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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Catharsis wrote:


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.

Not necessarily, remember these weapons could be hitting leather, chain or plate armor, they could be hitting dragon scales. You could be nicking a pixie or slamming it to the hilt in a creature the size of a whale. Maybe you do the most damage against one type of creature by pulling up a scale with one hand and jabbing the weapon underneath with the other. And really the hit roll/damage roll is showing your cumulative success with 6 seconds of battle - not necessarily all one solid hit.

The Exchange

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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!

This is a great concept and I applaud it heartily. The reason there are so many weapons is both the advent of an arms race and regional/cultural influences. There is no "I win" weapon in real life. Even some really good weapons were not universal as tactics and terrain make a huge difference. This has always been an issue for me in D&D/Pathfinder as certain weapons like the longsword and longbow were given mechanical advantages to make the martial characters stand out from the cleric and mage in earlier editions. Now, much more variety is in play which is good.

I do not want, however, weapons properties that duplicate and or stack with class feats/features/abilities. For example, daggers should not do bleed damage at all. Nothing about a dagger thrust is more likely to cause a bleeding wound than a short sword or spear thrust. I would much rather see daggers give a bonus to initiative since they are easily concealed and quick to use. I have seen lighting fast dagger fighting and I think it could give you an edge over an opponent with a heavier weapon. It would be a great choice for rogues since going first in initiative is often critical to use of sneak attack and would also give the rogue flexibility for both close range and melee attacks. Rogues live by the maxim of strike first and strike fast. I think this would be a better application of daggers than a bleed perk


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Ah. Weapon "Traits". Gotcha. Reading comprehension fail...

So now, that mini-boss with the glaive is even more of a threat, and those PF1 greataxe wielding Orcs became even deadlier.

As did the wizard wielding...pretty much anything.

Because weapons are dangerous, which is the way it should be.

I wonder whether you could attack with a longsword, drop it and use your second and third options to reach for your hand-axe and chop with it?

Oh, the niceties of a tomahawk and light flail two-weapon combo...

The Exchange

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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?

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.

Hang in there Tangent101. While I share your pain with low amount of spells per level and no bonus spells. I am hoping that wands and staves make being a caster more fun. Maybe the class features will make up for some of the nerfs. I just hope they don't go all 4E on us and slaughter my favorite spells. Leave fireball, magic missile, lightning bolt, teleport and wish alone darn it!

PS - Make summoning spells cool again please :)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Consider this quality for Spears instead:

If a Spear's hit is a critical, then additional attacks will hit on a Failure, and be a Critical with a Success or a Critical. Essentially, the person is pushing the spear in deeper. If they rolled a critical failure then the spear head was dislodged.

A person hit with a spear can either dislodge it by taking a five-foot-step or move-action back, or by attacking the spear to try and break it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Talek & Luna wrote:
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?

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.

Hang in there Tangent101. While I share your pain with low amount of spells per level and no bonus spells. I am hoping that wands and staves make being a caster more fun. Maybe the class features will make up for some of the nerfs. I just hope they don't go all 4E on us and slaughter my favorite spells. Leave fireball, magic missile, lightning bolt, teleport and wish alone darn it!

PS - Make summoning spells cool again please :)

Doubtful. Resonance is needed for wand use. Sorcerers already have a heads up on Wizards with their need of Charisma to cast spells. No doubt Paizo seems to think their Combat Cantrips and the like will make up for the lack of versatility in spell selection. Or encourage Wizards to be on the front line with awesome weapons.

But also it's because it's easier to run Hell's Rebels as-is rather than change it to 2nd Edition. And I could start the new campaign in a month, rather than wait a half year 'til after the Playtest has been running for several months.


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Doktor Weasel wrote:
Weapon quality gives more granularity than normal/masterwork. Will their effects stack with magic weapon abilities? Will there be a difference between say a +1 expert longsword and a +1 legendary one? Or do all magic weapons have to be a certain quality, like expert for +1, master for +2 and legendary for +3 or higher?

