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D&D 4E Weapon Sizes must die in 4E

Mustrum_Ridcully

Adventurer
MarkB said:
I've never seen the problem with 3.5e weapon size rules. I don't think they're any more complex for a player coming into the game than the 3.0 rules - it's generally just (some of) those who are used to the 3.0 rules that seem to have trouble making the transition.

Frankly, if the outsize weapon you find in a treasure hoard is decent enough to be worth using, a -2 penalty to attacks isn't going to set you back that badly - and if it's not worth it for you, sell the thing and use the money to upgrade your own weapon, or else buy the "sizing" ability from the MIC.
A +1 Shortsword is usually better than a Shortsword itself. But if I also suffer a -2 penalty with it, it's usefulness is greatly reduced...

I didn't really like the 3.5 approach that much, but maybe it is just for the -2 penalty. Using weapon size and handedness has a few advantages (most notably, it's easier to come up with names). Maybe the rules should say:
For each category that a weapon is smaller than the characters size, reduce its handedness by one step for the character. For each category that a weapon is larger than the characters size, increase its handedness category by one step. If the effective handedness goes below light or above two-handed, the character cannot use the weapon.
A weapon can only grant reach if it is wielded as a two-handed weapon, regardless of its effective handedness for the wielder.

The weapon still requires the same proficiency. No talk about claiming that a short sword might be a Longsword to a Halfling or something like that.
 

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Campbell

Legend
Mustrum_Ridcully said:
A +1 Shortsword is usually better than a Shortsword itself. But if I also suffer a -2 penalty with it, it's usefulness is greatly reduced...

I didn't really like the 3.5 approach that much, but maybe it is just for the -2 penalty. Using weapon size and handedness has a few advantages (most notably, it's easier to come up with names). Maybe the rules should say:
For each category that a weapon is smaller than the characters size, reduce its handedness by one step for the character. For each category that a weapon is larger than the characters size, increase its handedness category by one step. If the effective handedness goes below light or above two-handed, the character cannot use the weapon.
A weapon can only grant reach if it is wielded as a two-handed weapon, regardless of its effective handedness for the wielder.

The weapon still requires the same proficiency. No talk about claiming that a short sword might be a Longsword to a Halfling or something like that.

I think Wizards might be ahead of you. In Star Wars Saga weapons are listed with a same size categories as creatures and a weapon of your size is considered one-handed.
 

Jack99

Adventurer
I like the 3.5 rules. I my campaign, I have the several tribes of halflings notorious for their barbarians and their small greataxes. Noone laughs of "puny" halflings anymore :)
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Call me a 100% supporter of the weapon size rules of 3.5.

At first, I balked at the 3.5 weapon size rules, thinking them odd, but became a convert after I noticed I had direct physical evidence of the sense behind them.

Among other things, I own a skean dhu (a small boot-blade) the length of my hand as well as a letter opener of the same length which is a scale replica of a basket hilted long blade in a museum in Toledo, Spain.

The hilt of the skean dhu takes up about half of the blade's overall length. Its more than an inch around. In contrast, the scale replica blade has a hilt less than an inch long, and is as narrow as a PDA stylus.

The width of the letter opener's blade is about that of a standard #2 pencil, whereas the skean dhu has a blade 3/4" wide at the base.

The volume and mass of the skean dhu is many times that of the letter opener.

Under 3.0 rules, the two blades- essentially a dagger for a human and one-handed weapon for a pixie- would have the same stats since they are blades of the same size.

Yet clearly they are not. A human seeking to use the letter opener as a blade would cut his hands wielding it thus (since he'd be gripping several inches of blade), and would likely break it on the first strike. A pixie wielding the dagger would stagger under its mass, and would find it to be more like wielding a caber than a longsword.

So count me among those supporting carrying over the 3.5 weapon size rules into 4Ed.
 

Ravellion

serves Gnome Master
3.5e weapon rules were more realistic, but were annoying in game, mostly when the group wanted to redivide its weapons among them, but other examples have also been mentioned. So for me, realism shmealism, let's hope they go back to one-size fits all weapons.

Rav
 

Klaus

First Post
Mouseferatu said:
Count me in as another vote for the 3.5 system (or something similar). I don't think it's all that difficult, and it makes a lot more intuitive sense. A human short sword shouldn't count as a halfling longsword. There are just too many differences in form and construction.
Agreed.

If anything, it isn't hard to add a 0gp ability to weapons and shields (much like the light generating quality):

"Sizing: a magical weapon may be imbued with the ability to resize to match its wielder size, up to its own original size. So a Medium +1 longsword with the sizing quality could shrink to be comfortably wielded by Fine, Diminutive, Tiny and Small creatures."
 


Nifft

Penguin Herder
Zaruthustran said:
Those rules made sense to me. An ogre's longsword is a different weapon than a halfling's longsword.

What's so hard about that?
I expect the party to kill many things of many different sizes, while remaining the same size themselves.

It would be nice if the stuff the PCs looted was useful to them in some way.

That's really all I want from weapon size rules.

Cheers, -- N
 

BryonD said:
I'll pile on. :)

3.5 weapon sizes are great.

Yes, but they are still confusing. I think the 3.5 rules are best combined with the size equivalency option from the DMG -- I'm willing to handwave away the real differences in construction between different sword types in favor of making weapons more useful to PCs.

