Rebalancing melee weapons for 5.5E

Horwath

Hero
@Yaarel
yeah, that is more or less my idea,
but I started at d8 simple, d10 for martial.
and versatile should be worse than dedicated 2Hander as then 2Hander does not make sense unless it's heavy

also I would not combine finesse and heavy properties :p
 

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Yaarel

Mind Mage
@Yaarel
yeah, that is more or less my idea,
but I started at d8 simple, d10 for martial.
and versatile should be worse than dedicated 2Hander as then 2Hander does not make sense unless it's heavy

also I would not combine finesse and heavy properties :p
If the versatile is worse than twohanded then it becomes worthless.

Besides, in reallife, the only difference between a longsword that is onehanded, hand-and-half, and twohanded, is the shape of the grip and the preference of the user. Stat-wise, they are the same weapon.

When versatile is as good as two-handed, then the choice to wield two-handed or use a shield becomes tactically interesting.



The results for simple 1d6 base damage and martial 1d8 base damage look right.
 

I like having bastard sword become part of longsword in 5e. That was OK. But I would still like to see exotic weapons. If it's called the Special Property, that's OK too. Not a game breaking change but there are weapons, particularly the Net, blowgun and flail that no one has a reason to want that I can see other than flavor.
 

Horwath

Hero
If the versatile is worse than twohanded then it becomes worthless.

Besides, in reallife, the only difference between a longsword that is onehanded, hand-and-half, and twohanded, is the shape of the grip and the preference of the user. Stat-wise, they are the same weapon.

When versatile is as good as two-handed, then the choice to wield two-handed or use a shield becomes tactically interesting.
yes, but if 2Handed has same damage as 1Handed+versatile, there is no reason to produce 2Handed weapons at all.
why would you make a weapon that has fewer amount of potential users with no upside for it?

The results for simple 1d6 base damage and martial 1d8 base damage look right.

most monsters are bags of HPs, I dont mind slight bump to damage.
and it looks nicer when you improve STR weapons and not reduce DEX weapons :D

and I went with 3.5e base of simple mace. 1d8 damage.
longsword was also d8 but with 19-20crit range. since we do not have that in 5E, d10 is next logical step.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
yes, but if 2Handed has same damage as 1Handed+versatile, there is no reason to produce 2Handed weapons at all.
why would you make a weapon that has fewer amount of potential users with no upside for it?
The greatsword (reallife renaissance zweihaender) is an odd weapon that D&D doesnt describe well anyway. It is more like a reach weapon that can only target a creature at reach, cant target adjacent creatures.

Other twohanded weapons inherently require two hands, like a bow or a pike.

Even for the sake flavor and "plot protection", the D&D mechanics need to ensure that the medieval Sword and Longsword are as good, if not better than the renaissance Greatsword and Rapier.

most monsters are bags of HPs, I dont mind slight bump to damage.
and it looks nicer when you improve STR weapons and not reduce DEX weapons :D

and I went with 3.5e base of simple mace. 1d8 damage.
longsword was also d8 but with 19-20crit range. since we do not have that in 5E, d10 is next logical step.
The 5e mace is a simple weapon and deals 1d6 damage, as the simple weapons should.

I would do the clubs as follows, tho.

Simple Weapons
Baton 1d4 bludgeon: finesse
Sap 1d4 bludgeon: light
Club 1d6 bludgeon: −
Greatclub 1d6 bludgeon: versatile (1d10)
Throwstick 1d4 bludgeon: throw

Martial Weapons
Nunchaku 1d10 bludgeon: finesse, twohanded
Mace 1d8 bludgeon: versatile (1d12)
Greatmace 2d6 bludgeon: heavy, twohanded
 
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Horwath

Hero
The greatsword (reallife renaissance zweihaender) is an odd weapon that D&D doesnt describe well anyway. It is more like a reach weapon that can only target a creature at reach, cant target adjacent creatures.

Other twohanded weapons inherently require two hands, like a bow or a pike.


The 5e mace is a simple weapon and deals 1d6 damage, as the simple weapons should.

I would do the clubs as follows, tho.

Simple Weapons
Baton 1d4 bludgeon: finesse
Sap 1d4 bludgeon: light
Club 1d6 bludgeon: −
Greatclub 1d6 bludgeon: versatile (1d10)
Throwstick 1d4 bludgeon: throw

Martial Weapons
Nunchaku 1d10 bludgeon: finesse, twohanded
Mace 1d8 bludgeon: versatile (1d12)
Greatmace 2d6 bludgeon: heavy, twohanded
one of the reasons for base d8 is, fewer d4 weapons.
I really hate the d4 dice.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
one of the reasons for base d8 is, fewer d4 weapons.
I really hate the d4 dice.
I sympathize. (There is an awesome 12-sided d4.)

But simple weapons are "simple" for a reason.

The martial weapons with their unusually heavier damage require extensive training to wield properly.
 


