Unshackling Damage from Magic Weapons


Magic Items


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Hi all,

There have been some rumblings on the forums about the dependency on magic weapons to deal damage as characters progress - I had an idea the other day, and I wanted to present it here and see what you all think.

Problem: Magic Weapons are required for non-spell users to keep dealing relevant amounts of damage as characters progress into higher levels.

Proposition: Unshackle damage increases from magic weapons by tying damage die increases to Proficiency, not magic-ness, while returning the classic static damage bonus to high quality/magic weapons.

for example: a +3 Longsword (magic or simply Legendary) returns to being 1d8+3

in addition: a character with proficiency adds xd8* damage die to his damage with all weapons of that proficiency category

The exact amount each proficiency step adds remains to be determined, but the elegant solution that jumps out to me is thus:

> +1 die for every +1 proficiency gives you, i.e +1dy @ Expert, +2dy @ Master, +3dy @ Legendary

The final result for a fighter with Legendary proficiency wielding a +5 Longsword would look like this:
4d8+5

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I have done some basic math to test it; It's a little low / behind on the curve for the game as currently constructed, but I like the idea of proficiency meaning more than a bonus to hit. Static damage bonuses from item quality helps mitigate the problem, but either another source of damage bonus would have to be found or monster HP would have to be retooled (not an easy thing at this stage). I am generally in favour of static bonuses because it helps to mitigate low rolls, at the least.

One other solution is for the Magic Weapon +dmg bonus to also increase with the modifier - for example, a +5 Legendary weapon would deal +15 damage (+5 x3 for legendary quality); [this I have not yet tested numbers-wise and I have a feeling this could end up being a bit much]

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Desired Outcomes: this allows characters more viability in a low-magic campaign, and to help certain classes, like the Monk, keep up without having to invest in *the* item to keep them on curve.

Thoughts? Comments?

Thanks for reading!


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I have a thread with my suggestion in it. Essentially it untethers extra damage dice form magic weapons and makes them intrinsic at level 4/8/12/16/20.

My thread.


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One of the reasons that I like the idea of tying damage to proficiency is that the classes that are supposed to be the best weapon wielders, ie, have the highest proficiencies, will be dealing more damage than the non-martials. Moreover, the Fighters will feel very Fighter-y when they start dealing more damage earlier than the others due to their advanced proficiency progression.

I guess it does open up the problem of Casters loosing out on melee options at higher levels... but is that really a bad thing? They have their spells as a primary source of damage by then. Not to mention, several people here have been complaining that the Cleric / Druid is just flat-out better than everyone else in their party at everything... (unsubstantiated, sure, but something to consider).

It also incentivizes Multiclassing into fighter if they want to be a better gish.

I also believe there should be a General Feat accessible to anyone who wants to improve their proficiency with a chosen weapon group as well. (ala Weapon Expert for the MC Fighter, but one for Master too)


What about rogues? Should they be a full half step behind others who are in martial range? As it is, sneak attack is more compensating for the smaller die on the finesse/agile than providing a significant bonus


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Is it really a problem? For many, the appeal of PF is the high fantasy magic. There are low magic systems out there that will do the job better and easier.

Forcing rogues to multiclass into fighter is a terrible plan.
Rogues limited to 2d (or having to spend a feat to get better) is a terrible plan.

This is (with a little tweaking) a fine houserule for someone who wants a low magic game, but it should not be core.


As I see it, this is problematic in the sense that the designers seem to want to keep magic weapons important by default, and the extra damage does so.

That said, these would be good as optional rules to enable low magic campaigns. You could even keep magic weapons in the mix by treating the extra dice as the same type of bonus. If the weapon would grant you more dice than your innate capabilities, then use the weapon's bonus instead.


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Thanks everyone for the feedback so far.

TBH I'm not much of a Rogue guy so it isn't really at the top of my mind when brainstorming, so my apologies if I've offended anyone ;) But yeah, its a problem. To me, the issue seems to be more that they have such slow weapon Proficiency progression - I would prefer they get to Master with their weapons eventually, and expert sooner (or at least an option for those who want to be "combat focused" rogues).

... and maybe a feat to increase their damage even more? Or add an option to Debilitating Strike that is a flat +2d6 or something. I'm not very familiar with the new Sneak Attack rules so I don't know how often they are getting their added dice. From what some of the Devs have said, it sounds like the Rogue has been performing extremely well in damage output so far.

