D&D 5E (House Rules) All weapons do the same damage... Who has made this work?

BookTenTiger

He / Him
I'm running a new campaign for brand new players, and last night the Barbarian showed some boredom with using the same weapon over and over again. She started to switch to her rapier, her daggers, etc. And of course, the only effect of this was that she did less damage.

Now to be perfectly honest, she might be happier playing a spellcaster. But the experience got me thinking.

I've read house rules where weapons deal damage based on the character's class. So a wizard would always deal 1d4 damage with a weapon, while a Barbarian would always deal 1d12 (or whatever).

I'm starting to consider this idea, but I wanted to see what folks have come up with first. Some questions I'm considering:

1) What weapon die should I use for each class? How small and how large should I go? And should I differentiate for subclasses (War Wizard, Bladelock, etc)?

2) Should the die be different for simple and martial weapons? Melee and ranged?

3) What should then differentiate weapons, other than damage type? In other words, what narratively happens when the barbarian uses daggers instead of her greataxe?


For #3, I was thinking weapons could have tags that always apply on a hit. For example, some weapons might move an opponent 5 ft, or force them to roll against being tripped or disarmed. Some weapons could damage AC as well as HP. Or maybe some weapons could allow the wielder to Disengage or Dodge as a bonus action.

Anyways, those are just some wild thoughts. Has anyone had experiences with this kind of house rule, or put other thoughts into it?
 

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aco175

Legend
I think if you want to go simple, then go simple and skip all the stuff about adding properties and different dies for melee/range, or subclasses.

1d4- wizards, sorcerers
1d6- rogue, monk, warlock
1d8- cleric, druid, ranger
1d10 fighter, paladin
1d12- barbarian
 

Staffan

Legend
I'd do something along the lines of 13th age and split weapons up in very rough groups. I believe 13th age uses 2-handed and 1-handed, and maybe light as well. I'd go with something like this as a default for melee weapons:

2-handed: d12 (simple d8).
1-handed: d8 (simple d6).
Light: d6 (simple d4).

The simple damage would be for classes and sub-classes that normally only have access mostly to simple weapons. Weapons would not have any properties beyond this. Light would incorporate finesse. Ranged weapons would need some more care if you want to balance crossbows and their lower ROF against bows.
 

I have a homebrew fighting style I use:
Versatile: Any weapon or improvised weapon you attack with can deal 1d8+1 damage.

Dagger? Tavern chair? Mug of ale? Rock? Fireplace poker? 1d8+1.
 

GreyLord

Legend
Go old school...ALL weapons deal 1d6 damage...doesn't matter on the class.

OR...you could do it...

Martial characters in general do 1d10 with weapons, weapon feats will either add +1 dmg or +1 to hit. When they cast spells the spell damage is limited to 1d6 damage (burn). (and heal 1d6 HP for whatever the spells hd says).

The exception is the Barbarian who does 1d12 damage. The downside...his spells will only do 1d4 damage (and heal 1d4).

Sorcerers only deal 1d4 damage with weapons, BUT deal 1d12 damage with spells.

Wizards deal 1d6 damage with weapons, but deal 1d10 with spells.

Clerics, Warlocks, Rogues, and bards, and Druids deal 1d8 damage with weapons, but deal (and heal) 1d8 damage with spells.

Monks deal whatever hand damage the book says they do whether using monk weapons or hands. IF somehow they casts spells, they start off dealing 1d4 at 1-4 level, 1d6 at 5-8 level, 1d8 at 9-12 level, 1d10 at 13-16 level, and 1d12 at 17-20th level.
 

I like weapons doing flat damage that can be enhanced with high attack rolls, and I like weapons that have really, really cool (and sometimes basic) weapon skills on them, like the new OD&D Weapon Masteries. I think giving each weapon some cool things it can do is necessary to make weapons feel neat. No one cares about stuff like Versatile or whatever; give weapons actual features if you want them to be different.
 

payn

I don't believe in the no-win scenario
I prefer 3E where each weapon had a crit multiplier and threat range to give them a different feel. A few even had some special abilities.

For 5e;
1) What weapon die should I use for each class? How small and how large should I go? And should I differentiate for subclasses (War Wizard, Bladelock, etc)?
I'd look at the fighter, expert, priest, mage paradigm and build on that. I don't think the squeeze is worth it for the juice of subclass differentiation.
2) Should the die be different for simple and martial weapons? Melee and ranged?
Probably. Id do something like barbar gets D12 with melee but like a D4 with range. Ranger gets D10 with rang and D6 with melee. If this seems to be a push folks to what they ought to be doing exercise?
3) What should then differentiate weapons, other than damage type? In other words, what narratively happens when the barbarian uses daggers instead of her greataxe?
I leave this up to the players. As soon as you start describing things as usual, then it seems like its rules driven. YMMV.
 


I think if you want to go simple, then go simple and skip all the stuff about adding properties and different dies for melee/range, or subclasses.

1d4- wizards, sorcerers
1d6- rogue, monk, warlock
1d8- cleric, druid, ranger
1d10 fighter, paladin
1d12- barbarian
The numbers are a bit different and the dice are per level, but that's essentially how 13th Age handles weapon damage. It does differentiate between small, simple, and martial weapons and (for melee) one- or two-handed, and you can use "wrong" weapons your class isn't good with at a -2 to hit. Rogues get d8 on their traditional weapons by fiat, which means daggers work as well as short swords for them if you just want to shank people. Monks get similar fiat damage on their martial arts attacks. You can use "wrong" weapons your class isn't competent with with (usually) a -2 to hit, which is godawful horrible.

The martial/caster divide as you level up is a lot less noticeable when Joe Longsword rolls (Level)d8 for basic attack damage. Spell damage also scales up, but not quite as evenly.

How well you can adapt that to 5e is questionable, since 13th Age is built from the ground up to handle that sort of damage output.
 

the Jester

Legend
The simplest way to do this and still account for class differences would be to set everything at (f'rex) d6 and add a bonus based on class- rogues, clerics, and warlocks get +1, fighters, rangers and paladins get +2, barbarians get +4. Fiddle with the die type and the bonus numbers to make your game happy.
 

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