A closer examination of D&D weapons (or) too much simplicity isn't good either...

There's simplicity, and then there's treating-your-players-like-they're-simpletons.

The weapons we choose for our characters are more than just tools. They are extensions of lethal intent made manifest through role-playing. They are how our characters face the monsters that want to kill them. As such, each one deserves to be distinctive in a non-redundant way.

The current play-test weapons can stand a little more complexity without compromising the 'firebrand of simplicity' that seems to define every new version of the D&D core rules. Right now, weapons are too dull and uninspiring, brought on by a lack of meaningful properties to differentiate them from each other.

Moreover, the list of weapons is clearly smaller than what we are accustomed to seeing from D&D. Many weapons are missing, like the kukri, the falchion, the gauntlet, the guisarme, the khopesh, the punching dagger, the ranseur, and the shortspear. The mace was once broken into light and heavy versions, rather than just 'mace', as was the flail, as was the pick.

Now while I agree that some weapons needed to be simplified, I think the reason they were condensed or omitted stems entirely from the complexity which has been stripped away from all weapons, to the point where even the current 'reduced' list still includes redundant options. To illustrate what I mean, here are the latest play-test weapons by ascending damage and weapon groups. This allows us to examine where they overlap.

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Name / Price / Damage / Weight / Properties / Group
Basic Weapons (Attack: Strength modifier)
Handaxe / 5 gp / 1d4 slashing / 5 lb. / Range / 30/120 / Axe
Scythe / 5 sp / 1d8 slashing / 10 lb. / Two-handed / Axe
Club / 1 sp / 1d4 bludgeoning / 3 lb. / — / Mace
Mace / 5 gp / 1d6 bludgeoning / 8 lb. / — / Mace
Greatclub / 2 sp / 1d8 bludgeoning / 15 lb. / Two-handed / Mace
War pick / 5 gp / 1d6 piercing / 6 lb. / — / Pick
Spear / 1 gp / 1d6 piercing / 5 lb. / — / Spear
Trident / 5 gp / 1d6 piercing / 6 lb. / — / Spear
Sickle / 2 sp / 1d6 slashing / 5 lb. / — / Sword
Unarmed strike / — / 1d4 bludgeoning / — / — / Unarmed
Improvised object / — / 1d4 bludgeoning / — / — / —
Improvised object / — / 1d6 bludgeoning / — / Two-handed / —

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Basic Weapons seems to be modelled after 'tools commoners might wield'. As well, none of these weapons deals 1d8 damage without also being two-handed. Still, there are problems. For example, there is no meaningful difference between the spear and trident. We can give the spear a range of 20/80 (lower than javelin), but that makes it superior to the trident. Raising the trident damage to 1d8 on the Basic Weapon chart is one option, but doing so dictates that it should also be made two-handed, which invalidates the trident and net fighting style. The solution? Graduate the trident to a Martial Weapon, even if it was intended to template a commoner's pitchfork. Lastly, if unarmed strikes and one-handed improvised objects deal the same damage, what incentive is there to improvise a one-handed object? This is easily solved by lowering the unarmed strike to 1d3 damage.

Name / Price / Damage / Weight / Properties / Group
Finesse Weapons (Attack: Strength modifier or Dexterity modifier)
Dagger / 2 gp / 1d4 piercing / 1 lb. / Range 20/80 / Dagger
Quarterstaff / 2 sp / 1d8 bludgeoning / 4 lb. / Two-handed / Staff
Scimitar / 25 gp / 1d6 slashing / 4 lb. / — / Sword
Katana / 35 gp / 1d8 slashing / 3 lb. / Two-handed / Sword
Rapier / 25 gp / 1d6 piercing / 2 lb. / — / Sword
Short sword / 10 gp / 1d6 piercing / 3 lb. / — / Sword
Whip / 2 gp / 1d4 slashing / 2 lb. / Reach / Whip
Spiked chain / 15 gp / 1d6 piercing / 5 lb. / Reach, two-handed / Whip

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Here we see the first two-handed weapon dealing less than 1d8 damage (the spiked chain), but it has reach, so perhaps that can be considered balanced. Again, there are problems. After separating swords into piercing and slashing types, the rapier and short sword are functionally identical. Second, why is a katana the only Eastern weapon in the list and why the ruddy heck is it two-handed? The katana and wakizashi should be married together, one in each hand. Drop the katana for now, but make it a finessable bastard sword when it comes back (so that it's superior to a quarterstaff). The dagger and possibly the short sword should sport two damage types, namely piercing and slashing. That alone would differentiate the short sword from the rapier, but not by much. Some additional complexity is needed to create meaningful differences between these weapons as well.

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Name / Price / Damage / Weight / Properties / Group
Martial Weapons (Attack: Strength modifier)
Throwing axe / 5 gp / 1d6 slashing / 7 lb. / Range 20/80 / Axe
Battleaxe / 10 gp / 1d8 slashing 10 lb. / — / Axe
Flail / 10 gp / 1d8 bludgeoning / 2 lb. / — / Flail
Warhammer / 15 gp / 1d8 bludgeoning / 8 lb. / — / Hammer
Morningstar / 15 gp / 1d8 bludgeoning and piercing / 12 lb. / — / Mace
Shield / 10 gp / 1d6 bludgeoning / 5 lb. / — / Shield
Longsword / 15 gp / 1d8 slashing / 5 lb. / — / Sword
Bastard sword / 35 gp / 1d10 slashing / 10 lb. / Two-handed / Sword

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There is less redundancy on the Martial Weapon chart, but some oddities stand out. The throwing axe does more damage than the handaxe, but can't be thrown as far for some reason. Sure, I suppose that's balanced, but it would feel more consistent if these weapons were fused together and given a shorter throwing range (certainly less distance than a javelin) and kept on the Basic Weapon chart (as a commoner weapon). Another quirk of this weapon chart is the bastard sword. It can only be wielded two-handed -- for the first time in D&D history -- despite having long been established as a one or two-handed weapon. The problem can be solved by simply treating the bastard sword as a longsword when wielded single-handedly and a bastard sword when wielded two-handed.

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Name / Price / Damage / Weight / Properties / Group
Heavy Weapons (Attack: Strength modifier)
Halberd / 10 gp / 1d10 slashing / 15 lb. / Reach, two-handed / Axe
Greataxe / 30 gp / 1d12 slashing / 15 lb. / Two-handed / Axe
Maul / 10 gp / 1d12 bludgeoning / 25 lb. / Two-handed / Hammer
Glaive / 10 gp / 1d10 slashing / 15 lb. / Reach, two-handed / Spear
Longspear / 5 gp / 1d10 piercing / 5 lb. / Reach, two-handed / Spear
Lance / 10 gp / 1d12 piercing / 10 lb. / Reach, two-handed, special / Spear
Greatsword / 50 gp / 1d12 slashing / 10 lb. / Two-handed / Sword

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No redundancy here, but the halberd should also double as a spear dealing 1d6 damage. If we give the halberd 1d10 damage for the spear point, it makes the longspear redundant. Secondly, the maul weighs way too much. No weapon from any of these charts should weigh more than 15 pounds. If we move to an encumbrance system that accounts for awkwardness, that becomes a different matter.

