What happened to people using longswords?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Flashblade - you seem rather mad that other people don't totally ignore the game's fluff in order to maximize mechanics?

Why take it personal? You're allowed to ignore them if you want, and others are allowed to use the fluff listed.

Or - in other words -

"Why so serious?"


In any case, the reason why so many players ignore the longsword is because there's not any reason not to. The only utility of a longsword is dealing damage... If a different weapons does more damage, then why not use it?

Flavor? But you can describe any slashing one-handed weapon as a longsword and nothing changes. There's no incentive to use the longsword over other similar (but more effective) weapons.

Instead of accusing people of being "powergamers", how about actually rewarding players for taking flavorful options, rather than punishing them?

Here! I have something that may very well help you add a lot of weapon variety to your game while keeping them as flavorful and balanced as you want. And best of all: It can be used in conjunction with the weapon list from RAW.

-- off-topic --

A while ago replied to a thread about having a safe place/activity for toddlers during game sessions... Over 4 years after the thread was created and last replied to. which means the toddlers in question weren't even toddlers anymore at that point! XD

There's nothing wrong with necro'ing a thread... It just might not be relevant or interesting anymore. It's just funny to see people replying to what is basically a forgotten echo.


CommandoDude wrote:


Right, but crits are not common.

They are very common, if you build for them.

30% of your attack rolls can threaten criticals as early as 5th level. Tack on a few bonuses to confirm party on.


Yay! The Merry Go Round spins again!

sets up ticket booth.


Ed, Pointless Argument Admissions Clerk wrote:

Yay! The Merry Go Round spins again!

sets up ticket booth.

What's awesome is there's now an argument over something that wasn't even an argument to begin with.


Buri Reborn wrote:
Ed, Pointless Argument Admissions Clerk wrote:

Yay! The Merry Go Round spins again!

sets up ticket booth.

What's awesome is there's now an argument over something that wasn't even an argument to begin with.

I'm a helper.


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Would you mind resurrecting a few Paladin threads, or possibly something about alignments, or Summoner spell lists, or pounce Eidolons.

I'd like to add on to the garage.


Why use a longsword when you can use the much cooler flail?

Both benefit for PCs that get enlarged a lot, the 1d8 to 2d6 jump is huge.


I'm partial to the epically bad ass Dwarven Dorn-Derger personally.


Falchion!!!!


Falchion, the nodachi's inbred cousin.


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I like long swords...


watching a dude talk to himself is p laffo


The conversation has taken some interesting turns away from the original intent i believe.

Why choose the longsword? It cant be dual wielded very easily, it isnt that great for two handing. you cant finesse it without jumping through hoops.

It works for sword and board builds which is a small subset of players that i see. maybe there are a lot of them out there somwhere but just not at the tables i sit at.

Maybe there is something to it that longswords are boring or common place and that adventurers should have something specialized to help show off how different they are. I dont know, all i can say for certain is that the longsword doesn't off much in the way of specialization which the game pushes a lot of people towards. If you want to two hand for damage than there are better weapons. if you want an unarmored build that relies on dexterity than there are better options. if you want to sword and board than... well even then, if you have a heavy shield you will want a light main weapon until you can get a lot of feats under your belt.. but by then you are probably set on what you are pairing with your shield anyways. And this is just looking at the core rule book, no need to look at "bloat"

Sovereign Court

The Flail is an elegant weapon for a more civilized age.


Indeed.


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What happened to them? The ruleset changed from AD&D to 3.x and they became far less useful. In AD&D, not only were they among the best weapons, they were by far the most likely to find as magic treasure.

Now, that's not a consideration, Sword and board is a far less useful style and even then there are other weapons at least as effective, even without exotics.

Frankly, I miss classic sword (or ax, or pretty much anything) and board more than I miss longswords in particular.


I have a paladin of Iomedae that can't get enough of the one she got with the Chosen of Iomedae trait. I hope to keep that weapon through the character's entire career.


CommandoDude wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:
CommandoDude wrote:

Right, but crits are not common. So most of the time you would be comparing d6 damage vs d8 damage. And when a scimitar does crit, it's getting 2d6 as opposed to 2d8. And the only advantage for the scimitar is that it is 1 more likely (18-20) to crit than a longsword (19-20), though, on keen this is 2 more likely (15-20) v (17-20) so the difference becomes more dramatic.

So what I am seeing is a mostly negligible difference between the scimitar and the longsword, where a longsword focuses on reliable damage and the scimitar banks on good rolls to make up for a smaller die.

Crits statistically become rather common at higher levels with a scimitar however, resulting in a critical hit about 30% of the time.

