After going over evary weapon in the game, I have reversed engineered a guide to make balanced custom weapons


Homebrew and House Rules


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Rules here

Excel to make creation easier here

Hello, after really wanting to a chain whip ala vampire killer, I was inspired to do the math paizo did to make weapons balanced, have created a system that's about 90% accurate.

Now, it's not perfect, paizo probably didn't have an exact formula like I do, and a few things like daggers are a point higher, and sawtooth sabres are 2 under, but for most of them, they're right on the money. The only major exceptions are advanced weapons, which other than the flickmace, are one point under. I'm ok with this, as I think the opportunity cost to use advanced weapons should mean that they need to be on par with the flickmace, but if you don't that's fine, simply reduce the points advanced gives you by one.

Any feedback or ideas would be appreciated, thank you.


Dotting for interest. I plan on making firearms in my next 2e game, and these rules sounds like they will really help

Have you considered submitting this to the zenith games guide to guides? It would get a lot of visibility and covers a niche many people are interested in


Alchemic_Genius wrote:

Dotting for interest. I plan on making firearms in my next 2e game, and these rules sounds like they will really help

Have you considered submitting this to the zenith games guide to guides? It would get a lot of visibility and covers a niche many people are interested in

How/where can I do that? Also, I have rules for gun traits elsewhere I can give to you if you want.


Looks neat and pretty similar to something that came up during playtest - just with extra detail. Could be really useful :)


Pronate wrote:
How/where can I do that? Also, I have rules for gun traits elsewhere I can give to you if you want.

There's a thread called "2nd edition guide to guides" or something along those lines on the forums. Drop a link to this thread and ask to be added.

I already have some ideas for gun traits, but I'd love to see your's for comparison!

I'm handling guns by creating the following trait:

Magazine: The magazine trait is always followed by a number (ex magazine 6). This indicates the number of time you can Strike with the weapon before having to take a reload action again (so a revolver with magazine 6 could be fired 6 times before needing to be reloaded)

In my setting, most guns are martial weapons, with a couple of simple guns, and possibly a couple advanced guns. Most guns with the magazine trait will have reload 1, though I might make an especially nasty one with reload 2. This trait also works nicely for making repeating crossbows and the like.


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I have been working on weapons I think should have been included as options
Mancatcher 2gp 1d8B 2 Bulk 2 Hands,Polearm, Grapple Shove Reach Non-lethal
Warsledge 4gp 1d8B 2 Bulk 1 Hands, Hammer, Shove Two-hand 1d12B
Tonfa 1 sp 1d6B L Bulk, 1 Hand, Club, Backswing Parry Finesse Monk
Kusari Gama 2 gp 1d6S 1 Bulk 2 Hands, Knife, Agile Reach Trip Monk
Lajatang 2 gp 1d6S 2 Bulk 2 Hands, Polearm, Grapple Sweep Reach Monk
Meteor Hammer 3 gp 1d8B 2 Bulk 2 Hands, Flail, Disarm Sweep Trip Reach

All I listed as uncommon Martial, except warsledge was uncommon advanced.
Sorry don’t know how to format a chart on the forums, would make it easier to read.


Love the guide, I'm going to have a lot of fun throwing weird weapons at my players with this, but I do have a few editorial notes;

Typos etc:
  • -Some of the bullet points on page 1 have periods at the end, some do not. one (the one that speaks about uncommon) has both. I would choose one and stick with it, probably periods at the end for all since you do have some that are full or multiple sentences.
  • -Page 1, bullet point 3, die is the singular form of dice.
  • -Page one bullet point 10, the wording is ambiguous. Perhaps "You may choose not to use all of your points."?
  • -Page one bullet point 11, dice to die again. I'm also not sure what you're intending by the phrase "you may turn go past it".
  • -Table on page two, flaw in the first column and row should be capitalized to match the other column headers.
  • -Same table, row 1 column 3 boost is misspelled.
  • -Same table, row 2 column 3, loading is misspelled.
  • -Lethality table, lethal should be capitalized to match the other table headings.
  • -Page 3, boons table, capitalization is all over the place, probably switch all to uppercase to match previous tables.
  • -*notation, dice to die again.
  • -**notation, fatal misspelled.
  • -***notation, unprecedented misspelled (though you did get die this time).


Lost In Limbo wrote:

Love the guide, I'm going to have a lot of fun throwing weird weapons at my players with this, but I do have a few editorial notes;

** spoiler omitted **

Thanks, I have disgraphcia, so spelling is hard. All fixed.


