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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A cold iron morning star as a backup weapon will be a good idea just like it is now, because of DR (covers bludgeoning, piercing, and cold iron. Silver too if your DM allows silver spikes on a cold iron morning star). Beyond that, I don't think people will change from longs word to scimitar because they are fighting goblins and it is a bit better for sweeping strikes.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Doktor Weasel wrote:
I'm worried that might be it too. That the only thing dual wielding does is let you pick which weapon to attack with during each action.

There must be some sort of mechanism for a given creature to have more than one attack in a given attack action. Some critters have more than three natural attacks, for example. Like a 7-headed hydra. Or a dragon: bite, claws, wings, tail...

What I would like to see more from two-weapon fighting would be not multiple attacks per action, but increased parry options or reaction options. IMHO that would be far more thematic than just moulinex-style attacks.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
42nfl19 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
42nfl19 wrote:


Question about agile, does that mean that agile has really great synergy with TFW to the point that it would be almost sub-optimal to not use it? And I might have missed it but is agile an enchantment you can get on weapons or is it that agile is a special property that exist in a certain class of weapons?
Agile is a trait. It's a trait that mainly light weapons from PF1 have. TWFing with at least one of two weapons as agile is a very smart idea, similar to TWFing with at least one of two weapons as light in PF1, though not as punishing if you don't as in PF1.
Does that mean TWF will be more flexible in PF2 than in PF1? I always felt that if you ever do TFW you always had to use a single weapon type because sometimes feats, classes/features, or etc asked you to choose a certain weapon. I might be wrong though. The idea of a samurai using a katana and wakizashi or a duelist using a rapier and a parrying dagger are very thematic.
Yeah, we're not really interested in forcing you into specializing in one very specific weapon. Probably the most we'd ask a character to do would be to decide they were into swords, and many characters don't even have to specialize that deeply. As to rapier/main gauche, personally, I feel like a good main gauche specifically for parrying was one of the few oversights in the incredibly wide diversity of PF1 weapons (there were options like a swordbreaker focused specifically on anti-weapon hijinks, but not really a main gauche).

The one thing that really grated with me about the Swashbuckler class was the fact that you couldn't use its main damage ability (precise strike) if you attack with a weapon in the other hand.

Given that by, say, level 5 you were doing more damage with Precise Strike than with the actual base weapon die (even without using panache to double it), you almost never ever ever saw a rapier-and-dagger Swash build - despite the fact that (1) this was historically a very effective fighting style and (2) the Iconic Swashbuckler is pictured carrying a main gauche. After all, why take TWF if you're not going to use it past level 3?

Are you saying it's now not actually sub-optimal for the Swashbuckler to use rapier/dagger in PF2? If so, yay!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Doktor Weasel wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
Bag of weapons is back. That was a part of 3.5 I did not miss in PF1
I'm not really sure this will cause golf-bags. Sure weapons have advantages in certain situations, but it's not the case that others are just garbage in those situations, or that it's an overpowering advantage. I still expect to take a weapon that fits the character and the most common situations I see and then just keep using it even if something else might be %5 better in that fight. But I guess it could lead to golf-bags for people who are big on milking every last +1 for every roll they can. But the action cost of switching weapons probably makes it not worth it.

One more reason golf bags are unlikely: Unlike PF1, in PF2 the difference between a +1 weapon and a +2 weapon is a very big one. So you have a strong incentive to buy a single +2 weapon instead of a several +1 weapons.

Other weapons may have traits which are more advantageous in a particular situation. But those advantages are unlikely to be big enough to make up for an extra die of damage.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

However, writers and designers have traditionally leveraged different damage types in the past to create more challenging opponents.

If that is avoided this time?

Then and only then can weapon bags be avoided.


I wonder if legendary weapon proficiency stacks with the bonus for wielding a weapon of legendary quality for a +6 to hit...


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I actually see a warrior carrying two or three weapons for different situations as realistic and desirable. It adds variety to combat, and makes playing a martial a little more interesting than doing the same thing with the same weapon in every fight. Kind of like how spellcasters have to know a few different kinds of spells to be more effective in a broader variety of situations.

Of course, there's some caveats, and managing these will be necessary to avoid the sense of punishing martials again...