I remember there was a note on the Domains blog on Artistic Flourish:

This doesn't allow you to use the target to Craft a magic item that requires the new quality or perform any other task requiring a permanent item of that quality.
So I expect certain levels of magic will require certain base levels of quality.

This weapon blog definitely is going to make different types of martials stand out from each other, which is great to hear. I built a swashbuckler that used a spiked chain and was disheartened to find that in the end, it really played like a slightly different variant of the standard martial (except from 15 feet away).

On a different note, I see the blog thinks it's Friday, April 30, 2018.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Cyouni wrote:


On a different note, I see the blog thinks it's Friday, April 30, 2018.

Uh oh... Was this supposed to the Friday Blog? It does seem fairly uncontroversial.


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Avenger wrote:
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.

What's more important? (1) Historically accurate names, or (2) names that match what players of the game expect them to be?

I'd go with 2 myself. If only so as a (hopeful) player of the game I understand what things mean.


I have to admit, the last few blogs were leaving me feeling kind of lukewarm, but now I'm excited again. Last time I posted I complained about "Spell Points" being an exceedingly strange and game-y name (I prefer Power Points and will probably call them that in my own games if no other mechanic has the name), this time I'm going to echo everyone else's sentiment of "shouldn't clubs get the flat-footed crit ability instead of swords?". Really, that. Everything else on show is pretty cool though. Hoping nat weapons get some awesome qualities too!

Liberty's Edge

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I can already see people getting Agile and Finesse mixed up.

Couldn't Agile be "Swift", "Rapid", or "Quick"?


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Brew Bird wrote:
Cyouni wrote:


On a different note, I see the blog thinks it's Friday, April 30, 2018.
Uh oh... Was this supposed to the Friday Blog? It does seem fairly uncontroversial.

I thought something was weird... I was surprised to both find a blog I completely like AND that it was a monday one.

My single issue is the flipping between two handed and requires two hands: I hope this is just a difference in phrasing the same thing and not two different things like in pathfinder classic.

John Lynch 106 wrote:
I'd go with 2 myself. If only so as a (hopeful) player of the game I understand what things mean.

Me too. More people know the names as/is than know, or care, that they may not be 100% historically correct. Add to this that there is no universal consensus on terms and they shift depending on time period, and it seems pointless. For instance, a longsword can refer to a rapier so it seems silly to hang your hat on which is more correct...


John Lynch 106 wrote:
Avenger wrote:
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.

What's more important? (1) Historically accurate names, or (2) names that match what players of the game expect them to be?

I'd go with 2 myself. If only so as a (hopeful) player of the game I understand what things mean.

Well, 5e doesn't have a bastard sword anymore and I haven't heard any cries of confusion about where it went.

Dark Archive

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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?")

I wholeheartedly agree! If one of the design goals is to clean up terminology and language, this trait ("two-hand") needs to be renamed. What about "flexible" or "adjustable"?

Having said that, I'm really excited about everything in this blog post! If all weapons have a single damage die, e.g. 1d8 for the falchion, I'll be super-happy! it's something I already strongly advocated ten years ago for PF1 during the playtest process. :)

I just love the idea of using traits to balance weapons with each other, and judging by the contents of this text it seems the design team is doing stellar work with them! Bravo, guys!

Another suggestion, though; it seems some weapons get variable critical specialization unlocks, and that may be a needless complication in terms of game balance. I mean, why not make it simply tied to damage type? All piercing weapons would cause bleed on a crit, slashing weapons would do the sweep, and bludgeoning would weaken an enemy or make it stunned/flat-footed? Pushing or tripping someone on a crit might be something you gain via feats or unlocks, or perhaps yet again be tied to traits, e.g. "heavy" weapons would also push the target?

Or, maybe axes should be the ones that weaken enemy's attacks, spears do bleeding damage, hammers/maces make them stunned/flat-footed and swords do the sweep thing? But hey, I guess we'll have to wait and see; I might be wrong here and actually end up loving weapon-specific "crit unlocks" the most!

