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5E All weapons doing d6?

No.
.
"Because in CHAINMAIL different weapons have different numbers to kill.

And I thought it would be cool if different weapons in D&D had different effects.

Gary didn't like the idea, but I didn't give up, and ultimately he did.

That's right, variable weapon damage is included in D&D because a 17 year old kid thought it was a neat idea and harassed the writer until he gave in.

I (expletive) you not.” -Mike Monard

That’s right. You can blame an obnoxious teenager. Gygax later went back to standardized weapon damage in a post-D&D system, IIRC.
I know nothing of this quote, but my source was an interview or article from Gygax (pretty sure it was in The Dragon, but could be incorrect). Either Gygax fudged the truth to avoid embarrassment or Mondard did.
 

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jmartkdr2

Explorer
I'll be honest, I was misremembering the 13A system. I think was conflating the die per level thing with something else. Either a different part of the same game, or perhaps a mechanic from an altogether different game. IDK, and now I'm annoyed, because I know I've seen damage dice differentiated by class somewhere, I just don't remember were.
shrug

It's definitely an idea that's been around, and probably deserves a look if the idea of swords and axes being the same is more of a pro than a con for you.

I think the idea in the post title goes too far, but there's value is saying "a barbarian using a two-handed melee weapon does 1d12 damage, regardless of the weapon," because barbarians with greatclubs probably shouldn't be a terrible idea. It's just a matter of finding the right balance for you.

(Isn't it always about that, though?)
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
shrug

It's definitely an idea that's been around, and probably deserves a look if the idea of swords and axes being the same is more of a pro than a con for you.
I seem to to remember tags of some kind to differentiate weapon effects. Again, with my memory this whole idea could be a portmanteau of a RPG mechanic and something I saw on the A-Team when I was little. 🤷‍♂️
 

Snarf Zagyg

Bargle's brother, Argle.
I know nothing of this quote, but my source was an interview or article from Gygax (pretty sure it was in The Dragon, but could be incorrect). Either Gygax fudged the truth to avoid embarrassment or Mondard did.
okay.

I gave you a first-hand account from the person involved, and that is generally considered to be accurate AFAIK.

I’d appreciate an actual quote or source if you are familiar with something that indicated Mike Monard was incorrect.
 
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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Haven't read the whole thread, but I was going to mention Dungeon World, which does a similar thing, and which I like a LOT more than D&D-like systems, where you study the weapon tables and try to optimize the numbers. I'd much rather choose weapons based on flavor and not worry about numbers.
  • Your damage die is based on class.
  • Within that, however, there might be various advantages between 2H vs. 1H+shield vs. dual-wield.
That’s how it works in 13A too ( where each class has its own weapon table), I was just generalizing.
 

jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
Well if you are allowing weapon properties and class variations, you might get something like this:

- Divide classes into martial and non-martial

- For martial classes, there are four weapon classes with different damage dice:
Heavy: 1d12
Reach: 1d10
1H: 1d8
Light/finesse: 1d6

- Non-martial classes get three types:
2H: 1d8
1H 1d6
Light/finesse: 1d4

In any case you describe the weapon how you like and pick your damage type from bludgeoning, slashing or piercing

That seems fine to me but it's really close to what 5e already does.
 
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okay.

I gave you a first-hand account from the person involved, and that is generally considered to be accurate AFAIK.

I’d appreciate an actual quote or source if you are familiar with something that indicated Mike Monard was incorrect.
I can't (I honestly don't even know who he is), I simply pointed out my source. Based on Mr. Monard's quote, it would make sense that Gygax would fudge the truth to avoid embarrassment.
 

Perun

Mushroom
Something that has always bothered be is that if feels intuitive, to me at least, the the prime factor in weapon damage should be skill, rather than stats. I'm not advocating for a rules change or anything, just mulling over the heavy emphasis on stats rather than skill in D&D generally. Not that stats shouldn't matter, they obviously should. I thought I'd have firmer thoughts on exactly what that should look like, but I find I don't. It seems obvious, generally, that a highly trained fighter should do more damage with a weapon than a rank novice, but this is only represented at a level of abstraction in the improved chance to hit. Huh, to the back of a handy napkin!
I had something similar in mind. At first, my idea was to just increase the damage die by one size for Simple weapons for all characters who get full proficiency in Martial weapons. The idea was that Simple weapons are (generally) easier to use than Martial, and at the basic level of proficiency, they deal the listed amount of damage. Expert users (i.e. those classes that get the proficiency in all Martial weapons) use them with more skill, and the damage die increases. However, this works for some Simple weapons (eg. mace, a single-handed bludgeoning weapon normally deals 1d6, with this house-rule in effect, that increases to 1d8, with similar situations for club, greatclub, hand axe, morning star, etc.), but not really for the others, like dagger, which would deal 1d6 piercing damage, just like shortwsord, or shortbow, whose damage would equal that of longbow. With bows, you at least get the range difference, while with dagger vs. shortsword, dagger becomes just the better weapon (1d6, piercing, finesse, light, thrown (20/6) vs. 1d6, piercing, finesse, light).

