What's Your Weapon?

Friday, April 30, 2018

For many heroes, their choice of weapon says more about their personality and sense of aesthetics than their penchant for mechanical optimization. For others, form follows function, and still others blend the two. But what sort of weapon fits your personality best? Let's take a look at various weapons and figure it out!

Simple, Martial, or Exotic?

All weapons in Pathfinder are simple, martial, or exotic, based on their rough level of power. Unlike in Pathfinder First Edition, exotic weapons are not just a mixture of powerful European weapons and weapons from other cultures that only occasionally had a leg up over their martial kin. In Pathfinder Second Edition, we have a different way of talking about whether a weapon is likely to be found in a particular region, and so a weapon's type instead describes a weapon's mix of power and flexibility. Simple weapons usually have a smaller damage die than similar martial weapons (d6 rather than d8, for instance), and exotic weapons usually use the same damage die as a martial weapon but include additional abilities that make the weapon more complex.

Characters start with proficiency in either groups of weapons or lists of individual weapons, and they can take ancestry or general feats (and, rarely, class feats) to gain more!

Weapon Traits

Whatever your weapon proficiencies, you'll want to choose a weapon with useful traits that match your taste and play style. Even among martial weapons that use two hands, a bo staff, a greatsword, and a glaive all feel very different.

A greatsword deals a lot of damage, perfect for a bruiser character like a worshiper of Gorum: its damage die is d12 and you can seamlessly switch between piercing and slashing damage to avoid enemy resistances and exploit their weaknesses.

A bo staff is all about controlling the fight. Its damage die is only d8, but it has reach (allowing you to Strike enemies up to 10 feet away), parry (allowing you to spend an action to increase your AC much like a light shield), and trip (giving you several benefits to your attempts to trip enemies). Plus, it has the monk trait, which weapon-wielding monks particularly enjoy.

The glaive has a d8 damage die like the bo staff and shares its reach, but that's where the similarities end. The glaive has deadly d8 (dealing additional d8s of damage on a critical hit), and it is forceful (which means once you get it going and build up momentum, your attacks become more and more powerful: 1 extra damage per die on the second attack of your turn, 2 extra damage for any attacks after that). The glaive-user isn't interested in giving up an action for defense like a character with a bo staff; instead, she does best if she artfully sweeps the blade like a brush, focusing on accuracy and multiple attacks to really dish out the damage—particularly fitting for a follower of Shelyn.

We want to give every weapon a different personality like this so that we can better serve the infinite personalities that players bring with their characters!

Some other fun weapon traits I haven't covered yet: Twin weapons like the saw-toothed saber deal more damage if you fight with two of them. Backswing weapons like the greatclub gain a little accuracy after a miss. Backstabber weapons like the dogslicer deal more damage to flat-footed targets. Agile weapons like the shortsword decrease the penalty for making multiple attacks in a single turn. Finesse weapons like the rapier use your Dexterity modifier for attack rolls if you prefer. Two-hand weapons like the bastard sword deal much higher damage if you wield them in two hands instead of one!

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Critical Specialization and Weapon Groups

Traits give us some really cool ways to distinguish weapons, but we decided to throw one more customization factor into the mix, this time for similar groups of weapons: critical specialization effects.

Characters who unlock their weapon's critical specialization effect gain a special bonus effect on a critical hit that's different for each weapon group. For example, let's compare swords, spears, and axes.

Swords make the target flat-footed on a critical hit, making it easier for you and your allies to hit the target again (and making the group's rogue very happy). This cements swords like the greatsword or a longsword as great choices for dealing damage to challenging foes like bosses, as they have high damage and decrease the boss's AC so your team can hit more often.

Spears pierce the target and weaken its attacks. This makes a spear a good option for someone using a more defensive strategy built around negating enemy attacks.

Axes swing to an adjacent target (if any), damaging that target, too! Combined with the fact that axes usually have the sweep trait, giving you a bonus on attacks when you move on to a new target in the same turn, this makes axes extremely well suited for sweeping up groups of enemies.

These are just a few of the possibilities. For instance, daggers can cause persistent bleed damage, and clubs can knock the target up to 10 feet away (particularly amusing on a well-placed Attack of Opportunity).

Weapon Quality

Weapons, as well as other non-weapon items (but come on, those aren't as cool as weapons, right?), can be poor quality, standard quality, expert quality, master quality, or legendary quality.