  • First and most obvious, a spellcaster knowing more spells is basically free, other than minor cost for some expendable scrolls. Magic weapons have traditionally been ludicrously expensive. The cost of better weapons needs to come down for a warrior with multiple weapons to be competitive. Ideally casters would also be spending money on a "weapon" or two in the form of implements, so it's not just martials spending all their money on weapons while casters get to spend everything on cooler toys.
  • Weapons traditionally have another opportunity cost, in the form of feats that demand crippling over specialization. In particular, there is no real way in PF1 to be actually good at a melee weapon and a ranged weapon, but to a lesser extent this is true even going between two melee weapons or two ranged weapons. I really really want most of the combat feats in PF2 to be more flexible, able to apply to both melee and ranged combat, to both melee weapon and unarmed combat, and so on. And ideally it won't be too hard to bring at least two weapon groups up to high Proficiency rating, rather than having to focus on only one.
  • Weapons need to not be punitively heavy or bulky under the bulk / encumbrance system.
  • Swapping weapons in combat needs to not take most of an entire turn. I'm fearing using one of your actions to put one weapon away and another action to draw a new weapon, leaving only one action to actually do anything. Let swap take only one action, please.

I'd love to see them get a handle on all this so combat in PF2 can be more dynamic. :) Even if it happens in a hallway or dungeon room instead of a place with more interactive scenery.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There seems to be two methods of TWFing in PF2, from what we've seen. Heavier weapons + Agile weapon off-hand or two Twin weapons. I'm hoping there's more to it than that, but it's an interesting dichotomy.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Thanks to their high STR, all my 1st-level PF1 melee PCs carried several back-up weapons with different advantages. Each with its own statblock of course : quite cumbersome even with HeroLab

When gaining levels, since their STR was not going down, they kept all these weapons even if they only invested WBL in their main weapon and a mostly similar one just in case

Hence bag of weapons

The useless part was all the other statblocks really

I think this will be even worse in PF2 because of the sheer diversity in weapons a martial character will be proficient with


Quote:
longsword

It's time to put this artifact of the very simple list of swords in OD&D¹ to bed, just switch to either "broadsword" or "arming sword".

Quote:
Two-hand weapons like the bastard sword deal much higher damage if you wield them in two hands instead of one!

I'm going to agree that this is a bad choice of term for weapons that can be used both one and two handed.

I would suggest using the real term "hand and a half" or some derivation of it.

1: It was just short, long and two-handed with none of them referring to any specific kind of sword.


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Don't know if this has been mentioned or not: instead of a single 'Exotic Weapon Proficiency', what if instead ...

Composite weapons that are currently exotic (two different weapons that are melded together) be used by the wielder's proficiency in its component weapons? A kusarigama is, effectively, a sickle and a chain weapon. Proficiency with both sickle and chain weapon = proficiency with kusarigama.

Double weapons that have identical component weapons already follow the standard two-weapon fighting rules. Leave those rules as-is. A double-bladed lightsaber is two 'conjoined' lightsabers, let TWF + lightsaber rules govern how they operate.


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Regarding concerns about carrying multiple weapons - real life warriors generally carried 2-4 weapons into battle. I'd say that if we need to carry a couple weapons, then it just helps make the warriors I picture when I imagine my character actually line up better with his abilities. As long as the mechanics support actually doing so, rather than punishing us for diversifying.


I eagerly read all the blogs on the new Pathfinder edition and I find it very interesting. I would like, however, to make a small criticism about your presentation of the new rules.

So far, I find that what is presented titillates especially the interest of the players and not that of the GMs. The new edition offers us many new options to create characters. But who says more options, says more preparation time! As a GM who has a limited time, it scares me and, to tell the truth, throws me away from the new edition of Pathfinder.

What did you imagine to make life easier for the GMs? Are there fast mechanics to create monsters and NPCs?


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Maybe my filthy peasant fighter with a scythe will finally be a thing (my "hedge knight", if you will).

Reading through this thread, Cap'n Morgan touches on a lot of points that interest me as well (edited to what I wanna talk about):

Captain Morgan wrote:

Crafting Quality vs Magic: I really like the idea that weapon quality adds to hit, while +1 enhancements add to damage. I've never totally bought the idea that the most basic enchantment makes you somehow more skilled with the weapon or otherwise make you more likely to hit. Hit harder? Absolutely. But making it easier to avoid being parried or dodged implies there's something akin to Dancing Weapons going on. But the idea that a weapon can be forged so that it is better balanced and easier to use sans magic? That makes sense and has a lot of pop culture support.

The Golfbag: Curious how this will work out. Will Bulk add a meaningful constraint on how many weapons we can carry that is easy to track? Will Quickdraw exist, and will it be OP as heck? Not entirely sure how to feel on this yet. On the one hand, it seems a little silly to be carting around so many weapons. On the other, you can also argue pulling out weapons, dropping them, and pulling out another can be pretty cool.

Reach: I wonder if we now threaten adjacent too... With AoOs no longer being the norm it seems like it might be pretty reasonable.