(Talek & Luna's idea about daggers, or small weapons in general, giving you an initiative bonus is great! Maybe a trait or unlock called "fast" that would grant you +2 on initiative, or something?)


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thflame wrote:
Well, 5e doesn't have a bastard sword anymore and I haven't heard any cries of confusion about where it went.

True, but 5e's "Versatile" weapon trait means that weapon's role is still alive in the basement longsword.


Clubs or hammers definitely seem to be more likely to make an opponent flat-footed, though I'm not sure what to give a sword instead.

Absolutely love the concept with these weapons. As for the two-handed confusion, why not go with "grip" or dual-grip or similar


thflame wrote:
Well, 5e doesn't have a bastard sword anymore and I haven't heard any cries of confusion about where it went.

1) 5e doesn't have lots of things. One weapon missing in the sea of lost things is hardly noteworthy. 2) I don't think Avenger is advocating the removal of bastard swords, but simply the renaming of the weapons to make them more accurate.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Blog wrote:
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.

*squees excitedly*


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Redblade8 wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
What's that weapon on the center at the bottom with the concave edge...?
That's Charlene.

T_T I don't get the joke... Am a failure.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Talek & Luna wrote:


I do not want, however, weapons properties that duplicate and or stack with class feats/features/abilities. For example, daggers should not do bleed damage at all. Nothing about a dagger thrust is more likely to cause a bleeding wound than a short sword or spear thrust. I would much rather see daggers give a bonus to initiative since they are easily concealed and quick to use. I have seen lighting fast dagger fighting and I think it could give you an edge over an opponent with a heavier weapon. It would be a great choice for rogues since going first...

The dagger bleed effect is on a crit. Unless you're saying rogues should move two points up on initiative order each time they crit, I think you might have misunderstood that section.

But perhaps not. Moving two points up on initiative WOULD be interesting, especially in a mook fight where you might crit a lot.


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ChibiNyan wrote:
Redblade8 wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
What's that weapon on the center at the bottom with the concave edge...?
That's Charlene.
T_T I don't get the joke... Am a failure.

I think it's no more complex than just giving the weapon a "name".

Dark Archive

TheGoofyGE3K wrote:
Clubs or hammers definitely seem to be more likely to make an opponent flat-footed, though I'm not sure what to give a sword instead.

Sweeping, maybe? I think you're more likely to do that with a greatsword than a battleaxe... and axes do a lot of impact damage even to armored foes, which would IMO probably be better represented by weakening the target.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Joe M. wrote:

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?")

Based on the wording in the blog, I don't think "two handed" weapon is going to be a category. Instead of asking, "Is that weapon one- or two-handed?" we'll start asking "How many hands does that weapon use?"

Possible answers being, "Two." and "One, but it has the two-hand property"

Changing from handedness categories to a "number of hands required" has the minor side effect of clearing up some of the confusion surrounding wielding oversized weapons. Such as, do you get 1.5x STR to damage when wielding Large bastard swords one-handed?


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Lots of really interesting features added to weapons! I really like Mark's example of someone switching from a bastard sword to a shield and flail character, which resulted in a wholly different playstyle.

As for exotic weapons. I don't mind it staying as that, it's a staple from earlier editions, so most experienced players will know that it's a weapon that requires more investment to use.
If it was to be changed, I'd suggest "specialist weapons", so you'd have simple, martial and specialist weapons. This seems to fit with the "... include additional abilities that make the weapon more complex" part.


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Shinigami02 wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
Redblade8 wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
What's that weapon on the center at the bottom with the concave edge...?
That's Charlene.
T_T I don't get the joke... Am a failure.
I think it's no more complex than just giving the weapon a "name".

Full Metal Jacket: Pyle: 'Sir, the private's weapon is called Charlene, Sir.'


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Asgetrion wrote:
TheGoofyGE3K wrote:
Clubs or hammers definitely seem to be more likely to make an opponent flat-footed, though I'm not sure what to give a sword instead.

Sweeping, maybe? I think you're more likely to do that with a greatsword than a battleaxe... and axes do a lot of impact damage even to armored foes, which would IMO probably be better represented by weakening the target.

