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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Jan 2016

    Default 3.5 exotic weapon guidelines

    Does anyone have any tips on balance when modifying an existing weapon to make an exotic weapon?

    i.e. you want to make a particular sword, so you base it off a longsword, but then you add features and slap 'exotic' on it. How much can you add? What can you do to temper it?

    my particular project is a sword. It's a big curved sword with a very elaborate and substantial basket guard for the handle - I forget what it is called, it starts with a B.

    The idea is that the basket hilt is substantial enough to grant the wielder a small Shield bonus if they are proficient in using it; of course not stacking with a regular shield bonus. The basket itself could be enhanced separately as a shield.

    Ideally I'd like to start out with greatsword, 2d6
    make it slashing and piercing
    keep the threat range, up the crit damage to 3x
    give you a +1 shield bonus
    can be used with weapon finesse
    can technically be used in one hand, but this presumes you are using your other hand for balance and so you cannot hold or do anything with the other hand or you drop down to nonproficient, getting -4 and losing the shield bonus.

    Adding all that together is obviously wayyy too much for just the 'exotic' tag. There's a lovely weapon in Frostburn that takes two feats to use properly, i might go that route.

    This sword is actually for a class I am putting together, a 20-level Duelist called a Fencer. The class only really uses 4 or 5 weapons; the Sabre and Foil (slashing and piercing Light mini rapiers, respectively), the rapier, the dagger, and this thing. Maybe a shortspear, I do not know.

    Some features the class gets can only be used with the slashing sabre, and some can only be used with the piercing foil. The rapier can be used for either, but at a -2 penalty. This basket sword would also be useable for either, possibly at a steeper penalty or maybe just as an optional feature you have to purchase. That said, some of the things I want could just come with the class and regular people only get one or two of the benefits from the feat.

    I'm sure there's someone out there who could cheese using dual 2d6 weapons and eat the penalty but 1) that's not what this is about and 2) there's already a 2d6 slashing exotic double weapon so allegedly it must be balanced.

    Back to the start, though, I'm really looking for some good guidelines on making exotic weapons.

    p.s. if anyone is interested, the sabre special manuever allows you to use a standard action to attack with your sabre as a touch attack, the foil one lets you make a standard or full attack at 10 feet so long as all the attacks are against the same target. that's what I have so far. I need to come up with some more.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    nonsi's Avatar

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    Apr 2010

    Default Re: 3.5 exotic weapon guidelines

    Quote Originally Posted by Malapterus View Post
    The idea is that the basket hilt is substantial enough to grant the wielder a small Shield bonus if they are proficient in using it; of course not stacking with a regular shield bonus. The basket itself could be enhanced separately as a shield.
    You could grant partial functionality for the first feat and the rest for the second.
    Personally, I think you could do better with two feats than to invest them on a single weapon.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Troll in the Playground
     
    jiriku's Avatar

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    Aug 2009

    Default Re: 3.5 exotic weapon guidelines

    I've been using this for years. Works great.

    Custom weapons receive 9 trait points, and may purchase traits from the following menus.

    TRAINING
    Exotic 0
    Martial 2
    Simple 3

    DAMAGE DIE
    1 point 0
    d4 1
    d6 2
    d8/2d4 3
    d10 4
    d12/2d6 5
    2d8 6

    EASE OF USE
    Two-handed 0
    One-handed 2
    Light 3

    DAMAGE TYPE
    Piercing 0
    Slashing 1
    Bludgeoning 1

    CRIT MULTIPLIER
    20/x2 0
    20/x3 1
    19-20/x2 1
    18-20/x2 2
    20/x4 2
    19-20/x3 3
    18-20/x3 5
    19-20/x4 5
    18-20/x4 8

    SPECIAL
    Thrown 10 ft 1
    Thrown 20 ft 2
    +2 to skill 1
    +4 to skill 2
    finesse 1
    trip weapon 1
    reach 1
    reach+adjacent 2
    set vs charge 1
    monk weapon 2
    double weapon 2*
    other specials 1 or 2

    *build each half separately
    Last edited by jiriku; 2018-11-16 at 12:32 PM.
    Subclasses for 5E: magus of blades, shadowcraft assassin, spellthief, void disciple
    Guides for 5E: Practical fiend-binding

    D&D Remix for 3.x: balanced base classes and feats, all in the authentic flavor of the originals. Most popular: monk and fighter.


  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    nonsi's Avatar

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    Apr 2010

    Default Re: 3.5 exotic weapon guidelines

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    I've been using this for years. Works great.

    Custom weapons receive 9 trait points, and may purchase traits from the following menus.