Ranged Weapons? Anyone else notice there's not much mention of ranged weapons in here? Archery is definitely something that should be re-examined in PF2e. It manages to be both overpowered compared to melee and super samey in build and play.

>>On crafting level vs. magic weapon level: I am willing to see this as expert/master weapons being examples of equipment that are so well balanced that they are easier to use while "+X" are weapons that are preternaturally sharp or wrack the enemy with pain when they actually do connect. I am very curious about how weapon enchantment will interact with weapon quality. I am betting that you need an expert-crafted sword in order to enchant it to a +1 and a legendary sword in order to to make a weapon a +3 sword. I could be wrong though. If I am wrong, we might see weapon names getting way too long like: a +3 expert flaming longsword

>>On the Golfbag: I have always loved playing this kind of fighter/warrior/whatever when this kind of thing is possible. That said, this sort of build almost never works out in mainstream fantasy TTRPGs. I think the MAIN reason that the the golfbag build is not overpowered has a lot to do with the cost.

How many expert weapons can a level 1 player really afford?
How many +3 weapons can a level 12 player really afford?

My guess is that they can't afford many! Depending on how costs work out, you are maybe going to be better off "specializing" your resources into one really good weapon rather than buying two "just pretty good" weapons and even when you do spend your money on two weapons, I am guessing most characters will choose to have one melee weapon and one ranged weapon rather purchasing weapons for a wide selection of different melee tricks.

The way money and rewards work in PF2E is gonna matter a lot for this topic. The way money and rewards work matter a lot in general. There is also something to be said about how this topic will interact with the relative viability of two weapon fighting, but I will choose not to go into it.

>>Reach: I am betting reach weapons will threat at range because multiple AoO are probs gonna be a nonissue in 2E to begin with. I could be wrong though~

>>Ranged weapons: I am also super curious as to how different ranged weapons are going to differentiate themselves (if at all). I am guessing that this will ultimately come down to differences in range and action economy, but I could also see certain weapons having weapon abilities that grant reduced penalties to long ranged attacks or iterative attacks or whatever.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Frol wrote:

I eagerly read all the blogs on the new Pathfinder edition and I find it very interesting. I would like, however, to make a small criticism about your presentation of the new rules.

So far, I find that what is presented titillates especially the interest of the players and not that of the GMs. The new edition offers us many new options to create characters. But who says more options, says more preparation time! As a GM who has a limited time, it scares me and, to tell the truth, throws me away from the new edition of Pathfinder.

What did you imagine to make life easier for the GMs? Are there fast mechanics to create monsters and NPCs? What about the high-level spellcasters, who, in my opinion, require the most time to design.

At the very least they mentioned quick NPC/Monster statting rules. Similar to Starfinder but hopefully a bit better. Not that I had massive problems with Starfinder, but I only made monsters in that to level 5 or so.


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Fuzzypaws wrote:

I actually see a warrior carrying two or three weapons for different situations as realistic and desirable. It adds variety to combat, and makes playing a martial a little more interesting than doing the same thing with the same weapon in every fight. Kind of like how spellcasters have to know a few different kinds of spells to be more effective in a broader variety of situations.

Of course, there's some caveats, and managing these will be necessary to avoid the sense of punishing martials again...

  • First and most obvious, a spellcaster knowing more spells is basically free, other than minor cost for some expendable scrolls. Magic weapons have traditionally been ludicrously expensive. The cost of better weapons needs to come down for a warrior with multiple weapons to be competitive. Ideally casters would also be spending money on a "weapon" or two in the form of implements, so it's not just martials spending all their money on weapons while casters get to spend everything on cooler toys.
  • Weapons traditionally have another opportunity cost, in the form of feats that demand crippling over specialization. In particular, there is no real way in PF1 to be actually good at a melee weapon and a ranged weapon, but to a lesser extent this is true even going between two melee weapons or two ranged weapons. I really really want most of the combat feats in PF2 to be more flexible, able to apply to both melee and ranged combat, to both melee weapon and unarmed combat, and so on. And ideally it won't be too hard to bring at least two weapon groups up to high Proficiency rating, rather than having to focus on only one.
  • Weapons need to not be punitively heavy or bulky under the bulk / encumbrance system.
  • Swapping weapons in combat needs to not take most of an entire turn. I'm fearing using one of your actions to put one weapon away and another action to draw a new weapon, leaving only one action to actually do anything. Let swap take only one action, please.

I'd love to see...

