Spiked Chain vs Bladed Scarf


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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Auspician wrote:
Answer: Since all reach weapons use two hands, you don't have a hand free to attack with a different weapon. Two weapon fighting rules work differently, you can attack with either weapon without having to drop what you're carrying to do something else. Dropping a weapon may be a free action, but since you can only perform free actions on your turn, I wouldn't allow the spear/gauntlet combo to work.

I would agree, the gauntlet is a bad example (I did not specificly advocate it), better examples would be unarmed strike (via IUS) or armor spikes. Both require no hands to use, and thus the hand issue is irrelevant.

Auspician wrote:
From a purely balance perspective, having two different weapons to bypass DR isn't nearly as overpowered as being able to attack both 5 feet and 10 feet away. Besides, think of the logic behind it. You're threatening him with your spear, he moves in close to you, you somehow get a free attack with your gauntlet? The idea behind an attack of opportunity is you're taking advantage of an opportunity - would be pretty hard to do when you're juggling weapons.

I'm not really following you here. You make your attack prior to the action that drew it. So as the person starts to move in from 10 ft away, you hit them with your spear and then they move adjacent to you. This is how a reach weapon would work whether you had a way to attack adjacent or not. The adjacent part would only matter in that case if, for example, they decided to then cast a spell while adjacent to you and you had combat reflexes and could take another AoO.

Auspician wrote:
Again, its not an issue of balance so much as rarity and difficulty to wield. You pick up a spiked chain, I'll pick up a longsword, and we'll see who is still standing a minute later. Simple reality is that conventional weapons are easier to wield than unusual weapons. The rules reflect that. Is that a bad thing?

Now, let's consider the situation where I pick up a flail and you pick up a longsword, and we'll see if I brain myself. Seriously, if we want to start down that path, let's do it all the way and stop cherry-picking things that we personally dislike. I get that people have a personal grudge against the spiked chain, that is not a balance issue. Don't try to backdoor justify a personal dislike with "it's hard to use in real life" arguements. The game rules aren't meant to perfectly simulate RL, but if we are going to start down that road, then let's do it whole hog. In that case, all polearms should have slower attack speeds than light weapons. Also don't tell me you can attack as quickly with a warhammer as you can a rapier. You're swinging a greataxe with your friend next to you, well he was until you decapitated him.

EDIT: Hmmm, let's consider the claim that exotic weapons are just weird and don't usually offer any real bonus. Looking at the list I see the following:

Group 1: exotic weapons that do give some bonus over their simple and martial relatives. This group includes:
bastard sword
dwarven waraxe
orc double axe
elven curved blade
dire flail
gnome hooked hammer
two-bladed sword
dwarven urgrosh
heavy repeating crossbow
*bolas
*net
*halfling sling staff

Group 2: exotic weapons that aren't really any better, but can be accessed by a class.
kama (monk)
nunchaku (monk)
**sai (monk)
siangham (monk)
whip (bard)
hand crossbow (rogue)
shuriken (monk)

Group 3: ones less effective
spiked chain
light repeating crossbow

Note:*I could see arguments for why these are not superior, but I think they give access to things that can't be done with other simple or martial weapons that it is enough to claim they should be exotic. Still I would be fine with the bolas and net being either simple or martial.
**The sai is actually the only monk weapon really close to being balanced as an exotic, which we can see if we compare it to the light hammer for example.

The Exchange

Just to clarify something, when someone makes a build with a guisarme for instance(which is a reach weapon), And also wears spiked guantlets, it is not the guantlets that will be used for AOO's anyway. The AOO's are typically only triggered as they are moving from outside the 10' mark to the adjacent square to attack you. The AOO is triggered as they are leaving the 10' square and are therefore attacked with the guisarme.

The guantlets are a contingency plan so you can hold your two handed weapon in your off hand and still punch (while considered armed) with your primary hands spiked guantlet. This bypasses the normal need to drop your guisarme and draw a secondary weapon. Eliminating the need to constantly drop and pickup your reach weapon as you get rid of and gain more melee enemies.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Tilquinith wrote:
Just to clarify something, when someone makes a build with a guisarme for instance(which is a reach weapon), And also wears spiked guantlets, it is not the guantlets that will be used for AOO's anyway.

Technically, it depends on where the opponent is when they draw the AoO. If the AoO is drawn while in or leaving the square threatened by the guisarme (reach), then the AoO is from the guisarme. If the AoO is drawn while in or leaving the square threatened by the spiked gauntlet (adjacent), then the AoO is from the spiked gauntlet. Otherwise, you're correct.

Note that a similar effect can be obtained with Quick Draw and a light or one-handed weapon, although switching between reach and adjacent attacks is more difficult (must be declared).

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Let me try another approach.

Ok, lets look at another popular exotic weapon from another game,

The Lightsaber.

It requires an EWP. I, Jedi makes a good case for it, the balance is completely different than any other blade. Mechanically it has some advantages over other weapons (ignoring hardness), but lacks range or firepower of a blaster. But socially it says one of two things. 1) you're a Jedi/Sith. 2) You're so awesome, you beat up a Jedi/Sith and took his stuff.

So the two reasons to spend the feat seem to be either you're in a class that gets bennies from using it, or you want to appear awesome.

While most exotic weapons are of the 'slight mechanical advantage' catagory some are of the 'look awesome' catagory. Why are my characters prone to sabre/scimitar/falchion/great scimitar/kastane/etc? Because I as a player like curved blades. I choose 'em because they 'look awesome'. Mechanically, my gish builds can take a hand off the falchion to toss a spell and grab it as a free action. Stylewise, I'll take the feat, and sacrifice a .5 point of damage for the katana/great scimitar/kastane/bastard sword, because it looks cool.

Now with Cheliax, you have an entire fighting style dedicated to the spiked chain. A fighter with the build becomes a pretty nasty foe.

Lets look at a fighter built around Cheliax and the chain.

Level 1 - EWP Spiked chain, WF spiked chain.
Level 2 - Cornugon Shield
Level 3 - Combat Expertise
Level 4 - WS Spiked Chain
Level 5 - Weapon Training Flails, Improved Trip
Level 6 - Lunge

From here you can branch out into some of the other devil feats (quickdraw + Corugon Trip for a ranged attack with your weapon of choice, Improved Grapple + Hamatula strike + Hamatula grasp for those 'get over here!' moments, etc)

Does it cost an additional feat over the flail? Yes. Does it look cool as heck? Oh yes...

So in summation, you're normally spending the feat to look awesome. Not a bad choice in itself. With one splat, you move past looking awesome into being awesome.

