Ongoing Polls: Armour and Weapons (Fantasy Tropes vs. Medieval Realism vs. Simplified Mechanics)

There have been a few threads about armour and weapons on these forums. Some of the talk centres around armour and weapons that have been accepted as fantasy tropes despite the fact that they have no basis in medieval realism, or even make no visual sense whatsoever. Still other threads prefer bare bone mechanics that strip weapons down to their essential form (hammer, mace, etcetera). This approach certainly creates a straightforward mechanic, but at the cost of gutting flavour completely. Some people want that flavour, some people don't. To each their own inspiration.

I recently ran a poll thread asking "How would you like to see weapons treated in the core rules of D&D 5th edition?" The results were edifying. Granted, a poll voted on just over 200 times may not represent the entire population of D&D players, but it's a starting place and will be treated accordingly. To that end, it may also represent D&D players quite well, albeit on a microscopic level.

The poll results clearly favoured giving each weapon Group (Axes, Swords, etcetera) a unique property in the core rules. This tells me that an 'overly' simplified approach goes too far for most people. Players are not simpletons after all, and can handle a little complexity without being put off. Conversely, the least popular reply was to give every single weapon a unique property. Indeed, this would go too far, but also doesn't mean that individual weapons can't have unique properties (as appropriate).

The third most popular reply (of five options) voted that weapons in one Category and Group shouldn't deal identical damage, like the Spear and Trident (that currently both deal 1d6 piercing damage as Basic Weapons). Removing this kind of redundancy is a worthy pursuit with weapons, but no less so for armour as well. For example, having Banded and Splint offer exactly the same protective value seems utterly pointless.

Moreover, forcing highly particular flavour onto armour also seems like a bad idea. Is every D&D world suddenly so lousy with displacer beasts and dragons that these are commonly purchasable armour types? Imposing campaign-specific flavour onto core D&D rules is exceedingly short-sighted. The current armour and weapon charts leave much to be desired. Indeed, the lack of change made to equipment during the past few play-tests have spawned a creative frenzy (I'm looking at you wrecan).

Is there a place for medieval accuracy in D&D? Sure, but I think that's where optional modules come into play. Such iterative details aren't for everybody. We're playing a game to escape from reality after all. Can we at least make a passing effort to acknowledge and correct some of the more glaring fallacies perpetuated by D&D? Absolutely. There's no denying that D&D borrows heavily from history. Indeed, it would be pointless to claim otherwise. To that end, D&D misconceptions of 40 years hence can be easily cleared up with a few key strokes and a modicum of reading. We live in the information age after all. Not taking advantage of the internet is tantamount to wilfully living in the dark ages.

The ideas for Weapons and Armour (below) are a work-in-progress that remain open to feedback. Everything can be tweaked or outright revised. In case you hadn't guessed, I'm trying to strike a balance between fantasy tropes, medieval realism, and simplified mechanics. Moving forward from these ideas, I'd like to start with weapon weights in particular (hoping to hear from people more knowledgeable about the subject than myself), but even this depends on whether an actual 'pound' standard is embraced versus an awkwardness/encumbrance system. I suspect equipment weight is going to be a lot more relevant in D&D 5th edition, as magical items (like Bags of Holding) and Wealth-by-Level are no longer factored into character advancement, to which I say 'good riddance'. Let's get back to the essence of D&D.
WEAPONS
Any changes made to the most current play-test packet weapons are highlighted in blue. Further explanations for those changes follow each Weapon Group.

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Editorial History
08 December 2012
—Changed the reason for excluding Katana from weapon list.
—Changed the Weapon Property by Group for Flails.

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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. / Two-handed / Staff
Trident / 5 gp / 1d6 piercing / 6 lb. / — / Spear
Unarmed strike / — / 1d3 bludgeoning / — / — / Unarmed
War pick / 5 gp / 1d6 piercing / 6 lb. / — / Pick

Basic Weapons seemed to be modelled after 'tools commoners might wield'. None of them deal 1d8 damage without also being two-handed. Right away, there is no meaningful difference between the Spear and 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. This would invalidate the 'Trident and net' fighting style. As such, the trident was graduated to a Martial Weapon. I also added a 'regular' Staff to the Basic Weapon chart so that not all staff wielders, like wizards, would be proficient with Quarterstaff (a finessable weapon). Lastly, if Unarmed strike and one-handed Improvised objects deal the same damage, that removes any incentive to improvise one-handed objects. This is easily solved by lowering the Unarmed strike to 1d3 damage. The Hammer and Handaxe were brought here from the Marital Weapon and Martial Missile Weapon charts, which is discussed more in detail after those sections.

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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. / — / Dagger and Sword
Scimitar / 25 gp / 1d6 slashing / 4 lb. / — / Axe and 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

The Katana is the only Eastern weapon on the list. By all accounts, the Katana is not truthfully finessable and therefore similar enough to the 'revised' Bastard sword that their statistics should overlap. For those players who really want access to a 'D&D sanctioned' Katana, I think there should be a seperate chart of Eastern Weapons. The Dagger and Short sword now sport two damage types on this chart, namely piercing and slashing. This makes short swords marginarly superior to Rapiers and Scimitars. To offset this imbalance, Rapiers and Scimitars benefit from two Weapon Properties by Group.

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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

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 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 Bastard sword on this chart can be treated as a Longsword when wielded single-handedly and a Bastard sword when wielded two-handed.

