Rebalancing melee weapons for 5.5E

Horwath

Hero
Right now the weapon table looks little bit chaotic with some weapons having little sense in their traits and their damage.

For this I will take for base from 3.5e simple 1Handed weapon that has d8 damage and critical of 20/×2(the default and only weapon crit range in 5E)
as 5E does not have 1+1/2 str bonus for 2Handed melee attack, Versatile property is non-value, that is it's free for all non-finesse, non-light, non-thrown weapons

thrown property is little buffed and universal at 40/120 ft range
if you feel that because of some "legacy" theme some light weapons that do not have thrown property but should have some, give them 20/40 thrown property for free.

to have all properties used, table will have both simple and martial weapon damage in same row.
make your own examples for weapons, these are just placeholder names.

Weapon traitsSimple weapon damageexampleMartial weapon damageexample
1Handed, Versatiled8(d10)maced10(d12)longsword
1Handed, Thrownd6javelind8trident
1Handed, finessed6long knifed8rapier
1Handed, lightd6clubd8arming sword
1Handed, reach, Versatiled6 (d8)speard8(d10)partisan
1Handed, finesse, lightd4daggerd6shorsword
1Handed, finesse, reachd4whipd6dagger whip
1Handed, finesse, thrownd4dartd6throwing hammer
1Handed, light, thrownd4pillumd6throwing axe
1Handed, finesse, light, thrownd3throwing knifed4chakram
2Handed, heavy2d6warmace2d8greatsword
2Handedd12greatclub2d6claymore
2Handed, heavy, reachd12pike2d6pole-ax
2Handed, reachd10longspeard12glaive
2Handed, finessed10bo staffd12elven courtblade
2Handed, finesse, reachd8elven speard10spiked chain
 

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Lojaan

Adventurer
This is fine. Some odd choices but that's normal for a weapon list (throwing hammer is finesse but throwing axe is not?).

The main thing I would change is the versatile trait. Going up one damage die is insufficient. Make it that you can add 1.5 X STR mod for 2 handed weapons instead. Also nerf GWM so this is not OP.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester (he/him)
I don't want generic categories. I want more reasons to distinguish weapons from each other.

I want a reason to choose Glaive vs Halberd. They're not the same weapon and they shouldn't be reduced down to the same thing.

Here's a blog post that posits a couple different solutions - such as adding a "hacking" type for axes, or else adding weight for special effects on critical for slashing, piercing, or all types (bludgeoning are heaviest weapons, so they don't needed a special effect specific to them).
 

Horwath

Hero
I don't want generic categories. I want more reasons to distinguish weapons from each other.

I want a reason to choose Glaive vs Halberd. They're not the same weapon and they shouldn't be reduced down to the same thing.

Here's a blog post that posits a couple different solutions - such as adding a "hacking" type for axes, or else adding weight for special effects on critical for slashing, piercing, or all types (bludgeoning are heaviest weapons, so they don't needed a special effect specific to them).
I agree, but I do not thing that WotC will go with that.

Name of the weapon and design will mostly be flavor and weapon damage type: B, P or S

one additional trait:
Adaptive: this weapon has two damage types(B, P, S), every attack uses what is better for the weapon in respect for damage reduction

what attacking you can gain benefit of both weapon damage type feats if you have them: Crusher, Piercer, Slasher. You cannot use the feat if the target has damage immunity.
Reduce the damage die by one step for those weapons.
due to being complicated in desing, Adaptive weapons cannot be light or thrown.
 

codo

Explorer
One thing people are overlooking with the new crit rules is that it opens up more design space for weapons. Now that you can't double extra damage dice on a crit you can more easily expand the crit range on weapons without rouges and paladins being brokenly overpowered.
For example: Rapier: Finesse, one-handed, 1d6 damage, Crit Range 18-20.