Edit: And one other advantage. If you have your 'flail with all the goodies' and get disarmed odds are the bad guy can pick it up and hit you with it. If you drop your 'spiked chain with all the goodies' the odds of that happening are less.

Liberty's Edge

Matthew Morris wrote:
From here you can branch out into some of the other devil feats (quickdraw + Corugon Trip for a ranged attack with your weapon of choice, Improved Grapple + Hamatula strike + Hamatula grasp for those 'get over here!' moments, etc)

I... I think I love you.

Spoiler:
Please don't tell Wes.

Liberty's Edge

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

To be honest folks, I cannot see this thread developing in a positive way, and it seems to be heading down the "lets argue over optimized characters" avenue...

Tempted to lock it, but I will let it run on a bit to see where it goes.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

well that is ebcause there is now way it can ed positively at all...

some may agree that by personal experience it was too effective, some will say it was no game breaker, others that now its broken and sueless and there is no reason to spend a gift in an useless weapon...

and about character optimization... I know I have been acused of being powergamer (gee justbecause I like the clerics as they are and not as PF made them), but the truth is now, more than never PF forces you to optimize your character to be able to get some fun or survive, I just see the rules and the adventures on the PFS scenarios, the nerf on classes like the bard and the cleric, the cripppling of spells for all spellcasters and its hard not to try to optimize a character... just to have some decent survival chance...

I don't for the fun og getting my characters killed... I play to experience my character growth, and I don't mean level growth, but in story and abilities... but this as always is taken tot he side, left only for individual DM and not attended in the rules (more skills, aelast forthe taking of the ehavy armor it would have been decent ot give that to clerics)

but... things are like that, nothing is to be changed at all... because when it could it was decided not to, the interesting thing is that some heavy handed changes where done without even being playtested, at least not by the public...

Liberty's Edge

Auspician wrote:
Character optimization seems to be exactly what Paizo is working against. And they have done a damn good job. Once there is a list of 'optimized' characters out there, it limits the freedom of players to play something that really calls out to them. If they do anyway, they'll feel inferior (rightly so) to someone who plays a character which is 'optimized'.

I disagree

actually it forces it even more... just in a few ways... because now the extra options are made useless, so its harder to move away from certain feats combinations...

its foolish to do so, so now you are forced more to optimice your character in certain ways, like the barbarian using greataxe with lots of feat to make more damage per round, or the ranger or fighter using bow and arrow to inflict maximum ranged damage...

now its harder to move from those and other options that make quite easy to find another fighter exactly as yours in the next table you visit.

but of course having charactersbeing different for fun (and being usefull) is bad, because the DM doesn't have fun killing his players... right?


Auspician wrote:


Answer: Since all reach weapons use two hands, you don't have a hand free to attack with a different weapon. Two weapon fighting rules work differently, you can attack with either weapon without having to drop what you're carrying to do something else. Dropping a weapon may be a free action, but since you can only perform free actions on your turn, I wouldn't allow the spear/gauntlet combo to work.

From a purely balance perspective, having two different weapons to bypass DR isn't nearly as overpowered as being able to attack both 5 feet and 10 feet away. Besides, think of the logic behind it. You're threatening him with your spear, he moves in close to you, you somehow get a free attack with your gauntlet? The idea behind an attack of opportunity is you're taking advantage of an opportunity - would be pretty hard to do when you're juggling weapons.

So you have a first level monk first level fighter using a glaive.

Can he attack at range and up close? Unarmed attacks specifically can be done with feet.

Or if you prefer not to multiclass or go with high level games, First level Fighter with Improved Unarmed Strike, Combat Reflexes and A Glaive. By current rules he can attack either 10' away or 5' away including attacks of Opportunity.

Would you house rule that away too?

Sovereign Court

Ughbash wrote:


So you have a first level monk first level fighter using a glaive.

Can he attack at range and up close? Unarmed attacks specifically can be done with feet.

Or if you prefer not to multiclass or go with high level games, First level Fighter with Improved Unarmed Strike, Combat Reflexes and A Glaive. By current rules he can attack either 10' away or 5' away including attacks of Opportunity.

Would you house rule that away too?

The way I do it in my games, is that armor spikes have 0 reach, in order to attack with them you have to enter an opponents space provoking an attack of opportunity. Gauntlets (even spiked gauntlets) function off of your unarmed strike, so in order to use them without provoking an AoO you need the IUS feat.

If you have either IUS or a level of monk then you can threaten adjacent squares while weilding a reach weapon. Otherwise you don't.

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
Montalve wrote:
lets get real.. in Society play you need to make your character the clossest to a niche or you won't survive long...

I havn't finished reading this thread yet, but i wanted to comment on this... my society character is a gnome ranger who can't cast spells - he has no bonus in the stats needed to do his class spells, or his race spell-like abilities. He's lvl 4 and has not had an issue surviving Society play, in fact, the only scare is when another player knocked him to 0 when in a rage.


Cpt_kirstov wrote:
Montalve wrote:
lets get real.. in Society play you need to make your character the clossest to a niche or you won't survive long...
I havn't finished reading this thread yet, but i wanted to comment on this... my society character is a gnome ranger who can't cast spells - he has no bonus in the stats needed to do his class spells, or his race spell-like abilities. He's lvl 4 and has not had an issue surviving Society play, in fact, the only scare is when another player knocked him to 0 when in a rage.

Why don't you have high enough stats in those other ones? Is it because you are focusing on a very narrow set of abilities?

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Ughbash wrote:

So you have a first level monk first level fighter using a glaive.

Can he attack at range and up close? Unarmed attacks specifically can be done with feet.

Or if you prefer not to multiclass or go with high level games, First level Fighter with Improved Unarmed Strike, Combat Reflexes and A Glaive. By current rules he can attack either 10' away or 5' away including attacks of Opportunity.

Would you house rule that away too?

Having seen and run a game with a glaive wielding fighter/monk, they're flat out banned in any game I ever run unless the player is ready to offer me ever DM favor ever invented.

It seems that the problem comes from the view that exotic = better vs. the view that exotic = different. I don't think the change is that significant but I consider myself part of the exotic = different group. Really though, if it bugs you, house rule it back (like I did with monk/fighter glaive users) or talk to your GM about why you think it should be the old way. It *is* your game after all.

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
pres man wrote:
Why don't you have high enough stats in those other ones? Is it because you are focusing on a very narrow set of abilities?

To be honest, at the time I wanted a high dex and better str at all costs (rookie mistake after having DMed and not had to make too many ranger stat blocks the past few years), and I don't particularly enjoy spellcasting as a ranger anyway, thought about a fighter with a bow for a time... after that I wrote a backstory about how he was depressed and bleaching for a time before joining the society ... makes some really good roleplay options. To be honest, I have to look at it now that I just got 4th at GenCon... that extra point may be able to get him his ranger spells on time.


