Can we have even a bare minimum of respect for realism this time around?


Prerelease Discussion

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Neo2151 wrote:

Just stuff like:

•Gambeson (ie: padded) armor was actually really good protection and much better than something like hardened leather. Maybe have the stats reflect that?
•Call an arming sword (currently longsword) an arming sword and a longsword (currently bastard sword) a longsword? Ya know, like they're supposed to be?
•Can a dagger not be completely terrible? It's probably responsible for more battlefield kills than any other weapon, after all.
•Can a falchion be a falchion and not a scimitar?
•Can you explain how tricking the senses (Illusion) is fundamentally different enough from tricking the senses (Enchantment) that they deserve to be entirely separate schools of magic?

Ya know, just some basic common sense type stuff? :)

Selective realism was one reason why being a martial character sucks in PF. Developers claiming the action economy of feats and the like based on what they could personally do instead of what would make for cool and fun characters really throttled possibilities.

So please, put gameplay over realism.


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
None of these are basic, common or sense to me. They're more of "a history buff is mad because they want a simulation of medieval Europe and what they get is some Gygax guy throwing names at things at random" frankly.

They're basic common sense to anyone that spent 5 minutes looking up things on google and doesn't base their knowledge of weapons and armor on RPGs.

Also, people forget that Pathfinder is set in OUR universe, so leather should not be more protective than padded layers of cloth, and adding studs to leather should make it WEAKER, because that's not how our universe works.

EDIT: That is not to say that I want daggers to be really powerful, if anything they should be better at coups and crits rather than straight up combat. But if you just flip padded and studded leather armors and call longswords just "swords", then you've removed two things from D&D that only exist because Gygax didn't do good enough research, and have greatly influenced modern fiction with their misinformation.

Calling swords simply 'swords' works a lot better when you live in place where there is a generally accepted pattern for approximately what a sword is. From a modern perspective, we view swords all over the world and all throughout time as 'swords'. So some more specific nomenclature is useful. Hence the modern usage of the term 'arming sword' - it's not actually a historical usage of said term, but it's helpful to distinguish a specific type of sword. (Or really, a general type of sword, since there's a least half a dozen types of arming sword.)

I get the concept of not wanting to have the game misinform people, but any choice of terms will do so, without a lengthy explanation of why a specific term was chosen. I don't think many people would want word count spent on that.

Also, if we're being pedants, why not call out scimitar as not actually being any specific type of sword? Why be eurocentric with our criticism?


Nope


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I swear, if they do not include the "Bohemian-earspoon" in the weapons table I will be very put out.


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Given that its fantasy, and we accept some level of lack of realism.
Could we alteast now use it to throw a bone to martial characters.

I tend to feel that Fighter, and characters use specialize in using weapons and armor are sort of boxed into a tiny container of realism with in the game while everyone else gets to use magic and do impossible stuff.

Like if you have an exotic weapon category, can't simply those exotic weapons at least all be superior to any Non-exotic weapons in every way.

If your going to have non-sensical armor, cant the fighters at least use overly non-sensical armor for better then real life protection.

Or fighters can be just massive good at all weapons, etc.


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Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:


They're basic common sense to anyone that spent 5 minutes looking up things on google and doesn't base their knowledge of weapons and armor on RPGs.

And if you spend more than 5 minutes you'll realize the OP isn't even right on some of his complaints. Terms like 'arming sword' and 'longsword' were frankly pretty historically diverse in what they've been used to describe. The term 'long sword' has even been used to describe weapons like rapiers.

The ironic thing is that for all of the OP's complaining about sword names being applied arbitrarily or incorrectly, modern sword nomenclature is pretty much just that to begin with.


I tried, I really did . But,the wizards say no. Sorry


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I always thought that things like "long sword" were diagetic names, that is they are the names that the imaginary people in the world of the game would call a sword that is longer than that other common sword.

I honestly thought it was kind of weird that people in fantasy worlds would abide by the naming conventions of say European polearms, but at this point people are familiar with the weapons in the game so naming it something other than a Lucerne Hammer might confuse people (even though very few people from Golarion have ever been to Switzerland.)


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Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
Also, people forget that Pathfinder is set in OUR universe,
Nope, Pathfinder is set in the Pathfinder universe.

What, you don't remember your history classes where the teacher went over how Rasputin, the Mad Monk of considerable magical power and his animated tanks and sentient mustard gas clouds were defeated by a bunch of trans-dimensional adventurers with the aid of Baba Yaga?

We spent like a week on that.

Someone didn't read the Foreword from Rasputin Must Die, actually sounds like no-one did.

Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
Also, if we're being pedants, why not call out scimitar as not actually being any specific type of sword? Why be eurocentric with our criticism?

Because the game is in English, where the standard cultural idea of what a sword looks like is that of a straight, double edged cruciform swords, and every other kind of sword gets a special modifier or even separate name to distinguish it from the straight, double edged cruciform sword: shortsword, greatsword, smallsword, backsword, katana, saber, scimitar, cutlass, rapier, etc..

swoosh wrote:

And if you spend more than 5 minutes you'll realize the OP isn't even right on some of his complaints. Terms like 'arming sword' and 'longsword' were frankly pretty historically diverse in what they've been used to describe. The term 'long sword' has even been used to describe weapons like rapiers.

