Let's take this opportunity to ditch some baggage with East Asian weapons and classes


Prerelease Discussion

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Doktor Weasel wrote:
I like to geek out about swords, does it show? ;)

Well, it definitely saves me a lot of time, at least. ;)

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Albatoonoe wrote:
Scimitars now have a reduction in iterative attack penalties against multiple targets, for instance. If anything, I see this as an opportunity to make every weapon more unique by giving them unique abilities.

The Scarred Lands setting back in 3.X had a similar concept. Their take on Weapon Speeds had all weapons be either Fast, Normal or Slow. Fast weapons (like the dagger and rapier) got iterative attacks at every 4 BAB (instead of 5 BAB), so your fighter would get his first iterative attack at 4th level, if he was using a Fast weapon, and Slow weapons didn't get an iterative attack until BAB 6, so he'd have to wait for an extra attack with that halberd.

I do like the idea of some more weapon qualities, to differentiate them.

On the one hand, less cookie-cutter design is appealing to me. This is a game that has *hundreds of pages* of spells (many of which are themes of each other, like 'this spells summons *natural* monsters,' or 'this damaging blast is electricity, not fire,' or 'this magic circle protects against chaotic foes, not evil foes'), so it's totally appropriate for it to have more than two to four pages of weapons and armor.

On the other hand, I do like the streamlined simplicity of GURPS, where 'Axe/Mace' is a single category. :)

Critical hits being determined by how well you roll, and not whether or not your weapon has a 20, 19-20 or 18-20 crit modifier intrigues me. Crit-fishing builds with dual kukri and Butterfly Sting (so they can pass off crits to a beefy flank buddy with a glaive, greataxe or scythe) sound like a thing of the past. It should be interesting to see if weapon choice has any effect at all on critical hits.


Set wrote:


Critical hits being determined by how well you roll, and not whether or not your weapon has a 20, 19-20 or 18-20 crit modifier intrigues me. Crit-fishing builds with dual kukri and Butterfly Sting (so they can pass off crits to a beefy flank buddy with a glaive, greataxe or scythe) sound like a thing of the past. It should be interesting to see if weapon choice has any effect at all on critical hits.

I agree. It's one of the changes I'm most intrigued by. I love the new action economy and the options it opens up, and the crit changes really seems like a game changer. It's kind of odd, it doesn't sound like such a big deal to get a crit on a high roll, but the way it makes skill improve effectiveness is very elegant and wide ranging. The math threads show that there seems to have been a lot of design work to make the new critical system add to tactical choices.

Also by getting rid of crit modifiers and instead focusing on weapon qualities they seem to be making each weapon feel different, which is a great thing. It's not just handedness, damage die, crit range and crit multiplier. Most of the current weapon qualities are pretty uninteresting. Finesse and Reach seem to be the only ones I've seen payed much attention to. But the new ones all seem to be more likely to have an actual impact on combat. And they make for different styles. A scimitar is great for going after multiple opponents and putting a little damage on each, I think there's a different quality whose name I'm forgetting that makes it easier to hit the same target repeatedly to put down the big threats. and making attacks easier to hit with also improves crit chances and therefore total possible damage. The shield usage also plays an interesting role in this too.

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Albatoonoe wrote:
Gonna have to disagree with the whole generic weapon thing. I actually like having the diversity in choice. And if anything, PF2 sounds like it is going in the other direction. Scimitars now have a reduction in iterative attack penalties against multiple targets, for instance. If anything, I see this as an opportunity to make every weapon more unique by giving them unique abilities.

Overall, my issue is not having different kinds of weapons as options. It's the arbitrary decision to make eastern weapons that are not particularly unusual require exotic proficiencies. In terms of use, a Katana is not sufficiently different from other swords to warrant this additional feat requirement. If a fighter is capable of picking up and using a shortword, scimitar, rapier, axe, flail, morning star, and numerous other weapons.. these all are used somewhat differently yet all fall under martial weapon proficiency. I see no reason a katana is so different as to warrant it either.

Additionally, I think allowing for more generic definitions and letting people flavor them is just more efficient. If one wanted to actually list and stat all of the possible weapons from all cultures, etc.. it would be a book unto itself. In fact, this has been done in at least some editions and even then I bet there were some variations that were missed. It's really kind of unnecessary. I don't personally care if that is the route taken.. I just feel that a weapon requiring an exotic proficiency to be significantly different in their use from existing martial weapons. Things like Kusari-gama, potentially three section staff, I could even see an argument for a maingauche being a dagger but with an exotic proficiency you get a bonus to disarm and maybe AC.. but a Katana, or a Kopesh are really not so different from other swords and a fighter with standard sword training can probably manage to be effective with them.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Threeshades wrote:
In real life a katana is pretty much equivalent to a longsword (slightly different proportions and properties in cutting and thrusting not withstanding).