A simpler method might be to ditch weapon size completely, and just scale weapon damage strictly by character size. You'd have to suspend disbelief a bit -- PC "My halfling fighter picks up and wields the ogre's longsword!" DM: "OK, but now it only does 1d6 damage" -- but it would simplify playing the game. That way you just have a longsword, not a small longsword or a medium longsowrd, and every class that can use a longsword can use a longsword (unlike 3.0 where a small character couldn't use a certain weapon because it was the wrong size).

The question is how much realism do you want versus good game mechanics versus simplicity in play.
 

Marshall

First Post
Dannyalcatraz said:
Under 3.0 rules, the two blades- essentially a dagger for a human and one-handed weapon for a pixie- would have the same stats since they are blades of the same size.

Uh, no theyre not. A human Dagger is a two handed sword for a Pixie(If you consider the pixies tiny, as you are). If you consider pixies to be the same size as halflings(as the book does) than the letter opener is a toothpick. Being generous, you might consider it a stilletto.

What you are describing isnt a function of the 3.0 weapon size rules, that are VASTLY superior to the 3.5 garbage, its a function the creature size rules in the MM. An 18" Pixie is not the same size category as a 3' halfling. The Halfling is TWICE the Pixies size.
 

Delta

First Post
Traycor said:
Anyone else feel the same way? I sure hope that the strange size variations in weapons goes *poof* in 4E.

I feel the same way, but I know I'm in the distinct minority, same as all the other design decisions from 3.5 forward. I think that particular one's probably a lost cause for 4E.
 

Storm Raven

First Post
Nifft said:
I want a system that allows me to put stuff in the hands of the NPCs (be they ogres or kobolds) which the PCs will find useful when they kill the NPCs and take it.

So I'd like it if an Ogre's +1 longsword were usable as a Human's +1 greatsword, or if a Kobold's +2 poison longbow were usable as a Human's +2 poison shortbow.

So, you want a system that works like the 3.0 weapon sizing system did.
 

wayne62682

First Post
I agree. I hate the 3.5 weapon size system - it does nothing but punishes gnomes and halflings and makes them essentially less than useless in combat due to pitiful damage output (unless you're a rogue and can use sneak attack, but that shoehorns you into playing a rogue). Taking a penalty for a halfling using a human's dagger (short sword to him) is nonsense.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
I always found it dodgy that the wondrous magical items (like a cloak or ring) magically resized to fit their wearer but that magic weapons didn't. Since the real beef with weapon sizes really boils down to MAGIC LOOT ISSUES it seems like an easy fix to just carry over the resize rule to everything.

DS
 

Nifft

Penguin Herder
Storm Raven said:
So, you want a system that works like the 3.0 weapon sizing system did.
That's one rules instantiation which SOMETIMES does what I want, but not always. No-one in a PHB party could find any use for a Storm Giant's greatsword, for example.

Magically resizing magic weapons would also work, and would be a better gloss for one of the stupider aspects of enlarge person.

Cheers, -- N
 

Jakar

First Post
You take a small race for your PC, you win some and you loose some. Swings and roundabouts really. I see no problem with the 3.5 weapon size rules at all.
 

trancejeremy

First Post
I don't like them. Seems like too much work for too little pay off. I also don't think you can really call them, "realistic", either. From a "realism" point of view, as written Halfings would be completely useless in combat. They're much too small and have very little mass. Which means they can't lift much or put much force in the blow.

OTOH, normal weapons simply sized for giants would be almost unliftable, even by giants. Certainly impossible to actually use in combat. While you can handwave the existance of giants by saying "magic", their strength in D&D really isn't large enough to wield weapons. Because the mass of things basically goes up exponentially as they double in size. Is something twice as big, twice as heavy? No,it's 4 times as heavy. You also have to factor in material strength and things like that.

I think actual giants and halfings would have their own unique weapons, rather than simply mimicking human ones. Halfings for instance would probably go with pointy weapons, like a stiletto. Since the only way they could possibly hurt someone is if they pack all their force in a little area.

Giants would have things harder. They would want to take advantage of their reach and long arms, but they would have to be thin, to keep things light. But at the same time, that would result in lots of breakage.

So actually, I think they probably would just use human sized weapons. Because there is a reason that the various weapons are the size they are. Not just who wields them, but the way newtonian physics works.
 
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cignus_pfaccari

First Post
Nifft said:
That's one rules instantiation which SOMETIMES does what I want, but not always. No-one in a PHB party could find any use for a Storm Giant's greatsword, for example.

"Well, you do get the Cloud Giant's Huge Morningstar +5."

"...great. Not only can we not carry it, even if we could, nobody would buy it!"

Magically resizing magic weapons would also work, and would be a better gloss for one of the stupider aspects of enlarge person.

Yah, I think that's the best compromise between usability and realism.

OTOH, a 3.0 style system with a Craft check to fix the hilt/haft to the intended user's frame would also work well.

Brad
 

Ranger REG

Explorer
Campbell said:
I think Wizards might be ahead of you. In Star Wars Saga weapons are listed with a same size categories as creatures and a weapon of your size is considered one-handed.
Unfortunately, SECR don't have a wizard class with a profiency with a knife or dagger. They also don't have a Storm Giant that may want to choose a wizard class but can't use a human-sized knife or dagger that he is proficient with.

The only gripe about the 3.5e weapon size rule is the weapon size penalty application. I think weapon size penalty should only apply if it is too big for you to handle, unless it can be wielded with two hands. A human trying to use an Ogre's longsword one-handed should be penalize, but using an Ogre's longsword two-handed should not.

If the weapon is smaller than the hand of the user, then it can't be used at all.
 
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