Which weapons should be better?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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There are several weapons that I either just really like, or have done a little research on, and think that the rules present them as underwhelming options. I'd be curious to know what weapons other people would like to see get a power bump. Of course I appreciate the extremely difficult balance issues that would make it silly to just start randomly pumping up items in the game, so I'm hoping this thread can be more about wishful thinking, than game balance.

Weapons I'd like to see gain some power are:

Slings- These should be a lot more lethal. The Romans developed a special set of medical calipers just for removing sling stones that had become deeply embedded in their soldiers' bodies. I'd take a chop from a shortsword, way before I'd catch a sling stone. If nothing else they should have a X3 crit.

Butterfly Swords- I mainly just like these, and think they are way too big and heavy and awesome to be dealing 1d4 damage.

Trident- I have a player doing a Retiarus style gladiator (ie net and trident), and after they put out a feat called, Net and Trident, there is still very little mechanical reward for him to choose the trident over his other 1 handed weapon options. Despite his best efforts to make use of them, the tiny range increment and the brace feature have done nothing for him after dozens of encounters some of which intentionally designed with his weaponry in mind, and he would have been getting tons of use out a higher crit range or bigger multiplier. Plus similarly shaped weapons like the sai and ranseur get the Disarm feature. I say give it disarm and increase its range increment a little.

So does anyone else have pet-weapons that they think should be more awesome?


Part of the problem is just that a higher crit range is better than a higher multiplier in most people's minds (especially when it comes to crit feats).

A cool solution would be to add feats that work off of a weapons higher critical multiplier. Prerequisites would be something like; Weapon focus in selected weapon, weapon has a critical multiplier of x3 or higher.


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The throwing axe, especially if it is based off of the Francesca Axe.

The kukri, seriously. Read up on the Ghurka's and why the British said screw it we'll make you part of the British army rather than keep loosing men.

But TBH, I would rather use a lot smaller vareity of damage and threat so that the weapon was more about what flavor/ image you wanted. The way WHFRP 1ed which honestly is the opposite direction of what you are looking at.


I'd like to see some feat chains like whip mastery for exotic weapons that are no better than similar martial weapons.

The Exchange

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Let's see...

Bucklers that work like bucklers, not things strapped to your arm.

Spears and longspears you can use in one hand.

Tridents with reach.

... and, of course...

Falcatas which aren't better than every other possible weapon option.


ProfPotts wrote:
Falcatas which aren't better than every other possible weapon option.

Yeah, they should have at least had the decency to lower the base damage on these to 1d6. Not that that would have glossed over the fact that they broke one of the core design taboos that even Wizards of the Coast had the restraint to stay away from... but at least a d6 would have been an empty gesture to toward game balance.


+1 on the sling.

Anyone proficient in a sling can load and fire it just as quickly as an archer can with a bow.
Also, the effective range on a sling is comparable to a bow.
Sling wounds are also (historically) as fatal as arrows, if not more so (though a well made arrowhead should cause bleeding damage; ask any bowhunter).

The only failings of a sling is that it takes more training to learn, ammo weighs more, and it's harder to use in tight formation.
TECHNICALLY the Bow should be simple (easier to learn to use) and the Sling should be martial.


Almost all exotic weapons. Basically the ones that don't rhyme with "balcata".


Exotic weapons in general I agree with, but a stand out case is the Curved Blade, Elven which is now obsolete due to the Nodachi.


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Anything that isn't an Asian weapon

Seriously, eastern STICKS are better than western ones? Come on.
(the bo staff has the defending property while quarterstaves do not)


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
pipedreamsam wrote:
Exotic weapons in general I agree with, but a stand out case is the Curved Blade, Elven which is now obsolete due to the Nodachi.

Nodachi can't be finessed.

To the OP: Bastard Sword. The real-life bastard sword is one of the greatest hand weapons ever created. The Pathfinder/D&D one is barely worth taking, and then only if you have feats that you don't need.


Dragonsong wrote:


But TBH, I would rather use a lot smaller vareity of damage and threat so that the weapon was more about what flavor/ image you wanted. The way WHFRP 1ed which honestly is the opposite direction of what you are looking at.