Quality grants an item bonus or penalty of the same value as the matching proficiency (so an expert bow grants a +1 item bonus to hit and a legendary axe grants a +3 item bonus to hit). You have to have the matching proficiency to Craft a weapon of that quality though, so you can't make a master sword, for instance, unless you are a master at Crafting.

And now you know the basics about weapons! All there is to do now is choose the weapon that suits you. Until next time!

Mark Seifter
Designer

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The only thing I'm kinda eh about is the Knockback crit effect for clubs. There are a lot more cases where I can see it being annoying (first or second action in what was intended to be a full attack, fighting a mage or ranged attack user (or even a reach user if it's a 5 foot knockback), stuff like that) than ones where it might be useful (last action against a melee user, AoO shenanigans... and that's pretty much it) that it seems like whatever resource would be used to unlock that crit specialization (unless it's just a free effect of reaching X proficiency) seems like it would go to waste most of the time.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Wow. This is amazing! I love the diversification of weapons based on inherent traits. I love that there are unique critical effects based on the different weapon groups. I love that they seem to have all been re-balanced around damage dice. Greatsword as a d12 feels better than 2d6 to me, especially if that makes it the same damage as a greataxe - now the choosing one over the other can be about their properties instead of which one has the better average damage and crit range. I can't wait to see the whole spread of weapons and traits!

Arglebarglebarglebargle


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So, weapons are more than Finesse or Light/not/2-handed, damage and crit range now? (and reach and a few +2 for/against certain maneubers)

Nice

Silver Crusade

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Mark Seifter wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
Tons of new customization options and depth. This update is great, long overdue in fact. PF1 had a number of "dead" weapons, made irrelevant by a superior version of the same. Now we're going to go shopping at the local armory emporium and really, really think our choices over. Kudos!
One of our core goals was to have few or no weapons (and armor types, while we're at it) that are rendered pointless by having another weapon in the same proficiency category that is just a better weapon. While some weapons do have a fairly narrow niche, there shouldn't be any that don't have a playstyle or situation where they are a good option for their proficiency. And if any do have issues (or if there' like one or two that are just too good somehow and blocking the other options out), I bet you guys will let us know during the playtest so we can fix it!

Looking forward to the eventual armor blog.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Shinigami02 wrote:
The only thing I'm kinda eh about is the Knockback crit effect for clubs. There are a lot more cases where I can see it being annoying (first or second action in what was intended to be a full attack, fighting a mage or ranged attack user (or even a reach user if it's a 5 foot knockback), stuff like that) than ones where it might be useful (last action against a melee user, AoO shenanigans... and that's pretty much it) that it seems like whatever resource would be used to unlock that crit specialization (unless it's just a free effect of reaching X proficiency) seems like it would go to waste most of the time.

There's also "push into a feature of the battlefield where they don't want to be" as well. But you choose if to push and if so how far, so that's your call each crit.


I like this approach to combat via way more interesting, cinematic attack options. Which anybody can achieve, with the right weapon and/or feat.

Scarab Sages

So finesse gives Dex to hit...

cricket
cricket
cricket

And not to damage, apparently? Is that a Rogue-only thing? Is it a general feat? Are we misinterpreting Merisiel's 1d8+4? I must know! :Þ


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

If the only thing they did with Pathfinder 2 was improve weapons like this, then it would have made Melee characters more fun to play compared to casters. So why the massive nerf of full casters and lavish love to melee folk?

Well, I'll say this. I was about ready to write off Second Edition. I am not going to try and convert any old APs to the new edition in any event. But this does look interesting and caught my attention again.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
Tons of new customization options and depth. This update is great, long overdue in fact. PF1 had a number of "dead" weapons, made irrelevant by a superior version of the same. Now we're going to go shopping at the local armory emporium and really, really think our choices over. Kudos!
One of our core goals was to have few or no weapons (and armor types, while we're at it) that are rendered pointless by having another weapon in the same proficiency category that is just a better weapon. While some weapons do have a fairly narrow niche, there shouldn't be any that don't have a playstyle or situation where they are a good option for their proficiency. And if any do have issues (or if there' like one or two that are just too good somehow and blocking the other options out), I bet you guys will let us know during the playtest so we can fix it!