    [*snip*]
    Man, this deserves a thread of it own. I didn't even know there was a formula for 3e weapons

    Btw, I noticed a slight error in the last section ("SPECIAL"). I think that the second entry is supposed to be for 30', not 10'.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Temotei's Avatar

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    Default Re: 3.5 exotic weapon guidelines

    I'm guessing the bonus to skills would be a competence bonus?
    Homebrew
    Please feel free to PM me any thoughts on my homebrew (or comment in the thread if it's not too old).

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Troll in the Playground
     
    jiriku's Avatar

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    Aug 2009

    Default Re: 3.5 exotic weapon guidelines

    Quote Originally Posted by nonsi View Post
    Man, this deserves a thread of it own. I didn't even know there was a formula for 3e weapons

    Btw, I noticed a slight error in the last section ("SPECIAL"). I think that the second entry is supposed to be for 30', not 10'.
    It's not an "official" formula. I reverse-engineered it from the published weapons. It pretty accurately reproduces all weapons except the PHB exotic weapons, most of which were built with an 8-point formula rather than 9. Exotic weapons from later splatbooks were built with 9 and occasionally even 10.

    Quote Originally Posted by Temotei View Post
    I'm guessing the bonus to skills would be a competence bonus?
    An unttyped bonus. This is for things like the +2 on Sleight of Hand checks to conceal a dagger or the +2 to disarm with a flail.
    Subclasses for 5E: magus of blades, shadowcraft assassin, spellthief, void disciple
    Guides for 5E: Practical fiend-binding

    D&D Remix for 3.x: balanced base classes and feats, all in the authentic flavor of the originals. Most popular: monk and fighter.


  7. - Top - End - #7
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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    Sep 2017

    Default Re: 3.5 exotic weapon guidelines

    This might help: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...idA16ef_w/edit, its not my work, but I like it.
    Game I am in:
    Giants and Graveyards Red Hand of Doom as Enn (3.5 Changeling Rogue//Dark template/Beguiler) using Grod's awesome Giants and Graveyards fixes
    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    3.5 is the English Language of gaming.
    Folklore and the Evil Eye - A Guide to The Dreamscarred Press Malefex Class

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Jan 2016

    Default Re: 3.5 exotic weapon guidelines

    to get that 18-20x4 it'd have to be an exotic two-handed 1d4 weapon

    trying to picture that. maybe a cestus?

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Troll in the Playground
     
    jiriku's Avatar

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    Aug 2009

    Default Re: 3.5 exotic weapon guidelines

    Yeah, it would be a weird weapon. I only included that option because with a 9-point budget it is mathematically possible to do it. I have never introduced nor had a player introduce a weapon with a crit range/multiplier higher than 19-20/x3. And now that I look at it, I see that I left 19-20/x4 off the list. I'll add that in.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2018-11-16 at 12:31 PM.
    Subclasses for 5E: magus of blades, shadowcraft assassin, spellthief, void disciple
    Guides for 5E: Practical fiend-binding

    D&D Remix for 3.x: balanced base classes and feats, all in the authentic flavor of the originals. Most popular: monk and fighter.


  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    nonsi's Avatar

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    Apr 2010

    Default Re: 3.5 exotic weapon guidelines

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    It's not an "official" formula. I reverse-engineered it from the published weapons. It pretty accurately reproduces all weapons except the PHB exotic weapons, most of which were built with an 8-point formula rather than 9. Exotic weapons from later splatbooks were built with 9 and occasionally even 10.
    Btw, what about missile weapons (bows, x-bows, blowgun etc)?

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Troll in the Playground
     
    jiriku's Avatar

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    Aug 2009

    Default Re: 3.5 exotic weapon guidelines

    Quote Originally Posted by nonsi View Post
    Btw, what about missile weapons (bows, x-bows, blowgun etc)?
    I never wrote that up formally. I was custom melee weapons my players always wanted.

    To do a missile weapon without a lot of fuss, I'd start with an existing weapon that's similar to what you want, then remove or scale down features according to the tables here and used the "saved" points to buy extra features from the tables here. For example, if a light crossbow is a simple weapon that deals 1d8 damage with a 19-20 threat range, you could reduce the threat range from 19-20 to 20, earning yourself a point of credit, then increase the damage from 1d8 to 1d10. If you want something a little more precise, well, you could try to cost out the various unusual features of ranged weapons like taking actions to reload, firing one-handed at a penalty, or awkwardness about adding Strength bonus to damage. I felt like a lot of that was useless fluff and generally ignored it myself.
    Subclasses for 5E: magus of blades, shadowcraft assassin, spellthief, void disciple
    Guides for 5E: Practical fiend-binding

    D&D Remix for 3.x: balanced base classes and feats, all in the authentic flavor of the originals. Most popular: monk and fighter.


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