Balancing Weapons: Weapon Speed?

This was started in a thread about a different topic. For clarity it has been moved here.

58320098 wrote:
This convo is already all over the place, so maybe I can suggest...
Would it be acceptable to balance weapons by bringing weapon speed back into account? Let's say that the weapon speed can effect the initiative order.




































Barehanded  



-2



Dagger          



-1



Short Sword   





Broad Sword



+1



Battle Axe, Bow



+2



Great Sword 



+3



Halberd



+4



Maul, Heavy Crossbow



+5




I know! This means more work.
DM: "Don't I already have enough to do?"

But the positives:
- Gives people a viable choice about keeping the weapon they like best rather than the one that does the most damage.

- Gives dual wielding more of a purpose. With a short sword and a dagger in a fight you could try to act before your opponent with the weaker dagger or wait to do more damage after.

- Gives a reason to carry a variety of weapons other than, "It looks really cool."

Did I just snap the thread?

EDIT - I just realized it would screw up effect duration... DOH! How to solve?




147107419 wrote:

I kinda miss speed factor. Not the system but what it represented and the concept of weapon speed is totally worth having.


 


Plus, modifying initiative isn't relaly that onerous.





58320098 wrote:
That's great! I thought everyone would immediately shut me down.



146406243 wrote:
147107419 wrote:
Plus, modifying initiative isn't relaly that onerous.

Except in that it requires you to declare your actions before your turn.  If I roll initiative based on my dagger, I cannot then drop the dagger and fire my heavy crossbow (that I was holding in the other hand) - even if my target went before me and moved out of dagger range.




147107419 wrote:
146406243 wrote:
147107419 wrote:
Plus, modifying initiative isn't relaly that onerous.

Except in that it requires you to declare your actions before your turn.  If I roll initiative based on my dagger, I cannot then drop the dagger and fire my heavy crossbow (that I was holding in the other hand) - even if my target went before me and moved out of dagger range.



I think at that point we need to suck it up and chuck realism out the window for playability, but we actually do this all ready. For example: if you determine initiative and then something happens to the player that has them lose dex, do you modify when they take their turn in the round or do you let it ride? I let it ride. I might adjust their initiative order the next round, but probably I won't unless I decide to reroll initiative.


If a player was specifically trying to game the system by, say, holding a dagger of warning that they then drop and quick draw their main weapon, I just game the system right back and have rabid badgers pull the player to the ground.




147107419 wrote:

I also think that it's usually pretty obvious if someone's taking advantage (dual wielding a dagger and heavy crossbow so they can roll initiative with one and attack with the other) vs a legitimate change of plan (finding oneself without targets, so firing with the crossbow instead) and I'd be willing to bet there could easily be a proviso worked into the text about that.


Something akin to "if your declared action is no longer an option due to the flow of combat, you are free make a different action at no penalty. If you change your mind, the DM can impose -1 to -3 penalty to any associated rolls the new action might require, depending on how different the new action is from your declared one."


That quite neatly ties up any silliness.


 





56747598 wrote:
146406243 wrote:
Except in that it requires you to declare your actions before your turn.

A simple solution would be to add the "speed" to the next round.  Go on 12, swing bigass sword, go on 15 next round.
Plus it opens the possibitity of "hold" or "do nothing" simply appying a -5 init (or something) to the next round.

It still leaves the problem of everyone's init values floating all over over the place, but some tables might not even consider that a "problem".




146406243 wrote:
56747598 wrote:
A simple solution would be to add the "speed" to the next round.

That actually makes a lot of sense.  I could get behind it, if it was used in that way.

I just don't want to be penalized for not deciding whether to swing a sword or cast a spell until it's actually my turn.  This is a turn-based game, after all.




58320098 wrote:
146406243 wrote:
147107419 wrote:
Plus, modifying initiative isn't relaly that onerous.

Except in that it requires you to declare your actions before your turn.  If I roll initiative based on my dagger, I cannot then drop the dagger and fire my heavy crossbow (that I was holding in the other hand) - even if my target went before me and moved out of dagger range.


 
When initiative is declared you get the modifier for the weapon drawn. With two weapons in hand you declare which you intend to use. If you don't have a weapon drawn there should be an initiative penalty to draw the one you want. 

Actions that don't rely on weapons, like using a magic item, would count as Bare-handed if they are already in hand. If they are not in hand then there is a penalty for drawing them out, the same as drawing a weapon.