>> multiple weapon cash and feat economy (bullet points 1, 2, and 4)

Here is my hope: magic weapons--and magic items in general--don't compete so much in terms of their relative cost, but instead in their resonance allotment and perhaps their availability to characters of a certain level (which I admit is a little hand-wavy and unnatural). That way, costs do not have to multiply quite as exponentially. I also think balancing magic items around a "pool of slots" can generally lead to fewer corner cases where you are much better off throwing all your resources into one or two categories.

As it stands, I worry that each "+1" to attack will matter a lot more under 2E's mechanical paradigm since that +1 could help you over three different margins (turning crit fail into fail, failure into success, and success into critical success) and as such, players dividing their feat and money resources between multiple weapons will fall farther behind.

On the feat front, I think Paizo could design feats such that single-weapon-specialists and multiple-weapon-specialists are both viable options. To do so, I think they will need to avoid feats that
give pure accuracy and damage bonuses to certain weapons and instead give weapon specialists that expand a character's option with a certain style of weapon. For example while a "golfbag" fighter takes the quick draw feat to switch between weapons more efficiently, a swordmaster might take a feat that lets them take an additional attack of opportunity against a creature they attacked in a given round.

Where one type of fighter gains new combat options from making weapon switching more efficient, the single weapon specialist gets more options with his one specific weapon. I think this makes the two build compete with eachother in a tenable way.

>>On weapon bulk
I don't think this is going to be much of a problem. Stength characters are going to have a higher maximum bulk and dex characters are going to tend to use low bulk weapons anyways.

Scarab Sages

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Wheldrake wrote:
There must be some sort of mechanism for a given creature to have more than one attack in a given attack action. Some critters have more than three natural attacks, for example. Like a 7-headed hydra. Or a dragon: bite, claws, wings, tail...

You could easily represent that sort of thing with only three attack actions. Make each attack beefy enough to represent several natural weapons at once, maybe make them bypass shields due to their multiple-vector nature, maybe reduce the iterative penalty to –3 per step, maybe give the critter an AoE melee attack that represents it whipping and flailing its appendages all around itself...


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I would definitely rather have a hydra do an area attack, instead of going nova with all heads doing ludicrous cumulative damage to a single target. All heads vs one target raises logical problems anyway, like how do they not bonk or entangle with each other if they're all going to the same target in just a couple seconds.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Good to have backstab back in the game's terminology ;-D


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Fuzzypaws wrote:
I actually see a warrior carrying two or three weapons for different situations as realistic and desirable. It adds variety to combat, and makes playing a martial a little more interesting than doing the same thing with the same weapon in every fight. Kind of like how spellcasters have to know a few different kinds of spells to be more effective in a broader variety of situations.

Two to four different "weapons" (including natural attacks) are pretty standard even in Pathfinder 1:

- Ranged weapon (possibly replaced by a wand for an arcanist, sorcerer, witch, or wizard)
- Primary Melee (optional)
- Secondary Melee (optional; probably a different damage type of bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing from the primary)*
- Backup weapon (at least a dagger; useful as a tool as well as for combat capability)

*- such as a hammer for when a sword-wielding character is facing skeletons

Liberty's Edge

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Great post! I'm ...days late in commenting. Put me firmly in the camp of liking just about everything I'm seeing, save for a few things;

1) Two-handed versus using-an-item-in-two-hands just feels a little clunky.
2) Where's the ranged weapon love? We're still pretty in the dark about that.
3) I know it probably warrants its own blog for combat options, but I still wanna know how Two-weapon-fighting works now, with the new action economy. Is it two swings as 1 action doing less damage, two swings as one action but at a penalty to attack?

Still, I love weapon traits and really like the possibilities I'm seeing already.


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Fuzzypaws wrote:
All heads vs one target raises logical problems anyway, like how do they not bonk or entangle with each other if they're all going to the same target in just a couple seconds.

The same way boxers/martial artists/monks don't hit their own fists when punching the same spot repeatedly in just a couple seconds: they have a cerebellum (probably several, in the case of hydras) taking care of the required calculations and adjustments to motor functions to avoid hitting themselves.

I think it's safe to assume something with lots of heads has enough coordination to use them most of the time.


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kaineblade83 wrote:

Great post! I'm ...days late in commenting. Put me firmly in the camp of liking just about everything I'm seeing, save for a few things;

1) Two-handed versus using-an-item-in-two-hands just feels a little clunky.
2) Where's the ranged weapon love? We're still pretty in the dark about that.
3) I know it probably warrants its own blog for combat options, but I still wanna know how Two-weapon-fighting works now, with the new action economy. Is it two swings as 1 action doing less damage, two swings as one action but at a penalty to attack?

Still, I love weapon traits and really like the possibilities I'm seeing already.