This. I would much prefer weapons all had the same threat range, and damage dice be determined by size. I hate having to consider stats when selecting weapons, which should be determined more by style/theme...


Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
pipedreamsam wrote:
Exotic weapons in general I agree with, but a stand out case is the Curved Blade, Elven which is now obsolete due to the Nodachi.
Nodachi can't be finessed.

Two feats to use the same weapon (minus Piercing damage option and brace feature) using Dex mod for attack bonus instead of Str is obsolete in my mind. Finesse should just be a special part of those weapons that you choose when you attack and not a whole feat.

Liberty's Edge

Basically all martial and exotic monk weapons.

Case in point is siangham: 1d6 piercing with a 20/x2 as an exotic weapon? Seriously? A light mace and sickle have the same stats (with different damage type) as simple weapons, FFS!

Basically, the weapons need to be rearranged by benefit rather than rarity. The mechanics already imply that they should be this way since it's hard to get exotic than to get martial, and likewise for martial versus simple.


Personally, I'd be happy to see all the melee weapons get a special rule. It's probably the melee enthusiast in me getting a little carried away, but I just don't see what's wrong with weapons being really unique and integral... We don't even really need anymore then we already have, just a better look at what's already there and some serious changes to the existing list. The last book that had weapons that I thought were exciting was Gnomes of Golarion - finally some flavor!

Melee combat in the game is simultaneously under-developed and cluttered. Lots of rules for corner-case scenarios and situations, but nothing about actual sword-play - which works out alright, but it really doesn't leave any REASON for a person to take a warhammer over a longsword. I'm not looking for a simulationist combat system, but something to give the weapons identity and flavor would do really good things for the game.

Liberty's Edge

nathan blackmer wrote:

Personally, I'd be happy to see all the melee weapons get a special rule. It's probably the melee enthusiast in me getting a little carried away, but I just don't see what's wrong with weapons being really unique and integral... We don't even really need anymore then we already have, just a better look at what's already there and some serious changes to the existing list. The last book that had weapons that I thought were exciting was Gnomes of Golarion - finally some flavor!

Melee combat in the game is simultaneously under-developed and cluttered. Lots of rules for corner-case scenarios and situations, but nothing about actual sword-play - which works out alright, but it really doesn't leave any REASON for a person to take a warhammer over a longsword. I'm not looking for a simulationist combat system, but something to give the weapons identity and flavor would do really good things for the game.

At one point I added the "AP" property which gave the weapon a bonus on attack rolls equal to the lesser of its AP rating and the target's combined armor and natural armor bonuses. Then I gave clubs and similar cylindrical bludgeoning weapons AP1, and gave hammers AP2.


I could see that working, Stabbitty. I give each class proficiencies to spend, and I have a special rule for bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing weapons respectively. Slashing weapons give the wielder a chance to follow through with a weak attack (something like a weak rend), bludgeoning weapons can stun enemies, and piercing weapons can inflict bleed. They all have additional effects on a crit as well.

A complete overhaul of the exotic weapons is required though, and I'm not really sure how to tackle it. A feat is a big deal, and I don't think it's fairly represented in the use of an exotic.


I get what your saying but slings do have the advantage of getting strengh bonus to damage with out the need to be specialy made which is a good plus at low level .
But i think that the humble mace is underated having seen what a real mace can do to a balistic dummy they should do way more damage and have a bigger crit multipler thats just my 2 copper worth


The Saltmarsh 6 wrote:

I get what your saying but slings do have the advantage of getting strengh bonus to damage with out the need to be specialy made which is a good plus at low level .

But i think that the humble mace is underated having seen what a real mace can do to a balistic dummy they should do way more damage and have a bigger crit multipler thats just my 2 copper worth

There's a really valid point to be made that blunt weapons have been heavily under-represented in Pathfinder and all editions of D and D - my intial fix was to scale up the damage to match the equivalent bladed weapon, and switch the damage die to multiple smaller dice (warhammer does 2d4 to match with a longswords 1d8)... if a blunt weapon connects, the damage is pretty severe and having a slightly higher base damage represents that well. Greathammer would then do 3d4, etc..


