Rebalancing melee weapons for 5.5E

So, after looking at the weapons and trying to stat out the phb weapons, a dagger should be a martial and not a simple weapon. (Martial starts at 1d10, simple starts at 1d8) dagger has 3 riders on it which doesn’t work for a simple weapon because it drops damage below 1d4.

If you made it martial(dagger: 1d4, small, thrown, finesse) and then created:
  • throwing knife (1d4, thrown, small)
  • knife (1d4, small, finesse)
As simple weapons

The whole formula works better.
 

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Horwath

Hero
So, after looking at the weapons and trying to stat out the phb weapons, a dagger should be a martial and not a simple weapon. (Martial starts at 1d10, simple starts at 1d8) dagger has 3 riders on it which doesn’t work for a simple weapon because it drops damage below 1d4.

If you made it martial(dagger: 1d4, small, thrown, finesse) and then created:
  • throwing knife (1d4, thrown, small)
  • knife (1d4, small, finesse)
As simple weapons

The whole formula works better.
that is why I removed the Thrown property from dagger and made throwing knife with d3 damage and finesse, light and thrown propertied.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
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.
Yeah, the 2014 Versatile property is worthless.

It is better to just treat versatile as the same thing as twohanded, but optionally usuable onehanded. Compare the claymore sword. It is primarily for twohanded use, even if one can wield it effectively onehanded.

For D&D, both twohanded and versatile should deal the same damage, bumping the base damage die upward two sizes.

Then versatile becomes a worthwhile choice, whether to use the versatile weapon onehanded with shield or with freehand for casting or grapple, or to use the weapon twohanded for more damage. It becomes worthwhile to alternate.

Note, that several twohanded weapons also have the heavy property, to nudge the damage die up one size.

For example:
Longsword 1d8 slash: versatile (1d12)
Greatsword 2d6 slash: twohanded, heavy

Then the difference between 1d12 (average 6.5) and 2d6 (average 7) is close enough that both weapons are good choices, even if the longsword is primarily wielded twohanded.



that is why I removed the Thrown property from dagger and made throwing knife with d3 damage and finesse, light and thrown propertied.
So the die sizes are?

1 › d3 › d4 › d6 › d8 › d10 › d12 › 2d6
 
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Yaarel

Mind Mage
d3 › d4 › d6 › d8 › d10 › d12 › 2d6 > 2d8
I now notice, you made the greatsword deal 2d8 damage. That seems too much, unless it has the "loading" property sotospeak, where only one attack per round is possible.

I would reserve the theoretical 2d8 damage for huge stationary weapons, like a harpoon bolted to a ship deck.
 

Horwath

Hero
I now notice, you made the greatsword deal 2d8 damage. That seems too much, unless it has the "loading" property sotospeak, where only one attack per round is possible.

I would reserve the theoretical 2d8 damage for huge stationary weapons, like a harpoon bolted to a ship deck.
one handed and two handed melee weapons both have +STR mod to damage.
2Handed should have 1+1/2 str mod to damage, and since that is not 5E design, 2d8 compensates for that.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
one handed and two handed melee weapons both have +STR mod to damage.
2Handed should have 1+1/2 str mod to damage, and since that is not 5E design, 2d8 compensates for that.
Yet in 5e, fighting with two weapons is suboptimal compared to fighting with a twohanded weapon.

In comparison, the twohanded weapon is already too good as-is.
 

Horwath

Hero
Yet in 5e, fighting with two weapons is suboptimal compared to fighting with a twohanded weapon.

In comparison, the twohanded weapon is already too good as-is.
1. TWF is garbage. It's the worst style in 5E. Then again, it's the worst style IRL to use, so... realism I guess.
2. 2,5 damage on average(d8 vs 2d6) is not worth -2 AC
3. Shield is also an extra magic item slot.
4. monsters are bags of HPs so buffing STR weapons is no problem
5. remove -5/+10 part of those 2 feats if that is the problem.
 

Clint_L

Adventurer
I think weapons could be simplified in general, but my only strong desire is for "reach" to be given an equalizing disadvantage, like disadvantage against adjacent targets. I really, really hate combinations like bugbear+polearm master. They are cheezy and make no sense.
 

Horwath

Hero
Shortsword is a simple weapon now.

d6 damage, light, finesse.

this is too much.

add martial; its d8, light, finesse

remove light, d10 finesse

remove finesse, d12(versatile 2d6) = longsword.

2Handed should be 2 categories up, so it is better than versatile damage, that is 2d8.

2d8 plus Heavy would be 3d6? I guess?

Shortsword cannot stay simple with that properties, or lot's of melee weapons need to be buffed up. By a lot.
 

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.

Personally I think that in the unarmed strike rules they should add that you need a free hand to grapple.
That combined with that in the new grappling rules saying you have disadvantage on attacks except against the creature grappling you might lead to single weapon and free hand becoming interesting as a grapple tank build.
 

Clint_L

Adventurer
We don't need to increase weapon damage across the board. Players already carve through mobs without issue, and you inflate weapon damage, then you have to inflate spell damage, then you have to inflate mob hit points...what's the point?

