The Viking Irishman's Guide to Weaponry


Advice

Liberty's Edge

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Have you ever been statting up a character and thought to yourself "What weapon could possibly dish out the most damage?"

Well, I mathed (a lot) and came up with a weapon categorization system.

HERE are the results.

Let me know what you think.

Contributor

Wow, that's an awful lot of work. Thanks for sharing!


A good thought, and some great work but all of that was probably overkill.

I mean yeah the falacata is really good, but a lot of builds (I'm looking at you TWF) simply cannot afford the feat tax. I just can't bring myself to rate weapons based on damage alone.

Grand Lodge

Not a mathhead BUT this looks good. Thanks for the work.

I think hitting on a 11 or more (and converting on 11 or more) would be more in line with approx Challenge level (rather than a miss/fail to convert on a 1)


Mm. Not so sure. High-threat range weapons pull ahead of high-damage dice ones without too much investment (i.e. Nodachi beats Greatsword) Power Attack, Enhancement bonuses, W. Specialization, etc. are all static, stacking bonuses to damage, all of which multiply on crit, so the categorization doesn't hold up for too long. I mean, my first level fighter who power attacks with a nodachi can end up with 1d10 + 8 (18-20), with only one feat invested.

Lots of nuances in the math. Painful, painful nuances.

All the same, it's a good categorization of, say, base damage for weapons, but the user is just as important to a weapon's effectiveness as the weapon itself, and the kind of people who need this list aren't the kind of people who have a +0 strength mod.

Frog God Games

pipedreamsam wrote:

A good thought, and some great work but all of that was probably overkill.

I mean yeah the falacata is really good, but a lot of builds (I'm looking at you TWF) simply cannot afford the feat tax. I just can't bring myself to rate weapons based on damage alone.

VIkingIrishman has a disclaimer in his initial text basically saying that there is more to weapon selection than damage and that there are other factors in choosing a weapon.

So... he knows and addressed your concern. :)

I think that it's a great table to assist in weapon selection for character creation.

Kudos on doing all of that work, VI.

Scarab Sages

Being a junior in high school who is taking three AP math classes, I can see exactly how much work this has taken. Good job!
It definitely isn't complete, but it's very helpful. I think I'll be referencing this quite often.


Good work all around, however I would like to mention that the second conclusion is only marginal, and not true for all damage values.

Once the average damage exceeds 10, higher crit weapons pull ahead of larger damage die weapons for x2 vs x4 weapons.

Once the average damage reaches 21, the higher crit weapons pull ahead of larger damage die weapons for x2 vs x3 weapons

Once the Average damage reaches 22, the higher crit weapons pull ahead of larger damage die weapons for x3 vs x4 weapons.

This is important info to know so people can make informed disicions on their weapons. If the player doesn't care at all for damage, or is in a low level campaign or what have you and they don't think they'll ever reach numbers higher than 10 or 20 for damage, then they can pick accordingly.

Shadow Lodge

I see you put in the Dwarven Waraxe for two-handed, but not for one-handed. Any reason?


Jeranimus Rex wrote:

Once the average damage exceeds 10, higher crit weapons pull ahead of larger damage die weapons for x2 vs x4 weapons.

Once the average damage reaches 21, the higher crit weapons pull ahead of larger damage die weapons for x2 vs x3 weapons

Once the Average damage reaches 22, the higher crit weapons pull ahead of larger damage die weapons for x3 vs x4 weapons.

I like this. I never see x3 crit weapons at my table, but one of my current games is reaching the higher ranges, and our damage is sitting somewhere close. Time for a change, methinks!


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Right, and the cool thing is that this same analysis applies for weapons of a particular crit rating as well.


Hope you don't mind I added your guide to Guide to the Guides.

Liberty's Edge

Thanks for all of your feedback!

@Irulesmost: Ugh...Somehow, in the hours I spent in my car waiting on my wife to get out of work, I COMPLETELY forgot about the horrible wrench that is static bonuses. I love and hate you for bringing this to my attention.

@Jeranimus Rex: Thanks for the info, I'll use it as a starting point so that I can expand my guide. Bloody static bonuses are going to be the death of me.