The critical specializations seem like they have more to do with the fighting style employed with the weapon than the mechanics of the weapon itself (this makes sense since it's a feat, and not a built in feature of the weapons). Daggers are usually used to target arteries or important vital areas (hence bleed), a sword fighter will try to outmaneuver an enemies defenses, whereas heavier weapons tend be used to just crush through them.


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I'm really happy to see that weapons now have multiple damage types where sensible, like on the greatsword.

Honestly, all these changes sound fun and give melee characters 'buttons to push' like mages do. I like this!


KingOfAnything wrote:

Based on the wording in the blog, I don't think "two handed" weapon going to be a category. Instead of asking, "Is that weapon one- or two-handed?" we'll start asking "How many hands does that weapon use?"

Possible answers being, "Two." and "One, but it has the two-hand property"

Changing from handedness categories to a "number of hands required" has the minor side effect of clearing up some of the confusion surrounding wielding oversized weapons. Such as, do you get 1.5x STR to damage when wielding Large bastard swords one-handed?

I don't think this fixes anything, as it's still awkward to say a weapon is requires two hands, vs another, which has the two-handed property (but requires one hand?).

As for clearing up confusion, I think that's done by simply not including those rules in 2e if they don't want them. There can still be two primary categories of weapons (1-handed and 2-handed, seeing as "light" is essentially a quality now).

One thing I dislike, to some extent, is that removing "light" as a category means that the lists in each category, by their nature, get longer. Before, weapons were listed according to proficiency first, then size. This will still be true, presumably, but size will now only be two categories...


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GentleGiant wrote:

Lots of really interesting features added to weapons! I really like Mark's example of someone switching from a bastard sword to a shield and flail character, which resulted in a wholly different playstyle.

As for exotic weapons. I don't mind it staying as that, it's a staple from earlier editions, so most experienced players will know that it's a weapon that requires more investment to use.
If it was to be changed, I'd suggest "specialist weapons", so you'd have simple, martial and specialist weapons. This seems to fit with the "... include additional abilities that make the weapon more complex" part.

Why not go with what's already there and continue the theme: Simple, Martial, Complex?

The terms balance on either end - simple to complex.


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Spiral_Ninja wrote:
GentleGiant wrote:

Lots of really interesting features added to weapons! I really like Mark's example of someone switching from a bastard sword to a shield and flail character, which resulted in a wholly different playstyle.

As for exotic weapons. I don't mind it staying as that, it's a staple from earlier editions, so most experienced players will know that it's a weapon that requires more investment to use.
If it was to be changed, I'd suggest "specialist weapons", so you'd have simple, martial and specialist weapons. This seems to fit with the "... include additional abilities that make the weapon more complex" part.

Why not go with what's already there and continue the theme: Simple, Martial, Complex?

The terms balance on either end - simple to complex.

I dunno. If these imaginary weapons become complex it might get too real for me.


Okay see, for all my worry and complaining, this above? This is something I can get behind.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Bardarok wrote:
Spiral_Ninja wrote:
GentleGiant wrote:

Lots of really interesting features added to weapons! I really like Mark's example of someone switching from a bastard sword to a shield and flail character, which resulted in a wholly different playstyle.

As for exotic weapons. I don't mind it staying as that, it's a staple from earlier editions, so most experienced players will know that it's a weapon that requires more investment to use.
If it was to be changed, I'd suggest "specialist weapons", so you'd have simple, martial and specialist weapons. This seems to fit with the "... include additional abilities that make the weapon more complex" part.

Why not go with what's already there and continue the theme: Simple, Martial, Complex?

The terms balance on either end - simple to complex.

I dunno. If these imaginary weapons become complex it might get too real for me.

These complex imaginary weapons should all have the same damage dice regardless of what size category you zoom in or out to.


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Most interesting, but at this point I'm champing at the bit just to get the whole thing in my hands. And it's only just May!

I do like the crit effects, because it makes a critical seem truly worthwhile, extra damage and a flavoursome effect. I remember rolling a crit once and rolling 1 on my d8s and sneak attack dice, for a total of 3 damage against the boss. What was critical about that?