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Name / Price / Damage / Weight / Properties / Group
Simple Missile Weapons (Attack: Dexterity modifier)
Crossbow, hand / 10 gp / 1d6 piercing / 3 lb. / Range 30/120, special / Crossbow
Sling / 1 sp / 1d4 bludgeoning / 1/2 lb. / Range 30/120 / Sling
Dart / 5 cp ea. / 1d4 piercing / 1/2 lb. / Range 30/120 / Spear
Improvised object / — / 1d2 bludgeoning / — / — / —

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The crossbow shows up for the first time, but with a galling restriction. An action is needed to reload. Considering that bows do not suffer this restriction, can be fired at greater distances, and only deal 1 less average point of damage, crossbows will be largely passed over by adventurers. Sure, you can fire crossbows while prone and behind cover (albeit with a -2 penalty according to the current prone rules), but in order to make them no less useful than bows, they needs some kind of advantage. Regarding range, the hand crossbow feels short changed next to the dart and sling. I don't think a range of 50/200 would break the bank. Lastly, I think that ranged improvised objects can deal at least 1d3 damage, for the simple reason that 1d2 is pitiful.

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Name / Price / Damage / Weight / Properties / Group
Martial Missile Weapons (Attack: Dexterity modifier)
Shortbow / 25 gp / 1d6 piercing / 2 lb. / Range 80/320, two-handed / Bow
Crossbow, light / 25 gp / 1d8 piercing / 6 lb. / Range 80/320, two-handed, special / Crossbow
Throwing hammer / 2 gp / 1d6 bludgeoning / 7 lb. / Range 20/80 / Hammer
Javelin / 5 sp / 1d6 piercing / 5 lb. / Range 30/120 / Spear

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Giving a throwing hammer a separate entry seems a little nonsensical to me. Is anybody really going to carry around multiple 7 pound hammers just for throwing away? No. Instead, add a straightforward 'hammer' to the Basic Weapon chart (definitely a commoner weapon) and give the weapon a throwing range. Done. Looking ahead at Heavy Missile Weapons, if the longbow out-ranges the heavy crossbow, then the shortbow should out-range the light crossbow.

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Name / Price / Damage / Weight / Properties / Group
Heavy Missile Weapons (Attack: Dexterity modifier)
Crossbow, heavy / 50 gp / 1d10 piercing 10 lb. / Range 100/400, two-handed, special / Crossbow
Longbow / 50 gp / 1d8 piercing 3 lb. / Range 150/600, two-handed / Bow

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Nothing redundant here, but in conclusion I reiterate that additional weapon distinctions are needed. The question then becomes how to differentiate weapons without making them too complicated.

In D&D 3rd edition, we had critical threat ranges, critical multipliers, damage types, and weapons that were ideal for certain combat manoeuvres. In D&D 4th edition, we had proficiency bonuses and special properties. In 5th edition, I think the answer lies somewhere in between. There needs to be additional weapon properties, weapons that deal more damage on a critical, and weapons that are compatible with certain fighting styles. As well, some weapons can be assigned to multiple groups while others can inflict more than one damage type (like the morningstar), but not at the expense of making other weapons redundant.

See below for the Revised Weapons and Weapons Properties by Group.
Revised Weapons
The following changes detail revisions made to current D&D play-test weapons.

Editorial History (30 September 2012)
-Changed the Weapon Property of maces to balance against armoured opponents.

Editorial History (23 September 2012)
-Changed the Weapon Property of bows to create less overlap with Sniper feat.

-Changed the Weapon Property of mace to balance against armoured opponents.
-Changed the Weapon Property of unarmed in keeping with two-weapon fighting.

Editorial History (21 September 2012)
-Removed range from spear and trident to account for new Weapon Property by Group.
-Made sweeping changes to all Weapons Properties by Group, except axe, dagger, and shield.

Editorial History (18 September 2012)

-Throwing hammer changed to hammer and moved from Martial Missile Weapon to Basic Weapon.
-Handaxe and throwing axe combined into handaxe with higher damage and reduced range.
-Spear gains throwing range.
-Staff added to Basic Weapons.
-Unarmed strike damage lowered to less than club.
-Trident moved to Martial Weapons with increased damage and throwing range.
-Slashing damage added to dagger and short sword.
-Katana removed from Finesse Weapons to join Eastern Weapons in future.
-Bastard sword gains different damage when wielded one-handed and two-handed.
-Halberd gains spear piercing damage for the weapon point and also counts as Spear.
-Maul weight reduced by 10 pounds.
-Simple Missile Weapon improvised object damage increased to match unarmed strike.

Weapons
Name / Price / Damage / Weight / Properties / Group

Basic Weapons (Attack: Strength modifier)
Club / 1 sp / 1d4 bludgeoning / 3 lb. / — / Mace
Greatclub / 2 sp / 1d8 bludgeoning / 15 lb. / Two-handed / Mace
Hammer / 2 gp / 1d6 bludgeoning / 7 lb. / Range 20/80 / Hammer
Handaxe / 5 gp / 1d6 slashing / 5 lb. / Range 20/80 / Axe
Improvised object / — / 1d4 bludgeoning / — / — / —
Improvised object / — / 1d6 bludgeoning / — / Two-handed / —
Mace / 5 gp / 1d6 bludgeoning / 8 lb. / — / Mace
Scythe / 5 sp / 1d8 slashing / 10 lb. / Two-handed / Axe
Sickle / 2 sp / 1d6 slashing / 5 lb. / — / Sword
Spear / 1 gp / 1d6 piercing / 5 lb. /  / Spear
Staff / 1 sp / 1d6 bludgeoning / 3 lb. / — / Staff
Trident / 5 gp / 1d6 piercing / 6 lb. / — / Spear
Unarmed strike / — / 1d3 bludgeoning / — / — / Unarmed
War pick / 5 gp / 1d6 piercing / 6 lb. / — / Pick

Finesse Weapons (Attack: Strength modifier or Dexterity modifier)
Dagger / 2 gp / 1d4 piercing and slashing / 1 lb. / Range 20/80 / Dagger
Katana / 35 gp / 1d8 slashing / 3 lb. / Two-handed / Sword
Quarterstaff / 2 sp / 1d8 bludgeoning / 4 lb. / Two-handed / Staff
Rapier / 25 gp / 1d6 piercing / 2 lb. / — / Sword
Scimitar / 25 gp / 1d6 slashing / 4 lb. / — / Sword
Short sword / 10 gp / 1d6 piercing and slashing / 3 lb. / — / Sword
Spiked chain / 15 gp / 1d6 piercing / 5 lb. / Reach, two-handed / Whip
Whip / 2 gp / 1d4 slashing / 2 lb. / Reach / Whip

Martial Weapons (Attack: Strength modifier)
Bastard sword / 35 gp / 1d8/1d10 slashing / 10 lb. / One-handed/two-handed / Sword
Battleaxe / 10 gp / 1d8 slashing 10 lb. / — / Axe
Flail / 10 gp / 1d8 bludgeoning / 2 lb. / — / Flail
Longsword / 15 gp / 1d8 slashing / 5 lb. / — / Sword
Morningstar / 15 gp / 1d8 bludgeoning and piercing / 12 lb. / — / Mace
Shield / 10 gp / 1d6 bludgeoning / 5 lb. / — / Shield
Throwing axe / 5 gp / 1d6 slashing / 7 lb. / Range 20/80 / Axe
Trident / 5 gp / 1d8 piercing / 6 lb. /  / Spear
Warhammer / 15 gp / 1d8 bludgeoning / 8 lb. / — / Hammer

Heavy Weapons (Attack: Strength modifier)
Glaive / 10 gp / 1d10 slashing / 15 lb. / Reach, two-handed / Spear
Greataxe / 30 gp / 1d12 slashing / 15 lb. / Two-handed / Axe
Greatsword / 50 gp / 1d12 slashing / 10 lb. / Two-handed / Sword
Lance / 10 gp / 1d12 piercing / 10 lb. / Reach, two-handed, special / Spear
Longspear / 5 gp / 1d10 piercing / 5 lb. / Reach, two-handed / Spear
Halberd / 10 gp / 1d10 slashing or 1d6 piercing / 15 lb. / Reach, two-handed / Axe or Spear
Maul / 10 gp / 1d12 bludgeoning / 15 lb. / Two-handed / Hammer