While it would complicate things a bit to program in, you currently do not have anything preventing a weapon from being (hopefully accidentally) both Martial and Advanced, let alone Advanced, Advanced, Advanced, Advanced.

Now, Clearly, anyone trying to pull that sort of shenanigans should have their proposal reviewed carefully ....

One option is to make an extra drop down table with: Simple, Martial, Advanced as the only options, and force it as an option, likely the first.

On the typo front: Expensive is correct, expencive is not.


Roonfizzle Garnackle wrote:

While it would complicate things a bit to program in, you currently do not have anything preventing a weapon from being (hopefully accidentally) both Martial and Advanced, let alone Advanced, Advanced, Advanced, Advanced.

Now, Clearly, anyone trying to pull that sort of shenanigans should have their proposal reviewed carefully ....

One option is to make an extra drop down table with: Simple, Martial, Advanced as the only options, and force it as an option, likely the first.

On the typo front: Expensive is correct, expencive is not.

That doesn't work according to the rules presented in the document, the exel is just for ease of use, so I'm not concerned about people taking the same flaw twice (you could take 2 handed multiple times if you wanted, so this isn't a unique issue).

thanks for catching the typo


If I remember a post from Mark correctly, the developers did have a rule, probably much like the one you deduced, but they also made custom adjustments for some weapons.
For example they deemed that some combinations of traits had too good of a synergy, and avoided to put them on weapons or nerfed those weapons in a different way.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Megistone wrote:

If I remember a post from Mark correctly, the developers did have a rule, probably much like the one you deduced, but they also made custom adjustments for some weapons.

For example they deemed that some combinations of traits had too good of a synergy, and avoided to put them on weapons or nerfed those weapons in a different way.

Yes, there's numerous things more complicated that are holistic. As I mentioned in the post you reference here, another factor is that some of the traits define a special (lower) ceiling but don't "cost" that much once you're already under the ceiling. It's why Pronate's system will pretty easily let you build, for instance, a two-handed 1d12 damage die finesse weapon, but you will not see a weapon like that from Paizo.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Megistone wrote:

If I remember a post from Mark correctly, the developers did have a rule, probably much like the one you deduced, but they also made custom adjustments for some weapons.

For example they deemed that some combinations of traits had too good of a synergy, and avoided to put them on weapons or nerfed those weapons in a different way.
Yes, there's numerous things more complicated that are holistic. As I mentioned in the post you reference here, another factor is that some of the traits define a special (lower) ceiling but don't "cost" that much once you're already under the ceiling. It's why Pronate's system will pretty easily let you build, for instance, a two-handed 1d12 damage die finesse weapon, but you will not see a weapon like that from Paizo.

FIrst, Thank you for commenting here, I was not expecting a designer to see this. Second, do you mind posting that guide/ will a official guide be released. Third, other than finesse, are there other traits that have a ceiling/floor. And forth, if you any other inaccuracies you notice? I really appreciate all your work in making such a great system.

Ps, as this is probably the only chance of me talking to a designer, will a option to replace vancian magic with other systems, like the Neo-Vancian magic D%D 5e in the DMG or later books?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Oh, this is cool, I'll definitely keep this handy.


Pronate wrote:
about 90% accurate.

Where does that comes from? In regular already existing weapons it detects with 90% accuracy? Or something else?


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oholoko wrote:
Pronate wrote:
about 90% accurate.
Where does that comes from? In regular already existing weapons it detects with 90% accuracy? Or something else?

Yep, it can recreate about 90% of the existing weapons perfectly, but a few are off by a point or two, as Paizo tweaked somethings from their formula, so perfection is impossible (without being 10000% more complicated)


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There are some strange combos (as Mark mentioned) and also class abilities factor in.
So a Finesse weapon has to account for giving Dex to damage (Thief) & Sneak Attack. 2H w/ d8 represents a hard cap on those exactly because of this.
An Agile weapon also enables Sneak Attack (and pretty much costs a die type already, as well as having no 2H options.)
A Simple weapon can be bumped up a die (if tied to deity) and also can enable Sneak Attack (Ruffian) so it needs a 2H/1d8 hard cap too (and the Ruffian Racket reinforces this by disallowing d10+ to work w/ Sneak Attack).
Also, some crit abilities are better than others, so each Weapon Group has its own innate score.