Montalve wrote:

I don't for the fun og getting my characters killed... I play to experience my character growth, and I don't mean level growth, but in story and abilities... but this as always is taken tot he side, left only for individual DM and not attended in the rules (more skills, aelast forthe taking of the ehavy armor it would have been decent ot give that to clerics)

but... things are like that, nothing is to be changed at all... because when it could it was decided not to, the interesting thing is that some heavy handed changes where done without even being playtested, at least not by the public...

Your impressions of the changes and the playtest seem to be quite a bit different from my own.

Liberty's Edge

Blazej wrote:
Montalve wrote:

I don't for the fun og getting my characters killed... I play to experience my character growth, and I don't mean level growth, but in story and abilities... but this as always is taken tot he side, left only for individual DM and not attended in the rules (more skills, aelast forthe taking of the ehavy armor it would have been decent ot give that to clerics)

but... things are like that, nothing is to be changed at all... because when it could it was decided not to, the interesting thing is that some heavy handed changes where done without even being playtested, at least not by the public...

Your impressions of the changes and the playtest seem to be quite a bit different from my own.

mmm well neither spiked changed had been changed, dominions were one way and clerics had armor in Beta--- care to explain how your playtest was different form mine?

but aye I do agree different people have different experience, at least to me and most of my friends, PF stopped being fun with some of the changes (no the armro of the cleric non withstanding), but players who loved to play bards now are reluctant to change to PF because it cripples them... and the bard is not exactly a powerclass...

Liberty's Edge

Cpt_kirstov wrote:
Montalve wrote:
lets get real.. in Society play you need to make your character the clossest to a niche or you won't survive long...
I havn't finished reading this thread yet, but i wanted to comment on this... my society character is a gnome ranger who can't cast spells - he has no bonus in the stats needed to do his class spells, or his race spell-like abilities. He's lvl 4 and has not had an issue surviving Society play, in fact, the only scare is when another player knocked him to 0 when in a rage.

but you went for the side of optimizing your gnome to be ranged ranger, don't you? spells are a bonus, yes, I myself use evry little the ranger spells, I go more for the feats, in this case you go accordingly to what I said...

high Dex, higher AC, and higher chance of hitting in the distance... you wanted hish str, right? question... did you have a compositivebow, or a mighty oen who makes use of the strnght to use more damage in ranged combat?

you simply decided to forego the spell list, yes they have some pretty useful things... but for the ranger... its the least of things, an small help

spells anyway are nerfed every edition, so not much loss :P


off-topic: I will point out that even if a ranger can't cast spells due to a low score, he can still use wands. Which given the low rate of spells he gets is usually the more viable option anyway.


The spiked chain was one of 3 things in the PFRPG that immediately got noted for house ruling while I was reading the rules.

I agree that there are several Exotic weapons that should be made useful and worth a feat. I also feel the other changes made reduce the cheesiness of the chain, and will be restoring the reach.

The other two are the half-orc and the cleric heavy armor proficiency. I have my own idea for giving back heavy armor that will offer more flexibility to the cleric, but I'll have to try it out with the group to see if it is too much.


Again, I think the loss of reach for the spiked chain would have been fine if something was done about its horrible damage and crit. It is the exotic equivalent of the greatclub (seriously belonging in a lower catagory).


Montalve wrote:

mmm well neither spiked changed had been changed, dominions were one way and clerics had armor in Beta--- care to explain how your playtest was different form mine?

but aye I do agree different people have different experience, at least to me and most of my friends, PF stopped being fun with some of the changes (no the armro of the cleric non withstanding), but players who loved to play bards now are reluctant to change to PF because it cripples them... and the bard is not exactly a powerclass...

My playtest was different I guess because I always knew there would be changes that would appear in the final version that would not be in the Beta. I thought it was clear that they were going to take the information they gained during the playtest, and use it to decide on what changes they wanted to make. Be that boosting the effectiveness of Medium and Heavy armors, bumping down spiked chain, granting the ranger the ability to use more armor, and the cleric less proficient with his. If the playtest resulted in gaining the information that medium armors were the least used then, if that was a problem for them, I expected them to do something to change that and for me to see that in the final version and not some last minute notice on the boards.

As far as bard goes, if they liked how they worked before, then yes, they would likely be displeased with them now. Just like many of the other changes made, if you really really liked the way something was before, it is less likely that you will like it as much when it is finished. They may see the bard as crippled, but I see it as more preferable than it was before (at lower level and at higher levels). The changes they made were not random nor were they made without considering the input they received.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Couple of quick points here.

1. Exotic does not mean better. Yes you have to pay a feat to use it in most circumstances, but that is just not exactly how these are designed. Some do offer some nice benefits, but that is by no means the rules. Exotic means rare and unusual first. That means that some of them are not the "best" in-game mechanical decision your character can make.

2. As for the other weapons, the past is just that, the past. When these weapons get updated, we will be looking at them quite a bit closer for balance.

I know this is not a popular change, but the weapon was just too good.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

Even though as a DM I have long hated the spiked chain I have to agree with the others. If there is no benefit from using the exotic weapon it should not take a feat. At best it should be allowed with a combat trait.

All Exotic weapons should have that something extra to make up for that lost feat. But they should also be balanced with no one exotic weapon being so obviously more powerful than the others.

Yes nerf spike chain but give all exotic weapons a little something.

And while you are at it move the Great Club to the Simple weapon list. It is a joke on the Martial weapons list.

Dark Archive

dulsin wrote:
If there is no benefit from using the exotic weapon it should not take a feat. At best it should be allowed with a combat trait.

Total agreement here. The gamers I've played with have avoided exotic weapons like the plague, for three reasons.

1) They aren't that good.
2) Feats are precious.
3) Magic loot drops are usually longswords and daggers (with the occasional battleaxe, short sword, bow, etc).

You wanna play an exotic half-orc urgrosh user? Fine, you'll be two feats behind the human longsword specialist, and you'll *never* see a magic urgrosh unless you stop between adventures at ye olde Magic Item Shoppe (which aren't always guaranteed to exist, particularly in campaigns such as the World's Largest Dungeon).

Worse yet, it's not even a terribly cool looking weapon.

I'd totally go for a Trait that allowed a member of a particular region / culture to use the appropriate weapons as martial weapons (such as a Shoanti Trait that allowed them to use Shoanti Bolas, or a Varisian to use the Bladed Scarf, or a Taldan to use the Falcata, as martial weapons).