The ironic thing is that for all of the OP's complaining about sword names being applied arbitrarily or incorrectly, modern sword nomenclature is pretty much just that to begin with.

I've never heard anyone call a rapier a longsword and I would very much like to see where you've seen that. As for the use of names throughout history, most people called swords "sword" in different time periods. An arming sword was not contemporaneous with a longsword, so in their own times people would've just called them both "swords". It's us modern humans that need to dinstinguish between different sword types from different periods of history.

Saying there's no need to have a one handed sword not be called a longsword is like saying that it's ok to call a 15th century pistol a rifle, despite not being a rifled or long barreled.


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There are two different things bung talked about in this thread, and even in the OP's post.

One is veracity with the real world, which I weigh negative to neutral in a fantasy game.

The other is adherence to current historiographical norms, which I'd weight neutral to positive, if done sensibly.

Realism is full plate armor making you immune to slashing attacks, historiographical normality is calling a double edged straight blade of 70-80cm for wielding I one hand an arming sword, rather than a Longsword.

That said, we also don't need the armoury to have detailed breakdowns of the entire Oakeshott typology.


Sayt wrote:

There are two different things bung talked about in this thread, and even in the OP's post.

One is veracity with the real world veracity wish is negative to neutral in a fantasy game.

The other is adherence to current historiographical norms, which I'd weight neutral to positive.

Realism is full plate armor making you immune to slashing attacks, historiographical normality is calling a double edged straight blade of 70-80cm for wielding I one hand an arming sword, rather than a Longsword.

That said, we also don't need the armoury to have detailed breakdowns of the entire Oakeshott typology.

I don't want that either, that sounds like a boring RPG (And Pathfinder already has needless equipment bloat), but Pathfinder has done a decent job having historically accuracy for weapons and armor added in splatbooks, yet still clings to Gygaxian errors in its core equipment. It's more accurately portrayed far eastern and south-east asian weapons than european ones, when it's supposed to be primarily a european fantasy game.


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Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
Also, people forget that Pathfinder is set in OUR universe,
Nope, Pathfinder is set in the Pathfinder universe.

What, you don't remember your history classes where the teacher went over how Rasputin, the Mad Monk of considerable magical power and his animated tanks and sentient mustard gas clouds were defeated by a bunch of trans-dimensional adventurers with the aid of Baba Yaga?

We spent like a week on that.

Someone didn't read the Foreword from Rasputin Must Die, actually sounds like no-one did.

I read it. It's still not actually OUR universe, anymore than any other fantasy with historical (or modern) elements. Unless you really believe it happened in 1918 in our real world.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
It's more accurately portrayed far eastern and south-east asian weapons than european ones, when it's supposed to be primarily a european fantasy game.

No it doesn't, katana in Pathfinder is a pale shadow of what it is in reality.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
It's more accurately portrayed far eastern and south-east asian weapons than european ones, when it's supposed to be primarily a european fantasy game.
No it doesn't, katana in Pathfinder is a pale shadow of what it is in reality.

(One-Handed Exotic Weapon)

1d12 Damage
19-20 x4 Crit
+2 to hit and damage
Counts as Masterwork

(Two-Handed Exotic Weapon)
2d10 Damage
17-20 x4 Crit
+5 to hit and damage
Counts as Masterwork


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Let me just point out that EGG didn't just randomly make up names for armor and weapons, he used reference books.

Granted, these books were old when he wrote D&D, like Charles Ffoulkes Armour & Weapons was from 1909. But still, they were once considered proper terminology.


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The Katana, God of Swords meme will never die, it seems xD.

Personaly, I'd like a norms check on the names and some weapon's damage types(Warhammers should deal B&P, for instance), but by abd large its a "yeah, sure, whatever" thing for me which niggles every now and then.


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I thought realism was what caused the LF/QW "Oh you can't do magic, then you are limited to what people in the real world can do, mostly" ;)

The Exchange

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Covent wrote:
I just do not want to see any realism cause some concepts to be limited to only realistic things such that they get "cool powers" like jump an extra 10 feet or hold your breath for an extra few rounds, while others are getting the ability to instantly cause enemies to fall unconscious or create protective fields of force from level one.

While I can understand that, I must say that I'd probably immediately lose interest in the game, if there was no mundane class to play anymore. I love to play in highly magical worlds with relatively down-to-earth characters (relatively because even the mundane classes can do some amazing things ingame that a normal human being wouldn't be able to do), and I can happily accept that magic is stronger than the sword. As a point of comparison, in a Pathfinder MArvel game, I'd want to play street level characters like those from the Netflix series, but I'd probably not play one of the Avengers' powerhouses. I do not care so much if someone else does that, but if I'm forced to do this, as I said I lose interest pretty soon.

It's also why I don't like partaking in games with more than a small amount of optimizing. Because in order to keep up with my fellow co-players (especially when that's expected), I have to build a character that I'm not interested in and I'd rather not do that.