Draw weapon/item: +2 to turn order (If the new weapon is of a higher weight class add the difference between the previous and the current weapon.) So it's always at least +2 to draw out something new.

If they move to a slower weapon they can declare on their turn and then their action gets put on hold for the required number of turns to make up the difference.

Once you switch weapons your turn order changes so you can't go from bare hands to heavy crossbow to get an advantage. It's providing options with consequences that the player must weigh.

Man this is quickly becoming overly complicated. Is there a better way to do this? Maybe if there were fewer weight classes?



56747598 wrote:
58320098 wrote:
Man this is quickly becoming overly complicated.

That's why it was abandoned along with the weapon-vs-armor tables.

Just apply speed to the next round.  There's a hell of a lot less "what-if" and system-gaming involved.




58320098 wrote:
56747598 wrote:
58320098 wrote:
Man this is quickly becoming overly complicated.

That's why it was abandoned along with the weapon-vs-armor tables.

Just apply speed to the next round.  There's a hell of a lot less "what-if" and system-gaming involved.


 
Good plan.
You can say that they have to recover from the momentum of the attack with a heavier weapon. So it counts towards the next round. 



56747598 wrote:
58320098 wrote:
You can say that they have to recover from the momentum of the attack with a heavier weapon. So it counts towards the next round. 

Or, just say it applies to the next round because it's a nightmare to deal with on the current one.




147107419 wrote:
56747598 wrote:
146406243 wrote:
Except in that it requires you to declare your actions before your turn.

A simple solution would be to add the "speed" to the next round.  Go on 12, swing bigass sword, go on 15 next round.
Plus it opens the possibitity of "hold" or "do nothing" simply appying a -5 init (or something) to the next round.

It still leaves the problem of everyone's init values floating all over over the place, but some tables might not even consider that a "problem".


 

That's a good solution, yeah. The initiative creep really depends on a long combat, but I personally reroll initiative periodically in a long combat anyway so that'd not be a big deal to me.


 


edit: actually, the more I think about this, the more I like it. I'm going to crank out some numbers and put 'em on the table this weekend and let you know how it goes





56747598 wrote:
147107419 wrote:
The initiative creep really depends on a long combat

Initiative creep isn't really a big deal.  
It's just a turn-order list, and a -23 init has no real meaning beyond acting before a 302 init.

The only issue is the added bookkeeping of floating init.

I've had similar ideas - my inspiration being the APB system in Heroes of Might and Magic V.  (I know it's in other games, but HoMM made the best use of it in my opinion.)  The Cliff's notes version of my rules is:
  • You earn a certain number of Initiative Points (IP) each round.
  • Actions cost varying amounts of IP - 10 being a "normal" action.  This can model not only weapon speeds but also cast speeds.
  • IP left over carries over into the next round, so if you're quick you can do two actions per round every so often.
  • Movement works in some way TBD.

The thing is, it really does mean more work, and that's not a trivial problem.  My conclusion was that it's more suited for something like a tactical wargame than a game like D&D that strives to be faster-moving and rules-lighter.
It's a new idea to help stir the pot. I would like to see if we could make a simplified but satisfying use of weapon speed and casting time. I would like to at least try it out to see if it can work, even if they never pick up the idea.

I think it could be useful for balancing weapon use and also those really powerful spells some people like to complain about. 
I don't think weapon speed is a very effective balancer.   Or, it may be, by trending the heavy-hitters towards the end of the turn.

At best, all will really do is attempt to justify the rapier's bloated GP cost over a shortsword.  At worst, it gives Team Monster a fairly consistent init nudge.
I've had similar ideas - my inspiration being the APB system in Heroes of Might and Magic V.  (I know it's in other games, but HoMM made the best use of it in my opinion.)  The Cliff's notes version of my rules is:
  • You earn a certain number of Initiative Points (IP) each round.
  • Actions cost varying amounts of IP - 10 being a "normal" action.  This can model not only weapon speeds but also cast speeds.
  • IP left over carries over into the next round, so if you're quick you can do two actions per round every so often.
  • Movement works in some way TBD.

The thing is, it really does mean more work, and that's not a trivial problem.  My conclusion was that it's more suited for something like a tactical wargame than a game like D&D that strives to be faster-moving and rules-lighter.



