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5E All weapons doing d6?

Tonguez

Hero
So way back in the earliest runs of D&D all weapons did d6 damage* as a dagger thrust to the vitals, a sword across the gut, or great club bashing a head all had the same ability to wound and kill. A goblin with a dagger was as much a threat as a orc with a great sword and it was the characters inherent attributes and ‘skill’ that determined combat effectiveness not damage dice. More importantly weapon choices wasnt determied by damage output but rather be based on character concept - a quick dagger fighter, a mighty swordsman, a cautious halberdier.

So has anyone tried to reintroduce this system? I think its even more viable now that 5e has an advantage/disadvantage system (eg polearms get range advantage, daggers get a advantage when using dex)
 

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Prakriti

Hi, I'm a Mindflayer, but don't let that worry you
5e already normalizes damage across the classes (or attempts to). That's why classes that use dinky weapons, like Rogues, get big damage boosts like Sneak Attack (2d6 at level 1), and classes that use big hurking weapons, like Barbarians, get smaller damage boosts like Rage (+2 at level 1). All classes are supposed to be dealing commensurate damage, so if you nerf some classes' preferred weapons, then class balance goes out the window.
 


I can see a Gamma World style system where light weapons do 1d6, heavier weapons do 1d8, and big weapons do 1d10, with the different types flavoured accordingly.

It's fine in theory to say "it was the characters inherent attributes and ‘skill’ that determined combat effectiveness not damage dice" but that still requires some additional damage or abilities that make one effective. If the goblin and the fifth level fighter are doing the same damage then the fighter isn't any more effective. And while the fighter might be more accurate, that doesn't help them kill an inferior foe any faster
 

Tonguez

Hero
I can see a Gamma World style system where light weapons do 1d6, heavier weapons do 1d8, and big weapons do 1d10, with the different types flavoured accordingly.

It's fine in theory to say "it was the characters inherent attributes and ‘skill’ that determined combat effectiveness not damage dice" but that still requires some additional damage or abilities that make one effective. If the goblin and the fifth level fighter are doing the same damage then the fighter isn't any more effective. And while the fighter might be more accurate, that doesn't help them kill an inferior foe any faster
The fighter would get their Str bonus and style bonus and proficiency bonus, is that not enough v the goblin? I suppose one could add proficiency bonus to damage too

Sounds really boring to me.
Can you tell me why d6 damage is boring? What extra does having daggers do d4 and a spear doing d6 more exciting?
 

If you introduce all weapons dealing the same dice of damage you would also have to completely alter the way in which monster HP are determined, or you'd be making already large pools of hit points feel even more inflated.

If you ask me, there's good reason why this ruling went away very early on in the life of the D&D game.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
5e already normalizes damage across the classes (or attempts to). That's why classes that use dinky weapons, like Rogues, get big damage boosts like Sneak Attack (2d6 at level 1), and classes that use big hurking weapons, like Barbarians, get smaller damage boosts like Rage (+2 at level 1). All classes are supposed to be dealing commensurate damage, so if you nerf some classes' preferred weapons, then class balance goes out the window.
That’s why I think 13th Age’s version of this concept is the best. Damage dice in that game are based on class rather than weapon, so your rogue always does 1d6, your Barbarian always does 1d12 and what weapon you use to do it is up to you and how you want to describe your character.
 

Tonguez

Hero
If you introduce all weapons dealing the same dice of damage you would also have to completely alter the way in which monster HP are determined, or you'd be making already large pools of hit points feel even more inflated.

If you ask me, there's good reason why this ruling went away very early on in the life of the D&D game.
Yes, HP bloat is another big issue with the game but I didnt want to conflate the two too much (though I suppose that is unavoidable) - d6+con+proficiency per level for HP could do, maybe have Martial classes use d8.

That’s why I think 13th Age’s version of this concept is the best. Damage dice in that game are based on class rather than weapon, so your rogue always does 1d6, your Barbarian always does 1d12 and what weapon you use to do it is up to you and how you want to describe your character.
Ah, thats certainly a useful approach I hadnt considered
 

jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
Can you tell me why d6 damage is boring? What extra does having daggers do d4 and a spear doing d6 more exciting?
Because having different weapons gives you a mechanically meaningful choice point for character design. If every weapon is an undifferentiated d6, then there's no real point for me in picking a weapon. It basically becomes just part of drawing your character profile, which is not for me a very interesting part of making a character. (Others may disagree.)
 

jmartkdr2

Explorer
13th Age does a slight variant where it's by class and size but not by specific weapon - a fighter using a one-handed weapon does d8s. A wizard does d6's (IIRC.)