Sovereign Court

Set wrote:
I'd totally go for a Trait that allowed a member of a particular region / culture to use the appropriate weapons as martial weapons (such as a Shoanti Trait that allowed them to use Shoanti Bolas, or a Varisian to use the Bladed Scarf, or a Taldan to use the Falcata, as martial weapons).

Indeed. This way even the dreadful flavor and fluff is incorporated.

I recall once ranting about how bad firearms are in PFRPG. The case was somewhat similar even then.


Jason Bulmahn wrote:
1. Exotic does not mean better. Yes you have to pay a feat to use it in most circumstances, but that is just not exactly how these are designed. Some do offer some nice benefits, but that is by no means the rules. Exotic means rare and unusual first. That means that some of them are not the "best" in-game mechanical decision your character can make.

While I'm quite aware modern society has trained us all to enjoy paying more and more for less and less do we really have to have it this way in our games too? Why should I pay a feat to become less of a fighter? It's akin to paying for a vasectomy and then expecting to sire stronger, faster, better children as a result.

Sovereign Court

I didn't like the Spiked Chain nerf, particularly in light of the reduction of the Lunge AC penalty (as per PRD) to -2, even before it killed everyone in my home town from cancer of the earlobe*. But now I hate it and fear that it will be the end of the human race as we know it.

Seriously, we can't take this seriously enough. I'm serious.

*An attempt to find a cancer no one here will have lost someone to. If I have missed the mark, I shall replace it with "cancer of the filtrum".

Dark Archive

I wonder what other Asian-style game elements will be counted as 'exotic' and require a feat, despite not necessarily providing any real mechanical benefit?

Perhaps we should consider requiring someone to purchase an 'Exotic Clothing Proficiency' before their character can wear a kimono or one of those straw hats without suffering some sort of non-proficiency penalty. (The equivalent of an Armor Check Penalty, for a kimono or sarong, perhaps, while the straw hat might penalize Perception checks and the split-toed sandals hinder movement.)

Asian foods might require their own set of 'Exotic' feats, with a character who attempts to eat sushi risking discomfort (or even disease or poisoning or a tragic chopstick-in-the-eye incident, or, worst of all, a social faux pas that leads to the host committing suicide to expunge the shame of it all, leading to civil war!) if they haven't bought the appropriate Exotic Food Proficiency feat. It would probably be completely unfair to require a seperate Exotic Food Proficiency for each specific food item, but they could be divided into 'Food Groups,' so that a character could take 'Exotic Food Proficiency - Vudran' to be able to ingest curries and mango chutney and saag paneer without suffering gastic complications.

Perhaps the Tien languages (and maybe Vudran) count as Exotic Languages, and you should also pay a Feat for the priviledge of speaking such uncommon tongues? They don't have to provide any mechanical benefit, like Dark Speech or the (horribly ill-conceived) Words of Creation or the (much cooler) Mathgahmnan Language Primeval or whatever, but could just be 'exotic' as a result of their inscrutable Asian-ness.

If we are going to justify spending Feats for flavor, we might as well jump ahead to the dramatically overwrought straw man conclusion. :)

I got bored waiting for it.


Post removed.

Vargr, feel free to try again. Ask your question and leave the snarky rudeness behind.

The Exchange

Auspician wrote:

To the suggestion of a reach weapon + spiked armor or gauntlets, I personally wouldn't let a player use both at the same time. Said player would have to declare on his turn which he was using, and that would be the weapon he would be using for purposes of AoO's until his next turn. The major point is this: The rules are not really compatible with allowing someone to attack both 5 feet and 10 feet away. Period. With the exception of larger size categories, which carry their own penalties, I would never allow this in my games.

Character optimization seems to be exactly what Paizo is working against.

To end this nonsense, I suggest to all GM's out there to simply ban any optimized character concepts from the game. Or ideally, for Paizo to issue errata to correct any 'over-optimized' character concepts that come out of the woodwork. This is the best way to make sure Pathfinder remains fun to play for...

First: Whips.

Second. Your ruling on spiked armor + weapon will get appealed and over turned at every convention.

Third. I agree with you in principle. I've fought in mock combats - and the last thing I'm thinking about when I use a flail is using a different weapon - I'm far too intent on stopping the other fellow from hitting me, trying to hit him etc.

Some sort of TWF penalty needs to be applied; or a con check to get your AoO (lost if you fail), or an init penalty. Something that simulates changing mental gears isn't painless.


Cpt_kirstov wrote:
Montalve wrote:
lets get real.. in Society play you need to make your character the clossest to a niche or you won't survive long...
I havn't finished reading this thread yet, but i wanted to comment on this... my society character is a gnome ranger who can't cast spells - he has no bonus in the stats needed to do his class spells, or his race spell-like abilities. He's lvl 4 and has not had an issue surviving Society play, in fact, the only scare is when another player knocked him to 0 when in a rage.

Just to chime in....

You can make a ranger who never uses a spell and still kicks major #$$. Chances are you drop'd spell casting to max out your range attacks (or melee attacks) like a 18 dex at first level.

The spells are iceing on the cake of the class...

Make a ranger with 12 dex and stregth but 14 Wisdom, 15 int, and 14 charisma and get back to me.

I'm making a swashbucling cleric (10 Str, Con 11, Dex 16, Int 12, Wis 15, Cha 14 at 1st level) now that's a non-optimised character. using a rapier... lets see how I do.


Hmm... Lots of interesting views, and despite me finding this place while being annoyed that my stage preforming diplomat rogue with a spiked chain got squished by the no reach thing, and me being angry about it, I can't say I have a solid opinion one way or another. OR rather, a good solution...

The way I see it, this comes down to an argument about whether exotic weapons should be 'better' because you are expending a feat, or if you should expend a feat just to be different.

Personally, I think things that make you different but have no real 'usefulness' in combat or dice rolling shouldn't cost you a feat. Those things should be up to the DM and players imagination. For instance, I play a 3.5 campaign in which I have an elf Duskblade, which i chose because I thought the class would be unique and fun to play without being as useless as many other unique and fun classes. He worships Wee Jass as a few DBs do and i thought it would be fun to make him unusually tall, pale, and skeletal. He's 6 foot 9 and very pale, freakish for an elf. Maybe he has some Stone Giant in his ancestry somewhere. My DM didn't have a problem with this, and I consider him to be horribly against free thought. He didn't ask for me to spend a feat on tallness, or gauntness. it effects the game mech.s very little, I simply stick out in a crowd.

The problem with this is that when it comes to weapons, you wouldn't feel very special if your unique fighter with his exotic weapon ran into a brigade of goblins wielding the same weapon because it doesn't cost a feat. Exotic weapons should be rare.