Another good thing about it is is that if you increase the number of IP with level, you can even modelize the multiple attacks of the pre 4th edition without screwing up the math too much.

Is is really that much work? It kind of feels like you're just spending a few more seconds calculating your IP total each round.

Anyways, it's way too much work for D&D.
Is is really that much work? It kind of feels like you're just spending a few more seconds calculating your IP total each round.

It's a great system when a microprocessor is handling the bookkeeping.

Is is really that much work? It kind of feels like you're just spending a few more seconds calculating your IP total each round.

It's a great system when a microprocessor is handling the bookkeeping.




Yeah. Too bad they abandoned the VT. :P
It's a new idea to help stir the pot. I would like to see if we could make a simplified but satisfying use of weapon speed and casting time. I would like to at least try it out to see if it can work, even if they never pick up the idea.


Okay, long version:
  • At the beginning of the first round of combat, you roll a d20 and add your initiative modifier to determine how many Initiative Points you start the fight with.
  • At the beginning of each round after the first, you gain IP equal to 10 + your initiative modifier*, adding it to your current IP total.
  • It is your turn if you have the highest IP total among all combatants.  If there is a tie, the combatant with the highest initiative modifier goes first.  If there's a tie in that, roll off.
  • Taking a turn costs you IP.  The cost is determined by the action you wish to take on the turn; if not otherwise specified, it is 10.  No effect can reduce the cost to less than 4.  Subtract the cost from your IP total, then take your turn.
  • You move as part of your turn, as normal.  If your action is a double move, the IP cost is 8.
  • You cannot spend more IP than you have.  If you cannot or do not wish to spend any more IP this round, you pass, and the turn goes to the combatant with the next-highest IP total.
  • Once every combatant has passed, a new round begins.


*Adding the initiative modifier each round makes higher-Dex characters quicker than lower-Dex characters even when they're wielding the same weapon, which I think is cool.  However, it may contribute to Dex as an uber-stat.  It also requires that you be really careful handing out initiative bonuses:  a +4 from the Improved Initiative feat means 40% more turns, and that's plainly absurd.
Is is really that much work? It kind of feels like you're just spending a few more seconds calculating your IP total each round.

The biggest time-sink is figuring out whose turn is next.  Basically everybody has to state and compare their IP totals again every couple of turns.

It's not, like, prohibitive.  But the time does add up.  It's not for every table, and it's not the "quick and easy" direction that the DDN core rules are headed in.
I don't think weapon speed is a very effective balancer.   Or, it may be, by trending the heavy-hitters towards the end of the turn.

At best, all will really do is attempt to justify the rapier's bloated GP cost over a shortsword.  At worst, it gives Team Monster a fairly consistent init nudge.



The issue is, it would probably exaggerate speed differences, and get some of them wrong.

For instance, I wouldn't be surprised if the dagger ends up faster than the rapier, which is false, outside of an unarmed master compared to a rapier initiate. :P

And greatswords would end up being dramatically behind shortswords, which would be an exaggeration, as both weapons can be used with such speed that motion blur is created and it requires significant skill and training/practice to avoid attacks from the weapon.
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
A bit of perspective:  By the rules (in AD&D1st anyway) weapon speed only mattered when initiative was tied.  Five out of every times it had no effect.


I'd like to see weapon speed become part of the game - but I don't see how it  can be made a feasible mechanic. 


Carl

For instance, I wouldn't be surprised if the dagger ends up faster than the rapier, which is false, outside of an unarmed master compared to a rapier initiate. :P

And greatswords would end up being dramatically behind shortswords, which would be an exaggeration, as both weapons can be used with such speed that motion blur is created and it requires significant skill and training/practice to avoid attacks from the weapon.


So what about an idea that a heavier weapon takes more energy and time to recover from a swing or thrust, therefore their next turn comes around slower?

What if the delay was only for heavy weapons?
FWIW:  When I used to play AD&D 1st -in the late '70s a couple of DMs used a continuous melee system invented by one of our DMs.


John's system (SCMS) worked roughly as follows:

Roll initiative.
Add a delay for movement if you are moving (I don't recall how many feet per segment)
Add weapon speed (or spell casting time)
Make attack
Roll and add recovery time.
Add a delay for movement if moving
Add weapon speed (or spell casting time)
Etc.

