Fixing Fighters: A Fighter's Weapon should be his "Cantrip!"

Some people might cringe at that thought, but hear me out .

That is, let weapons be meaningful tools, not just vehicles for dishing out various identical dice of damage.  Each weapon should have a special ability--a write up, sort of like a spell.  Think of it as expanding on the idea of Slashing/Piercing/Bludgeoning damage types and Superior Weapons (and the Feats that augment certain weapons in 3e/4e).

This way, Fighters (or perhaps any proficient user, specialized users getting access to better maneuvers) can pick up any weapon on the battlefield or carry what they need for the job at hand.  And they would be At Will (like Cantrips), since a martial warrior shouldn't suddenly not be able to attack a certain way just because he did a few moments before (daily/encounter powers strain credulity for these characters).

This is more realistic and simulationist while also serving to diversify combat abilities.  As the people at ARMA have proven, weapons were crafted for certain purposes and techniques, and martial skill (yes, even in Europe) was very advanced.  Knights and other dedicated fighters were quite skilled in quite a variety of weaponry, armor use, and battlefield situations. 

Let that come through in the skilled Fighter's ability to maximize his use of his weapons!!

P.S. There is potential out there for Armor to have similar write-ups for proficient/specialist users.  This all makes equipment matter much more, gives non-spellcasters something to care about (or not, if they want to keep it simple and focus on their sword-and-board combo, for instance), and should, I think, have widespread appeal (something for low magic people, 4e versatility, the less fantastical martial combat of earlier editions, and a bonus new level of realism for simulationists). 

Thoughts?
As long as it's not a cop-out to avoid giving Fighters nice things, I would love something like this.
...and martial skill (yes, even in Europe) was very advanced.



For this line alone, you are awesome!

Let that come through in the skilled Fighter's ability to maximize his use of his weapons!!



QFT. I've wanted fighters to be specialist weapon users for ages, capable of more and better attacks than the average PC, and I really don't like the "once per encounter" thing either.
Everything expressed in this post is my opinion, and should be taken as such. I can not declare myself to be the supreme authority on all matters...even though I am right!
I think most people want fighters to have options.  Power-attack, cleave, whirlwind attack are examples of what they've already got access to and most people agree there's a bit of room to move.

The danger is going the 4th Ed route and making fighter abilities mimic magical abilities.  Power aside, differentiation is important and expands the gaming experience.

I want to see tactical, mechanical figters, but I don't want to see spells like fire replicated with shouts or stomps.  There is a middle ground on this and we're all waiting to see it.
I think most people want fighters to have options.  Power-attack, cleave, whirlwind attack are examples of what they've already got access to and most people agree there's a bit of room to move.

The danger is going the 4th Ed route and making fighter abilities mimic magical abilities.  Power aside, differentiation is important and expands the gaming experience.

I want to see tactical, mechanical figters, but I don't want to see spells like fire replicated with shouts or stomps.  There is a middle ground on this and we're all waiting to see it.




This is precisely what I'm afraid of.
I don't want a game full of magic users like in 4th edition. 
I am greatful that I have enough reading comprehension and brain cells to rub together to understand that fighter's exploits in 4e were not spells, where as many fail on this or didnt bother to read.
How do you get "spells" out of wanting to have a weapons and armor write up where they have meaning and special uses?

The martial exploits that had the most spell feel were those that provided healing, IMO, and, of course, the fact that there were encounters and dailies.  That's why I made the "Cantrip" comparison--these would simply be things that a fighter can do with a weapon (or weapon advantages he can exploit) because he knows it so well.  Any time (at will).  Also, simple write-ups--the Cantrips have short descriptions, and some have a "special" section.

I'm working up some examples to show, but the variables that you could play with include attack bonuses to certain special attack types (disarm, trip, bull rush, grapple, etc); damage bonuses in certain circumstances or against certain types of foes or defenses; changing weapon damage type; overcoming damage type resistances; special utility against large or small foes; and all the other common variables (brutal or defensive descriptors, power attack, versatile, high crit, etc).

Just don't require feat burning all over the place to gain these.  They should be built in to Proficiency and/or levels of specialization.
Seems legit, I'd like to see an example "canttack"? I think any powers a fighter can use should be at wills or able to recharge in an encounter (like the warblade). 
 
You are Red/Blue!
You are Red/Blue!
I think most people want fighters to have options.  Power-attack, cleave, whirlwind attack are examples of what they've already got access to and most people agree there's a bit of room to move.

The danger is going the 4th Ed route and making fighter abilities mimic magical abilities.  Power aside, differentiation is important and expands the gaming experience.

I want to see tactical, mechanical figters, but I don't want to see spells like fire replicated with shouts or stomps.  There is a middle ground on this and we're all waiting to see it.



What? Name a single 4e Fighter power that was "magical".
I have said it in the past and I say again, the TV show "Conquest" (by History Channel) about ancient weapons should be seen by game designers. And Ultimate Warrior may be too. Some weapons should be cheap and easily used by everybody, and the axes for a offensive fighting style.