I'm still interested in the idea, but it would require more house-rules than I'm willing to deal with. Perhaps at some time in the future...
 

Dormammu

Explorer
To me, this is a rabbit hole that benefits very little from delving into.

Some people like different damage type per weapon (whether traditional style or 13th Age style), others might enjoy reducing all weapons to a d6. But there is no meaningful reduction in complexity for the latter. Is anyone confused by rolling a d8 for a long sword and a d6 for a short sword?

My point being, if the former group of players enjoys it and it doesn’t bog down the game, there is no concrete advantage for removing different weapon dice. Let the players who like rolling different dice have their fun and simplify the game rules somewhere that confers more benefit.
 

atanakar

Hero
Not sure if anyone mentioned this but there is a class based variant that I find very interesting. I found this on the Dragonsfoot AD&D forum :


Weapon Damage
Q: With all weapons doing 1d6, I like it that magic-users can use swords and there generally aren't class weapon restrictions. How can I keep that flavor but vary weapon damage?
A: Many people who run Holmes Basic or White Box D&D use class-based damage. Here is my recommendation using weapon classifications:
  • Short weapon - dagger, hand axe, javelin, club
  • Long weapon - mace, sword, battle axe, morning star, flail, spear, pike, staff (though yes the latter two are technically two-handed)
  • Two-handed weapon - pole arm, halberd, two-handed sword, lance
  • Light Missile - dagger, javelin, sling stone
  • Heavy Missile - arrow, quarrel, spear, hand axe
ClassShortLongTwo-HandedLight MissileHeavy Missile
Fighter1-61-81-101-41-6
Thief1-41-61-81-41-6
Cleric1-41-61-81-31-4
Magic-User1-31-41-61-21-3
Note that in this design, fighters are tops at everything, but thieves tie with them in missile weapons.
 

Jacob Lewis

Ye Olde GM
I find the damage dice are probably the most boring aspect for defining a weapon quality. And yet, it is the primary characteristic that we all look at because it is the most basic and direct measure used for determining the quality of what is considered to be the most important piece of adventuring equipment for D&D. The thing is, the dice doesn't guarantee the effectiveness of the weapon used. It only offers the potential to achieve a greater result.

Fact is, that d12 greataxe isn't any more dangerous than a dagger if you don't roll higher than 4 on a hit. That is unless you take certain abilities or feats that allow your particular character to handle certain weapons better than others. But that says more about the character's identity and specialization, not the weapon itself.

If it were up to me, and I were designing weapons from the ground up with the goal of making their damage output the significant factor, I would make only two changes: d10 becomes (2 + 1d8), and d12/2d6 become (4 + 1d8). If you're swinging a heavy weapon, you're not lightly jabbing at something like a dagger.

The other option is to create more interesting dynamics with weapon properties and qualities. But this becomes more detailed and complicated, which works against the 5e design. So it may be best reserved for other systems looking to create a more detailed or tactical style of play.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
You could combine those two ideas if you had variable damage dice by class, and variable bonus to damage by size. If the fighter rolls a d10 and the mage rolls a d6 for damage, if they both have a great axe, they do 1d10 +4 and 1d6 +4 respectively. That doesn't sound out of sight.
 


atanakar

Hero
I'm a fan of predetermined values for damage. I used them for creatures instead of rolling. Speeds up play too.

Dagger = 2 damage, sword = 4, long sword = 6, two-handed = 8. You could add a class bonus based on levels. Fighters +1 per level (+10 damage at level 10), Cleric and thieves +1 at odd levels (+5 at level 10). Wizards +1 every three levels (+3 at level 10).

But players are addicted to rolling damage because they are always gambling on the miraculous Max Result... and cry when they get under average. :LOL:
 
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Voadam

Adventurer
To me, this is a rabbit hole that benefits very little from delving into.

Some people like different damage type per weapon (whether traditional style or 13th Age style), others might enjoy reducing all weapons to a d6. But there is no meaningful reduction in complexity for the latter. Is anyone confused by rolling a d8 for a long sword and a d6 for a short sword?

My point being, if the former group of players enjoys it and it doesn’t bog down the game, there is no concrete advantage for removing different weapon dice. Let the players who like rolling different dice have their fun and simplify the game rules somewhere that confers more benefit.
The contrary view:

Some people would like to play warriors with different weapons for aesthetic reasons and to not mechanically disadvantage themselves in the game to do so.

Odin and Heracles are fine warrior archetypes. So are Spartan hoplites, Masai warriors, and samurai with tetsubo.