The Exchange

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Lord Mhoram wrote:
I thought realism was what caused the LF/QW "Oh you can't do magic, then you are limited to what people in the real world can do, mostly" ;)

Maybe realism caused the LF, but the QW came from uncontrolled power creep. ^^


WormysQueue wrote:
Lord Mhoram wrote:
I thought realism was what caused the LF/QW "Oh you can't do magic, then you are limited to what people in the real world can do, mostly" ;)
Maybe realism caused the LF, but the QW came from uncontrolled power creep. ^^

Kind of. I mean, the QW existed in 1e and 2e as well. It's just those editions had some major setbacks for casters that WotC got rid of in 3rd.


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WormysQueue wrote:
Covent wrote:
I just do not want to see any realism cause some concepts to be limited to only realistic things such that they get "cool powers" like jump an extra 10 feet or hold your breath for an extra few rounds, while others are getting the ability to instantly cause enemies to fall unconscious or create protective fields of force from level one.

While I can understand that, I must say that I'd probably immediately lose interest in the game, if there was no mundane class to play anymore. I love to play in highly magical worlds with relatively down-to-earth characters (relatively because even the mundane classes can do some amazing things ingame that a normal human being wouldn't be able to do), and I can happily accept that magic is stronger than the sword. As a point of comparison, in a Pathfinder MArvel game, I'd want to play street level characters like those from the Netflix series, but I'd probably not play one of the Avengers' powerhouses. I do not care so much if someone else does that, but if I'm forced to do this, as I said I lose interest pretty soon.

It's also why I don't like partaking in games with more than a small amount of optimizing. Because in order to keep up with my fellow co-players (especially when that's expected), I have to build a character that I'm not interested in and I'd rather not do that.

I guess it's a question of what do you mean by "mundane". Like you say, even Pathfinder mundane classes can do things no normal human being could do.

I get the point about wanting to play street level heroes rather than cosmic superheroes, but that's generally not best handled by playing Daredevil alongside Dr. Strange, Thor and Iron Man. In Champions, you decide on street vs cosmic by how many points you build your characters on. In PF that would translate as low level vs high level games.


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Neo2151 wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
None of these are basic, common or sense to me. They're more of "a history buff is mad because they want a simulation of medieval Europe and what they get is some Gygax guy throwing names at things at random" frankly.
I just threw stuff off the top of my head out there, but my point is that, for a simulationist game, the simulation has historically been waaay off. :P

You aren't really positing realism and simulationism though. You're going after nomenclature.


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WormysQueue wrote:

While I can understand that, I must say that I'd probably immediately lose interest in the game, if there was no mundane class to play anymore. I love to play in highly magical worlds with relatively down-to-earth characters (relatively because even the mundane classes can do some amazing things ingame that a normal human being wouldn't be able to do), and I can happily accept that magic is stronger than the sword. As a point of comparison, in a Pathfinder MArvel game, I'd want to play street level characters like those from the Netflix series, but I'd probably not play one of the Avengers' powerhouses. I do not care so much if someone else does that, but if I'm forced to do this, as I said I lose interest pretty soon.

It's also why I don't like partaking in games with more than a small amount of optimizing. Because in order to keep up with my fellow co-players (especially when that's expected), I have to build a character that I'm not interested in and I'd rather not do that.

Isn't that kind of the point of levels? If you don't like high level activities, stay away from high level play and this seems like a problem that sorts itself out.

The Exchange

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Squiggit wrote:
Isn't that kind of the point of levels? If you don't like high level activities, stay away from high level play and this seems like a problem that sorts itself out.

You're right of course and it's basically what I mostly have done during the whole 3.X/PF era so far. My main problem is that I love the APs very much, but given their level range, I usually run into the problem that with the end of an AP's part 4, we leave those levels I still consider to be my sweet spot.

And with an AP ending around level 10 not being a realistic option, my hope is that 2E does a better job in expanding that sweet spot, so that I can enjoy those later AP parts as well.

This is just something I 'm thinking a lot about as I'm working on a mash-up between Paizo's Giantslayer AP and WotC's Storm King's Thunder. I have to admit that I do not really know 5E, so I might be wrong here regarding that comparison, but to me it's astonishing that an adventure with the scope of SKT can end at level 11, when Giantslayer goes all the way up to level 17.


Squiggit wrote:
WormysQueue wrote:

While I can understand that, I must say that I'd probably immediately lose interest in the game, if there was no mundane class to play anymore. I love to play in highly magical worlds with relatively down-to-earth characters (relatively because even the mundane classes can do some amazing things ingame that a normal human being wouldn't be able to do), and I can happily accept that magic is stronger than the sword. As a point of comparison, in a Pathfinder MArvel game, I'd want to play street level characters like those from the Netflix series, but I'd probably not play one of the Avengers' powerhouses. I do not care so much if someone else does that, but if I'm forced to do this, as I said I lose interest pretty soon.

It's also why I don't like partaking in games with more than a small amount of optimizing. Because in order to keep up with my fellow co-players (especially when that's expected), I have to build a character that I'm not interested in and I'd rather not do that.

Isn't that kind of the point of levels? If you don't like high level activities, stay away from high level play and this seems like a problem that sorts itself out.

I agree that this is one possible use of levels, and the use of them d20 uses.

But I'd rather have levels and power level be separate, so I can advance a character's versatility and ability for more than just 3-5 levels while staying at the chosen power level.