You bet. I feel like rolling a fighter now. Something that hasn't happened to me in... well, it hasn't ever happened to me.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
blog wrote:
Spears pierce the target and weaken its attacks. This makes a spear a good option for someone using a more defensive strategy built around negating enemy attacks.

This looks promising. I've always been a fan of spears but alas, they don't show up too often.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I also like how the axe blade directly below the words "dwarven weapons" looks like a dude with a beard and the hammer to the right of it looks like a dragon breathing fire. That's a nice touch! :D


gwynfrid wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
Tons of new customization options and depth. This update is great, long overdue in fact. PF1 had a number of "dead" weapons, made irrelevant by a superior version of the same. Now we're going to go shopping at the local armory emporium and really, really think our choices over. Kudos!
One of our core goals was to have few or no weapons (and armor types, while we're at it) that are rendered pointless by having another weapon in the same proficiency category that is just a better weapon. While some weapons do have a fairly narrow niche, there shouldn't be any that don't have a playstyle or situation where they are a good option for their proficiency. And if any do have issues (or if there' like one or two that are just too good somehow and blocking the other options out), I bet you guys will let us know during the playtest so we can fix it!
You bet. I feel like rolling a fighter now. Something that hasn't happened to me in... well, it hasn't ever happened to me.

I agree, one of my playtest teams is going to be the Martials; half-orc barbarian, dwarf fighter, half-elf paladin and elf ranger. Looking forward to seeing how the different weapon traits effect combat.


Interesting.


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Catharsis wrote:

So finesse gives Dex to hit...

cricket
cricket
cricket

And not to damage, apparently? Is that a Rogue-only thing? Is it a general feat? Are we misinterpreting Merisiel's 1d8+4? I must know! :Þ

This is conjecture, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be a general feat; limiting it to rogues only would be cruelly unfair to any non-rogue dex build, and considering Merisiel has a +4 modifier to damage rolls at level 1 specifically, there aren't many other interpretations besides it being a feat you can pick up as early as first level, as the only other explanation would be it resembling the P1e Vigilante's Lethal Grace (+1/2 class level to damage rolls), which doesn't match up with the P2e playtests.


TheFinish wrote:
OCEANSHIELDWOLPF 2.0 wrote:

Is "deadly" d8 for the glaive a weapon quality as in deadly, and do deadly weapons do additional damage dice on a critical than a non-deadly weapon on a critical?

Or is "deadly" not a quality, because weapons have quality of workmanship? Just a little confused.

It appears "deadly" is a quality that adds additional dice to a Critical Hit, on top of what you'd get from the critical in the first place.

So like, a Sword would do 2d8 on a crit, but a "deadly" sword would do 3d8. At least that's how I understand it.

Well. That is deadly.

Scarab Sages

Friendly Rogue wrote:


This is conjecture, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be a general feat; limiting it to rogues only would be cruelly unfair to any non-rogue dex build,

Well, do consider that PF1 Rogues get it as a Rogue-only class feature...

But I'm really hoping Dex-based Paladins, Clerics and Rangers are a thing. :Þ

Mark...?


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Catharsis wrote:
Friendly Rogue wrote:


This is conjecture, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be a general feat; limiting it to rogues only would be cruelly unfair to any non-rogue dex build,

Well, do consider that PF1 Rogues get it as a Rogue-only class feature...

But I'm really hoping Dex-based Paladins, Clerics and Rangers are a thing. :Þ

Mark...?

Unchained Rogues got it as a class feature, and considering we've already gone over the P2e Rogue in a blog post, them getting it as a class ability likely would have been established by now.

Not to mention, in P1e there were a number of feats that granted very restrained dexterity to damage, IE Dervish Dance, Fencing Grace, Slashing Grace, Starry Grace, Two-Weapon Grace...


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As someone who loves to mix it up in melee this blog makes me so happy. Weapon choice is always so important to my character views, and this means I get to experiment and vary with each new character.

Scarab Sages

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BTW, note how the bo staff can act as a light shield. This presumably means the light/heavy distinction is still alive, and that Clerics who want to cast while wielding a weapon have to take a hit to defense compared to full martials. I hope there's going to be a feat to use one's shield or favored weapon for somatic components of divine spells to allow for Clerics and Paladins to properly turtle up. :)

I'm also happy to see spears get some much-deserved love!