I suposse the warrior with longest weapon should attack first (but if enemy can bock it by shield). Spiked chain should be only where there is enough space (because in the real life it can bump into allies or obstacles like trees.  

* I thought you mentioned "cantrip" like at-will power.

My suggestion was going to be new conditions about "martial powers" like full energy (allowed doing great physical efforts), out of breah (character can´t do efforts like run), physically stressed (a penalty of Con saves about sickness and poisons) and lack of energy (character can´t do the martial daily power nor greatest efforts).

But it wouldn´t really dailly power but actions of great effort. If they are done one time more without resting there is a special penalty.

And a time for warm-up exercices, like when spellcasters get magic ready (like help to avoid).  

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

My suggestion was going to be new conditions about "martial powers" like full energy (allowed doing great physical efforts), out of breah (character can´t do efforts like run), physically stressed (a penalty of Con saves about sickness and poisons) and lack of energy (character can´t do the martial daily power nor greatest efforts).



I dunno...I think that may be difficult to track, or to implement without it turning into "encounter powers". I wouldn't want action points or anything like that either - I'm quite happy to use HP as "vitality", and assume that he has enough energy to get through the day. Although this does raise an interesting point: fatigue penalties! More than 16 hours without pause should start lumping penalties on people again, like in 2nd edition.

I wouldn't really want the "cantrips" to replace the basic attack either, like in 4th edition (i.e. there's no reason to do a basic attack because you can do a +2 attack at no penalty because basic attacks are the domain of poor NPCs who don't have powers,  but you're better than that because you're speshul!). I wouldn't be against having certain moves like disarm, trip and  power-attack as free attacks, because each one makes a trade-off of some kind (disarm and trip do no damage, power attack has a crappy To Hit chance etc), but when you have a special attack that does more damage without sacrificing something, it becomes dangerously close to being a "power".
Everything expressed in this post is my opinion, and should be taken as such. I can not declare myself to be the supreme authority on all matters...even though I am right!
Some "tricks" or matial encounter could be perfectly once encounter because is about surprise factor. (But it would useless for midnless monster like giant vernim or zombies, wouldn´t it?).

And other actions...really aren´t a daily power. Only once that day can be done without penalty (but if character doesn´t suffer a special condition like out of breath or lack of energy, because he hasn´t eaten yet). If he want do it again, then he  will suffer those penalties. 

Let´s imagine, Skratoums, (the other) son of Zeus and the ghost of Sparto polis, the barbarian is full of energy, and his gamer wants do a "daily" power in the beggining of the fight, but he suffers a trap of poisonous gas and he can´t breath for a little time. It isn´t only any lost hitpoints but besides, the condition full of energy (until he rest for shorter or longer time).  

Savage Species had got some feats that was bonus to save but when it was used the character become fatigued by the effort.

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

I want the 'Improvise' action in the basic play packet to be allowed to do Damage, as long as your a Fighter. 

Dazes, Stuns, Knockdowns, Knockbacks and any other action, for fighters, should be allowed to do at least ability to 
half damage.  Because that's what Fighters do in a fight.  And especially this particular Dwarf Fighter.
I am greatful that I have enough reading comprehension and brain cells to rub together to understand that fighter's exploits in 4e were not spells, where as many fail on this or didnt bother to read.




In defense, they were even called "powers".
At any rate, I am not in the camp that thinks warriors need "buffs" or other things to make them more interesting.  They are supposed to be the "vanilla" character.  The character you take that is as mechanically neutral as possible.  Sure they are fighting gumby's, let them have access to all manner of weapon.  Encourage them to have traits and backgrounds that augment their sheer brute force.  But please, please, don't "world of warcraft" them into a series of abilities that feel like "magical powers" that you can use from encounter to encounter. 

"I cast, 'tide of iron'!"

Part of this playtest, and I suspect the reason they are "crowd sourcing" is to learn what archetypes we players expect from D&D.  As a player who has played since 1977, my first remembrances of playing included the choice of playing the complicated wizard with its powers, the less complicated cleric whose main focus was healing people and being supportive, the even less complicated rogue who was essentially a scout, and the completely uncomplicated fighter that just hit stuff and took damage.  If you didn't want to learn any rules whatsoever, you played a fighter.  Everything else was a trade off for how much reading you were willing to do.  I think it should stay that way.  Someone who is timid about their first time playing should look to the fighter/warrior class being simple enough to learn and play just because it does exactly what it says it does.  No special powers to learn, no special maneuvers you need to know, just point in a direction and destruction happens.
I am greatful that I have enough reading comprehension and brain cells to rub together to understand that fighter's exploits in 4e were not spells, where as many fail on this or didnt bother to read.




In defense, they were even called "powers".
At any rate, I am not in the camp that thinks warriors need "buffs" or other things to make them more interesting.  They are supposed to be the "vanilla" character.  The character you take that is as mechanically neutral as possible.  Sure they are fighting gumby's, let them have access to all manner of weapon.  Encourage them to have traits and backgrounds that augment their sheer brute force.  But please, please, don't "world of warcraft" them into a series of abilities that feel like "magical powers" that you can use from encounter to encounter. 