@Ninja Xenomorph: Temporary insanity? Thanks for the catch, there was a lot of data entry there.

@Harmor: Not at all! A Guide to Guides is a fantastic idea!

Well, now I have to go do MORE math...T_T

Shadow Lodge

AHAHAHAHA YOU HAVE TO DO MORE MATH MY INSIDIOUS WORK IS COMPLETE

Anyway, I would think it would be right below the 1-handed Bastard sword. Almost hated to remind you, but it one of the core weapons for any dwarf, and one of my favorites.


http://paizo.com/forums/dmtz4uj5?Falcion-vs-Greatsword-which-is-better#20

Have a look at this thread. Crit range, crit moodifier, tgo hit chance and bacis dam is all relevant...


Thanks for the info! As a player who's Paladin just reached level 5 I'm quite interested in the lance - now more than ever!


When I played World of Warcraft, there was a popular spreadsheet for calculating damage output based on character build and equipment. I'd love to see something like that for Pathfinder.

VikingIrishman, maybe you would be interested in collaborating on a project like that?

This is what it might take as input:

Character:
BAB =
STR =
DEX =
Weapon (including magical enhancements) =
Sneak Attack dice =
Static Abilities (Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus, Greater Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Greater Weapon Specialization . . .)
Optional Abilities (Power Attack, Smite Evil, Flurry of Blows . . .)
Buffs (Bless, Haste . . .)
Misc bonus to hit =
Misc bonus to damage =

Target:
AC =
DR =
Target vulnerable to precision damage?

Results:
Single Attack (w/charge)(w/sneak attack)
Full Attack (w/sneak attack)

Liberty's Edge

Blueluck wrote:
Thanks for the info! As a player who's Paladin just reached level 5 I'm quite interested in the lance - now more than ever!

Truly, Mounted Charge Lance is a beast. I mean, let's just assume a Pally with a 18 Strength at level 5 with Mounted Combat, Ride-By Attack, and Spirited Charge as his feats.

A Lance is a 1d8 20/x3 weapon. Average damage from 1d8 is 4.5. Plus 1.5 times your Str mod bumps that up to 10.5. A lance does double damage on a mounted charge, to that jumps up to 21. Spirited Charge doubles that again to 31.5 (remember that in D&D and Pathfinder two doublings equals a tripling, etc.).

So, your average hit is going to do 31.5 damage. A lance has a x3 crit mod, though, so your average crit is going to be 52.5. Factor in your chance to hit and your chance to confirm against an AC of 18 (average AC for a CR 5 creature) and we get a +11 to hit (+4 Str, +5 BAB, +2 Charge). The table looks like this:

Spoiler:
Hit Hit Crit Crit
Roll Damage Roll Damage
01 0 01 31.5
02 0 02 31.5
03 0 03 31.5
04 0 04 31.5
05 0 05 31.5
06 0 06 31.5
07 31.5 07 52.5
08 31.5 08 52.5
09 31.5 09 52.5
10 31.5 10 52.5
11 31.5 11 52.5
12 31.5 12 52.5
13 31.5 13 52.5
14 31.5 14 52.5
15 31.5 15 52.5
16 31.5 16 52.5
17 31.5 17 52.5
18 31.5 18 52.5
19 31.5 19 52.5
20 THREAT 20 52.5

Averaging out the crit damage gives us 46.2. Plugging that into the THREAT gives us a total average damage of 22.785, which is roughly 41% of an average CR5 creature's HP. IN ONE ATTACK.

And that's not even factoring in the possibility of you Smiting, or using a weapon better than a crappy nonmagical Lance, or having Weapon Focus, or any number of other things to skyrocket your Lance damage.

Also, I apparently don't know how to properly format a table on these forums...

Liberty's Edge

Blueluck wrote:

When I played World of Warcraft, there was a popular spreadsheet for calculating damage output based on character build and equipment. I'd love to see something like that for Pathfinder.

VikingIrishman, maybe you would be interested in collaborating on a project like that?

** spoiler omitted **

Rawr for Pathfinder? I'd love to collaborate on that. I'm s+!+e with spreadsheets, though.


And I'm pretty O.K. with them.