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Talek & Luna 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!

This is a great concept and I applaud it heartily. The reason there are so many weapons is both the advent of an arms race and regional/cultural influences. There is no "I win" weapon in real life. Even some really good weapons were not universal as tactics and terrain make a huge difference. This has always been an issue for me in D&D/Pathfinder as certain weapons like the longsword and longbow were given mechanical advantages to make the martial characters stand out from the cleric and mage in earlier editions. Now, much more variety is in play which is good.

I do not want, however, weapons properties that duplicate and or stack with class feats/features/abilities. For example, daggers should not do bleed damage at all. Nothing about a dagger thrust is more likely to cause a bleeding wound than a short sword or spear thrust. I would much rather see daggers give a bonus to initiative since they are easily concealed and quick to use. I have seen lighting fast dagger fighting and I think it could give you an edge over an opponent with a heavier weapon. It would be a great choice for rogues since going first...

The problem with this suggestion is that you can’t traditionally gain initiative after the battle has already started. The “Daggers cause bleed” effect is a Critical Specialization that only happens when you land a Critical Hit. Changing combat to work with that idea requires that either everyone rolls initiative at the start of every round, or making all of the DM’s initiative rolls public knowledge, then keeping a chart nearby tracking every change in initiative throughout combat. Both of which just bog combat down with extra paperwork and dice rolling.

The idea for what you’re trying to recreate can already be done with the Agile, Finesse, and Backstabber Weapon Qualities. For being faster than the opponent, you can dodge more easily, swing more quickly, and take advantage of being able to hit your opponent before they’re ready. In PF1 this also translates to a higher Initiative, but seeing as how Initiative is no longer a stat in PF2, and is instead determined by whatever Skill you were doing at the time (normally Perception), this may no longer be the case. That is unless you can use Sleight of Hand/Thievery to determine initiative (I’m preparing to draw my hidden daggers as I enter the room).


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MerlinCross wrote:
Okay see, for all my worry and complaining, this above? This is something I can get behind.

But they're choices. And there's going to be weapons which under "default conditions" are optimal which will mean everyone has to choose them in order to keep up with being optimal! They're now just a weapon tax!

;)


And I do think a lot of ppl came here to read more about magical weapons and how they'll work, rather than just normal weapons themselves. I can only assume we're getting more dice, rather than just "half your dmg is fire" ala STF.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

*resists urge to inquire about a particular exotic weapon that's been inspired by recent forums and instead nods quietly and watches*


I like this. It adds more character to weapons, which is great. I'm not much of a fan of greatswords being switched from 2d6 to 1d12 though. The main reason I prefer a greatsword over a greataxe in 1st edition Pathfinder is because 2d6 provides more consistent damage output. I'd rather be consistently rolling 5-9 damage than having no idea if I'm going to roll a 1 and deal a pitiful amount of damage. Regardless, more character to weapons is better overall. Removes the need for feat taxes to get a build online, and makes your weapon of choice actually mean something aside from having a bigger damage die, critical threat range, or critical modifier.

That said, the thing that bothers me the most by far as far as weapons go in 1st edition has nothing to do with mechanics, but instead has to do with semantics. In modern usage, the word 'longsword' refers to a sword that is wielded in two hands. Using that term to refer to a one-handed sword is an oxymoron, and it bothers me far more than it should. I'd much prefer if one-handed swords were referred to as 'arming swords,' because that is what the modern terminology is.


Charlatan wrote:

Most interesting, but at this point I'm champing at the bit just to get the whole thing in my hands. And it's only just May!

I do like the crit effects, because it makes a critical seem truly worthwhile, extra damage and a flavoursome effect. I remember rolling a crit once and rolling 1 on my d8s and sneak attack dice, for a total of 3 damage against the boss. What was critical about that?

Yeah, that always hurts. That's why I ruled that if you crit on a sneak attack, you deal max Sneak Attack damage.