It underwent heavy playtesting and the primary adjustment was recovery times.  In the first vesoin the dagger was the ideal weapon because you could make multipe attacks per round.   As recovery times were improved, so did it's balance.

But whether you try to use weapon speed in a system such as that or in a normal initiative system - there are some serious obstacles:  Although you could do use weapon speed to adjust initiative - the real problem is in the resolution of what happens if I start to swing at my target and then my target steps out of reach.   Do I just step after him (maybe delaying me a bit) or do I finish my swing and miss (becaues he isn't there anymore).  And how do opportunity attacks figure into this?  Does a normal attack take 'weapon speed' time, but an opportuniity attack is instantaneous?  If it takes the same time - they will be gone before the attack lands; if instantaneous - why?

And what happpens if I swap weapons?  Does my initiative change?  Does it matter if I am going from faster to slower or slower to faster?  What if I decide to cast a spell rather than use a weapon?

And finally - if this approach ends up with the DM parsing segments - does the benefit of adding weapon speed outweigh the added cost of slowing the combat down?

I would like to see the weapon choice matter in some way - even if only to resolve ties - but I am not sure there is a way to make it work for a modern D&D game.



Carl
What about; Heavy weapons get -1 to hit, Light/Finesse weapons get +1 to hit?


But whether you try to use weapon speed in a system such as that or in a normal initiative system - there are some serious obstacles:  Although you could do use weapon speed to adjust initiative - the real problem is in the resolution of what happens if I start to swing at my target and then my target steps out of reach.   Do I just step after him (maybe delaying me a bit) or do I finish my swing and miss (becaues he isn't there anymore).  And how do opportunity attacks figure into this?  Does a normal attack take 'weapon speed' time, but an opportuniity attack is instantaneous?  If it takes the same time - they will be gone before the attack lands; if instantaneous - why?



I'll have some hard data on Monday but here's how i see it:


If you apply a modifier based on your prevous action, it doesn't matter if someone steps out of reach because it doesn't matter what you do on your turn, it only matters what you just finished doing on your last turn.


Opportunity attacks - I'd make them instantaneous because they're one of those things that happen as a consequence of all the assumed fighting that goes on in a combat round. There's a lot of feinting and footwork that happens in a real fight that doesn't get explicitly spelled out in D&D; an opportunity attack could be a feint that paid off as someone left your reach. It's a reaction rather than an action and the initiative system we're looking at doesn't care about reactions.


I'd also do it because it makes opportunity attacks that little bit more dangerous, which is something that falls in line with my bent.




And what happpens if I swap weapons?  Does my initiative change?  Does it matter if I am going from faster to slower or slower to faster?  What if I decide to cast a spell rather than use a weapon?


In order:


1. You modify your initiative based on your previous action. If we're going with the 5e interpretation of drawing a weapon as a free action, then dropping a weapon and drawing another won't modify initiative. Going with 3e's interpretation, you'd have to spend a move action to put a weapon away (which I'd personally rule as not modifying initiative) or a free action to drop it plus a move action to draw the new weapon without the quick draw feat. I'd probably rule that sacrificing your move action is enough to pay and the price of a feat is enough to negate any other penalty you might get for quick drawing.


2. No 'cause the system only cares about what you've actually done, not what you planned or plan to do.


3. No, as above.


4. Spells should have their own speed system, but I'd probably go with something based on the maximum level spell the caster can cast. So off the top of my head probably I'd say a spell that is of the maximum level you can cast would impose a -2 initiative penalty on your next round and have it scale downward from there. So one below max spell level they can cast would be -1, two would be 0, 3 would be +1 and so on.


I can all ready see that's not right. I'll write something for my session this weekend and let you know what I come up with.


And finally - if this approach ends up with the DM parsing segments - does the benefit of adding weapon speed outweigh the added cost of slowing the combat down?


Well this whole thing started as a way to balance larger weapons against smaller ones, thus giving small creatures a bit of an edge. It'd definitely do that. It'd also make the lighter weapons pack a bit more punch which validates some of the more dicey weapon choices. Applied to spells, it gives the mage a reason to keep a few lower level spells in their back pockets for the times when they're not actually sure they'll maintain their initiative order and feel that they need to. 