I'd disagree with this.

Quote:

The thing is that in Pathfinder a longsword is not a longsword. What pathfinder calls a bastard sword is a longsword in real life. The one-handed sword that is referred to as a longsword in the game is really just a sword, or arming sword.

This is naming conventions. By historical standards, the "short sword" would have been called a dagger, but a smaller version would also have been called a dagger. The "long sword" would probably have been an arming sword, and the bastard sword, is, well, the bastard sword, but the German name basically translates to "long sword". Certainly "bastard sword" isn't wrong. Given that the weapons in question span a bunch of languages, the choices made in the 1970s-1980s are not entirely correct, but neither are they garbage choices. Most importantly, they all do map to a historically real sword present in Europe (and sometimes other places).

A katana isn't any of those though.

Quote:
So katanas being in the exotic category makes sense as long as bastard swords are also in the exotic category.

Agreed. I just want to see them either in the initial rulebook, or to have enough design space to put katanas into the rules along with other oriental weapons, without overlap or having to decide that these weapons are in a special class that makes them superior to other weapons if you train with them in some special way, and trash if you don't. That's not how history worked- no culture had a monopoly on weapons that are easy to use but inferior, or on weapons that are super hard to use, but superior.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Darius Alazario wrote:
It's the arbitrary decision to make eastern weapons that are not particularly unusual require exotic proficiencies.

I agree with that, however, I don't agree with...

Darius Alazario wrote:
In terms of use, a Katana is not sufficiently different from other swords to warrant this additional feat requirement.

...because you DON'T need XWP to use a katana in Pathfinder. You need it to wield it one-handed, which was a reasonably unusual way of wielding a katana. It's the exact same logic as the bastard sword- you can use it two handed as a martial weapon, and if you want to use it one handed, you need a special feat. To me, that's a solid use of exotic weapon proficiency. Compare to the wakizashi, which didn't have any design space to expand into without just flat out being a short sword or kukri (stats-wise), so it ended up with extra combat stats and an exotic weapon proficiency requirement. If wielding a katana or bastard sword one-handed isn't worth a feat, that's a problem with how the feat is costed- if wielding a wakizashi takes a feat because oriental weapons are exotic (even to trained Asian warriors, or their campaign equivalent- a necessity because the feat wraps up a small amount of player power), then you run into problems.

Quote:
If one wanted to actually list and stat all of the possible weapons from all cultures, etc.. it would be a book unto itself.

I mean, I'd buy THAT book in a heartbeat. Especially if every weapon had enough design space to be useful, which is generally a good assumption for anything that was relied on for matters of life and death by members of any culture for any appreciable amount of time.

Maybe we don't NEED the famous polearm list, but if you have enough design space to make it work, great.


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cfalcon wrote:
Darius Alazario wrote:


Quote:
If one wanted to actually list and stat all of the possible weapons from all cultures, etc.. it would be a book unto itself.

I mean, I'd buy THAT book in a heartbeat. Especially if every weapon had enough design space to be useful, which is generally a good assumption for anything that was relied on for matters of life and death by members of any culture for any appreciable amount of time.

Maybe we don't NEED the famous polearm list, but if you have enough design space to make it work, great.

I have that book, it was given to me at a con I worked. It's called Fantasy Imperium. It's got like 100 pages in the middle that are just pictures of a whole crapton of weapons (most of which are just slight variants of others like a page of just knives). I barely bothered with even skimming most of the rest of the book, it was pretty bland from what I saw. There wasn't enough difference between most weapons and the illustrations were often kind of arbitrary on what got what name. It did have the Bohemian Ear-Spoon though.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

"There wasn't enough difference between most weapons"

The d20 fully-compatible space is really tight on this. You generally have to add specials which come up rarely to distinguish these things. If we had weapon versus armor tables, we'd probably be better off than trying to remember that you get a +2 versus being disarmed in a certain fashion.

If a weapon is a one-handed martial weapon, then you know it starts with 1d6 and 20x2 crit, and it has to spend two things, basically. The overall assumption is that it spends at least one thing on EITHER crit, or bludgeoning damage, becoming one of (B), "20x3" or "19-20x2" in the process, and then it spends another thing on one of crit, damage die, or obscurely useful special, becoming almost any of the weapons on the table.

I'm saying, this isn't enough design space if you want a book of weapons. You can argue that all weapons are pretty same-y, in which case you don't need to distinguish a longsword from a scimitar, and maybe not even from a one-handed axe, or you can go the route of making each weapon reasonably unique and trying to model enough about them to be interesting, possibly even deciding (hopefully with research) that some weapons are better than others and get more budget (the safest way to do this is to make some of the older weapons have the lower budget- this is the most realistic anyway). But if you are using the 3.0 inherited template, you don't have that much design space.

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