The awesome blow is a fun crit ability for clubs, but I would also consider a (mild?) stun effect very fitting. Maybe hammers will get that? Actually, the flat-footed effect of swords sound a lot like what I would expect for hammers. I agree with the sentiment further up that swords should have a defensive effect, which currently spears are getting -- which is weird, since spears (especially one-handed ones) are very offensive weapons. Maybe the «impale» ability of spears should lessen the iterative penalty on the next attack against the same target instead...


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"Master Sword." Heh.

Anyhoo, that all sounds... complicated. There are things that I like, and things that I'm a little iffy about. The bo really sticks out, and I think that the great sword is great despite having enjoyed the bell curve on 2d6. Rolling a one on a d12 hurts my heart, but being able to stab things with a pointy piece of metal is nice.
Mechanically the glaive sounds pretty cool, though just a bit wimpy for blade on a long lever until you land a crit. That said, they're a bit awkward to hold IRL, so that kind of lines up. While the fluff you gave is very Shelyn, I'm not really sure it's glaive enough.
What do you mean by, "much higher damage," on two handed weapons? Is there still a point to one handing a bastard sword? I kind of enjoyed giving a lich gish an over sized one handed sword, it gave them some umph, while looking bad ass as hell. It was already a punishment to give a third of the strength mod up. Wait, what are we doing with the strength mod now?
Are twin weapons necessary to TWF? No, I don't mean technically, I mean realistically. Are they going to drown more entertaining weapon combos? Meh, we'll see later.

Oh, and the rest sounds pretty awsome. Crits and qualities are interesting and I'm excited to see how they pan out. How do you get them, and how do they play? On paper and in isolation, they're fairly simple, but interacting with the system at large, they sound like they're going to do a bunch of crazy stuff.

"try two-handing
and then
try thrust"


So how do ranged weapons work? DO we get Dex to damage finally instead of strength or intelligence of all things?


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It sounds like some things that were feats became weapon traits, I hope there are ways to focus on a weapon and perhaps be able to get traits out of it that it does not usually have. I also hope they do not go the route of Starfinder and make it so only 'rogue' weapons will be able to be used for sneak attack, or if that is true they at least let you open it up with a feat.


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David Neilson wrote:
It sounds like some things that were feats became weapon traits, I hope there are ways to focus on a weapon and perhaps be able to get traits out of it that it does not usually have. I also hope they do not go the route of Starfinder and make it so only 'rogue' weapons will be able to be used for sneak attack, or if that is true they at least let you open it up with a feat.

Yeah, that was possibly one of the stupidest choices in Starfinder.


Really like the new rules, hope that simple weapons are as optimizable as the other two categories, really want my magus to wield a one-handed spear with Dexterity and using Spell Combat.

I hope to see more item illustrations, particularly elven items. I always liked Pathfinder art, but the one exception was with items, be they magical or mundane, always hated the tiny boxes they were showcased in. I hope that art preview is an indicator that this is changing.


Also, give us the wizard!!!


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Tangent101 wrote:
If the only thing they did with Pathfinder 2 was improve weapons like this, then it would have made Melee characters more fun to play compared to casters. So why the massive nerf of full casters and lavish love to melee folk?

I think it is probably due to just how big the gap between casters are martials really was in 1E. Giving martials more options but not so much it becomes silly probably still brought them up short compared to 1E casters, so they could be losing some of their max power while bringing up their minimum power with boosted cantrips.

I also really don’t feel like power level from 1E should be used as the baseline for 2E, we shouldn’t be looking to make everything stronger than it was, and instead look at this as a new opportunity to have a proper balance with a new baseline.


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Glory to the magnificent D12!! As someone who buys their dice in sets, this makes me very happy!

All of my players preferred the 2d6 Greatsword over the 1d12 Greataxe, so this change will hopefully mean that I can actually use all of these d12s that I have lying around!

Speaking of Axes, I love the idea of Auto-Cleaving on a crit and the Sweeping Weapon property. It fits perfectly for my idea of a Greataxe swinging Barbarian who enters melee and Whirlwind Attacks like a beautiful hurricane of destruction.

Is the damage to the 2nd target automatic, or do we still need to roll? Because if we do need to roll, is it possible to Crit on the 2nd Attack and then hit the first enemy again if (and admittedly for a Barbarian, that is a big if) they are still standing?