Simple Missile Weapons (Attack: Dexterity modifier)
Crossbow, hand / 10 gp / 1d6 piercing / 3 lb. / Range 50/200, special / Crossbow
Dart / 5 cp ea. / 1d4 piercing / 1/2 lb. / Range 30/120 / Spear
Improvised object / — / 1d3 bludgeoning / — / — / —
Sling / 1 sp / 1d4 bludgeoning / 1/2 lb. / Range 30/120 / Sling

Martial Missile Weapons (Attack: Dexterity modifier)
Crossbow, light / 25 gp / 1d8 piercing / 6 lb. / Range 80/320, two-handed, special / Crossbow
Javelin / 5 sp / 1d6 piercing / 5 lb. / Range 30/120 / Spear
Shortbow / 25 gp / 1d6 piercing / 2 lb. / Range 100/400, two-handed / Bow
Throwing hammer / 2 gp / 1d6 bludgeoning / 7 lb. / Range 20/80 / Hammer

Heavy Missile Weapons (Attack: Dexterity modifier)
Crossbow, heavy / 50 gp / 1d10 piercing / 10 lb. / Range 100/400, two-handed, special / Crossbow
Longbow / 50 gp / 1d8 piercing / 3 lb. / Range 150/600, two-handed / Bow

Weapon Properties by Group
Axe: Can reroll the minimum damage result once per attack and add amounts together.
Bow: Can impose disadvantage to opponent rolls on a critical hit until the end of their next turn.
Crossbow: Gain advantage on attacks against armoured opponents.
Dagger: Can add Strength and Dexterity modifier to melee damage while keeping one hand empty.
Flail:
Can trip opponents prone on a critical hit, or by taking disadvantage on an attack without dealing damage.

Hammer: Can stun opponents on a critical hit until the end of their next turn.
Mace: Can add Strength and Dexterity modifier to melee damage against armoured opponents.
Pick: Can restrain opponents on a critical hit until the end of their next turn.
Shield: Can push opponents back 5 feet on a critical hit, or by taking disadvantage on an attack without dealing damage.
Sling: Can knock opponents unconscious on a critical hit until the end of their next turn.
Spear: Gain 10 feet normal range (40 feet maximum range) by taking disadvantage on any attack using the extra range.
Staff: Gain reach by taking disadvantage on any attack using the extra 5 feet.
Sword: Can disengage or coup de grace as a move instead of an action.
Unarmed: Can make two unarmed attacks or while keeping both hands empty, both of which deal half damage. Can do the same if one or both hands are wielding one-handed improvised weapons.
Whip: Can disarm opponents wielding one-handed weapons on a critical hit, or by taking disadvantage on an attack without dealing damage.
I don't think any version of D&D has done a good job differentiating weapons.  1st and 2nd editions tried things like different weapon speeds and different effects against different armors, but the result was mostly tedious as opposed to interesting.  I suppose bludgeoning/ piercing/ slicing is something, but it is generally pretty insignificant.  In most editions, long lists of weapons were largely ignored as many weapons were simply inferior to others in every aspect.

Surely a spear would have a very different combat feel than a longsword, and it would be nice to have every weapon play differently in the game as well.  I don't think that can be accomplished without either abandoning the traditional D&D combat mechanic or dramatically adding complexity.  Of course, I would love to be proven wrong here.
Surely a spear would have a very different combat feel than a longsword, and it would be nice to have every weapon play differently in the game as well.  I don't think that can be accomplished without either abandoning the traditional D&D combat mechanic or dramatically adding complexity.  Of course, I would love to be proven wrong here.

Allow me to take you up on that challenge. Here's a simple differentiating mechanic for the spear.

Spear: All spears have a stabbing head on the end of a long shaft. You can have reach when wielding a spear, but take disadvantage for that attack.

Done.
@Angrygodofmilk: Ok, now can I have a rule that represents daggers being better at close quarters than swords?

How about maces ignoring armour?

Rapiers being ineffective against armour?

Something that makes an axe feel different to a sword?

It's not that these rules are hard to create, it's just that once you start adding them it's hard to know where to stop.  Enter the complexity that square64 was talking about. 
Second, why is a katana the only Eastern weapon in the list and why the ruddy heck is it two-handed? The katana and wakizashi should be married together, one in each hand. Drop the katana for now, but make it a finessable bastard sword when it comes back (so that it's superior to a quarterstaff).



Please don't do that! The katana should either stay as it is, or be the same as a bastard sword. I don't want a super-sword that's superior to all weapons, and even less so if that sword is a distinctly Japanese weapon. Sorry but I'm fed up of anime fans telling me that European swords are rubbish (which is how it appears when the Japanese sword is finessable but does the same damage as the European one which relies solely on strength (i.e. brute force and ignorance)). I've been making the case for a long time that martial weapons should rely on an average of strength and dex bonuses, to make them different from simple weapons, and I've no problem including the katana amongst that table, but I do NOT want a 1d10 finesse weapon of Japanese origin, and if they do this then I will ban it from all of my games, and refuse to play any game in which that sword isn't banned.

Alternatively, if the hand-and-a-half sword can perform in the same way, I've no problem with the katana doing so as well. I don't mind it being there, and I don't mind it being a decent weapon. What I don't want is "Japanese = good, European = rubbish".

The wakisashi could probably be covered by the scimitar, as a general curved single-handed cutting sword, covering things like those two, sabres, cutlasses etc.
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 Katana and Wakizashi were not typically dual wielded.  I think one individual (and perhaps those he taught) used it in that way - but that is not how it was typically used. (edit:  Miyamoto Musashi)

And it was  typically used two handed -  even if not for every strike, the other hand was always there to add power when necessary.

On the other hand - if the introduce a feat to use the Bastard Sword one-handed, it might well apply to the Katana as well.  I'd just as soon such a feat never exist - but if it does.....

And, yes - it is a bit jarring to see Oriental weapons on the chart.  But ya know what?  The entire weapon and armor chart has traditionally been a mish-mash of weapons and armors from many different regions and time periods.  Is a Japanese weapon that out of place, all things considered? 

As for the particular implementation - I don't see making it a finesse weapon as remotely part of "Japan-good; Euro-bad".  And I see no sign of a Japanese super-weapon.  I see it as a recognition that the way one traditionally fights with a Katana is very different from the way one fights with a traditional sword.  It;s style of use can be compared to what one would expect for a finesse weapon.

This doesn't make it better or worse - it just makes it different.

So - forget what they call it:  Do you object to the existence of a two-handed finesse weapon (I was a bit surprised the first time I noticed it).  Or do you just object to such a weapon being called a katana?

Also - it is a d8 weapon, not a d10 weapon. 

Carl
It's not that these rules are hard to create, it's just that once you start adding them it's hard to know where to stop.  Enter the complexity that square64 was talking about. 

Indeed. I think if we tread forward carefully, we can add a modicum of complexity without compromising simplicity for the sake of weapon individuality.

Ok, now can I have a rule that represents daggers being better at close quarters than swords?

When you hit with a dagger in melee combat while holding nothing in your off-hand, add your Dexterity or Strength modifier to the damage (whichever is higher).

How about maces ignoring armour?

When you miss an armoured opponent with a two-handed mace attack by an amount equal to their armour bonus, you still deal half damage.

Rapiers being ineffective against armour?

You take disadvantage on attack rolls against armoured opponents, but advantage against opponents without armour while holding a buckler in your off-hand.