But consider this. Someone said something along the lines of 'I pick up a sword, you pick up a chain, lets see who wins'... The logic there is -exactly- why exotic weapons should be better in some way to their martial counterparts. Yes exotic weapons are hard to use. It would take months, if not years, of training to get as good with a chain as you could get with a sword in a week. So why bother with the chain at all if it isn't any better? People spend a long time mastering odd weapons because those weapons give them an advantage in a fight.

I think that if a weapon isn't better, it shouldn't need a feat to be wielded. Making a player spend a feat (for many classes a very limited resource) to be creative is silly and directly against the point of pen and paper RPGs, which is to use your imagination, create a unique character, breath life into it, and have fun!

And if a weapon -isn't- mechanically different, then base it off something else. Like you a Samuri, (a fighter) who wields a Katana (a masterwork great-sword). Another option would be, hey, like the spiked chains 3.5 abilities but not the idea of one? Wield a Chinese long-spear, which are flexible and light enough to be finessed, and that same lightness allows them to be used close in by rapidly drawing the spear back or spinning it around to use the butt.

Note I'm not lobbying to get the old spiked chain back, (I've found a workable weapon in the Urumi) Just trying to shed some light on the issue and spreading around a few idea's for house rules. :)

Contributor

LapDragon wrote:
So why bother with the chain at all if it isn't any better? People spend a long time mastering odd weapons because those weapons give them an advantage in a fight.

People also spend a lot of time mastering things just to look impressive. Or to be funny. Or to prove they can do it. Or because that's all they had available.

That doesn't mean the guy who can juggle 6 soccer balls while bouncing one on his forehead should have a combat advantage over a guy with a sword.

Some things are not as effective as other things, even in specific situations. That's actually why they invented prestige classes (making the "whipmaster" a viable choice was the original example of why you'd have a prestige class, before prestige classes became corrupted into ways players power up their characters.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
That doesn't mean the guy who can juggle 6 soccer balls while bouncing one on his forehead should have a combat advantage over a guy with a sword.

Oh, so you are saying that if a player wants a character that can juggle six soccer balls while bouncing one on his forehead, the player should have to spend a feat for Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Soccer Ball?

For the sarcasm challenged, I just don't get Sean K Reynolds' belief that characters should be "taxed"/"penalized"/whatever you want to call it just to be different, "impressive," or "funny."

Particularly if you consider that fighting "differently" gives an advantage with all other things being equal. Take this movie clip for example. I'm not suggesting I could win in a fight against either of them. But I would have a much greater chance of success against the Muay Thai (Tony Jaa) fighter than the Capoeira fighter (Lateef Crowder) just because I can predict the lines and angles of attack better.

But from what I have been reading, the Capoeira fighter would be a Monk in Pathfinder, but would be expected to spend a feat to be able to use the Capoeira style - but still just be a monk in all other ways.

Sovereign Court

Sean K Reynolds wrote:


Some things are not as effective as other things, even in specific situations. That's actually why they invented prestige classes (making the "whipmaster" a viable choice was the original example of why you'd have a prestige class, before prestige classes became corrupted into ways players power up their characters.

I really liked the "whipmaster" prestige class and was sad to see it never converted to later editions. That class made the whip fun to use, and having a third hand and some of the other abilities were great to have. The poor whip is such an unfortunate weapon the only thing going for it is lots of thematic flair and pop culture movie references. So feel free to bring it and other pclasses like it back Sean!

In genneral I like the idea of "weapon" master prestige classes, in which they sacrifice versatility for perfection in a single weapon or make a difficult to use or a less optimal weapon into something fun.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I do find it funny that the change to the Bladed Scarf has turned one part of the 3rd Council of Thieves adventure out-of-date already.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah, I am not wild about the exotic weapons costing a feat while not at least giving a slight mechanical benefit over martial weapons.

OTOH, the Spiked Chain stood out heads and shoulders above the rest of the bunch. It really was too good, in comparison to everything else.

Best way to remedy that problem, IMHO? Make a new exotic weapon master PrC.

Contributor

Disenchanter wrote:

Oh, so you are saying that if a player wants a character that can juggle six soccer balls while bouncing one on his forehead, the player should have to spend a feat for Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Soccer Ball?

For the sarcasm challenged, I just don't get Sean K Reynolds' belief that characters should be "taxed"/"penalized"/whatever you want to call it just to be different, "impressive," or "funny."

If I spend a year training to kill people using a dagger, and you spend a year training to kill people using a #2 pencil, do you really think you should be as good at killing people as I am? Even though it's sharp and relatively sturdy, a #2 pencil simply is not as good a weapon as a dagger, even if you spend a feat on it.

However, you can grab a #2 pencil from just about anywhere and use it as a weapon, whereas I can't find a dagger just anywhere. The police can search you and not be alarmed to see you have a mechanical pencil, whereas they'd be suspicious if they found a dagger on me. In fact, you could walk into a police station holding a #2 pencil in your hand and not alarm anyone, but if I walked into a police station with a dagger in my hand it would be quite a different story.

In other words, there are advantages to #2 pencils that don't exist for daggers. But that doesn't mean a #2 pencil should do as much damage as a dagger, or that it has the same crit range, or that you should be able to perform some combat maneuver with it that you can't do with a dagger. Some things don't need hard game mechanics simply because the GM is not a robot and should have some common sense. There are things you can do with a pencil that you can't do with a dagger, and just because you spent a feat on it shouldn't make it as good. The same goes for wooden stakes, forks, spoons, or long scarves with sharp little blades worked into them.

The problem really is that Exotic Weapon Proficiency is a significant cost and only addresses the combat effects of a weapon, when weapons aren't just about their attack rolls, damage, threat range, and what maneuvers they can do. The bladed scarf may be a worse weapon than a comparable martial weapon (and mind you, MWP and EWP are basically the same feat, so you really can't justify an exotic weapon being better than a martial weapon on the basis of "it costs a feat to learn an exotic weapon"), but there's a ton of things you can do with a bladed scarf that you can't do with a bastard sword, elven curve blade, urgrosh, bolas, or hand crossbow, or spiked chain--number one of which is "it doesn't look like a weapon."


I'm surprised to dorn dergar hasn't entered into the conversation, what with its ability to change between a normal and reach weapon. I thought that was agood way of handling the concept, and would likely apply it to similar weapons if a player wanted to use such.


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Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Some things don't need hard game mechanics simply because the GM is not a robot and should have some common sense.

Wrong. On so many levels.

First, you can not, and should not, expect and count on all GMs having what you define as common sense.

Second, especially when taking into account organized play you can not expect or count on GMs having the same common sense.

