Rules for larger / smaller weapons?


General Discussion


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

We have 3 small races, and a class (Barbarian) that can potentially wield weapons built for large creatures, but I can't find any rules for how size alters the damage of a weapon in the playlets rules. Am I missing something, or is the only benefit of wielding a Greatsword sized for a Troll doubling your conditional damage bonus from rage?


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It is stupid.
If this is not fixed I would just increase the damage dice size by two.


You are not missing anything. Size does not alter weapon damage by itself. Congratulations to all Small races.


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There should be (but isn't) an adjustment made for over/undersized weapons that've been modified for use by small & medium creatures instead.

I would have given such weapons a bonus trait in exchange for a flaw. For example, "oversized" might grant an Untyped bonus to damage equal to the number of weapon dice, but increase the multiple attack penalty (by -1 then -2, the inverse of Agile).


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Size certainly should increase damage.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I will confess being confused about that at first too. Knowing the old version had different damage for size, it took me a bit before I came to the conclusion that they decided weapon size didn't matter, save for within a person's natural size.

Honestly, I thought of the idea of having larger sizes bumping up the dice size one category, but then for a d12, you'd need to invent a new polyhedron, or just add a +1HP per die. (going smaller could be done similarly, dropping down a die category)

Of note, if one wanted to make different weapons have different strengths, one could make the use of an alternate damage type via a versatile trait reduce the die size by one category.

I've also thought that when doing non-lethal damage with a lethal weapon, or lethal damage with a non-lethal weapon, it should drop the damage die down a size due to it not being optimal usage.


From what I saw of the pre-made characters (one of which is a giant totem barbarian), the increase in size doesn't do anything outside of the damage increase for a rage.


No difference between a pixie bastard sword (hat pin, maybe?), and the man-sized bastard sword.

Both are 1d8 Piercing weapons.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

It doesn't make a huge amount of sense when you consider the main consideration in all weapons damage is how big they are, that sets the base. Technically there are differences but from dagger to great sword is basically a scale of knives - with size being the damage differentiator. I reckon a large great sword is as different size wise from a medium great sword as a short sword is the other way, yet only one way makes a damage difference.


I like changing weapon dice size but you will end up with multiple dice such as 1d12 going to 3d6 but thatshould not really matter.


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I honestly prefer "weapon size does nothing" since I want enormous monsters to be scary because they are enormous, not because their weapons are.

Like if someone wants to play a gnome barbarian with a truly enormous greatsword because that sort of anime aesthetic pleases them, that's great and I like now that no one need cast aspersions that they are just trying to finagle slightly more damage.


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A huge sword should do more damage than a small one otherwise why does a great sword do more damage than a longsword to begin with.


Based on the barbarian's Giant Totem Titan Mauler ability, there is no general bonus or penalty associated with trying to wield larger or smaller weapons. It would seem that oversized/undersized items are no longer mechanically relevant.

The game basically makes the assumption that you can only use weapons sized for you, and I'm okay with that, but they need to explicitly state that and if you get a special ability that lets you wield larger weapons it will explain how that affects your damage and attack rolls.

Ultimately, the game was written with only small/medium characters in mind, much like Starfidner's weapon damage tables which has no variance based on size.


I could have sworn there is a sidebar of some sort in the rules that increasing size moves it to the next bigger die, up to d12, or just adds +2 to a d12. A huge greatsword would then deal 1d12+4 damage, for example.


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Increasing Weapon Damage Dice (Playtest Rulebook pg 91). However wielding an over/undersized weapon isn't such an effect.
For what it is worth, the Enlarge spell grants a +2 conditional bonus to damage from you and your equipment magically becoming large (or +4 if Huge).


Some Large monsters deal double weapon damage dice, and some deal double Str bonus. A lot of monsters seem to have Legendary proficiency with their natural attacks.


