Please make Exotic Weapons truly Exotic in PF2


Prerelease Discussion


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One of the few issues I have had with Exotic weapons in PF1 is that some of them are not really Exotic imo. Having to take a extra feat ti use a weapon just feels like a feat tax imo. I can understand say if the weapon allows a player character to say use Disarm and Trip. As that would require some sort of training. Or something truly Exotic say like a bladed scarf.

Instead it feels like the devs are penalizing players. It suddenly becomes "exotic" by virtue of having better damage and/or crit range. When I was a DM and player and this includes myself their was a predominance of Human Fighters and other similar melee types simply because the players wanted to use the Extra Human feat awarded to humans to pay to use their desired.

So Paizo Devs either make weapons truly Exotic or remove that character all together in PF2


What I never understood is why fighties don't get the feat for free. They're supposed to be skilled, trained weapons users right? You would think they would be able to use an exotic weapon or two...

Jon Brazer Enterprises

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This. Exotic weapons should be damned special. A 1 handed weapon that dealt d10 damage instead of d8 isn't.

Sczarni RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

Adding my voice to this. Exotic weapons need something a little more to make me feel like they are worth using.


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Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
This. Exotic weapons should be damned special. A 1 handed weapon that dealt d10 damage instead of d8 isn't.

It certainly wasnt worth an entire feat, just to get that 1 extra average damage. I think these slightly higher damage weapons like bastard swords, dwarven waraxes and such should just have a strength requirement to be wielded effectively in one hand and not be exotic in the first place.


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If they have to have exotic weapons at all, please do the feat like this:

Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Combat Feat)
Prerequisite: Martial Weapons Proficiency
Choose a weapon group, such as heavy blades, polearms, or rope and chain weapons. You are proficient with all exotic weapons in this group. You can take this feat multiple times, choosing a different group each time.

or even like this:

Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Combat Feat)
Prerequisite: Martial Weapons Proficiency
Choose melee, thrown, or projectile. You are proficient in all exotic weapons of the chosen type. You can take this feat multiple times, choosing a different group each time.


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I think they should tie proficiency to weapon groups and the proficiency bonus.

e.g. Trained in Axes gives you proficiency with regular axes
Expert in Axes gives you the waraxe and double axe

or something like that

That way martials will automatically pick up proficiency in exotic weapons they are interested in. Unless of course it is just one proficiency for all weapons.


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My biggest problem with exotic weapons was always that they weren't well defined. Or perhaps that they were too broad? Going back to 3.0 it always irritated me.

Does slightly better damage than standard (Bastard Sword): Exotic!
Has some odd abilities(Elven Curve Blade, Spiked Chain, Repeating Crossbow) : Exotic!
Would genuinely be difficult (or impossible) to use (Dire Flail): Exotic!
Possibly illegal in some places for reasons that almost never actually come up in game (Hand Crossbow): Exotic!
Has a foreign sounding name despite being literally a pointed stick (Siangham): Exotic!

Now sure, some of these should be exotic, but Hand Crossbow and Siangham? Really? Sure, the Hand Crossbow *might* not be readily available for training, but it works exactly the same as the light crossbow, which almost every class in the game trains with by default. Why should anyone who knows how to use that have to spend a feat to learn to use the same thing, but a bit smaller?

Basically what I'm saying is, if they intend to use the Simple/Martial/Exotic system, I hope they'll think long and hard about what defines each category instead of just dropping all the usual suspects in each one.


Sorry, went slightly off topic there. But yeah, I pretty much agree with The Thing From Another World. I'd prefer the Simple/Martial/Exotic system go away entirely, but failing that I'd like for Exotic Weapons to have a legitimately good reason for being Exotic.


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I would definitely prefer weapon groups myself, I just used Martial in those examples under the assumption they wouldn't slaughter that sacred cow when they failed to do so even in Starfinder. But definitely, if say a Wizard could pick one weapon group to be good at, a Fighter got five and the rest were in between, that'd be great. Then you could also have a single Exotic feat that just gave proficiency in the Exotic weapons associated with all weapon groups in which you were proficient.