I don't actually see how it would be necessary to parse the combat out round by round. Players remember their initiative pretty well or they write it down, the DM does the same. The main difference for me would be instead of writing "1st, 2nd, 3rd" on my sheet, I'd actually record the number and adjust them as combat went along. It'd take roughly the same amount of time as ticking names off a list and it could be done as each player finishes their action rather than all at once every round. I doubt I'd feel the loss, myself.


lol to use the suggestion of the hour - it could be a module.



I would like to see the weapon choice matter in some way - even if only to resolve ties - but I am not sure there is a way to make it work for a modern D&D game.




Carl



Trimming it down to a tie breaker mechanic would be fun anyway. Not exactly the balance restoring factor between small and large we were hoping for but it'd be a neat thing to play with. I might try that if the initiative system cooked up here doesn't jibe but I'm thinking it will.

What about; Heavy weapons get -1 to hit, Light/Finesse weapons get +1 to hit?


That was my original suggestion in the small creatures thread, except I used the language "small-medium-large." Same thing, really. It'd totally work



The weapon speed mechanic is more intriguing though.


It sounds interesting.  I"m not sure it's worth it and I am sure it's not worth it as a core system.


But as an optional system, it might work.



If you want to make it really detailed - find a way to fit weapon length into the system.

The advantage of a dagger is that they are quicker.  The advantage of a longer sword is reach (not in the current technical sense but in the sense that if you walk up to me with a dagger and I have a a sword - I'll get to take a swing at you before you get a chance to get close.


If you want to look at a real world example of how reach matters, consider boxing where reach is a large factor in rating fighters.

Carl

That issue was among those addressed by SKR (one of the 3E devs) when he explained the rationale for dropping speed factor from 3E, and that rationale still stands when considering any future versions of the game: www.seankreynolds.com/rpgfiles/rants/wea...

Of course, the assumption that "smaller = faster" is also a faulty one, but SKR's points hold up well enough on their own.
I was thinking of a simple way to track changing turn order. A circle on paper divided into 12 segments like a clock. Pawns stand in for characters and creatures.

Jumbo Jones is a fighter on the 3rd hour when his turn comes up.
"He advances on a goblin, who hisses at him as he brings his maul around with a mighty swing that Sends the goblin flying against the wall with a skull that now resembles a shallow bowl."
Jumbo's pawn advances to the 8th hour. If any other pawns are on that hour, Jumbo will be placed after them.

Well I do think that any attempt to account for weapon speed will be based on convention rather than reality. Sort of like weapon damage, 'cause 6 inches of steel will kill just as well as 3 feet of steel will. And hit points...


We're dealing in abstraction. What I want is a down and dirty, simple and justified in a way that makes sense to my brain way to account for the differences in weapon speed as a way to balance small weapons against large ones in the game, using the given circumstances in the system (large weapons do more damage and have no real disadvantage).


I like the system we're frankensteining together but I'm realistic about whether anyone would actually widely use it (not very likely) and I know I'm probably being optimistic about how disruptive it'd be but hey what the hell.

@CarlT,
If you want to discuss weapon length, should there be a mechanic for position between two combatants? Should there be a contested roll to determine who is better at maneuvering close (dagger), medium (short sword), or long (great sword) distance and thereby earning advantage for their attack as they are at the most effective range for their weapon. If you go by 5 foot squares to define melee range, there is a large range of distances 2 opponents could have between them.
I must admit this idea doesnt sit well with me.

Too much bookeeping for so little benefit imo.

I will agree with netronium dragon on this. And thanks for the link ND, that was an interesting read.

Perhaps it needs more tweaking or a serious simplification before such a rule can work smoothly.

For instance, I wouldn't be surprised if the dagger ends up faster than the rapier, which is false, outside of an unarmed master compared to a rapier initiate. :P

And greatswords would end up being dramatically behind shortswords, which would be an exaggeration, as both weapons can be used with such speed that motion blur is created and it requires significant skill and training/practice to avoid attacks from the weapon.


So what about an idea that a heavier weapon takes more energy and time to recover from a swing or thrust, therefore their next turn comes around slower?

What if the delay was only for heavy weapons?



That's slightly closer to something realistic, but I'm still not happy with it.

What's your threshhold for heavy weapon? We talking only things so end heavy that no real world combatant would ever use them? 

