Let's Look At Pathfinder 2's Weapons!
  • Let's Look At Pathfinder 2's Weapons!


    Paizo has a new Pathfinder 2nd Edition blog up, and this time we're taking a look at weapons! We find out about the Simple/Martial/Exotic scale, weapon traits, critical specialization, weapon groups, and weapon quality.






    You can read the full article here, but here are the highlights:


    • Simple weapons have smaller damage dice, while exotic weapons have additional abilities.
    • The simple/martial/exotic scale deals with power and flexibility rather than being a regional descriptor.
    • Weapon traits --
      • Greatswords can switch between piercing and slashing damage; d12 damage
      • Bo staff is d8, has reach, parry, and trip, plus the "monk" trait
      • Glaive is d8, has reach, "deadly d8" (extra d8s on a critical), forceful (builds up momentum doing extra damage on iterative attacks)
      • Twin weapons like saw-toothed safer do more damage if you have two
      • Backswing weapons like great club gain accuracy after a miss
      • Backstabber weapons like the dog slicer to more damage to flat footed targets
      • Agile weapons like the short sword decrease penalties for multiple attacks
      • Finesse weapons like the rapier use your Dex mod for attacks
      • Two-handed weapons like the bastard sword do more damage with two hands

    • Critical specialisation is an unlockable weapon ability which has a special effect.
      • Swords make the target flat-footed
      • Spears weaken the target's attacks
      • Axes damage adjacent targets
      • Daggers cause persistent bleed damage
      • Clubs knock the target 10 feet

    • Weapon quality goes from poor, standard, expert, master, legendary and grants -1 to +3 bonus/penalty to hit.
    Comments 80 Comments
    1. TwoSix -
      I guess it isn't controversial enough to comment on.

      Overall, I like it...slightly complex, but elegantly so.
    1. Charlaquin's Avatar
      Charlaquin -
      Quote Originally Posted by TwoSix View Post
      I guess it isn't controversial enough to comment on.

      Overall, I like it...slightly complex, but elegantly so.
      The complexity is acceptable because itís being used to make the weapon mechanics deeper. Thats the key. Complexity is the currency you use to buy depth. As long as the designers are thrifty with it, itíll go over well.
    1. Mistwell's Avatar
      Mistwell -
      Too complex for me.
    1. Tumorseal's Avatar
      Tumorseal -
      This kind of stuff will make playing a fighter fun.
    1. Charlaquin's Avatar
      Charlaquin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mistwell View Post
      Too complex for me.
      Can't win 'em all
    1. i_dont_meta's Avatar
      i_dont_meta -
      Can't wait for the D&D 5E conversion...
    1. Sunseeker's Avatar
      Sunseeker -
      What's with all this +3 stuff? I get not going crazy and making weapons go up to +10 million. To the same question, why does proficiency go up to +6 in 5E? We've got 20 levels, 9 levels of spells, +3 weapons, and I can't even tell you what level proficiency goes up to in PF2.

      Is there any way we could get a system that is nicely divisible by 5? or by 2?

      Beyond that, these weapons seem gimmicky and remind me of again of decking our wargame minis.
    1. Ancalagon's Avatar
      Ancalagon -
      I like some of these abilities, but some are... bizarre.

      Twin weapons like saw-toothed safer do more damage if you have two
      Backswing weapons like great club gain accuracy after a miss
      Backstabber weapons like the dog slicer to more damage to flat footed targets
      Twin does more damage!?! *how* I could see them working better together (less penalties for two weapon fighting?) but more damage? how does this work?

      Backswing: Yes, some weapons you can recover easier from a miss... but wouldn't this be a quick, agile weapon, not a great club?

      Backstabber ... again I'm a bit confused. If your foe is flat footed, he's vulnerable end of story no?
    1. wakedown's Avatar
      wakedown -
      A moment to weep for the thousands of hours that will be lost as players suddenly remember then discuss with their GMs that extra +1 damage or +1 to hit last round from a forceful or agile weapon... in some cases that extra +1 being the difference between a critical fumble, fumble, hit or critical hit and something else...
    1. Leatherhead's Avatar
      Leatherhead -
      Quote Originally Posted by shidaku View Post
      What's with all this +3 stuff? I get not going crazy and making weapons go up to +10 million. To the same question, why does proficiency go up to +6 in 5E? We've got 20 levels, 9 levels of spells, +3 weapons, and I can't even tell you what level proficiency goes up to in PF2.

      Is there any way we could get a system that is nicely divisible by 5? or by 2?

      Beyond that, these weapons seem gimmicky and remind me of again of decking our wargame minis.
      I think I can crack this math.

      Firstly, I would like to point out: The range is -1 to +3, which is 5 different values.
      In D&D, its +0 to +3, which is 4 different values ( for your multiple of 2).

      Proficiency starts at +2 then goes up to +6 (a 5 number range again), because there is such a thing as 1/2 proficiency (Bards use it for jack of all trades) and because it's intended to be added with your stat modifier. That means, at the end of the game, when you are more badass than everything, your bonus will be +11 (see what they did there?)

      And there are technically 10 levels of spells (Cantrips yo!), they just aren't split up evenly over all 20 levels.