Ironeyess wrote:
You could even keep magic weapons in the mix by treating the extra dice as the same type of bonus. If the weapon would grant you more dice than your innate capabilities, then use the weapon's bonus instead.

That is a good idea too - covers both angles!


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MrShine you also forgot about our raging friends. The Barbarians only get Expert Weapon proficiency so that'd right knee-cap them.


Kirtri wrote:
MrShine you also forgot about our raging friends. The Barbarians only get Expert Weapon proficiency so that'd right knee-cap them.

You could tie their top damage bonus to rage. So during rage Barbarians will do top damage and without it they will lag behind.

Dark Archive

I like the idea of applying damage upgrades to the proficiency of the character. If not this then make it apply to the quality of the weapon instead because weapon quality seems pretty boring right now as the only thing that it gives you is + attack for non magical weapons and how many rune slots this weapon allows.

dragonhunterq wrote:

Is it really a problem? For many, the appeal of PF is the high fantasy magic. There are low magic systems out there that will do the job better and easier.

Forcing rogues to multiclass into fighter is a terrible plan.
Rogues limited to 2d (or having to spend a feat to get better) is a terrible plan.

This is (with a little tweaking) a fine houserule for someone who wants a low magic game, but it should not be core.

It is somewhat a problem as one of the big things was to make magic items "cooler" and adding a +1 Die of damage to a weapon really is not that cool or fun. If the characters that wade into melee are dependent on magic items to stay relevenant it also makes it so that they must continually spend there treasure on those things instead of other magic items that might be more fun or cool.

Magic is not as high fantasy in the playtest because of major nerfs to magic casters and also the inclusion of resonance. The playtest in my opinion (not gotten to high level playing yet but have made my Characters for all the playtest scenarios) for what I have played so far is much lower in magic.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

This looks like it could work with a few adjustments:

- Barbarians' Critical Brutality would give them expert proficiency with melee weapons and unarmed attacks, as well as the critical specialization effects, when raging. Weapon Fury would then increase the proficiency of melee and unarmed attacks when raging to master, as well as granting expert proficiency to simple weapons, martial weapons, and unarmed attacks when not raging.

- Rogues' Sneak Attack increases would occur at 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th. Or possibly 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th. (EDIT: The math would need to be checked against the fighter's damage; rogues shouldn't consistently be doing more damage than the fighter)

- Add a Fighter Dedication feat that allows master proficiency in a weapon group (level requirement 16 or 18, must already have expert proficiency).


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One possible issue: In high-level play, the maximum weapon damage will be 2 to 3 dice less (fighters with legendary proficiency will be doing 4x weapon dice, other characters with master proficiency will be doing 3x weapon dice; vs. current +5 potency doing x6 damage dice).

One possible solution: The master weapon quality adds one additional damage die and the legendary weapon quality adds two additional damage dice; both stacking with proficiency.

This also gives incentives to improve weapon quality beyond the number of runes and maximum potency.


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This is a good idea that may require a bit of tweaking on when various characters level up thier proficiency.

The main thing I like about it is it makes proficiency really matter. There are a ton of threads about legendary being only a plus 3 or how characters do not seem to gain much as they level. All the feats are small little things, so make proficiency matter. Make the heroes the hero and not the magic weapon!


Dragonchess Player wrote:

This looks like it could work with a few adjustments:

- Barbarians' Critical Brutality would give them expert proficiency with melee weapons and unarmed attacks, as well as the critical specialization effects, when raging. Weapon Fury would then increase the proficiency of melee and unarmed attacks when raging to master, as well as granting expert proficiency to simple weapons, martial weapons, and unarmed attacks when not raging.

This is the sort of solution we would need, for sure. Barbarians should absolutely be powerhouses while they are raging. I concur that their proficiency should increase more while raging, and have a lower baseline when not.

Dragonchess Player wrote:
- Rogues' Sneak Attack increases would occur at 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th. Or possibly 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th. (EDIT: The math would need to be checked against the fighter's damage; rogues shouldn't consistently be doing more damage than the fighter)

Yeah, I think that it isn't unreasonable to key Rogue damage increases to their schtick ie Sneak Attack - I don't think it would be too hard to just tune the balance to match.