1) Yeah.

2) Bows sound like they're getting the deadly property like the glaive. Helps them keep their nasty crit status.
3) No extra swings. You get to use a strong main-hand weapon with a weaker but more accurate agile secondary weapon. For instance, lead with the rapier (more damage and much nastier on a crit, with the first attack likelier to hit) and then use a dagger for the second two attacks (made at -4/-8 instead of -5/-10). They've also mentioned twin weapons, which seem to do a combined attack? More damage for wielding one in each hand, at any rate.


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Thinking about things a bit more, I'm concerned a bit that damage die might end up being the single most important aspect of the weapon. Mostly this is due to reducing static modifiers to damage rolls in favor of multiple dice, as well as the way crits work. Currently the die size tends to get overwhelmed by those modifiers as they stack up. But now magic weapons add extra dice, power attack adds extra dice and likely other feats and such will too. So while 1d6 + 20 (ave 23.5) isn't too far behind 1d10 + 20 (ave 25.5) or even 1d12 + 20 (ave 26.5), 6d6 (ave 21) is quite a bit less than 6d10 (ave 33) and 6d12 (ave 39). The different crit ranges and multipliers seem to be gone, so using those to maximize the static bonuses is no longer a thing, it'll all be about the damage die.

This might not be a big deal, two-handed weapons tend to have higher static modifiers because of the 1.5x strength mod, but also have a bigger damage die so it might come out in the wash, it's just something that occurred to me.


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^To be fair, we don’t know yet if there won’t be any extra Strikes ever. Only that a character with no Feat investment in Two-Weapon Fighting can use an agile weapon to reduce the penalty on secondary and tertiary attacks by 1. That isn’t exclusive to fighting with two weapons, as opposed to say, swinging twice with one weapon that has the Agile Trait.

I fully expect there to be Ranger and Fighter Feats that improve Two-Weapon Fighting in some way as you level up beyond just reducing the Attack Penalty. Even something as simple as, “If you crit an Enemy with a weapon in your primary hand, you may immediately Strike that Enemy again with a different weapon that is in another hand as a reaction.”


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Doktor Weasel wrote:

Thinking about things a bit more, I'm concerned a bit that damage die might end up being the single most important aspect of the weapon. Mostly this is due to reducing static modifiers to damage rolls in favor of multiple dice, as well as the way crits work. Currently the die size tends to get overwhelmed by those modifiers as they stack up. But now magic weapons add extra dice, power attack adds extra dice and likely other feats and such will too. So while 1d6 + 20 (ave 23.5) isn't too far behind 1d10 + 20 (ave 25.5) or even 1d12 + 20 (ave 26.5), 6d6 (ave 21) is quite a bit less than 6d10 (ave 33) and 6d12 (ave 39). The different crit ranges and multipliers seem to be gone, so using those to maximize the static bonuses is no longer a thing, it'll all be about the damage die.

This might not be a big deal, two-handed weapons tend to have higher static modifiers because of the 1.5x strength mod, but also have a bigger damage die so it might come out in the wash, it's just something that occurred to me.

Damage die stepping up keeps the difference between weapons more constant as a % of their damage over the course of the game. It makes the balance question "is special ability X worth roughly N% decrease in damage?"

I suspect 2E will ultimately be the more balanced game w.r.t. weapons because of this.


I am sort of confused as to where this "you're going to need to carry more weapons than you did in PF1" notion is coming from.

Paizo Employee Designer

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I am sort of confused as to where this "you're going to need to carry more weapons than you did in PF1" notion is coming from.

I'm not sure either, but maybe because the different weapons have cool and useful abilities in various situations? We worked hard to give weapons those various advantages enough to be worth taking the weapon for its advantages but maybe not dramatic enough to be worth the hassle of constantly switching around between weapons, but that's a tightrope walk we'll need to test with the playtest.


Mark Seifter wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I am sort of confused as to where this "you're going to need to carry more weapons than you did in PF1" notion is coming from.
I'm not sure either, but maybe because the different weapons have cool and useful abilities in various situations? We worked hard to give weapons those various advantages enough to be worth taking the weapon for its advantages but maybe not dramatic enough to be worth the hassle of constantly switching around between weapons, but that's a tightrope walk we'll need to test with the playtest.

Is this weapon aspect being commuted to natural weapons and unarmed strikes? For some reason I find myself hoping the answer is no.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I am sort of confused as to where this "you're going to need to carry more weapons than you did in PF1" notion is coming from.
I'm not sure either, but maybe because the different weapons have cool and useful abilities in various situations? We worked hard to give weapons those various advantages enough to be worth taking the weapon for its advantages but maybe not dramatic enough to be worth the hassle of constantly switching around between weapons, but that's a tightrope walk we'll need to test with the playtest.