It works well enough, but you do lose some impact from customization while gaining freedom i how you describe your character.
 

Tonguez

Hero
Because having different weapons gives you a mechanically meaningful choice point for character design. If every weapon is an undifferentiated d6, then there's no real point for me in picking a weapon. It basically becomes just part of drawing your character profile, which is not for me a very interesting part of making a character. (Others may disagree.)
So would there ever be a reason why you would choose a scimitar over a long sword or a Mace over a Morning Star? should the weapon part just be part lof drawing your character profile ...
 
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Big Bucky

Explorer
That’s why I think 13th Age’s version of this concept is the best. Damage dice in that game are based on class rather than weapon, so your rogue always does 1d6, your Barbarian always does 1d12 and what weapon you use to do it is up to you and how you want to describe your character.
Dungeon World does it too and it works really well. There are tags on the weapons that differentiate them.

It’s not like the weapons in D&D lend themselves to people picking all different weapons (every rogue everywhere using rapier). Making them all the same damage would add more diversity and make narrative play more interesting.
 

Saelorn

Hero
So would there ever be a reason why you would choose a scimitar over a long sword or a lighthammer over a war hammer? should the weapon part just be part lof drawing your character profile ...
Maybe you can't get the better weapon, so you're stuck with the inferior one until you can acquire the upgrade.

A good weapon is supposed to be a big deal, in a world where not everyone has one. One of the big marks against Gamma World 7E is that there's no reason to care about having a nice sword when you can pick up a fence post and it's exactly as effective.
 

jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
So would there ever be a reason why you would choose a scimitar over a long sword or a lighthammer over a war hammer? should the weapon part just be part lof drawing your character profile ...
Sorry, not sure I understand what you ask here. In the regular rules, of course, there would be reasons to pick one over another (am I using Str vs Dex? Shield or TWF? Do I want a weapon I can throw?).

Or are you asking why I think weapon choice should be more meaningful? I just think it is more interesting.

Dungeon World does it too and it works really well. There are tags on the weapons that differentiate them.

It’s not like the weapons in D&D lend themselves to people picking all different weapons (every rogue everywhere using rapier). Making them all the same damage would add more diversity and make narrative play more interesting.
Ah see I disagree. The rogue has to pick between rapier (most damage), two short swords (less damage but TWF option), or a dagger (throwable). I've seen all of those. Well actually come to think of it I'm not sure I've seen a rogue use a rapier at my table, but whatever I know it is popular. And I like the fact that these options give you something to think about.
 

Jediking

Explorer
You could try what Dungeon World does, and weapon attacks are based on class.

In 5e you could easily use the HD amount as damage die to replicate this - Wizards would deal a d6 Dmg, while a Fighter would deal d10, Barbarians would remain the big guns with their d12
 

Big Bucky

Explorer
I’ve used all of those as a rogue too. But i think most people will pick the highest damage weapon as their go to weapon. 5e doesn’t have a ton of tactical depth so there usually isn’t a benefit to using different weapons anyway, at least how most tables are run.
 

jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
I’ve used all of those as a rogue too. But i think most people will pick the highest damage weapon as their go to weapon. 5e doesn’t have a ton of tactical depth so there usually isn’t a benefit to using different weapons anyway, at least how most tables are run.
I'm not sure that agrees with my experience, but you could be right. But all I'm offering here is my personal opinion. When I'm making a character I like to consider the tradeoffs that different weapons offer.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
Everything does a d6? Hmm, no differentiation, so like this...

I throw my weapon at the goblin, wounding him in the thigh. He limps forward, grasps his weapon in both hands, and attacks at my chest. I barely manage to parry with my weapon, which snaps at the part that usually snaps. I draw my other weapon and yet another weapon, and attack in a flurry of unspecified attacks, cutting him down in a welter of gore.

Seriously though, I do like the 13th age answer to this question a lot.
 

Voadam

Adventurer
I sometimes would like it. There have been times I've thought it would be fun aesthetically to play a viking or Celtic or Greek warrior with a spear but swords are generally just better mechanically. It would also facilitate the Savage Sword of Conan image where he often sports different weapons. D&D mechanics often favor hyper-specializing in one single style.
 

Bacon Bits

Adventurer
That’s why I think 13th Age’s version of this concept is the best. Damage dice in that game are based on class rather than weapon, so your rogue always does 1d6, your Barbarian always does 1d12 and what weapon you use to do it is up to you and how you want to describe your character.
That's not right. 13th Age gives each class their own weapons table (in practice the damage die size is pretty consistent between weapon types), and weapons deal 1 die of damage per character level plus ability modifier.
 

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