A simple suggestion for Unconventional Weaponry Clarity


Advice


So, turns out Unconventional Weaponry could turn out to be a huge burden. Basically, there's now been clarification that katanas can be selected with Unconventional Weaponry. Why? Because *arbitrary decision*. This seems like it could lead to some heavy developer burden in maintaining a list of what is and isn't common in cultures, or GM burden in making this decisiion. Beyond this, we *have* a rarity system, and that system, by and large, was not fully used when it comes to weapons. So, my suggestion is this:

*Common* weapons are weapons that are common in the default culture/large area.
*Uncommon* weapons are weapons that are common in some culture/large area.
*Rare* weapons are weapons that aren't common anywhere.

If you're designing a custom campaign world, now you can choose which common/uncommon weapons you want to choose from. Beyond this, it makes it obvious what weapons are available for Unconventional Weaponry. And it has the advantage that it would likely require very few changes to the existing books. You'd just need to add a sentence saying how the rarities were derived, and then maybe alter a few things that are currently uncommon to be rare (I'm guessing this list would be pretty small...).

What do people think?


I have no issues with the current situation.

The katana decision was not arbitrary. In the link, Michael shared the reasoning behind it. That reasoning may not apply to some campaigns, and that's okay; they'll have a different answer.

Note: you can already choose which common/uncommon weapons you want to choose from in a homebrew world. If basing a campaign in Tian (et al), many common & uncommon weapons would switch places. And I'd accept that as a normal burden for developing a campaign far afield.

The Rarity portion (esp. Different Contexts) of the GMG seems to cover exactly what you feel needs covering, so I'm not seeing this lack you're implying. Heck, the CRB covers it too under Using Rarity & Access Sidebar - Different Locations.
So yay? Problem solved?


Yeah, I don't think the ruling was arbitrary or surprising in any way.
The Katana has an Uncommon tag, that is only relevant if somebody does have access to it.
If it was only one individual, it would be Rare, so as Uncommon that means a group has access, therefore it's obviously eligible.
Unconventional doesn't care which region it is, so fact CRB didn't specify it was Tian or Min etc doesn't matter.
CRB also doesn't specify Aldori Sword's provenance, although other sources make clear it is from River Kingdom/Broken Lands.
(and for that matter, from specific subculture of Aldori Swordlord nobility)

I was of mind to think Deity Favored weapons might be better supported by Unconventional, whether or not they are actually "Uncommon".
A religion certainly comprising a culture, but even granting that, the Feat awkardly seems to require "Uncommon".
For that matter, stuff like Scimitar seems appropriate to e.g. Qadira/Kelesh culture, so why not allow it?
These would be the cases that might open can of worms re: demanding further specificity, but certainly not ones with actual Uncommon tags
which as I mentioned above, already imply association to some culture or group, and therefore are appropriate for Unconventional.


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I'm confused as to why you think katanas being an option for Unconventional weaponry is arbitrary, weird or problematic in the first place tbh.


Yeah. His "suggestion" seems to be exactly how Rarity system already works.
As to Katana specifically, I feel like... he up to this point ignored/downplayed it's Uncommon status and what that meant?
He says Rarity system wasn't used for weapons... but it was with Uncommon Katanas (and others).
Nobody can normally start with one and tough to purchase except where Common.
Unconventional Weaponry grants Access & Proficiency, i.e. does what it says with no problem.
That works with Uncommon item even if you don't know the specific culture that normally grants Common access.

OK, I think he didn't actually mean exactly what he wrote, Unconventional Weaponry Feat isn't source of burden,
it's just reminding him of the burden that Uncommon already imposes... But it's not really much of a burden:
If you don't have Access then you don't have Access, which is true even if you don't know how anybody possibly could have Access.
(that could be from their Region, or Ancestry, or Religion, or anything else that serves as cultural cohesion for groups to share)
Any region can be specified to have different Common/Uncommon ratings, that's part of system expectation. OK.

If PFS wants to establish metric for determining access outside specific character entitlement they can.
As Michael explained, that could be via a module set in Tian Xia.
If they want to specify certain Ethnicities or Ancestries gaining Access, they can do so...
But lack or doing so isn't inherently a problem, it just means you don't have access to Uncommon Katanas, as the label says.