In fact, I'm more than willing to help out organizing some spread sheet loving to help the math along quicker.


Jeranimus Rex wrote:

And I'm pretty O.K. with them.

In fact, I'm more than willing to help out organizing some spread sheet loving to help the math along quicker.

Is there a good way for us to privately share email addresses? I think the three of us, with a little help from the forums, could make a really useful tool.


Blueluck wrote:
Jeranimus Rex wrote:

And I'm pretty O.K. with them.

In fact, I'm more than willing to help out organizing some spread sheet loving to help the math along quicker.

Is there a good way for us to privately share email addresses? I think the three of us, with a little help from the forums, could make a really useful tool.

I'd love to help in anyway that I can, I'm absolute garbage with mathematics, but due to my job I have 8 hours of doing nothing at all every night, so I'd have no problem being a workhorse for your project. My e-mail address is in my profile if you ever need to contact me.

Liberty's Edge

Well, I'll be brave and put my email address out there for you guys. Just make sure you put "Re: Weaponry Guide" in the subject line or it's probably gonna hit my junk folder as soon as I see it.

(vikingirishman)(@)(hotmail)(.)(com)

If anyone knows how to properly set up a Google doc so multiple people can jump in and edit it, we can totally do that.


I'll set up a Google doc and a Google spreadsheet right now. We can use the document to make notes about the project, and the spreadsheet to set up the calculations.

I'll leave them open for all users to edit for now, but once we have enough in them to worry about someone messing them up, I'll change the protection to allow a limited list of editors.

Liberty's Edge

Sounds fantastic. Just post us a link (or email it, whatever) and we can start getting to work. I'll start work on a proper list of average damage and critical multipliers so we can just plug and go.


Ok I'm not a math guy by any means, but I have a couple questions:

Does the fact that you used an unrealistic hit frequency (anything other than a 1 hits) have any statistical significance? Especially with regard to high crit range vs crit multiplier. My first thought is along the lines of with a keen scimitar, you're threatening 30% of the time, but realistically, shouldn't it be skewed in terms of what percentage of *hits* are a crit threat?

Also, shouldn't we consider that realistically people with high crit range weapons like scimitar, falchion, rapier, ECB are more likely to take improved critical and/or have keen weapons? I think it balances with the fact that people with weapons like a greatsword or greataxe are (subjectively) more likely to have high str modifiers, but it's still worth thinking about.

Someone smarter than me think about these things and tell me the truth.


One of the main reasons high crit range weapons are so popular is the fact they rapidly pull ahead the higher your static bonus is, the main reason 18-20/x2 weapons are more popular than x4 weapons should be that by the time your static bonuses make criting better the amount of damage you do on a x2 crit is high enough that most of your x4 crit damage would be wasted as "only the last hp matters".

The same reasoning causes my opinion that the falcata is a false economy weapon which requires a feat(or trait) to be a dodgy longsword when you'd be better with a scimitar, i thinks its quite clever paizo tricked so many people into self nerfing their crit chance by 10% just so they can have more overkill.

The equation i posted into the thread that someone linked up thread is pretty easy to link into excel, from there its just data entry and fill down. I expect you'll prove what another gentleman up thread said about the static damage caps for better crit weapons and that a mounted lance charge is always best, if i had the time and you had used realistic data i'd love to see the difference in damage between ewp:falcata and weapon focus scimitar with a normal 50% hit chance and +1/+6/+11/+16/+21 damage respectively to see how much addition damage that feat is actually worth, if my quick head math is right its about a difference of 0.5 damage per swing if you average it all out in favour of the falcata with no damage bonus and about 0.3 damage per swing in favour of the falcata a +20 damage bonus, improved crit would probably swing favour toward the falcata for longer and an overall increased to hit chance would also help the falcata as its confirmed crits count double.

Edit: in response to the above post, hit chance only matters if you have critical focus or your target has a higher or lower ac vs crits unless you need to hit on a number higher than your crit threat (ie. keen scimitar hitting on an 18+) or your comparing a wildly different weapon such as the falcata, statistically d6 18-20/x2 and d6 /x4 and, d8 19-20/x2 and d8 /x3 weapons are all the same unless you have a take into account remaining hit points, higher damage dice (d8 over d6) are better until you hit a certain +damage score which is around +11.

