Bastard Sword: Why Exotic?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Grand Lodge

So I am interested to see if I am the only person who believes that the Bastard Sword should not be an exotic weapon? IMHO AD&D had it right. You had the option to use the weapon 1 handed for 1d8 and 2 handed for 2d4. I think that the two handed should add str x1.5 as well. The only problem I can think of off the top of my head is that AD&D used weapon speed and the bastard sword was slower than the longsword which did 1d8. Anyone have an opinion?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Well, you already have the longsword at Martial, for 1d8, one-handed (able to be wielded two-handed for extra damage), with a threat range of 19-20/x2.

Then you have the bastard sword, with all the same stats except higher damage.

If it were Martial, it would be strictly better than the longsword. There would never ever be a reason to use a longsword. So yes, the bastard sword (with its current stats) has to be Exotic.


And i think it's fine considering that due to its length and resulting overweight it's probably harder to wield properly with one hand, than a longsword. And it does have the option to be wielded two-handed with martial proficiency.

Shadow Lodge

Just houserule it. We did.


"A character can use a bastard sword two-handed as a martial weapon."

I think that the exotic proficiency is supposed to represent the unusual ability to use such a weapon in one hand. I haven't the slightest idea of whether that's historically in-line, but it feels like what they were going for.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Correct; the exotic proficiency is ONLY so you can use the weapon in one hand. Because as a one handed weapon, it's better than every other one-handed weapon in the core game.


Does a cleric who's god has favored weapon bastard sword get the martial or the exotic weapon prof for free?

Grand Lodge

Umbranus wrote:
Does a cleric who's god has favored weapon bastard sword get the martial or the exotic weapon prof for free?

There is no 'martial weapon proficiency: bastard sword', only exotic weapon proficiency.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Falcata is also an exotic weapon.

The fact it blows away the bastard sword is a completely seperate issue.

==Aelryinth


Not by much, though, does it? I know it's the dpr king, but I thought the bastard sword wasn't far behind.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

At high levels, the increased combo of good threat range and monster crit really start making a significant difference in DOT. After all, a bastard sword is just +1 Avg dmg over a long sword. Once crits start becoming a factor, a scimitar beats a longsword (threat range) and falcatas beat everything.

==Aelryinth


I'm just brainstorming here, and I've got a feeling that this idea will quickly be burnt to a cinder by traditionalism, but what if...

Spoiler:
What if the longsword did 2d4 damage and only crit on a 20 for 2x damage?

That really doesn't tread on the falchion's toes because the falchion has the much higher threat range, and is two-handed, netting it the 1.5x Str. Sure you can do that with the longsword, but if you're going to two-hand it, you'll just take the falchion, right?

So, that makes the longsword a slightly more consistent damage dealer while taking some of the burst damage down. Then you move the bastard sword up to martial. Dwarven waraxe might take some similar treatment...

I think it's pretty widely accepted though that the bastard sword is not worth exotic weapon proficiency, and the flavor-to-crunch ratio is not justifiable in any form or fashion. I could rant about it, but I won't.

Grand Lodge

I think if you look at a real bastard sword, and then look at a real longsword or broadsword, you will see why it's an exotic weapon in one hand. It's a good bit longer and heavier.

Grand Lodge

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Then it's not really a different weapon, it just requires more strength and endurance to use it that way. So it should have an ability score prerequisite, not a feat to use it that way.


But anyone who's going to be using a longsword or bastard sword will have 15+ Str anyway, so what difference will it make?

You could possibly have it as martial, +1 damage, -2 initiative because it's a bit heavier and slower. Or something. Or make it exotic and 1d12.

This is a case for half-feats, aka traits. As an ancestral weapon it's fine.


TriOmegaZero wrote:

Then it's not really a different weapon, it just requires more strength and endurance to use it that way. So it should have an ability score prerequisite, not a feat to use it that way.

Old RuneQuest did the ability score prerequisites, translated to Pathfinder would be; -1 to hit for each -1 in a score below the prerequisites.


