View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Weapons Revamp Idea

2015-06-10, 05:07 PM
So one of the weaknesses, or strengths for some people, of the 5e ruleset is how simplified weapons have become. In an attempt to minimize the issues that previous editions had with fiddly rules for individual weapons WotC decided to streamline weapons down to bare minimums.

In theory it's a good idea. In practice it's good or bad depending on player/gm style.

So here are some minor weapons changes that will increase the weapon variety without being overwhelming...

Versatile Weapons.

So across from finesse style weapons we've got Versatile weapons. Where a rapier gets to use Dex or Str to attack and damage, a versatile weapon allows you to hand and a half. In actual play, it doesn't really come up that often. The (long)sword and board combatant rarely, if ever, wants to give up their AC bonus (much less any enchantments) in order to gain a single +1 average damage value.

Instead, to make Versatile weapons more attractive, I suggest increasing their critical damage. When wielding a longsword one handed, increase the crit damage value to 1d10. When wielding it in two hands, increase the crit damage value to 2d6 (equivalent to a greatsword). This won't affect the base weapon damage, mind you, only the critical value. So a one-handed longsword wielder would deal 1d8+1d10+str+magic. While someone holding the same longsword with both hands would deal 1d10+2d6+str+magic.

This change, alone, makes longswords, battle axes, and warhammers much more interesting. Versatility versus straight value. It's not a staggering damage increase, either, since it only comes out on Crits.

It also has an impact on Quarterstaves and Spears, but they're less important weapons overall.

But we're still left with the languishing Greataxe. Greatswords deal higher minimum damage, similar average damage, and the same maximum damage, but they also better synergize with the Great Weapon Fighting Style, which is available to at least 3 classes (more if you use homebrew options) with minimal dipping requirements. Half-Orcs, ostensibly, gain the greatest advantage using Greataxes because of their increased critical value, in which you reroll 1 additional die of damage. With a greatsword that is 3d6 while a greataxe dishes out 2d12.

I feel like Greataxes in particular need a special benefit that brings them up towards on-par with Greatswords, that everyone can benefit from, though Half-Orcs may gain a greater overall benefit. So I suggest that Greataxes deal an additional 1d6 damage on a critical hit.

This keeps their minimum and average damages slightly lower than a Greatsword's, but increases their maximum crit damage above that of a great sword's and brings their minimum (and average) crit damage up to slightly better than a greatsword's.

Half Orc Champions might need some checking, but after an 8 hour shift and then a mandatory meeting 4 hours later I'm a bit fried.