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Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
I've never heard anyone call a rapier a longsword and I would very much like to see where you've seen that. As for the use of names throughout history, most people called swords "sword" in different time periods. An arming sword was not contemporaneous with a longsword, so in their own times people would've just called them both...

Longswords and arming swords were most certainly in use at the same time. The arming sword existed first, but they stayed in use all during the time of the longsword where the morphed into the side-sword and eventually into rapier and basket-hilted broadswords.

For example Tallhoffer covers both Longsword and arming sword with buckler in the same book.

I belive George Silver used the term long sword to refer to rapiers (which he didn't like) and used the term short sword to refer to basket-hilted broadswords which he considered superior. (Rapier is also a problematic term with it being used for a number of distinct swords).

Found a good blog post about the usage of the term Longsword and how messy it was.

And since I'm poking around Wiktenauer again, I totally think the longshield should make it's way into pathfinder. They were used either one handed with a weapon or two handed by themselves. As far as I know these were just used for judicial duels, but certainly makes sense to include as an exotic weapon.

And I'd just recommend anyone with even a passing interest in historical weapons and combat to give a glance through some of the combat treatises. They're fascinating just to check out the pictures. Like Paulus Hector Mair's book Opus Amplissimum de Arte Athletica. Probably the prettiest (and certainly the biggest) one there is. Of the three copies I think the Munich one is the prettiest.


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Wheldrake wrote:

What people want in RPGs isn't "realism" per se, but "verisimilitude". They want things to "feel real", meaning they want things to seem plausible.

Quibbling about naming conventions between "arming sword" and "longsword" doesn't even make it to that level. It's just a name, and not that big of a deal. So many of the weapons we find in RPG lists are from different cultures that used different languages, and translation is intrinsically a betrayal of literal meaning. I mean even the English used in the middle ages wasn't the English of today, and the languages spoken in the early and late middle ages were not the same beast at all.

Wraithstrike wrote:
If we're going to be realistic the game is definitely going to fail. If some humanoid the size of a giant tries to hit you with warhammer, and you try to use your shield to block it your shield and your arm are going to be broken, and death is very possible. If a normal person hit your shield with enough force it can cause damage so don't expect for large and bigger creatures to care about your shield.

Although I agree 100% about taking hits from large, huge and bigger creatures, I suspect that if realism were to take the front seat, problems would start on an even more basic level, since that giant is going to be in trouble as soon as it tries to stand up. Think of the windfall for orthopedic surgeons, helping giants get over their ankle, knee and hip problems!

What we need isn't realism, as such, but greater verisimilitude. We could take the Giant's Crush feat, for example, and apply its effects every time a creature is hit by an adversary 2 size categories larger than it is.

I'd much prefer little nods to real-seeming like this, than a pedantic re-naming of weapons and armor that have been mis-named since 1974.

I know that certain creatures can't really exist past certain sizes and verisimilitude should have been what he said, but even then, that will vary by individual taste.

Many people dont like the idea of you being able to make a reflex save while paralyzed as an example.
There is also the the issue of getting the full benefit of your dex bonus even when flat-footed.

The list goes on.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Cool, Doktor Weasel did my work for me.

Thanks, man.

Sovereign Court

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My vision is that low levels should be somewhat believable while as levels go up restrictions should be lifted to showcase your rise to fame and power.

Otherwise, you just cheapen the wonder of magic and heroism.


When it comes to realism and/or versmilitude, I think the real issue is firstly, the disjoint between what should happen based on expectations of what's possible in narrative milieu, much of which has a basis in real world experience that even the players will know first-hand, compared to the mechanical results, and secondly, self consistency not just with the direct effects, but with the the cause-effect chain implied by those direct effects.

In my opinion, the rules benefit from leaving many of the minor details and corner cases for the gm to handle, such as disallowing reflex saves while paralyzed. This is because there is no way for the designers to cover every possiblity, and attempting to do so would just bloat the rules to many times the size they are now just for small things that rarely come up and are gdnerally common sense anyway.

The problem is when you get rules lawyers who want to argue that a reflex save should be allowed because the rules while completely ignoring the narrative milieu.

I think a major help here would be to add in the rules some explicit jobs for the gm, such as "It is the gm's responsibility to use common sense and make adjustments for when the narrative milieu and the rules conflict or when strange or unusual circumstances occur in which the standard rules no longer make sense."

If that was actually in the rules as part of the gm's job, then rules lawyers woukd at least be hindered on ridiculous and obvious loopholes, while also allowing the designers to not worry so much about edge cases.


Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:

Cool, Doktor Weasel did my work for me.

Thanks, man.

Your welcome! It's a topic I've been fascinated with for a while now, so it gave me an excuse to geek out. Also to point to those old combat treatises. Soooo cooool!

I want to do some mounted grappling sometime in game...


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Doktor Weasel wrote:
Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:

Cool, Doktor Weasel did my work for me.

Thanks, man.

Your welcome! It's a topic I've been fascinated with for a while now, so it gave me an excuse to geek out. Also to point to those old combat treatises. Soooo cooool!

I want to do some mounted grappling sometime in game...

Especially thanks for that old 'Encased in Steel' blog, that was a point I was going to bring up.

