Weapons as flavor


Alpha Playtest Feedback General Discussion


This seems like a stretch, but here is a proposal. Instead of each weapon dealing its own amount of damage. Why not have weapons classified and each classification deals a set amount of damage. This would allow characters to go for something that would be more character oriented instead of just using the biggest baddest weapon to deal more damage.
This proposal is just a raw outline of the idea, obviously it would have to be fleshed out and balanced, otherwise people would only use the weapons from the biggest baddest group.
Maybe have melee weapons work like composite bows, you need a minimum Strength modifier to effectively wield heavier weapon classes.

Liberty's Edge

Along these lines, there has GOT to be something that can be done to make weapons less...disposable. Weapons of Legacy was a great idea, but it sucked in practice. I'm not sure if I can think of a solid fix, so, like the OP my idea is nebulous, but perhaps someone out there has just the thing we need.

Weapons are an extension of the character. Yay for moving away from a worl where all big fighters use greatswords.


I have always felt that the weapon proficiencies were a bit vague. When a PC has proficiency in "Simple Weapons" this translates into years of training in 19 different weapons from the PHB alone. I realise that the average length of a campaign doesn't actually cover that much time for the PC, but if your PC has been using, say, a morningstar exclusively for the last 10 levels, does it make sense that he can suddenly pick up a Sickle and be just as effective with it?

It seems to me that it takes a lot of effort, practice and time to become proficient with a weapon, never mind maintaining that proficiency. Does it make sense that a PC would spend their down-time retraining in 19 different weapons all the time? (To be truly proficient, you would have to train against all the different types of weapons with each weapon as well.)

Aside from that, yeah, it's hard to justify taking a low damage dealing weapon for flavour when your PC can just as easily use the big weapons. Yes, I realise that you can "specialize" in a specific weapon as you go up in levels, but how often is that weapon a Dagger or a even a Dart?

How about some sort of progression or point-buy for weapon proficiencies? Off the top of my head:
Feat = Simple Weapon Proficiency (spend three points on type of weapon).
- Unarmed Attacks = 1 point
- Light Melee Weapons = 1 point
- One-Handed Melee Weapons = 1 point
- Two-Handed Melee Weapons = 2 points
- Ranged Weapons = 2 points
* allow the feat to be taken multiple times at specific BAB's?

Mind you, I can't imagine that being proficient in the use of a Battleaxe would translate well to using a Flail (both Martial, One-Handed Melee Weapons). Maybe some kid of point buy within the Feat to gain proficiency in a specific weapon or two? With the cost increasing based on the damage die?

If anyone has a house rule about weapon proficiencies, now's the time to let us know. :)


I think A Flail really ought to be considered an Exotic Weapon.


Andrew Muttersbach wrote:
if your PC has been using, say, a morningstar exclusively for the last 10 levels, does it make sense that he can suddenly pick up a Sickle and be just as effective with it?

Do you know any musicians? My brother took piano and cello lessons. But then one day he picked up someone else's ukelale, said "what's this?" and promptly started composing songs on it. Somehow he picked up the drums in about a week, well enough to play in a jazz band. Drums clearly have no relation to the cello, of course. But he told me "music is music." I can't vouch for that personally; I have a tin ear. But it sure was easy for him.

One of my friends who's a polyglot tells me it's the same way with languages. After the first few, new ones take like no effort, even if they're totally unrelated. I can't vouch for that personally, either; my one or two foreign tongues are clumsy and barbaric.

Neither of these examples seemed odd to me, though. After years of training in unarmed combat, learning to fight with a knife, and then a pair of sticks, was a piece of cake (nunchucks still give me a headache, though). So, with the exception of the exotic ones, weapon skill is easy to transer.


You as a GM could set something up like what AD&D had (at least I think it was AD&D that had it) where each class a specific number of weapons that the character is proficient with ad the player can choose which specific weapons they are proficient with. From there you can then make the options smaller according to the class, maybe something like this:

Fighter: Choose 5 weapons from the Simple and Martial Weapons. You may choose any exotic weapons but they take up 2 slots. You get a bonus amount equal to your [insert appropriate attribute here] modifier.

Wizard: Choose 2 weapons from the Simple Weapons. You may choose any exotic weapons but they take up 2 slots. You get a bonus amount equal to your [insert appropriate attribute here] modifier.

You know, something along those routes. You can then add in a new skill for the characters to put skill points into it and become more proficient in weapons. Make it a class skill for Fighters, Barbarians, Rangers and Paladins that allows you to put 1 rank for a simple weapon, 2 for a martial and 3 for an exotic, this way they don't use up a feat slot as another option.

I don't know how good of an idea or how fleshed out it is, but it's a start at least.


The problem I have with the system now is the blurr between Weapon Proficiencies and BAB.

What represents what?

Furthermore I would suggest making unproficiency not -5 but only half your BAB OR -5, what's higher.

I don't see the point why you could even be WORSE then unskilled (BAB 0).


Hey Draco.

"Furthermore I would suggest making unproficiency not -5 but only half your BAB OR -5, what's higher.

I don't see the point why you could even be WORSE then unskilled (BAB 0)."

Actually, the rule mechanic is BAB-5. You always have your BAB, but you take a -5 penalty on it. This means a level 15 fighter can pick up an unknown exotic weapon and us e it at BAB-5, or 10.


Unearthed Arcana had some rules for weapon group proficiencies which I enjoyed. Each class got to pick a certain number of groups based in their starting proficiences, with the fighter coming out as having the most of course.

There really isn't much benefit though to having tonnes of weapon proficiencies as most characters tend to pick one or two to focus on.