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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

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 entirely too much. No weapon from any of these charts should weigh more than 15 pounds, even if D&D moves to an encumbrance system that accounts for awkwardness.

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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

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 are destined to be 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 need some kind of advantage. Regarding range, the Hand crossbow feels short-changed next to the Dart and Sling. Improving the range to 50/200 certainly donesn't break the bank. Lastly, the damage of improvised objects has been increased to 1d3 for the simple reason that 1d2 is pitiful.

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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

Giving the Throwing hammer a separate entry seems a little nonsensical to me. Carrying around multiple 7 pound hammers for the sole purpose of chucking them feels more than a little ridiculous. Instead, a straightforward 'Hammer' was added to the Basic Weapon chart (definitely a commoner weapon) with a throwing range -- assuming it even needs one at all. Also, creating a Hammer with range in the Basic Weapon chart means it can be thrown with Strength instead of Dexterity. 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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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

Nothing redundant here.

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The question of how to differentiate weapons without making them too complicated was addressed in my poll thread asking "How would you like to see weapons treated in the core rules of D&D 5th edition?" Based on the most popular answer, here is a refined proposal of Weapon Properties by Group.

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 ignore the shield bonus of defending opponents.
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 no more than one size category larger than you 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 40 feet 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 coup de grace or disengage as a move instead of an action.
Unarmed: Can make two separate unarmed attacks with disadvantage on each attack roll, as per Two-Weapon Fighting. Can do the same if one or both hands are wielding one-handed improvised weapons.
Whip: Can disarm opponents on a critical hit, or by taking disadvantage on an attack without dealing damage.
ARMOUR
The most significant change was made to the Max Dex modifier mechanic. The current version has no max Dex for Light armour, Max Dex 2 for Medium armour, and no Dex Modifier for Heavy armour. If a Max Dex system is going to be implemented at all, then it should be done wholeheartedly. Assigning iterative Max Dex values is no more complicated than assigning Max Dex 2 strictly to Medium armour. The speed and Disadvantage (Stealth) penalties have also been broken down for individual armours rather than entire armour groups, creating more distinction as well. For the same reason, there are now four shields with differentiating rules.

The AC bonuses have been kept within the play-test packet benchmarks, which are presumably balanced within the 'bounded accuracy' system.

In addition, the Light, Medium, and Heavy armour categories are alternatively referred to as Leather, Linked, and Plate respectively.

Further explanations for any changes follow each armour category.

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Editorial History
08 December 2012
—Changed or condensed several armour names (Hide Coat and Scale Coat to Hide and Scale, Chainmail, Ring mail, and Scale mail to Chain, Ring, and Scale, Plate Coat to Laminar, Full Plate to Plate)
—Made Scale more protective than Ring.
—Reduced speed penalties of Chain shirt, Ring, Half-plate, Plate, Large shield, and Tower shield by 5 feet.

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Armour / Price / Armor Class (AC) / Speed / Stealth / Weight

Light (Leather) Armour
Fur or Padded / 5 gp / 11 + Dex mod. (max 5) / — / — / 10 lbs.
Hide / 10 gp / 12 + Dex mod. (max 4) / — / — / 15 lbs.
Leather / 25 gp / 13 + Dex mod. (max 3) / — / — / 20 lbs.
Brigandine / 50 gp / 14 + Dex mod. (max 2) / — / — / 25 lbs.

Making Hide less protective than Leather represents the refinement of Leather as an armour material. For the same reason, Fur has been placed with Padded. Brigandine replaces Studded Leather, which is what Studded Leather has always been. The 'studs' that appear through Brigandine are what hold thin plates of metal in place behind the outer leather surface. Letting people learn the actual name of this armour certainly won't hurt them.

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Medium (Linked) Armour
Chain shirt / 50 gp / 13 + Dex mod. (max 4) / — / Disadvantage / 25 lbs.
Ring / 100 gp / 14 + Dex mod. (max 3) / — / Disadvantage / 30 lbs.
Scale / 150 gp / 15 + Dex mod. (max 2) / –5 feet / Disadvantage / 35 lbs.
Chain / 200 gp / 16 + Dex mod. (max 1) / –5 feet / Disadvantage / 40 lbs.

The Chain Shirt returned to round out the linked armours. Scale mail has been replaced with Scale, as 'scale mail' doesn't even make sense. Mail is a mesh consisting of small metal rings. A scale is not a ring.

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Heavy (Plate) Armour
Breastplate / 200 gp / 15 + Dex mod. (max 3) / –5 feet / Disadvantage / 35 lbs.
Laminar / 500 gp / 16 + Dex mod. (max 2) / –5 feet / Disadvantage / 40 lbs.
Half-plate / 1,000 gp / 17 + Dex mod. (max 1) / –5 feet / Disadvantage / 45 lbs.
Plate / 2,000 gp / 18 / –5 feet / Disadvantage / 50 lbs.

Breastplate returned to round out the plate amours. Laminar (lorica segmentata) fills in for both Banded and Splint mail, which redundantly shared the same AC values and mechanics. Indeed, Laminar is what Banded and Splint mail have always been (a combination of the the two armours). Splint armour was only ever used on the arms and legs to augment other suits of armours, and was therefore often mistaken for those armours. Banded mail became a confusing term for Laminar, which this chart corrects. Lastly, Half-plate returned to represent Lamellar armour. As 'Lamellar' looks and sound very similar to 'Laminar', I thought it best to maintain the Half-plate name for clarity.

