Monday, October 21, 2013

Musings About D&D Weapons

Recently, I've been thinking a lot about weapons and what's the best way to represent them mechanically in D&D/Pathfinder. There are some people who prefer the OD&D method of having every weapon deal d6 damage, while there are others who like weapons to have different damage dice and a few special abilities as well. 

Personally, I prefer weapons to have different damage dice. I understand the appeal of the OD&D method and I'll admit, I like how simple the method is. However, I feel like different damage dice help make each weapon just a little more unique. 

With that being said, I do have mixed feelings about weapons having special abilities though. On the one hand, I like these special abilities and qualities make each weapon a little more unique. For example, I love how D&D Next rapiers innately allow you to use Dexterity for attack rolls instead of Strength. 

However, I fear that giving every weapon a special ability or quality would just complicate things. It would be a chore to create unique abilities and qualities for each weapon in the Equipment chapter, and keeping them straight would be a hassel as well. Also, it would probably cause combat to move even slower as people look up each weapon's ability and quality. 

Probably the best fix would just to cherry pick a few weapons that were designed to have different qualities and purposes and give them one or two simple, easy to remember abilities. For example, the fail would grant you a bonus when attempt to disarm another opponent or maybe get rid of the Weapon Finesse feat and just give certain weapons, like the rapier, the innate ability to use a character's Dexterity bonus instead of their Strength bonus for attack rolls. There is still the chance of people having to look up what some of the abilities are, but at least its only for a few weapons instead of every single one of them. 

What do you guys and gals think? Should weapons have different damage dice, or should they all use one kind? Should they have special abilities/qualities, or not? I'd love to hear your opinions.