Come on, lets admit the real secret of the system.

You're just trying to justify the gorgeous Wayne Reynolds art where the characters look like mutant sword bearing porcupines.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I am sort of confused as to where this "you're going to need to carry more weapons than you did in PF1" notion is coming from.
I'm not sure either, but maybe because the different weapons have cool and useful abilities in various situations? We worked hard to give weapons those various advantages enough to be worth taking the weapon for its advantages but maybe not dramatic enough to be worth the hassle of constantly switching around between weapons, but that's a tightrope walk we'll need to test with the playtest.

For my part, I think you misunderstand: I--and many other--have always WANTED to be a cool boy with 5 different cool weapons. I hope that PF2E is the game where I can be that cool boy.


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Excaliburproxy wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I am sort of confused as to where this "you're going to need to carry more weapons than you did in PF1" notion is coming from.
I'm not sure either, but maybe because the different weapons have cool and useful abilities in various situations? We worked hard to give weapons those various advantages enough to be worth taking the weapon for its advantages but maybe not dramatic enough to be worth the hassle of constantly switching around between weapons, but that's a tightrope walk we'll need to test with the playtest.
For my part, I think you misunderstand: I--and many other--have always WANTED to be a cool boy with 5 different cool weapons. I hope that PF2E is the game where I can be that cool boy.

I think a lot of us are in the age range where we grew up with the 80s TMNT cartoon and the 1990 movie. Casey Jones was cool. He fought on even footing with Raph just using tons of sports equipment. That's bad ass.


Mark Seifter wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I am sort of confused as to where this "you're going to need to carry more weapons than you did in PF1" notion is coming from.
I'm not sure either, but maybe because the different weapons have cool and useful abilities in various situations? We worked hard to give weapons those various advantages enough to be worth taking the weapon for its advantages but maybe not dramatic enough to be worth the hassle of constantly switching around between weapons, but that's a tightrope walk we'll need to test with the playtest.

It follows from it generally being a good idea to have both a melee and ranged weapon, as well as the precedent set in 3.x / PF1 that a ton of enemies have damage reduction that is only subject to different damage types (slashing vs bludgeoning) or materials (silver vs iron or adamantine).

If the latter is no longer a factor in PF2 monster design, the number of weapons a warrior needs to carry drops to only two - either a melee and a ranged, or just two melee for a dedicated TWF build with the mobility to get at flying / distant enemies. Otherwise, it would still be three, such as a ranged option, a melee slashing/piercing option, and a melee bludgeoning option, the latter two made of different materials. ^^

Liberty's Edge

ElSilverWind wrote:
I fully expect there to be Ranger and Fighter Feats that improve Two-Weapon Fighting in some way as you level up beyond just reducing the Attack Penalty. Even something as simple as, “If you crit an Enemy with a weapon in your primary hand, you may immediately Strike that Enemy again with a different weapon that is in another hand as a reaction.”

We actually know for a fact that there's at least one Class Feat that is TWF related (Double Slice, which I believe has been mentioned as both a Fighter and Ranger Feat). What it does remains a complete mystery, though.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Wandering in at the tail end of a long thread I haven't read to say that I love that weapon quality matters more than just "Masterwork/Not Masterwork" now.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
ElSilverWind wrote:
I fully expect there to be Ranger and Fighter Feats that improve Two-Weapon Fighting in some way as you level up beyond just reducing the Attack Penalty. Even something as simple as, “If you crit an Enemy with a weapon in your primary hand, you may immediately Strike that Enemy again with a different weapon that is in another hand as a reaction.”
We actually know for a fact that there's at least one Class Feat that is TWF related (Double Slice, which I believe has been mentioned as both a Fighter and Ranger Feat). What it does remains a complete mystery, though.

Really? That’s awesome! :D

Hopefully it does more than just remove the “Half Strength Bonus to offhand Weapon” Penalty (that my players always manage to forget when attacking, but are quick to suddenly remember once the enemy pulls out 2 shortswords . . .).

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I am sort of confused as to where this "you're going to need to carry more weapons than you did in PF1" notion is coming from.
I'm not sure either, but maybe because the different weapons have cool and useful abilities in various situations? We worked hard to give weapons those various advantages enough to be worth taking the weapon for its advantages but maybe not dramatic enough to be worth the hassle of constantly switching around between weapons, but that's a tightrope walk we'll need to test with the playtest.