It's cool stuff that I wish more gamers were into understanding at more than a superficial level. I've been studying it for over 20 years, so I learned a long time ago that some people just can't be argued with reasonably on the topic, though. :)

I really thought you were going to link Talhoffer on that mounted grappling bit, though. I like the backwards crossbow shooting, personally.

I think it was telling that I never really got an answer to my scimitar question, though. The answer of "it's in English" is a weak one, as we don't use the term samurai sword, but we do use scimitar...


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Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:

I really thought you were going to link Talhoffer on that mounted grappling bit, though. I like the backwards crossbow shooting, personally.

I think it was telling that I never really got an answer to my scimitar question, though. The answer of "it's in English" is a weak one, as we don't use the term samurai sword, but we do use scimitar...

I linked to Mair because his book looks better. He might have been an embezzler but at least he used that money to hire a good artist. ;)

I can take or leave scimitar. As it is it's kind of a catch all term for any curved sword from the Islamic world and India. We don't really need a separate listing for a kilij, saif, shamshir and tulwar (all of which I believe mean 'sword' in their respective language), in game terms they're basically identical. But these days Saber seems to be the preferred generic term for curved sword. And that would include things like the Hungarian and Polish sabers. Some of which are just sexy.

I do think generic terms make a lot of sense for game purposes instead of getting hyper detailed in weapon listings. For example I've had one charcter use a Khyber Knife as an offhand weapon, another a Cinquedea and a third a short jian. All were Short Swords, just in my mind I applied a particular style to them. I love yataghans but if I had a character use one I'd just use the short sword or scimitar stats. Likewise I think the schiavona is one of the most beautiful swords ever, but I'd just use the longsword stats for it.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Longswords vs arming swords? What about broadswords?

I suspect that PF2.0 will continue to use many if not all the weapon names we find in the PF1.0 CRB. Though I would prefer to limit the number of weapons listed in those tables, and have the description give all the alternate weapon types which are functionally identical (like Dok Weasel's short list of short sword equivalents).


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WormysQueue wrote:
Covent wrote:
I just do not want to see any realism cause some concepts to be limited to only realistic things such that they get "cool powers" like jump an extra 10 feet or hold your breath for an extra few rounds, while others are getting the ability to instantly cause enemies to fall unconscious or create protective fields of force from level one.

While I can understand that, I must say that I'd probably immediately lose interest in the game, if there was no mundane class to play anymore. I love to play in highly magical worlds with relatively down-to-earth characters (relatively because even the mundane classes can do some amazing things ingame that a normal human being wouldn't be able to do), and I can happily accept that magic is stronger than the sword. As a point of comparison, in a Pathfinder MArvel game, I'd want to play street level characters like those from the Netflix series, but I'd probably not play one of the Avengers' powerhouses. I do not care so much if someone else does that, but if I'm forced to do this, as I said I lose interest pretty soon.

It's also why I don't like partaking in games with more than a small amount of optimizing. Because in order to keep up with my fellow co-players (especially when that's expected), I have to build a character that I'm not interested in and I'd rather not do that.

I can respect that is your preferred play style. In my preferred play style magic should = the sword and street level should = low level.

I understand that you want to make use of the Paizo AP's, however if PF2 and PF2 catered to a more E6 style game which in my opinion you are describing, I at least would simply not play them or PF2. I feel that most of my characters really start coming into their own levels 7-10 and are comfortably what I want to play around levels 11-15.

This is one of the reasons I tried 5th edition and immediately switched to a different game system, not enough growth for me. I personally would love if we could cut levels 1-5 out PF2 and start at about the power level of PF1 level 6, but I realize that there are quite a few people that like those levels so if I was making the design decisions about PF2 I would leave them in so those who like levels 1-5, or 3-12, or any other ranges still have available play space.

That is why I hope we can leave the level 1-20 range as a true level 1-20 range rather than a 1-6 or 1-10 in disguise, as it allows more people to find their comfortable range.

Now High level play in PF1 at 13+ has issues and I hope they address those, but most of high level plays problems in my opinion is based on either LFQW or math not working, so if they fix those two issues by hopefully bringing mundanes up and magic down I would like that.

I would also not mind having more level appropriate options for lower levels, but at no point, in my opinion, are options such as Hold Breath or Raging Leaper level appropriate.

Things like One of those faces or Auspicious mark are much more appropriate for low level and low power games in my opinion.

TheAlicornSage wrote:

When it comes to realism and/or versmilitude, I think the real issue is firstly, the disjoint between what should happen based on expectations of what's possible in narrative milieu, much of which has a basis in real world experience that even the players will know first-hand, compared to the mechanical results, and secondly, self consistency not just with the direct effects, but with the the cause-effect chain implied by those direct effects.

In my opinion, the rules benefit from leaving many of the minor details and corner cases for the gm to handle, such as disallowing reflex saves while paralyzed. This is because there is no way for the designers to cover every possiblity, and attempting to do so would just bloat the rules to many times the size they are now just for small things that rarely come up and are gdnerally common sense anyway.

The problem is when you get rules lawyers who want to argue that a reflex save should be allowed because the rules while completely ignoring the narrative milieu.

I think a major help here would be to add in the rules some explicit jobs for the gm, such as "It is the gm's responsibility to use common sense and make adjustments for when the narrative milieu and the rules conflict or when strange or unusual circumstances occur in which the standard rules no longer make sense."

