It’s only 1 DPR behind a club, and for that it gains Reach, which is quite valuable. We can see that RAW considers Reach to be worth a damage die, which is precisely the tradeoff between clubs and spears. Spears are also the only Reach weapon on this table that can be used one-handed (unless you are mounted), which gives a unique niche as the weapon of choice for characters who want to take advantage of polearm master and use a shield. It’s also a simple weapon. If you want a martial polearm, go for a poleaxe or a lance.Combine any suitable weapon with PAM and Sentinel and you've got an extremely effective character. Without those feats, the small damage die results in the spear rapidly being outdamaged by more or less any other weapon. The idea that a spear would be outdamaged by a club is utterly nonsensical;
Whoo, boy. So first of all, flails are not outdamaged by maces. They have Finesse, which again is well worth the whopping 1 DPR tradeoff. Second, flails were extremely rare historically, so we have little to no evidence by which to judge their historical effectiveness, but modern scholars suggest that the key advantage of a flail is that the joint allows the head to reach a high velocity (thereby delivering a lot of force) without a great deal of strength driving the acceleration - hence the finesse property.as for that matter the idea that a flail is outdamaged by a mace. And again, contrary to established history.
Remember that AC represents how difficult a character is to hit as well as how well-armored they are, which is why Dexterity adds to AC when wearing light armor (or in this case, when wearing a textile arming coat.) In this model, it makes sense for the character wearing a textile arming coat to have higher AC than the one wearing mail, because being decked out in a full plate harness renders the under-armor unnecessary extra weight. There’s a reason that arming garments began incorporating less and less mail as plate armor technology improved. Under my system, a very agile character (16+ Dex) is better off wearing a padded or quilted jack because it allows them to take full advantage of their mobility. A moderately agile character (12-14 Dex) is better off wearing a gousseted jack or a buff coat, because they’re not nimble enough to avoid a well-aimed strike between the plates of their armor. A clumsy character (8-11 Dex) is better off wearing mail because they ain’t dodging squat anyway.Sure - imagine two identically armored characters in a breastplate, all the plate pauldrons, greaves, helmet, and the like. Except that one is wearing only cloth underneath it all rather than mail...and yet somehow is better armored.
If this is a criticism of my system, it is an equally valid criticism of RAW, wherein 26 AC is achievable by any character with heavy armor proficiency. My system actually reduces the maximum achievable AC and ties its achievement to the character’s abilities instead of the luck of the dice on the loot tables.WRONG. That's 25 before anything like Shield of Faith or other spells, blur, any sort of magic armor or shield, the protection fighting style, or any further buff. 25 AC itself breaks bounded accuracy - that's higher than the strongest demon lords, the most ancient dragons; that's better than creatures made entirely of armor, or wind, or metal.
Once again, this system replaces +X bonuses on magic armor. The best AC a common soldier can ever achieve is 18 before shield bonus, same as RAW. If this common soldier wishes to improve, he needs to improve his Dexterity, at which point he can no longer accurately be described as “common.” The 20 Dexterity required to reach 25 AC is the pinnacle of human agility.If your system allows a common soldier to beat Demogorgon's AC with only mundane gear, you've gotten something wrong.
I have acknowledged that I overdid it with kite shields. This is the only place where it is possible to exceed what is possible under RAW without using ability score improvements and/or Feats, and I am looking into toning these shields down.