"I cast, 'tide of iron'!"



Totally with you on this one!!

For the record, I wouldn't mind if a fighter's only ability was to hit things and hit them well. But the majority seems to find that too boring. "Oh, I can't do anything fancy, so I suppose I hit him again...yawn!" I would normally be inclined to say "don't play a fighter if you find it to boring", but I've heard this too often to completely disregard it, which is why I'd rather come up with a compromise, and let them have a few options without it turning into World of Warcraft.

Personally, I play a fighter in our Pathfinder campaign, and I find it far from boring.
Everything expressed in this post is my opinion, and should be taken as such. I can not declare myself to be the supreme authority on all matters...even though I am right!
The danger is going the 4th Ed route and making fighter abilities mimic magical abilities.


haha, no.

Please at least try playing 4e before making factually incorrect points about it.
The danger is going the 4th Ed route and making fighter abilities mimic magical abilities.


haha, no.

Please at least try playing 4e before making factually incorrect points about it.



As I've said previously, I played it for about 2 years before giving it away.  I wanted to like, it, I'd been open to every edition before it, but in the end it was too much of a collectable card game for me to continue.

The analogy is quite simple.  A magic ability that does fire damage to everyone within 3 squares seems fine in the context of magic, but a non-magical (I'd say mundane but so many panties will get ruined) power that has a similar effect based on a stomp, shout or a mean look just breaks the immersion for me and many others.

To be fair-- a lot of the Fighter's various martial battle techniques are meant to be conveyed through the basic attack roll. Their significantly higher BAB and damage, particularly that resulting from specialization, really is meant to represent a wide variety of their various fighting techniques boiled down to be about as simple as possible.

It really doesn't matter all that much mechanically if the 15 damage you did from an attack was just leaping at them and striking with your whole body weight, luring them forward and placing a well aimed attack to run them through then kick them off or bashing down their guard then taking several quick slashes to their vital organs. 

The danger is going the 4th Ed route and making fighter abilities mimic magical abilities.


haha, no.

Please at least try playing 4e before making factually incorrect points about it.



As I've said previously, I played it for about 2 years before giving it away.  I wanted to like, it, I'd been open to every edition before it, but in the end it was too much of a collectable card game for me to continue.

The analogy is quite simple.  A magic ability that does fire damage to everyone within 3 squares seems fine in the context of magic, but a non-magical (I'd say mundane but so many panties will get ruined) power that has a similar effect based on a stomp, shout or a mean look just breaks the immersion for me and many others.



Your lack of creativity is not a shortcoming of 4th edition, it's one of yours.

Running out of ways to say that sentance.

Also, name one magical ability a pure martial class had.
Some people might cringe at that thought, but hear me out .

That is, let weapons be meaningful tools, not just vehicles for dishing out various identical dice of damage.  Each weapon should have a special ability--a write up, sort of like a spell.  Think of it as expanding on the idea of Slashing/Piercing/Bludgeoning damage types and Superior Weapons (and the Feats that augment certain weapons in 3e/4e).

This way, Fighters (or perhaps any proficient user, specialized users getting access to better maneuvers) can pick up any weapon on the battlefield or carry what they need for the job at hand.  And they would be At Will (like Cantrips), since a martial warrior shouldn't suddenly not be able to attack a certain way just because he did a few moments before (daily/encounter powers strain credulity for these characters).

This is more realistic and simulationist while also serving to diversify combat abilities.  As the people at ARMA have proven, weapons were crafted for certain purposes and techniques, and martial skill (yes, even in Europe) was very advanced.  Knights and other dedicated fighters were quite skilled in quite a variety of weaponry, armor use, and battlefield situations. 

Let that come through in the skilled Fighter's ability to maximize his use of his weapons!!

P.S. There is potential out there for Armor to have similar write-ups for proficient/specialist users.  This all makes equipment matter much more, gives non-spellcasters something to care about (or not, if they want to keep it simple and focus on their sword-and-board combo, for instance), and should, I think, have widespread appeal (something for low magic people, 4e versatility, the less fantastical martial combat of earlier editions, and a bonus new level of realism for simulationists). 

Thoughts?



I dig this idea.
"What's stupid is when people decide that X is true - even when it is demonstrable untrue or 100% against what we've said - and run around complaining about that. That's just a breakdown of basic human reasoning." -Mike Mearls
A fighter remains as uncomplicated as you want them to be even if weapons and armor have significant write-ups (and not just undifferentiating die or AC entries in a table).  If you want an uncomplicated fighter, you pick your primary weapon and armor, maybe a backup, follow the rules in the write-up, and don't worry about other weapons.

For those wanting to really get into their fighters, and the complexities that exist in medieval martial arts, they should have that option.  Give it to them with meaningful weapons and armor that reflect, even just a little bit, the reasons why we even have so many in the historical record--rather than just a single sword or axe type.

