D&D (2024) The rapier problem

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
I love swashbuckling characters, I do. But there should not be one best weapon in the game for a huge swath of characters. But right now, there is: the rapier.

If I want to make a genasi Thief of Bagdad style swashbuckler, I will be costing myself damage output (the main contribution swashbucklers bring to a party) by going with a scimitar instead of a rapier. Likewise a halfling thief with a short sword, or any other aesthetic choices that are, by the math, "wrong."

(See also no one using slings or a host of other weapons, because it's never the right decision to make.)

I'm not sure what the fix is.

Make weapon stats more similar, with only flavor between them? I believe there's an OSR game (maybe either the White or Black Hack) where every class does a set amount of damage, no matter what weapon they're using.

Make weapon stats far more complex, with every weapon being situationally good? The odds are that there will still be a "best" weapon and it'll just take the hardcore math types throwing everything into a spreadsheet to determine what it is.

What do you think? Is this a problem in your game? Have you attempted to fix it in some fashion?
 

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Horwath

Legend
the rapier in itself is not the problem.

having finesse and versatile the same value as weapon traits is more of a problem.

also 2Handed melee attacks lost 1+1/2 str mod to damage so 2d6 greatsword is not that better than 1d8 1Handed rapier.

Make longsword/battleax/warhammer 1d10 Versatile(1d12) and greatsword/greatax/maul 2d8 as obviously we will not get 1+1/2 str mod back and rapier falls into place.

and maybe classes having weapons damage difference could cut down on weapons as we would not need the simple/martial table. only one.

then rapier could have damage:
basic damage: 1d6
martial damage: 1d8

basic damage would be of all classes and martial damage for well, martial classes(all that will gain extra attack feature)
 

SakanaSensei

Adventurer
There're only two actual "fixes" I can think of, and one of them is basically what you brought up.

1) Normalize weapon damage dice by type. Light 1-handed = 1d6, medium 1-handed = 1d8, 1d10 versatile, 2-handed = 2d6.

This is simple and people would complain about weapons feeling too similar.

2) Give weapons special abilities tied to them, Kobold Press Beyond Damage Dice style.

This adds a lot of crunch to weapons and adds another layer to balance around and people would complain about both the balance and the added crunch.

I don't forsee them doing much of anything.
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
The main thing that prevents Swashbucklers from using scimitars is a lack of proficiency. Most Rogues don't even get to use them for no good reason.

Otherwise, Slashing damage is a superior damage type to Piercing: Marginally less resisted by monsters, better VS most objects, and has better supporting feats. The average damage difference of 1 is largely inconsequential in the face of the bonus D6s from Sneak attack.


The Sling is messed up because of an errata that came out in early on in 5e, the one that requires a free hand to load a ranged weapon with the ammunition property. A rule which was changed only to stem the gnashing of teeth from people who were upset that other people were daring to have fun by using two-hand crossbows at the same time. Otherwise, you would be able to use a shield and a sling at the same time giving it a proper niche.

The Trident is just a worse Spear.
 



And while we're at it, how about a 1d8 one-handed spear? Don't care about Versatile, or reach, or the ability to throw the thing. Just make it so i can play a spear and shield fighter or barbarian without taking a hit to damage output for the sake of a niche special rule i'll basically never use..
 

Horwath

Legend
If I were to change it I'd just make a rapier 1d6 and be done with it.

But i'd also make a club and hand axe finesse.
then you have a problem with shortsword/scimitar.

why should they stay at 1d6 as they have both finesse and light properties?

also dagger is too strong with d4 with it being simple weapon and having light, finesse and thrown properties.

better is to boost str based weapons.
 

Make weapon stats more similar, with only flavor between them? I believe there's an OSR game (maybe either the White or Black Hack) where every class does a set amount of damage, no matter what weapon they're using.
black hack has variable damage but by class like odnd, with the warrior class being able to target multiple foes. In Whitehack every weapon is 1d6 plus or minus 1 or 2, but have other tradeoffs that matter more in osr games, eg weight. bx has things like certain weapons being slow to add tradeoffs.
 

GMMichael

Guide of Modos
If I want to make a genasi Thief of Bagdad style swashbuckler, I will be costing myself damage output (the main contribution swashbucklers bring to a party) by going with a scimitar instead of a rapier. . .

I'm not sure what the fix is.
The fix is obvious. Stop trying to maximize your damage output.

If you were really after damage anyway, you'd be using something much heavier than a glorified foil.
 

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