If that was actually in the rules as part of the gm's job, then rules lawyers woukd at least be hindered on ridiculous and obvious loopholes, while also allowing the designers to not worry so much about edge cases.

While I agree the rules will never cover every corner case and a GM will have to make some rulings on the fly, one of the main things I like is that PF1 has a large rule set that covers most cases.

I strongly disagree with the statement of your I bolded above. Unless a rule says something, I am of the opinion that realism or narrative milieu adjustments adjustments are bad for the game. I want the GM to be a narrator and facilitator, and only act as a referee in the most corner of cases.

If it is not clear I strongly feel that a player should be able to come in and say "these are the rules and they work this way" with confidence 99% of the time. I do not like games where you have to ask the GM "OK, how can I do X this time?". It is my opinion that a consistent and math based rule set is beneficial as it leads to less looking things up at the table or issues as since the rules just work one way people know what their abilities do.


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You know, normally, any time a fan of any version of D&D starts talking about "realism", my existing cancers start developing new cancers.

That's right, this entire topic gives me cancer cancer. Double cancer.

Because normally, in this context, "realism" means that even high-level characters without magic are confined by the banal restrictions of terrestrial physiology while their spellcasting colleagues violate laws of thermodyamics we haven't discovered yet with 2nd level spells.

That kind of realism is the opposite of what I want from Pathfinder.

But here... we're talking about using the right names for stuff and recognizing that a foot of cold steel is... pretty much just as deadly as two feet of cold steel.

This stuff isn't rocket surgery.

But... my pet peeve has always been the firearms rules treating guns as magic death wands when the word "bulletproof" was coined to describe high-quality plate armor.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
FaerieGodfather wrote:
But here... we're talking about using the right names for stuff...

Correct. And the right names for things in a fantasy setting aren't necessarily the real-world Earth names for them.


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Anguish wrote:
FaerieGodfather wrote:
But here... we're talking about using the right names for stuff...
Correct. And the right names for things in a fantasy setting aren't necessarily the real-world Earth names for them.

And it's virtually impossible to find "correct" real-world names for weapons that (a) come from many different cultures, each with their own language or languages and (b) come from many different historical periods, often using different languages at different times, or with a language that had changed and evolved in between.

So the nomenclature doesn't really bother me. I'd rather speak about a longsword or a broadsword than an arming sword, and after some cursory research on the web it seems that none of those three terms were used historically.

Which doesn't mean that some of the worst nomenclature offenders can't be fixed during the move to a new version of PF.


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While I do have my gripes about some of the incorrect use of terms. It isn't that big of a deal to me personally, because I know that DnD falchion does not mean the RL world falchion. Might confuse new players, if they have existing knowledge.

What I would do instead is make the weapons like:
one and a half hand straight sword, mechanical information and in the description there are some examples of such weapons.

This way we could cut down a lot of the bloated weapons list and with little effort the devs could learn what advantages different weapon types give. I would really like if your choice of weapon mattered in a significant quantity. Nothing too complex of a system, but the RL knowledge would be used to inspire game mechanics. Like say a flail could negate a shield. Dagger could have increased critical multiplier in CDG.


it is also very difficult to name weapons with 'real world' names, if a lot of this names refer to 'real world' places or persons that don't exist on Golarion.

also: I want a swiss army knife in PF


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FaerieGodfather wrote:

But... my pet peeve has always been the firearms rules treating guns as magic death wands when the word "bulletproof" was coined to describe high-quality plate armor.

Yeah, current pathfinder guns are way overpowered. Especially if they're supposed to represent early black-powder weapons. Although they do seem to be trying to skip to 18th century guns and bypass entirely early handgonnes and matchlocks and such.

Although I believe bulletproofing was also done at longer ranges with pistol balls. A heavy musket and a close range shot would still penetrate most breastplates unless they were prohibitively heavy. Of course again this all varied on era. But they never really simply ignored armor like they do in PF.

And even beyond the call to realism, they're just unbalanced. I've seen dual-pepperbox characters do ungodly amounts of damage. The combination of easy dual-wielding ranged weapons and touch-AC and all the bonuses they get are really deadly combinations. I suspect a multi-classed gunslinger/rogue could be disgusting with multiple ranged sneak attacks that go after touch AC. The cost of ammo is really only a problem at low level. In my group, we've come to an agreement of no more gunslingers.


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Hythlodeus wrote:

it is also very difficult to name weapons with 'real world' names, if a lot of this names refer to 'real world' places or persons that don't exist on Golarion.

also: I want a swiss army knife in PF

Well they still have the Lucerne hammer despite there being no Lucerne on Golarion, and that's in Switzerland, so you're halfway to your Swiss Army Knife! Thankfully 3rd ed renamed greek-fire to alchemists fire.


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DiscoJer wrote:

Let me just point out that EGG didn't just randomly make up names for armor and weapons, he used reference books.

Granted, these books were old when he wrote D&D, like Charles Ffoulkes Armour & Weapons was from 1909. But still, they were once considered proper terminology.

No-one's saying he pulled the words out of thin air, but the books he used were already outdated and incorrect at the time, and much of that stemmed from all the way back in the Victorian era. Yet we still use that terminology today in gaming, for no real reason other than the fact that he used it, and those misconceptions have spilled over into literature, TV, and video games.