All d6s would accomplish that as would class based damage.

The idea of Ranger Rambo doing a lot of damage with his bayonet has some appeal.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Bargle's brother, Argle.
I can't (I honestly don't even know who he is), I simply pointed out my source. Based on Mr. Monard's quote, it would make sense that Gygax would fudge the truth to avoid embarrassment.
Okay.

Do you have a source- I didn't see you point it out. I truly enjoy researching these sorts of things, and I've never encountered that (the iron spike story) before. I'd like to see where it came from!

1. Mike Monard (also known as "Old Geezer") was one of the OG players; he played in the original Greyhawk and the original Isle of the Ape with Ernie , Kaye, Kuntz, and Arendt.

2. It's on a different forum, but you can google the text and find the source.

PS- Anyone hear from him recently? Haven't seen him posting on any forums in a while?
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Since we've had recently a thread on Five Torches Deep, I'll share the system's weapon table:
Effective Range
  • Melee Works in close range (5’); some have reach (10’)
  • Ranged Suited for ranged distances (15-300’) disadv in melee

Proficiency Required
Simple: Easy to use but weak
• One hand: 1d6 damage
• Two hand: 1d8 damage
• Dual 1h: 2d6 dmg, take best single d6 result

Ex: Clubs, spears, hunting bows

Martial More complex and powerful
• One hand: 1d10 damage
• Two hand: 1d12 damage
• Dual 1h: 2d10 dmg, take best single d10 result

Ex: Swords, halberds, war bows
 

jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
Since we've had recently a thread on Five Torches Deep, I'll share the system's weapon table:
Effective Range
  • Melee Works in close range (5’); some have reach (10’)
  • Ranged Suited for ranged distances (15-300’) disadv in melee

Proficiency Required
Simple: Easy to use but weak
• One hand: 1d6 damage
• Two hand: 1d8 damage
• Dual 1h: 2d6 dmg, take best single d6 result

Ex: Clubs, spears, hunting bows

Martial More complex and powerful
• One hand: 1d10 damage
• Two hand: 1d12 damage
• Dual 1h: 2d10 dmg, take best single d10 result

Ex: Swords, halberds, war bows
I take that dual 1h means dual wielding two weapons? For the martials, dual wielding is better, that seems a bit weird. And I take it you can't target two different creatures while dual wielding? It's an interesting approach to TWF. On the whole, though, I think I would probably use a shield if I could.

Do they have finesse?

Average damage 1d8: 4.5
Average damage 2d6 drop 1: 4.47
Average damage 1d12: 6.5
Average damage 2d10 drop 1: 7.15
Average damage 2d8 drop 1: 5.81
 

Snarf Zagyg

Bargle's brother, Argle.
Abstraction is always an interesting concept. It also leads to an enforced balance.

There is some comfort in knowing that your choice of a weapon for stylistic reasons will not hamper the effectiveness of your character. Moreover, this allows you to create fascinating characters (commando dagger fighter, hand axe murderer, Devo whip enthusiast etc.) without worrying about effectiveness.

The drawback, of course, is that you lose out on the vagaries of different weapon choices. Infinite customization through a single damage type does not present (as some would put it) a meaningful choice.

In practice, though, I have often noticed that there really isn't much meaningful choice among those who most demand it. Given that there is only so much customization that can be done (unless you want to go full-out and start doing weapon v. AC and speed factors), you quickly find that everyone uses the same weapons based on the build and math. So more often than not, the meaningful choice is reduced to one, unless there is re-skinning, in which case .... why bother?

In short, you are confronted with infinite variety that does the same thing, or the illusion of meaningful choice that always leads to the same decision.

Kind of like life.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
I take that dual 1h means dual wielding two weapons? For the martials, dual wielding is better, that seems a bit weird. And I take it you can't target two different creatures while dual wielding? It's an interesting approach to TWF. On the whole, though, I think I would probably use a shield if I could.

Do they have finesse?

Average damage 1d8: 4.5
Average damage 2d6 drop 1: 4.47
Average damage 1d12: 6.5
Average damage 2d10 drop 1: 7.15
Average damage 2d8 drop 1: 5.81
That's mostly it, yeah.

I'd make two handed weapons be 2d6 to raise the average to 7. So dual-wielding and great-weapon fighting would be the same and be differentiated by fighting styles.
Two-weapon style: deal Dex/Str mod damage on a miss OR (variant) gain +1 to hit while dual-wielding. Both represent the fact that attacking with more weapons increases the odds of dealing at least some damage on your turn.

Heavy weapon style: deal Str mod on a miss OR +1 to hit with heavy melee weapons (pick the one you didnt give to TWFS). In this case, it represent the fact that is way harder to totally resist a hit (even partial) from a huge-a** weapon.
 

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