Weapons and their niches


Prerelease Discussion


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Please, please, Paizo, let all weapons in the CRB be balanced and have their own role and purpose!
in old Pathfinder, certain weapons were so much better than others, such as spears, crossbows and maces being very weak by virtue of being classified as simple weapons. With the new proficiency system, and specific weapon qualities, there is no longer a need for those classifications and you can make all weapons interesting and useful, even if it is somewhat situational.
For example,
Spears and other polearms have reach as a major advantage yes, but that could also act as a disadvantage if the enemy gets to close, provoking a penalty to attacks (Which could be alleviated via feats perhaps). Would also be great for people standing behind the tank, allowing them to snipe at the enemy from safety

Maces and warhammers were designed to be armour piercing weapons to defeat the increasingly heavy armour of the medieval period, so maybe let them ignore varying degrees of AC granted by armour. As blunt trauma was generally less lethal than a deep cut or stab, they could still have slightly lower damage

Swords were versatile, excellent on both attack and defence, and swifter than many other melee weapons. So maybe they could have the Agile quality that we've seen that reduces the penalty for multiple attacks, or maybe allow for Dex to hit as a default.

Axes meanwhile sacrificed defence for raw attack power so they ought to deal more damage per hit than a sword, but leave the user more vulnerable.

The big benefit of daggers are already pretty obvious. They are probably the best weapons when you want something sneaky, and when grappling (Maybe give them armour piercing much like the maces when that happens, as they were often used to target the weak spots in a knights armour). This of course at the cost of damage potential, making them excellent backup weapons.

Bows could be fast and deadly in the hand of a strong and skilled wielder, but that's the key, a strong wielder. Thus I ask you to make composite bows the default, letting the user add both Dex and Str to their damage.

Crossbows meanwhile, due to relying on mechanical power and not muscle strength and as such should have high basic damage dice, especially compared to bows, but at the cost of having to spend actions on reloading.

These are my wishes at least.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I honestly wouldn't mind crossbows being a weapon with big upfront damage and appreciable load time, such that it is appealing to have one that you fire, drop and draw another weapon with.

EDIT: It also seems that most (hopefully all) weapons have special properties differentiating them more than just their dice. So fingers crossed to those being impactful enough to consider.

The Exchange

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I could not agree more with this post. The only thing I implore is please, please, PLEASE balance weapons out. Do not make I win weapons like the katana & longbow outclass similar weapons as in previous editions of D&D. Maybe give katana an increased damage die against unarmored foes to represent its sharp blade but reduce that damage die by 1 step for armored foes so for example:

Katana
Base Damage 1D8
Keen Edge Quality
Damage vs unarmored foes increases from D8 to D10
damage vs foes in heavy armor or like monsters (dragonscales, stone or iron golems, etc) reduce damage die from D8 to D6


I still like the idea I posted another thread about automatic bonuses unique to each weapon group for each proficiency level. And I presume that there will be skill feats that require certain proficiency levels and give different weapon groups different benefits.


That would also indeed be excellent. Being able to make more use out of what the weapon is good for and maybe combat it's weaknesses.

Also had idea for more in-depth specialization for the spears and polearms. Could, for example, have spears dealing slightly less damage than say a glaive or halberd, but being able to be wielded in both one hand and two. Glaivesand halberds deal the most damage, but has the same range as a spear and must be used with both hands, and a pike deals about as much damage as a spear, but has even further reach and must be used with both hands


There is already mechanics for DR and there are damage types (S/P/B) for weapons so these could be expanded. E.g. Full plate would have some DR against slashing but not piercing.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Cuttlefist wrote:
I still like the idea I posted another thread about automatic bonuses unique to each weapon group for each proficiency level. And I presume that there will be skill feats that require certain proficiency levels and give different weapon groups different benefits.

I'd be down with that. All weapons have felt way too 'samey' in every edition but 4e Fighters. Some real diversity in weapon groups would be great.

Hmm, I suppose they were more different in 2e thanks to those tables vs armor, but I never saw a DM actually use them.


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The Eternal Keeper wrote:

For example,

Spears and other polearms have reach as a major advantage yes, but that could also act as a disadvantage if the enemy gets to close, provoking a penalty to attacks (Which could be alleviated via feats perhaps).

I am not fond of this. A polearm whose thrusting or slashing head you manage to get past has another striking surface worth noting: The entire rest of the polearm. It's a long bar of hard-wood. Kind of like a staff or a baseball bat, just with some weight distribution quirks. Hit someone with it and they're going to have a bad day.

Getting past the main striking end of a polearm remains a good idea, but let's not act like the shaft is an unwieldy weapon to use.


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RickDias wrote:
The Eternal Keeper wrote:

For example,

Spears and other polearms have reach as a major advantage yes, but that could also act as a disadvantage if the enemy gets to close, provoking a penalty to attacks (Which could be alleviated via feats perhaps).