Let that be Core.  Then have modules for deeper levels--fighting styles that work like stances or are just essentially feat or theme-buys.

No one here that I have seen is advocating 4e-type Encounter and Daily powers.  They should all be effectively at-will.  Hence, why equipment should have some detail to it, like spells.  Heck, it will even give Wizards a good product for business--new spell offerings are always popular, so I would imagine meaningful new equipment offerings would be as well.  I would love it.  I've always been extremely disappointed at how weak most non-magical equipment is, always trumped by magical stuff.  Always been thrilled by truly useful non-magical things. 
Also, name one magical ability a pure martial class had.



The ranger had an ability to shoot two arrows at once, that would both strike different targets. This was at level 1.

As an archer, I know that this is impossible. Archers spend their lives training so that ONE arrow will go where they point it. There may be one archer in the whole world who can do something like that, and they are considered a supreme prodigy of archery, to the point where they become celebrities. Normal people cannot do this. Therefore, the only explanation for such a feat being achievable, to the point where any archer can pull it off once every day, is by magic.

Two arrows striking the SAME target, okay, I can understand how a really good archer can attempt that (hence the Manyshot ability in 3rd - and that was at a -4 penalty). But both striking DIFFERENT targets? And at no penalty? Come on! I love playing rangers, but some of the things they could do in 4th edition were stupid, and looked more in place in some anime than in a pseudo-medieval world. Just because the description doesn't include the word "magic" doesn't mean it's a perfectly normal non-magical attack that any sufficiently skilled person can do.

Attacks are attacks. We really do not need the fluff that goes with the description. If we keep it abstract, then what I visualise as someone swinging his sword using attacks from Talhoffer, someone else could just as easily visualise as a Japanese kata. If it's written down and set in stone as a Japanese kata, then I can't decide it's a Talhoffer attack. That's why I would prefer it if things were kept basic.
Everything expressed in this post is my opinion, and should be taken as such. I can not declare myself to be the supreme authority on all matters...even though I am right!
Also, name one magical ability a pure martial class had.



The ranger had an ability to shoot two arrows at once, that would both strike different targets. This was at level 1.

As an archer, I know that this is impossible. Archers spend their lives training so that ONE arrow will go where they point it. There may be one archer in the whole world who can do something like that, and they are considered a supreme prodigy of archery, to the point where they become celebrities. Normal people cannot do this. Therefore, the only explanation for such a feat being achievable, to the point where any archer can pull it off once every day, is by magic.

Two arrows striking the SAME target, okay, I can understand how a really good archer can attempt that (hence the Manyshot ability in 3rd - and that was at a -4 penalty). But both striking DIFFERENT targets? And at no penalty? Come on! I love playing rangers, but some of the things they could do in 4th edition were stupid, and looked more in place in some anime than in a pseudo-medieval world. Just because the description doesn't include the word "magic" doesn't mean it's a perfectly normal non-magical attack that any sufficiently skilled person can do.


Thats not magic. That's someone with an inhuman ability to fire two arrows with the speed and accuracy or an average man firing one.

I have been playing 4e for years. I have never come across a purely martial power I can't reasonably explain away. Go ahead, name some 4e powers. I'll bet I can give a workable reason how they can be pulled off nonmagically. Just to start...

Twin Strike:
Against one target-Instead of firing two arrows, you fired one, but (on both hits) managed to hit the enemy in juuust that right spot to pirece through and do some real damage.
Against two targets-You're either Hawkeye, a freak of nature who can aim two arrows in one shot, or since a round is 6 seconds and everything is assumed to be happening at the same time(turns are a game measure to keep combat from getting cluttered), not unreasonable to picture someone loosening off 2 arrows within 6 seconds.
...or since a round is 6 seconds and everything is assumed to be happening at the same time(turns are a game measure to keep combat from getting cluttered), not unreasonable to picture someone loosening off 2 arrows within 6 seconds.



There, you see, I can rationalise it that way. But with the descriptive fluff in 4th edition, it makes it clear that it is not the case. If it said "you shoot at two people 15 feet apart" I'd have less of a problem, but the fact that it explicitly states "you shoot two arrows at once which fly off to strike different targets" sounds far too manga for my liking.

Besides, isn't there an at-will power that lets you shoot twice?

Like I said, just because it doesn't say "magic" doesn't mean it's perfectly reasonable to assume that any normal person can do it. An inhuman ability to do something impossible might just as well be magic. The fact that this is a power that any ranger can choose at level 1 means there are a lot of Hawkeyes in the world. Hawkeye is, therefore, no longer a freak of nature - that feat is now expected of every archer in the world.