Certain weapons can also add extra damage on a crit. Maybe most heavy weapons and versatile weapons used in 2 hands can roll damage dice 3 times on a crit. Just for fun make great axes roll dice 4 times on a crit.
 

This is fine. Some odd choices but that's normal for a weapon list (throwing hammer is finesse but throwing axe is not?).

The main thing I would change is the versatile trait. Going up one damage die is insufficient. Make it that you can add 1.5 X STR mod for 2 handed weapons instead. Also nerf GWM so this is not OP.
I think the primary thing here is that you can just make the weapon you want. That the 'example' weapon is exactly that: an example. And, from what I can see, strength based weapons have the highest damage dice, so maybe that's the benefit?

@Horwath I'm not sure Heavy is a benefit. It's more of a penalty that should make your damage dice increase another increment. Heavy REQUIRES 2 hands and small creatures have disadvantage to use them. Some of the weapons on your list don't make this clear.

For example: a Glaive and a poleaxe. One is (poleaxe) does slightly more minimum damage(2d6) and is Heavy(penalty) while a Glave does 1d12 can be wielded in one hand by a halfling.

Therefore, I suggest all 2 handed weapons have the Heavy property (unless they are versatile) and increase their Dice Value.
 
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One thing people are overlooking with the new crit rules is that it opens up more design space for weapons. Now that you can't double extra damage dice on a crit you can more easily expand the crit range on weapons without rouges and paladins being brokenly overpowered.
For example: Rapier: Finesse, one-handed, 1d6 damage, Crit Range 18-20.

Certain weapons can also add extra damage on a crit. Maybe most heavy weapons and versatile weapons used in 2 hands can roll damage dice 3 times on a crit. Just for fun make great axes roll dice 4 times on a crit.
If they are expanding crit ranges, then crit range can be added to a weapon at the expense of damage dice.
 

darjr

I crit!
Mike Mearls had mentioned that they toyed with the idea of weapons doing static damage. That way a rapier could do, say, 5 HP and a scimitar 9, and a great sword 13. It was an attempt to differentiate weapons from each other.
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
These are the rebalancing I use at the table. I use to have varying crit range/number of die rolled ala 3e, but I havent decided if it would be a good addition.

Mundane Weapons
WeaponDamageTypePropertyHandsWeightCost & Rarity
Club1d4B-Off1
Crossbow1d8PRanged ( 50/100), Reload2h2
Dagger1d4PFinesse, Throw (10, 20)Off1
Hammer1d6BThrow (10/ 20)1h1
Handaxe1d6SFinesse, Throw (10/ 20)Off1
Javelin1d6PThrow (20/ 40)1h1
Mace1d6BVersatile +21h/2h2
Mallet2d4B-2h2
Quarterstaff1d6BReach +52h2
Sling1d4BFinesse, Throw (30/60)1h-
Spear1d6PReach +52h2
Unarmed Strike1B-1h--


Martial Weapons (Requires 13 Strength)
WeaponDamageTypePropertyHandsWeightCost & Rarity
Battle axe1d8SVersatile +21h/2h2
Flail1d8BReach +51h2
Cestus1d6B-Off1
Longsword1d8SVersatile +21h/2h2
Pick1d8PVersatile +21h/2h2
Saber1d8SFinesse1h2
Shield1d4BAC + 2Off2
Short sword1d6PFinesseOff1
Shortbow1d6PRanged (40/80)2h1
Warhammer1d8BVersatile +21h/2h2
Whip1d4SFinesse, ReachOff1


Heavy Weapons (requires 15 Str)
WeaponDamageTypePropertyHandsWeightCost & Rarity
Arbalest1d12Ranged (60/120), Reload2h3
Bearded Axe1d12S-2h3
Large Sword2d6S-2h3
Halberd1d10SReach +52h3
Heavy Flail1d10BReach +52h3
Large Shield1d4BAC +2/+4 vs RangedOff3
Long Bow1d8PRanged (50/100)2h2
Maul2d6B-2h3
Pike1d10PReach2h3