Mudfoot wrote:

But anyone who's going to be using a longsword or bastard sword will have 15+ Str anyway, so what difference will it make?

You could possibly have it as martial, +1 damage, -2 initiative because it's a bit heavier and slower. Or something. Or make it exotic and 1d12.

This is a case for half-feats, aka traits. As an ancestral weapon it's fine.

Then it is as good as a Greataxe/Greatsword?

Grand Lodge

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I have seen many real life versions. Not just including the silly stuff and the Renaissance Fairs but in museums. Some examples can be a bit longer and heavier but factually the most common difference is the handle of the sword is extended slightly allowing more leverage and/or forces to be put into a blow. I know I'm not telling anyone anything new ;) but I think that with some slight mods to stats it could have been placed back into the Martial category. In AD&D it was my primary weapon and now it's a wasted feat. Tragic IMO. It also saddens me that weapon speeds were done away with. They could be brought back with penalties or bonuses to initiative based on the weapon maybe. IDk Any thoughts?


Nacona wrote:
It also saddens me that weapon speeds were done away with. They could be brought back with penalties or bonuses to initiative based on the weapon maybe. IDk Any thoughts?

If I recall correctly, 2nd edition had an alternate weapon speed mechanic that worked in just that way.

Grand Lodge

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Nacona wrote:
It also saddens me that weapon speeds were done away with. They could be brought back with penalties or bonuses to initiative based on the weapon maybe. IDk Any thoughts?

Sean has some, none of them good.

Grand Lodge

loaba wrote:
Nacona wrote:
It also saddens me that weapon speeds were done away with. They could be brought back with penalties or bonuses to initiative based on the weapon maybe. IDk Any thoughts?
If I recall correctly, 2nd edition had an alternate weapon speed mechanic that worked in just that way.

In 2E it was the weapons speed that determined your initiative as I recall. I could be wrong but I am pretty sure that was the only decider.

Grand Lodge

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Nacona wrote:
It also saddens me that weapon speeds were done away with. They could be brought back with penalties or bonuses to initiative based on the weapon maybe. IDk Any thoughts?
Sean has some, none of them good.

I don't really agree with this author. He makes his own point of reach canceling speed moot. He says that the rules force us into an unconditional 5ft reach. Therefore making reach a non-issue right? But nothing in the rules says that about speed. Also I have some experience with knife fighting (martial arts not like Blade and Stryker from Bad Dudes) and a skilled person using a small blade such as a knife is considerably faster than say a katana. Again not factoring reach as the rules assume you are already working in a 5ft area. That's my thoughts and as always I would like to hear others opinions as I may be wrong!


Belle Mythix wrote:
Then it is as good as a Greataxe/Greatsword?

No, better. Making the bastard sword do 1d12 as a one-handed weapon makes it better because you can then carry a shield in addition to having the damage of a two-handed weapon. Theoretically, it would allow you to duel-wield bastard swords (penalties noted) for 1d12+ damage each, which is a little crazy.

But that would be worth a feat.


Why not change the bastard sword to 18-20/x2? It's a clear upgrade over both the longsword and scimitar, and about even with the falcata.

Grand Lodge

Nacona wrote:


I don't really agree with this author.

I usually don't either, but on this I do. Initiative mods don't actually make one character faster than the other, unless you get rid of static initiatives.


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Nacona wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Nacona wrote:
It also saddens me that weapon speeds were done away with. They could be brought back with penalties or bonuses to initiative based on the weapon maybe. IDk Any thoughts?
Sean has some, none of them good.
I don't really agree with this author. He makes his own point of reach canceling speed moot. He says that the rules force us into an unconditional 5ft reach. Therefore making reach a non-issue right? But nothing in the rules says that about speed. Also I have some experience with knife fighting (martial arts not like Blade and Stryker from Bad Dudes) and a skilled person using a small blade such as a knife is considerably faster than say a katana. Again not factoring reach as the rules assume you are already working in a 5ft area. That's my thoughts and as always I would like to hear others opinions as I may be wrong!

