I think something like this would be great but I think it would belong in the DMG rather then the PHB.I wonder why they don't just create a matrix with every possible damage die, damage type, ability used applied. Call those combos they want as being "Martial". Then give examples of weapons that fall into each of those lines. Something like this (hopefully image attaches), but obviously built out. (and I just threw stuff in there, I haven't actually thought about this much further - like I am not sure Sap is a Dex weapon or not, maybe it's a "Both".)
If they don't have an example weapon that fits into a line, they explicitly can say that - but let the GM know "come up with your own weapon!" And weapons with special properties outside the matrix you would asterix (like the Scimitar above). This way GMs can just say "I created a weapon that has the stat line of a flail, but in my game I'm going to call it a "neck-breaker", and it costs 10GP."
If you do this on the 4 dimensions of: Damage Die (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, 2d6), Damage Type (B/P/S), Ability (STR/Dex/Both), Range/Melee and Simple/Martial you end up with maximum 216 combos. Some combos may not be allowed for whatever reason (balance?!?). Perhaps suggested price and weight range could be provided as a balancing effect - or other tags to balance...
Some combos will be exclusively Simple or Martial; and some will be Exclusively Ranged or Melee (for example, you probably wouldn't have a personal weapon that's a 2d6 ranged bludgeon weapon - Or maybe you would! (some sort of boulder sling requiring STR 16+ or something that's 2-handed and Loading)
You can then further differentiate between specific weapons with special tags as well as with price and weight (like the Pike v Halberd) - but these would be on a weapon by weapon basis and not a dimension on the matrix.
Or is this all too confusing for people...? Probably, I keep thinking of more use cases that I would want to create an exception or a new column. So probably not generally scalable. Ah well - fun thought experiment. I may still build this out.
Of course once I do, I'll share here
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