5E I hate rapiers. Do you?

Poll: Do you like the way 5e has handled rapiers?

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  1. #1
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    I hate rapiers. Do you?

    So, the title says it all in this case.

    There was a time, long ago in pre-history, before the release of 5e, when I thought rapiers were cool. You know, Three Musketeers. Fencing.

    But then 5e came out. With the finesse rules (finesse? really? Ima finesse that Dragon to death!). And something became blindingly obvious to everyone with half a brain.

    Look at those weapon tables. Come on ... LOOK AT THEM. Nicely designed. Reasonably balanced. Finally getting to the point where people can (more or less) pick weapons based on choice rather than bizarre quirks in the rules.

    ...and then there was the Rapier.

    Yeah, putting a single weapon at d8 damage in the finesse category. Why? WHY?

    Now every Tom, Dick, Harry, and Dex-based character carries a Rapier. It's no longer the Three Musketeers, it's the Randomly Assorted Six Hobomurderers that Decided to Max Dex.

    Even Percy the Paladin is Smiting with his Rapier. Because of course he is.*

    The sheer number of rapiers in 5e is making me think that AD&D had a veritable dearth of Long Swords. Seriously, "Look kids, it's Big Ben, Parliament, another adventurer trying to slay Orcus with a friggin' Rapier."

    Not to mention Rapier has unfortunate connotations. I mean ... there's a reason they re-named rapeseed oil as canola oil, right? Could we at least call it the Canolier?

    Scimitars? They are cool. Shortswords? A classic. But Rapiers are nothing more than wannabe Katanas.

    Also? A poll. Both to vent, and to help identify the Rapier-lovers out there. If you are not a part of the solution, you are a part of the rapier problem. No judgment (I'm judging).




    *Sidebar- anyone who is playing a Paladin to begin with is probably doing other annoying things like this.
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  2. #2
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    Just call it a broadsword and be done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Rampant View Post
    Just call it a broadsword and be done.
    We have enough problems with the Rapier without gendering our swords.
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    I rather like rapiers. Probably because I prefer more overland/town adventures, so the "stab Orcus with a fencing weapon" isn't really a problem. Also, my players tend to go with a concept and the mechanics are secondary, so a functional rapier just means that their swashbuckler doesn't suck down the rest of the party.

    Now, do I love the 5E handling of the rapier? No. But I don't hate it, either. It's a dex-based long sword. The end. I don't actually see it as a fencing weapon (in the modern sense). It's still a big-boy weapon, whether that means an elven blade or just a broadsword. I'd actually use the long sword stats for a katana.

  5. #5
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    I don't object to a one handed d8 finesse weapon that isn't light, in fact I would like there to be one that is slashing and one that is piercing (can't see one that is bludgeoning?). I just really dislike the name rapier as it feels anachronistic as compared to the other weapons and my concept of the game.

    I'm thinking of renaming the current scimitar as a "cutlass" and making the scimitar a one handed d8 weapon that isn't light and that does slashing damage.

    I'm less certain what to call "the piercing weapon" - rapier makes some sense but I dislike it. Maybe longsword and call the current longsword a broadsword? Feels a bit more AD&D ish.

  6. #6
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    I hate rapiers. Do you?

    Yes.
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    The rapier is only a symptom. The issues driving it's popularity are the dominance of Dex, the need for a finesse weapon to do Sneak Attack damage and the fact that it's the sole finesse weapon that does d8 damage. Hell, I've got a Strength-based barbarian/swashbuckler that uses a Rapier because A) he's a swashbuckler! and B) he can do Sneak Attack damage with it. Don't blame the playa, blame the game.
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  8. #8
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    Also, it is the only d8 weapon allowed for defensive duelist feat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by werecorpse View Post
    I don't object to a one handed d8 finesse weapon that isn't light, in fact I would like there to be one that is slashing and one that is piercing (can't see one that is bludgeoning?). I just really dislike the name rapier as it feels anachronistic as compared to the other weapons and my concept of the game.

    I'm thinking of renaming the current scimitar as a "cutlass" and making the scimitar a one handed d8 weapon that isn't light and that does slashing damage.

    I'm less certain what to call "the piercing weapon" - rapier makes some sense but I dislike it. Maybe longsword and call the current longsword a broadsword? Feels a bit more AD&D ish.
    Not to interrupt my own angry rant with a serious discussion of game mechanics, but ...

    One thing I have been genuinely curious about in terms of design is this-

    The best damage die you can usually achieve through standard means, one-handed, is d8. To get to d10 (or d12) you have to use a weapon two handed (either a two-handed weapon, or a versatile weapon with two hands).

    Which means that, for one handed weapons (or traditional sword and board character) d8 is the best you can get.

    Which leads to the following observation- the inclusion of the d8 finesse rapier not only makes rapier a default choice, it has the following effects-

    1. It privileges Dex melee builds to the same extent as Strength Melee builds.
    2. Unless your Strength build goes for a two-handed weapon.

    (Yes, I know there are a few conuterexamples, namely traditional defensive sword and board with shield master, but as a general rule it holds)

    I am not a fan of this. Myself.
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  10. #10
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    Yeah, the idea of having a dueling weapon against heavy armored foes, mindless beast, creature as large as a barn is laughable. I did a lot of fencing once and I can tell you that the main reasoning behind the finess weapon being able to to as much damage as a heavier weapon against an armored adversary; that your PC hits between the plates, is strange. There's no way a fighter with a rapier is able to pinpoint 4 times in 6 seconds the small breach in the armor while the foe is defending himself.

    Anyway, in my head canon Scimitars are Sabers and Rapiers are Broadswords, longswords are Arming sword, two-handed swords are Longsword.
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