D&D 5E weapon damage

It strikes me as a bug, not a feature. I don't see any benefit in making the damage output of a weapon opaque. And modulating average damage via crit damage just seems an invitation to either beginners getting trapped with below-average damage (because they haven't optimised for crits yet) or to players who have mastered the system exploiting via "crit fishing" etc to get average damage above what the system is build around.

I regard the opaqueness as a feature since for a beginner, the difference between 2d6 and 1d12 is meaningless -- they shouldn't be concerned about that level of optimization -- but the difference in dice makes the different weapon choices feel special, like more than a different label on the character sheet. With greater system mastery, the understanding of the difference comes into play. With one simple mechanic, two different levels of meaning for two different groups of players!
 

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pemerton

Legend
I regard the opaqueness as a feature since for a beginner, the difference between 2d6 and 1d12 is meaningless -- they shouldn't be concerned about that level of optimization -- but the difference in dice makes the different weapon choices feel special, like more than a different label on the character sheet. With greater system mastery, the understanding of the difference comes into play.
If .5 averge DPS is relevant at all, then I don't see why it's not relevant for the beginner - although I don't think the difference between 2d6 and 1d12 is very opaque. That's simple mathematics. The issue there is not opacity but inelegance, as it later causes confusion over rules that reference the idea of weapon damage dice (see the debates early in 4e's lifespan, for instance, about whether a vorpal falchion gets many rerolls or fewer rerolls).

The opacity I was referring to is opacity around crits. Calculating the average damage from a crit-tweaking weapond depends upon knowing what proportion of hits will be crits, which in turn requires knowledge of typical enemy ACs vs typical to hit bonuses (possibly interacting also with the advantage rules). At that point we're not talking mere mathematics. We're also talking knowledge of the games system as a mechanical edifice independent of its connection to the fiction. I don't think that's a virtue in a roleplaying game.
 



the Jester

Legend
Is there any real drawback to having different weapons deal different damage dice? Why is it that 2d6 is somehow more complex or confusing than 1d12?

Sorry, don't see an issue in need of fixing here, and I don't see any real gain in changing weapon damage. I mean, you just write the damage down and roll the dice- I don't know how much simpler you need to get.
 



Dragonblade

Adventurer
Different weapon damage dice is dumb to me. A dagger specialist should be just as viable as a greataxe wielder without needing some fiddly feat chain or prestige class to make it viable.

ALL weapons should generally use the same damage dice (or the rough equivalent with another die type), but should be differentiated via other mechanical traits. For example, a greataxe might allow you to reroll 1's on your die, while say a dagger gives you an +4 initiative bonus or something. That's what I want to see.

In AD&D speed factor mattered a lot. So a dagger doing a d4 was offset by the fact that you'd almost always strike first, before any big weapon user or spellcaster. All that was lost when 3e removed speed factors but didn't replace it with anything. It created a whole class of weapons that were flat out superior to other weapons with no offsetting mechanical factors. That was a big mistake, IMO.

A lot of people like 3e for its simulationist aspects, but IMO, this even fails in that respect. In the real world, shoving a dagger in someone's gut or hacking at them with an axe is equally lethal, so there is no legitimate justification from either a gamist or simulationist standpoint to nerf dagger damage in respect to axe or sword damage without providing some other offsetting mechanical benefit.

Also damage between melee and casters needs to scale with level. 13th Age solved this problem nicely, and Next could do a lot worse than to simply copy their mechanic of adding a die of damage per level (which itself came from 4e). Though static damage bumps work just as well for people who don't like to roll a lot of dice.

One reason (among many) that LFQW became such a problem in 3e is the damage discrepancy between warrior's and casters in terms of damage output at higher levels because damage didn't scale equally. There is no legitimate reason that a badass fighter shouldn't be able to cleave their way through lesser enemies in the same way a fireball can clear a room. None. Even in history there are stories of great warriors cutting down lesser warriors with ease. Let casters keep their flight and supernatural effects, but when it comes to melee combat, the fighter should have no equal.

For example, if a high level spellcaster is throwing out 10d6 fireballs at whatever level, then a fighter of the same level should AT LEAST be doing say 5d12 (or 1d12 + 26) damage with their weapon of choice along with whatever other traits their weapon has.

My two cents. :)
 

Is there any real drawback to having different weapons deal different damage dice? Why is it that 2d6 is somehow more complex or confusing than 1d12?

Sorry, don't see an issue in need of fixing here, and I don't see any real gain in changing weapon damage. I mean, you just write the damage down and roll the dice- I don't know how much simpler you need to get.

For me, and I know I'm focusing on a different issue than most posters, the problem with the current rules implemenation is that a warrior subclass fighter's basic subclass features are based on critical hits. Because of that, they are losing a lot of power after level 6 if they use a 2d6 weapon instead of a 1d12 weapon.

It is bad game design to say the most basic fighter should not use a greatsword if they want to take full advantage of their class features. They are exactly opposite all other characters because of their crit dependancy.
 
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Salamandyr

Adventurer
For me, and I know I'm focusing on a different issue than most posters, the problem with the current rules implemenation is that a warrior subclass fighter's basic subclass features are based on critical hits. Because of that, they are losing a lot of power after level 6 if they use a 2d6 weapon instead of a 1d12 weapon.

It is bad game design to say the most basic fighter should not use a greatsword if they want to take full advantage of their class features. They are exactly opposite all other characters because of their crit dependancy.

I hadn't noticed that, but I'll agree. This was a big reason for me quitting 4e--many of the class options most interesting to me were designed to work best with axes...and if I can't use a sword, I won't play that class.
 

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