Horwath

Hero
I feel the same way. I find them to be dissatisfying to roll. since they do more of a "plop" than a "roll."
one more way to reduce the d4 weapons is to remove weapon categories and have all weapons at "martial" damage level all proficient with all weapons.

investment in str/dex, class features, weapon based feats, extra attack(s), attack riders(sneak attack, smite, battlemaster), fighting styles should be enough to separate a martial character from non martial.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
one more way to reduce the d4 weapons is to remove weapon categories and have all weapons at "martial" damage level
That might be for the best. Make all weapons martial weapons. Even reusable tools like knife, hatchet, and staff need training to wield effectively.

Besides, a spear feels it should be as effective as a martial weapon.

There is no point having "simple" weapons anymore.

Wizards now have cantrips instead of weapons. The Wizard class can have zero weapon proficiencies. But the allow swapping out one cantrip for one martial weapon.

Every other class should have effective weapons.
 

the Jester

Legend
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.
I have serious doubts as to whether that change is going to stick. But we'll see.
 

Horwath

Hero
That might be for the best. Make all weapons martial weapons. Even reusable tools like knife, hatchet, and staff need training to wield effectively.

Besides, a spear feels it should be as effective as a martial weapon.

There is no point having "simple" weapons anymore.

Wizards now have cantrips instead of weapons. The Wizard class can have zero weapon proficiencies. But the allow swapping out one cantrip for one martial weapon.

Every other class should have effective weapons.
I dont care if every wizard is proficient with all weapons.

wizard with a greatsword and 8 str? yeah, big threat...
 



Regarding versatile, is it actually worth much? I think it is pretty much useless. People either use versatile weapon one-handed with a shield, or they choose a proper two-handed weapon.
Versatile would be much more useful if donning and doffing a shield wasn’t a full action. In my experience, people rarely want to lose an action in a 5 turn combat just so they can do an average of 1 extra point of damage or gain a slight AC boost. In our games, we hombrewed doffing a shield as an item interaction and donning a shield as a bonus and it makes versatile much better.
 

Gorck

Prince of Dorkness
Versatile would be much more useful if donning and doffing a shield wasn’t a full action.
Donning I can see as a full action*, but doffing should be a free action. Unless you mean strapping it to your back rather than simply dropping it to the ground or tossing it aside.

*according to p146 in the PHB they're both 1 action, although the sidebar on p190 in the PHB says you can draw or sheathe a sword as something you can do in tandem with your movement and action, so I don't know why it takes so much longer to drop a shield. Sheathing a sword requires accuracy and concentration to find your scabbard, but dropping a shield somehow takes longer o_O
 
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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
what in the name of the gods is a dagger whip or an elven courtblade/ spiked chain?
I recommend not putting a pure fantasy weapon in where a real one exists for that function.
 

Donning I can see as a full action*, but doffing should be a free action. Unless you mean strapping it to your back rather than simply dropping it to the ground or tossing it aside.

*according to p146 in the PHB they're both 1 action, although the sidebar on p190 in the PHB says you can draw or sheathe a sword as something you can do in tandem with your movement and action, so I don't know why it takes so much longer to drop a shield. Sheathing a sword requires accuracy and concentration to find your scabbard, but dropping a shield somehow takes longer o_O
Yeah, I mean dropping your shield on the ground. We made donning a shield a bonus action mostly to make changing out a shield something that people would do in a fight. Changing styles from defensive to offensive makes things more interesting, even if it's not realistic. I usually have something to do with my bonus action so grabbing the shield off my back still costs me something.

But I agree. As far as I know, most shields aren't 'strapped' to your arm by being tied on. You should be able to throw it off onto the ground, even if it's a bit slower than just dropping an item.
 

what in the name of the gods is a dagger whip or an elven courtblade/ spiked chain?
I recommend not putting a pure fantasy weapon in where a real one exists for that function.
I don't think the names of the weapons are the important part of this exercise. If a weapon has finesse and reach and is two-handed, call it by whatever name you want. It's the balance of weapons and the variety that counts.

The OP even states:

"make your own examples for weapons, these are just placeholder names."
 

Gorck

Prince of Dorkness
But I agree. As far as I know, most shields aren't 'strapped' to your arm by being tied on. You should be able to throw it off onto the ground, even if it's a bit slower than just dropping an item.
I am by no means an expert in armor and weaponry. But to the best of my limited knowledge, the only shield that would be "strapped" to one's arm is a buckler.

EDIT: A quick Wikipedia search proved that I have no clue what I'm talking about. Bucklers were hand-held, not strapped to the arm. Now I must go consult my 3.5e PHB.

EDIT 2: Page 124 of the 3.5 PHB says:
Buckler: This small metal shield is worn strapped to your forearm.
You can use a bow or crossbow without penalty while carrying it. You
can also use your shield arm to wield a weapon (whether you are
using an off-hand weapon or using your off hand to help wield a twohanded
weapon), but you take a –1 penalty on attack rolls while doing
so because of the extra weight on your arm. This penalty stacks with
those that may apply for fighting with your off hand and for fighting
with two weapons. In any case, if you use a weapon in your off hand,
you don’t get the buckler’s AC bonus for the rest of the round.
 
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