Weapon categories should use light, regular, heavy -- not the same terms as methods of wielding (one-handed / two-handed)


Playtest Reports


Currently there is a problem using the term "two-handed" to both mean a way of wielding weapons (using two hands), and also a category of weapon (bigger weapons).

Examples:

* Power Attack: when wielding a longsword in two hands, does power attack add just your Strength modifier, or double your Strength modifier?

* Similar for Overhand Chop, Backswing, Devastating Blow, and Razor Sharp Chair Leg.

* Also, what about a buckler; the penalty clearly applies if you use a greatsword, but should it also apply if wielding a longsword in two hands?

The solution is not to use the same term for two different meanings.

Similar to how the D&D 3.0 term "off hand weapon" was replaced by 3.5 "light weapon", I suggest the the terms "regular melee weapon" and "heavy melee weapon" be used for the normal and bigger weapon categories (so you have categories of light, regular and heavy).

This would make it much clearer whether a rule intends to mean "in two hands", or simply "a bigger weapon".

For example, Buckler would stay as "or using your off hand to help wield a weapon two-handed" (meaning how you wield it), whereas Overhand Chop, if only intended to apply to the weapon category, would read "make a single attack with a heavy melee weapon".

Strength bonus could clearly be specified as 1/2 bonus for light or regular weapons wielded in the off hand, Str bonus for light or regular weapons in the main hand, and 1-1/2 times for regular or heavy weapons in two hands.

Using different terms also makes it clear that you can says things like the following without any confusion in terms:

"A gargantuan regular weapon must both be wielded two-handed by a huge-sized user, whereas a small heavy weapon can be wielded as an off hand weapon by a large-sized user."

In summary:

* Sizes (small, medium, large, etc) are already well established.

* Weapon categories - light melee weapon, regular melee weapon, heavy melee weapon.

* Options for wielding - off hand, primary hand, or two-handed.

- Sly


Umm.. This doesn't really sound like a play test,
and the Pathfinder rules are done & not open to further revision.


Well the easiest solution would be to chance all all of those feats from stating "when using a two handed weapon" to "when using a weapon in two hands".

Using terms like "Light" "regular" and "heavy" would be problematic because of the weapons that already have those names, such as the "light" crossbow, the "heavy" mace and so forth.

one handed and two handed accurately describe how the weapon is going to be used for the majority of people, without having to explain in great detail (and at higher word count) all the rules and exceptions for "regular" and "heavy" weapons.


Abraham spalding wrote:

Well the easiest solution would be to chance all all of those feats from stating "when using a two handed weapon" to "when using a weapon in two hands".

Using terms like "Light" "regular" and "heavy" would be problematic because of the weapons that already have those names, such as the "light" crossbow, the "heavy" mace and so forth.

one handed and two handed accurately describe how the weapon is going to be used for the majority of people, without having to explain in great detail (and at higher word count) all the rules and exceptions for "regular" and "heavy" weapons.

I already read it that way, and interpret it that for all the rules I can think of.

When it says "two handed weapon" it means, in my mind, "weapon you are holding in two hands".

An ogre can wield a human-sized 2H battle axe in one hand. When he uses Power Attack, he does not get to add double the PA damage modifier just because the weapon is a two handed weapon. He does get to double the PA damage if he chooses to swing that axe with both hands.


Yes, this is not a specific playtest report of Pathfinder, but a general comment based on many years of playing D&D 3.0 and 3.5, which had the same problem (and many FAQ clarifications).

The Pathfinder website says "Over the next months, the rules will be refined into a finished game, to be released in August 2009." (http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG) -- in other words, the rules are not final. My suggestion is not even a change to the actual rules anyway, just a clarification of the wording.

Pathfinder already has a category of weapon called "Light", as well as weapons called light mace and light crossbow. (The category "Light" is a change from 3.0 "Off-hand" to 3.5, which was for the same reason of confusing terminology.).

A Light weapon is normally wielded in the off hand, but there was a good reason to change the name to avoid confusion. Similarly a Regular (aka "one-handed") weapon whilst normally wielded in the main hand, can be wielded in many different ways (also note that both off hand and main hand fit the English meaning of one-handed).

The rules for Power Attack state: "If your attacks are made with a two-handed weapon, add an amount equal to double your Strength modifier".

There is a specific defined game term "two-handed", so the rule could be made clearer if they mean the specific term (the category) or the general English meaning of the word (in two hands).

I just think it's clumsy saying a one-handed weapon in two hands (or a two-handed weapon in one hand). i.e. A longsword is a Regular (aka "one-handed") weapon; it can be used in two hands, but is not a Heavy (aka "two-handed) weapon; on the other hand a lance is a Heavy Weapon (aka "two-handed"), although it can be wielded with one hand whilst mounted.

Power Attack probably does not rely solely upon the way the weapon is wielded, because a dagger (a Light weapon) can still be used in two hands -- you just get no additional Strength bonus -- and I don't think they intended Power Attack to apply.

The ogre using an inappropriately size weapon is not a directly relevant example -- the weapon is no longer treated as a Heavy (aka "two-handed") weapon; to the ogre it is a Regular (aka "one-handed") weapon and follows all the rules as such; my main point was using the same term for two meanings. (The change in size can add additional confusion to the terms one-handed/two-handed.)


But at the same time the Ogre doesn't use a medium sized great sword as a one handed "regular" weapon for his size -- He uses it as a one handed weapon with a - 2 penalty to hit because it isn't sized correctly for him. Your "new" (actually the 3.0 system revisited) system would allow him to use it without penalty.

What you are asking for is a step backwards back to 3.0.

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