Dragonchess Player wrote:
- Add a Fighter Dedication feat that allows master proficiency in a weapon group (level requirement 16 or 18, must already have expert proficiency).

My thoughts exactly. Improved weapon proficiencies should be available to those willing to undergo the training. I wonder if it would be too crazy to add a General Feat that increased your proficiency with a weapon group by one step, to a maximum of "Master" (also highly level gated - I would want a Fighter Dedication to be more accessible than the general feat)

Dragonchess Player wrote:

One possible issue: In high-level play, the maximum weapon damage will be 2 to 3 dice less (fighters with legendary proficiency will be doing 4x weapon dice, other characters with master proficiency will be doing 3x weapon dice; vs. current +5 potency doing x6 damage dice).

One possible solution: The master weapon quality adds one additional damage die and the legendary weapon quality adds two additional damage dice; both stacking with proficiency.

This also gives incentives to improve weapon quality beyond the number of runes and maximum potency.

I really like this idea - splitting the damage increases between both Proficiency AND Weapon Quality is a really great balancing tool;

- it allows the full martials to keep up with the expected damage progression in the system as written so far;
- it allows a less trained combatant to pick up a nice weapon to help do more damage (also mitigating the hit that classes with slower Proficiency progression like the Rogue would take);
- makes weapon quality matter more than just how magical it can get (aside from the bump to-hit, ofc)

Just to check the numbers: A fighter with Legendary Proficiency wielding a Legendary Weapon (lets say Longsword) would have +6 (+3 prof, +3 wpn) to hit, and deal 6d8 damage (3d8 prof+3d8 quality); seems on par to me! ... And nary a potency rune in sight ;)

The main thing to keep in mind is that under this system, not every class will be able to smack things up for 6dy damage with their +5 weapon any more (it would be minimum 3dy with the proposed Legendary quality damage bonus); and to me, that's ok! It would need testing and further tweaking of course but I think there are many of us that agree that the Heros should feel like their abilities are contributing more (or at least as much!) to their success than their fancy mythical weapons ;)


Skilled Martials variant

- Expert, Master and Legendary proficiency in a weapon increases the damage value of that weapon by one die.
- Brutal Critical also increases the damage die of any weapon by one die during rage.
- Clerics also increase the damage die of their god’s favourite weapon by one die. The Emblazon and Align Armament feats allow you to treat any weapon etched with your symbol or aligned by you as your god’s favourite (these do not stack, but they do count for Warrior Priest).
- Magic Weapon and Shellilagh: changed to spell3
- Potency Runes now come in Lesser, Greater, True, as follows:

Weapon Potency (Rune 8+, evocation, magical)
You can etch a weapon potency rune on a weapon of the quality listed under the individual entry of the type of rune. Greater and True Potency runes require the weapon to already have the listed weaker rune, and etching the new rune increases the existing potency rune bonus to the new value.
A Weapon Potency rune grants two offensive benefits. The weapon’s item bonus to attack rolls increases by the amount noted on the specific rune. For example, an Expert dagger with a Lesser Potency Rune would grant a +2 item bonus to attack rolls with the dagger.
Second, on a successful attack roll, the weapon deals an additional number of weapon damage dice equal to the item bonus increase. For example, an Expert wielder with the dagger mentioned above would deal 3d4 damage instead of 2d4 damage.
Type Lesser Weapon Potency; Level 8; Price 465gp
This rune can be etched only on a weapon of Expert or better quality. It increases the weapon’s item bonus and damage dice by +1.
Type Greater Weapon Potency; Level 16; Price 9,175gp
This rune can be etched only on a weapon of Master or better quality. It increases the weapon’s item bonus and damage dice by +2.
Type True Weapon Potency; Level 20; Price 61,860gp
This rune can be etched only on a weapon of Legendary or better quality. It increases the weapon’s item bonus and damage dice by +3.

Handwraps of Mighty Fists: as the runes

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Opinions, please.


Ediwir wrote:
Skilled Martials variant...

This looks good, although I am inclined to just directly give better proficiency to Barb during rage (as suggested by Dragonchess); I like the notes for Cleric (and maybe this could be a direct increase in proficiency too?)

Ediwir wrote:
Weapon Potency Runes ...

