Also a Sling and Quarterstaff are things that historically were used by everyone simply do to the fact that they were easy to make, teach, and be used by anyone.
The EWG functions exactly like UA's. Only whether or not to include it is the optional bit.
I am probably going to drop the Proficiency limit by 1 for most classes.
The whole Simple, Martial, and Exotic if memory serves is a carry over from a game WotC was making before they acquired D&D.
To be honest I think the Weapon Focus tree should have been open the all classes and then make it to where a Fighter could apply them to an entire Weapon Group.
Also, the Regional Costs are simply for Weapons and Armour(including shields).