Cloth armors
TypeArmor ClassPropertyWeightCost & Rarity
Traveler’s Cloak10+Dex-1
Clothing, Cold Weather10+DexAdvantage against cold weather1
Clothing, Warm Weather10+DexAdvantage against hot weather1


Light armors (requires 11 Strength)
TypeArmor ClassPropertyWeightCost & Rarity
Padded Coat11+Dex-1
Hides11+DexAdvantage against cold weather2
Leather Vest12+Dex-1

Medium armors (requires 13 Strength)
TypeArmor ClassPropertyWeightCost & Rarity
Reinforced Leather13+Dex (max 2)-2
Brigandine14+Dex (max 2)Stealth Disadvantage2
Chainshirt15+Dex (max 2)Stealth Disadvantage2
HelmAC +1Perception Disadvantage1
Heavy Cloak12+Dex (max 2)Advantage against cold weather1

Heavy armors (requires 15 Strength)
TypeArmor ClassPropertyWeightCost & Rarity
Chainmail16Stealth Disadvantage3
Cuirass17Stealth Disadvantage3
Hauberk18Stealth Disadvantage3
 
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Personally, IMHO the weapons are not terrible, but there are some odd things going on with some. Is there any reason to use a blowgun at all? Anyone ever used one? and fix nets to at least be usable. I don't think a strength requirement will fly. If you're proficient with a weapon and using it ineffectively that's a reflection of your low strength having lower damage and you could just describe a weapon of the right size and weight for you. I'd also like to see better explained standardized damage for different size weapons.
 



Horwath

Hero
Ranged weapons:

I'm baffled by having crossbows and bows in both simple and martial category.

I've shot bows, crossbows, slings and guns.

and from the lot, sling is most difficult to learn to aim.
then bows, then crossbows, and easiest guns.

all crossbows should be simple weapons, all bows should be martial. together with the sling.

also crossbows should have reload of an Action.
Yes, it may be bad for fluidity of gameplay, but it can be compensated with large damage and decent range and being a simple weapon used by all.


Hand crossbow, simple
1Handed, light
damage: 1d8 P
range: 40/120
loading Bonus action
cost: 50GP

light crossbow, simple
2Handed
damage: 2d6 P
range: 60/240
loading Action
cost: 75GP

heavy crossbow, simple
2Handed, heavy
damage: 2d8 P
range: 80/320
loading Action
cost: 100GP

edit:
crossbow expert feat reduces loading time from Action to Bonus action and on hand crossbow from Bonus action to free action.
you still need two hands to reload a hand crossbow.
remove bonus action attack from the feat and add +1 DEX.


shortbow, martial
2Handed
damage: 1d6 P
range: 120/480
cost: 25GP

longbow, martial
2Handed
damage: 1d8 P
range: 150/600
cost: 50GP

sling, martial
1handed
damage: 1d6
range: 40/120
cost: 1GP
 
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Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
I think 4e got weapons largely right.
Yeah I didnt play 4e but recently looked up 4e Weapon groups and I really like how they were done, the range of weapon properties and how each weapon group had its own ‘feats’ to emphasise its use.

It really emphasized that the Players talent with a weapon was important to the weapons they chose, rather than tying the bonuses to the wepons themselves.

bring it back and give melee types free weapon expertise in their chosen group
 

Olrox17

Hero
The only thing 4e weapons got wrong is the accuracy difference (weapons with +2 to hit Vs weapons with +3) because accuracy was king and a small damage bump was never worth a -1 to hit.

As for OP’s weapon table, it’s designed well, but I doubt WotC would be willing to have weapons with d3 or 2d8 damage nowadays.
 

Horwath

Hero
The only thing 4e weapons got wrong is the accuracy difference, because accuracy was king and a small damage bump was never worth a -1 to hit.