Weapon damage dice will not go away anytime soon I would imagine.


I had this very same idea, so I wrote it into my Tome of House Rules and Variants.

TS


I enjoy the idea of having typical magical weapons as well as having weapons with a history to them. Since I allow characters to improve/ modify weapons, they can become a part of the history behind these weapons, so I threw out weapons of legacy.

I threw in one such weapon in RotRL, and the character had fun discovering it and improving it over time.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
The Shining Fool wrote:
Along these lines, there has GOT to be something that can be done to make weapons less...disposable. Weapons of Legacy was a great idea, but it sucked in practice. I'm not sure if I can think of a solid fix

Legacy Items (Alternate Rules)

To simplify how legacy items work and to provide players more of an incentive to keep/use legacy items, I developed the following house rules:

Bond Legacy Item [General Feat]
This feat enables the character to use the basic abilities of the bonded legacy item. The character can also unlock the item's least, lesser, minor, and greater powers through the corresponding rituals.
Prerequisites: Character level 3rd, own a legacy item, perform Ritual of Bonding.
Benefit: Can use the basic magical properties of the bonded legacy item and unlock more powerful abilities.
Normal: A legacy item acts as a normal or masterwork item.

The following rituals are required to enable the magical powers of a legacy item and must be performed in the order given:

Ritual of Bonding: 7 days, ritual cost 200gp per day (1400gp); with the Bond Legacy Item feat, unlocks the basic power(s) of a legacy item (~2000gp market price).

Ritual of Awakening, Least: 7 days, ritual cost 200gp per day (1400gp); unlocks the least power(s) of a legacy item (~4000gp total market price). Appropriate for 5th-6th level characters.

Ritual of Awakening, Lesser: 21 days, ritual cost 400gp per day (8400gp); unlocks the lesser power(s) of a legacy item (~16,000gp total market price). Appropriate for 9th-10th level characters.

Ritual of Awakening, Minor: 28 days, ritual cost 1200gp per day (33,600gp); unlocks the minor power(s) of a legacy item (~64,000gp total market price). Appropriate for 13th-14th level characters.

Ritual of Awakening, Greater: 35 days, ritual cost 1800gp per day (63,000gp); unlocks the greater power(s) of a legacy item (~154,000gp total market price). Appropriate for 17th-18th level characters.

Below is an example legacy item created with these rules:

Axe of Earth Power

Normal: Masterwork dwarven waraxe
Basic: +1 Dwarven Waraxe
Least: +1 Dwarven Waraxe (+4 to sunder items with the Improved Sunder feat; see Shatterspike, DMG pg. 228)
Lesser: +2 Dwarven Waraxe (+5 to sunder items with the Improved Sunder feat, bull's strength 3x/day)
Minor: +3 Mighty Cleaving Dwarven Waraxe (+6 to sunder items with the Improved Sunder feat, bull's strength 3x/day, X-Ray Vision [as ring, DMG pg. 233])
Greater: +5 Mighty Cleaving Dwarven Waraxe (+8 to sunder items with the Improved Sunder feat, bull's strength 3x/day, X-Ray Vision [as ring], summon elemental monolith* [Earth only] 1x/day)

Note that normal weapon bonuses account for about half of the item's market price from Least to Greater power levels. This is deliberate and should be followed as a rule of thumb when designing other legacy items.

*- To make this OGL, use summon monster/nature's ally IX (elder earth elemental), instead.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Andrew Muttersbach wrote:
I have always felt that the weapon proficiencies were a bit vague.

As mentioned above, you can always use Weapon Group Feats from the SRD.

Dark Archive

As a longtime GURPS player, I'm a fan of weapon group proficiencies as well. Which is really what 'Simple Weapon Proficiency' is, a *really big* weapon group proficiency.

I don't mind that little detail being sacrificed for ease of play, just as I don't mind that a Conjuration specialist is not just good at summoning creatures, or conjuring up walls of iron, but also at flinging acid around and teleportation. They're rough categories, and I'm okay with that.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Andrew Muttersbach wrote:
if your PC has been using, say, a morningstar exclusively for the last 10 levels, does it make sense that he can suddenly pick up a Sickle and be just as effective with it?

Do you know any musicians? My brother took piano and cello lessons. But then one day he picked up someone else's ukelale, said "what's this?" and promptly started composing songs on it. Somehow he picked up the drums in about a week, well enough to play in a jazz band. Drums clearly have no relation to the cello, of course. But he told me "music is music." I can't vouch for that personally; I have a tin ear. But it sure was easy for him.

One of my friends who's a polyglot tells me it's the same way with languages. After the first few, new ones take like no effort, even if they're totally unrelated. I can't vouch for that personally, either; my one or two foreign tongues are clumsy and barbaric.

Neither of these examples seemed odd to me, though. After years of training in unarmed combat, learning to fight with a knife, and then a pair of sticks, was a piece of cake (nunchucks still give me a headache, though). So, with the exception of the exotic ones, weapon skill is easy to transer.

I agree with this for weapon profencies because this represents one thing that most people leave out when dealing with PCs: PCs are extraordinary. They are not common people. They are rare individuals in teh world. If there are 5000 adventurers of various levels in a world of 500,000 people, then the adventurers are a small, rare number. Everytime I create a PC or an NPC, I keep in mind the fact that PCs are not ordinary people. So just as a musician can normally play more than one instrument (like my 12 y/o, who has been playing the drum without training or a real interest since he was two, and picked up the trombone this year because his school doesn't have a drum and plays like he's been playing for years), or the two and three sport athelete, an adventure who trains on swords in combat can probably pick up other weapons and use them for combat.

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