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Masterwork armour grants a max Dex modifier of +1.

Characters with Strength 20 reduce speed penalties of armour by 5.

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Shields / Price / Armor Class (AC) / Speed / Stealth / Weight
Buckler / 3 gp / +1 / — / — / 3 lbs.
Small shield / 5 gp / +1 or ¼ cover / — / — / 5 lbs.
Large shield / 10 gp / +1 or ½ cover / — / Disadvantage / 10 lbs.
Tower shield / 20 gp / +2 or ¾ cover / –5 feet / Disadvantage / 20 lbs.

Presumes wooden shields. Price and weight for metal shields x2.

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Masterwork shields allow objects or weapons to be held in the same hand without losing AC bonus.

Characters with Strength 20 reduce speed penalties of shields by 5.

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Buckler: AC bonus against melee attacks only. Can be wielded as a finesse or martial weapon using club statistics without losing AC bonus.
Small Shield: AC bonus against melee attacks only. Grants shield wielder one-quarter cover against ranged attacks. Can be wielded as a martial weapon using shield statistics without losing AC bonus.
Large Shield: AC bonus against melee attacks only. Grants shield wielder half cover against ranged attacks. Can be used in a shield wall.
Tower Shield: AC bonus against melee attacks only. Grants shield wielder three-quarters cover against ranged attacks. Can be used in a shield wall.

Shield Wall Fighting: When two or more adjacent allies overlap large shields or tower shields against attacks and effects that originate from the opposite side of their contiguous wall, the AC bonus against melee attacks improves to the cover bonus provided against ranged attacks.

Cover
Cover represents solid objects that stand between you and your target. Walls, pillars, and trees are common examples of things that can provide cover. The cover granted by an obstacle and the cover provided by a shield stack together. As such, a tower shield wielder standing behind a fallen log gains total cover against ranged attacks.
One-Quarter Cover: A target has one-quarter cover when approximately one-quarter of target is behind an interposing obstacle. The obstacle might be a fallen log, a small piece of furniture, or an open door frame beyond which the target is standing.
A target with one-quarter cover has a +1 bonus to AC and Dexterity saving throws, but only against attacks and effects that originate on the opposite side of the cover.

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Special Materials
Adamantine (Medium Armours, Heavy Armours, and Shields)
Damage against wearer reduced by 1d6. Price x10.

Dark Wood (Scale, Heavy Armours, and Shields)
No disadvantage. Weight /2. Price x5.

Dragonscale (Scale, Heavy Armours, and Shields)
AC +1. Resistance to dragon energy type. Price x10 for Armour. Price x5 for Shields.
Special: Plate grants immunity to dragon energy type. Heavy and tower shields grant resistance, but no additional AC or cover bonus.

Leaf (Light Armours)
Max Dex modifier +1. Weight /2. Price x5.

Mithral (Medium Armours, Heavy Armours, and Shields)
Max Dex modifier +1. No disadvantage. Reduce speed penalty –5 feet. Weight /2. Price x10.
Special: Chain shirt, Ring, Breastplate, or Laminar fall to the next lower category and can be worn without penalty by characters with the appropriate armour proficiency.

How do you feel about using terms like 'Cuirass' and 'Hauberk' to describe armour in D&D?




Future summary of poll.

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We use 'Coup de Grace' and 'Melee' (without accents) in D&D. Are we ready for 'Chain Maille'?




Poll ended. The results clearly favour 'Chainmail' over 'Chain Maille', but in a surprise turn of events, the armour names of this thread have recently changed to omit the word 'mail' completely.
There have been a few threads about armour and weapons on these forums. Some of the talk centres around armour and weapons that have been accepted as fantasy tropes despite the fact that they have no basis in medieval realism, or even make no visual sense whatsoever. Still other threads prefer bare bone mechanics that strip weapons down to their essential form (hammer, mace, etcetera). This approach certainly creates a straightforward mechanic, but at the cost of gutting flavour completely. Some people want that flavour, some people don't. To each their own inspiration.



It's not so much that it guts flavor as it leaves the flavor up to the interpretations of the individual tables.  Also, put me in the camp that thinks reality is overrated.  I don't personally care if an armor never really existed in history.  If it's cool, then include it.  For the same reasons, I don't care if people want open-midriff armors or CMBs.  Whatever the group is comfortable with.

I recently ran a poll thread asking "How would you like to see weapons treated in the core rules of D&D 5th edition?" The results were edifying. Granted, a poll voted on just over 200 times may not represent the entire population of D&D players, but it's a starting place and will be treated accordingly. To that end, it may also represent D&D players quite well, albeit on a microscopic level.

The poll results clearly favoured giving each weapon Group (Axes, Swords, etcetera) a unique property in the core rules. This tells me that an 'overly' simplified approach goes too far for most people. Players are not simpletons after all, and can handle a little complexity without being put off. Conversely, the least popular reply was to give every single weapon a unique property. I agree that this would go too far, but I don't think it means that a select number of weapons can't have unique properties (as needed). In fact, I'm certain that some can and should.

The third most popular reply (of five options) voted that weapons in one Category and Group shouldn't deal identical damage (like the spear and trident that currently both deal 1d6 piercing damage as Basic Weapons). I consider this a worthy pursuit with weapons. I'd like to remove this kind of redundancy from armour as well. For example, having banded and splint offering exactly the same protective value seems utterly pointless.