There is indeed a "prepared for all situations" aspect, especially at low levels when magic and item quality and feats and class features do not yet come that much into play and you are looking for any advantage however meager

If you know beforehand that you will face a crowd of kobolds or a single ogre, the optimal weapon is likely different and it is better if you already have one in your equipment

Liberty's Edge

ElSilverWind wrote:
Really? That’s awesome! :D

Yup. Proof here.

Also, Harsk the Iconic Ranger is being shifted to a TWF guy, which strongly implies that the folks at Paizo think it's a solid combat style.

So evidence suggests it exists and is viable (at least for Fighters and Rangers)...just nothing about how it works.

ElSilverWind wrote:
Hopefully it does more than just remove the “Half Strength Bonus to offhand Weapon” Penalty (that my players always manage to forget when attacking, but are quick to suddenly remember once the enemy pulls out 2 shortswords . . .).

Given that such a penalty doesn't seem to exist (or at least didn't come up when someone was attacking with two weapons sans Feats), it probably does something else, yeah.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I am sort of confused as to where this "you're going to need to carry more weapons than you did in PF1" notion is coming from.
I'm not sure either, but maybe because the different weapons have cool and useful abilities in various situations? We worked hard to give weapons those various advantages enough to be worth taking the weapon for its advantages but maybe not dramatic enough to be worth the hassle of constantly switching around between weapons, but that's a tightrope walk we'll need to test with the playtest.

Okay.

A PF1 Skeleton has DR 5/Bludgeoning.

To adequately fight such a creature in PF1, one has to carry Bludgeoning damage.

A PF1 Zombie has DR 5/Slashing.

To adequately fight such a creature in PF1, one has to carry Slashing damage.

How do skeletons and zombies compare in PF2 vs. PF1?

Do they still have DR 5/their thing?

Or has that been eliminated in favor of the weapon special abilities?

Liberty's Edge

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

Do they still have DR 5/their thing?

Or has that been eliminated in favor of the weapon special abilities?

We know that Skeletons retain resistance to non-bludgeoning weapons. So yes, this is a thing.

However, weapons with more than one damage category (such as the Longsword's shiny new S/P) appear to be more common this edition, so I can't imagine you needing too many backup weapons for these sorts of things (you can do it all with two weapons pretty readily in most cases, IMO).


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I am sort of confused as to where this "you're going to need to carry more weapons than you did in PF1" notion is coming from.
I'm not sure either, but maybe because the different weapons have cool and useful abilities in various situations? We worked hard to give weapons those various advantages enough to be worth taking the weapon for its advantages but maybe not dramatic enough to be worth the hassle of constantly switching around between weapons, but that's a tightrope walk we'll need to test with the playtest.

Okay.

A PF1 Skeleton has DR 5/Bludgeoning.

To adequately fight such a creature in PF1, one has to carry Bludgeoning damage.

A PF1 Zombie has DR 5/Slashing.

To adequately fight such a creature in PF1, one has to carry Slashing damage.

For myself, in PF1 I took the Weapon Versatility feat so my weapon, say a spear, could do Bludgeoning, Piercing or Slashing...


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Also, Harsk the Iconic Ranger is being shifted to a TWF guy, which strongly implies that the folks at Paizo think it's a solid combat style.

Or that Paizo still really don't like crossbows...

i jest. I hope I jest, anyway...

Liberty's Edge

dysartes wrote:

Or that Paizo still really don't like crossbows...

i jest. I hope I jest, anyway...

Even if crossbows aren't a valid combat style (and I certainly hope they are), the change still implies that they think TWF is valid.


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Or they think Harsk being mechanically terrible should be an ongoing meme.


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•Will crossbows suck still?
•Will thrown weapons still suck?
•Can I comfortably use two different types of weapons (say, dagger and axe) without a) being a Fighter or b) feeling over-taxed?
•Will using a shield offensively feel satisfying or will it continue to feel underwhelming as it does in PF1?

These are the only things that matter to me at this point (now that "X weapon is just a worse version of Y" has been addressed and, it seems, fixed! Yay!).


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
dysartes wrote:

Or that Paizo still really don't like crossbows...

i jest. I hope I jest, anyway...

Even if crossbows aren't a valid combat style (and I certainly hope they are), the change still implies that they think TWF is valid.

Or just more valid than crossbows. Which, in PF1E terms at least, doesn't appear to be a high barrier to scale ;)

Shadow Lodge

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Neo2151 wrote:
•Will thrown weapons still suck?