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Now that's what you call a true Update (for weapons, at least)! No weapon type left behind, truly.

As such, I'm still sour how Guns (the "democratic" weapon, in many personal meanings) are on a hiatus for the time being...

Dark Archive

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Another very cool blog, loving the way weapons will really seem different and add an extra dimension to things!

On a related note would it be terribly rude to ask ever so kindly if it might be possible for Mark to write all the blogs if he remotely has the time between actually y'know, helping write the new edition? He has a way of cutting to the chase and making things very clear to understand.


Lucas Yew wrote:


As such, I'm still sour how Guns (the "democratic" weapon, in many personal meanings) are on a hiatus for the time being...

Fantasy Gun Control and such... It's just not part of the "standard" experience for most people. It's better to wait until they're sure how weapons work and are able to release the Gunslinger or such together with firearms.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Awesome! Loving the depth of options! This was a much needed upgrade of weapons


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Igwilly wrote:
Lucas Yew wrote:


As such, I'm still sour how Guns (the "democratic" weapon, in many personal meanings) are on a hiatus for the time being...
Fantasy Gun Control and such... It's just not part of the "standard" experience for most people. It's better to wait until they're sure how weapons work and are able to release the Gunslinger or such together with firearms.

As much as I long for P2e firearms, I'm content with waiting for when P2e is finalized for Paizo to actually start working on integrating them. Considering how heavily specialized and hard to use they were in P1e, I'd much rather them be more comparable and in-line with other ranged weapons than having them be hyper-experimental and niche, especially since the main gimmick of P1e firearms is no longer mechanically viable.


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Now this is some "4e-esque" mechanics that I can get behind for a Pathfinder game. These weapon qualities are effectively at-will powers. But instead of having a fighter who has the Hobbling Strike at-will power that on a hit does "1[W]+Str mod damage and the target is slowed", we get a fighter who is using a spear and makes a normal attack and then applies the weapon trait to change it from a "basic melee attack" to an "at-will power". Assuming mere proficiency is all that's needed it means all characters will be able to be quite versatile in how they work. I could easily see scaling proficiency resulting in even more powerful powers, so that way a fighter who starts out at "expert" in his proficient weapons deals more damage than a cleric who is merely "trained".

I'm glad to see deadly isn't the new brutal (reroll a 1 or a 2 on a weapon die damage). Bastard swords looks like it could be fairly standard (1d10 vs 1d8) although I wouldn't be surprised if it's actually 1d8 vs 2d8.

I do like proficiency being based on region. I expect we'll see background feats (or whatever they're being called) for each of the Golarion regions to get those local weapons in use. I'm currently using a falcata with my rogue in War of the Crown, not because I was so eager to get the mechanical bonuses, but because it's flavourful. My GM just gave it to me as a background trait (which I think is too powerful for a PF1 background trait, but using a feat would have been too punishing as well). So I'm hoping the new weapon groups will fix situations like that.

I wonder how many mercenaries from Tien we'll see popping up in order to get proficiency in the katana?

John Ryan 783 wrote:
Interesting. I enjoy the thought of weapons being more diverse, and from earlier blogs it looks like they are lowering crit fishing.

I'd argue "kewl new powers" (and presumably more damage) encourages crit fishing. Given the best way to crit fish is roll +10 against the enemy's AC I expect bonuses to your to hit will be highly sought after.

Doktor Weasel wrote:
Not thrilled about exotic weapons now just being better weapons. If they're going to exist, they really should be weapons that are harder to use.

Why would people use harder to use weapons that aren't better?


I like what I read. I'm hoping Warhammers get something like knockback.

I'd love to be able to punt goblins, bandits and other foes over ledges, into walls, into their pals and the like.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm loving that every weapon you might pick gives you meaningful options in combat. The fighter being a master of many weapons will give you interesting battlefield control options and strategies.


What's Your Weapon? wrote:

In Pathfinder Second Edition, we have a different way of talking about whether a weapon is likely to be found in a particular region, and so a weapon's type instead describes a weapon's mix of power and flexibility. Simple weapons usually have a smaller damage die than similar martial weapons (d6 rather than d8, for instance), and exotic weapons usually use the same damage die as a martial weapon but include additional abilities that make the weapon more complex.

Not a significant change, but a welcome one. A much better distinction between weapon types.