Something that makes an axe feel different to a sword

When you hit with a two-handed axe attack, reroll the lowest weapon damage result until the roll is higher.
First off, it doesm't seem like weapon mechanics are the focus for this round of the playtest.
That being said, I find the ideal way to truly convey the differences in the weapons comes down to DM narration and player roleplaying.  The weapon stats are never going to be that interesting. There is no real difference between the long sword and the battle axe stat wise. However, I will narrate every hit made differently depending on which weapon is used. I rarely go with, "you hit it," unless the fight has dragged on to long. Thats were the different feels come from. Making them seem part of the world.
 
Second, why is a katana the only Eastern weapon in the list and why the ruddy heck is it two-handed? The katana and wakizashi should be married together, one in each hand. Drop the katana for now, but make it a finessable bastard sword when it comes back (so that it's superior to a quarterstaff).



Please don't do that! The katana should either stay as it is, or be t a distinctly Japanese weapon. Sorry but I'm fed up of anime fans telling me that European swords are rubbish (which is how it appears when the Japanese sword is finessable but does the same damage as the European one which relies solely on strength (i.e. brute force and ignorance)). I've been making the case for a long time that martial weapons should rely on an average of strengthhe same as a bastard sword. I don't want a super-sword that's superior to all weapons, and even less so if that sword is and dex bonuses, to make them different from simple weapons, and I've no problem including the katana amongst that table, but I do NOT want a 1d10 finesse weapon of Japanese origin, and if they do this then I will ban it from all of my games, and refuse to play any game in which that sword isn't banned.

Alternatively, if the hand-and-a-half sword can perform in the same way, I've no problem with the katana doing so as well. I don't mind it being there, and I don't mind it being a decent weapon. What I don't want is "Japanese = good, European = rubbish".

The wakisashi could probably be covered by the scimitar, as a general curved single-handed cutting sword, covering things like those two, sabres, cutlasses etc.



Id join that cause






First off, it doesm't seem like weapon mechanics are the focus for this round of the playtest.

Well if they haven't started yet, now would be a good time.

That being said, I find the ideal way to truly convey the differences in the weapons comes down to DM narration and player roleplaying.  The weapon stats are never going to be that interesting.

I disagree. I think well designed game mechanics can be interesting.

There is no real difference between the long sword and the battle axe stat wise. However, I will narrate every hit made differently depending on which weapon is used. I rarely go with, "you hit it," unless the fight has dragged on to long. Thats were the different feels come from. Making them seem part of the world.

While a descriptive dungeon master (and players for that matter) are usually welcome at any gaming table, the fact that a battle axe and longsword are mechanically identical still leaves many players cold.
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />As for the particular implementation - I don't see making it a finesse weapon as remotely part of "Japan-good; Euro-bad".  And I see no sign of a Japanese super-weapon.  I see it as a recognition that the way one traditionally fights with a Katana is very different from the way one fights with a traditional sword.  It;s style of use can be compared to what one would expect for a finesse weapon.



The implication, though, is that Japanese weapons require skill, finesse and dexterity, while European weapons require nothing more than brute force (i.e strength). I was, however, referring to the OP's proposal, not to its current implementation (which I'm okay with).

Also - it is a d8 weapon, not a d10 weapon.



I'm not that bothered by it being a two-handed 1d8 damage finesse weapon, because that isn't that overpowered, and as long as the quarterstaff remains as an alternative, and the shortsword remains as a one-handed 1d6 finesse weapon (so there is at least one European sword that uses skill and finesse ), then I've no problem with the katana in its current incarnation.

What will bother me is if the katana becomes a 1d10 finesse weapon, like the OP was suggesting, thereby making it superior to all weapons, or if they nerf the quarterstaff.
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!
Weapon Simplicity
I am in favour of adding more complexity with weapons. I liked the critical threat range of 3E, it had a nice way of diferentiating the scimitar and the longsword. Axes and Maces are better against armour, but allot less versatile than blades.

I would do something like this:
Mace DMG d8   CRIT 20 ×2   SPECIAL +2 dmg vs. armoured opponents
Battle axe DMG d8     CRIT 20 ×3    SPECIAL +1 dmg vs. armoured opponents
Longsword DMG d8    CRIT 19-20 ×2    SPECIAL +1 AC vs. melee attacks
Scimitar DMG d6    CRIT 18-20 ×2     SPECIAL +1 AC vs. melee attacks

NOTE: This is just an example and certainly not saying its the best option

I certainly don't think weapon choices should be purely for 'the look of it' , I think there should be a clear mechanic behind it so that players use diferrent kinds of weapons depending on the siatuation.

RE: Katana
To me the katana should be similar to a bastard sword mechanically (d8 dmg one-handed, d10 dmg two-handed). Realistically, a katana isn't balanced so its in fact harder to fight with (which is why 3Es version of all katanas being +1 to hit is ridiculous) it does make sense that it would be an exotic weapon however. Also a katana is meant to cut only (not bludgeon) so it is infective against armour. I do think WOTC should make historical research on weapons before entering stats, the Japanese having better arms than Europeans is just myth.

Scimitar
Sorry to say, but this isn't a finesse weapon, you can use a longsword with more finesse. A scimitar is a hacking weapon. I don't agree that a certain dark elf ranger should dictate how a weapon functions simply because he happens to be agile. But then again, realistically, dexterity (though I would argue with intelligence) is the best stat to use as an attack modifier for all weapons. Mechanically though strength makes more sense.


FINAL THOUGHTS
Magic seems to stand as the only complexity right now. Meaning you can't give flavour to your gear other then making it magical. Even masterwork is boring as heck. You mean to tell me that smithing only have two levels of quality? Good and Masterwork? Seems lame to me. Who needs to dwarves if all you need is a level 1 artisan to make a masterwork item? Heck little johny can make a weapon as good as Bruenor Battlehammer with those rules. I really think there needs more complexity it terms of mundane gear, put more emphasis on the items themselves and their quality - not everything is about magic.
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />As for the particular implementation - I don't see making it a finesse weapon as remotely part of "Japan-good; Euro-bad".  And I see no sign of a Japanese super-weapon.  I see it as a recognition that the way one traditionally fights with a Katana is very different from the way one fights with a traditional sword.  It;s style of use can be compared to what one would expect for a finesse weapon.



The implication, though, is that Japanese weapons require skill, finesse and dexterity, while European weapons require nothing more than brute force (i.e strength). I was, however, referring to the OP's proposal, not to its current implementation (which I'm okay with).





Looks to me like the implication is that at least seven Euopean weapons (three of them swords) require skill, finesse and dexterity.  So I'm pretty sure your implication isn't implied at all.

What will bother me is if the katana becomes a 1d10 finesse weapon, like the OP was suggesting, thereby making it superior to all weapons, or if they nerf the quarterstaff.



I agree with the former - and the latter.  How good the katana should be has nothing to do with how good people think the katana should be; it's pure mechanics and no two-handed finesse weapon should do more than 1d8 - just because that's the way the numbers work.  Whether they call it a Katana or not is ... fluff.    That said - there could in theory be a race that has Katana as a special weapon and does d10 (Kenku would be my choice).  But that is a separate matter also driven by bare mechanics.


On a related note:  In both of the last two feedback packets I've lobbied for a change to staff.


Not the quarterstaff - the staff.


The quarterstaff is, legitimately, a finesse weapon which requires special training to use.

The quarterstaff is not the iconic weapon of clerics and wizards.

The iconic weapon of the wizard is a a staff that is more of a walking stick.  Far closer to a shillelagh than it is to a quarterstaff.  I've been arguing that they need to add a new weapon to the equipment list:  The staff.  The staff is a basic weapon in the club group and the staff is the weapon that wizards (as a class weapon proficiency) and clerics (as a basic weapon) are known to use. 

