Implement and Weapon Proficiency Bonuses

So I've seen people complaining about weapon balance, and why would you choose a lower damage one over higher. One of the other things I have noticed is from first level, classes get bonuses to their attacks.


Why not solve these two with something akin to the 4e proficiency bonus.

Here's the idea...

Instead of giving classes an inherent +2/+3 etc to hit at first level, remove this from class entirely. Instead, put it upon the weapons, so something like a shortsword or longsword has a +3, where as something inherently slower like the broadsword/bastard sword, give it a +2. This way, there are more than two statistics for each weapon... damage and type.

Even more interesting, you could do a similar thing with implements, wands, rods and staves each giving their own proficiency bonus. Maybe the staff only gives a +1 but also gives a +1 to AC. Maybe the wand is on +3 and the rod canbe a +2 with some other bonus or ability.

This would give some more flavour to the implements that the arcane casters use.

Similar things could be done with holy symbols as well, I assume. Having never played a divine class in any edition, I don't actually know if they have varying types of implements, etc.


What do you think?

Something a little amiss or does it sound a bit right? 

I'm intrigued. The issue would be in the book keeping.


Are you suggesting that each weapon have its own progression of mods that scales with level, or are you suggesting each weapon gets a flat bonus?


Or could each class have a different set of bonuses depending on the weapon they use?


I'm intrigued. The issue would be in the book keeping.


Are you suggesting that each weapon have its own progression of mods that scales with level, or are you suggesting each weapon gets a flat bonus?


Or could each class have a different set of bonuses depending on the weapon they use?




Each class having different bonuses would be absolutely attrocious to keep track of (I think, anyway). What I was suggesting about the classes is something more like a class that is not proficient with the weapon/implement, simply doesnt get the bonus. 

Also, I was thinking a flat bonus - then the classes could do any scaling with level that needs to be done - if they want the different classes to scale at different rates (which doesnt make sense to me, considering Bounded Accuracy, but could work if it is only little)

Items scaling with character level could definitely be interesting... But that just makes me think of magic enhancement bonuses, which they really didnt want.

Ahh I got ya.


I actually want to shake up bounded accuracy a bit. I like the notion but I think holding true to that idea to the letter is likely to cause its own set of problems.


But I digress.


The idea of giving weapons a bonus or penalty to something was largely on the basis of the damage that weapon dealt and the perceived advantage of large weapons (I think even a casual look at the space needed to use such weapons would balance them anyway). One way you could use this to address some of the issues, particularly regarding small vs medium characters, is to assign the bonus on the basis of the size of the person using it.


So a halfling wielding a small weapon would get a higher bonus than a human wielding a small weapon.

The class bonus is an awful way of fixing the math. 

Keep in mind that we don't need attack bonuses for any actual purpose in relation to the monsters.  If we want the desired PC hit rate to be higher, we can just drop monster AC across the board since the monsters aren't finalized yet.  (Saving throws are a bit more difficult to adjust on the monster side, so the DC calculation is another discussion)

That said, if we do want to have yet another bonus for the purposes of number porn, as one poster described it, then putting it on a fake weapon proficiency rather than a fake class proficiency is a better way to do it, in my opinion.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Yeah, I agree that class bonus is a terrible maths fix.

You say that we dont need attack bonuses... But to lower the  monster AC you would have to either remove their armour bonus or ability bonus - both of which I think are essential to the DnD system. I certainly couldn't imagine an AC without them.

 What I'm suggesting about the weapon proficiency is more than just a fake add on though - it provides an aditional way of balancing weapons - or adding some really interesting features to them (such as the AP boost).

I admit I'm not very happy with the way attack values have diminished. I think the packet has (mostly) done a good job in giving non casters other advantages and I'm aware of the problems with 3e's base attack, but there's something lost when you don't make a class inherently better with one form of attack over another.


I'm not convinced the magic attack/weapon attack thing will give enough uniqueness. I'll have to see how it works past lvl 5 to know for sure.

You say that we dont need attack bonuses... But to lower the  monster AC you would have to either remove their armour bonus or ability bonus - both of which I think are essential to the DnD system. I certainly couldn't imagine an AC without them.


Monster ACs are completely arbitrary.  I mean, sure, there are some monsters that wear PC-style armor, and it'd be nice if it were consistent, but what sort of armor is an owlbear wearing?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
To the poster above... Hide Armour...

As do most natural enemies, after all, what is leather armour. 
Giving any kind of weapon/implement a different numeric bonus from another kind of weapon/implement is guaranteed to make one of those become the Only Choice.  If proficiency bonuses are to be a thing, they need to be exactly... the... same... for... everything.  Then, and ONLY then, can a longsword and a battleaxe be compared fairly without anyone being able to say something sucks just because it hits less often.
I like weapon to-hit bonuses.. but I don't like them to be attached to weapon proficiency in any way.

Give weapons a +0 or a +1 hit bonus to separate them, and give something of similar value to the non-accurate weapons, but keep those things as weapon properties, not proficiencies.

Either it is harder to hit with a flail than a longsword or it isn't.
But the thought at the moment is that "This weapon does more damage, so why would I ever select a less damaging weapon."

Which is just the same really. It could be used as a way to balance damage with to hit? 
Except it doesn't.  In 4e, accuracy was god.  It still is.  No matter how much damage the weapon deals, none of it will happen unless you hit the target.  A weapon that is more likely to hit is simply better than anything else.  So the fact is, IF proficiency bonuses are a thing, THEN they need to be the same for every weapon, or else we have a repeat of 4e's crap.  Weapons can be balanced against each other in other ways, leave to-hit bonus the hell out of it.
Except it doesn't.  In 4e, accuracy was god.  It still is.  No matter how much damage the weapon deals, none of it will happen unless you hit the target.  A weapon that is more likely to hit is simply better than anything else.  So the fact is, IF proficiency bonuses are a thing, THEN they need to be the same for every weapon, or else we have a repeat of 4e's crap.  Weapons can be balanced against each other in other ways, leave to-hit bonus the hell out of it.

To-hit bonuses are only godly in 4e because one, a typical attack in 4e does a lot of damage compared to the differences in weapon die size because it's so easy to stack static bonuses, and two, 4e puts very powerful riders on weapon attacks. If you're careful with the latter, you're careful with static bonuses, and you correctly balance hit bonuses against damage bonuses, it works out fine. No matter what system you use, it's always going to be the case for a particular character that some weapons are going to have higher average damage than others. That's the way math works. But it's totally possible to get the numbers to a place where the break-even point isn't so far off to one side.

Additionally, it's not remotely true that weapons with to-hit bonuses are all anyone uses in 4e, because 4e also attaches powerful additional benefits to various weapon groups through feats and paragon paths.

Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
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