The reason that we handwave speed and reach as canceling each other out is because the game defaults to a 5-foot reach. Imagine that we ignored weapon speed and only paid attention to reach. Then longer (and typically slower) weapons could be used to get the drop on smaller, quicker ones. But we ignore that, artificially penalizing big weapons by ignoring one of the advantages they have over smaller ones. Now, imagine that we ignored reach and only paid attention to speed. That would allow smaller, quicker weapons to get the drop. But we don't do that, which artificially penalizes small, quick weapons since we're ignoring one of their advantages.

The handwave the game makes is that ignoring both of those advantages - that you can swing a dagger faster than a broadsword, but you can swing a broadsword from further away - sort of cancel each other out. He explains that in the beginning. The rest of the article is just about WHY various speed systems cause un-worth-it complication.


yeti1069 wrote:
Why not change the bastard sword to 18-20/x2? It's a clear upgrade over both the longsword and scimitar, and about even with the falcata.

you mean with 1d8 damage then? Because if so, a) what you have then is a Katana (see ultimate combat)

b) the bastard sword's design doesn't call for a higher crit range at all. katanas, scimitars etc. have 18-20 because of their curved edge (which if i recall correctly is supposed to mean they have a higher effective sharpness), while a bastard sword with its shape being the same as any longsword just slightly larger doesn't have that quality.

also if you mean to make it 1d10 + 18-20/x2 you're going a little over board with it. Exotic weapons are supposed to be one step up from martial, going higher on either crit range or damage would put bastard swords 2 steps above martial weapons and one above most exotic weapons.

sure there are exotic weapons that are clearly more powerful than others, like the falcata for example, but that is more of an unfortunate oversight, as all it has over a longsword is x3 crit damage, which on paper is just one step up, like all other exotic weapons, but when you do the math (literally) suddenly turns out to be better than it looks. (and before anyone says anything: the falcata is only the first stronger exotic weapon that came to my mind, i don't mean to say its the worst case, i just used it as an example because i t was already mentioned here and saved me the time of looking up other stronger exotic weapons)


Threeshades wrote:
yeti1069 wrote:
Why not change the bastard sword to 18-20/x2? It's a clear upgrade over both the longsword and scimitar, and about even with the falcata.

you mean with 1d8 damage then? Because if so, a) what you have then is a Katana (see ultimate combat)

b) the bastard sword's design doesn't call for a higher crit range at all. katanas, scimitars etc. have 18-20 because of their curved edge (which if i recall correctly is supposed to mean they have a higher effective sharpness), while a bastard sword with its shape being the same as any longsword just slightly larger doesn't have that quality.

also if you mean to make it 1d10 + 18-20/x2 you're going a little over board with it. Exotic weapons are supposed to be one step up from martial, going higher on either crit range or damage would put bastard swords 2 steps above martial weapons and one above most exotic weapons.

sure there are exotic weapons that are clearly more powerful than others, like the falcata for example, but that is more of an unfortunate oversight, as all it has over a longsword is x3 crit damage, which on paper is just one step up, like all other exotic weapons, but when you do the math (literally) suddenly turns out to be better than it looks.

It needs SOMETHING to make it stand out. As for the curved blade argument, my dismissal of that was due to the rapier having the same range and not having a blade at ALL.

One step up from martial weapons is an okay goal, but is that worth a feat? In some cases (falcata) it arguably is, but is a die step worth spending a feat on? Math-wise, I'd say no, unless you have tons of feats available, but Pathfinder does a pretty good job of not leaving characters feeling like they have too many feats available.

The thing could have special rules for when its wielded 2-handed, or have combat maneuver bonuses added to it (+2 to this, or that), but the first seems cumbersome and the latter doesn't seem appropriate, as the BS doesn't fit the design elements that would make those bonuses feel appropriate.


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"Mathwise", you could toss 90% of the weapons chart. Seems silly to dwell on it. If you're a power gamer, pick the optimal weapon for your build. If not, pick something that tickles your fancy and go to town.