And not least, your esteemed colleague, Erik Mona, once said to me

Erik Mona wrote:
Roleplaying restrictions are terrible balancing factors for mechanical abilities.

While not 100% fitting with the topic, I (and several others) feel the inverse of that statement is also true. "Roleplaying bonuses are terrible balancing factors for mechanical abilities"

Unless there are set guidelines on what bonuses a bladed scarf gets for concealment, counting that as a balancing factor is a plain bad idea.

And Exotic Weapon Proficiency does not equal Martial Weapon Proficiency. Not until there are at least 3 base classes, and numerous prestige classes, that grant proficiency in all Exotic Weapons. Even if it came at the expense of not having proficiency in all Martial weapons.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:

If I spend a year training to kill people using a dagger, and you spend a year training to kill people using a #2 pencil, do you really think you should be as good at killing people as I am? Even though it's sharp and relatively sturdy, a #2 pencil simply is not as good a weapon as a dagger, even if you spend a feat on it.

However, you can grab a #2 pencil from just about anywhere and use it as a weapon, whereas I can't find a dagger just anywhere. The police can search you and not be alarmed to see you have a mechanical pencil, whereas they'd be suspicious if they found a dagger on me. In fact, you could walk into a police station holding a #2 pencil in your hand and not alarm anyone, but if I walked into a police station with a dagger in my hand it would be quite a different story.

I wonder if you had to relabel things. Which one of these two, the dagger or the pencil would be considered "simple" and which would be considered "exotic". I'm thinking I wouldn't draw (no pun intended) the line in quite the same place.


A #2 pencil is just a small improvised weapon, which does a d3 or d4 damage, right? :) Plus a fort save for lead poisoning. XD

Seriously though, Who would try and use 7 soccer balls as a weapon? That example is utterly ridiculous. I'm talking about finding equivalent exchanges here. No one is going to say "I want my orc fighter to wield a moderately hard pillow, but since there is no rules for that weapon, lets use the rules for a great-sword." But if he wanted to use a Chinese long spear, it seems perfectly fine to use the rules for a 3.5 spiked chain. (which in this case he -would- need to spend a feat on) or a katana and use the rules for a masterwork great sword, (which he wouldn't need the feat for, as long as he could use martial weapons)

Set's argument about the asian food proficiency was just as ridiculous, but I can understand why he made the post. Do we really need a feat for every oddity our character's have? as long as the game mechanics aren't effective, let a character be different.

And if I was playing an assassin, I just might spend a feat to wield #2 pencils well. You could assassinate anyone, anywhere! :D No guard would remove a #2 pencil from the person of someone effectively disguised as a scribe. In most combat situations it would suck, but that's okay, because you wouldn't use it in most situations. Of course, in game rules I don't need a feat, because its just a improvised weapon.

But once again, that #2 pencil example is pretty out there in 'straw man territory' and actually kinda rules in favor of the 'feat = mechanical payoff' versus the 'feat = fluff payoff'. Your inferior #2 pencil would actually be a great deal more deadly in modern society, because no one would see it coming and you could walk around armed to the teeth all the time. Try walking around with a dagger and see how fast you get arrested. Advantage!

If you have to expend a feat to use a weapon, then it should confer some advantage over a martial weapon, since most classes that are based around the use of weapons can use martial weapons 'for free'. Even if that advantage is simply its ability to be concealed or overlooked, as in the example of the #2 pencil or the bladed scarf,. (and even -that- is a reach weapon that can be used in close, ect, ect, as well as the things mentioned)


LapDragon wrote:
Even if that advantage is simply its ability to be concealed or overlooked, as in the example of the #2 pencil or the bladed scarf,. (and even -that- is a reach weapon that can be used in close, ect, ect, as well as the things mentioned)

The bladed scarf is no longer a reach weapon. And it did lose it's critical threat range. You can find the updated stats here. As expected, it would be down under Two Handed Melee Exotic Weapons. It does keep the ability to apply Weapon Finesse to, and the ability to damage grapplers if you are proficient in it.

It did gain the disarm ability though...


Disenchanter wrote:

Wrong. On so many levels.

First, you can not, and should not, expect and count on all GMs having what you define as common sense.

Second, especially when taking into account organized play you can not expect or count on GMs having the same common sense.

(snip)

While not 100% fitting with the topic, I (and several others) feel the inverse of that statement is also true. "Roleplaying bonuses are terrible balancing factors for mechanical abilities"

Unless there are set guidelines on what bonuses a bladed scarf gets for concealment, counting that as a balancing factor is a plain bad idea.

And Exotic Weapon Proficiency does not equal Martial Weapon Proficiency. Not until there are at least 3 base classes, and numerous prestige classes, that grant proficiency in all Exotic Weapons. Even if it came at the expense of not having proficiency in all Martial weapons.

Not really my discussion, but you said a couple of things that make me grit my teeth. And that, according to my dentist is a "bad thing"... time to relieve the stress :D

Part of the skill set of any DM, a good one anyway, is a certain amount of common sense and judgment. It's just one of the reasons some people will never make a good DM. Imo, of course.

I have never understood why people think "exotic" means "better". It just means unusual and probably not too similar in use to other weapons in the default campaign culture. There is no reason for an exotic weapon to "measure up" to a martial one or vice versa. The feat is used to represent the extra time / effort needed to add an unusual weapon to your repertoire. Again, imo. I didn't write the rules.

I can here the phrase "feat tax" coming up. If it was forced, then it would be a penalty / tax. No one is forced to learn an exotic weapon. It's a choice, often made because it is either "cool", fits a character concept or is percieved as being useful. So, spend a feat on it.

And the concealability of a weapon is not a "roleplaying bonus". It's mechanical. It does require a certain amount of common sense to implement. If a character normally wears scarfs it should go largely unnoticed. If, on the other hand a character who has never worn a scarf over his armor suddenly starts sporting one it might draw attention and be more easily recognized for what it is. The exact "numbers" would vary wildly based on the situation, the characters involved and their knowledge of each other. Not the sort of thing for hard and fast numbers. That's yet another reason to have a DM.

And, of course, ymmv. That's my 2cp.

Sovereign Court

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Disenchanter wrote:

Oh, so you are saying that if a player wants a character that can juggle six soccer balls while bouncing one on his forehead, the player should have to spend a feat for Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Soccer Ball?

For the sarcasm challenged, I just don't get Sean K Reynolds' belief that characters should be "taxed"/"penalized"/whatever you want to call it just to be different, "impressive," or "funny."

If I spend a year training to kill people using a dagger, and you spend a year training to kill people using a #2 pencil, do you really think you should be as good at killing people as I am? Even though it's sharp and relatively sturdy, a #2 pencil simply is not as good a weapon as a dagger, even if you spend a feat on it.