I didn't have the opportunity to catch that poll but I can state some general agreement.  While my ideal preference would be to strip weapons down to a Gamma World like simplicity (with options that DMs can allow for more differentiation if they want to), I an easily live with a system that gives each weapon group a defining feature.  I also have to agree on eliminating redundancy from both armor and weapons.

Moreover, forcing highly particular flavour onto armour also seems like a bad idea. Is every D&D world suddenly so lousy with displacer beasts and dragons that these are commonly purchasable armour types? I hope not. Imposing campaign-specific flavour onto core D&D rules is exceedingly short-sighted. The current armour and weapon charts leave much to be desired. Indeed, the lack of change made to equipment during the past few play-tests have spawned a creative frenzy (I'm looking at you wrecan).


While I often detest forced fluff, I don't mind that so much.  In the end, those armors are just armors.  There is nothing that forces you to tie them to specific beasts.  A displacer beast leather armor could easily be redifined as a ghostweave leather armor that actually uses limited etheralness to protect you instead of using a minor displacement effect.

Is there a place for medieval accuracy in D&D? Sure, but I think that's where optional modules come into play. Such iterative details aren't for everybody. We're playing a game to escape from reality after all. Can we at least make a passing effort to acknowledge and correct some of the more glaring fallacies perpetuated by D&D? Absolutely. There's no denying that D&D borrows heavily from history. Indeed, it would be pointless to claim otherwise. To that end, D&D misconceptions of 40 years hence can be easily cleared up with a few key strokes and a modicum of reading. We live in the information age after all. Not taking advantage of the internet is tantamount to wilfully living in the dark ages.


You had me for the bolded part, but I'm not sure what you mean by the latter.  Are you talking about just spelling errors?  Or what?

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Is there a place for medieval accuracy in D&D? Sure, but I think that's where optional modules come into play. Such iterative details aren't for everybody. We're playing a game to escape from reality after all. Can we at least make a passing effort to acknowledge and correct some of the more glaring fallacies perpetuated by D&D? Absolutely. There's no denying that D&D borrows heavily from history. Indeed, it would be pointless to claim otherwise. To that end, D&D misconceptions of 40 years hence can be easily cleared up with a few key strokes and a modicum of reading. We live in the information age after all. Not taking advantage of the internet is tantamount to wilfully living in the dark ages.

You had me for the bolded part, but I'm not sure what you mean by the latter.  Are you talking about just spelling errors?  Or what?


I am talking about armour like 'studded leather' and 'scale mail'. There is more to studded leather than just studs on leather. It was brigantine. And Scale mail simply doesn't make any sense. Mail is a mesh consisting of small metal rings. A scale is not a ring. It's easy to fix both with a name change.
Nitpick: Currently you've got the Staff and the Mace doing the same damage and damage type, but the Staff is both cheaper and lighter and therefore always better.  Similar problem with the warpick and spear.
Is there a place for medieval accuracy in D&D? Sure, but I think that's where optional modules come into play. Such iterative details aren't for everybody. We're playing a game to escape from reality after all. Can we at least make a passing effort to acknowledge and correct some of the more glaring fallacies perpetuated by D&D? Absolutely. There's no denying that D&D borrows heavily from history. Indeed, it would be pointless to claim otherwise. To that end, D&D misconceptions of 40 years hence can be easily cleared up with a few key strokes and a modicum of reading. We live in the information age after all. Not taking advantage of the internet is tantamount to wilfully living in the dark ages.

You had me for the bolded part, but I'm not sure what you mean by the latter.  Are you talking about just spelling errors?  Or what?


I am talking about armour like 'studded leather' and 'scale mail'. There is more to studded leather than just studs on leather. It was brigantine. And Scale mail simply doesn't make any sense. Mail is a mesh consisting of small metal rings. A scale is not a ring. It's easy to fix both with a name change.

Neither of those really bother me.  The word brigantine has no real meaning to me while studded leather evokes a concept that any english speaker can immediately grasp even without reading the gear description.  Also, about scalemail, I do envision chain mail beneath the scales.  I always thought that's what you anchored the overlapping scales to.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Nitpick: Currently you've got the Staff and the Mace doing the same damage and damage type, but the Staff is both cheaper and lighter and therefore always better.  Similar problem with the warpick and spear.

Thanks. Staff should have been two-handed. Corrected now.

Weapons.

I like what you did with basic weapons. Would have kept daggers and showsworrds as they are as piercing only. Makin short swords 2 types makes it superior to both rapiers and scimatars. Also geting rid of katana removes a THW from finesse.

Instead I'd go

Finesse Weapons (Attack: Strength modifier or Dexterity modifier)
Dagger / 2 gp / 1d4 piercing / 1 lb. / Range 20/80 / Dagger
Tuck / 35 gp / 1d8 slashing / 3 lb. / Two-handed / Sword
Rapier / 25 gp / 1d6 piercing / 2 lb. / — / Dagger
Saber / 25 gp / 1d6 slashing / 4 lb. / — / Sword
Short sword / 10 gp / 1d6 piercing / 3 lb. / — / Sword

As for the armor. Nice for balance but too complicated for core.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

I like what you did with basic weapons. Would have kept daggers and showsworrds as they are as piercing only. Makin short swords 2 types makes it superior to both rapiers and scimatars. Also geting rid of katana removes a THW from finesse.