This is why I have a problem with 4th; the fact that the characters are all some freak of nature capable of impossible things - they're not ordinary people who rise to heroism anymore, they're superheroes who rise to demigodhood. Everything I dislike about 4th stems from this one thing.
Everything expressed in this post is my opinion, and should be taken as such. I can not declare myself to be the supreme authority on all matters...even though I am right!
Ignoring the edition war, my only concern about this concept is that it encourages Ye Olde Golfbag, in which a fightercarries a golfbag with a longsword for damage, a ranseur for disarming, a whip for tripping, and a hammer for pushing.  Fighters aren't going to rely on finding their weapon "on the battlefield".  They are going to carry it with them and that's going to end up being pretty silly.

I'd rather it just be inherent abilities that the fighter can learn.
they're not ordinary people who rise to heroism anymore, they're superheroes who rise to demigodhood. Everything I dislike about 4th stems from this one thing.



You realize that's a pretty good description of a 5th level Wizard in 3.5? I mean seriously, a low level Wizard is zipping around at high seeds shooting lightning out of every orifice before level 10. And 4th is too "superhero godhood" for you?
they're not ordinary people who rise to heroism anymore, they're superheroes who rise to demigodhood. Everything I dislike about 4th stems from this one thing.



You realize that's a pretty good description of a 5th level Wizard in 3.5? I mean seriously, a low level Wizard is zipping around at high seeds shooting lightning out of every orifice before level 10. And 4th is too "superhero godhood" for you?



And the wizard envy finally appears... How is your edition war ranting contributing anything to the original post? The sooner people stop behaving like their edition is immune to criticism, the sooner we start making progress toward something better.

In response to the OP, the problem with weapon "cantrips" is that it doen't make sense for these weapons lo not have their abilities when wielded by non-fighters, which eliminates any intended fighter uniqueness. IMO, fighters being the masters of feats is perfect for the class. The problem in 3e was not this mechanic, but rather that feats just weren't interesting enough. Make interesting feats and fighters become interesting.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/7.jpg)

How is your edition war ranting contributing anything to the original post? The sooner people stop behaving like their edition is immune to criticism, the sooner we start making progress toward something better. .


And here we go with "pretending the other side is edition warring so they are WRONG" people.

And immune to criticism? I have never said that. I only refute people who make blatantly false points against 4th. If they can't be bothered to at least read the PHB before railing against it, that's their problem.
No, you're arguing semantics. The point others have made is that4e fighter abilities MECHANICALLY feel identical to wizard spells, but you counter with a flavor argument that does nothing to address their point. Then you proceed to insult them by inferring they are illiterate or that they lack your vastly superior imagination.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/7.jpg)

Ignoring the edition war, my only concern about this concept is that it encourages Ye Olde Golfbag, in which a fightercarries a golfbag with a longsword for damage, a ranseur for disarming, a whip for tripping, and a hammer for pushing.  Fighters aren't going to rely on finding their weapon "on the battlefield".  They are going to carry it with them and that's going to end up being pretty silly.

I'd rather it just be inherent abilities that the fighter can learn.


You'd rather weapons and armor be just a name attached to a damage die or AC value?

I want fighters to be able to learn things too, but I don't like having to burn 10 feats to create a fighting style, or to do things that should be fairly straightforward options (like reckless attacks, having greater range with a spear, etc).

You can avoid the "golfbag" with common sense, but if you must, you can use encumbrance and/or item slots/carrying capacity. 

Some characters like being armed to the teeth even without special equipment rules.  Those who like to focus on one weapon exclusively exist as well, but those players have been catered to almost exclusively since 2nd edition by narrow proficiency or specialization rules and the rarity of magic weapons or the necessity of focusing on one good magic weapon. 

If each weapon is meaningful in its own way by virtue of its design, players could easily switch weapons when they find a new, well-crafted or magic one of a different type.  Loot need not be so contrived (or else yield useless items not of the desired weapon type). 
The point others have made is that4e fighter abilities MECHANICALLY feel identical to wizard spells,


Which is 100% wrong.
The point others have made is that4e fighter abilities MECHANICALLY feel identical to wizard spells,


Which is 100% wrong.



In your opinion. The fact that several other people have a different opinion surely suggests that there is some merit to what we say. Express your reason for disagreeing, by all means, but insulting everyone who disagrees with you, calling them illiterate or unimaginative, is guaranteed to rub people the wrong way and put them on the defensive. If we continue with this, all useful information in this thread will be lost and the moderators will end up locking it. So let's just agree to disagree, 'kay?

Now, back to the topic:

...Ye Olde Golfbag...



This is a good point. If the game is made so that every weapon is best for one situation only, it could end up with parties forced to drag a cart around full of every weapon under the sun. People are already complaining that they have to carry a blunt weapon around for skeletons (personally I don't have a problem with that but I think it's in a gamer's nature to want to optimise everything with as little expenditure as possible). I do agree that, while anyone can swing a sword, the fighter should be able to swing it better than anyone else, and do things that others can't with it.

I also agree, though, that if there's nothing to differentiate between weapons other than the list of numbers they can generate for damage, then it makes having different weapons pointless, and there might just as well be "single hander", "martial single hander", "two hander", "martial two hander", "reach weapon" and "finesse weapon", and the person can visualise it however they want. Actually that could work nicely, because one man's "rapier" will be another man's "short arming sword", and another man's "elven smallsword" and another man's "ninja pwning sword" etc...but for mechanical purposes, it'd be the same weapon!

