View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Weapon Rebalance & Expansion (PEACH)

2017-02-23, 04:06 PM
Fifth edition's weapons table has always bothered me. Firstly, it has fairly simple math as a basis for how everything is put together, but it deviates from it constantly and arbitrarily. This leads to weapons that are decidedly weaker than others. (The trident, for example.) Secondly, it also lacks a number of damage types that ought to be there for symmetry. (Case in point: no bludgeoning polearm, or piercing non-reach two-hander.) Thirdly, it makes no provision for hilt-smashing, or thrusting with a longsword, or the innate duality of weapons such as morningstars.

Because of all of this (and because I want to make damage type matter more in my game without screwing my players over), I've homebrewed a more consistent weapon system with more variety. It has all of the weapons from the PHB, as well as a few other medieval weapons (mostly polearms) and even a few racial weapons. (Not sure how significant free profiency with set martial weapons is, I'll be looking into it.) New weapon properties include Double, Parry, and Multityped.

Link to Google Doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XUPIN2TQKrwyJZ_HKtfwJmNO1Hgbq7N6U1PgldS0OJk/edit?usp=sharing

To do: Add a handful more racial weapons, alphabetize weapon properties, figure out how to best organize weapons and then organize them.

I'd love to hear what you think! I'm aware it's not completely balanced, and that's not necessarily even the goal, I'm just trying to get it close enough.

2017-02-23, 09:56 PM
I totally agree that 5e needs a more robust and balanced weapon list, but there are a few things I might approach differently than you! Here's a quick list of praises and criticism
Granting certain weapons two damage types is totally reasonable: a longsword can piece as well as it can slash. But I think in edge cases such as the scimitar (a slashing weapon by design) and the warpick (a piecing weapon by design), alternative damage types (piercing and bludgeoning respectively) should not be ruled. At that point you are using an improvised weapon, with damage type and dice as such.
An element I personally love about 5e's design philosophy is that similar weapons are considered one and the same. Knives, daggers and parrying daggers, for instance, are near enough in structure and function to share a spot on the weapon list. Racial equivalents of the rapier, maul or whathaveyou are ultimate just rapiers and mauls, and themselves don't need spots on the list anymore than European, Asiatic and American variations of the longsword do.
Having the "parrying" property exclusively for the parrying dagger seems silly to me: a variety of weapons can and have been used to parry as main-gauche, from daggers to sickles to batons. I'd remove the parrying property entirely and grant such parrying as a feat or class feature.
The bec-du-corbin and halberd are already reach weapons: why do their secondary attacks have extended reach?

Here (http://homebrewery.naturalcrit.com/share/HyZjKJmpte) is my take on the endeavor, balancing all melee weapons against one another (even simple vs martial!) and uniting similar weapons under one title (club = light hammer, glaive = halberd, mace = warhammer, trident = spear).

I was unable to balance ranged weapons against one another (shortbows are simply worse than longbows, for instance) and didn't find room for certain weapons in the organizational structure (no lance, no pick), nor alternative damage types (swords piecing and slashing). But I'd like to touch up on those faults later.

And of course, ignore the weight and prices. Those are simply placeholders.

2017-02-23, 10:41 PM
Thank you for your input!

That's reasonable. (The idea of thrusting with a scimitar is rather silly now that I think about it.) However, they do need secondary attacks to stand up to similar weapons... hilt-smashing is impractical, hence the reduced damage die and lack of finesse, but doable... I've swapped the Scimitar's secondary to Bludgeoning. Warpicks, on the other hand, are often fitted with a hammer face opposite the pick, so I think bludgeoning works fine there.
I've made use of racial weapons and small variations to fill niches. For example, no weapon I could think of fits well in the 1d8s Finesse category, other than the sabre, which is too anachronistic for my taste. Thus, the Elven Thinblade. I'm aware it's not quite in the spirit of 5e, but I think at my table (with several ex-3.5 players) it will work fine. (There's also a few places where I intend to go back over and mark similar weapons - Ranseur = Partisan, Glaive = Voulge or Poleaxe, Scimitar = Cutlass, etc...)
My mistake. I labeled it "Parrying" in some places and "Parry" in others. Ranseurs and Tridents also have it. I've resolved the issue - thanks for spotting it.
I've altered the reach property: "This weapon adds 5 feet to your reach when you attack with it using the weapon’s primary attack." This is because the idea of a haft attack having the same range as the polearm's head is... silly. Halberds and Becs-de-Corbin have heads designed to inflict two kinds of harm, thus their secondary attacks also have reach.

I like your take. It's balanced, simple, and straightforward. Part of my goal with this project was to add nuance and complexity to weapons, so that for any given role a player would have several different choices with distinct mechanical effects... however, in terms of a simple fix, I think your solution works very well. (Incidentally, we seem to have come to the same conclusion that Bludgeoning and Finesse are mutually exclusive... Interesting.)

In terms of balancing ranged weapons, you might find this http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?378583-Weapon-Damage-Logic-How-to-Homebrew-and-Why-Some-Weapons-are-Trap-Options useful. It's not entirely ironclad, but it's a good basis for weapon math.

2017-02-23, 11:58 PM
Reasonable! And I'd overlooked the hammer end of warpicks: thanks for noting that!
I can definitely see racial weapons sitting well with a 3.x/PF audience. Sounds good!
Much more reasonable! No problem!
I overlooked that: makes sense!

And yeah, simplicity was definitely part of my goal. That said, I do want non-magical combat to be a bit more nuanced and for weapons to be more unique. As part of a homebrew project of mine, I'm writing a Fighter feature and feat called "Martial Manoeuvres," harkening back to old Fighter Bonus Feats.

A rapier, for example would be more than a 1d8 piercing finesse melee weapon. As a piercing weapon, it'd qualify for the Skewer manoeuvre which means enemies provoke OAs when they merely enter reach. As a finesse weapon, it'd qualify for the Feint manoeuvre, which essentially lets the player Hide momentarily as a bonus action (using Deception vs Insight instead of Stealth vs Perception) to move without provoking OAs and to attack at advantage. And as a one-handed melee weapon, it'd qualify for a the Einhander manoeuvre which grants +1 to attack rolls and AC, sitting between sword & board and great-weapon fighting in terms of defense and damage.

Similar but even slightly different weapons, like the sabre, would qualify for many of the same but a few totally different manoeuvres, and likewise serve different roles in combat. The sabre, as a slashing weapon, would qualify for the Cleave manoeuvre and suit crowd control more than the dueling weapon that is the rapier.

Some issues with this solution are, of course, that it restricts nuance to Fighters and PCs with feats to spare, and that the nuances take time to accumulate as levels are gained and manoevres are learned. Your system is definitely better at distinguishing weapons for anyone who acquires them, and right off the bat.

(Also yeah! The only weapons I can justify as Dex weapons are those that use contact rather than impact to deal damage: points and blades can do so, but not blunt instruments. The only exceptions in my weapon list are the garrote, due to its unique nature, the sling and boomerang, as ranged weapons, and the flail, as ranged weapon of unique nature)

And finally, regarding ranged weapons, the design philosophy of the link you provided is definitely handy, but I'm not sure what property I might give a shortbow over a longbow to compensate for the lower range (even if I equalize their damage). One thing I'm considering, after a bit of research, is making shortbows (and perhaps light crossbows) "light" weapons, viable for "two-weapon fighting" not through dual-wielding but through rapid reloading or a form of manyshot. Thoughts?[/QUOTE]