However, you can grab a #2 pencil from just about anywhere and use it as a weapon, whereas I can't find a dagger just anywhere. The police can search you and not be alarmed to see you have a mechanical pencil, whereas they'd be suspicious if they found a dagger on me. In fact, you could walk into a police station holding a #2 pencil in your hand and not alarm anyone, but if I walked into a police station with a dagger in my hand it would be quite a different story.

In other words, there are advantages to #2 pencils that don't exist for daggers. But that doesn't mean a #2 pencil should do as much damage as a dagger, or that it has the same crit range, or that you should be able to perform some combat maneuver with it that you can't do with a dagger. Some things don't need hard game mechanics simply because the GM is not a robot and should have some common sense. There are things you can do with a pencil that you can't do with a dagger, and just because you spent a feat on it shouldn't make it as good. The same goes for wooden stakes, forks, spoons, or long scarves with sharp little blades worked into them.

The problem really is that Exotic Weapon Proficiency is a significant cost and only addresses the combat effects of a weapon, when weapons aren't...

somebody's been watching the dark knight lately :)

Scarab Sages

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
There are things you can do with a pencil that you can't do with a dagger, and just because you spent a feat on it shouldn't make it as good. The same goes for wooden stakes, forks, spoons,....

What about Bohemian Ear-Spoons?


R_Chance wrote:
Part of the skill set of any DM, a good one anyway, is a certain amount of common sense and judgment. It's just one of the reasons some people will never make a good DM. Imo, of course.

True, but game rules should not be written to take into account the "common sense" of DMs.

R_Chance wrote:

I have never understood why people think "exotic" means "better". It just means unusual and probably not too similar in use to other weapons in the default campaign culture. There is no reason for an exotic weapon to "measure up" to a martial one or vice versa. The feat is used to represent the extra time / effort needed to add an unusual weapon to your repertoire. Again, imo. I didn't write the rules.

I can here the phrase "feat tax" coming up. If it was forced, then it would be a penalty / tax. No one is forced to learn an exotic weapon. It's a choice, often made because it is either "cool", fits a character concept or is percieved as being useful. So, spend a feat on it.

I never understand why people feel "unusually" requires a feat to use the weapon proficiently. In most standard games I've played in, a trident would be an "unusually" weapon, but it does not require a feat (unless the wielder isn't proficient with martial weapons). If it is a crappy weapon, why not toss it into the simple catagory and then let anyone that wants to use it for flavor reasons do so.

R_Chance wrote:

And the concealability of a weapon is not a "roleplaying bonus". It's mechanical. It does require a certain amount of common sense to implement. If a character normally wears scarfs it should go largely unnoticed. If, on the other hand a character who has never worn a scarf over his armor suddenly starts sporting one it might draw attention and be more easily recognized for what it is. The exact "numbers" would vary wildly based on the situation, the characters involved and their knowledge of each other. Not the sort of thing for hard and fast numbers. That's yet another reason to have a DM.

And, of course, ymmv. That's my 2cp.

So in official game play in a living campaign, what rules are used?

Contributor

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pres man wrote:
True, but game rules should not be written to take into account the "common sense" of DMs.

Why not? The game assumes the GM can read, can use logic to determine whether or not a character is flanking, how much cover a table provides, monster tactics, and so on. Assuming the GM has common sense allows us to have a 576-page rulebook instead of a 1,200-page rulebook.

The game shouldn't have to explicitly spell out how fast you can dig with a shovel, how long you can use a shovel before you have to rest, how long you can use a shovel before it breaks, whether or not you can use a shovel as an improvised plate or lever, whether or not you can use a shovel to chip through a stone wall, whether or not you can use a shovel as a breathing device when you're hiding underwater in a swamp, and so on.

There is a HUGE amount of knowledge that the game assumes you know, because knowing that is common sense. For example, the descriptions of the races in the Core Rulebook don't say "humans need air to breathe, humans need food and water, humans need to pee and poop, humans contain blood, humans are alive, humans walk on two legs." You can infer some of those things with other parts of the rules (Suffocation, page 445; Starvation and Thirst, page 444; Injury and Death, page 189) but some of them aren't stated anywhere because it's common sense.

The game also gives GMs a set of tools for making decisions based on common sense. If a skill normally requires a set of tools, you can either have the appropriate tools (+0 bonus), masterwork tools (+2 bonus), improvised tools (-2 penalty), or no tools at all (unable to use the skill). The game doesn't define what "improvised tools" are, it assumes the GM is competent enough to make a ruling about whether or not a particular item is suitable as an improvised tool. Can you use a club as an improvised lockpick? Common sense says no. Can you use a dagger? Common sense says yes. Can you use a rope, hourglass, or iron pot? Common sense says no. Can you see a flask of oil, fishhook, and sewing needle? Common sense says yes.

So, yes, it's perfectly valid for the game rules to assume that the GM understands how the real world works and can make rulings based on that knowledge. Otherwise you're asking for a game book that has to spell out every single thing so that the most thick-witted person in the world never has to think at all when running or playing--at which point you're in a world where we need instructions for toothpicks, warnings on chainsaws that say "do not attempt to stop the chain with your hands," and instructions on peanut packages that say "open package and eat contents."

Are you really arguing that we shouldn't assume that the reader is a person of at least average intelligence with at least an average awareness of how the world works?

pres man wrote:
I never understand why people feel "unusually" requires a feat to use the weapon proficiently. In most standard games I've played in, a trident would be an "unusually" weapon, but it does not require a feat (unless the wielder isn't proficient with martial weapons). If it is a crappy weapon, why not toss it into the simple catagory and then let anyone that wants to use it for flavor reasons do so.

Because a trident is basically a spear, and is as easy to use as a spear; hold the stick part, point the stabby sharp part at the bad guy. Compare that to a two-bladed sword, which is "handle is in the middle, both ends are sharp, slash with either end but be careful to not stab yourself with the close end when you swing the other end at the bad guy."

Or to nunchaku, which is "hold one stick and hit with the other, don't pinch your fingers in the chain, try to be badass and alternate hands to opposite sticks, use it to grab an enemy's weapon or leg and pull, don't hit yourself in the head or body when swinging it all around."
Or to a bladed scarf, which is "you have a bunch of one-sided razors sewn into this scarf, don't grab it too hard or you'll lose your fingers, swing the sharp side at the bad guy rather than the dull side, if you wrap it around someone's leg be careful not to yank on the sharp side of the blades in your hands or you'll lose your fingers."