But a Simple, Agile, Finesse weapon shouldn't be dinged 3x for stacking w/ Sneak Attack, right? So perhaps "Sneak Attack" should be listed as a separate advantage, counted only once (and putting in a d8 limit).
I have to wonder how a Light Mace's Blunt & Shove are meant to be comparable to a Dagger's Piercing/Slashing & Thrown 10' and a Sickle's Slashing & Trip.
I'm thinking that if there's a formula, there's nuance in the scoring of traits, but variance in the ranges for different types.
I also wonder if the devs are laughing because they worked this out holistically knowing the issues w/ formulae.


Guessing for light mace it's because blunt damage has lowest resistance very unlikely to have monster be immune to it.


Reziburno25 wrote:
Guessing for light mace it's because blunt damage has lowest resistance very unlikely to have monster be immune to it.

Yes, blunt > slashing > piercing.

(My biases from PF1 may be showing, though it seems the hierarchy remains in PF2.)

Versatile slashing/piercing seems like a lesser trait.


Plus monster rarely do blunt as well, same with energy attacks one with least resistance or immunites also one with least weakness to it's type.


Just looking over alodri sword and it seems to have plus 1 point after adding everything up. Advance brings it to plus 6, finesse and versatile bring it down to 4, then increasing it die brings it to 1.


Castilliano wrote:
Reziburno25 wrote:
Guessing for light mace it's because blunt damage has lowest resistance very unlikely to have monster be immune to it.

Yes, blunt > slashing > piercing.

(My biases from PF1 may be showing, though it seems the hierarchy remains in PF2.)

Versatile slashing/piercing seems like a lesser trait.

Pathfinder 1 Zombies had DR 5/Slashing. Pathfinder 2 Zombies seem to have converted this to Vulnerability to Slashing -- I don't know if anything in Pathfinder 2 has special resistance to Bludgeoning, but even so, if you're in a Night of the Living Dead campaign, you might not want to have only a Bludgeoning weapon (although you will definitely want to have one on hand, since in such a campaign, things with a Skeleton structure will also be quite common).


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Isthisnametaken? wrote:
When I run the numbers on existing weapons, the vast majority of them are all around -2 (overpowered). Something may be off in terms of the weighting.

Or - bear with me here - perhaps you did something wrong?

Since thread OP says they did the numbers and got 90% accuracy...


I ran them and got most on 0 with quiet a few between -1 to +1.


Isthisnametaken? wrote:
When I run the numbers on existing weapons, the vast majority of them are all around -2 (overpowered). Something may be off in terms of the weighting.

Can you give me what weapons you used that are that underpowered? There is a chance that the excel sheet is wrong, as I'm new to that, but the rules themselves should be mostly accurate, with only a few exceptions.


Yeah probally excel sheet that operating weirdly the rules though are as I pointed above are fine in between -1 to +1 area which seems fine.


I might be missing something, but do you gain points for going down to d4 damage instead of d6?


Paradozen wrote:
I might be missing something, but do you gain points for going down to d4 damage instead of d6?

Yes


Made some alternative Monk weapons for my 5E Kensei, in case I ever port her over for no good reason, and found this helpful! Just wanted to note that Spiked Chain and Elven Curved Blade seem to suggest that being two-handed only gives 3 points instead of 6 if the weapon also has Finesse, which I found reasonable. Also, Forceful seems to be a touch undervalued, I think it's probably a 2 point trait.

For those curious:
Alternate Staff 1d6 B 2H Martial Club
~~~Finesse, Monk, Reach, Shove, Trip
Chain Whip 1d6 B 2H Martial Flail
~~~Backswing, Disarm, Finesse, Monk, Reach, Sweep
Alternate Sword 1d8 S 2H Martial Sword
~~~Deadly d10, Finesse, Monk, Versatile P

These were designed to be swapped on the fly with a Shifting rune to approach permissive 5E rules, and the character doesn't use a shield, so all being two-handed makes a certain sense and allows for interesting traits aplenty (despite low damage). I know that Backswing and Sweep on the Chain Whip are strange bedfellows — I may tinker with these more someday, but for now I need to clear my head of obsessive and fruitless character building.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
MaxAstro wrote:
Isthisnametaken? wrote:
When I run the numbers on existing weapons, the vast majority of them are all around -2 (overpowered). Something may be off in terms of the weighting.

Or - bear with me here - perhaps you did something wrong?

Since thread OP says they did the numbers and got 90% accuracy...

Hey, where did all the posts by Isthisnametaken? vanish? I was curious how did their second look at the values go...


^Must be Irori's curse . . . .


Am I the only idiot who can't find any mention of a "loading" trait anywhere in the Core Rulebook?

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