This seems to be along the same lines as what Dragonchess suggested, although maintaining the link b/w magic weapons and damage - what do you think about having it tied directly to Item Quality instead? I see that your system adds more to hit since it looks like it stacks Item quality bonus with Rune bonus - is that intentional?


Yes, the variant as I wrote it allows for some classes to gain what are basically +6 weapons (a lv20 Fighter with a +3 Legendary longsword has a +6 item bonus to hit and deals 7d8 damage, rather than a +5 to hit and 6d8 damage), while regular combat classes keep the usual +5. Conversely, secondary combat classes will be capped at +4 weapons (clerics and rogues), while nonfighters like wizards, sorcerers, bards and alchemist will be stuck at +3.
Monks should be as fighters, but I need some time to rewrite things neatly - their fists don't innately have an item bonus, so a couple changes are needed on the Wraps.

As for the Barbarian... I honestly like the idea of barbarian as someone who gets the damage, but not the skill usually required for it. He just hits THAT hard.

Tying damage to item quality directly rather than a magic rune would have one important negative consequence on the system:
as it is now, my variant sees level one fighters and cleric dealing 2dX damage with their weapon. That's a bit much, but it's not unheard of (power attack and magic weapon do the same after all). The issue quickly disappears over the next couple levels.
If damage was gated by quality over rune, a Fighter at lv2 would deal 3dX damage. Because Expert weapons become a thing much earlier than Lesser Runes of Potency. You'd end up having +6 weapons by the time people hit lv15, accelerating DPS scaling a lot.


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dragonhunterq wrote:
Is it really a problem? For many, the appeal of PF is the high fantasy magic. There are low magic systems out there that will do the job better and easier.

Yes, it's really a problem.

If I make a spellcaster, I feel like my high-level character's powers come from my character. I want to feel the same way with a non-caster.

I'd say let people's weapon damage increase by their level, since we're adding level to everything else. Or maybe have it go up by a die at 6th, 13th, and 20th, and add a die for legendary proficiency, and add a die if the weapon is magical at all. (But get rid of the now-useless '+1 vs +5' weapon scale.)


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RangerWickett wrote:
I'd say let people's weapon damage increase by their level, since we're adding level to everything else. Or maybe have it go up by a die at 6th, 13th, and 20th, and add a die for legendary proficiency, and add a die if the weapon is magical at all. (But get rid of the now-useless '+1 vs +5' weapon scale.)

This is [an excerpt of] what I just posted over in the other Magic Weapon thread:

"Personally, I like tying damage increases to Proficiency rather than Level (as some have suggested) for a few reasons:

- First, Proficiency is already gated by level - what we gain is added granularity in regards to when individual classes receive these bonuses via proficiencies, increasing the contrast between various classes' martial abilities, rather than flattening it with a straight level-based bonus. A frontline Fighter will deal more damage with their weapons than a Wizard wielding a similar weapon - as many of us believe should be the case. [Wizards, of course, would retain alternative means of damage via their Spells.]

- Second, it incentivizes the development of more detailed proficiency rules across the classes, which [imo] adds design depth to individual classes. For instance, to keep up with expected damage increases, the Barbarian (to use one example) could receive an increased step of proficiency while in their rage as part of their Critical Brutality and Weapon Fury class features. [ex. Weapon Fury would read: "Your proficiency rank for simple weapons, martial weapons, and unarmed attacks increases to expert. While raging, this proficiency increases to master."] Classes like the Cleric could receive increased proficiency in their Deity's Favoured Weapon, and the Rogue, who already adds bonus damage via Sneak Attack, could receive an increase to their proficiency in a new "Rogue Weapon Group" (perhaps all finesse weapons?) subset of items."

Basically, using Proficiency is already gated by level, helps distinguish the classes more from each other, and is in many ways more realistic than a flat level-based increase.

But I'm glad we are on the same side of this debate in general ;)


"Martial" = use MAGICAL weapons

I dont see a martial solution at all.

Tie damage dice to levels, problem solved, works for cantrips, works for weapons.

I would also recomend adding bonus per die, instead of total, to give more meaning to strength and other minor damage bonuses.


