Just test it man. Grab a sharp blade, stab something. Affix that blade firmly to a stick, and stab it again. Your arm hasn't got any stronger because you are holding a stick. You have no real leverage that you are using. You have nothing that adds velocity to the weapon. So where is that extra force going to come from?
That's not quite scientific enough for me to accept, based on my other personal experiences. I'll note one below.
That all weapons did 1d6 at one point. You must've messed up my quote while trying to reply to me; if you go back and look at my post, that's what the "I thought so" was in reply to (and you can see that I didn't edit the post).
If a two handed sword manages to cut deeply, that's a grevious wound. But thrusting weapons make deeper wounds than slashing weapons while needing a lot less force and energy. That's why thrusting weapons are probably going to do more serious damage with a glancing blow than your big two-handed sword.
That's why I mentioned equivalencies. I'd rather have a 1½ inch stab wound on my arm or shoulder than the equivalent from a two-handed sword in the same region (again, more on this personal experience below).
The real advantage to the two-handed weapon is the arc, and your ability to use an edged weapon to control a large area around you. Its advantage is that it sweeps the guys with the spears aside. If a two-handed sword was simply better at killing, period, nobody in history would have used anything else. Two-handed swords however are better for killing in certain situations, which is when people used two-handed swords.
As with all weapons, certainly. They're better in certain areas in certain ways.
Nah, plate armour got thicker, and it continued to be useful. It is just that mobility became even more useful, and it became far too expensive to make gothic plate for one man when you could simply buy a regiment's worth of equipment (firearm, ammo, uniform, etc.) that was far more effective than one heavily armoured man.
Eventually firearms became powerful enough that pretty much all armour was fairly useless, but that came later.
The always reliable wiki does indeed indicate that rapiers were developed before plate armor began to fade (due to powerful firearms), but the article says that the rapier was introduced as a "dress sword", though some versions were used on the battlefield.
I was a little off, it seems.
Nah, in D&D people generally count on not being seen at all, so they don't worry about using larger weapons. Also, they use sneak attack in the midst of battle, but instead of it being a case of sliding a knife into the gaps in a blackguard's armour (since they aren't using a knife, dagger, stiletto or dirk), sneak attack is merely flanking. Not that flanking isn't a valid tactic, but it isn't really what sneak attack or backstab is trying to convey.
Two things about this:
1) If you're not seen at all, go ahead and used the bigger weapon. I'm cool with that.
2) You have an understandable beef with the sneak attack/backstab mechanic (via flanking allowing it), but that doesn't strongly play into what I'm trying to discuss.
You're fighting with the dagger wrong. You don't slash with the dagger, that's a waste of time.
I mentioned a stab wound, not a slash wound.
You don't hold your dagger in front of you and slash upwards. That's also a waste of time. I grab you, and slide that bugger in someplace fatal, like in your shoulder between your neck and your collarbone... straight down.
The context of my quote is "it's easier to survive a wound from a dagger than a wound to the same region from a two-handed sword." And I think that's true. I admitted that both can kill you (see my comment on the stomach wound), but my point is that it's easier to kill with one than the other (and thus I'm okay with a larger damage die for that weapon).
But do you realize how much space you need to swing a greatsword? How much it weighs? How hard it is to do a full run carrying one? A dagger has none of these problems. A dagger is harder to dodge, harder to run away from, and I'll stab you 4 times for everytime you can swing a greatsword. 4 deep wounds in vital areas, and one stab would put so much pain in you that it is doubtful you could put up any defense against the other 3.
Well, let me comment briefly on this. Some years ago (I had just turned 20, and it was the day before Thanksgiving), I went to a theater to see what movies were playing (I wasn't even sure if I wanted to see any). I entered in the wrong entrance, and decided to drive around back and loop around to get closer to the movie display sign.
While behind the theater, I noticed two men blocking a woman up against the wall (they were leaning against it, casually; I didn't know if they all knew one another, or if something bad was going down). It was dark out, and the back was only lit with dim lighting. I parked my car in the back, tucked a two foot long crowbar in my pocket (it went from my pocket up, resting between my shirt and my hoodie, out of sight), and walked over, to ask what was wrong. One guy took a knife out, and the other guy asked what I was going to do.
The next ten seconds happened quickly. I went for my crowbar, and the guy with the knife lunged at me. His friend (who asked what I was going to do) freaked out (he yelled "what are you doing?" at his friend when he lunged at me), and the woman looked on silently (I wasn't watching her). I was stabbed in the right upper arm with the knife, and in my right hand (in the soft tissue near the thumb and index finger), before I could finish pulling the crowbar out and bring it to bear.
When I had the crowbar, I swung. Life was in slow motion. I wanted to stop him; that was the only thing that mattered. I was hurt, but didn't feel it. My first thought -in slow motion- was "hit him in the head" (I didn't). My second thought was to hit him in the leg (it's a bigger target). I swung, he stepped back, but the reach was too much. I connected right about the knee (he had baggy pants... oh, and a puffy jacket; I said it was years ago), and he fell down.
The situation resolved itself from there, though the buildup that led to it is still somewhat of a mystery to me. Needless to say, I can accept your take on how fast the knife is. As I said, I was bleeding from two different locations before I could even get the crowbar out (up out of my pocket, down out of my hoodie, and up again into a ready-to-swing position). And, based on that experience, I know how valuable reach is (even if it was only two feet), since I hit him even as he was backing up.
What I do know, though, is that a bigger weapon hitting in the same locations would have had a bigger impact on my ability to react. A bigger blade hitting my arm may have impaired it more than the basically superficial wound that the knife inflicted (some stitches, but the arm was sore and a little weakened, and that was about it). If a larger/longer blade had stabbed or slashed those same places, I don't know if I could have used that arm, of if I would have lost some fingers.
Personally, this plays into why I'm okay with bigger weapons dealing more damage. And, it's going to be hard for you to change my mind on this, unless I can get something online with some authority to make that be the case (it's why I ask for links to things).
Now it certainly isn't a sure thing that you can kill a two-handed swordsman with a dagger. A two handed sword creates a wide swath of death that I am loathe to try and breach to get inside your defenses. But if you are a talking a time trial to kill someone (or something) that is unarmed and unarmoured, you better believe a dagger won't take any less time than a two-handed sword.
I'm talking taking a glancing hit from each weapon. Based on my experience above, I'm sticking with what I've been saying. I'm sorry if that's unfair to this discussion.
Heck, if what you are saying is true, they'd have used giant two-handed weapons for killing animals, rather than a small surgical slice with a very sharp knife to certain arteries.
That's not what I said at all. Narrating the "you're out of HP" killing blow can be just as lethal with any weapon. However, I think it'll be easier to bring someone down to that point (via glancing blows) with a larger weapon; see my example above for why I believe that.
4e shows that you can have weapon qualities with discrete rules that don't slow down the game at all. Some reroll 1's for damage, some do extra damage on a critical, some can be used one or two-handed, some are light weapons, etc. Just as easy to remember as which die type your are supposed to use for each weapon. Easier even.
Rerolling 1's does
slow the game down. So does that extra damage (you have to stop to roll it). So does damage reduction. So does reducing damage reduction via an armor penetrating mechanic.
Mind you, I'm okay with all of these things (and, in fact, utilize all of them, without exception, in my RPG). But, I do get why people like a faster, simpler game. All the weapons dealing the same base damage is simpler, but it saves no time (unless you're rolling multiple dice [2d6] or 1d12 [because they take forever to stop rolling], so it's a harder sell. Simplicity isn't a bad argument, though. It'll get a lot more traction than fiddly will. As always, play what you like