Alternatively, to compensate for the fact that dagger and short sword have two damage types, I would say that the rapier and scimitar benefit from the advantages of two Weapon Properities by Group (Dagger/Sword and Axe/Sword respectively).

(Attack: Strength modifier or Dexterity modifier)
Rapier / 25 gp / 1d6 piercing / 2 lb. / — / Dagger and Sword
Scimitar / 25 gp / 1d6 slashing / 4 lb. / — / Axe and Sword

As for the armor. Nice for balance but too complicated for core.

I don't see what you think is so complicated. People are more savvy than you think.
Wow, I disagree with almost everything you said.  I don't even have the time/energy to go into all with ways I tihnk you're wrong.  Here are a few highlights.

1) Of course a huge majority can handle the complexity of having weapon group properties.  That is not a reason to make it core.  Anything that can be taken out of core, should be taken out of core, that's pretty much the definition of core.  If 99% of tables add the "weapon groups" module (which I'm happy to grant belongs in the PHB), it's still not a reason to make it core because it's so easy to add as a module if it's balanced (and if it is unbalancing, then it shouldn't be added at all).  The 1% that is a brand new group of players that have never played before should be encouraged to ignore extra rules like this and layer them in later when they have a better grasp on everything else.  Exactly the group for whom the default should be designed, seeing as how the experienced gamers are far more likely to know what elements of complexity are worth it to them.  

2) I dislike pretty much every last one of your weapon group properties.  Hammers/slings are overpowered and strictly better than picks, daggers are doing more damage than greataxes in the hands of a character that is both strong and dexterous (maces too, but only in campaigns where you fight a lot of humanoids), crossbows really aren't that good against heavy armor (no matter how much force you put behind them, the arrowhead is still made of a softer metal than the breastplate and will therefore blunt instead of piercing) and even if they were it's a bonus that's super awesome in a narrow subset of situations and completely useless in the others and thus both swingy and DM dependent and which obviates the need for stealthy sniping which should be its quintessential use... I could go on...

3) Nitpick, but given how how much you're talking about adding a bit more realism to the equipment list you should stop perpetuating the myth that the katana/wakizashi were used as a pair in combat.  That was popular only in a narrow time period in a narrow school, the vast majority of practitioners used them one at a time each according to its appropriate circumstances, and the katana really is a hand-and-a-half sword.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daish%C5%8D.   

4) The armor list: the typical light-armor wearer's AC will remain constant with level, while the typical medium or heavy armor wearer's will not.  No, not quite true, the light armor wearer gets a sudden jump the moment he can afford leaf leather (whatever that means), compared to the more gradual but nevertheless faster climb up the heavier armor tables, leading to an odd horserace with a clear and inevitable winner.  Heavy armor wearers are forced to either have inferior ACs at low levels or build a dexterity score that will become obsolete as their growing finances and strength scores provide access to heavier armors without penalty (particularly since there is no affordable heavy armor for level 1 characters).  Mithral plate in the hands of a STR 20 has no penalty and is strictly the best armor in the game, and the medium armors with high STR and mithral can pretty much get you there relatively cheaply - there's really no reason to wear light armor other than that you don't have proficiency in heavier stuff.  With masterwork, mithral, and tower shields, you've pushed the maximum AC well out of the limits of monster accuracy, especially on ranged attacks.  Prohibitive movement penalties aren't going to discourage heavy armor/shield use, they're going to encourage static, boring combats.  And making the DR on adamantium variable is a waste of everyone's time unless you plan on fighting a lot of kobolds in the epic tier.
I am in support of an overhaul of weapons and armor, but the OP didn't get it right either.
Good take on the armor but,

drop the medium armor category like 4E and give gradual penalty to skills(or ability check).

it's better to have -1,-2,-3,-4, etc, not; in this armor you are a ninja stalker and in 5lb heavier you're a one-man-music show.
The katana is the only overtly Eastern weapon on the list, and oddly two-handed. The katana and wakizashi should be married together, one in each hand. The katana has been dropped for now but should be earmarked for another chart (possibly Eastern Weapons). The dagger and short sword sport two damage types on this chart, namely piercing and slashing. This makes short swords marginarly superior to rapiers and scimitars. To offset this imbalance, rapiers and scimitars benefit from two Weapon Properties by Group.


The primary fighting style for katanas actually involves using them in two hands. The katana-and-wakizashi style was actually much less common. Also, "short swords" weren't called as such; label them as long knives. "Short sword" refers to regular-sized arming swords carried by people who also carried two-handed longswords. Also, on your Martial Weapons chart, the "longsword" should be labelled "sword" or "arming sword", as "longsword" refers to swords longer than regular swords, like bastard swords and greatswords.


Tuck / 35 gp / 1d8 slashing / 3 lb. / Two-handed / Sword



If you do use this weapon, it should be piercing since it has no edge!

I agree with faer4 about longswords, they were mainly used two handed with arming and side-swords more reminiscent of what is commonly imagined as a sword. 
Anybody know how the side-sword, arming sword, knights sword, spatha, got mis-named long sword?   
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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."

 

Regarding "Displacer Beast Hide" and "Dragon Scale" armors:

This is one place where there's a tradeoff between evocativeness and being generic. The light armor could be called "Commonplace light armor", "Superior Light Armor" and "Extraordinary Light Armor", but some people might like having things pinned down a little more. They could call the armor that and then give examples of what sort of things fall into each category. That might be interesting. So in the description of "Superior Light Armor", it might say something like "Superior light armor is less common that commonplace light armor, and offers superior protection while still allowing for freedom of movement. It is often constructed from hides of exotic or magical creatures such as displacer beasts, or stitched from preternatually resiliant fabrics."
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.
As to the poll question, I prefer "mail"


Tuck / 35 gp / 1d8 slashing / 3 lb. / Two-handed / Sword



If you do use this weapon, it should be piercing since it has no edge!
 