Lets dump this idea of wizards walking around proficient in the quarterstaff - and also give clerics back their staff (which seems to alternate packets whether or not they have proficiency in).


Carl
               

..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />
The quarterstaff is, legitimately, a finesse weapon which requires special training to use.

The quarterstaff is not the iconic weapon of clerics and wizards.

The iconic weapon of the wizard is a a staff that is more of a walking stick.  Far closer to a shillelagh than it is to a quarterstaff.  I've been arguing that they need to add a new weapon to the equipment list:  The staff.  The staff is a basic weapon in the club group and the staff is the weapon that wizards (as a class weapon proficiency) and clerics (as a basic weapon) are known to use. 

Lets dump this idea of wizards walking around proficient in the quarterstaff - and also give clerics back their staff (which seems to alternate packets whether or not they have proficiency in).




Agreed! The quarterstaff is an awesome weapon that is so underrated in these games. Which is why I like it as it is now.

However, I think the iconic wizards' weapon should be different, to more represent the fact that it's a stick of wood that they hit things with. Create a separate staff for use in the Simple Weapons table.

I don't mind it being the cleric's weapon so much, because clerics have, traditionally, had some training in combat in previous D&D games.
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!
What will bother me is if the katana becomes a 1d10 finesse weapon, like the OP was suggesting, thereby making it superior to all weapons, or if they nerf the quarterstaff.

To be clear, I was talking about my 'proposed' version of the bastard sword (1d8 one-handed, 1d10 two-handed). I was not suggesting that the katana should deal 1d10 across the board. The katana (once reintroduced along with a host of other Eastern-themed weapons) would work the same way, but have the option of being finessable. Remember, Finesse Weapons do not force wielders to attack with their Dexterity. They can use Strength if they prefer.
On a related note:  In both of the last two feedback packets I've lobbied for a change to staff.

Not the quarterstaff - the staff.

The quarterstaff is, legitimately, a finesse weapon which requires special training to use.

The quarterstaff is not the iconic weapon of clerics and wizards.

The iconic weapon of the wizard is a a staff that is more of a walking stick. Far closer to a shillelagh than it is to a quarterstaff.

Agreed. The 'staff' will make a fine addition to the Basic Weapon list.

I think it's time to compose a 'Revised Weapon' chart in the post I ear-marked after the original post of this thread, bringing some of these ideas together.

I'm starting to get idea on how to add complexity without compromising simplicity. It can go two ways. On the one hand, we can create invidualized rules for all weapons. On the other hand, we can create individualized mechanics for each weapon 'Group', of which there are currently fifteen: Axe, Dagger, Bow, Crossbow, Flail, Hammer, Mace, Pick, Shield, Sling, Spear, Staff, Sword, Unarmed, and Whip. In the latter case, any generic rules that can be agreed upon would apply all weapon in that Group. At that point, it would then be relatively simple matter of avoiding damage redundancy within a weapon Group.

I am already more inclinded towards the latter approach for the sake of preserving simplicity, although I think there may still be certain weapons that deserved specialized/stylized mechanics of their own. One step at a time.

I don't mind it [quarterstaff] being the cleric's weapon so much, because clerics have, traditionally, had some training in combat in previous D&D games.



I don't mind it one way or the other.  I think its more important in the context of the wizard.


But they seem to be unable to make up their mind about clerics and quarterstaffs.

This at least gives clerics a staff weapon they can use so that items like Snake Staff work. 

Carl
On a related note:  In both of the last two feedback packets I've lobbied for a change to staff.

Not the quarterstaff - the staff.

The quarterstaff is, legitimately, a finesse weapon which requires special training to use.

Well if you want to get historically accurate about the quarterstaff, you need to remove it from the equipment list entirely.

Instead, put it in a list of fighting styles (that may or may not get modeled in game mechanics) along with halfstaff.

Take a six-foot-or-so staff and paint a red stripe around it at its midpoint. Then paint a blue stripe halfway between an end and the red stripe. In quarterstaff fighting, you'll usually have your hands on each side of the blue stripe; in halfstaff fighting, you'll usually have your hands on each side of the red stripe.

But the staff is the same.

(There is a third staff-fighting style... singlestick. It uses a much shorter staff and resembles a mix of sword techniques and club techniques.)
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />Take a six-foot-or-so staff and paint a red stripe around it at its midpoint. Then paint a blue stripe halfway between an end and the red stripe. In quarterstaff fighting, you'll usually have your hands on each side of the blue stripe; in halfstaff fighting, you'll usually have your hands on each side of the red stripe.

But the staff is the same.



This exactly. "Halfstaff" style (holding it in the middle and attacking with both ends) is not generally recommended, and usually used for show-fighting. "Quarterstaff" style has the staff wielded more like a spear.

But it should still be called "quarterstaff" for the same reason that the single-handed sword is still called "longsword" - everyone identifies easily with it.

The katana (once reintroduced along with a host of other Eastern-themed weapons) would work the same way, but have the option of being finessable. Remember, Finesse Weapons do not force wielders to attack with their Dexterity. They can use Strength if they prefer.



I'm aware of that, but having the option to forego strength and use only dexterity is exactly what I'm talking about. The fact that you can do that with an eastern sword, but not with a western sword, heavily implies that eastern swords are inherently superior. Even more so when dex is used for damage as well. This will result in a host of ninja-type characters all using this supposedly exotic weapon, because they're so awesomely agile (despite having no physical strength).

Or did you mean it can be a 1d8 two handed finesse weapon, a 1d8 one handed martial weapon or a 1d10 two handed martial weapon? That I wouldn't object to, however I think that with the katana and the hand and a half, there should be a strength requirement to using it one-handed. I also think that, if that's the case, the hand and a half needs something else, because otherwise, the katana is basically a version of it that can be finessed (i.e. a superior version of it).

While we're on the subject, I don't think we need a shortsword, longsword, hand and a half sword AND a two-handed sword. I think the shortsword should be the standard single-handed arming sword (single handed 1d6 finesse piercing), the longsword should perform the roles of both the longsword and the hand and a half (one-handed = 1d8 slashing, two-handed = 1d10 slashing AND piercing), and the two hander should stay where it is.

In fact, I think the shortsword should also do slashing damage, but as a martial weapon.

Basically, my suggestion would be: fewer weapons, but more complicated rules with the ones that we have. This would also negate the need for the golf-bag, if several weapons can be used in different ways.
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!
On a related note:  In both of the last two feedback packets I've lobbied for a change to staff.

Not the quarterstaff - the staff.

The quarterstaff is, legitimately, a finesse weapon which requires special training to use.

Well if you want to get historically accurate about the quarterstaff, you need to remove it from the equipment list entirely.

Instead, put it in a list of fighting styles (that may or may not get modeled in game mechanics) along with halfstaff.

Take a six-foot-or-so staff and paint a red stripe around it at its midpoint. Then paint a blue stripe halfway between an end and the red stripe. In quarterstaff fighting, you'll usually have your hands on each side of the blue stripe; in halfstaff fighting, you'll usually have your hands on each side of the red stripe.

But the staff is the same.

(There is a third staff-fighting style... singlestick. It uses a much shorter staff and resembles a mix of sword techniques and club techniques.)


And in neither case does what it is or how it is used resemble the classic image of a wizard with a staff.

Nothing else is historically accurate - why should that be?  If 'historically accurate' even has meaning in a game of pretend wizards and warriors.

But reflecting the iconic archetypes of genre literature is a reasonable goal for an RPG.