I am not fond of this. A polearm whose thrusting or slashing head you manage to get past has another striking surface worth noting: The entire rest of the polearm. It's a long bar of hard-wood. Kind of like a staff or a baseball bat, just with some weight distribution quirks. Hit someone with it and they're going to have a bad day.

Getting past the main striking end of a polearm remains a good idea, but let's not act like the shaft is an unwieldy weapon to use.

In my experience, it kinda is (SCA and HEMA). Sure, you can shove and strike with the butt end of the weapon, but with drastically decreased power due to less leverage, especially since the enemy has gotten too close for the use of the striking end. Not to mention that the striking end can have up to around a pound of metal at the end which can throw balance out of whack and acts as a counterweight against swinging with the butt end.

This is just further compounded with pikes due to their enormous length.
It is however not impossible to use them at close range, someone skilled enough can quickly change grip (shifting their hands towards the striking end of the weapon) to quickly adjust to close quarters. Which is why I suggest a feat, or maybe part of the Polearm Weapon Proficiency, to be able to counteract the close combat penalty.

There was a reason why soldiers with polearms generally carried a sidearm, such as a dagger, axe or sword for when the enemy got too close


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Overall, I would like to see different weapons used in different situations and the proficiency system should accommodate that so that it isn't too single weapon focused. E.g. you start using spear but if the opponent gets too close you drop the spear and draw a sword and further if the opponent starts to grapple with you, you draw a dagger. And I have always been puzzled that all the dungeons and living quarters are big enough to wield a greatsword effectively. There should be limitations and different weapons used in different situations. Now with weapon focus and specialization feats (or dex to damage with a single weapon type with unchained rogue) people tend to stick to one weapon in all the situations and there seems to be no limitation to this.


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I would definitely be much happier if the "specialization" or "signature weapon" feats were made more flexible. For example, if general combat feats have effects that apply in both melee and ranged combat, or if Weapon Specialization allowed you to choose three weapons instead of only one. That would greatly increase flexibility and combat options at the table.

And when guns get added in a splat, it would better model the historical reality and flavor of musketeers, etc using a gun as an opening attack or two, then switching off to melee once the enemy closes to melee.


Quote:
As blunt trauma was generally less lethal than a deep cut or stab, they could still have slightly lower damage

As stab sure... as slash... I don't know.

I'd rather be cut with scimitar in my skull than hit with warhammer.
The best it would be if it would work on various places in body differently - where headshots would be most dangerous when bludgeoned, because it overcome part of skull AC, while cuts and slashes less dangerous.


Wicked Woodpecker of the West wrote:
Quote:
As blunt trauma was generally less lethal than a deep cut or stab, they could still have slightly lower damage

As stab sure... as slash... I don't know.

I'd rather be cut with scimitar in my skull than hit with warhammer.
The best it would be if it would work on various places in body differently - where headshots would be most dangerous when bludgeoned, because it overcome part of skull AC, while cuts and slashes less dangerous.

Well, bashing can break bones sure, but slashing severs arteries, muscles and possibly bone as well. That's not to say bashing can't cause internal bleeding, or crush internal organs, but it requires more force


I'd not say so. Sure stabbing is easiest form of penetration of unarmed oponent, but slashing... there's is almost always worse distribution of power of strike.

But obviously there is one argument pro swords - not that they are more lethal - because let me say blow from mace into gut will gonna mess your internal organs really really MUCH, but they have reach preference over the most bludgeons, which have shorter hilts.

So swordsman get additional chance to stabe maceman, before he crush his liver. But in terms of strike... not so much.


AD&D did this on the "Player Options" era and it was a very cool system, but also got pretty convoluted and needed a lot of information on each weapon to really know what to expect from it. Different attack bonuses depending on the armor type on enemy x.x


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The Eternal Keeper wrote:


Well, bashing can break bones sure, but slashing severs arteries, muscles and possibly bone as well. That's not to say bashing can't cause internal bleeding, or crush internal organs, but it requires more force

Historically - and I admit I'm focussing on Wars of the Roses era here - blunt weapons and / or piercing are the way to kill people in armour. The ideal weapon is something like a poleaxe that focuses a lot of weight behind a small area, or a heavy mace that just smashes the ribcage into the heart. Scimitars look pretty, but they are llittle use against an armoured opponent, because they don't have any weight behind them.


Neriathale wrote:
The Eternal Keeper wrote:


Well, bashing can break bones sure, but slashing severs arteries, muscles and possibly bone as well. That's not to say bashing can't cause internal bleeding, or crush internal organs, but it requires more force
Historically - and I admit I'm focussing on Wars of the Roses era here - blunt weapons and / or piercing are the way to kill people in armour. The ideal weapon is something like a poleaxe that focuses a lot of weight behind a small area, or a heavy mace that just smashes the ribcage into the heart. Scimitars look pretty, but they are llittle use against an armoured opponent, because they don't have any weight behind them.