I also second the preferences espoused above that I would much rather exotic weapons actually be exotic and useful, rather than minor edge cases or fiddly +1 average extra damage.


Fuzzypaws wrote:

I would definitely prefer weapon groups myself, I just used Martial in those examples under the assumption they wouldn't slaughter that sacred cow when they failed to do so even in Starfinder. But definitely, if say a Wizard could pick one weapon group to be good at, a Fighter got five and the rest were in between, that'd be great. Then you could also have a single Exotic feat that just gave proficiency in the Exotic weapons associated with all weapon groups in which you were proficient.

I also second the preferences espoused above that I would much rather exotic weapons actually be exotic and useful, rather than minor edge cases or fiddly +1 average extra damage.

I can definitely get behind this idea. The way weapons have been grouped in the past never really made a lot of sense to me, this would be much more intuitive.

On the nature of what exotic weapons do, I think there does need to be a balance where they are different and unique but not obviously better than their non-exotic counterparts. Better for certain builds yes but not always just better.


Some of the exotics are just simply better than the non-exotics, but should be just as easy to use (falcata I'm looking at you!) If they were available to any martial character, nobody would use a longsword or a battle axe, because the falcata has the advantages of both with no downsides (1d8 damge and the 19-20 crit range of a longsword but the x3 crit multiplier of a battleaxe). It's just exotic to make it not the default one-handed weapon. So yeah, exotic should be for weapons that are fundamentally weird to use like the spiked-chain. Not just a better sword. And then just don't make super-weapons like the falcata, they're cool swords but not superior lot later medieval ones.


I think that Exotic Weapons is more of a symptom of a kind of crappy weapon system. There are weapons which virtually no one uses due to them being obscure and non-optimal on top of that. We also happen to have "exotic weapons" which sometimes have better stats than other similar options. Why? Some of them require training in a non-standard land (eastern weaponry) or are racial weapons (dwarven and elven weapons). Some are obscure due to technology (guns).

However, just because something is obscure shouldn't mean it's a better option. If it were a better option other races and cultures would have appropriated them as well which would remove the whole "exotic" concept.

The keyword additions that they're doing in PF2e to add a variety of different special traits to weapons might be a better way of balancing all of the different weapons against each other. You'll want to have a variety of different weapons instead of a backpack of falcatas with different enchantments on them. The keywords that were added to weapons in 3.x/PF1e never felt well integrated.


Doktor Weasel wrote:
Some of the exotics are just simply better than the non-exotics, but should be just as easy to use (falcata I'm looking at you!) If they were available to any martial character, nobody would use a longsword or a battle axe, because the falcata has the advantages of both with no downsides (1d8 damge and the 19-20 crit range of a longsword but the x3 crit multiplier of a battleaxe). It's just exotic to make it not the default one-handed weapon. So yeah, exotic should be for weapons that are fundamentally weird to use like the spiked-chain. Not just a better sword. And then just don't make super-weapons like the falcata, they're cool swords but not superior lot later medieval ones.

I'm of the opposite opinion; the only weapons that should be exotic are ones that are straight up better than martial options and therefore worth considering a feat on, such as the falcata, fauchard, or butchering axe.


Arachnofiend wrote:
Doktor Weasel wrote:
Some of the exotics are just simply better than the non-exotics, but should be just as easy to use (falcata I'm looking at you!) If they were available to any martial character, nobody would use a longsword or a battle axe, because the falcata has the advantages of both with no downsides (1d8 damge and the 19-20 crit range of a longsword but the x3 crit multiplier of a battleaxe). It's just exotic to make it not the default one-handed weapon. So yeah, exotic should be for weapons that are fundamentally weird to use like the spiked-chain. Not just a better sword. And then just don't make super-weapons like the falcata, they're cool swords but not superior lot later medieval ones.
I'm of the opposite opinion; the only weapons that should be exotic are ones that are straight up better than martial options and therefore worth considering a feat on, such as the falcata, fauchard, or butchering axe.