Bravo. You've spotted it.
--

As fo armors, I'd just replace displacer beast hide with magical beast hide.
And add breastplate at AC 16 heavy armor




Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

I am in favor of redoing weapons.

Each group (spears, swords, axes, hammers, etc) should have something that sets them apart from the others.  As it stands, they are too samey.

Katanas being two-handed makes sense.  Katana/Wakizashi was not an overly common fighting style.  Them being the 2-hander for the finesse category is acceptable to me, though I would prefer to take the staff instead.

Studded leather, admittedly, bothers the crap out of me.  Can we just call it a brigandine and call it a day?  Its a lot more than "Leather with metal studs in it."

I could see an argument being made for the Breastplate to be added to either the Medium or Heavy categories.

Displacer Beast Armor should be renamed Exotic Leather or something along those lines.  Perhaps Dragon could be renamed to Exotic Scale.  Something which, in the description, would clearly state "Exotic Leather is armor made from the hide of strange and often magical creatures, such as Displacer Beasts or Owlbears" and "Exotic Scale is armor made from the scales of mighty beasts such as dragons and other massive creatures."

Scale should be referred to as "Scale" or "Scale Armor" that just makes sense.
Regarding the flavoured approach to displacer beast hide and dragon scale armour, I could not stand more in disagreement with anybody who endorces the idea. If you like the flavour, then you should add it to your own campaign setting, but on a personalized basis. If you don't, then the idea that displacer beast and dragon populations have exploded so completely that hide and scale armour is now commonly made from their skin should not be foist on you or the world in which you play.
Good take on the armor but,

drop the medium armor category like 4E and give gradual penalty to skills(or ability check).

it's better to have -1,-2,-3,-4, etc, not; in this armor you are a ninja stalker and in 5lb heavier you're a one-man-music show.

My read on D&D 5th edition so far has been that the game is trying to move away from modifiers like that. Instead skill penalty modifiers of -1, -2, -3, etcetera, we are seeing Disadvantage being applied when the character is being stealthy. I kept to that idea in the armour proposal.
Of course a huge majority can handle the complexity of having weapon group properties.  That is not a reason to make it core.  Anything that can be taken out of core, should be taken out of core, that's pretty much the definition of core.

Which is why I ran the poll. It indicated a strong preference for the Weapon Properties by Group. You can disagree with how representative the poll is for the D&D community at large, but the results speak for themselves.

The armor list: the typical light-armor wearer's AC will remain constant with level, while the typical medium or heavy armor wearer's will not.  No, not quite true, the light armor wearer gets a sudden jump the moment he can afford leaf leather (whatever that means), compared to the more gradual but nevertheless faster climb up the heavier armor tables, leading to an odd horserace with a clear and inevitable winner.

Unless it changed in the latest play-test document, all ability scores are capped at 20 now. Basically, even if you have armour that allows for more than a Max Dex modifier of 5, you're Dexterity is still only 20 at best.
The primary fighting style for katanas actually involves using them in two hands. The katana-and-wakizashi style was actually much less common.

Certainly, but form what I undertstand, the katana shouldn't be resticted to two-handed fighting either. To be honest, the katana is sounding more like the bastard sword (mechanically), in which case shouldn't it use those statistics instead? To make the katana distinctive, perhaps it's finesseable?

Also, "short swords" weren't called as such; label them as long knives. "Short sword" refers to regular-sized arming swords carried by people who also carried two-handed longswords. Also, on your Martial Weapons chart, the "longsword" should be labelled "sword" or "arming sword", as "longsword" refers to swords longer than regular swords, like bastard swords and greatswords.

I'm inclinded to agree with these points. As a point of curiosity, if short sword were to be preserved as a name, wouldn't weapons like the gladius and fall into that category?
I enjoy re-skinning that "displacer beast hide" nonsense with  "brigandine."  I could see a well-made, tailored brigandine, faced with fine silk velvet and gilt rivets costing 500gp, if that high price needs to be justified for that tier of light armour.

I also re-skin "studded leather" as "mail shirt," "scale mail" as "breastplate," and "ring mail" as "scale armour."  The "splint" and "banded" AC 17 category I rename "reinforced mail," allowing for interpretation as mail augmented with any configuration of coat of plates or solid plate elements along with some rigid or semi-rigid limb defenses.  Dragon Scale I'm cool with for some reason.

In an ideal world, I'd like to see such changes implemented in the core rules, but I doubt we will...

If you have to resort to making offensive comments instead of making logical arguments, you deserve to be ignored.

Anybody know how the side-sword, arming sword, knights sword, spatha, got mis-named long sword?   



I'd imagine it was several parts convenience, + maybe 1 part ignorance. 
Think about it.  If "long sword" were divied up into all those different styles?  The weapons chart would resemble the variety of pole-arms found in 1e.....  Pointless variation/termonology where 1 generic heading & stat line serves well enough, often enough. 
Same for all the odd armour types people like to B&M about.