Not denying that. Cuts were practically useless against most armor (unless you had a big axe, which due to the top heavy balance also delivered a lot of blunt force trauma), but they were more efficient against unarmored opponents. Which is why I suggest giving blunt/spiked weapons like maces and war hammers (look up bec-du-corbin) an innate armor penetrating capacity


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I actually think we will see a much more diverse weapon type system in PF2. We already know there will be at least 5 different abilities a weapon can have and there's probably quite a few more. Each weapon seems to have up to 3 of those abilities. Assuming we have about 10 different abilities (totally guessing here) we could easily have more than 50 different combinations. Longsword and battleaxe could actually be different weapons!

For the record, we know of these abiilties so far:
- Agile: Reduced attack penalty of iterative attacks.
- Deadly: Extra damage die on critical hit. This die can be different from the damage die of the weapon (rapier deadly +1d8, shorptbow is +1d10).
- Forceful: Increased damage on additional hits against the same target.
- Sweep: Reduced attack penalty on iterative attacks if you attack another target.
- Finesse: Dex to attack. Seemingly no longer a feat.

Finesse (dex to attack) was also mentioned to be a weapon trait, bringing the rapier to three traits (Agile, Finesse, Deadly).


I'd like to see the spiked chain tripper become viable again.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Blave wrote:

I actually think we will see a much more diverse weapon type system in PF2. We already know there will be at least 5 different abilities a weapon can have and there's probably quite a few more. Each weapon seems to have up to 3 of those abilities. Assuming we have about 10 different abilities (totally guessing here) we could easily have more than 50 different combinations. Longsword and battleaxe could actually be different weapons!

For the record, we know of these abiilties so far:
- Agile: Reduced attack penalty of iterative attacks.
- Deadly: Extra damage die on critical hit. This die can be different from the damage die of the weapon (rapier deadly +1d8, shorptbow is +1d10).
- Forceful: Increased damage on additional hits against the same target.
- Sweep: Reduced attack penalty on iterative attacks if you attack another target.
- Finesse: Dex to attack. Seemingly no longer a feat.

Finesse (dex to attack) was also mentioned to be a weapon trait, bringing the rapier to three traits (Agile, Finesse, Deadly).

I'm pretty sure that I saw the rapier as not having Agile...

That being said, I'm guessing (hoping) that the traits we know are just scratching the surface.

There's another one for your list, too - longswords were mentioned as having Versatile, which allowed switching from Slashing to Piercing. (I'm really hoping there's more mechanical differences between the damage types, too, so that that ability seems cool instead of sort of meh)


Blave wrote:

I actually think we will see a much more diverse weapon type system in PF2. We already know there will be at least 5 different abilities a weapon can have and there's probably quite a few more. Each weapon seems to have up to 3 of those abilities. Assuming we have about 10 different abilities (totally guessing here) we could easily have more than 50 different combinations. Longsword and battleaxe could actually be different weapons!

For the record, we know of these abiilties so far:
- Agile: Reduced attack penalty of iterative attacks.
- Deadly: Extra damage die on critical hit. This die can be different from the damage die of the weapon (rapier deadly +1d8, shorptbow is +1d10).
- Forceful: Increased damage on additional hits against the same target.
- Sweep: Reduced attack penalty on iterative attacks if you attack another target.
- Finesse: Dex to attack. Seemingly no longer a feat.

Finesse (dex to attack) was also mentioned to be a weapon trait, bringing the rapier to three traits (Agile, Finesse, Deadly).

Yeah, these weapon abilities certainly seem to be a nice step in the right direction towards making weapons more distinct and interesting. Hopefully there are quite a few more of them. The weapon qualities of PF1 are pretty underwhelming. I think Finesse and Reach are the only ones I've seen people care about. Have you ever seen Brace used? I sure haven't.

Since crit range and multiplier seem to be gone. That could reduce some of the distinctions of we currently have, but weapon abilities can add them back in. Deadly looks to take the place of multipliers. Is there another to take the place of high crit range? Like you crit on 9 over the AC instead of 10? Although it looks like Deadly might be taking that place as well considering the rapier has it.

I could see an armor piercing quality, something like treat AC due to armor as 2 lower, but I'm not sure how well it would work in practice. Seems like it might slow things down trying to figure out how much of their AC is due to armor and such.

As for other abilities, reach is almost certainly there in some form. And there probably are disarm, grapple and trip (hopefully better than just "you can drop your weapon instead of falling on your face.") abilities that give a bonus to those types of maneuvers. Other than reach, those are more situational than the ones they've revealed so far. Maybe something to work better with two weapon fighting, but we still don't have much info on how that will be handled.


Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:


There's another one for your list, too - longswords were mentioned as having Versatile, which allowed switching from Slashing to Piercing. (I'm really hoping there's more mechanical differences between the damage types, too, so that that ability seems cool instead of sort of meh)

That's something I figured should have been part of a lot of blades for some time. But I'm not sure it needs an ability like that. Why not just give it type S or P? Likewise, why not roll picks and hammers into the same weapon that is type B or P? As far as I know they tended to be the same weapon.

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