Basicly over twenty rolls with a 95% hit chance a 19-20/x2 or a 20/x3 weapon will miss once, hit 19 times and score two additional hits of damage if the crits confirm. 18-20/x2 and 20/x4 weapons will hit 19 times and score three additional hits of damage. A falcata will hit 19 times and score four additional hits of damage if its crits confirm, higher hit chance smooths the damage and higher static bonuses favour more or more powerful crits.


MyTThor wrote:

Ok I'm not a math guy by any means, but I have a couple questions:

Does the fact that you used an unrealistic hit frequency (anything other than a 1 hits) have any statistical significance?

No, and this is for a couple of reasons.

1. When you have two different weapons, so long as your comparing the same chance to hit, it doesn't matter what hit frequency you use, it'll come out the same in terms of ratios (which is what would be compared, as the difference between damage changes with accuracy and damage modifiers, but the ratio of damage does not.) This is what (I think) Egoish said in a nutshell.

2. The way DPR calculates damage already takes into account both The chance that something is a critical threat, and the chance that critical threat is confirmed.

3. I'm under the assumption that this guide will contain extensive coverage of all aspects of weapon use and may be even modification. So it will show the numbers and compare things like how keen/improved critical affects things like Scimitars, Greatswords, and Clubs.


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VikingIrishman wrote:
Sounds fantastic. Just post us a link (or email it, whatever) and we can start getting to work. I'll start work on a proper list of average damage and critical multipliers so we can just plug and go.

Here are the links. I had originally posted them immediately after saying I would, but apparently that post got eaten by the forum gremlins.

Document

Spreadsheet

Liberty's Edge

Alright, I posted up the average damage and critical multipliers of every weapon in the document. I leave it up to those proficient in it to figure out the best way to calculate everything out.

Liberty's Edge

Egoish wrote:
...if i had the time and you had used realistic data i'd love to see the difference in damage between ewp:falcata and weapon focus scimitar with a normal 50% hit chance and +1/+6/+11/+16/+21 damage respectively to see how much addition damage that feat is actually worth, if my quick head math is right its about a difference of 0.5 damage per swing if you average it all out in favour of the falcata with no damage bonus and about 0.3 damage per swing in favour of the falcata a +20 damage bonus, improved crit would probably swing favour toward the falcata for longer and an overall increased to hit chance would also help the falcata as its confirmed crits count double...

I apologize, I somehow missed your post last time I posted. I mathed out the Falcata and Scimitar as you requested.

MATH!:
Falcata +1 Damage Average
3.3

Scimitar +1 Damage Average
2.7225

Falcata +6 Damage Average
6.3

Scimitar +6 Damage Average
5.7475

Falcata +11 Damage Average
9.3

Scimitar +11 Damage Average
8.07125

Falcata +16 Damage Average
12.3

Scimitar +16 Damage Average
12.33375

Falcata +21 Damage Average
15.3

Scimitar +21 Damage Average
15.43625

This results in the Scimitar dealing more average damage for each point of damage bonus when it hits 5% more often. All else being equal, you'd need a +15 to damage for the Scimitar to pull ahead of the Falcata.

Of course, if you have identical hit chances, the Scimitar stays below the Falcata.

For those of you interested, the unique crit range/multiplier of the Falcata (19-20/x3) translates into the equivalent of 17-20/x2 or 20/x5. It's pretty nifty. Maybe Paizo will print a couple of weapons with those threat ranges in the future.


Here's a damage calculator in-progress. I've left it open to editing by anyone, so please don't mess with the formulas.

To try it out, the only boxes you should type in are the yellow ones. To read the results, start with the red numbers near the right-hand column. Please ignore any damage from attacks you do not get to make, as I've not zeroed those out yet.

Pathfinder DPR Calculator v0.1

Liberty's Edge

Blueluck wrote:

Here's a damage calculator in-progress. I've left it open to editing by anyone, so please don't mess with the formulas.

To try it out, the only boxes you should type in are the yellow ones. To read the results, start with the red numbers near the right-hand column. Please ignore any damage from attacks you do not get to make, as I've not zeroed those out yet.