But in the end?  It doesn't matter.
Why?  Because even though there's alot of similarities between in-game equipment & equipment from throughout our real world history?
The world being described ISN'T the our real one.  So YES, there could well be a classes of swords called long/short swords.  And studded leather armour.  And scale mail.  And _____.  
I like the idea of weapon properties, but disagree with the list presented by OP, especially anything tied to crits. Its really tricky to balance things so that its not too overpowering.
however, the way it is now, with relatively generic weapons is a decent core. Extras like this can be added later, perhaps something similar to the seconday effects of the weapon expertise feats in 4e (without the bonus to attack rolls, obviously).


Could do some interesting things- e.g. anyone using a small weapon like a dagger or short sword gets advantage against an adjacent target who is using a reach weapon. Polearm users could get permanent threatening reach, ect...
"Ha! Rock beats scissors!" "Darn it! Rock is overpowered! I'm not playing this again until the next edition is released!" "C'mon, just one more." "Oh, all right..." "Wait, what is that?" "Its 'Dynamite' from the expanded rules." "Just because you can afford to buy every supplement that comes out..." "Hey, it's completely balanced! You're just a bad DM for not accommodating it."
Show
RPGs are getting more popular, and whenever something gets more popular, it inevitably changes, usually becoming more palatable to the masses. Nintendo is the perfect example. In the old days their games coined the term "Nintendo hard" to extend play time, but they knew their fans were dedicated enough to play anyway. Now they mostly make stuff a five year old can master. That's not necessarily bad, though. Most of those old Nintendo games were infuriating. Likewise, a lot of old RPGs were too complex and irritating for the average person to really get into. Rules light systems are going to get more popular as more people enter the hobby, simply because the new people aren't bound by nostalgia, and would rather play something easy and fun than something that takes a huge amount of effort to learn.
It was asked; scales are woven just like chainmail, though hung "sideways" and a scale replaces about 1/4th of the rings. The scales I use, at least, are leaf shaped with a hole punched out of it; but these are modern, so I don't know how things were done "back in the day". It is a mesh made of rings, technicaly.


And to the actual issue, I want weapons to be mechanically different (damage value, handedness, and such) as well as the groups having unique properties. Your suggestions are a good start, though some are way too powerful (giving advantage vs. all armored targets?) 

Poe's Law is alive and well.


dagger dex3+ vs dex 1d4
thrown dagger dex3+ vs dex 1d4 ranged 20 feet or 4 squares
rapier dex3+ vs dex 1d6

small sword str12+ vs ac 1d8 off-hand attack
large sword str13+ vs ac 1d10 main attack
one or two handed sword str14+ vs ac 1d10 or 1d12
two handed sword str14+ vs ac 2d12
long two-handed blade str12+ vs ac 1d8 AC+1 reach 10 feet or 2 squares

thrown axe str12+ vs ac 1d8 ranged 20 feet or 4 squares
small axe str12+ vs ac 1d10
large axe str13+ vs ac 1d12
two handed axe str14+ vs ac 2d12
long two-handed axe str+12 1d10 AC+1 reach 10 feet or 2 squares

thrown hammer str12+ vs ac 1d8 ranged 20 feet or 4 squares
small hammer str12+ vs ac 1d10
large hammer str13+ vs ac 1d12
two hammer str14+ vs ac axe str vs ac 2d12
long two-handed hammer str+12 1d10 AC+1 reach 10 feet or 2 squares

thrown spear str11+ vs ac 1d6 ranged 40 feet or 6 squares
small spear str10+ vs ac 1d8
large spear str11+ vs ac 1d10
long-two handed spear str+12 vs ac 1d8 AC+1 reach 10 feet or 2 squares

small staff str3+ vs ac 1d4
large staff str10+ vs ac 1d6
long-two handed staff str+11 vs ac 1d8 AC+1 reach 10 feet or 2 squares

shield bash 1d4, knock prone on a 4
gauntlet, armored elbow, or armored knee 1d4, knock prone on a 4

garrot dex vs dex 1d12 requires rogue training
curved blade? -2 when attacking armor and add one die damage

sling str3+ vs ac 1d6 ranged 50 feet or 10 squares

short bow str11+ vs ac 2d8 ranged 40 feet or 8 squares
long bow str12+ vs ac 2d10 ranged 60 feet or 12 squares

hand crossbow dex3+ vs ac 2d8 ranged 40 feet or 8 squares
light crossbow dex3+ vs ac 2d10 ranged 60 feet or 12 squares
heavy crossbow dex3+ vs ac 2d12 ranged 60 feet or 12 squares

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I purpose a natural armor scale like this.

AC 11 is no armor
AC 12 padded armor
AC 13 leather armor
AC 14 chain armor
AC 15 scale armor
AC 16 banded armor
AC 17 plate armor

small wooden shield AC+1 required strength 10
medium wooden shield AC+2 required strength 11
small metal shield AC+3 required strength 12
medium metal shield AC+4 required strength 13

large shield - not for adventuring but is attacked at disadvantage

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When it comes to sowrds, the only real issue is slot filling.

Weapons and armor is the only part of D&D when filling a role matters.

So
One handed finesse slashing sword 1d6
Two handed finesse slashing sword 1d8
One handed finesse piercing sword 1d6
Two handed finesse piercing sword 1d8
One handed martial slashing sword 1d8
Two handed martial slashing sword 1d10
Two handed heavy slashing sword 1d12

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

Good take on the armor but,

drop the medium armor category like 4E and give gradual penalty to skills(or ability check).

it's better to have -1,-2,-3,-4, etc, not; in this armor you are a ninja stalker and in 5lb heavier you're a one-man-music show.