Not true because in most cases a roll of let's say 13 or less on your D20 is more likely then not a miss anyway. So if a 14 or better has a chance to hit my enemy that increased threat range ESPECIALLY with keen, ext becomes a huge factor. Because now my scimitar/rapier build is treating a critical on 95% of all dice rolls that could possibly hit. The proof the this is just look at the increase in the number of people using "critical builds" or two handed builds to pump out DPR. Sword and board is widely regarded as the least effective method of melee combat, but in the end all that matters is what you enjoy. The rest is just 1's and 2's.

Does this take into account the fact that mass produced dice are often formed oblong and thus may roll 1s/20s less often and 9s/12s more often?

Most dice do not have a straight random roll. The easiest way to tell how is to roll a dice and see how long it rolls, a short roll means its most likely a well manufactured die that will give a completely random roll.

Quote:
Considering this can start as early as you can get a +1 keen weapon it can end up covering most of a game. A long sword by comparison is only going to crit about 20% of the time. Other weapons are going to be about 5~10% of the time.

A 10% difference is not so big. Yes, you're correct, that the expanded crit makes a very big difference for critical feats, but a class that may not be taking critical feats won't see much of a big difference, since as I said, crits are not very common.

Even assuming the dice give 100% random rolls and crits for expanded range give a 30% chance, that is not a lot. You're rolling regular damage 70% of the time.

So, in exchange for a 10% less often crit for the longsword, you have a larger die, meaning 70% of the time you do slightly better damage, and 20%...


jeremiah dodson 812 wrote:

A 10% difference is not so big. Yes, you're correct, that the expanded crit makes a very big difference for critical feats, but a class that may not be taking critical feats won't see much of a big difference, since as I said, crits are not very common.

Even assuming the dice give 100% random rolls and crits for expanded range give a 30% chance, that is not a lot. You're rolling regular damage 70% of the time.

So, in exchange for a 10% less often crit for the longsword, you have a larger die, meaning 70% of the time you do slightly better damage, and 20%...

Don't think of it as 10% more, think of it as half again as often.

Or you can do the math.

Sure, if you're not focusing on crits - getting keen, taking feats that expand crit ranges or add status conditions, etc, then it won't matter much. If you do, then it rapidly stacks up to a lot more damage (or effects).


A longsword gives solid return for little investment. If you need your race choice, traits, start money, feats etc. mostly for defense, skills, magic, improving other class abilities etc., it's good to get an average weapon for free.


SheepishEidolon wrote:
A longsword gives solid return for little investment. If you need your race choice, traits, start money, feats etc. mostly for defense, skills, magic, improving other class abilities etc., it's good to get an average weapon for free.

The big difference from AD&D is that in that case, it's usually better to go two-handed.

That's the default for martials these days.


Iomedae, The Inheritor wrote:
I like long swords...

But enough about your personal life.


The irony here is that the OP is complaining about longswords dying because of power gaming, when the reason they were so much more popular in older editions is because they were so blatantly an optimal choice.

Could probably find someone from twenty years ago complaining about all the cookie cutter optimizers using longswords and no one ever grabbing more interesting or weird weapons.


I'll take a long sword when Paizo learns how much a sword that is intended for combat should actually weigh. Similar reason for why I wont go near a buckler in this game or use the insanity rules. If you're not going to do real research into what something is, then don't put it in your game.


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Jaçinto wrote:
I'll take a long sword when Paizo learns how much a sword that is intended for combat should actually weigh. Similar reason for why I wont go near a buckler in this game or use the insanity rules. If you're not going to do real research into what something is, then don't put it in your game.
http://www.thearma.org/essays/weights.htm wrote:
As leading sword expert Ewart Oakeshott unequivocally stated: "Medieval Swords are neither unwieldably heavy nor all alike - the average weight of any one of normal size is between 2.5 lb. and 3.5 lbs. Even the big hand-and-a-half 'war' swords rarely weigh more than 4.5 lbs. Such weights, to men who were trained to use the sword from the age of seven (and who had to be tough specimens to survive that age) , were by no means too great to be practical."(Oakeshott, Sword in Hand, p. 13).

With the PF longsword being 4 lbs, what's the trouble with its weight? Seems like whoever originally came up with this number just rounded. Why not 3 lbs? Idk. Why not Zoidberg?


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Sovereign Court

Yeah - the only PF weight issue which is off enough to bug me is the tower shield.


Perhaps the reason to round up the weight is the scabbard, if you really need that level of precision. But if you need that precision, why are you within a 20 hex radius of PF?