Pathfinder DPR Calculator v0.1

Looking good so far.


Nice info on the falcata, it is a potentially very powerful weapon choice. I still think its a false crit economy over a standard 18-20/x2 weapon when the differences are so low.

From an OMG?!? perspective the potential damage is funny though.

Liberty's Edge

Egoish wrote:

Nice info on the falcata, it is a potentially very powerful weapon choice. I still think its a false crit economy over a standard 18-20/x2 weapon when the differences are so low.

From an OMG?!? perspective the potential damage is funny though.

Oh, I agree with you wholeheartedly. I've always preferred higher threat weapons to higher multiplier weapons, but I game with people that are exact opposites.

Where I make the argument that a lot of damage gets wasted to overkill, they make the argument that they dropped the BBEG in one hit. I actually like to have both in the party (Say a TWF with Kukris and a THF with a Scythe)and make horrible use of Seize the Moment. ^_^

Liberty's Edge

Figured I'd check back in since it's been about a week since Christmas. Has any more progress been made on the calculator, Blue?


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I realise I am a bit late on this... I created a spreadsheet to do just this back in April 2012, have a look here.

The spreadsheet allows me to modify the Str bonus, Total Attack Bonus and Target AC. It factors in Miss Chance and Crit Frequency.

Looking at the big picture there are two main points to note.
1) the difference between weapons is minimal in each weapon grouping.
For example, with a Str bonus of +4 and a total attack of +6 (as many melee classes would have at level 1 or 2) aiming at AC 16 (a reasonable target AC from a level 1 character) in the two-handed martial weapons the Greatsword tops the list with an average damage of 7.543. At the bottom of the list is the Lance with 6.093, which is a difference of only 1.451 points of damage per round.
(No, this does not factor in the extra damage from a charge. Nor does it factor in the extra damage done to a foe who has been tripped by the falchion and AoO'ed to death by the rest of the party. It is about the basic attack with each weapon.)

2) the difference between weapon groups is significant, which is to say that any 2H weapon will do more damage than any 1H martial weapon which will do more damage than a light weapon.

What really impressed me with this analysis is how the designers managed to create weapons which feel different, which function differently enough but still produce basically the same result. Weapon choice need not me an optimisation issue.

What surprised me is that the larger crit range weapons fared relatively poorly. In the 2H weapons the Falchion comes in 6th, though, and I think importantly, that is only just under (almost exactly) 1 point of damage behind the Greatsword.

I also played with including a Keen Weapon or Improved Critical Feat. So long as you applied this to all weapons being compared the results were much the same as without Keen, ie a Keen Greatsword is still producing a little bit more damage than a Keen Falchion, though a Keen Falchion does more damage than a non-keen Greatsword.


This page is listed as the discussion thread for VI's guide to Weaponry, so I hope someone here can help me. I haven't read through this thread, so apologies if this has already been adressed.

I can't get my head around his. Every calculation I do shows 19-20/x3 as doing more damage than 18-20/x2. 19-20/x3 adds 20% damage in my book, while 18-20/x2 only adds 15%. Also, 20/x4 should add 15% as well, making it the same as 18-20/x2, not 0.5 less.
In short: the numbers are wrong and the ranking is wrong.
I'm using the formula: damage x chance to hit + (damage x crit chance x crit multiplier-1) as per the DPR threads.

Someone please explain to me why I am wrong or why this has not yet been noticed/fixed.


you're right.

Sovereign Court

Don't know if anyone else is having this problem, but all I can see in the linked document is the title, the top picture, the "Major Edit" section, and the "questions/comments/etc." section.


Same here. But the "major edit" include some tables with numbers that's supposed to rank the different crit-ranges and multipliers. It is those numbers that are wrong.

I only bring it up, because it's still linked to in "the guide to the guides", potentially confusing a lot of players looking for info.


On closer inspection, only the number for 18-20/2 is wrong. It should be 6.325, like 20/x4.

If considering only DPS (ignoring factors like crit feats and overkill damage), the ranking should be 19-20/x3 > 18-20/x2 = 20/x4 > 19-20/x2 = 20/x3 > 20/x2

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