Carl
Updated the original posts with Revised Weapons and Weapon Properties by Group.

I completely agree that the weapons need an overhaul.  I may have mentioned it before, but I have no issue mentioning it again: no weapon should be useless or skippable, or already invalidated right on the weapons chart.

I realize life has some bad choices.  Still, there is no reason to spend the extra starting gold on rapier, when a shortsword does the same job.  (heck, if you exclude blugeoning vs. slashing, the quarterstaff waaaay out performs the katana on gold to effectiveness alone)

I like the idea of spears gaining reach if you are willing to take advantage.  I would like to see a concise, hopefully one time list, (not expanded to sell a rule breaking armory book) of extra traits weapons can have.

Generic though it may be, Gamma World 4e had the best option for weapons I've seen a while.  At least the seemingly most balanced.  
The one handed sword called a longsword .... is that sufficiently annoying to go back and smack the games originators with a Knights Sword or Arming Blade or some other short sword.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

I completely agree that the weapons need an overhaul.  I may have mentioned it before, but I have no issue mentioning it again: no weapon should be useless or skippable, or already invalidated right on the weapons chart.

I realize life has some bad choices.  Still, there is no reason to spend the extra starting gold on rapier, when a shortsword does the same job.  (heck, if you exclude blugeoning vs. slashing, the quarterstaff waaaay out performs the katana on gold to effectiveness alone)

I like the idea of spears gaining reach if you are willing to take advantage.  I would like to see a concise, hopefully one time list, (not expanded to sell a rule breaking armory book) of extra traits weapons can have.

Generic though it may be, Gamma World 4e had the best option for weapons I've seen a while.  At least the seemingly most balanced.  



This is why I prefered the 3E way of grouping weapons. Basic, Martial and Advanced (Exotic).

While some weapons did less damage, they balanced them by giving them features like Light and Reach and those that were all around better required a feat. Mathematically, all the weapons were pretty much balanced.

I really think weapons is one of those things 3E got right and we should go back to that model (with some revisions)... the current model is incredibly boring, you are essentially just choosing a weapon for what it looks like.  I like that the rules have been made simple, but that is just too simple.
I wrote a blog on this very topic here.
Revised Weapons
The following changes detail revisions made to current D&D play-test weapons.


Weapons
Name / Price / Damage / Weight / Properties / Group


Heavy Weapons (Attack: Strength modifier)
Halberd / 10 gp / 1d10 slashing and 1d6 piercing / 15 lb. / Reach, two-handed / Axe and Spear

Weapon Properties by Group
Axe: Can reroll weapon damage on a minimal result and add the amounts together.
Bow: Gain advantage when you spend one turn aiming without being damaged.
Flail: Gain advantage on attacks against opponents with shields when wielding a flail two-handed.
Hammer: Can stun opponents on a critical hit for one turn, but only if an additional attack also succeeds.
Mace: Gain advantage on attacks against armoured opponents when wielding a mace two-handed.
Pick: Can roll weapon damage on a critical hit and add the total to maximized damage.
Sling: Can knock opponents unconscious on a critical hit for one turn, but only if an additional attack also succeeds.
Spear: Gain 5 feet to reach when wielding a spear, but take disadvantage for that attack.
Staff: Can knock opponents prone instead of dealing damage, but take disadvantage for that attack.
Sword: Can disengage and coup de grace as a move action when wielding a sword.
Unarmed: While holding nothing in either hand, can make two unarmed attacks, but only add Strength modifier once.
Whip: Can restrain opponents on a critical hit for one turn, but only if an additional attack also succeeds.



I cut out a lot of your list to save space, only kept the things I wanted to ask/talk about.

Halberd needs to be clarified, right now a halberd does 1d10+1d6+Str which is highly superior to everything. I think you meant to say "1d10 slashing or 1d6 piercing" since you realistically aren't hitting someone with the axe-head and spear-point at the exact same time.

With axe weapons and pick weapons, I'm reading your ability as "if you roll a 1, you reroll and add that 1 to your damage" for axes, and effectively doubling the damage for picks on a critical, as they maximize and then roll again. With Axes I'm concerned about increasing the damage if you roll minimum multiple times, but that is unlikely. I'd change picks because from what I've heard criticals are already going to be crazy amounts of damage and that gets ridiculous (If I heard correctly during the Penny Arcade game they are looking into multiple levels of crits, meaning at LV 1 you roll a 1d6 in addition to max damage, but at LV 10 you roll 3d6. Add doubling the damage die and nothing will survive a crit from a pick.)

With Flails and maces I'm unsure why you have to be wielding the weapon in two-hands, particularly with flails it is the design of the weapon which we are discussing, and that doesn't change despite how many hands you wield it with. Also, would you consider a monster with scales (dragons or lizardfolk) or rocky hide or some other such natural defense as having armor? I think that is an important consideration when having weapons gain advantage or disadvantage against what an opponent has, since it has the potential to cause debate between players and DMs.

With Hammers, Slings, and whips I'm confused. They have an effect on a crit, as long as another attack hits the enemy? So I get a crit, then next turn if I hit them I get the effect? or is it when an ally hits? I think you meant to say you roll the d20 again after the crit, similiar to 3.X when you had to confirm a crit, but your phrasing is open to a lot of interpretation.

Why is the bows ability to sacrifice your turn for an advantage next turn, but only if you take no damage. Any ranged weapon could be aimed and sacrifing an attack for an advantage doesn't seem to be a very appealing option. Do you have some other ideas for bows, perhaps to reflect their speed compared to other ranged weapons?

Why do we get a disadvantage for using a spear for reach, are you picturing a shorter spear so the balance would be off at the extended range? I just don't get this ability as most spears were made for attacking at a difference.

I don't see how the staff can be used for tripping, but other weapons with a long haft, like a spear, could not. Or a whip which is traditionally (i DnD) used for tripping people. This might need to be rethought. Also, I don't understand how swords allow you to disengage and do a coup de grace as a move, but not diseangage and attack. Actually, I'm kind of confused by the logic of this one, could you explain your reasoning here?

When unarmed, does a small shield like a buckler prevent you from attacking twice. Actually, if we are picturing a 1-2 punch how does holding a mug or some other small improvised weapon prevent this. Another ablity I think you need to examine more closely.

Sorry about the long post, just hoping for clarity Laughing
I still say there's no need for a glaive AND a halberd. They're basically the same weapon! Just have a single polearm that can take the name glaive, halberd, bill, or whatever, and have it perform as an axe or spear (at the wielder's choice).

Not sure if the spear's reach should give Disadvantage. A better idea would be granting Advantage to enemies within the 5' reach, if your current target is more than 5' away.

I'm also not convinced we need two spears. Just have one spear, that can be used single-handed for 1d6 damage, or two-handed as a reach weapon for 1d10 damage (must have the relevant proficiency to do this). They didn't make spear in varying lengths, a spear was a spear. With only one hand, people simply gripped it further up the shaft, thereby sacrificing reach.

I like the shortsword being able to do both types of damage, but that makes the rapier and the scimitar useless, so they need something else. I still think the shortsword should be only slashing if it's a martial weapon. The rapier should, therefore, do more damage to compensate for its weakness.

I also like the idea of axes being able to re-roll damage.

And I still say the longsword can do the work of the bastard sword, so there isn't a need for both.
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'm in favor of going one of two ways.

Either make everything close to the same, or make every type of weapon have advantages and disadvantages.

I'm not a fan of the 'here is the long list of possible weapons, and here is the only one you'll want to use because it's the best' type of weapon list.

Many people have an idea of what type of character they want, and most don't want to gimp themselves in order to do it. I hate games where every halfling is running around with scimitars like they are pretending to be Aladdin.

