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


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I understand the logic, but all weapons doing the same damage feels a little boring, mechanically. IMNSHO, that doesn't really help the with the OP's issue of being tired of using the same weapon. I would enjoy having more variables to describe weapons, and I think it would address the root cause of the issue better.

The first idea that comes to my mind is bringing back 3.x-style criticals. Some of the weapons that do less damage will crit on a 19. Others could do extra damage on a crit. Someone would have to do some math to get the numbers right, but I think it's feasible.
 

I understand the logic, but all weapons doing the same damage feels a little boring, mechanically. IMNSHO, that doesn't really help the with the OP's issue of being tired of using the same weapon. I would enjoy having more variables to describe weapons, and I think it would address the root cause of the issue better.

The first idea that comes to my mind is bringing back 3.x-style criticals. Some of the weapons that do less damage will crit on a 19. Others could do extra damage on a crit. Someone would have to do some math to get the numbers right, but I think it's feasible.
The issue is that the difference between most weapons (as written) is largely forgettable. The gap between the smallest and largest damage die is ~4 damage. Even with expanded critical ranges it doesn't do much good to waste the page space for something so tiny.

Damage on weapons can be a feature as long as the damage of the weapon is the small factor of said damage. (Sub)Class, feats, base modifiers, and other riders are what matter.

The good news is you break the damage is a weapon feature link you make a lot room for things that actually make the choice relevant.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
I understand the logic, but all weapons doing the same damage feels a little boring, mechanically. IMNSHO, that doesn't really help the with the OP's issue of being tired of using the same weapon. I would enjoy having more variables to describe weapons, and I think it would address the root cause of the issue better.

The first idea that comes to my mind is bringing back 3.x-style criticals. Some of the weapons that do less damage will crit on a 19. Others could do extra damage on a crit. Someone would have to do some math to get the numbers right, but I think it's feasible.
No boring is every finese fighter choosing rapier because it has 1d8 damage and everyone else taking 2d6 great sword.

By making damage the same players get to be more creative with their choices - the speedy knife fighter making multiple artery strikes is as effective as the big cleaving axe weilder, and so is the "Jackie Chan" style street urchin improvising with a stepladder and whicker basket
 

ECMO3

Hero
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?

If you are going to do it based on class then fighter should be the highest as the "weapon master" (1d12) with Ranger and Barbarian as second tier (1d10), Paladin, Cleric and Rogue as 3rd tier (1d8) and Wizard, Sorcerer, Warlock, Druid and Artificer bringing up the rear (1d6).

Beware though that this lends itself to abuse if you play with multiclassing.

Personally I would like to just scrap individual weapon damage and make all weapons 1d6 for all classes. Improvised weapons are 1d4 unless you have proficiency and then they are 1d6. That would encourage players to move away from the non-caster classes if they wanted powerful characters, which would make for a better game overall IMO. I think D&D works the best when the masses swing weapons and the exceptionals (like adventurers) use magic (to include weapon/gish magic).
 
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ECMO3

Hero
No boring is every finese fighter choosing rapier because it has 1d8 damage and everyone else taking 2d6 great sword.

The current (strength) fighter I am playing went to 11th level with a non-magic Warhammer and a non-magic Lance as her primary weapons. She picked up a dagger of venom at 6th level which she used when opponents needed to be hit by magic. At 11th level she got a Great Axe+1 which is now her primary weapon.

Also as an aside, a Greatsword is not statistically the best weapon for a strength fighter, a Maul is because of the vulnerability that a significant number of monsters have to bludgeoning damage. So if "everyone" is taking a greatsword they are actually nerfing their character a little bit compare to someone who take a maul.

I don't think many people actually use the most optimal weapons. The max DPR build is a mounted lance with dueling fighting style and this not only beats a greatsword in damage, it affords a shield for better AC as well. In DPR this even keeps up with a greatsword or Maul with the GWM feat. If you have to be unmounted and using 2 hands, it is still a 1d12 which is a scant half point behind a greatsword while also having reach. Even though it is optimal, almost no one plays that build.
 
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No boring is every finese fighter choosing rapier because it has 1d8 damage and everyone else taking 2d6 great sword.

By making damage the same players get to be more creative with their choices - the speedy knife fighter making multiple artery strikes is as effective as the big cleaving axe weilder, and so is the "Jackie Chan" style street urchin improvising with a stepladder and whicker basket

I think we just have different kinds of boring.

To me, when every finesse fighter chooses a rapier, it's interesting to choose something else because it's different. Unfortunately, the only "interesting" options right now are viewed as sub-par by people who want to optimize damage, but that doesn't mean they're never seen.

OTOH, when every weapon does the same damage, it means every weapon is boring because every weapon is exactly the same. IMNSHO, different stats and mechanics are what make weapons interesting. The fact that there is currently a default "best" weapon for almost every build is a an unfortunate situation, but complete monotony of weapon choices is a lateral design move, at best.
 

DrJawaPhD

Explorer
I don't think many people actually use the most optimal weapons. The max DPR build is a mounted lance with dueling fighting style and this not only beats a greatsword in damage, it affords a shield for better AC as well. In DPR this even keeps up with a greatsword or Maul with the GWM feat. If you have to be unmounted and using 2 hands, it is still a 1d12 which is a scant half point behind a greatsword while also having reach. Even though it is optimal, almost no one plays that build.
There may be an awesome mounted combat build there but it makes sense that no one ever uses it since mounted combat rules are probably the least understood rules in the game. I certainly don't really understand them, and have never seen any table use mounted combat before.

Also what happens if the DM just kills your mount? You're pretty screwed then, that 1d12 with reach is pretty bad when you get disadvantage on enemies that move within 5 feet and you can't use GWM or PAM feats.
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
OTOH, when every weapon does the same damage, it means every weapon is boring because every weapon is exactly the same. IMNSHO, different stats and mechanics are what make weapons interesting. The fact that there is currently a default "best" weapon for almost every build is a an unfortunate situation, but complete monotony of weapon choices is a lateral design move, at best.
If a group is running damage by class or HD they're either a) into a more abstract game and care more about differentiating by visuals than by damage, or b) differentiating other than by damage dice. Like with special rules or working out in the fiction advantages or disadvantages for each tool.

Different strokes for different folks. I've been accustomed to variable weapon damage since the 80s, but I've started to understand the appeal of d6-only or other variations over the past few years.
 

Horwath

Legend
If a group is running damage by class or HD they're either a) into a more abstract game and care more about differentiating by visuals than by damage, or b) differentiating other than by damage dice. Like with special rules or working out in the fiction advantages or disadvantages for each tool.

Different strokes for different folks. I've been accustomed to variable weapon damage since the 80s, but I've started to understand the appeal of d6-only or other variations over the past few years.
d6 for 1Handed melee weapons and ranged
2d6 for 2Handed melee weapons.

classes can give +0,+1 or +2, or +0, +2, +4 for 2Handed melee damage

small races can give -1/-2 and strong races can give +1/+2
 

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