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
pipedreamsam wrote:
Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
pipedreamsam wrote:
Exotic weapons in general I agree with, but a stand out case is the Curved Blade, Elven which is now obsolete due to the Nodachi.
Nodachi can't be finessed.
Two feats to use the same weapon (minus Piercing damage option and brace feature) using Dex mod for attack bonus instead of Str is obsolete in my mind. Finesse should just be a special part of those weapons that you choose when you attack and not a whole feat.

I'd be down with that. I don't personally consider the Nodachi to be any better, since piercing is mechanically insignificant, and brace requires you to be reactive rather than proactive. Different strokes for different folks and all that.


I like the idear of having blunt weapons doing multipal smaller dice damage giving a higher average damage think i might suggest that one to my group and see what they think thanks


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Crossbows. Definitely crossbows. After like 2nd level, crossbows become obsolete and bows completely take over. There's not even a niche for them at higher levels, because by the time the wizard runs out of spells at high levels, that puny 1d8 isn't going to do squat.


Talynonyx wrote:
Crossbows. Definitely crossbows. After like 2nd level, crossbows become obsolete and bows completely take over. There's not even a niche for them at higher levels, because by the time the wizard runs out of spells at high levels, that puny 1d8 isn't going to do squat.

Crossbows are ok with a dedicated build, bows are still better imo, but a crossbow build is certainly viable (utilization of the crit range is one option). However, as a backup for a caster your right its not worth its weight even if you do get lucky and hit.


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ProfPotts wrote:

Let's see...

Bucklers that work like bucklers, not things strapped to your arm.

Spears and longspears you can use in one hand.

Tridents with reach.

... and, of course...

Falcatas which aren't better than every other possible weapon option.

This is my list, almost exactly. Except I would like the trident to have a x3 multiplier.

Oh and I don't understand why longswords are not Peircing and Slashing... apparantly I can't stab you with the pointy end of my sword.


Elthbert wrote:
ProfPotts wrote:

Let's see...

Bucklers that work like bucklers, not things strapped to your arm.

Spears and longspears you can use in one hand.

Tridents with reach.

... and, of course...

Falcatas which aren't better than every other possible weapon option.

This is my list, almost exactly. Except I would liek the trident to have a x3 multiplier.

Yeah I can see 2 arguments for that one: 3 Prongs = X3 and its basically the only spear/pole-arm type piercing weapon without the X3 crit.


Since spears and longspears are simple, how about something like a two-handed simple weapon or a one-handed martial weapon (kinda like a bastard sword).


Regarding spears, I'd kind of like to see something like a Pike or a long Phalanx spear with longer reach than other reach weapons.


edross wrote:
Regarding spears, I'd kind of like to see something like a Pike or a long Phalanx spear with longer reach than other reach weapons.

+1

You would think that if we in our history developed them to counteract reach that a world where there are things that can reach out and smack you from 15 ft away this kind of weapon should exist as well.

Sovereign Court

Slings should have higher damage but require a trait and two feats to use.


pipedreamsam wrote:
Since spears and longspears are simple, how about something like a two-handed simple weapon or a one-handed martial weapon (kinda like a bastard sword).

I think that would be fine, but the fact tht you cannot by raw have a spear and shield fighter is stupid.

The Exchange

Well you can have a spear and shield fighter if you take the Phalanx Fighter archetype... but I find it hard to imagine that you could get enough of these guys to, you know, form an actual phalanx, considering PC classes are supposed to be the rare 'best of the best' and all that...

Shadow Lodge

harpoon... why do i need a crit to impale someone? the old 3.0 version was way better.

Liberty's Edge

The problem is that the game isn't trying to model what really happens to someone hit with weapon X. These are relative values as decided by the game designers not a historical treatise. Reality would tell us being stabbed in the heart by ANY of the piercing weapons would kill someone almost instantly. By uping say the sling you effectively downgrade the long sword, for example. In PF (D&D in general) your PC will survive what no person really could, again for example, a solid punch to the head can kill someone, but in PF/D&D it's only ever non-lethal damage.