I'd like to see them add the 4E weapon proficiency bonus into DnD Next. Since the bonuses are not as high anymore it could be -1/0/+1. The high damage unwieldy weapons could be -1 and the light finesse types could be +1.  That would fit into the game the same way heavy armor and dex bonuses do. It gives a player the chance to decide what kind of character they want to be without making a 'wrong' choice that will gimp them in combat.




     
I still say there's no need for a glaive AND a halberd. They're basically the same weapon! Just have a single polearm that can take the name glaive, halberd, bill, or whatever, and have it perform as an axe or spear (at the wielder's choice).

Not sure if the spear's reach should give Disadvantage. A better idea would be granting Advantage to enemies within the 5' reach, if your current target is more than 5' away.

I'm also not convinced we need two spears. Just have one spear, that can be used single-handed for 1d6 damage, or two-handed as a reach weapon for 1d10 damage (must have the relevant proficiency to do this). They didn't make spear in varying lengths, a spear was a spear. With only one hand, people simply gripped it further up the shaft, thereby sacrificing reach.

I like the shortsword being able to do both types of damage, but that makes the rapier and the scimitar useless, so they need something else. I still think the shortsword should be only slashing if it's a martial weapon. The rapier should, therefore, do more damage to compensate for its weakness.

I also like the idea of axes being able to re-roll damage.

And I still say the longsword can do the work of the bastard sword, so there isn't a need for both.



Well you are half right. Realistically, a Longsword and a Bastard sword are essentially the same, the bastard sword is only being a type of longsword specifically designed to be 'a hand and a half'. The word longsword is more arbitruary and refers to a long list of medieval swords that all function relitevely the same. Truthfully though the Longsword does refer to the hand and a sword of the middle ages while D&D's longsword is more of an Arming Sword. All in all, I agree about ditching the bastard sword as long as they give an option to use a longsword with two hands, else you need the bastard sword.

A glaive and a halberd are two completely different animals though. They are both polearms but the halberd has much more functionality and versatilaty.
Halberd: A concave axe blade, a spear point and a hook at the end of a long shaft
Glaive: A curved blade at the end of a long shaft, sometimes also bearing a hook (glaive-guisarme). Historically a halberd was simply a better weapon, it was more versatile, did a better job at dismounting riders and the damage wasn't much different. But in D&D terms I would either give more damage to the glaive or give it a lower crit threat range or perhaps better reach.

Prsonally I thought they were being generous really, because I can name some 20 polearms off the top of my head right now.

Boar spear
Lance
Trident
Pike
Awl pike
Bec de corbin
Lucerne hammer
Halberd
Bardiche
Glaive
Fauchard
Voulge
Ranseur
Spetum
Spontoon
War scythe
Bill
Military fork
Partisan
Ox tongue spear
Sovnya
Brandistock

scottish polearms:
Brogit staff
Jeddart staff
Lochaber axe

that's all that comes to mind for now lol

Id like to see things like a Pike (spear with a 15-20 ft. reach), Awl Pike (long reach spear that was effective against armour), Military fork (long reach spear used to lift siege ladders and the like)... basically polearms that have other specific uses then tripping/unhorsing

Yet another reason why weapons are way to simplistic in D&D Next, weapons have a purpose, its not just about the damage
I know about the longsword/arming sword thing (though I wouldn't insist on renaming it because too many people are too used to the fact that a longsword is a single-handed weapon that does 1d8 damage).

With polearms, though, I'm pretty sure that they were called the same thing whatever head was put on it, and the different names are purely regional. What the English would call a bill, the Germans would call a halberd, the French would call a voulge, etc. Whatever its name, it was, basically, a pole with a funny shaped head on it.

The bardiche, on the other hand, are different. It's more of an axe than a polearm, and I think the glaive more resembles a straightened scythe. Pikes are much longer (and much later as well - they're not medieval weapons), lances are for horseback use only, boar spears aren't much different from spears (their main difference is the bar underneath the head that stops a boar sliding down the shaft and goring the person holding it). However, those weapons aren't currently in the game.

If they could implement each one with different rules, I'd be in favour (I too think the D&D weapons are too simplistic), but when the only difference is damage, it hardly seems worth having a huge list of polearms with every possible head when they all do the same damage.
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!
Halberd needs to be clarified, right now a halberd does 1d10+1d6+Str which is highly superior to everything. I think you meant to say "1d10 slashing or 1d6 piercing" since you realistically aren't hitting someone with the axe-head and spear-point at the exact same time.

Correct.

With Axes I'm concerned about increasing the damage if you roll minimum multiple times, but that is unlikely.

You would only roll the additional damage once. This is to avoid the 4th edition brutal weapon property, where you kept rerolling every time you rolled a 1. Now, if you roll a 1, roll again and add the two values.

I'd change picks because from what I've heard criticals are already going to be crazy amounts of damage and that gets ridiculous (If I heard correctly during the Penny Arcade game they are looking into multiple levels of crits, meaning at LV 1 you roll a 1d6 in addition to max damage, but at LV 10 you roll 3d6. Add doubling the damage die and nothing will survive a crit from a pick.)

I hadn't heard this, and that was after listening to the Penny Arcade interview. I think you are talking about Combat Superiority dice. My understanding of critcal hits is that they simply maximize your weapon damage.

With Flails and maces I'm unsure why you have to be wielding the weapon in two-hands, particularly with flails it is the design of the weapon which we are discussing, and that doesn't change despite how many hands you wield it with.

I added the two-handed distinction as a give-and-take sacrifice. To gain access to this weapon property, you must forgo the use of a shield.

Also, would you consider a monster with scales (dragons or lizardfolk) or rocky hide or some other such natural defense as having armor? I think that is an important consideration when having weapons gain advantage or disadvantage against what an opponent has, since it has the potential to cause debate between players and DMs.

I considered this, but don't think that 5th edition will detail natural armour like 3rd edition did. The most simplistic ruling here is that no, natural hide and scale (and whatever else) is not considered armour because it is a biological part of the creature. By contrast, manufactured armour is worn externally by a creature and can therefore inflict damage when bashed into their body by a particular type of weapon, like a mace.

With Hammers, Slings, and whips I'm confused. They have an effect on a crit, as long as another attack hits the enemy? So I get a crit, then next turn if I hit them I get the effect? or is it when an ally hits? I think you meant to say you roll the d20 again after the crit, similiar to 3.X when you had to confirm a crit, but your phrasing is open to a lot of interpretation.

Correct, it would work like a confirmation critical roll.

Why is the bows ability to sacrifice your turn for an advantage next turn, but only if you take no damage.

This is added because taking damage represents an interruption from aiming. You will note that crossbows gain advantage against armoured opponents all the time (keeping in mind that crossbows also take a standard action to reload). A bow wielder who uses a standard action (and a move action) to aim gains advantage against 'any' opponent instead of just armoured targets.

Why do we get a disadvantage for using a spear for reach, are you picturing a shorter spear so the balance would be off at the extended range? I just don't get this ability as most spears were made for attacking at a difference.

You only gain disadvantage if you use the 'extra' reach of a spear. If your spear already has reach, then you attack normally.

I don't see how the staff can be used for tripping, but other weapons with a long haft, like a spear, could not. Or a whip which is traditionally (i DnD) used for tripping people. This might need to be rethought.

It's simply an arbitrary choice for now, open to change. I would prefer to make a whip used for disarming.

Also, I don't understand how swords allow you to disengage and do a coup de grace as a move, but not diseangage and attack.

This should have been coup de grace (or) disengage as a move action. Both of these actions normally require an action to perform. While brandishing the length and sharpness of a sword, these actions become more efficient employed.

