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D&D General Damage by class instead of by weapon-anyone tried this?

Mort

Legend
Supporter
As the title says.

I'm just thinking about this - hadn't really thought about implementing it - but it has it's appeal.

Something like:
Wizard, Sorc, warlock: d4
cleric, rogue: d6
Martial other than fighter: d8
Fighter: d10

Note die type (and who's at that type) is a bit to completely arbitrary - so could easily be changed.

Properties of the weapons would remain (and versatile weapons for ex. would just do +1 damage if in 2 hands, not sure of benefit for 2 handed weapons like greatsword).

Reason for it: No need to worry about "this weapon is better than that weapon" type problems, give fighters a chance to actually be better with weapons (from the getgo) etc.

Anyone tried anything like this? how'd it go?

Other thoughts?
 

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Fanaelialae

Legend
As the title says.

I'm just thinking about this - hadn't really thought about implementing it - but it has it's appeal.

Something like:
Wizard, Sorc, warlock: d4
cleric, rogue: d6
Martial other than fighter: d8
Fighter: d10

Note die type (and who's at that type) is a bit to completely arbitrary - so could easily be changed.

Properties of the weapons would remain (and versatile weapons for ex. would just do +1 damage if in 2 hands, not sure of benefit for 2 handed weapons like greatsword).

Reason for it: No need to worry about "this weapon is better than that weapon" type problems, give fighters a chance to actually be better with weapons (from the getgo) etc.

Anyone tried anything like this? how'd it go?

Other thoughts?
I've considered it, but weapons would need to be rebalanced for it to work IMO. There would literally be no reason to use a battleaxe over a dagger, for example. The dagger's properties are superior to that of the battleaxe (which is normally offset by the dagger's smaller damage die). Unless you balance (or entirely remove) weapon properties, you still have the problem of this weapon being better than that weapon (albeit to a somewhat lesser degree).
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
I've considered it, but weapons would need to be rebalanced for it to work IMO. There would literally be no reason to use a battleaxe over a dagger, for example. The dagger's properties are superior to that of the battleaxe (which is normally offset by the dagger's smaller damage die). Unless you balance (or entirely remove) weapon properties, you still have the problem of this weapon being better than that weapon (albeit to a somewhat lesser degree).

Perhaps.

For ex. without some consideration a dagger wielder suddenly becomes optimal under a lot of conditions. But depending on campaign that can be a feature vs. a bug.
 

13 Age works this way (more or less), and I can say form experience it works really well for 13th Age. But 13th Age is also a more specific game than 5e, so it depends on what you want the rules to do for you. 13th Age doesn't shy away form the idea that it wants you to tell a story with the system. It's not very conducive to osr/high lethality play.

This variant makes customization easier, because players can just pick the weapon that looks coolest. It does not, however, allow you to differentiate weapons without a layer of weapon-feats or whatever, which can undo the initial benefit if done poorly.

If you're willing to do the work to get a weapon list like Pathfinder 2e, with dozens of distinctive options, that's amazing and very cool and very fun. But if you can't/won't/don't want to - damage by class is a great alternative.
 

Roadkill101

Explorer
Haven't tried weapon by class but determine damage by how a weapon is used. One-handed and hurled weapons do 1d6 for damage, two-handed and powered missiles 1d8 for damage. Martial classes use the next larger die size (d8 and d10 respectively).
 


CubicsRube

Adventurer
Supporter
I've thought about removing STR and DEX to damage and then using weapon dice + class hit dice.

So a wizard with a dagger? 1d4+1d6
A fighter with a dagger? 1d4+1d10

Etc
 

77IM

Explorer!!!
Supporter
I think there are easier ways to achieve your design goals than overhauling the entire damage system.
 

Mistwell

Legend
As the title says.

I'm just thinking about this - hadn't really thought about implementing it - but it has it's appeal.

Something like:
Wizard, Sorc, warlock: d4
cleric, rogue: d6
Martial other than fighter: d8
Fighter: d10

Note die type (and who's at that type) is a bit to completely arbitrary - so could easily be changed.

Properties of the weapons would remain (and versatile weapons for ex. would just do +1 damage if in 2 hands, not sure of benefit for 2 handed weapons like greatsword).

Reason for it: No need to worry about "this weapon is better than that weapon" type problems, give fighters a chance to actually be better with weapons (from the getgo) etc.

Anyone tried anything like this? how'd it go?

Other thoughts?
I think it would work OK.

I also think you could just call all weapons 1d6 damage and be fine with that as well.
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
As the title says.

I'm just thinking about this - hadn't really thought about implementing it - but it has it's appeal.

Something like:
Wizard, Sorc, warlock: d4
cleric, rogue: d6
Martial other than fighter: d8
Fighter: d10

Note die type (and who's at that type) is a bit to completely arbitrary - so could easily be changed.

Properties of the weapons would remain (and versatile weapons for ex. would just do +1 damage if in 2 hands, not sure of benefit for 2 handed weapons like greatsword).

Reason for it: No need to worry about "this weapon is better than that weapon" type problems, give fighters a chance to actually be better with weapons (from the getgo) etc.

Anyone tried anything like this? how'd it go?