Shadow Lodge

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Squiggit wrote:
I'm confused as to why you think katanas being an option for Unconventional weaponry is arbitrary, weird or problematic in the first place tbh.

To be fair, nothing in the rules published so far indicates the Katana is 'common' anywhere. If you go by the 'real world', it's historically not common outside of Japan, and I'm not certain you could even call it 'common' there as I believe they were largely restricted to Samurai only.

Basically, the feat requires you to have a clear idea of what each weapon is and if it is common somewhere, which can be a bit messy when you consider weapons not quite so popular in 'popular culture.'
For example, not all GM's are going to be familiar enough with the Kukri to know it's a tradition Nepalese Ghurkha weapon. Even if they are familiar with it, is there a culture in Golarion where it is common? Considering its inclusion in the Gnome Weapon Familiarity (Gnome 01) feat, they are apparently popular with Gnomes, but you have to dig a bit to notice that...


Quandary wrote:

Yeah. His "suggestion" seems to be exactly how Rarity system already works.

As to Katana specifically, I feel like... he up to this point ignored/downplayed it's Uncommon status and what that meant?
He says Rarity system wasn't used for weapons... but it was with Uncommon Katanas (and others).
Nobody can normally start with one and tough to purchase except where Common.
Unconventional Weaponry grants Access & Proficiency, i.e. does what it says with no problem.
That works with Uncommon item even if you don't know the specific culture that normally grants Common access.

OK, I think he didn't actually mean exactly what he wrote, Unconventional Weaponry Feat isn't source of burden,
it's just reminding him of the burden that Uncommon already imposes... But it's not really much of a burden:
If you don't have Access then you don't have Access, which is true even if you don't know how anybody possibly could have Access.
(that could be from their Region, or Ancestry, or Religion, or anything else that serves as cultural cohesion for groups to share)
Any region can be specified to have different Common/Uncommon ratings, that's part of system expectation. OK.

If PFS wants to establish metric for determining access outside specific character entitlement they can.
As Michael explained, that could be via a module set in Tian Xia.
If they want to specify certain Ethnicities or Ancestries gaining Access, they can do so...
But lack or doing so isn't inherently a problem, it just means you don't have access to Uncommon Katanas, as the label says.

Listen, I don't mind people disagreeing with me, but... your post is extremely and unnecessarily condescending.

My "suggestion" didn't need quotes, and no, I wasn't ignoring anything. I was suggesting having "uncommon" mean a specific thing that could be useful in determining whether Unconventional Weaponry applied, which it currently doesn't. And no weapons are currently declared rare. If they were, it'd be unclear what *that* means relative to uncommon. What standard determines a weapon is rare vs common vs uncommon.


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Squiggit wrote:
I'm confused as to why you think katanas being an option for Unconventional weaponry is arbitrary, weird or problematic in the first place tbh.

It's arbitrary because it's specific to Katana. There are lots of other weapons that fall into the same category as Katana that are currently in ambiguous territory. The fact that it's unclear is the real problem. Even in a fixed campaign world (Golarion), it's completely unclear which weapons are "common in another culture".


tivadar27 wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
I'm confused as to why you think katanas being an option for Unconventional weaponry is arbitrary, weird or problematic in the first place tbh.
It's arbitrary because it's specific to Katana. There are lots of other weapons that fall into the same category as Katana that are currently in ambiguous territory. The fact that it's unclear is the real problem. Even in a fixed campaign world (Golarion), it's completely unclear which weapons are "common in another culture".

It wasn't really arbitrary. They ruled on Katanas because one of the new adventures discussed in that blog takes place in Tian Xia. And they did say that they are looking into making a more complete list for PFS GM's to use. I'm honestly not sure what you are trying to accomplish. If you want to play PFS then you have to follow their rulings.

Since this thread is about a PFS-specific ruling, I'm flagging it to be moved to the PFS forums.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Was there a new FAQ or errata about this somewhere? Cite sources please! I don't know what any of you are talking about.


Gisher wrote:
Since this thread is about a PFS-specific ruling, I'm flagging it to be moved to the PFS forums.

I don't think it's quite that simple: several PFS ruling have a note that they reflect future errata. As such, I'm not sure if this is a PFS only ruling or a preview of future errata for the core rules. :P


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Ah, I missed that line. That's what I get for posting so early in the morning.

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