Using a weapon for flavour alone isn't a bad thing.

S.


ProfPotts wrote:
Well you can have a spear and shield fighter if you take the Phalanx Fighter archetype... but I find it hard to imagine that you could get enough of these guys to, you know, form an actual phalanx, considering PC classes are supposed to be the rare 'best of the best' and all that...

except that Archtype is weaker than a fighter. and any warrior whould be able to do this.


Stefan Hill wrote:

The problem is that the game isn't trying to model what really happens to someone hit with weapon X. These are relative values as decided by the game designers not a historical treatise. Reality would tell us being stabbed in the heart by ANY of the piercing weapons would kill someone almost instantly. By uping say the sling you effectively downgrade the long sword, for example. In PF (D&D in general) your PC will survive what no person really could, again for example, a solid punch to the head can kill someone, but in PF/D&D it's only ever non-lethal damage.

Using a weapon for flavour alone isn't a bad thing.

S.

Being pierced through the heart with a peircing weapon in PF/D&D kills you instantly too. Having a lot of HP means you are able to not get peirced through the heart when a lessor man would be.

I don't think having bucklers that are actually bucklers, or making a trident that is better than a halfspear would downgrade anyother weapons.


starknife.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
I'd be down with that. I don't personally consider the Nodachi to be any better, since piercing is mechanically insignificant, and brace requires you to be reactive rather than proactive. Different strokes for different folks and all that.

Oops, after I left for work, I remembered they made the Nodachi a martial weapon- I totally concede your point, then. Except for a few very specialized builds, Elven Curve Blade is obsolete.

On the issue of impact weapons, 3e did a lot to improve them. Anyone remember when a heavy mace only did 1d4+1? Now a heavy mace does 1d8, the same as a longsword or battle axe. The x2 crit might be a bit weak, but they've still come a long way. Also- Earthbreaker.

Shadow Lodge

Nodachi needs to an exotic weapon.

Also more finessable weapons please, outside of light weapons we have, the rapier, to a degree the scimitar, the spiked chain, the elven curve blade, whips, bladed scarf (has any PC actually used these), Aldori dueling sword

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
nathan blackmer wrote:

Personally, I'd be happy to see all the melee weapons get a special rule. It's probably the melee enthusiast in me getting a little carried away, but I just don't see what's wrong with weapons being really unique and integral... We don't even really need anymore then we already have, just a better look at what's already there and some serious changes to the existing list. The last book that had weapons that I thought were exciting was Gnomes of Golarion - finally some flavor!

Melee combat in the game is simultaneously under-developed and cluttered. Lots of rules for corner-case scenarios and situations, but nothing about actual sword-play - which works out alright, but it really doesn't leave any REASON for a person to take a warhammer over a longsword. I'm not looking for a simulationist combat system, but something to give the weapons identity and flavor would do really good things for the game.

AD&D had that built into the game in the form of weapon speed and pluss and minuses to hit versus specific armor type. The problem was that for most people it was complications that they refused to use so it was chucked out of the game at 3.0.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Elthbert wrote:
ProfPotts wrote:
Well you can have a spear and shield fighter if you take the Phalanx Fighter archetype... but I find it hard to imagine that you could get enough of these guys to, you know, form an actual phalanx, considering PC classes are supposed to be the rare 'best of the best' and all that...
except that Archtype is weaker than a fighter. and any warrior whould be able to do this.

Save that not any warrior WAS able to do so. Phalanx fighting took specialised training of a group of warriors to act in sync and on command, something that the masses of barbarians that they fought couldn't just pick up.


LazarX wrote:
nathan blackmer wrote:

Personally, I'd be happy to see all the melee weapons get a special rule. It's probably the melee enthusiast in me getting a little carried away, but I just don't see what's wrong with weapons being really unique and integral... We don't even really need anymore then we already have, just a better look at what's already there and some serious changes to the existing list. The last book that had weapons that I thought were exciting was Gnomes of Golarion - finally some flavor!