But they're not really 'exotic' in that case. Just simply better weapons. I don't think the categories should be Simple, Martial and Superior. If you don't need specialized training to use it, it shouldn't be exotic. Then just don't make the stats of some weapons arbitrarily superior to anything else.

And really there is no real justification for superior weapons like the falcata, fauchard and butchering axe. When the Romans invaded Iberia they adopted the Gladius Hispaniensis not the falcata, so it clearly wasn't a wonder weapon. Fauchards were just yet another type of polearm and a relatively unpopular one compared to bills and halbards and such. And the butchering axe is just pure OP. Power creep shouldn't' be a weapon type.

Scarab Sages

If what makes a weapon different also makes it fundamentally better than it's counterpart, then hiding it behind a feat, or perhaps a higher level of proficiency is necessary.

Otherwise there would be no reason to use a long sword in lieu of a bastard sword.


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

It sounds like PF2.0 will have a more detailed weapon proficiency system. I think weapon proficiencies should be linked to cultural origin.

Maybe folks from Absolom would tend to be trained more often in rapier or rapier and dagger use, whereas Ulfen from the cold north would be trained in longsword, battle axe and spear, and Varisians in shortsword or scimitar. Or whatever weapons were deemed to more closely correspond to one's culture.

Classes could give several additional weapon proficiency choices.

And perhaps the weapon statistics table could use some adjustment so that there are no more weapons that are "objectively better" without having a downside of their own.


Tallow wrote:

If what makes a weapon different also makes it fundamentally better than it's counterpart, then hiding it behind a feat, or perhaps a higher level of proficiency is necessary.

It's not at all necessary imo and quite frankly a unnecessary feat tax. It forces a player to either play Human to receive the extra feet needed to take Exotic Weapon Proficiency. Or take another race and have to spend a precious feat needed for better options on the feat.

Tallow wrote:


Otherwise there would be no reason to use a long sword in lieu of a bastard sword.

That is very debatable and subjective imo. The cost of 35 GP is not something every Fighter or combat character can afford especially if he rolls poorly for character wealth. I was made fun off by a optimizer for taking the lowly Greatclub yet still did a decent amount of damage. Paizo could also make use of the availability of certain weapons. It maybe fairly easy to find a Longsword in many shops maybe a Bastard sword is less common. More importantly not every player tastes are the same the next player. Some may favor using daggers, others clubs. In my next game I want to take the Viking Archetype and nothing is more iconic than a battleaxe for the archetype imo.


I think my two favorite uses of Exotic Weapons were the Bastard Sword and the Dwarven War Axe.

Anyone can use them two handed as Martial weapon. If you want to use them one handed, that took extra training. Dwarves can treat any racial Dwarven weapons as Martial, so they sneak in there under the radar.

My human paladin started with the Bastard Sword two handed... then switched to sword and board later down the road. But the weapon was available right out the gate.

Just because it comes from a different culture like sai's and nunchaku or things like Whips and lassos.... should NOT require a feat tax just to use...

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The exotic weapon rules are why my Tian Xia warriors can't wield katanas and wakizashis.


More Meteor Hammers, less Falcatas. That is what I want from exotic weapons. There are so many exotic weapons that are just "martial weapons but better". Nix those and keep weapons like double-bladed swords and nunchaku.


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Price is only a factor in the first level, unless quality weapons (masterwork, legendary, etc) is a multiplier of the base price.

The gold cost of a longsword vs bastard sword is negligible once you start to buy +1 weapons.