Any normal weapon that you'd ever want to use in single or small group combat can be recovered from an attack quickly enough to avoid a counter attack. In game terms, I think DnD would have to have Alternity style rounds and phases to really make any difference in speed within that range worth mechanically representing.
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
What about; Heavy weapons get -1 to hit, Light/Finesse weapons get +1 to hit?



That seems even worse. Not only mechanically, but also in modeling reality.

A greatsword isn't less accurate. It's used differently, has a different optimal reach, etc, but it isn't less accurate.

A skilled wielder of the twohander can target the same sized points. It's not, in any way, an unwieldy weapon. Just like a shortsword, it must be used correctly in order to be worth anything, but that's handled by proficiency.
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
What about; Heavy weapons get -1 to hit, Light/Finesse weapons get +1 to hit?



That seems even worse. Not only mechanically, but also in modeling reality.

A greatsword isn't less accurate. It's used differently, has a different optimal reach, etc, but it isn't less accurate.

A skilled wielder of the twohander can target the same sized points. It's not, in any way, an unwieldy weapon. Just like a shortsword, it must be used correctly in order to be worth anything, but that's handled by proficiency.



I think the rationale of having a - to hit would really only come into play for weapons that are just fracking huge. Like so big that the blade size would actually eclipse the size of whatever its target is, like trying to hit a fly with a sword.


Personally I think that's better expressed by giving small things higher armour classes, but you could roll it into weapon size and it'd be OK.

Too much work for too little reason- I am fine with the abstractions the way they are - if you need an optional system I would be fine with that but for me in a lot of ways simpler is better.
 
Still not convinced we need a change.

I see it as:  Under some circumstances the larger weapon strikes first (reach advantage); under other circumstances the smaller weapon strikes first (weapon speed advantage).

Under some circumstances the larger weapon hits better (inertial advantage); under other circumstances the smaller weapon allows more accuracy (reaction to opponents moves advantage).

Unless we create a melee system which actually accounts for these different situations - I don't see that picking one and calling that the default is the way to go.  Instead I'd say that we igore all of the above and assume they average out.

Carl
For instance, I wouldn't be surprised if the dagger ends up faster than the rapier, which is false, outside of an unarmed master compared to a rapier initiate. :P



Actually, no, the dagger should be faster than the rapier. Noticeably so, actually. So long, that is, you are talking about the weapon that existed in the rough middle of the "period of the rapier," which was 2.5 - 3 lbs in weight, and in the neighborhood of 45 inches in length. (Differences of course exist from craftsman or craftsmen constructing the weapon.) That rapier is actually noticeably slower than what one typically thinks of, but then, when the average person thinks "rapier," they either think of the smallsword, or they're thinking of an epee or a foil. The smallsword came after the rapier, and the epee and foil are weapon simulators of differing quality, depending on one's opinion.

For those confused on how DDN's modular rules might work, this may provide some insight: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/11/the-world-of-darkness-shines-when-it-abandons-canon

@mikemearls: Uhhh... do you really not see all the 3e/4e that's basically the entire core system?

 

It is entirely unnecessary to denigrate someone else's approach to gaming in order to validate your own.

I must admit this idea doesnt sit well with me.

Too much bookeeping for so little benefit imo.



This.

Plus, weapon speed doesn't make a lot of sense in this context due to weapon length.  yeah, you may be able to poke faster with a dagger, than the guy you're fighting can swing his greatsword.  But all that speed is negated if you can't get inside his reach; he can keep you at arm's length and then some, and you can't reach him with your dagger, so it all even out in the end.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Another idea. Let's go back to the 1e rule of weapon speed factor being a tie breaker in the initiative contest. Let's also change the initiative roll to a d6 or d10 to increase the amount of overlap between combatants so that speed factor is actually a factor.

I appreciate that most people don't want more figures to think about in a game. Some people want a little more dynamic system and that means keepin da books. The arguments about weapon length really don't get anywhere with me because the system as it stands is only a distant approximation of real combat. It gives more damage to weapons just because they are heavier, even though that is not the only factor in calculating the damage of a blow. There is no other accounting for this extra weight.

In reality people die just by falling over and hitting their head in the right spot.