Other thoughts?
I think class-based damage is a great idea, but I would probably give each class a few options based on fighting style. For example:

Barbarian, Fighter, Paladin, Ranger
Great weapon: 1d12 (heavy, two-handed)
Polearm: 1d10 (heavy, reach, two-handed)
Weapon and Shield: 1d8 (versatile 1d10)
Dual-wield: 1d6 (finesse, light)
Thrown: 1d6 (light, thrown 20/60)
Missile: 1d8 (ammunition 80/320, two-handed)

Bard, Rogue
Single Weapon: 1d8 (finesse)
Dual-wield: 1d6 (finesse, light)
Thrown: 1d4 (finesse, light, thrown 20/60)
Missile: 1d6 (ammunition 30/120, light, loading)

Cleric, Druid
Great weapon: 1d10 (two-handed)
Sword and Shield: 1d6
Dual-wield: 1d4 (light)
Thrown: 1d6 (thrown 30/120)
Missile: 1d8 (ammunition 80/320, loading, two-handed)

Monk
Single weapon: 1d6 (versatile 1d8)
Dual-wield: 1d6 (finesse, light)
Thrown: 1d4 (finesse, thrown 20/60)
Missile: 1d4 (ammunition 30/120)

Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard
Single weapon: 1d6 (versatile 1d8)
Dual-wield: 1d4 (finesse, light)
Thrown: 1d4 (finesse, thrown 20/60)
Missile: 1d8 (ammunition 80/320, loading, two-handed)
 

Voadam

Legend
Still have to deal with two weapon (more attacks) versus weapon and shield (more AC) versus two hander (more damage per hit) dynamics of the default.

Otherwise you could end up with the Holmes basic set mush where daggers could attack twice as often, big heavy weapons attacked half as often, but all weapons did 1d6 so daggers were the melee way to go for everything but magic sword considerations.
 

thomkt

Explorer
I've considered it, but weapons would need to be rebalanced for it to work IMO. There would literally be no reason to use a battleaxe over a dagger, for example. The dagger's properties are superior to that of the battleaxe (which is normally offset by the dagger's smaller damage die). Unless you balance (or entirely remove) weapon properties, you still have the problem of this weapon being better than that weapon (albeit to a somewhat lesser degree).
Change the die type by one step down for small weapons and one step up for large weapons
 

As the title says.

I'm just thinking about this - hadn't really thought about implementing it - but it has it's appeal.

Something like:
Wizard, Sorc, warlock: d4
cleric, rogue: d6
Martial other than fighter: d8
Fighter: d10

Note die type (and who's at that type) is a bit to completely arbitrary - so could easily be changed.

Properties of the weapons would remain (and versatile weapons for ex. would just do +1 damage if in 2 hands, not sure of benefit for 2 handed weapons like greatsword).

Reason for it: No need to worry about "this weapon is better than that weapon" type problems, give fighters a chance to actually be better with weapons (from the getgo) etc.

Anyone tried anything like this? how'd it go?

Other thoughts?

I think I read somewhere they flirted with Hit Dice as Damage dice (so casters deal 1d6, Rogues and Clerics 1d8, Fighters and Paladins 1d10 and Barbs 1d12).
 


Fanaelialae

Legend
Change the die type by one step down for small weapons and one step up for large weapons
That could help, but it still doesn't address the problem entirely.

For example, in the RAW system, there are valid reasons to use a dagger, a short sword, or a rapier. The rapier is the best option for damage, having the larger damage die. However, without the Dual Wielding feat you cannot use two weapon fighting with a rapier, and therefore must use short swords. Daggers are useful because they can be used proficiently by (almost?) anyone and can be thrown.

Under your suggestion, the rapier is viable (since it uses the standard damage die) but a short sword isn't really (since it uses the same damage die as a dagger but can't be thrown).

This is just one example. Similar issues can be found with crossbows vs longbows.

I still think that the best approach would be to either remove properties, or rebalance them. Though your suggestion layered on top of that is a very good one for differentiating weapons by size.
 


Heh. Hit Dice indeed. :)

Yeah there is a rough correlation between Hit Dice and Allowed weapons from ODnD.

Magic Users (1d4) were limited to daggers (1d4). Clerics (1d6) were limited to maces (1d6) and Fighters (1d8) could use swords (1d8) or 2H swords (1d10) if they forgo the use of a shield (+1 AC).
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I’d love it.

Two-weapon fighting, bigger weapons, versatile weapons, etc could easily be handled by giving the character advantage either to hit or on damage rolls. TWF would be advantage to hit while two-handed weapons could be advantage on damage. A fighter attacks with a longsword for 1d10. She wields it two-handed for extra oomph so rolls 2d10 and takes the highest.
 

Horwath

Hero
No.

I just use modified martial weapons damage power.
All are proficient with all weapons.

STR/DEX investment, extra attack(s), fighting styles, weapon style feats, are enough to keep "martial" aspect of different characters different.

base onehanded melee weapon damage:

1d10(versatile 1d12)
1d8; reach, versatile 1d10
1d8; finesse
1d8; light
1d8; thrown(40/120)
1d6; light, finesse
1d6; light, thrown
1d6; finesse, reach
1d6; finesse, thrown
1d4; light, finesse, thrown

2d8; 2handed, heavy
2d6; 2handed
2d6; 2handed, heavy, reach
1d12; 2handed, finesse
1d12; 2handed, reach
1d10; 2handed, finesse, reach
 
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