Dark Archive

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I say that if exotic weapons still exist in 2e that they should work by categories and not individual weapon. Like, for example, there could be Tian Xian exotic weapon category so if you take weapon proficiency you get proficiency with all of them rather than just katana but having no idea how to use wakizashi :P

Exotic weapon groups being in categories would also help with things like "Okay, so everyone from tian xia can use these weapons without penalties, but Inner Sea weapon category they wouldn't have proficiency with"


I actually like what Kirthfinder did with weapon proficiencies. Each weapon gives you more benefits as you got more proficiency with it, and Martial and Exotic weapons have a minimum proficiency that is greater than Simple, while Exotic weapons have a minimum proficiency that is greater than martial, and a few Exotic weapons have ranks beyond the first application of Exotic to give you even more benefits.


gustavo iglesias wrote:

Price is only a factor in the first level, unless quality weapons (masterwork, legendary, etc) is a multiplier of the base price.

The gold cost of a longsword vs bastard sword is negligible once you start to buy +1 weapons.

Which all depends on the generosity of individual DMs. Some may give enough, too much, or not enough gold. Even then it still does not justify a feat tax imo.


regardless of the generosity of the GM, it's totally negligible once you start to buy +1 weapons. A +1 weapon cost 2300+ gold. So the difference of 20 gold pieces between a longsword and a bastard sword is just pointless.

Now, your GM might give you enough gold to buy +1 weapons at lvl 1, or 2, or 3, but regardless of that, once you start buying +1 weapons, the cost of the sword is pointless.

Unless your GM never let you to level up above 1st level, and never give you any kind of money, "it's more expensive" is just not a solid argument.


Isn't there a more robust weapon qualities system in this edition? I remember the "Agile" thing. If they make a lot of these, including some really cool ones and made the Exotic have the craziest combinations, that would make their value worthwhile throughout the entire game.


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So far, I have read:
Agile (less penalty to itterative attacks)
Deadly (+1d10 to damage with crits)
Sweeping (-1 to attack penalty in itteratives if you attack differnet targets)
forceful (bonus to damage vs the same guy in itteratives)
Finesse (you can attack with DEX)
Versatile (can do pierce or slash damage)


This is an excelent oportunity to link proficiencies and the background of our PCs. You were raised in a orc tribe? Orcish weapons are no longer exotic for you. Were your former master an outstanding warrior with blades? Then swords feel no longer unfamiliar in your hand.


I can imagine that "superior" (let's not call them exotic) weapons might have more weapon qualities than normal ones, and they're gated behind feats. Whether that's a property of the weapon or the feat is slightly moot. For example a spear is a fairly basic thing but with the feat(s) you could perhaps use it as a double weapon, do piercing or crushing damage or maybe parry like a shield.


I agree that Exotic weapons are not really... exotic.
There are a couple of things I think would be an interesting change to make weapons more exotic..

1st. Stat requirements: Str or Dex depending on type of weapon--starting at 22 which essentially removes the possibility of seeing them until level ~4.

2nd. Level requirements: Certain types of weapons take "years" of training, so to use a double-edged-dwarven-war-pickaxe-shovel-hammer you need to have +6 BAB and be proficient in the martial version of its weapon type.

3rd. Exotic weapons need to be "more" than just better damage dice. I use this "random named exotic weapon" because it has a 5% chance to disarm an opponent on a successful hit. Or I use this other "random named exotic weapon" because it bypasses shield bonuses to AC. etc. etc.

Just some thoughts...


I think the new weapon rules (things like Agile, Deadly, Sweep...) will help a lot to "demote" weapons like the Bastard back to the same levels than, say, a longsword is. That will means no longer need a feat just to be able to use it because it's mechanically superior to a longsword. It can be different, without having to resort to "better damage dice".

For example, both the 1h bastard sword and the longsword could do 1d8, but the longsword maybe has "block" and "versatile" while the Bastard has "forceful" and "double grip".

If the bastard sword is not inherently superior to the longsword, both can cost the same kind of resources (a martial weapon proficiency).


I definitely agree that exotic weapons should be very different, rather than a point or two more damage. Also favoring the idea that increasing proficiency level gives access to "better" weapons, or allows more advanced use of regular weapons: Master status with flail weapons adds the "trip" special quality to all flail weapons, etc.


That works the other way too. So if untrained, you can't disarm with a flail or use a quarterstaff as a double weapon or trip with a whip. And so on. Lots of promise here.

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