...perhaps a 50/50 split? Some characteristics could come from the weapon, whilst others would come from the fighter.
Everything expressed in this post is my opinion, and should be taken as such. I can not declare myself to be the supreme authority on all matters...even though I am right!
You can avoid the "golfbag" with common sense


Elaborate, please.  How does "common sense" avoid the golfbag problem?

but if you must, you can use encumbrance and/or item slots/carrying capacity.


How so?  Fighters have the highest Strength ratings in the party, and thus, the highest carry capacity.  Weapons weigh between 5 and 8 pounds each.  Most fighters can easily accommodate nine different weapons.  It's only an additional 70 lbs. of stuff.  And that's not even considering the existence of bags of holding.  If possession of weapons is valuable, then fighters will sacrifice a bit of their prodigious carry capacity to load up on weapons.

Which appears to leave two choices: reduce carry capacities to absurd levels, or increase weapon encumbrance to absurd levels.  Neither would be acceptable to me.

If each weapon is meaningful in its own way by virtue of its design, players could easily switch weapons when they find a new, well-crafted or magic one of a different type.


Why "switch" when you can carry them all? 

Loot need not be so contrived (or else yield useless items not of the desired weapon type). 


Now, I'm not even sure what problem you're trying to address.  Because "finding useless magic weapons" was not mentioned in the original post, and the easiest way to deal with that is to have a ritual that lets a wizard change the physical form of a magical weapon.  So if you like hammers, and don't want to have to give it up for your recently found trident +1, +4 vs. aquatic creatures, you can get a wizard to change the trident into a hammer.

I really don't see an option here.  Either maneuvers are based on training, which will require fighters to spend feats, or it will be based on the weapon, which will cause fighters to carry golfbags.  Since the golfbag seems sillier to me than the feats, I prefer the feats.
Which appears to leave two choices: reduce carry capacities to absurd levels, or increase weapon encumbrance to absurd levels.



Or they could do what Hackmaster does, and rule that every item on your person has to be carried somewhere, and its location marked on your character sheet.

That way, it affects what you can carry and where. If it's not in a sheath or baldric, you can't draw it as a free action because you have to look for it. You also can't stuff certain weapons into your backpack because they're too big and won't fit. Weapons like polearms, therefore, must be stored in a wagon when they're not in use.

You could also add a volume encumberance rule, whereby if you're carrying large cumbersome items on your person, your dexterity is reduced, because you can't easily dodge and roll about with a 16 foot long pike on your back!

Hahaha...yes, let's introduce those rules and see how popular they turn out to be. Laughing
Everything expressed in this post is my opinion, and should be taken as such. I can not declare myself to be the supreme authority on all matters...even though I am right!
Which is 100% wrong.


Whether a class plays like another class is not an opinion.

In which case, please show me some magical fighter powers where he's standing in the back throwing fireballs out of his implement while the WIzard runs up front marking enemies and punching them in the face with his sword.

It sounds like a silly question, but I've been asking it for weeks and I've never been able to get a straight answer out of anyone. Last time I asked, there was so much goalpost shifting in their argument tit eveutally turned into "The Fighter plays like a Wizard because the Ranger can shoot 2 arrows at once."
In response to the OP, the problem with weapon "cantrips" is that it doen't make sense for these weapons lo not have their abilities when wielded by non-fighters, which eliminates any intended fighter uniqueness.


It wouldn't make sense for someone who doesn't have training in a weapon to know how to use it properly, would it?

What groups like ARMA have shown is that medieval martial arts was really quite advanced and complex.  The skilled fighting man (like many knights) were well-versed in the use of many different weapons against foes wielding many other weapons or wearing various forms of armor/using shields, and in various circumstances (horseback, afoot, armored, unarmored, battlefield, skirmish, duel, etc).

That's a Fighter.  More completely trained than any other warrior, and to a higher level of skill (like Master/Specialization).  Other classes may have subsets of this--the Paladin and Ranger would come closest, but would not have the total diversity that a Fighter would in Weapon and Armor Proficiencies or advanced study in multiple areas.  Instead, they'd have somewhat fewer Proficiencies, and much more limited Mastery options.  The Barbarian would know a more limited selection of weapons and armor still, while the other classes might only know some simple weapons or have a racial affinity.

Does that not distinguish a Fighter well?  I never said it would be the only thing to do so--I think you're right that Fighters should just simply have more options (feats or otherwise) to obtain more advanced or more diverse fighting skills than other classes.  But when you think about the comparison I'm making--Equipment receiving as much attention as Spells--you find spells being used in varying ways across many classes, as well.  So if Spells are not made too widely available just because other classes can use them, or if Wizards do not lose their uniqueness because other classes can cast spells, then why would Fighters be if other classes had some access to the full abilities of weapons and armor (if skilled enough in their use)?
You can avoid the "golfbag" with common sense


Elaborate, please.  How does "common sense" avoid the golfbag problem?