This looks really cool. If I don't make a Goblin Paladin/Alchemist for the playtest I'm gonna make a glaive-wielder now.

I really hope TWF isn't gonna be constrained to specifically sanctioned "twin" weapons now though. There's so much more to dual-wielding than that.

And it'll make it much harder to make a bastard-sword dual-wielding barbarian, if you have to jump through hoops to make it worth anything.


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The Sightless Swordsman wrote:
That said, the thing that bothers me the most by far as far as weapons go in 1st edition has nothing to do with mechanics, but instead has to do with semantics. In modern usage, the word 'longsword' refers to a sword that is wielded in two hands. Using that term to refer to a one-handed sword is an oxymoron, and it bothers me far more than it should. I'd much prefer if one-handed swords were referred to as 'arming swords,' because that is what the modern terminology is.

Honestly, considering the terminology has been so heavily ingrained into D&D, and consequentially Pathfinder, the odds of the longsword being officially rebranded into an Arming Sword, and the Bastard Sword being rebranded into the longsword, etc. likely isn't going to happen. However, this is also without mentioning the fact that, at least in P1e, longswords can be wielded with two hands, thus effectively making them hand-and-a-half swords - ignoring the existence and historical usage of the term "bastard sword," keeping the name longsword isn't unreasonable


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graystone wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
Redblade8 wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
What's that weapon on the center at the bottom with the concave edge...?
That's Charlene.
T_T I don't get the joke... Am a failure.
I think it's no more complex than just giving the weapon a "name".
Full Metal Jacket: Pyle: 'Sir, the private's weapon is called Charlene, Sir.'

Oh! Well, it's Dwarven. So maybe Helga this time.


Some input on the two-handed discussion: the property the blog attributes to bastard swords is called two-hand, not two-handed. I don’t think the lack of an -ed at the end solves the problem, but it seems like a noteworthy detail that was getting overlook.

Also worth noting, the blog never refers to the greatsword, bo staff, or glaive as “two handed,” or only calls them “weapons that use two hands.”


On the whole, I really like this idea. Your weapons influence your fighting style! Who'd have thought? ;D

I might have missed the question somewhere, but do handaxes (assuming they exist) also have the sweep trait? It seems like they shouldn't, as they rather small and were generally buried into the head or chest of a single enemy, rather than flailed around the place like the mythical double-bitted axe.

Hammer weapons should totally have bonuses against armored foes. It's what they were used for... <_<


John Lynch 106 wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Okay see, for all my worry and complaining, this above? This is something I can get behind.

But they're choices. And there's going to be weapons which under "default conditions" are optimal which will mean everyone has to choose them in order to keep up with being optimal! They're now just a weapon tax!

;)

I wouldn't be surprised if there end up being a couple martial weapons that outperform the others in the majority of situations... which is why we're doing a playtest to snuff out those concerns.


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graystone wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
Redblade8 wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
What's that weapon on the center at the bottom with the concave edge...?
That's Charlene.
T_T I don't get the joke... Am a failure.
I think it's no more complex than just giving the weapon a "name".
Full Metal Jacket: Pyle: 'Sir, the private's weapon is called Charlene, Sir.'

This. The other contender of a name was "Vera", but I think I used that joke more recently, so I went with this one. :-)


Redblade8 wrote:
graystone wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
Redblade8 wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
What's that weapon on the center at the bottom with the concave edge...?
That's Charlene.
T_T I don't get the joke... Am a failure.
I think it's no more complex than just giving the weapon a "name".
Full Metal Jacket: Pyle: 'Sir, the private's weapon is called Charlene, Sir.'
This. The other contender of a name was "Vera", but I think I used that joke more recently, so I went with this one. :-)

What, no Bianca? Are we too good for fantasy settings!?


