D&D 5E Class Groups and Weaponry

Frostmarrow

First Post
I wonder how you feel about making ties between class groups and weapon types. My suggestion is the following:

Warriors favor slashing weapons; axes, scimitars and, swords.
Tricksters favor piercing weapons; spears, rapiers, and short swords.
Priests favor bludgeoning weapons; maces, fists, and clubs.
Mages favor implements; orbs, wands and rods.

Why, you might ask? Because with these ties we don't need to differentiate between light, medium or heavy weapons and between simple and martial weapons. Also class groups might behave in their own way in combat due to them using a certain weapon type.
I.e. Clerics and druids would be surprisingly effective against skeletons where the tricksters would underperform. A system like this has a long tradition in D&D but it has not been explored fully.

Bludgeoning weapons could typically have high damage but rare and toned down criticals whereas piercing might be the opposite of that. All while slashing weapons could cover the middle ground with a few perks and quirks thrown in.

Bt grouping things this way the game could be simpler and easier to grasp. You would learn to expect clerics attacking with say 1d8/20 while not fully understand why. Because the connection beween priests and weapons that typically do 1d8 damage with crits on 20 is only clear under the hood (in weapon proficiencies and weapon tables).

Certainly a rogue or wizard can still pick up a sword but only by player design not by rules default.
 

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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
Nah, that leaves me cold. If nothing else, your warrior group is utterly arbitrary/gamist- it leaves out SO many warrior archetypes. Ditto the priestly bunch.
 

Frostmarrow

First Post
Nah, that leaves me cold. If nothing else, your warrior group is utterly arbitrary/gamist- it leaves out SO many warrior archetypes. Ditto the priestly bunch.

Please remember that this would be the "basic" game. If you want your wilderness cleric to wield a spear that should be perfectly possible if you take the time to open the hood and rewire a few things. But if you just roll your ability scores and make a character from the daily menu the default is what you would get. I.e Human - Cleric - Mace - Go!
 

Szatany

First Post
Warriors should be good in all kinds of weapons (barring implements), otherwise I like it. Priests have been traditionally depicted as using maces and staffs so it makes sense. Same with rogues using daggers rapiers and crossbows.
If this idea is utilized, what about monk? It would make sense to me to make him a priest then, because I envision monks as nunchaku or staff wielders, and those are blunt weapons. Monks with swords or axes doesn't work for me.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
Please remember that this would be the "basic" game.

There are a lot of simple RPGs out there, D&D hasn't been one of them for 30+ years, and doesn't need to be. Besides, modern players are probably just as familiar with mass media depictions of warriors without edged weapons as those with. See anything about Romans or 300 and the use of spears, for instance. Or hammer-wielding warriors like the baddies in Conan, or the Mighty Thor himself.

Ditto sickle using Druids and dagger wielding priests. Or the incredibly archetypal wizard with staff (or dagger).

You get a player with one of those in mind, and his first question will be "why can't my warrior (or druid) use _____?"

Odds are decent that "that's in the advanced game" will not be an answer favorably viewed.

(FWIW, I picked up AD&D at around age 10 or 11.)
Monks with swords or axes doesn't work for me.

Why not? Haven't you ever seen Shaolin priests do their weapon displays? They use swords, spears, and all kinds of nifty weapons.
 
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Frostmarrow

First Post
A couple of follow up questions:

* Is it better to make a distinction between simple and martial weapons?

* Do we need to make both distinctions as in the latest play-test (s/m and b/s/p)?

* Sword wielding monks are great but are they default or a cool customization?
 

Meatboy

First Post
I'm with Dannyalcatraz on this. These groups leave out more than a few interesting choices. What about the back alley thug with a club? Personally I'd like to see a Indian or Japanese flavoured monk that favours the bow.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
* Is it better to make a distinction between simple and martial weapons?

IMHO, yes.

Not only does it reflect a difference in skill required to use certain weapons effectively, it also reflects a distinction many cultures made between weapons that were OK for anyone to carry anytime and virtually any place, versus those which may have been restricted by social status or other privilege. Anyone can carry a staff or small knife. Not everyone has permission to carry a large axe or a sword- doing so without said permission could be a capital offense.
 

Frostmarrow

First Post
IMHO, yes.

Not only does it reflect a difference in skill required to use certain weapons effectively, it also reflects a distinction many cultures made between weapons that were OK for anyone to carry anytime and virtually any place, versus those which may have been restricted by social status or other privilege. Anyone can carry a staff or small knife. Not everyone has permission to carry a large axe or a sword- doing so without said permission could be a capital offense.

Indeed. Roman legionnairies used short swords and javelins and Zulu warriors wielded short spears. So basically warriors use whatever gives them an edge versus their most often fought enemy (at least in time). So, I'm not saying warriors historically favor blades. I'm saying, in the interest of a simple core D&D, isn't there some fat to be trimmed by doing away with the simple/martial division?

You make a good case pointing out weapon laws but such are setting specific. We both remember the b/s/p division of 1E so there is precedent for it.

Still, if the idea leaves you cold then there isn't much going for it. Rules should be simple yet exciting. I'm not prepared to sacrifice excitement for simplicity. Not in D&D.
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
I don't know if the sorting of the op is necessarily the best breakdown. I am not objecting to the idea, itself. All of the light/medium/heavy, simple/martial, piercing/bludgeoning/slashing gets a bit too much/crazy for me. I mean, they can make for a nice shorthand, i.e. "Rogues use simple weapons" or what not. But then the player is left to have to go look up what the eff a "simple weapon" is.

I'd go with something like this:
Warriors: Any weapon. Period, end, simple. They're the "best at fighting" classes, they can use/train in whatever weapons they want.

"Rogues" [I simply refuse to give "tricksters" any more traction]: Dagger, Club, Hand Axe, Hand or normal/"Light" Crossbow, Scimitar, Short or Long bow, Short or Long sword, Sling, Spear, Staff. Now if that becomes the "light/simple" weapons group, fine. But for ease of play, I would agree with the op that they should be listed out separately first and then presented as "these are the light and medium weapons group".

Priests: "Priests are severely limited in their weapon options as only certain faiths and orders train in combat."
--Clerics: Club/cudgel, Flail, Mace, Morningstar, Sling, Staff, War Hammer...with a "Some Clerics are permitted the use of other weapons, including swords, spears or bows. It depends on the deity and specialty of the cleric. A god of battle might allow swords or axes. A god of hunting allows bows. A pacifist goddess of healing might not allow anything except staff!"
--Druids: Club/cudgel, Dagger, Scimitar, Sickle, Sling, Spear, Staff
--[if it goes in here by virtue of "Priests are severely limited in their weapon options..."] Monk: Club/cudgel, Dagger, Hand Axe, Scimitar, Short or Long bow, Short or Long Sword, Sickle, Sling, Spear, Staff (which, actually, if available weapons is to be a condition of one's class Group then that's another mark for these guys going under Rogue)

Mages: Dagger, Staff.
 

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