      However, that does make me wonder what kind of reaction people would have if they didn't cast level one spells until level 3.
    1. Imaculata's Avatar
      Imaculata -
      Quote Originally Posted by wakedown View Post
      A moment to weep for the thousands of hours that will be lost as players suddenly remember then discuss with their GMs that extra +1 damage or +1 to hit last round from a forceful or agile weapon... in some cases that extra +1 being the difference between a critical fumble, fumble, hit or critical hit and something else...
      Yep, just what the game needs. More stacking bonuses to remember.
    1. mach1.9pants's Avatar
      mach1.9pants -
      It certainly looks to give martial classes more bits to play with. Like most of these not really enough info to get even a decent glimpse
    1. wakedown's Avatar
      wakedown -
      I don't know if these little weapon riders were what various weapon-wieldling characters were missing in play. I don't think I've had that many barbarians pine over using a glaive vs a greatsword but find their solution is met by adding in an increasing damage bonus per hit. Or a fighter who regains interest in greatclubs because they pick up a nominal hit bonus after a miss.

      Mostly the biggest issue (related to weapons) was the gap in weapon performance between 18-20 crit range weapons vs "only on a 20" crit range weapons, particularly when crit ranges doubled to 15-20 or 19-20 at high level.

      I think my issue is I could see some players actually shy away from certain weapons now because they don't want to feel they have to remember various rider conditions, bonuses and effects from attack to attack or round to round.
    1. Kaodi -
      If you think it will be hard to remember how your primary weapon works imagine how difficult it must be remember how more than a dozen spells you know work. Really, I think this is just going to make selecting a weapon more difficult. If you find it too hard to remember how your primary weapons work then how hard can you really be trying?
    1. Ancalagon's Avatar
      Ancalagon -
      Quote Originally Posted by wakedown View Post
      A moment to weep for the thousands of hours that will be lost as players suddenly remember then discuss with their GMs that extra +1 damage or +1 to hit last round from a forceful or agile weapon... in some cases that extra +1 being the difference between a critical fumble, fumble, hit or critical hit and something else...
      That is a valid concern...
    1. Sunseeker's Avatar
      Sunseeker -
      Quote Originally Posted by Leatherhead View Post
      I think I can crack this math.

      Firstly, I would like to point out: The range is -1 to +3, which is 5 different values.
      In D&D, its +0 to +3, which is 4 different values ( for your multiple of 2).

      Proficiency starts at +2 then goes up to +6 (a 5 number range again), because there is such a thing as 1/2 proficiency (Bards use it for jack of all trades) and because it's intended to be added with your stat modifier. That means, at the end of the game, when you are more badass than everything, your bonus will be +11 (see what they did there?)

      And there are technically 10 levels of spells (Cantrips yo!), they just aren't split up evenly over all 20 levels.

      However, that does make me wonder what kind of reaction people would have if they didn't cast level one spells until level 3.
      Zero really isn't a value, it's an absence of value.

      Most people probably aren't going to be starting out with -1 weapons, either. I realize that 5E proficiency starts at 2 and goes to 6, for a total value of 5, but it still makes the numbers look weird. Why not start at 1 and go to 5?

      I get that there's always a bit of front-loading to classes, to make sure that people are getting their proverbial "moneys worth" from early play (since some DM's never go past low levels). But I still feel like there's a simple math that's being missed out on, an elegance as was put in another thread that seems to be lost in the drive for wargame-style complexity.
    1. Polyhedral Columbia's Avatar
      Polyhedral Columbia -
      Looks great!
    1. zztong's Avatar
      zztong -
      I do like that there will be more attributes with which weapons can be associated. I don't really trust Paizo to correctly associate them with the weapons. The Glaive description, for instance, doesn't really seem like a Glaive, unless perhaps they're envisioning something like an Eastern weapon in a Kung Fu movie. Perhaps that's the heart of the matter. They're after a fantasy setting that is more distant from a simulation. Their imagery often has me thinking more of something like Anime than Medieval.

      Assuming they don't shift the math off into superheroic, I can be happy that they'd be giving me weapon attributes to use to fix up my own weapon chart.
    1. Parmandur's Avatar
      Parmandur -
      Quote Originally Posted by shidaku View Post
      What's with all this +3 stuff? I get not going crazy and making weapons go up to +10 million. To the same question, why does proficiency go up to +6 in 5E? We've got 20 levels, 9 levels of spells, +3 weapons, and I can't even tell you what level proficiency goes up to in PF2.

      Is there any way we could get a system that is nicely divisible by 5? or by 2?

      Beyond that, these weapons seem gimmicky and remind me of again of decking our wargame minis.
      The numbers are bellcurve related, I believe (the 5E Proficiency bonus specifically replaces the average of the playtest Proficiency dice pool mechanic).

      And yes, PF2 is very complex, crunchy wargame: it's their jam.
    1. Parmandur's Avatar
      Parmandur -
      Quote Originally Posted by Imaculata View Post
      Yep, just what the game needs. More stacking bonuses to remember.
      That is certainly what I always felt was missing in 3.x myself.
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