Lord Mhoram wrote:
I thought realism was what caused the LF/QW "Oh you can't do magic, then you are limited to what people in the real world can do, mostly" ;)

Characters should be able to do extraordinary feats, they're heroes for a reason! But non-magical leather isn't better than non-magical cloth, any more than bronze is better than steel.

Doktor Weasel wrote:

Longswords and arming swords were most certainly in use at the same time. The arming sword existed first, but they stayed in use all during the time of the longsword where the morphed into the side-sword and eventually into rapier and basket-hilted broadswords.

For example Tallhoffer covers both Longsword and arming sword with buckler in the same book.

I belive George Silver used the term long sword to refer to rapiers (which he didn't like) and used the term short sword to refer to basket-hilted broadswords which he considered superior. (Rapier is also a problematic term with it being used for a number of distinct swords).

Found a good blog post about the usage of the term Longsword and how messy it was.

And since I'm poking around Wiktenauer again, I totally think the longshield should make it's way into pathfinder. They were used either one handed with a weapon or two handed by themselves. As far as I know these were just used for judicial duels, but certainly makes sense to include as an exotic weapon.

And I'd just recommend anyone with even a passing interest in historical weapons and combat to give a glance through some of the combat treatises. They're fascinating just to check out the pictures. Like Paulus...

I stand corrected. That's what I get for trusting my memory instead of re-checking myself.


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Wow, this is a lot of... points of view... from my incorrect use of "realism" instead of "verisimilitude," lol.
And yes, I should have said the latter, not the former. ^_^;

Anguish wrote:
FaerieGodfather wrote:
But here... we're talking about using the right names for stuff...
Correct. And the right names for things in a fantasy setting aren't necessarily the real-world Earth names for them.

So here's the brunt of my nitpick: We're currently using the real world names for stuff! ...just wrongly. Not always wrongly, just enough to be annoying. ;P

So if we're going to be directly porting real-world arms and armor into the fantasy setting (which is exactly what is done in every edition), can they at least be accurately described?
Few people seem to agree with me. More than that disagree. The vast majority don't seem to care. That's fine, but "it's a fantasy setting" just feels like the worst possible argument in a situation where "fantasy weapons/armors" aren't even being used. If Golarion had it's own weapons and armor specific to Golarion, that'd be one thing. It doesn't (or rather if it does, they are in the extreme minority). :P


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From now on, I'm just going to refer to every sword my characters use as "double chicken sabers".


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Wheldrake wrote:
Longswords vs arming swords? What about broadswords?

I confess I used to be slightly annoyed that the "rapier" in the game was really much closer to a smallsword or a french duelling épée, but then I realize it doesn't even remotely matter since those swords are what people think of when they hear "rapier", so ensconced as they are in the popular consciousness from Eroll Flynn movies and the like.


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Doktor Weasel wrote:
Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:

I really thought you were going to link Talhoffer on that mounted grappling bit, though. I like the backwards crossbow shooting, personally.

I think it was telling that I never really got an answer to my scimitar question, though. The answer of "it's in English" is a weak one, as we don't use the term samurai sword, but we do use scimitar...

I linked to Mair because his book looks better. He might have been an embezzler but at least he used that money to hire a good artist. ;)

I can take or leave scimitar. As it is it's kind of a catch all term for any curved sword from the Islamic world and India. We don't really need a separate listing for a kilij, saif, shamshir and tulwar (all of which I believe mean 'sword' in their respective language), in game terms they're basically identical. But these days Saber seems to be the preferred generic term for curved sword. And that would include things like the Hungarian and Polish sabers. Some of which are just sexy.

I do think generic terms make a lot of sense for game purposes instead of getting hyper detailed in weapon listings. For example I've had one charcter use a Khyber Knife as an offhand weapon, another a Cinquedea and a third a short jian. All were Short Swords, just in my mind I applied a particular style to them. I love yataghans but if I had a character use one I'd just use the short sword or scimitar stats. Likewise I think the schiavona is one of the most beautiful...

Edit: Apologies for the whole point form style post. End of the week very little brain power left. :(

Excellent stuff Doktor Weasel & Shadrayl of the Mountain. I've enjoyed many of your posts as well as a few others who've posted on this topic. I have some reading to do now with those links. Thanks. :)

I really like Matt Easton ie: scholagladiatoria on youtube.

There are a lot of good youtubers like knight errant etc.

So many things to comment on here. One Dok as you alluded to in another post(others including myself have as well here and on other threads) but it bears repeating. What one fencing master calls a weapon might vary as to what another might call the same weapon. Again from one village to another there could be differences, not many people could not read or write, time periods etc.

Speaking of treatises I only have Fiore de'i Liberi treatise, my copy was translated by Matt Easton and a few others. Granted that site you linked seems to have Fiore de'i Liberi treatise and many more. I've seen that site before but obviously didn't give it its due. :(

It's funny you mentioned sabers for a catch all for any curved sword right after mentioning tulwars. Apparently many tulwars had their blades manufactured in Germany at one point in time.