I'm not trying to model reality. I'm trying to create a dynamic combat system that can give balance to a weapon system. This system should allow characters choice in their weapon based upon pros and cons, not on one factor alone, "How much damage can I roll?"
For instance, I wouldn't be surprised if the dagger ends up faster than the rapier, which is false, outside of an unarmed master compared to a rapier initiate. :P



Actually, no, the dagger should be faster than the rapier. Noticeably so, actually. So long, that is, you are talking about the weapon that existed in the rough middle of the "period of the rapier," which was 2.5 - 3 lbs in weight, and in the neighborhood of 45 inches in length. (Differences of course exist from craftsman or craftsmen constructing the weapon.) That rapier is actually noticeably slower than what one typically thinks of, but then, when the average person thinks "rapier," they either think of the smallsword, or they're thinking of an epee or a foil. The smallsword came after the rapier, and the epee and foil are weapon simulators of differing quality, depending on one's opinion.




The rapier is a fast weapon. the dagger is as fast as your arm. Any one handed sword that isn't badly made is as fast as your wrist, essentially.

Later rapiers and rapier descended swords are faster than early rapiers, but even the early arming sword is well balanced enough that a strike with it is difficult to visually track. It is faster than a punch, and thus a dagger thrust, from most people.


Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
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http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome

The rapier is a fast weapon. the dagger is as fast as your arm. Any one handed sword that isn't badly made is as fast as your wrist, essentially.

Later rapiers and rapier descended swords are faster than early rapiers, but even the early arming sword is well balanced enough that a strike with it is difficult to visually track. It is faster than a punch, and thus a dagger thrust, from most people.





If you say so, but in my opinion, the only thing in your post that was correct was that "rapier descended swords" (I'm assuming you mean the smallsword here) are faster than early rapiers. Other than that, I disagree with everything else.

For those confused on how DDN's modular rules might work, this may provide some insight: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/11/the-world-of-darkness-shines-when-it-abandons-canon

@mikemearls: Uhhh... do you really not see all the 3e/4e that's basically the entire core system?

 

It is entirely unnecessary to denigrate someone else's approach to gaming in order to validate your own.


Any one handed sword that isn't badly made is as fast as your wrist, essentially.

even the early arming sword is well balanced enough that a strike with it is difficult to visually track. It is faster than a punch, and thus a dagger thrust, from most people.




But not really.
 The rapier is a fast weapon. the dagger is as fast as your arm. Any one handed sword that isn't badly made is as fast as your wrist, essentially.

Later rapiers and rapier descended swords are faster than early rapiers, but even the early arming sword is well balanced enough that a strike with it is difficult to visually track. It is faster than a punch, and thus a dagger thrust, from most people.




 
True

And a step further a two handed sword having measurably better speed due to torque and usage style than an arming sword. 
 
Weapon speed was rediculously backwards in how it has been implemented.

The people who made D&D had no clue about how weapons were really used and adopted things like the prejudice of brute strength and overly heavy weapons that the western fencing community basically slandered the earlier fighting styles of europe look up hema (historical europeon martial arts) - noteable that eastern fencing cleaved much closer to its origins and theit tools and toys emulated the weapons and usage so Kendo knowledge can give better insight in to its ancestry than the fencing traditions of europe.


  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."

 

 
True




Yet not quite.

Another idea. Let's go back to the 1e rule of weapon speed factor being a tie breaker in the initiative contest. Let's also change the initiative roll to a d6 or d10 to increase the amount of overlap between combatants so that speed factor is actually a factor. I appreciate that most people don't want more figures to think about in a game. Some people want a little more dynamic system and that means keepin da books. The arguments about weapon length really don't get anywhere with me because the system as it stands is only a distant approximation of real combat. It gives more damage to weapons just because they are heavier, even though that is not the only factor in calculating the damage of a blow. There is no other accounting for this extra weight. In reality people die just by falling over and hitting their head in the right spot. I'm not trying to model reality. I'm trying to create a dynamic combat system that can give balance to a weapon system. This system should allow characters choice in their weapon based upon pros and cons, not on one factor alone, "How much damage can I roll?"



I think you would have to go back to rolling intiative every round as well to really make it work right.


Carl
If we're going to use weapon speed, we should use weapon length.  Sure, your dagger is quicker than my battle axe, but you have to step into range of my axe to use your dagger.  So here's how it works...