Ediwir wrote:

Tying damage to item quality directly rather than a magic rune would have one important negative consequence on the system:

as it is now, my variant sees level one fighters and cleric dealing 2dX damage with their weapon. That's a bit much, but it's not unheard of (power attack and magic weapon do the same after all). The issue quickly disappears over the next couple levels.
If damage was gated by quality over rune, a Fighter at lv2 would deal 3dX damage. Because Expert weapons become a thing much earlier than Lesser Runes of Potency. You'd end up having +6 weapons by the time people hit lv15, accelerating DPS scaling a lot.

That's a fair criticism. I'm not sure if it is entirely a problem; I feel like low-level PCs (and their respective players) would really enjoy occasionally one-shotting their enemies, and of course items access can be gated by the GM... but the standards of Society play and such have to be considered too of course.

What we get is an increase in verisimilitude, differentiation between classes, power at low levels*, and an emphasis on the special qualities of magic weapons rather than their damage potential. I feel like the good outweighs the bad here. Of course, Class Features and their resulting Proficiencies could also be re-jigged to better fit with low-level balance issues; for instance, starting Expert proficiency at lvl 3 as a baseline (as is the case with the Monk so far) alleviates the level 1 problems. Mastery for the Fighter could be moved to 5th level, while access to Critical Specializations and Exotic weapons could stay at level 3.

I am just wary of a solution that retools the Potency Rune system since it still implies a reliance on magic weapons in general.


RafaelBraga wrote:

"Martial" = use MAGICAL weapons

I dont see a martial solution at all.

Tie damage dice to levels, problem solved, works for cantrips, works for weapons.

I would also recomend adding bonus per die, instead of total, to give more meaning to strength and other minor damage bonuses.

I'm not sure if you are examining this proposal in its intended manner; the whole point is to de-couple the reliance on Magical Weapons for "Martial" classes.

While certainly not mundane, one would posit a +2 Master Quality weapon would be much more widely available than one with potency runes attached; although it would probably be considerably more expensive in the game world than a normal quality weapon of the same type, it stands to reason that such a weapon would be more available in terms of mass production for say, an elite unit of a rich kingdom's army.

I don't think it is a stretch to suppose that a very well made weapon could be sharper or better designed than a mundane version of the same, and thus do more damage.

Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

truthfully I think it needs to be tied to creature level as it appears to be that way for all monsters. I found explaining to my players that a Gnoll seargent weilding a normal bow did damage like a +1 bow, but when they pick it up is just a normal bow is kind of immersion breaking.


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There has been a fair amount of PF2 changes that I like, such as the character attribute building and improved cantrips as well as some things I don't like. But so far there is only one thing that I really truly hate with every fiber of my being and that is the current magic weapon system.

Making the majority of my character's damage come, not from them, but from their gear feels extremely non-heroic. Also feels like a cheap rip off of a WoW gear system. As Iron Man said “If you are nothing without the suit, you shouldn’t have it”. Mechanically this makes martial character's absolutely addicted to magic weapons. In PF1, a +1 Greatsword was so slightly better than a MW Greatsword that most people wouldn't know the difference. Even MW vs +2 wouldn't be a huge change in damage output. I even played in a AP where we found a +3 light mace very early on, but just gave it to the heal-bot cleric since all that martial character's needed, well not a mace. I always have a backup weapon, such as a short sword (or something of a different damage type) in case of DR, getting disarmed, or getting swallowed. All my player's now do that too. The current system really punishes them, both in gold and resonance, for having the gall to follow the boyscout motto "Be prepared".

I think the bonus damage dice should just be linked to level (4,8,12, etc.), rather than magic weapons. Magic weapons can still provide bonuses on hit rolls and property runes, and will still be important, just not the true source of your character's value in combat. Applying these bonus dice to cantrips too (instead of their current bonus dice) might be the nudge they need to not be so underwhelming.

While I'm sticking to the letter of the rules for the playtest I am NEVER going to use the magic weapons, as currently written, in actual play. I'd rather quit PF and play a game where I can be a hero, rather than a farmhand who carries the truly heroic magic sword.


WhiteMagus2000 wrote:

There has been a fair amount of PF2 changes that I like, such as the character attribute building and improved cantrips as well as some things I don't like. But so far there is only one thing that I really truly hate with every fiber of my being and that is the current magic weapon system.