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Friendly Rogue wrote:
The Sightless Swordsman wrote:
That said, the thing that bothers me the most by far as far as weapons go in 1st edition has nothing to do with mechanics, but instead has to do with semantics. In modern usage, the word 'longsword' refers to a sword that is wielded in two hands. Using that term to refer to a one-handed sword is an oxymoron, and it bothers me far more than it should. I'd much prefer if one-handed swords were referred to as 'arming swords,' because that is what the modern terminology is.
Honestly, considering the terminology has been so heavily ingrained into D&D, and consequentially Pathfinder, the odds of the longsword being officially rebranded into an Arming Sword, and the Bastard Sword being rebranded into the longsword, etc. likely isn't going to happen. However, this is also without mentioning the fact that, at least in P1e, longswords can be wielded with two hands, thus effectively making them hand-and-a-half swords - ignoring the existence and historical usage of the term "bastard sword," keeping the name longsword isn't unreasonable

Probably, and like I said it bothers me more than it should. I'm far from an expert, heck even the term 'enthusiast' would be a bit generous. 'Having an interest' would be the most accurate way to put it.

Regardless, I believe that bastard swords are labeled correctly. As far as I'm aware, the terminology goes thus: Designed for use with one hand = Arming sword. Designed for use with one or two hands = Bastard sword. Designed for use with two hands only = Longsword. Key word is 'designed' in all cases. You could pick up an arming sword and hold in two hands, sure. It's just not what it was intended for. A bastard sword would have a longer handle so that you can get more leverage out of your double-handed grip.

Do I think the names are going to change? No. Do I wish they will? Of course. I'm extremely pedantic when it comes to semantics. But the fact remains that players are used to calling arming swords 'longswords' and all that. In any case, I'm always going to house rule them being called 'arming swords' because, as I said, I'm a semantic pedantic.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Okay see, for all my worry and complaining, this above? This is something I can get behind.

But they're choices. And there's going to be weapons which under "default conditions" are optimal which will mean everyone has to choose them in order to keep up with being optimal! They're now just a weapon tax!

;)

I GET IT!

Yeah I still think that choice A will beat out B and C if that happens. But you want to talk about DEAD choices, PF1 weapons had some REALLY Dead choices, *Cough* Crossbow *Cough*.

But when it came to weapons you usually picked your weapon at level 1 and stuck with it most the game. Different magic verisions of it but you picked Greatsword or Greataxe for Two handed, a few swords for 1 handed/shield, 2-3 spears of reach and Longbow or gun if ranged. "What about Two weapon Fighting?" What ABOUT Two weapon fighting that most people never used?

Side note, I'm a sucker for building and tinkering with my actual gear in games so anything that makes that easier on me without having to wait for a book or homebrew is good.


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The Sightless Swordsman wrote:
Friendly Rogue wrote:

Honestly, considering the terminology has been so heavily ingrained into D&D, and consequentially Pathfinder, the odds of the longsword being officially rebranded into an Arming Sword, and the Bastard Sword being rebranded into the longsword, etc. likely isn't going to happen. However, this is also without mentioning the fact that, at least in P1e, longswords can be wielded with two hands, thus effectively making them hand-and-a-half swords - ignoring the existence and historical usage of the term "bastard sword," keeping the name longsword isn't unreasonable

Probably, and like I said it bothers me more than it should. I'm far from an expert, heck even the term 'enthusiast' would be a bit generous. 'Having an interest' would be the most accurate way to put it.

Regardless, I believe that bastard swords are labeled correctly. As far as I'm aware, the terminology goes thus: Designed for use with one hand = Arming sword. Designed for use with one or two hands = Bastard sword. Designed for use with two hands only = Longsword.

I'm a history buff, and most of the terminology for swords that we recognize today are a relatively modern construct used for categorization; in a medieval context, while there were distinct differences between some swords in regards to the length of the hilt and blade, more often than not they were just referred to as swords (with the one noteworthy exception being the Messer, which was classified as a knife because, in Germany, there was a point in time where commoners weren't allowed to have swords, but the legal definition of a knife was based off of the construction of the hilt rather than blade length.) The actual terms "arming sword," "longsword," and other specific classifications came a few centuries after their use for historical analysis; from a periodic perspective, they were frequently just classified by whether or not is was a one-handed sword, a two-handed sword, or a mix of both, known as a bastard sword.

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