In my games I have been experimenting with a modified weapon speed system similar to the Scarred Lands Player's Guide to Fighters and Barbarians, but tweaked somewhat. Similarly, my system modifies the "iterative range" based on damage type, with a few modifiers. This way everything is front loaded with no adjustment necessary in the middle of a game.

Spoilered to save space.

Long Explanation, with ugly pseudo-charts!:

Attack Type_____Iterative Range
Unarmed_______________4
Piercing________________4
Slashing_______________5
Bludgeoning____________6
Non-thrown Ranged______5

Missile Weapons
Longbow_______________5
Shortbow_______________4
Heavy Crossbow_________5
Light Crossbow__________4
Hand Crossbow__________3

Unfortunate Exceptions
Heavy Pick_____________5
Scythe________________5

Modifiers
Two Handed____________+1
Improvised_____________+1
Non Proficient___________+1
Weapon Finesse_________-1
Weapon Focus___________-1

Minimum range of 2, no more than 4 attacks.

Note, I only allow a single -1 for weapon focus, not a -1 each for weapon focus and greater weapon focus.

Advanced Two Weapon fighting feats can be taken every 3 BaB, but your maximum attacks is still limited by your iterative range.

Weapons with an OR type (like the dagger, piercing OR slashing) can always use the best unless it matters, like wanting to get past slashing DR. Weapons with the AND type average, rounding up (morningstar is bludgeoning AND piercing, netting it a 5).

Some examples:
Fighter 6 using a shortsword with weapon focus has an iterative range of 3 (4 base, -1 Weapon Focus), having 2 attacks at +6/+3.

Fighter 8 using a longspear with weapon focus has an iterative range of 4 (4 base, -1 Weapon Focus, +1 two handed), having two attacks at +8/+4

Rogue 8 (BaB 6) using a dagger with Weapon Finesse and Weapon Focus has an iterative range of 2 (4 base, -1 Weapon Finesse, -1 Weapon Focus), having 3 attacks at +6/+4/+2

A Ranger 8 dual wielding a scimitar and a dagger using Two Weapon and Improved Two Weapon has an iterative range of 5 and 4, having main hand attacks at a base of +8/+3 and off hand attacks at +8/+4 (minus dual weapon penalties).

My basic premise is that thrusting style piercing weapons should have "faster attacks", and so be easier to slip under someones guard, slashing and swinging style piercing attacks should be considered normal, and swinging bludgeoning attacks are generally slower.

This lets spears still be "quick" as they should be and keeps the heavier weapons slower. Though I wish there was a better way to specify that other than my unfortunate exceptions. Also, although I can't find a good reason to change it, I think it further nerfs the heavy flail, a weapon that needs some boosting as it is.

I find that this helps rogues and monks out as their attacks per round more evenly match a fighter when using their specialty weapons, and it makes their later iteratives less whiffable.

I also find it helps give extra worth to EWP (Bastard or Katana) because it not only lets you use it one handed, but improves your iterative attacks.

Also, I made hand crossbows quick on purpose, because it makes them more useful for those types that would use it. Rapid reload on a hand crossbow is now a very decent option for a rogue because it allows for ranged sneak on winning initiative and special ammo is much easier to attain and use than special material dagger and such.

It's not perfect by any means, but my players like it, and it makes combat more interesting to them (and me) because now they actually pay attention to what weapons the enemies are using.


yeti1069 wrote:
One step up from martial weapons is an okay goal, but is that worth a feat? In some cases (falcata) it arguably is, but is a die step worth spending a feat on? Math-wise, I'd say no, unless you have tons of feats available, but Pathfinder does a pretty good job of not leaving characters feeling like they have too many feats available.

You could always end up finding a very good magic bastard sword, much better than what you are currently using, better than what you have found in the stores and something that can probably carry you to the end of the campaign.

Is that weapon forth a feat?
The choice of a feat is all about a trade off. That's not a bad trade off to be encountered with ihmo.

Furtheremore, a fighter can take the feat as one of his bonus feats to take advantage of the bastard sword as a better weapon for the lower levels and retrain it later.