Making the majority of my character's damage come, not from them, but from their gear feels extremely non-heroic. Also feels like a cheap rip off of a WoW gear system. As Iron Man said “If you are nothing without the suit, you shouldn’t have it”. Mechanically this makes martial character's absolutely addicted to magic weapons. In PF1, a +1 Greatsword was so slightly better than a MW Greatsword that most people wouldn't know the difference. Even MW vs +2 wouldn't be a huge change in damage output. I even played in a AP where we found a +3 light mace very early on, but just gave it to the heal-bot cleric since all that martial character's needed, well not a mace. I always have a backup weapon, such as a short sword (or something of a different damage type) in case of DR, getting disarmed, or getting swallowed. All my player's now do that too. The current system really punishes them, both in gold and resonance, for having the gall to follow the boyscout motto "Be prepared".

I think the bonus damage dice should just be linked to level (4,8,12, etc.), rather than magic weapons. Magic weapons can still provide bonuses on hit rolls and property runes, and will still be important, just not the true source of your character's value in combat. Applying these bonus dice to cantrips too (instead of their current bonus dice) might be the nudge they need to not be so underwhelming.

While I'm sticking to the letter of the rules for the playtest I am NEVER going to use the magic weapons, as currently written, in actual play. I'd rather quit PF and play a game where I can be a hero, rather than a farmhand who carries the truly heroic magic sword.

Yep, just tie it to level at 4/8/12/16/20 and you'll make expert, master, and legendary mundane weapons better, you'll give players opeioont for spending their WBL instead of martials needing the best weapon upgrage asap. Magic weapons will still be great and desireable for their to hit bonuses which outpace craftmenship and their other properties. Even a +1 Backupsword with alternative enhancements would be a reasonable weapon to have when needed. Characters would carry mulitple wepaon types ie ranged and melee weapons, and there would be less of a need for bandiad items like doubling bands.

Liberty's Edge

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Looking at the math, you could probably add your level to damage like everything else and it would be fairly comparable...


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Jester David wrote:
Looking at the math, you could probably add your level to damage like everything else and it would be fairly comparable...

Adding level directly to damage as a modifier without increasing dice would work out pretty well, actually. If you assume the "average" weapon is a d8 weapon with a mean of 4.5 per die, well, +20 from level is pretty close to +5d8 from magic. Adding level is actually better for lower dice weapons and keeps rogues from sucking at high level, and restrains d12 greatswords a bit so they're not the automatic best choice.


I'm a fan of the idea of at certain levels (the levels were you are expected to upgrade your weapons magical status) that instead your character just grants an innate bonus that increases the damage dice of the weapon. That way your character is awesome. Instead of you needing an awesome sword to be awesome.

Edit: Looks like I'm proposing the same thing as Zman0.


Jester David wrote:
Looking at the math, you could probably add your level to damage like everything else and it would be fairly comparable...

Except it would ruin any weapon balance. Dagger doing d4+20 vs Greatsword at d12+20.


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Yeah, if you add flat level to damage then it basically nullifies the damage difference between weapons and then everyone chooses weapons based solely on their special abilities.

I greatly prefer the damage dice growing with character level (e.g. Add 1 extra weapon die of damage per 4 character levels) because it keeps damage difference relevant and still keeps a choice between damage and special abilities.


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Thinking on this, perhaps a hybrid approach might be viable. So +X weapons still increase your weapon dice, but each class also gets an inherent version and they use whatever is better. So only the fighter can get +5 weapon dice without a magic weapon, but anyone with a +5 weapon can as well. Then the non fighters get dice based on the old BAB or similar delineation. So a paliadin or ranger caps on +4 dice inherent, rogue and alchemist can get up to +3 dice and wizards and sorcs can get at most +2 dice without magic weapons.


Zman0 wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Looking at the math, you could probably add your level to damage like everything else and it would be fairly comparable...
Except it would ruin any weapon balance. Dagger doing d4+20 vs Greatsword at d12+20.

There is no weapon balance in the playtest as written. A +5 dagger does about the same damage as a +1 greatsword. That's not fun.


There is a suggestion to eliminate weapon potency runes (and the NEED of magic weapon):

In Equipment chapter, in the weapons entry, you say:

For each 4 points of your proficiency with the weapon, you add one extra damage die to its damage.