It's pretty tough to strap on a bunch of two handed weapons, or carry more than one polearm or shield.  There are only so many places on a body that you can store a weapon.  Common sense.  On the other hand, if someone could conceivably wear two swords at the waist, two at the back, with a shield slung across, + a spear in hand and daggers a few places, why should you stop him?  He'll not be able to carry another shield, though, nor a bunch of axes and hammers, nor a bow or crossbow...

There area also already people who love to play walking arsenals.  This rule wouldn't change those players' habits.

How so?  Fighters have the highest Strength ratings in the party, and thus, the highest carry capacity.  Weapons weigh between 5 and 8 pounds each.  Most fighters can easily accommodate nine different weapons.  It's only an additional 70 lbs. of stuff.  And that's not even considering the existence of bags of holding.  If possession of weapons is valuable, then fighters will sacrifice a bit of their prodigious carry capacity to load up on weapons.

Which appears to leave two choices: reduce carry capacities to absurd levels, or increase weapon encumbrance to absurd levels.  Neither would be acceptable to me.


So what does the wizard do who knows dozens and dozens of spells?  I bet you don't limit him.
You can realistically carry fewer weapons than spells, but I know plenty of people who never bothered to check a wizard's access to giant spell list of hundreds (primarily a 2e and 3e problem), or who had no problem with him stashing all his spellbooks in a bag of holding.

So this really just looks like a double standard to me.  Nobody cares if a wizard can have a nice list of options to pull from.  But if a fighter wants access to a few weapons--items that it is rather difficult to switch out in combat, and which are usually quite visible and space-consuming--that's suddenly carrying around a golf bag and a hiring a caddy.

If you really need to avoid this for your own sanity, then you need some rule to keep in check the players who currently carry around an arsenal.  In that case, make item or body slots, or just assign each weapon a point value based on size and say that if you exceed a certain number of those points, you are considered encumbered due to the awkwardness of your load, whether or not you can handle the weight.


If each weapon is meaningful in its own way by virtue of its design, players could easily switch weapons when they find a new, well-crafted or magic one of a different type.


Why "switch" when you can carry them all? 


I don't think you can.  See above.

I see meaningful equipment rules as a way of stengthening both DM and Player freedom and ability to follow common fantasy/action story scenarios of the warrior types being able to make great use of whatever weapons are around them, whether they prepared specially for it--like knowing you were going to face undead and bringing blunt weapons and wooden stakes, or silver for lycanthropes and cold iron for fey--or taking it from their enemies, live or recently corpsified.

Since 2e specialization, however, there has instead been increasing favoritism shown to single-weapon focus, where there becomes strong disincentive to ever use anything other than your main weapon.


Loot need not be so contrived (or else yield useless items not of the desired weapon type). 


Now, I'm not even sure what problem you're trying to address.  Because "finding useless magic weapons" was not mentioned in the original post, and the easiest way to deal with that is to have a ritual that lets a wizard change the physical form of a magical weapon.  So if you like hammers, and don't want to have to give it up for your recently found trident +1, +4 vs. aquatic creatures, you can get a wizard to change the trident into a hammer.


When you pick the bodies or search the treasure pile, do your players always get magic items appropriate to their specialized weapon or armor?  That's the 4e Wish List style at work.  That works fine for some.  Others prefer 2e-style totally random treasure.  I prefer a balance, because I want to cater to my players but I also want my game world to seem very realistic and immersive.  And your magic weapons are not always going to turn up as a perfect match for the rare weapon your PC warriors use.

I think transferring enchantments is much more elegant than morphing weapons.  I like to value exceptional craftsmanship or the unique look and feel of items.  Morphing them with magic makes all of that trivial.


I really don't see an option here.  Either maneuvers are based on training, which will require fighters to spend feats, or it will be based on the weapon, which will cause fighters to carry golfbags.  Since the golfbag seems sillier to me than the feats, I prefer the feats.



I never said we should ignore training.  I've talked about using fighting styles in an at-will "stance" type capacity elsewhere--in addition to giving equipment meaningful write ups and something like the level of attention that spells get.


Bags of Holding laugh at encumbrance.
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />That's a Fighter.  More completely trained than any other warrior, and to a higher level of skill (like Master/Specialization).  Other classes may have subsets of this--the Paladin and Ranger would come closest, but would not have the total diversity that a Fighter would in Weapon and Armor Proficiencies or advanced study in multiple areas.  Instead, they'd have somewhat fewer Proficiencies, and much more limited Mastery options.  The Barbarian would know a more limited selection of weapons and armor still, while the other classes might only know some simple weapons or have a racial affinity.