EWP means (or at least should mean) "this requires special training to use effectively and do so without hurting yourself," not "this isn't common in my home town." Just because you're trained in using a special weapon and can utilize all of its techniques without hurting yourself doesn't mean it's a better weapon than simpler weapons. There's a reason why historical armies all over the world used maces, swords, axes, and spears instead of nunchaku, two-bladed swords, and nets--maces, swords, axes and spears are damn effective.

And when you get right down to it, a spiked chain is a two-handed weapon that weighs 10 pounds., a bladed scarf is a two-handed weapon that weighs 2 pounds. The bladed scarf is lighter than a spiked chain, (comparatively) flimsy compared to a spiked chain, and wielded basically the same way as a spiked chain; it is not going to deal the same damage as a spiked chain. The question isn't "why would I ever learn the bladed scarf if it does worse damage than the spiked chain," it's "why would I ever learn the spiked chain if it doesn't do better damage than the bladed scarf and isn't concealable like a bladed scarf is?"

Some weapons don't do as much damage as comparable weapons, but have other advantages (such as concealment). And some weapons are just plain worse than comparable weapons. Not everyone is a beautiful unique snowflake.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Are you really arguing that we shouldn't assume that the reader is a person of at least average intelligence with at least an average awareness of how the world works?

So in organized play there are not any problems with standard rules ever because individual GMs can use their common sense?

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Because a trident is basically a spear, and is as easy to use as a spear; ...

So why isn't it a simple weapon like, ... I don't know ..., the spear?

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
There's a reason why historical armies all over the world used maces, swords, axes, and spears instead of nunchaku, two-bladed swords, and nets--maces, swords, axes and spears are damn effective.

Most of weapons that were actually used could double as tools. Tell your peasants to grap their axes, knives, and flails and head on to battle. Swords despite what the fantasy writers will have you believe were not common weapons for most soldiers.

And nobody has still suggested why players should have to be kicked in the crotch (take a feat) in addition to getting punched in the face (using an inferior weapon). Why not allow anyone to use the inferior weapon if they want to for roleplaying reasons. "It takes a lot of practice to be able to use it effectively in real life." Yeah, so what? That is what back story is for. "I practiced for 8 hours a day from the time I could walk." You don't need mechanics for fluff.

Contributor

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pres man wrote:
So in organized play there are not any problems with standard rules ever because individual GMs can use their common sense?

So in organized play there are not any GMs who *have* common sense?

I'd much rather assume an average GM has common sense than assume an average GM is a moron.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
So why isn't it a simple weapon like, ... I don't know ..., the spear?

Ahh, you caught me, it's a martial weapon rather than a simple weapon. Which means it's a little harder to use than a spear... probably because you have the orientation of the tines, and that you can use it as a brace weapon. Though personally, I'd let you use a trident as a simple weapon without brace.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Most of weapons that were actually used could double as tools. Tell your peasants to grap their axes, knives, and flails and head on to battle. Swords despite what the fantasy writers will have you believe were not common weapons for most soldiers.

More so than nunchaku, two-bladed swords, and nets, yes?

(I don't know why you called out swords specifically when I also mentioned maces, axes, and spears. It doesn't prove your point, nor does it disprove mine.)

Quote:
And nobody has still suggested why players should have to be kicked in the crotch (take a feat) in addition to getting punched in the face (using an inferior weapon). Why not allow anyone to use the inferior weapon if they want to for roleplaying reasons. "It takes a lot of practice to be able to use it effectively in real life." Yeah, so what? That is what back story is for. "I practiced for 8 hours a day from the time I could walk." You don't need mechanics for fluff.

There are martial weapons that are inferior to other martial weapons. Likewise for simple weapons. Should someone who takes MWP to learn an inferior martial weapon get some sort of advantage? Or should they not have to spend a feat on MWP to learn an inferior martial weapon?

Do you let characters be the best cook, horse-tamer, artist, or singer? All of those have mechanical requirements. If you trained every day for 8 years to be a master cook, it makes sense that you're not as good at Stealth or Perception or Sense Motive or Disable Device. As soon as you say "that's just fluff, it doesn't matter," then (1) there's no consequence to saying your character is the best at anything that isn't directly related to combat, and (2) you're penalizing the character who's actually following the game rules to build a character.

Some choices are sub-optimal choices. You can play a dwarf sorcerer, even though that –2 Cha penalty hurts you. You can play a gnome or halfling fighter, even though that –2 Strength hurts you. You can play the dagger-fighter, or the whip-fighter, or the bladed-scarf-fighter, or the improvised-weapon-fighter, even though they're not the best mechanical option--in terms of dealing damage. But if that choice suits your character, do it, even if you do less damage than someone else. The bard character class isn't designed to deal direct damage; the bard enhances everyone else's damage, and complaining that the bard is a weaker class because its damage per round sucks compared to the rogue or fighter is silly, plus the bard has a bunch of other abilities that the rogue and fighter can't do. Likewise, the dagger-fighter has stuff the longsword guy can't do, as does the whip-fighter, the scarf-fighter, and the improv-fighter... things that don't relate to damage, but in the right circumstances are much better, more fun, and cooler than a traditional weapon-fighter... and your GM should set up situations that allow that character to shine.

I'll quote Bulmahn quoting Monte: "The game allows you to eat rocks if you want to. It's not a good idea, and it doesn't taste good, but the game lets you do it if that's what you want to do. I'm not going to force you to play the way that I think is best."

"Best" isn't always "do the most damage." If that were the case, the enchanter is by far the "worst" option for wizards. If you want to play a scarf-fighter, that's what's "best" for your character--but you need to find something other than damage output to rate yourself by, because that's not what the scarf-fighter is built for. All weapons are not equal. We're not going to balance the game so that a dagger is just as good as a longsword or greatsword or spiked chain. And if you still decide to play the guy who wants to use a dagger or scarf--whether or not that requires you to spend a feat, that is your choice. And the fact that you have that choice is a good thing. Otherwise every weapon's listing is the same, and the description of your weapon (size, shape, material) is just irrelevant "fluff."

Sovereign Court

pres man wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Are you really arguing that we shouldn't assume that the reader is a person of at least average intelligence with at least an average awareness of how the world works?

So in organized play there are not any problems with standard rules ever because individual GMs can use their common sense?

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Because a trident is basically a spear, and is as easy to use as a spear; ...
So why isn't it a simple weapon like, ... I don't know ..., the spear?

because it's ridiculously easy to wedge the tines in a rib plate or break one in a fight if you don't know what your doing with it. Stabbing someone with it is as easy as a spear. Stabbing someone with it so that the weapon doesn't get stuck requiring you to find a different weapon to use is a whole 'nother story.

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