Is the bastard feat worth a feat?
Yes, in some specific cases it is. And that's not a problem. It is exotic after all and therefore, not for everybody.


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Sometime we have done is flipping the exotic/martial requirements when mounted.
So the longsword (D&D bastard sword) is a martial to use one-handed on horseback, but exotic to use with two hands in the saddle.

As to weapon speeds, arguments of the “it goes faster to swing a knife then a halberd” is a bit silly as the difference in how fast the hands can move is marginal, and the point in any case is to move the tip of the weapon. The longer the weapons the smaller moments are needed to move the parts that does damage, so they become faster.


yeti1069 wrote:
Threeshades wrote:
yeti1069 wrote:
Why not change the bastard sword to 18-20/x2? It's a clear upgrade over both the longsword and scimitar, and about even with the falcata.

you mean with 1d8 damage then? Because if so, a) what you have then is a Katana (see ultimate combat)

b) the bastard sword's design doesn't call for a higher crit range at all. katanas, scimitars etc. have 18-20 because of their curved edge (which if i recall correctly is supposed to mean they have a higher effective sharpness), while a bastard sword with its shape being the same as any longsword just slightly larger doesn't have that quality.

also if you mean to make it 1d10 + 18-20/x2 you're going a little over board with it. Exotic weapons are supposed to be one step up from martial, going higher on either crit range or damage would put bastard swords 2 steps above martial weapons and one above most exotic weapons.

sure there are exotic weapons that are clearly more powerful than others, like the falcata for example, but that is more of an unfortunate oversight, as all it has over a longsword is x3 crit damage, which on paper is just one step up, like all other exotic weapons, but when you do the math (literally) suddenly turns out to be better than it looks.

It needs SOMETHING to make it stand out. As for the curved blade argument, my dismissal of that was due to the rapier having the same range and not having a blade at ALL.

One step up from martial weapons is an okay goal, but is that worth a feat? In some cases (falcata) it arguably is, but is a die step worth spending a feat on? Math-wise, I'd say no, unless you have tons of feats available, but Pathfinder does a pretty good job of not leaving characters feeling like they have too many feats available.

The thing could have special rules for when its wielded 2-handed, or have combat maneuver bonuses added to it (+2 to this, or that), but the first seems cumbersome and the latter doesn't seem appropriate, as the BS doesn't fit the design elements...

I know that one die step is not exactly on par with other feats. But when you want to increase the effectiveness of the bastard sword you will have to talk increases on almost all other exotic weapons too, otherwise you just end up with one more exotic weapon everyone will take over the vast majority.

And as for rapiers, they are piercing weapons and employed very much differently from a heavy blade such as a longsword, bastard sword or greatsword. I cannot explain all the decisions that were made when assigning crit ranges and multipliers, but i would assume that they get their high crit range for an entirely different reason, than scimitars.

The thing is, the bastard sword is a larger version of a longsword, and/or smaller version of a greatsword. As it stands in PF, the size of the weapon only affects the damage die, both when you are talking about the exact same type of weapon designed for larger or smaller creatures (a large size longsword only changes from 1d8 to 2d6 and gets heavier, that's all that changes, a small longsword goes from 1d8 to 1d6 and gets lighter, that's all that changes) as well as different size versions of a weapon for the same size of creature (the only difference between long- and greatsword is weight and damage dice).

So what I'm arguing, is that a change of crit-range or multiplier calls for a different weapon design, such as a different shape of the blade/edge, a shift in the balance of the weapon or something like that.

A rapier is a different weapon design, it has a significantly thinner and lighter blade. A falcata has its weight shifted toward the tip of the blade, similar to an axe, giving it the x3 multiplier but still has an edge the same length as a sword, going from tip to base of the hilt, warranting the 19-20 range. A bastard sword however is in design identical to a longsword just with a larger blade and accordingly longer hilt.