Melee combat in the game is simultaneously under-developed and cluttered. Lots of rules for corner-case scenarios and situations, but nothing about actual sword-play - which works out alright, but it really doesn't leave any REASON for a person to take a warhammer over a longsword. I'm not looking for a simulationist combat system, but something to give the weapons identity and flavor would do really good things for the game.

AD&D had that built into the game in the form of weapon speed and pluss and minuses to hit versus specific armor type. The problem was that for most people it was complications that they refused to use so it was chucked out of the game at 3.0.

Yeah I remember that, the problem was (as you pointed out) that it was wayyyy to complicated. I'm thinking things more along the line of making power attack and combat expertise elements of a stance that anyone could use.

Actually, as long as I'm brainstorming, why not have certain weapons with the tag of "powerful" (bastard sword, katana) that get an extra point of damage when power attacking / 4 points of B.A.B? We could do the same for combat expertise with weapons as well...

I guess I'm re-writing the whole weapons chart now... any ideas?

By the way - I totally agree that the short spear needs some love. It's a really interesting weapon and the mechanics of it are a bit dull...


LazarX wrote:
Elthbert wrote:
ProfPotts wrote:
Well you can have a spear and shield fighter if you take the Phalanx Fighter archetype... but I find it hard to imagine that you could get enough of these guys to, you know, form an actual phalanx, considering PC classes are supposed to be the rare 'best of the best' and all that...
except that Archtype is weaker than a fighter. and any warrior whould be able to do this.
Save that not any warrior WAS able to do so. Phalanx fighting took specialised training of a group of warriors to act in sync and on command, something that the masses of barbarians that they fought couldn't just pick up.

Things like this make me really miss being able to spend proficiency slots on weapon styles....


nathan blackmer wrote:

Actually, as long as I'm brainstorming, why not have certain weapons with the tag of "powerful" (bastard sword, katana) that get an extra point of damage when power attacking / 4 points of B.A.B? We could do the same for combat expertise with weapons as well...

I guess I'm re-writing the whole weapons chart now... any ideas?

- initiative mods on weapons

- space requirement restrictions
- strength min on weapons
- bonuses/penalties to hit versus certain armor types

Liberty's Edge

@nathan: So we're basically talking about making other weapons more interesting by adding new weapon properties for them?

AP #: Add the lesser of the AP rating and the opponents combined armor and natural armor ratings to your attack roll.
This is best for clubs/maces (AP1?) or hammers (AP2?)

Powerful: When using power attack, add 1 damage per point of penalty taken.
Good candidate for x3 or 19-20/x2 weapons to help bridge the critical gap.

Defensive: When using combat expertise and/or fighting defensively with this weapon the AC bonus you receive increases by 1. You only receive this bonus once if you use both combat expertise and fight defensively.
Good candidate for quarterstaff and other relatively weak weapons that could be good at defense.


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LazarX wrote:
Elthbert wrote:
ProfPotts wrote:
Well you can have a spear and shield fighter if you take the Phalanx Fighter archetype... but I find it hard to imagine that you could get enough of these guys to, you know, form an actual phalanx, considering PC classes are supposed to be the rare 'best of the best' and all that...
except that Archtype is weaker than a fighter. and any warrior whould be able to do this.
Save that not any warrior WAS able to do so. Phalanx fighting took specialised training of a group of warriors to act in sync and on command, something that the masses of barbarians that they fought couldn't just pick up.

BULL HOCKEY! I am not talking about fighting in a phalanx I am talking about using a spear and shield, THE most common weapon system combo in history. YES any warrior can do it.


Rory wrote:
nathan blackmer wrote:

Actually, as long as I'm brainstorming, why not have certain weapons with the tag of "powerful" (bastard sword, katana) that get an extra point of damage when power attacking / 4 points of B.A.B? We could do the same for combat expertise with weapons as well...

I guess I'm re-writing the whole weapons chart now... any ideas?

- initiative mods on weapons

- space requirement restrictions
- strength min on weapons
- bonuses/penalties to hit versus certain armor types

Go get a 1st edition players hand book and copy the page which has all of this.

I loved adjustments to hit differnet types of armour, I didn't find them that hard to use but apparently a lot of people did.