2-h damage is fine; lots of players are choosing 2-h weapons, so apparently for them the -2 AC is worth it. Right now, a raging Barbarian swinging a great sword does 12 damage on an average hit at level 1. That's a lot - enough to one shot most other level 1 characters!

Most of these solutions are just adding complications and making some weapons the obvious winners (i.e. looking at the first chart, if you are using a 2-hand weapon and it is anything but a Great Sword, then you are doing it wrong). 1e had vastly complicated weapons properties but it was almost all pointless because there were actually only about 6 different weapons that players actually chose, because they were clearly superior.

Edit: Weapons need to be vastly simplified. Get rid of versatile property. Get rid of reach property. Get rid of heavy, light properties. Small 1-h (d4+throwable), simple 1-h (d6), martial 1-h (d8), 2-h (d12). 1-h available in strength or dexterity flavours, 2-h strength only. Players can fill in the blanks including damage type (i.e. "my 2-h weapon is a massive sword doing slashing damage"). The rules put way too much effort into details that complicate the game while adding nothing except occasional opportunities for abuse (bugbear/polearm master/sentinel). Let the players handle all the weapon flavour stuff.
 
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Horwath

Hero
We don't need to increase weapon damage across the board. Players already carve through mobs without issue, and you inflate weapon damage, then you have to inflate spell damage, then you have to inflate mob hit points...what's the point?

2-h damage is fine; lots of players are choosing 2-h weapons, so apparently for them the -2 AC is worth it. Right now, a raging Barbarian swinging a great sword does 12 damage on an average hit at level 1. That's a lot - enough to one shot most other level 1 characters!
mob HPs are already inflated.

most are just huge HP blobs and nothing else.

there are CR5 monsters with over 120 HP.
 

Horwath

Hero
Personally I think that in the unarmed strike rules they should add that you need a free hand to grapple.
That combined with that in the new grappling rules saying you have disadvantage on attacks except against the creature grappling you might lead to single weapon and free hand becoming interesting as a grapple tank build.
If you want to grapple then sure, 1Handed weapon is a must, if you only plan to attack of shove with unarmed then you do not need free arms and good ol' "Leonidas" will do the trick just fine.
 

Clint_L

Adventurer
mob HPs are already inflated.

most are just huge HP blobs and nothing else.

there are CR5 monsters with over 120 HP.
Okay, if that is the case and you inflate weapon damage, then those just become mobs with 150 HP. What has been accomplished? Conversely, if you raise damage but don't inflate the mob HP then combat, already incredibly low-stakes most of the time, will become even easier.

What's the upside of raising player damage?
 

Horwath

Hero
Okay, if that is the case and you inflate weapon damage, then those just become mobs with 150 HP. What has been accomplished? Conversely, if you raise damage but don't inflate the mob HP then combat, already incredibly low-stakes most of the time, will become even easier.

What's the upside of raising player damage?
upside is balancing weapon damage in respect to other weapons.

finesse needs a cost for using it. lower damage die
light needs a cost. lower damage die
same with thrown and reach.
martial weapons need to deal more damage than simple. its a class feature cost.
2Handed weapons need to have more damage than versatile as they are exclusive 2Handed usage. two steps higher than one handed weapons or one step higher than versatile.
Heavy again needs to raise damage die.


monsters need more abilities not HPs.
nothing more boring to fight than a sack of HP with a club.
 

Olrox17

Hero
upside is balancing weapon damage in respect to other weapons.

finesse needs a cost for using it. lower damage die
light needs a cost. lower damage die
same with thrown and reach.
martial weapons need to deal more damage than simple. its a class feature cost.
2Handed weapons need to have more damage than versatile as they are exclusive 2Handed usage. two steps higher than one handed weapons or one step higher than versatile.
Heavy again needs to raise damage die.


monsters need more abilities not HPs.
nothing more boring to fight than a sack of HP with a club.
I think that by making the short sword a simple weapon, WotC just destroyed the assumption that simple weapons must be weaker than martial ones. We just have to accept that a select few simple weapons are just as good as their martial counterparts.
Or I guess we can criticize this approach in the next survey and see how it goes.
 

Horwath

Hero
I think that by making the short sword a simple weapon, WotC just destroyed the assumption that simple weapons must be weaker than martial ones. We just have to accept that a select few simple weapons are just as good as their martial counterparts.
Or I guess we can criticize this approach in the next survey and see how it goes.
either make one category of weapons and make all proficient with all weapons or make martial proficiency matter.
I have 0 problems with having all weapon on martial "power level".
It would be simpler. but even then weapons MUST be balanced within themselves using base damage and weapon traits/properties.
or we come back again to situation where is 5 or 6 weapons that everyone uses and the rest is waste of paper in PHB.

why is there dagger with d4 then?
for it's useless 20ft thrown range?
if the range was 40/120 atleast that would justify reduced damage comparing it to "simple shortsword".

this is just bad game design.
 


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