Liberty's Edge

Nacona wrote:
So I am interested to see if I am the only person who believes that the Bastard Sword should not be an exotic weapon? IMHO AD&D had it right. You had the option to use the weapon 1 handed for 1d8 and 2 handed for 2d4. I think that the two handed should add str x1.5 as well. The only problem I can think of off the top of my head is that AD&D used weapon speed and the bastard sword was slower than the longsword which did 1d8. Anyone have an opinion?

I don't think it's fair to compare PF to AD&D. If I remember correctly, a fighter could use only s few weapons (his choice) proficiently, and gained additional weapon proficiencies as he advanced in level.


Can't comment on the specifics of the mechanics, but I will second what someone said above: The weapon described as a Bastard Sword in the core is closer to a Historical Longsword. The Pathfinder Longsword is what would have historically been called an Arming Sword.

A Bastard Sword is generally a single handed sword that can be used two handed.

A Longsword is a two handed sword that can be used one handed.

Generally speaking, these distinctions are incredibly vague, as we've seen examples of weapons from Bastard Sword length to Greatsword length referred to in historical texts as "Longswords"

The terms "Longsword" and "Bastard Sword" have been periodically used interchangeably.

Thus it was explained to me. I have no official credentials, but I have been studying Historical European Martial Arts for about 4 years. I'm not a stickler for accuracy on the tabletop, as it's a game, but I do twitch a bit when the common misconceptions get presented as fact. ^_^

The Wikipedia Article

Further muddying the waters.

Liberty's Edge

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Just bring back the weapon delay rules to balance it out!

I am probably the only person who ever liked those rules.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Then it's not really a different weapon, it just requires more strength and endurance to use it that way. So it should have an ability score prerequisite, not a feat to use it that way.

Not really. Doing some swordplay myself it's not strength thing. Because of the longer blade and handle, handling a bastardsword is much different to a one-handed longsword (in fact most "longswords" are in fact bastard swords).

Also with a Bastard-Sword you will not fight one OR two handed but both, this is why it's called a one-and-a-half hander. While fighting you will permanently change your grip, even from one-handed left, to right etc.

So to get everything out of a Bastardsword you can't handle it like a "big longsword".

Also keep in mind that the RPG Weapon System is always a romanticited, stylised version of the reality.


Tryn wrote:
Also with a Bastard-Sword you will not fight one OR two handed but both, this is why it's called a one-and-a-half hander.

It's called that because the grip isn't as long as what you'd typically find on a two-handed sword and isn't as compact as what you might find on a weapon designed to be comfortably wielded with one hand. It really is kind of a bastard of a weapon, hence the name.

Tryn wrote:
While fighting you will permanently change your grip, even from one-handed left, to right etc.

The word you're looking for is constantly, and that constant shift (one-handed or two-handed) is represented when you declare X-type of attack action at the beginning of the round.


Tryn wrote:
Also with a Bastard-Sword you will not fight one OR two handed but both, this is why it's called a one-and-a-half hander. While fighting you will permanently change your grip, even from one-handed left, to right etc.

How could one model that in an RPG such as pathfinder?

Having a weapon that lends itself to both two handed use, one handed use (and a hand free for something else, like holding a torch) and sword and board could be interesting. The versatility (assuming it offers more interesting characteristics than the long sword) can be worth the feat.
Only gets more interesting when there is a mechanism to simulate the fighting style into more detail.

That's a niche that something like a bastard sword could fill extending it's use significantly. As it stands now, it only offers a small increase in damage as compared to the long sword.
Probably not worth it unless you have a magic weapon (or fluff reason) to justify it's use.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

I suggest that a Bastard Sword be a 2h Martial Weapon doing 1-10 dmg.

If you take EWP (Bastard Sword), you can use it in one hand as a longsword for 1-8 dmg, or two handed as a Greatsword for 2-12 dmg. OR,

do 1-10 dmg in both modes, but +1 dmg in 2h mode, making it a 2-11 2h weapon.

That way it gets a +1 dmg bonus regardless of which mode you use it in.

The other way is simply to make it a martial weapon with a Str Req of 16+ to use one handed, which puts it out of the reach of most non-Str based people.