I like many Indo-Persian weapons. :)

Yataghans are an interesting weapon for sure. It seems they were all one handed. However, I saw a site that manufactured swords and had some beautiful two handed models. I'm guessing that they were not historically accurate. Have you ever seen any historical examples of them being two handed?

Anyways, I'll sum this up by saying the more I learn the more I feel embarrassed at how wrong I've been in the past on things. :)

As for the realism aspect. I'd just like some improvement in the system without making the game un-fun. I think some improvement here can be a win win for everyone. :)


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Hythlodeus wrote:
also: I want a swiss army knife in PF

Isn't that a traveler's any tool?


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Lemartes wrote:

Yataghans are an interesting weapon for sure. It seems they were all one handed. However, I saw a site that manufactured swords and had some beautiful two handed models. I'm guessing that they were not historically accurate. Have you ever seen any historical examples of them being two handed?

As far as I know they were always both one-handed and rather short. But I'm by no means an expert, I just poke around at stuff online. For yataghans mostly I seem to end up on either Oriental Arms auction site which is great of images or the Viking Sword forum (in the ethnographic weapons sub-section). Myarmoury is a pretty good resource too.

And yeah both Scholagladitoria and Knyght Errant are my go-to youtube channels. There are others around, but those are the two I like best. Matt is great for weapons and general history, and Ian at Knyght Errant is freaking amazing for armor. I just can't gush about his channel enough. For late 14th early 15th century plate armor he just can't be beat in detail and clarity.


Covent wrote:


...

That is why I hope we can leave the level 1-20 range as a true level 1-20 range rather than a 1-6 or 1-10 in disguise, as it allows more people to find their comfortable range.

...

I agree with this in a way, though there are two ways I'd be happy with handling it.

First, would be higher granularity, so that 1-20 woukd become 1-100. Thus, if you like 1-5 level of play you now get 20 levels of growth while staying at that tier of power.

Second, would be to split level from tier, so if you 11-15 as it is now, you could set your power that high, and then level from 1-20 at that tier of power.

I personally don't like shifting tiers, but the first option above still allows it implicitly, while the second can still handle it by the gm giving boosts to power every so so often.

Quote:


I do not like games where you have to ask the GM "OK, how can I do X this time?"

Why would a player ask this? Why would a player be so focused on mechanics that they would ask first about what mechanic to use?

Quite frankly, in my opinion, the player should describe what they are doing in terms of the narrative. The gm should then decide iv it needs to be handled with a dice roll at all, and if so, simply ask fof ghe type of roll they want.

If the rules are well worded, associated, and have naturalistic balance, the roll to be made should usually be obvious, even in cases where the rules don't explicitly cover the situation. Only in rare occasions should the gm's cboice of mechanic to use be unexpected, and with good rules and a good, the result should always lead to solving the player's confusion or non-agreement about how to handle it, with something that makes sense.

Quote:


I strongly feel that a player should be able to come in and say "these are the rules and they work this way" with confidence 99% of the time.

I agree save that I feel "the rules" shoukd be the physics/world rules of the narrative milieu, not the mechanics.

After all, the entire point of the game is expressing agency in the narrative milieu.

Quote:


It is my opinion that a consistent and math based rule set is beneficial as it leads to less looking things up at the table or issues as since the rules just work one way people know what their abilities do.

People should understand what abilities do in the narrative milieu. Mechanics that are simpld enough to learn and use as a game, simply can not encompass a universe. Attempts to treat the mechanics this way distracts from the world.

Take traps for example. A group focused on the mechanics comes across a trap, not only does the gm call it a trap of a particular type "you find a poison dart trap" the players in turn consider only one thing, the anti-trap mechanic.

A group focused on the world milieu however, the gm mentions only what is found "you find a thin taught wire stretched across the hall and it goes into the wall." Not only do the players need to investigate further if they want to actually know what it is, but frankly, they don't need to. In fact, they don't even need to use an anti-trap mechanic at all. They can step over the wire, or get a chair from another room and place it over the wire so clumsy party members don't have accidents.

But players who think in terms of mechanics, 99% of the time, do not consider these options precisely because they are not mechanical solutions. Their focus on the mechanics literally blinds them to non-mechanical solutions to problems.

Further, the desire for mechanical balance is ridiculous, and attempts at it are always illusory. Quite simply, the rules can't balance the two most important parts of the game, players and non-mechanical solutions. Any attempts at it, inhibit one or both.

Look at chess, considered one of the most perfectly balanced games, yet players still have ranks. They can be better of worse than other players. There is no clearer evidence that players are not equal. For chess, playing with someone who has higher system mastery and skill will usually result in losing, but will teach system mastery.

However, in an rpg, when played with a focus on world milieu, there is no need for balance, nor system mastery, and indeed, sucn things can go unnoticed. But for a group focused on mechanics, system mastery becomes an issue and it distracts from the narrative amd the world milieu. It drives new players to find mechanical solutions and stop considering non-mechanical solutions. Come across a 3' square pressure plate? Simply side-stepping it, or even jumping it are mo longer considerations because those solutions, which would be so obvious if it were real, are not solutions to the mechanical problem and thus rarely even thought of.

I've played games where levels were all over the place, where players had odd or unique abilities and certainly were nog balanced in any sense of the word, but yet those games were the most fun, precisely because the rules helped us play without being the focus of play.

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