D&D 5E The D&D rapier: What is it?


[MENTION=6802951]Cap'n Kobold[/MENTION]

You are right, and maybe i did express it a bit missleading. I meant historical weapons which were used mainly by repositioning tip and blade in a very fast way like rapier, and we would say that dexterity to do so would influence the combat transfered to D&D aka finesse.

While of course there are treatises which describe the very same Thing for two handed swords, in this case the strength of the user to catch the momentum when repositioning the weapon is of more importance.

Of course, IRL both "attributes" are needed to coordinate and to get force behind a blow or thrust.

Still in D&D Terms maybe an arming sword is able to be handled as a Finesse style weapon especially in duelling style, whereas any two handed wepon is certainly not, as certanly not any Kind of axe or mace where the source of the damage and the Options to parry or swing the weapon are totally different.

Poking someone with a thin object requires less strength than swingin a heavy object at someone. To find the gap in the armor to do so requires more dexterity than just hitting the armor with brute force to do concussive damage.

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Well, I'm not sure I like that mental image at all. "I cast magic missile - 3 pyramids of energy hit my opponent". I agree with you that there is definitely room for variation - that greatsword could be a large claymore, a zweehander or a no-dashi, and that's great! - but I like them to be *something*. It's a roleplaying game, not combat accounting.

Its a thin blade that deals d8 damage, designed by the gods or something. No technology makes sense in your average D&D game, given that it's been unnaturally era locked for hundreds if not thousands of years. You have Bob, a dwarven smith who has been making full plate armor for like 200 years... which is longer than it was even used in our world. And Bob's been doing it like his father, and his grandfather, 500 years before him! Why has no one invented gunpowder in this time?! Or, like, computers? Are the all the inhabitants of the D&D universe just idiots?

So pretend it's a marvel of elven engineering and let the small stuff go. Realism is a crappy hill to die on in D&D, because its a god awful simulation of anything if you examine it.


Nice job Ancalagon explaining the history and potential equivalents to what is the 5e rapier enigma.

My solution was to convert the rapier to an Elvish Leafblade (1h, slashing, finesse) and be done with the pointy stick.

This solution absolves my unnatural hatred towards the wapieaire quite neatly.

Realism may be a crappy hill to die on, but I will give my life defending the RAPIERS SUCK AND R NO GUD hill.

To me, 1 point of damage on average over a shortsword is also a pretty weird hill to even notice, let alone die on, but I guess everyone has their pet cause.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be over here ranting that Identify no longer consumes the pearl. If you aren't ID'ing a magic item bby waving an owl feather over a bowl of wine while snorting some pearl dust, it ain't D&D.
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Rapiers are d8 finesse weapons that deal piercing damage.

Beyond that, it is whatever sounds fun to the players and DM. What it looks like is just fluff and that fluff should be aimed at what is fun. If the PCs picture a longsword - whatever. If they tell me their rapier is a carved dragon talon? Fine. If the dwarven rogue has a background that includes being a chef and he wants his "rapier" to be a meat clever? The idea will not be chopped, even if it doesn't make perfect sense.

D&D does not need to be a simulation. That being said, if you really enjoy looking at real history for inspiration for what your weapon should look like, GREAT. Do what makes a fun game for you. Just accept it when others do the same in a different way and decide their maul is actually a small statue.

Tony Vargas

You are of course free to do what you want at your table...

... but a broadsword is a *broad* blade, and a slashing one to boot (by broad do you mean wide, or thick?). It doesn't seem like a great fit... is it still a dex weapon? I feel like I'm missing something...
At some point, maybe the 19th century, antiquarians took to calling some straight, single-edged cavalry weapons 'broadswords,' I have no idea why. In fantasy gaming 'broadsword' is sometimes taken, quite literally, as a big honking sword that's improbably wide across the blade, but not overlong, like a cut-down fantasy greatsword, I suppose.

That being said, it's a shame that the broadsword isn't in the game anymore.
Agreed. :)


I've always thought the rapier was fine for where it was damage wise. I think the design mistake was not taking all the martial weapon damages one scale further. Something like:

Rapier, Scimitar 1d8 (Finesse weapons)
Longsword, warhammer, flail, etc 1d10/1d12 versatile
Polearms 2d6 (Anything with 2 handed and reach)
Greatsword, Great Axe, Maul 2d8 (2 Handed Heavy weapons)

I'd never really thought about it but I guess you could throw 2 handed finesse weapons at 1d12 or 2d6, but still less then a normal strength based 2 handed weapon.
Finesse weapon 1d8/1d10 versatile
Finesse Polearm 1d10
2 handed Finesse weapon 2d6

My whole point here is, if the scale of weapon damage went one level higher, to 2d8, you have a greater range of damage options for weapons. It gives you the ability to easily scale finesse weapons by allowing them to be 1 damage dice less then a strength based equivilant and still maintain an edge over simple weapon damage.

Also, the rapier should be a light weapon. You should be able to hold a dagger in your offhand.

Instead, I would say the two weapon fighting should only require a light weapon in the offhand.
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Guest 6801328

To me, 1 point of damage on average over a shortsword is also a pretty weird hill to even notice, let alone die on, but I guess everyone has their pet cause.

Exactly. It's 1 point of damage. So why even add this silly anachronism to the game? Dexterity is superior to Strength in every way...what's wrong with saying that if you want a Dex build you are going to do slightly less damage?

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