Weapon Traits wrote:

Whatever your weapon proficiencies, you'll want to choose a weapon with useful traits that match your taste and play style. Even among martial weapons that use two hands, a bo staff, a greatsword, and a glaive all feel very different.

I like that different weapons will have more distinct features beyond weapon damage. I like it when there are gameplay reasons to use different weapons and that they feel different in use.

Question, though: what do Exotic weapons have that make them distinct from Martial? The examples mentioned so far seem like all weapon types have traits, but I don't see an example of what a proper Exotic weapon can do.

Critical Specialization and Weapon Groups wrote:

Traits give us some really cool ways to distinguish weapons, but we decided to throw one more customization factor into the mix, this time for similar groups of weapons: critical specialization effects.

Very cool additions, can't wait to read how they work in detail. More different effects lead to each weapon feeling more unique.

I'm really liking how the new critical system and action economy is integrated so far, not just with the weapons.

Weapon Quality wrote:

Weapons, as well as other non-weapon items (but come on, those aren't as cool as weapons, right?), can be poor quality, standard quality, expert quality, master quality, or legendary quality.

Very much reminds of item qualities now used in MMOs, which I imagine is where the idea came from. But that's fine with me; I feel it's now a familiar concept, and gives room for more sense of progression, and more reward for higher crafting skill.

Overall, weapons are looking pretty good for PF2!


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I wish Paizo would de-emphasize the mechanics of the weapons. Any weapon is dangerous in capable hands and who cares if a Wizard wants to carry a longsword like Gandalf? Just say any weapon used 1 handed does 1d6 if you "simple" (basic) weapon training. If you have "martial" training it does 1d8 and you can choose something worth 1 pt (e.g. extend the critical range or add a bonus for a maneuver quality) if you have "exotic" (advanced) training you can either bump the damage dice, bump the critical (possibly again) or something else. If you dedicate both hands to fighting with the weapon you up the damage one dice size (and maybe that means using 2-handed when you backhand (like in tennis) or using the open hand to balance a lunge (like a fencer) or grabbing at your opponents cloak (who cares - it just means if you don't use the hand for anything else your round of effort is a bit more effective). Let player's pick any weapon that fits their concept and base how effective it is for them on their level of training (class/ feat).


I do hope that we can get clarification between "weapons that must be wielded in two hands" like the greataxe, and "weapons that deal higher damage when wielded in two hands" like the bastard sword.

Personally, I'd have two-handed necessary weapons be "heavy weapons" and have another name for weapons that can be optionally wielded two-handed. Perhaps something like "versatile grip" or "hand and a half"; something descriptive but easy to say as well.


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so u can craft a master sword now?? has nintendo already contacted you?

Liberty's Edge

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I quite like these rules. Weapon differentiation like this is a very good idea that I quite enjoy.

Not really a lot else to say, though I am super curious how Weapon Quality interacts with magical weapons.

Shadow Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Joe M. wrote:

Love it! Adds some great detail/complexity that was always disappointingly lacking for PF1 weapons. This is the kind of character option I love to tinker with, and should enable a wide variety of flavorful play styles without feeling like you're sacrificing too much by picking a "suboptimal" weapon. Very excited for my first Playtest martial (especially if the Playtest rules make a spear & shield fighter viable; I've always wanted to play the Greek hero look).

One reservation:

Blog wrote:
Even among martial weapons that use two hands, a bo staff, a greatsword, and a glaive all feel very different.
Blog wrote:
Two-hand weapons like the bastard sword deal much higher damage if you wield them in two hands instead of one!

Having both "two handed" weapons and "two-hand" weapons, which signify different things, seems less than great in terms of rules clarity.

Is there a more distinct terminology in the Playtest that doesn't come through in the blog? Because this seems prime for confusion. ("Oh do you mean the two-hand weapon quality, or a weapon that uses two hands?")

Perhaps the “heavy” weapon quality? A heavy weapon requires two hands and to use effectively.

Loving the variety in weapons and I have to agree with the dark souls feel, which is just fine by me.

Scarab Sages

John Lynch 106 wrote:
I'm glad to see deadly isn't the new brutal (reroll a 1 or a 2 on a weapon die damage). Bastard swords looks like it could be fairly standard (1d10 vs 1d8) although I wouldn't be surprised if it's actually 1d8 vs 2d8.