Liberty's Edge

LazarX wrote:
Personally, I'd be happy to see all the AD&D had that built into the game in the form of weapon speed and pluss and minuses to hit versus specific armor type. The problem was that for most people it was complications that they refused to use so it was chucked out of the game at 3.0.

This is very true, the original damages of weapons were in light of this table. Which we always used back in 1st Ed. days. A crossbow did d4 damage - not that impressive until you looked at the to hit adjustment and saw that a crossbow bolt would punch through plate armor like it was paper. Weapon vs Armor makes a lot of sense rather than a static AC independent of the weapon being used against it.

Anyone got their 1e PHB on hand? Perhaps someone could look up the adjustment for slings - I would guess big bonuses against unarmored and not so good against Plate?

Just an example of how only having a DAMAGE and a CRIT range/mod isn't really good enough to make weapon 'feel' that different.

S.


Stefan Hill wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Personally, I'd be happy to see all the AD&D had that built into the game in the form of weapon speed and pluss and minuses to hit versus specific armor type. The problem was that for most people it was complications that they refused to use so it was chucked out of the game at 3.0.

This is very true, the original damages of weapons were in light of this table. Which we always used back in 1st Ed. days. A crossbow did d4 damage - not that impressive until you looked at the to hit adjustment and saw that a crossbow bolt would punch through plate armor like it was paper. Weapon vs Armor makes a lot of sense rather than a static AC independent of the weapon being used against it.

Anyone got their 1e PHB on hand? Perhaps someone could look up the adjustment for slings - I would guess big bonuses against unarmored and not so good against Plate?

Just an example of how only having a DAMAGE and a CRIT range/mod isn't really good enough to make weapon 'feel' that different.

S.

Sling bullet Dam - 2-5 /2-7 Sling stone 1-4/1-4

AC 2- 3- 4- 5- 6- 7- 8- 9- 10
Modifier to stike -2, -2,-1,0, 0, 0,+2, +1,+3

Sling Stone -5, -4,-2,-1,0, 0,+2, +1, +3

Crossbow Light -2, -1, 0, 0,+1,+2,+3,+3, +3
dam 1-4/1-4

Crossbow heavy -1, 0,+1,+2,+3,+3,+4,+4,+4
Dam 2-5/2-7

AH, back when armour was meaningful.

Liberty's Edge

Elthbert wrote:

AC 2- 3- 4- 5- 6- 7- 8- 9- 10
Modifier to stike -2, -2,-1,0, 0, 0,+2, +1,+3
Damage 2-5 /2-7

Sling Stone -5, -4,-2,-1,0, 0,+2, +1, +3
Damage 1-4/1-4

Crossbow Light -2, -1, 0, 0,+1,+2,+3,+3, +3
Damage 1-4/1-4

Crossbow heavy -1, 0,+1,+2,+3,+3,+4,+4,+4
Damage 2-5/2-7

Now that just makes sense! Remind me why this was dropped?

Guy in armor equals, out with the crossbow. But due to the reload time I would take sling any day of the week verses someone in leather, hide, or no armor!

See slings ARE better in some cases and do as much damage as a heavy crossbow! - well they were/did.

S.


Stefan Hill wrote:
Elthbert wrote:

AC 2- 3- 4- 5- 6- 7- 8- 9- 10
Modifier to stike -2, -2,-1,0, 0, 0,+2, +1,+3
Damage 2-5 /2-7

Sling Stone -5, -4,-2,-1,0, 0,+2, +1, +3
Damage 1-4/1-4

Crossbow Light -2, -1, 0, 0,+1,+2,+3,+3, +3
Damage 1-4/1-4

Crossbow heavy -1, 0,+1,+2,+3,+3,+4,+4,+4
Damage 2-5/2-7

Now that just makes sense! Remind me why this was dropped?

Guy in armor equals, out with the crossbow. But due to the reload time I would take sling any day of the week verses someone in leather, hide, or no armor!

See slings ARE better in some cases and do as much damage as a heavy crossbow! - well they were/did.

S.

It was dropped becuase apparently people couldn't add or subtract a number to their attack role. I wonder what the people who got rid of it would think about all the modifiers of third edition.

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