Eh, in my experience the longsword is the one-handed weapon of choice for basically all strength-based melee characters I've encountered that use weapons at all.

It is pretty whitebread, though, which might be part of any problem this thread perceived. People tend to think of the longsword as "the weapon everyone and their mother uses in generic fantasy settings" which could increase the appeal of other swords on the basis that the longsword is sorta considered the "default."

There are certain considerations for classes you have to keep in mind as well. The longsword is the third-best weapon a Magus could be using without exotic proficiencies, in my reckoning, but the Magus's ideal situation is when it gets of a critical spellstrike and its playstyle is all around using a one-handed weapon and having the other hand unoccupied. As it turns out, the Scimitar is the BEST possible weapon for making that situation happen with either the strength or dexterity magus, followed closely by the Rapier. On the other side of the spectrum, you find a lot of melee types are going to be going two-handed all the time anyway, at which point you don't really need a one-handed weapon that much.


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Y'arr! The Cutlass be just as good as the Scimitar, and a might proper weapon for this buccaneer.


Torbyne wrote:
Why choose the longsword? It cant be dual wielded very easily, it isnt that great for two handing. you cant finesse it without jumping through hoops.

Eh. I've written up cestus using slayers that loved their longswords.

Rangers and Slayers are major TWF players (being full BAB classes specifically designed to support a style, with nice static bonuses on every hit). Going str based, they would love to be able to go between 2 handing and TWF with ease. Since most readily available double weapons suck, going with a 1handed weapon with a cestus (or other glove weapon) works out fine.

Admittedly, scimitar still acts as a competitor for this market. But it is close enough that I can say "well, I'll probably find better magic weapons for the longsword in loot". Since you are going mixed weapon TWF anyway, specific feats like improved critical don't have quite the appeal that can weigh the issue.


jeremiah dodson 812 wrote:

A 10% difference is not so big. Yes, you're correct, that the expanded crit makes a very big difference for critical feats, but a class that may not be taking critical feats won't see much of a big difference, since as I said, crits are not very common.

Even assuming the dice give 100% random rolls and crits for expanded range give a 30% chance, that is not a lot. You're rolling regular damage 70% of the time.

So, in exchange for a 10% less often crit for the longsword, you have a larger die, meaning 70% of the time you do slightly better damage, and 20%...

With no Keen effects the Scimitar will pull ahead of the Longsword when the user has +19 bonus damage. The values will be very close to each other, and even at such extremes as +0 and +50 bonus damage they will be within around 1 damage of each other.

With Keen effects the Scimitar pulls ahead at +9 bonus damage, which can easily be had by the time Keen effects are available. However, even at +50 the Scimitar is just a little over 4 damage-per-hit ahead of the Longsword.

All this is academic since the difference boils down to 1 damage between them, or 2 damage on a crit.

One thing that makes players prioritize crit range over all other considerations is the fact that almost all effects that occur on crit (Spellstrike, Panache, Dazing Assault, etc.) are unaffected, or negligibly affected, by the crit multiplier.

Another consideration that's not as simple to math out but still makes intuitive sense: With a 50% wider crit range, you crit 50% more often, and in this comparison, you do it with the same multiplier. More crits means you're more likely to crit when it counts, such as against high value targets, or against enemies that weren't already at low HP.

Players may simply want the thrill of critting 50% more often, regardless of any minor damage difference, and there's nothing wrong with that.


Monkey Puzzle Jones wrote:
Y'arr! The Cutlass be just as good as the Scimitar, and a might proper weapon for this buccaneer.

The cutlass I honestly think is the poster child for why generic weapons might be better in PF. Literally the only difference between it and the scimitar is that you can't use scimitar specific feats with it. It's silly.


Squiggit wrote:
Monkey Puzzle Jones wrote:
Y'arr! The Cutlass be just as good as the Scimitar, and a might proper weapon for this buccaneer.
The cutlass I honestly think is the poster child for why generic weapons might be better in PF. Literally the only difference between it and the scimitar is that you can't use scimitar specific feats with it. It's silly.

I second this. There's no need to split hairs over (say) Scimitar and Sabre, so why split the Cutlass out as its own thing?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

But that's like, what, five feats, and most of those are thematically tied to Sarenrae. If it's THAT much of an issue talk to your GM and pitch the idea it should also apply to Besmara.


captain yesterday wrote:
But that's like, what, five feats, and most of those are thematically tied to Sarenrae. If it's THAT much of an issue talk to your GM and pitch the idea it should also apply to Besmara.