For example, the weapon damage with each class would be increased in one die at levels:

Alchemist, bard, cleric, druid, sorcerer, wizard: 4, 8, 12, 16, 20.
Barbarian, rogue: 4, 8, 12, 15, 19.
Paladin: 4, 7, 11, 15, 18.
Monk, ranger: 3, 7, 11, 14, 18.
Fighter: 3, 6, 10, 13, 17.

This seems very reasonable to me.

(I had already posted this suggestion in another similar thread)


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kitmehsu wrote:
Thinking on this, perhaps a hybrid approach might be viable. So +X weapons still increase your weapon dice, but each class also gets an inherent version and they use whatever is better. So only the fighter can get +5 weapon dice without a magic weapon, but anyone with a +5 weapon can as well. Then the non fighters get dice based on the old BAB or similar delineation. So a paliadin or ranger caps on +4 dice inherent, rogue and alchemist can get up to +3 dice and wizards and sorcs can get at most +2 dice without magic weapons.

... which is exactly what Proficiency does when damage is linked to it, as I (and others) have suggested.

My question to everyone who is proposing a level dependent damage increase:

What is the in-game-world explanation for this increase in damage?

To me, the reason to pursue an alternative system based on Proficiency is that there is a definable and logical reason for your character to be getting better - they are getting more proficient with their weapon. If there wasn't already a system for weapon proficiency in the game, sure, a level based damage increase could be explained as such. But since there is already a way the game defines proficiency, why not use that?

Having damage scale with "level" is reducing it to an abstract concept that doesn't hold much scrutiny in the game world. Characters never say "I am X level so I am stronger than you" but it is realistic for someone to say something along the lines of "I am masterful with the Greataxe, woe be to those who contend with my unparalleled skill".

Verisimilitude works both ways - if we want a mechanic to represent something we think is reasonable in the real world, things that happen in the game world need a reason too.

Just to be clear: It's not that I don't think adding a damage bonus by level wouldn't solve the mechanical problem of removing damage from magic weapons. It just isn't very elegant in game-world terms. [All the other reasons I mentioned re: creating a more granular and dynamic design space are still relevant imo too]


I'd argue that the level boost is best explained in the way most level based is. As a class feature. It's no more lacking versimilatude than a fighter gaining an increase to their existing profencey. The reason though for it to be decoupled from it as it allows more freedom of design. You can have the boosted damage on a barbarian even if they don't get beyond expert profencey and don't have to backdoor something to compensate. It's similar to how the casters have their spell profencey instead of class feats, which is because of the fact that class feats aren't a universal progression, they are a class feature.

Anyways, the thrust of my idea was more on the instead of stripping the damage bonusfrom magic weapons, make it so the class can still compensate for thematically lower inherent bonuses to weapons


kitmehsu wrote:

I'd argue that the level boost is best explained in the way most level based is. As a class feature. It's no more lacking versimilatude than a fighter gaining an increase to their existing profencey. The reason though for it to be decoupled from it as it allows more freedom of design. You can have the boosted damage on a barbarian even if they don't get beyond expert profencey and don't have to backdoor something to compensate. It's similar to how the casters have their spell profencey instead of class feats, which is because of the fact that class feats aren't a universal progression, they are a class feature.

Anyways, the thrust of my idea was more on the instead of stripping the damage bonusfrom magic weapons, make it so the class can still compensate for thematically lower inherent bonuses to weapons

Thanks for the reply!

I think we ALL want to take a step away from Magic Weapon = Damage to focus on their cool abilities.

Re: Design Space: What's important to remember is that there is just as much freedom of design available if one wants to adds more ways to do damage to a class whichever direction it goes - for example, maybe Rage in and of itself could add an extra damage die. However, if you are already accounting for the "max" amount of damage via level increases, adding such a mechanic actually would upset the "cap", so to speak - whereas if you allow room to hit the cap, you have more flexibility to present players with different choices on HOW to reach that cap.

EDIT: I mentioned it in the other thread, but I'll reiterate here too: one of the things that sticks out at me is why the Wizard, for example, would be getting weapon damage boosts as a "class feature". Sure, it makes sense for a Fighter or Ranger... but imo Spell Caster class features should be about Spells! (Or other cool magical abilities ie Bloodlines, Channeling, etc)

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