==Aelryinth


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Personally I think that using a 1-handed weapon with 2 hands in order to get the extra strength bonus should carry a -1 or -2 to hit penalty since you're not using the weapon in the manner intended. I think that's both reasonably realistic and makes the bastard sword more appealing.

Shadow Lodge

Yeah, the weapon system is a mixture of legacy ideas and equipment bloat.

Roleplaying-wise it's cool to have a wide variety of armaments, but mechanically there's only so many ways of representing that variety. Paizo has tried to insert both weapon equivalencies, such as the jian, and mechanical differences and the result is a haphazard mix of both decent and unneeded. I hope PF 2.0 sees a revamped weapon system.

Homebrewed ramblings:

I think fighter's weapon training was one of the nicest ideas Paizo introduced to the game. The way I'd approach revamping the armament system would be to have the fighter's weapon groups replace weapon proficiencies.

In a nutshell: standardized dice and standardized critical specs. No zweihanders, greatwords and bastard swords, but have them all called "heavy swords" or something akin to that. Give large bladed heavy weapons some kind of benefit or bonus over curved, high-crit weapons, which naturally have their own group, to offset the curved sword superiority(e.g bonuses to weapon-based maneuvers which require mass, for instance, or perhaps a very large base die). Do similar tinkering with every weapon group(blunt groups are especially in dire need of this). Then grant character classes weapon group proficiencies with their legacy and role in mind: Light blades for rogues, blunt weapons for clerics and the widest variety of proficiencies for fighters(and only fighters). Call the edged thing at the end of the pole whatever you wish, ranseur or a guisarm, but it still has the same specs as the other sticks wich share similar combat styles and design. Of course, there might be a case to be made for radically different weapons within a group, and I detest having "other" or "exotic" weapon groups because it's always a clusterluck of orientalism under a thin veneer of the miscellaneous, to have some minor variation as well, particularly various chain weapons, but that's a kink to be ironed out.

Very basic stuff, but, in my mind, an idea that rewards flavor over system mastery. No need to go over a huge list of weapons to find the perfect one when there's little to no variation within a group and each group has their own benefits.


Ultimately, the balance issue comes down to the question of "what is a feat worth?" EWP (bastard sword) gives +1 damage on average compared with a longsword, which is half as good as Weapon Specialisation. Hence my comment above about its being balanced as a trait, or 1d12 being OK as a feat.

On top of that, it stacks with WS (good) and adds to Vital Strike (good) but adds cost and weight compared to the longsword (bad).


Aelryinth wrote:

I suggest that a Bastard Sword be a 2h Martial Weapon doing 1-10 dmg.

If you take EWP (Bastard Sword), you can use it in one hand as a longsword for 1-8 dmg, or two handed as a Greatsword for 2-12 dmg. OR,

do 1-10 dmg in both modes, but +1 dmg in 2h mode, making it a 2-11 2h weapon.

That way it gets a +1 dmg bonus regardless of which mode you use it in.

The other way is simply to make it a martial weapon with a Str Req of 16+ to use one handed, which puts it out of the reach of most non-Str based people.

==Aelryinth

I made a Summoner with EWP (Bastard Sword) in PCGen, the rationale being that she'd need a hand free to cast spells. PCGen does give the +1 bonus for the sword being held two-handedly. I'm not sure if the PRD backs this up.

I had also read the Wikipedia article on the Bastard Sword; interestingly, it was usually a piercing weapon used hand-and-a-half (folks have mentioned this in the thread)...and Paizo lists it as a slash, not pierce, weapon. Ah well, it's flavor, and kind of exciting to think about someone swinging around a sword that is too large to be a short sword, but a foot shorter than a greatsword, thus annoying and confusing everyone.

The fact that soldiers used it, though, makes it sound less 'exotic'...

Sczarni

In the 3.5 there was a feat called 'Over Sized Two-weapon Fighting' that let you use a 1 handed weapon in your off hand as if it were light.