1.  At the beginning of the round, for each combatant determine who has only one adjacent foe.  They go first, because everyone else has to be cautious because they have to mind two or more enemies in their reach.
2.  If two enemies are adjacent to each other and nobody else (we'll call them "pairs"), the person with the longest weapon goes first and the other goes second.  If the pairs have weapons of identical length, each member of a pair rolls initiative, modified by weapon speed.
3.  Once all pairs are resolved, anybody who is adjacent to only one enemy and hasn't yet gone, may attack that enemy.
4. Once all of those people are resolved,  everyone else may go, by rolling initiative, modified by weapon speed.  Resolve their attacks.
5. Once all weapons are resolved, resolve any spells being cast.
6. Once all action are taken, only then can people move.
7. Now resolve all effects
8. Begin next round.

Now let's figure out how to make this work in the context of reach weapons.
If we're going to use weapon speed, we should use weapon length.  Sure, your dagger is quicker than my battle axe, but you have to step into range of my axe to use your dagger.  So here's how it works...

1.  At the beginning of the round, for each combatant determine who has only one adjacent foe.  They go first, because everyone else has to be cautious because they have to mind two or more enemies in their reach.
2.  If two enemies are adjacent to each other and nobody else (we'll call them "pairs"), the person with the longest weapon goes first and the other goes second.  If the pairs have weapons of identical length, each member of a pair rolls initiative, modified by weapon speed.
3.  Once all pairs are resolved, anybody who is adjacent to only one enemy and hasn't yet gone, may attack that enemy.
4. Once all of those people are resolved,  everyone else may go, by rolling initiative, modified by weapon speed.  Resolve their attacks.
5. Once all weapons are resolved, resolve any spells being cast.
6. Once all action are taken, only then can people move.
7. Now resolve all effects
8. Begin next round.

Now let's figure out how to make this work in the context of reach weapons.



Or admit that abstractions are fine and DnD hasn't ever been a realistic combat simulator (even the creator of the game who did include weapon speeds admitted as much)


If we're going to use weapon speed, we should use weapon length.  Sure, your dagger is quicker than my battle axe, but you have to step into range of my axe to use your dagger.  So here's how it works...

1.  At the beginning of the round, for each combatant determine who has only one adjacent foe.  They go first, because everyone else has to be cautious because they have to mind two or more enemies in their reach.
2.  If two enemies are adjacent to each other and nobody else (we'll call them "pairs"), the person with the longest weapon goes first and the other goes second.  If the pairs have weapons of identical length, each member of a pair rolls initiative, modified by weapon speed.
3.  Once all pairs are resolved, anybody who is adjacent to only one enemy and hasn't yet gone, may attack that enemy.
4. Once all of those people are resolved,  everyone else may go, by rolling initiative, modified by weapon speed.  Resolve their attacks.
5. Once all weapons are resolved, resolve any spells being cast.
6. Once all action are taken, only then can people move.
7. Now resolve all effects
8. Begin next round.

Now let's figure out how to make this work in the context of reach weapons.



Reach weapons obviously count as a longer weapon unless we go in to detailing the dance of I hit you now I have proper reach and you get a penalty... then if you hit me you have taken the proper distance /reach advantage.

In many ways Initiative is a decision and about decisiveness (a reason to divorce it from dex) at some level it means over the course of 6 secconds you chose to be more aggressive before they did because you noticed the opening (more perception input) and take that opening.
  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."

 

As it stands now, bigger weapons already have the advantage of more damage. You can chalk that up to weight and reach if you want. Why should they get another separate advantage due to reach? We are trying to look at advantages for small weapons, just like the other thread explored advantages for small characters. Not to make all weapons equal, but to offer other considerations to weapon selection and make a wider range of weapons viable options.
As it stands now, bigger weapons already have the advantage of more damage.


And small weapons are classified as "light weapons" which allow them to be used by classes trained in the use lf light weapons to do things that replicate the flash and speed of a small weapon

But apparently that's not enough simulation.  So if we're going to go full on simulationist let's just do it.  

You want speed?  Fine.  But simulation-wise, speed only matter once you're in reach.  So my rules accommodate that give and take.  You think this overpowers long weapons?  Fine.  Reduce two-handed weapons by one die size.  

You can chalk that up to weight and reach if you want. Why should they get another separate advantage due to reach?


Because damage size is based on weight and reach benefits are based on reach.  They are correlative, not causative.

We are trying to look at advantages for small weapons


I thought we were discussing "weapon speed".  [Checks title.]  Yep.  Weapon speed.  And if discuss weapon speed, I think we must also discuss weapon length.
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