Off the top of my head, Weapon Focus is an important one for Warpriests, as well as any Slashing Grace user.

And the problem with "Talk To Your GM" is that many otherwise reasonable DMs just won't agree to something you think is completely reasonable, like saying a Cutlass counts as a Scimitar. This exact thing happened in my Skull and Shackles game, and though I wasn't even the Swashbuckler in question it still annoyed me.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Good news!

A Cutlass is a one handed slashing weapon, so Slashing Grace should absolutely apply to Cutlass.

And Warpriests don't have to take weapon focus in their deity's chosen weapon, it can be any weapon.

I myself have a Warpriest of Urgathoa that uses a heavy pick instead of a Scythe. :-)


captain yesterday wrote:

Good news!

A Cutlass is a one handed slashing weapon, so Slashing Grace should absolutely apply to Cutlass.

And Warpriests don't have to take weapon focus in their deity's chosen weapon, it can be any weapon.

I myself have a Warpriest of Urgathoa that uses a heavy pick instead of a Scythe. :-)

The point is that these feats only apply to one weapon. If you pick Scimitar, then yes, they become Scimitar-specific and do not apply to Cutlasses and vice versa.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Isn't that what retraining is for...

I honestly don't understand what the big deal is.


captain yesterday wrote:

Isn't that what retraining is for...

I honestly don't understand what the big deal is.

It's ridiculous to be retraining back and forth for two weapons that are just about the same thing, close enough that by all rights they should be the same thing mechanically.


Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realize we were moving, my bad!

Why would you need to constantly switch back and forth, it's not politics, you don't have to flip flop, you can pick one and stick with it.


Moving Goalposts wrote:

Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realize we were moving, my bad!

Why would you need to constantly switch back and forth, it's not politics, you don't have to flip flop, you can pick one and stick with it.

How are the goalposts moving? Retraining costs time and money, which you shouldn't have to spend switching between two weapons that are very similar and mechanically identical.

In a game with both Cutlasses and Scimitars, you will presumably be finding both, and if you're currently using one and find a better version of the other, you're either passing up the upgrade or retraining your feat/feature.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

What game will you find that many alternating magic Cutlasses and Scimitars, I'd really like to know. :-)

I just don't see how it would come up as much as you insist. :-)


swoosh wrote:
The irony here is that the OP is complaining about longswords dying because of power gaming, when the reason they were so much more popular in older editions is because they were so blatantly an optimal choice.snip

I'll take your word for it re prior editions, but wasn't the long sword also IRL the weapon of choice for medieval warriors? So didn't the older versions of the game merely reflect a past reality that the game was designed to mimic?


captain yesterday wrote:

What game will you find that many alternating magic Cutlasses and Scimitars, I'd really like to know. :-)

I just don't see how it would come up as much as you insist. :-)

If they're two separate weapons, there's no reason it can't happen. And even if it happens once, that's once too many.

Also I noticed that the Cutlass is in the Pirate Weapon Group while the Scimitar is not, so that's one more thing separating them when it really shouldn't.

Quark Blast wrote:
swoosh wrote:
The irony here is that the OP is complaining about longswords dying because of power gaming, when the reason they were so much more popular in older editions is because they were so blatantly an optimal choice.snip
I'll take your word for it re prior editions, but wasn't the long sword also IRL the weapon of choice for medieval warriors? So didn't the older versions of the game merely reflect a past reality that the game was designed to mimic?

More or less, but the sword generally used with a shield was the arming sword, which Pathfinder doesn't really have. The arming sword was a dedicated one-handed weapon, a little shorter and lighter than a longsword, with only enough room on the hilt for one hand. As I understand it, the terms 'longsword' and 'bastard sword' mean basically the same thing.


Athaleon wrote:
Quark Blast wrote:
swoosh wrote:
The irony here is that the OP is complaining about longswords dying because of power gaming, when the reason they were so much more popular in older editions is because they were so blatantly an optimal choice.snip
I'll take your word for it re prior editions, but wasn't the long sword also IRL the weapon of choice for medieval warriors? So didn't the older versions of the game merely reflect a past reality that the game was designed to mimic?
More or less, but the sword generally used with a shield was the arming sword, which Pathfinder doesn't really have. The arming sword was a dedicated one-handed weapon, a little shorter and lighter than a longsword, with only enough room on the hilt for one hand. As I understand it, the terms 'longsword' and 'bastard sword' mean basically the same thing.

OK, thanks for that confirmation. I saw Kingdom of Heaven about three years ago and it seemed a realistic presentation of the long sword. Definitely best to use it two-handed and with the full-attack option engaged.

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