What I would do is this:

* Change the proficiency feats to "basic arms training", "advanced arms training" and "expert arms training" (simple, martial and exotic weapon proficiency respectively)
* Fighters, rangers, paladins etc get basic and advanced arms training, rogues and clerics get only basic (but rogues get a few more weapon proficiencies added), wizards don't get any, but get a couple of weapon proficiencies added.
* arms training grants you proficiency with that type of weapon, as well as some extra rules with certain weapons. For example, anyone can use a quarterstaff, but someone with advanced arms training can use it as a reach weapon. Anyone can use a dagger, but someone with advanced arms training can use it against people with larger weapons without penalty. Rogues and bards can use swords, but only fighters, rangers and paladins can use them to deal different types of damage, or benefit from a defence bonus, or whatever extra rule you can think of.
* in addition, the fighter has a few more moves that he can do, such as trip, disarm, bull rush, shield wall, defensive fighting and phalanx fighting. Anyone can drop some off their attack bonus and increase their AC a bit, but fighters can trade attack for AC on a one-for-one basis.

Something like that is what I'd do. That way, the warrior types get added benefits whatever weapon they use, but the fighters get even more added benefits, due to their specialist combat training.

Bags of Holding laugh at encumbrance.



True, but I always thought they were supposed to be really expensive and high-status items. Things like that should never become a standard piece of kit that every man and his dog owns.
Everything expressed in this post is my opinion, and should be taken as such. I can not declare myself to be the supreme authority on all matters...even though I am right!
It's pretty tough to strap on a bunch of two handed weapons, or carry more than one polearm or shield.  There are only so many places on a body that you can store a weapon.  Common sense.


That's not common sense, since I don't think the "common" person has any idea how or where you can store weapons.  Not do I think a large proportion of the player base wants to deal with location slots, which Ranger-of-Cormyr mentions in his reference to Hackmaster's rules (post 34).  I think most people's idea of storing weaopns is like Neo from the Matrix and his ability to hide a dozen semiautomatic weapons in a trenchcoat.

On the other hand, if someone could conceivably wear two swords at the waist, two at the back, with a shield slung across, + a spear in hand and daggers a few places, why should you stop him?


Because it's goofy stupid and inconsistent with the fantasy bases of D&D.  I despise Ye Olde Golfbag.  It was one of the aspects of 1e that was roundly decried, and now you make a proposal that would make it the standard M.O. for weapon-users.

So what does the wizard do who knows dozens and dozens of spells?  I bet you don't limit him.


You obviously have no idea who I am if you think I'm an advocate for quadratic wizards.  We're discussing Ye Olde Golfbag.  We can use other rules to control wizards' powers.

I see meaningful equipment rules as a way of stengthening both DM and Player freedom


I see it as meaningless homework that will alienate people from the game.  Keep it simple.

It's much better to make weapon rules as simple as possible and let fighters gain powers because they are well-trained fighters, not because they carry around a glaive, a dagger, a garrotte, a puching dagger, a morningstar, a rapier, a shortsword, and a halberd.

So if you like hammers, and don't want to have to give it up for your recently found trident +1, +4 vs. aquatic creatures, you can get a wizard to change the trident into a hammer.


When you pick the bodies or search the treasure pile, do your players always get magic items appropriate to their specialized weapon or armor?


Please read what I wrote and then read what you wrote.  Nothing I wrote indicates 4e-style wish lists.  Quite the opposite!!!  Are you going to stop assuming I mean things that I didn't write?  Please?

I think transferring enchantments is much more elegant than morphing weapons.


Fine.  I don't care how you do it.


I really don't see an option here.  Either maneuvers are based on training, which will require fighters to spend feats, or it will be based on the weapon, which will cause fighters to carry golfbags.  Since the golfbag seems sillier to me than the feats, I prefer the feats.



I never said we should ignore training.

 

So we'll have both silly golfbags and require fighters to spend feats!  It's the worst of both worlds.
That way, the warrior types get added benefits whatever weapon they use, but the fighters get even more added benefits, due to their specialist combat training.


I like that too.  That's how I imagine fighter Themes working.  A fighter is a "swordsman".  He is proficient with swords and "unlocks" all sorts of neat sword maneuvers as he advances.  Or he could be a staff-fighter, gain reach, and other staff-fighting tricks.  This eliminates the golf-bag and allows fighters to individuate themselves.

The issue, I think, is that when people build their own themes by reducing the themes into modular feats, they can pick and choose, and learn a trick for one weapon, another for a different one.  I don't have a problem with that, but a lot of people look at this as being required to spend all of your feats to get one cool maneuver.

Also, some people want to be a weapon-master, with the ability to pick up any weapon and use it well.  I think a weapon master theme would be popular, though I think it would also result in a lot of golf-bags.

Bags of Holding laugh at encumbrance.


True, but I always thought they were supposed to be really expensive and high-status items.


Actually, they were pretty cheap.  They're also one of the most common magic items found in AD&D published adventures.  They just weren't use to replace the golf bag of weapons, because the encumbrance rules easily allowed fighters to carry around a bunch of weapons without resort to a bag of holding.  In fact, given that you could meet monsters only affected by silver, only affected by magic, only affected by blunt weapons, only affected by slashing weapons, etc., having a golf-bag of weapons was sort of considered a necessity.