It would be weird if a two-handed bastard sword did so much more damage than a sword specifically made to be wielded two-handed... I'm assuming it goes from 1d8 to 1d12. Then again, as an exotic weapon, it would be within its rights to excede the martial greatsword... it would just be a bit weird.

Man, exotic weapon really doesn't fit. Maybe call it a «difficult» or «challenging» weapon instead.

Sovereign Court

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Yet again, the fallacy that the bastard sword is a two-handed, bigger longsword is inherited from previous versions. It's the other way around.
At least the greatsword is starting to look more like a polearm, I was expecting reach on it tho.


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Combat Monster wrote:

I like what I read. I'm hoping Warhammers get something like knockback.

I'd love to be able to punt goblins, bandits and other foes over ledges, into walls, into their pals and the like.

I think the crit specialization for hammers should be doing extra damage based on the enemy's AC from armor, to emulate how hammers were used to crunch full plate-wearing knights.


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Rules Artificer wrote:

I do hope that we can get clarification between "weapons that must be wielded in two hands" like the greataxe, and "weapons that deal higher damage when wielded in two hands" like the bastard sword.

Personally, I'd have two-handed necessary weapons be "heavy weapons" and have another name for weapons that can be optionally wielded two-handed. Perhaps something like "versatile grip" or "hand and a half"; something descriptive but easy to say as well.

Versatile is already used for weapons with multiple damage types (Written "Versatile (Piercing)" for a "Slashing" sword)


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Baba Ganoush wrote:
I wish Paizo would de-emphasize the mechanics of the weapons. Any weapon is dangerous in capable hands and who cares if a Wizard wants to carry a longsword like Gandalf? Just say any weapon used 1 handed does 1d6 if you "simple" (basic) weapon training. If you have "martial" training it does 1d8 and you can choose something worth 1 pt (e.g. extend the critical range or add a bonus for a maneuver quality) if you have "exotic" (advanced) training you can either bump the damage dice, bump the critical (possibly again) or something else. If you dedicate both hands to fighting with the weapon you up the damage one dice size (and maybe that means using 2-handed when you backhand (like in tennis) or using the open hand to balance a lunge (like a fencer) or grabbing at your opponents cloak (who cares - it just means if you don't use the hand for anything else your round of effort is a bit more effective). Let player's pick any weapon that fits their concept and base how effective it is for them on their level of training (class/ feat).

I don't really understand what you're trying to propose.

For one thing, nobody cares if you want to have a Wizard carry a longsword, or a warhammer, or even a greataxe, all you need to do is invest in proficiency with them and you're good to go; you could do this in P1e too, but from the sounds of it it's going to be easier to have a sword-swinging wizard and have it be fairly viable.

For another thing, with what you suggested, it sounds like you want an entirely different game system. Pathfinder (and D&D for that matter) has always put a fair amount of emphasis on the mechanics of its weapons, regardless of the edition, and what you suggested is a pretty explicit step away from what Paizo is trying to accomplish, putting an extreme focus on story telling with very minimalist game mechanics.

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with a simple, mechanics-light kind of game style and it definitely has its advantages, but if you're looking for that kind of style baked into Pathfinder, you're looking at the wrong game system.


Is the weapon trait on the bastard sword called "two-handed" while at the same time normal two-handed weapons also called two-handed? Please consider changing that. I can already see the future ruling, "no that ability works on the bastard sword because it's a Two-Handed sword but not on the greatsword because it's a two-handed sword"


Arachnofiend wrote:
Combat Monster wrote:

I like what I read. I'm hoping Warhammers get something like knockback.

I'd love to be able to punt goblins, bandits and other foes over ledges, into walls, into their pals and the like.

I think the crit specialization for hammers should be doing extra damage based on the enemy's AC from armor, to emulate how hammers were used to crunch full plate-wearing knights.

That would work too. If that is the case, I'm hopeful natural armor falls into this mechanic as well.


This sounds pretty interesting. I hate having all of my characters use the same weapon because of their proficiency and class features.

I made a pair of twins and I couldn't decide on what weapons to give them because one was a Rogue and the other a Swashbuckler. The rapier would have been the best weapons for both of them, but I didn't want to give them the same weapon. In the end, I gave the rapier to the Rogue and a simple piercing weapon to the Swashbuckler. The Swashbuckler's weapon will be switched out to a Scimitar at level 3.

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