I suspect they will for a few reasons, bows and crossbows will probably have their own niches, several low damage attacks for the bow, 1 large damaging attack per round (or two) for the crossbow, for example. I'm not sure what niche thrown weapons will have, they tend to not have as much range and will require an action to draw, making a quick draw type feat mandatory if it exists. Perhaps they'll be weapons that can be used short ranged or in melee, probably sub par at both but that's the price you pay for flexibility.

Even if we give them a niche, how on earth do you balance the cost of these items? How many thrown weapons will a character need to be effective? We don't know the pricing rules for crafting/enchanting weapons but if things haven't drastically changed it will make two weapon fighting look cheap. Also the character will probably lose some weapons at some stage as well, throwing them at enemies only to miss and go off the side of a mountain or something making the pricing issue even worse.

I'd like to see thrown weapons being usable outside of a high strength character's early game ranged back up but I'm doubtful it'll happen.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:


We know that Skeletons retain resistance to non-bludgeoning weapons. So yes, this is a thing.

However, weapons with more than one damage category (such as the Longsword's shiny new S/P) appear to be more common this edition, so I can't imagine you needing too many backup weapons for these sorts of things (you can do it all with two weapons pretty readily in most cases, IMO).

So there would still need to be at least 2 weapons at L1.

Now add in 'must have special material' weapons for things like weres, fey, constructs, etc.

Each one of those weapons will need to be made of the other materials, too.

And then enchantments (for damaged by magic only creatures), alignment (if such thing exists for creature resistances), and some means to overcome incoporeality.

Unless there's some sort of assurance that all the DR/etc that was in PF1 is going away in PF2, it doesn't 'feel' like there's going to be any change, and in some cases the number of weapons needing to be carried may increase if magic is 'rarer'?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Neo2151 wrote:

•Will crossbows suck still?

•Will thrown weapons still suck?
•Can I comfortably use two different types of weapons (say, dagger and axe) without a) being a Fighter or b) feeling over-taxed?
•Will using a shield offensively feel satisfying or will it continue to feel underwhelming as it does in PF1?

The third point is the only one that we can really answer. It appears that anyone can use a second weapon in their offhand, and freely choose between the two on each of their three actions. We also know that some weapons, like daggers, have the "agile" property so they are -4/-8 on the 2nd and 3rd attacks instead of -5/-10.

Anyone can do that, regardless of class.

So far, we have seen no evidence of additional attacks or additional reaction actions or parrying options from two-weapon fighting. I think it's almost certain that we will see something like this, locked behind feats. And maybe fighters will get earlier access to them. And maybe another class like rangers will have specific class abilities or options to get something extra out of two-weapon fighting. But that's all speculation.

Shields? What we've seen so far, with the raise shield action and a hefty chunk of DR from the shield is brilliant. Although we don't *know* how aggressive an action the shield bash will be, compared to a weapon strike, and whether you'll have an opportunity to get special results like knock down or knock back with it, it seems plausible that we will have something like that. IMHO attacking with your shield *should* be less optimal than attacking with your sword or axe or mace, but we won't know until our pals from Paizo choose to elaborate.

Crossbows? We have no evidence one way or another. IMHO crossbows should have increased damage and increased critical effects, but also increased reload times. We just don't know yet.

Thrown weapons? The main limiting factor will be the action cost for drawing a weapon. We know the alchemist can draw two bombs with a single action. If anybody can draw two ready items (say, in a sheath or a bandolier) then you could get off two thrown weapons in a round, which is not terrible.

The debate over crossbows and thrown weapons depends a lot on how many cool and OTT feats archery gets in PF2.0. Arguably, archery got too many feats and became too powerful a combat option in PF1.0. I suspect the Paizonians already know that they need to re-balance archery not only with other forms of missile fire, but with melee attacks as well.

Liberty's Edge

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

So there would still need to be at least 2 weapons at L1.

Now add in 'must have special material' weapons for things like weres, fey, constructs, etc.

Each one of those weapons will need to be made of the other materials, too.

Eh. There are all of two necessary materials at low levels (cold iron and silver) and maybe three at high levels (adamantine, though by the time you get that you may not need cold iron or silver any more). This isn't a huge burden.

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
And then enchantments (for damaged by magic only creatures), alignment (if such thing exists for creature resistances), and some means to overcome incoporeality.

Uh...all of this except Alignment is handled by the weapon being magic. And getting through Alignment DR has always and intentionally benn tricky and not something the PCs are expected to always pull off.

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Unless there's some sort of assurance that all the DR/etc that was in PF1 is going away in PF2, it doesn't 'feel' like there's going to be any change, and in some cases the number of weapons needing to be carried may increase if magic is 'rarer'?

Who said magic would be rarer?

But yeah, backup weapons are likely to remain a thing.

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