When unarmed, does a small shield like a buckler prevent you from attacking twice. Actually, if we are picturing a 1-2 punch how does holding a mug or some other small improvised weapon prevent this. Another ablity I think you need to examine more closely.

Hands free simply means you are more unencumbered and capable of fists fighting. I left improvised weapons out of the equation because yes, while they can be an extension of your hand, like a flagon or a mug, they can also be more unwieldy.

Sorry about the long post, just hoping for clarity

Not at all. Thanks for the feedback. These ideas are still being defined.
I like the shortsword being able to do both types of damage, but that makes the rapier and the scimitar useless, so they need something else. I still think the shortsword should be only slashing if it's a martial weapon. The rapier should, therefore, do more damage to compensate for its weakness.

It's true, but this also creates a problem. The Finesse Weapons are similar to the Basic Weapons in that any time one deals 1d8, it becomes a two-handed weapon. These weapons may therefore need some individual properties beyond the proposed properties of their Weapon Group.

Rapier: Disadvantage against opponents wearing heavy armour and advantage against unarmoured opponents if the rapier wielder also uses a buckler.

Scimitar: Can apply Strength or Dexterity to damage.
I'd like to see them add the 4E weapon proficiency bonus into DnD Next. Since the bonuses are not as high anymore it could be -1/0/+1. The high damage unwieldy weapons could be -1 and the light finesse types could be +1.

Something like this would certainly go a long way towards differentiating weapons without adding too much complexity. As it currently stands, however, the melee classes have instead been given higher attack bonuses.
The perfected version of what you're proposing might make a great module ("Realistic/Tactical Weaponry"). Some groups, especially new ones, might not want to deal with each weapon's individual abilities, but certainly some goups would gladly welcome the chance to have some more complexity in their weapons.

Rapier: Disadvantage against opponents wearing heavy armour and advantage against unarmoured opponents if the rapier wielder also uses a buckler.



That might work. It'd certainly make the weapon behave more realistically. I love rapiers, but really, they're not going to be much good against armoured foes. They can't punch through armour, and you're going to struggle to hurt someone when you can ONLY go for the armpits.

Scimitar: Can apply Strength or Dexterity to damage.



Can't you do that anyway? ^_^
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'd change picks because from what I've heard criticals are already going to be crazy amounts of damage and that gets ridiculous (If I heard correctly during the Penny Arcade game they are looking into multiple levels of crits, meaning at LV 1 you roll a 1d6 in addition to max damage, but at LV 10 you roll 3d6. Add doubling the damage die and nothing will survive a crit from a pick.)

I hadn't heard this, and that was after listening to the Penny Arcade interview. I think you are talking about Combat Superiority dice. My understanding of critcal hits is that they simply maximize your weapon damage.

With Flails and maces I'm unsure why you have to be wielding the weapon in two-hands, particularly with flails it is the design of the weapon which we are discussing, and that doesn't change despite how many hands you wield it with.

I added the two-handed distinction as a give-and-take sacrifice. To gain access to this weapon property, you must forgo the use of a shield.

Why is the bows ability to sacrifice your turn for an advantage next turn, but only if you take no damage.

This is added because taking damage represents an interruption from aiming. You will note that crossbows gain advantage against armoured opponents all the time (keeping in mind that crossbows also take a standard action to reload). A bow wielder who uses a standard action (and a move action) to aim gains advantage against 'any' opponent instead of than just armoured targets.

Why do we get a disadvantage for using a spear for reach, are you picturing a shorter spear so the balance would be off at the extended range? I just don't get this ability as most spears were made for attacking at a difference.

You only gain disadvantage if you use the 'extra' reach of a spear. If your spear already has reach, then you attack normally.





Crits: It was during the game ran by Chris Perkins. I think it was either Omen or Jim who critted, and Chris started explaining that they were working with new crit rules, where you added a number of dice (this changing every few levels) on top of the max damage. I might be able to find the spot where they were talking about it, but its a 2 hr set of youtube videos so it will be hard to track down.

Flails ect: I understand the desire to have a give and take, but other weapons gain advantages without additional penalties because of their design (ie the Crossbow) and you did not add additional restirctions to them. I'm not saying you are wrong, but people might call foul.

Bows: I see it in concept, but still disagree in practice. From how much people are complaining about the rogues "hide then strike" I don't think they would be happy with a property that caused them to spend their turn to use. Also, from your reply you are saying it is their entire turn (standard and move) correct?

Spears: That makes this an even worse property, because it means the spears with reach gain no property. I recognize almost all reach weapons are some kind of spear or polearm, but it seems to defeat the purpose of giving weapons special properties.

Weapon Properties by Group
Axe: Can reroll weapon damage once after a minimal result and add the amounts together.
Dagger: While keeping one hand empty, add Strength or Dexterity modifier to weapon damage.
Bow: Gain advantage when you spend one turn aiming.
Crossbow: Gain advantage on attacks against armoured opponents.
Flail: Gain advantage on attacks against opponents with shields when wielding a flail two-handed.
Hammer: Can stun opponents on a critical hit for one turn, but only if a confirmation attack also succeeds.
Mace: Gain advantage on attacks against armoured opponents when wielding a mace two-handed.
Pick: Can roll weapon damage on a critical hit and add the total to maximized damage.
Shield: Can push opponents back 5 feet instead of dealing damage, but take disadvantage for that attack.
Sling: Can knock opponents unconscious on a critical hit for one turn, but only if a confirmation attack also succeeds.
Spear: Gain 5 feet to reach when wielding a spear, but take disadvantage for that attack.
Staff: Can knock opponents prone instead of dealing damage, but take disadvantage for that attack.
Sword: Can disengage or coup de grace as a move action when wielding a sword.
Unarmed: While holding nothing in either hand, can make two unarmed attacks, but only add Strength modifier once.
Whip: Can restrain opponents on a critical hit for one turn, but only if a confirmation attack also succeeds.


As a DM, cannot emphasize how much I do not want to memorize a whole chart full of special properties just because I say an orc is holding a spear instead of a battleaxe. 
I'll also add that it would have been nice to see all weapons have an "advanced" ability that you could only make use of with training.  This might have been something neat to give to the fighters pre-CS, but i think that ship has sailed.
Or just go the other way and make it more simple. If you have ever seen the tests done to swords on deadliest warrior you will know that most weapons are much easier to classify.

slashing
cleaving
bludgeoning
crushing
piercing
impaling

a axe would be a cleaving weapon. A short sword would slash or pierce. A bow would pierce. A javalin or spear would impale. a bo staf would be bludgeoning. a maul would be crushing.


if they went with the more simplified list then there would be less of a chance for min/ maxing.  
Or just go the other way and make it more simple. If you have ever seen the tests done to swords on deadliest warrior you will know that most weapons are much easier to classify.

slashing
cleaving
bludgeoning
crushing
piercing
impaling

a axe would be a cleaving weapon. A short sword would slash or pierce. A bow would pierce. A javalin or spear would impale. a bo staf would be bludgeoning. a maul would be crushing.



I quite like that idea too! More damage types would help to negate the need for a lot of special properties. It makes sense too - slashing is more of a drawing cut (leaving a gaping wound) rather than a remove-limbs-from-bodies cut.

Only problem is a) coming up with new rules for what is immune to what (it needs to make some difference otherwise it's pointless) - a bludgeoning weapon like a quarterstaff might work against a skeleton, but against a stone golemn, you'd have to use a crushing weapon like a hammer or mauler; and b) people aren't going to like that, and will insist that it makes combat too complicated - but really, I think learning three more damage types (most of which are likely to be logical anyway) will be easier than learning a whole range of special properties.
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!
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