As for OP’s weapon table, it’s designed well, but I doubt WotC would be willing to have weapons with d3 or 2d8 damage nowadays.
It was based on powers that dealt ×2, ×3, ×4 or more base weapon damage

3d10 with -1 attack was probably worth more than 3d8.
 

Olrox17

Hero
It was based on powers that dealt ×2, ×3, ×4 or more base weapon damage

3d10 with -1 attack was probably worth more than 3d8.
Ad someone who played and DMed the crap out of 4e, and engaged in the CharOp forums, no, it never was.
The best 4e powers generally had powerful rider effects on them on hit, and a couple points of damage were never worth a -5% chance of applying those riders.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
I would start with.

Simple Weapon = 1d6 base damage
Martial Weapon = 1d8 base damage

Then modify damage and effects at the cost of comparable tradeoffs. Note, Versatile is equivalent to Twohanded except optionally usable onehanded. Something like.

Die Sizes
1 (minimum) › 1d4 › 1d6 › 1d8 › 1d10 › 1d12 › 2d6 (maximum)

Ammunition (Dexterity only): decrease die size twice
Finesse (Dexterity): decrease die size once
Light (offhand): decrease die size once
Loading: if ammunition, increase die size once
Heavy (medium size only): increase die size once
Reach: decrease die size once
Reach Only (disadvantage within 5 ft): no change
Throw: decrease die size once
Twohanded or versatile: increase die size twice



Examples:

SIMPLE WEAPONS
Ammunitions
Blowgun 1 pierce: ammunition, light, loading
Dart (weighted throw arrow) 1d4 pierce: ammunition, heavy
Light Crossbow 1d8 (!) pierce: ammunition, loading, twohanded
Shortbow 1d6 pierce: ammunition, twohanded
Sling 1d4 bludgeon: ammunition, loading
Axes
Hatchet 1d6 slash: −
Blades
Knife (!) 1d4 pierce: light
Machete 1d6 slash: −
Rods
Baton 1d4 bludgeon: finesse
Cane 1d4 bludgeon: light
Club 1d6 bludgeon: −
Greatclub 1d6 bludgeon: versatile (1d10)
Staff 1d4 (!) bludgeon: finesse, versatile (1d8)
Spears
Javelin 1d4 pierce: throw
Shortspear 1d4 pierce: light
Spear 1d6 pierce: heavy (!), throw, versatile (1d10)

MARTIAL WEAPONS
Ammunitions
Handbow 1d4 (!) pierce: ammunition, light, loading
Heavy Crossbow 1d12 (!) pierce: ammunition, heavy, loading, twohanded
Longbow 1d10 pierce: ammunition, heavy, twohanded
Shuriken 1d4 pierce: ammunition
Axes
Throwing Axe 1d6 slash: throw
Battleaxe 1d8 slash: versatile (1d12)
Greataxe 2d6 slash: heavy, twohanded
Blades
Dagger 1d4 pierce: finesse, light
Greatsword 2d6 slash: heavy, twohanded
Katana 1d6 slash: finesse (!), versatile (1d10)
Longsword 1d8 slash: versatile (1d12)
Rapier 1d6 (!) pierce: finesse
Scimitar 1d6 slash: light (no finesse!)
Seax 1d6 slash: light
Shortsword 1d6 slash/pierce: finesse
Spatha 1d8 slash: −
Sword 1d8 slash/pierce: finesse, heavy (!)
Throwing Knife 1d4 pierce: finesse, throw
Rods
Mace 1d8 bludgeon: versatile (1d12)
Nunchaku 1d10 bludgeon: finesse, twohanded
Throwstick 1d6 bludgeon: throw
Spears
Lance 1d8 pierce: heavy, mount (1d12), reach, versatile (1d12)
Longspear 1d8 pierce: heavy, throw, versatile (1d12)
Pike 1d12 pierce: reach only, twohanded
Trident 1d6 pierce: throw, versatile (1d10)
 
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