This was worth the EWP: Bastard Sword feat because it let my Dervish Barbarian/Fighter us the sword 2 handed while in a rage, draw the second for 2 weapon fighting while in a dervish dance.

Probably not an optimal character but it was fun to play.

In Pathfinder the Sawtooth Sabre lets you employ this tactic if you choose, albeit at slightly less damage...

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

A Sunsword lets you do it, too. Only sets you back 50k.

Axolotl, did your Summoner have a 14 Str? Remember, they get 1.5 Str using any weapon two handed. The +1 I'm talking about would be on top of that.

a 1-10/2-11 dmg bastard sword has a +1/+2 benefit over a longsword then, instead of just +1.

==Aelryinth

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'll go with its exotic because a bastard sword, or a "hand and a half sword" isn't a standard weapon. Stats or no stats, historically speaking, this weapon was fairly rare in terms of use. Thus "exotic." Even then, it was "properly" wielded with two hands. To use it one-handed was almost unheard of for all I know, so yes, it would definitely be an exotic weapon form to use it with only one hand. Plus, being basically a longsword but with more damage it would render a longsword moot.


@Ioaba: Sorry for my English, I'm not an native speaker :)

B2T:
The feat gives you the felxibility to use the weapon one or two handed, for 2 Weapon figther (or shield & Weapon) it's anice feature.
Also it's a nice weapon for a Magus I think.

I have to agree to Xexyz, wielding a one-Handed-Weapon with two hands should get a malus. (I have to think always at the two hand scimitar fighter... and have to laugh)


To me things like the bastard sword and most exotic weapons are why weapons should be more than damage and crit.

If weapons had more ways to vary them then maybe spending a feat for a lot of exotics might be worth it. But right now a lot of them are simple weapons that get the exotic classification because of where they are from in the real world or their difficulty of use. Yet there is no bonus for taking the feat, which is why I consider it a flavor tax on the weapons. If two weapons are the same damage dice same damage type and same crit with no special features why does one cost a feat and the other not.

Also what makes a hand crossbow so much harder to use than any other crossbow?

Grand Lodge

Muser wrote:

Yeah, the weapon system is a mixture of legacy ideas and equipment bloat.

Roleplaying-wise it's cool to have a wide variety of armaments, but mechanically there's only so many ways of representing that variety. Paizo has tried to insert both weapon equivalencies, such as the jian, and mechanical differences and the result is a haphazard mix of both decent and unneeded. I hope PF 2.0 sees a revamped weapon system.

Homebrewed ramblings:

I think fighter's weapon training was one of the nicest ideas Paizo introduced to the game. The way I'd approach revamping the armament system would be to have the fighter's weapon groups replace weapon proficiencies.

In a nutshell: standardized dice and standardized critical specs. No zweihanders, greatwords and bastard swords, but have them all called "heavy swords" or something akin to that. Give large bladed heavy weapons some kind of benefit or bonus over curved, high-crit weapons, which naturally have their own group, to offset the curved sword superiority(e.g bonuses to weapon-based maneuvers which require mass, for instance, or perhaps a very large base die). Do similar tinkering with every weapon group(blunt groups are especially in dire need of this). Then grant character classes weapon group proficiencies with their legacy and role in mind: Light blades for rogues, blunt weapons for clerics and the widest variety of proficiencies for fighters(and only fighters). Call the edged thing at the end of the pole whatever you wish, ranseur or a guisarm, but it still has the same specs as the other sticks wich share similar combat styles and design. Of course, there might be a case to be made for radically different weapons within a group, and I detest having "other" or "exotic" weapon groups because it's always a clusterluck of orientalism under a thin veneer of the miscellaneous, to have some minor variation as well, particularly various chain weapons, but that's a kink to be ironed out.

Very basic stuff, but, in my mind, an idea that rewards flavor over system...

Those kinds of weapon groups are what they went with for D&D 4E. It would be a disasterous move. It had the same effect of taking the equipment list and turning it into half of one page. It sucks the flavor and variety out of the game. Heavy blades: Longsword, falchion great sword none of these weapons could be used in the same fashion.

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