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Claxon wrote:
Based on the barbarian's Giant Totem Titan Mauler ability, there is no general bonus or penalty associated with trying to wield larger or smaller weapons. It would seem that oversized/undersized items are no longer mechanically relevant.

There is a penalty associated with it.

From Titan Mauler:
"When you are wielding such a weapon in combat, double your conditional bonus to damage rolls from raging, but you have the sluggish 1 condition (see page 324) because of the weapon’s unwieldy size. You can’t remove this sluggish condition or ignore its penalties by any means while you’re wielding the weapon."

Sluggish
Your movements become clumsy and inexact. Sluggish always includes a value. When you are sluggish, you take a conditional penalty to AC, attack rolls, Dexterity-based checks, and Reflex saves equal to the condition’s value.


From the Giant totem barbarian, I infer that the rules for "weapon size are"

- you can only use items sized for you without an ability which says otherwise.
- this ability tells you what effect using a wrong-sized weapon has for you.


Sailor Palidor wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Based on the barbarian's Giant Totem Titan Mauler ability, there is no general bonus or penalty associated with trying to wield larger or smaller weapons. It would seem that oversized/undersized items are no longer mechanically relevant.

There is a penalty associated with it.

From Titan Mauler:
"When you are wielding such a weapon in combat, double your conditional bonus to damage rolls from raging, but you have the sluggish 1 condition (see page 324) because of the weapon’s unwieldy size. You can’t remove this sluggish condition or ignore its penalties by any means while you’re wielding the weapon."

Sluggish
Your movements become clumsy and inexact. Sluggish always includes a value. When you are sluggish, you take a conditional penalty to AC, attack rolls, Dexterity-based checks, and Reflex saves equal to the condition’s value.

Right, but I'm saying there are no general rules for attempting it. The barbarians has specific rules for how you benefit and the penalties associated, but you cannot apply that to all instances of attempting to wield oversized or undersized weapons.

In fact, aside from flavor purposes you might well say that you can't wield a weapon that isn't designed for your size category, without some specific ability to do so.


So... the general consensus is that a longsword is a longsword, and it doesn't matter if a halfling wields it or a human wields it. They both do the same damage and have no penalty... and even though the blade is longer than the halfling's whole body, he only needs one hand to wield it properly? Is this accurate?


We spent around 30 minutes trying to find anything on this. Finally I only found a small reference at bulk conversions mentioning that anybody who is not small or medium sized must convert. That is when I came to the conclusion that there is no difference between small and medium weapons.

This definitely needs clarification. Especially for someone coming from pathfinder v1. Anyway we started searching for the damage of a large greataxe, because of barbarian.


Giant totem gives you titan mauler, which tells you what the bonus for using a large weapon is- it's "double the conditional damage bonus from your rage". If you're not raging not only can you not wield the large weapon, but it wouldn't do anything that an appropriately sized version wouldn't do.


Maveric28 wrote:

So... the general consensus is that a longsword is a longsword, and it doesn't matter if a halfling wields it or a human wields it. They both do the same damage and have no penalty... and even though the blade is longer than the halfling's whole body, he only needs one hand to wield it properly? Is this accurate?

Yes. That's the whole point, to equalize Small and Medium races. I think it's due to too many Small players complaining, and/or to too many people simply refusing to play Small martials, but I don't know for sure.


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So one reason weapon die size doesn't change anymore with weapon size is that this would have an outsized effect once potency runes come into the picture.

Like in PF1 going up or down a size is on average just +1 damage or a little more. So a Rapier does 1d6, a small rapier 1d4, and a large rapier 1d8. But a +5 Rapier would do 1d6+5, 1d4+5, or 1d8+5 respectively, so just up or down one damage every size category. In PF2 however, a rapier still does 1d6 damage, but a +5 Rapier would deal 6d6 damage, so if the big ones and the small ones had a different damage die, this effect would be multiplied every time we get another +1 on our weapon.

So whatever ways PF2 offer to use wrong-sized weapons will just be conditional bonuses or penalties, not die size changes.

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