My read on D&D 5th edition so far has been that the game is trying to move away from modifiers like that. Instead skill penalty modifiers of -1, -2, -3, etcetera, we are seeing Disadvantage being applied when the character is being stealthy. I kept to that idea in the armour proposal.



Your read is good but, one size doesn't fit all.

We use 'Coup de Grace' and 'Melee' (without accents) in D&D. Are we ready for 'Chain Maille'?


Chain maille feels like a bad english-french mix !
And I thought the correct term was mail or mail armor, and not chainmail or chain maille.

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.

Personally I'm good with either, what I'd like to see it every weapon has a purpose and is unique. Such as having a small effect on it like Brutal, defensive, high crit that gives you a reason to use the weapon. Kinda like 4e had but a little more uniqueness behind it all. And i do agree with changing the damage die around so almost no 2 weapons deal the same damage, at least within the same catagory.
Chain maille feels like a bad english-french mix !

I can say the same thing about 'Melee Combat', but that gets a pass because we forget to put the accents on (Mêlée).
I buy my chainmail with the money I get out of the ATM Machine with my PIN Number.
Redundancy department of redundancy now open for business.



The few (historical)examples of metal Scale armour I have seen used leather or canvas backing or were lamellar (laced scales, such that scales are attached to each other, rather than a backing).
The hypothetical Lorica Plumata was scales over a chain backing... but I've never seen it confirmed.
In effect it would be much heavier mail with better thrust guard and deflection... and a much harder job of cleaning and maintaining.

 Studded Leather is cute, The art and pseudo history it's original inclusion was based on is laughable, however if we boil it back to the idea of Reinforced Leather it's very much there... in fact,  armour made from a leather jack or coat with bits of bone, horn, stone or metal added to certain key points spans from Iberia to East Asia, Siberia to the Sudan and across centuries.
I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.
Anybody know how the side-sword, arming sword, knights sword, spatha, got mis-named long sword?   



I'd imagine it was several parts convenience, + maybe 1 part ignorance. 
Think about it.  If "long sword" were divied up into all those different styles?  The weapons chart would resemble the variety of pole-arms found in 1e.....  Pointless variation/termonology where 1 generic heading & stat line serves well enough, often enough. 


Not advocating that the swords called longswords/are functionally the same as bastardswords are prettymuch a two hander and only slightly heavier in most cases than a Katana.. ie I would just call those non-long swords .... just swords.

 

   And studded leather armour.


Which is intrinsically worse than real leather armor... because studs catch the weapon and channel the damage in to its wearer... 
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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."

 


If they only differentiate Armours based on their AC+ , most players will end up choosing the same type according to his/her finances and all the armours in the table will be the steps you have to go through before you get to Full Plate. 

What I would love more to see more in standard issue weapons and armor is to stop being a linear choice, but involve some amount of decision-making by the player, depending on what his fighting style is, or what enemies he faces. DEX maximums is a nice way to spin things, Weight and Encumberance is another, but if you have a low DEX you are not going to think twice, for what armour you're going for. 

I think one of the things that can fix that for armours is add Damage Reduction. 

a) Ιt feels more realistic. Armour is supposed to make you harder to hit but another aspect is making a heavy hit a less serious one. The current combat mechanics say that you were either not hit *at all* or if it hits is full damage. A few in between levels will make it sound more realistic, and especially remind the player what a good thing armour is in every step. Plus it makes a high DEX swashbuckler fighter, feel more different than a armorclad knight. 

b) Since Mike Mearls has put the emphasis on Hit Points as an advancement mechanic - it would make sense that higher level characters would have access to more damage reduction methods as they advance and armour is a very good way to do that. 

Plus this may also a good way to add to the historical accuracy mix.
Chain mail was very good in trapping arrows and pearcing weapons in its links but couldn't do much against bludgeoning damage (that used to be an optional rule in AD&D )
So you could have for example - as GodofMilk put it:

Chain shirt / 50 gp / 13 + Dex mod. (max 4) / DR 5/ DR 10 vs Piercing / –5 feet / — / 25 lbs.

That would put some choice without making it too complex.



Chain Armor is better at defending against piercing damage, a fine idea.

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I won't get into the weapons, as they're in better shape in their current form (and I think this thread is taking on a bit too much at once to try and address both).

As for armor... hoo, boy.  Angrygodofmilk, you seem to be building an armor list for a different game, definitely something pre-4e.  I'm pretty sure the fact that each category of armor has a set Dex bonus, Speed penalty, and Disadvantage state, are design goals/aesthetics that the devs will not (and, IMO, probably should not) abandon.  The intention is clearly to have light armor generally behave one way, medium another, and heavy yet another, without all the variance you're introducing.  Admittedly, I've tinkered with the armor list quite a bit myself and some of the results I came up with deregulated things like Disadvantage and Speed penalty from armor category, but I tried to stick to Dex-bonus-by-category, and any deviations in those other places were a result of adding extra layers to the armor system via properties (e.g. materials or manner of construction, like banded or scale armor made from hide/leather).  Ultimately, I doubt we'll see anything like that, and I'm okay with that.  Likewise, I doubt even more that we'll see something like what you're proposing.

This is a super minor nitpick, but I don't care for the "coat" language.  In my mind, "Scale coat" is almost, if not quite, as silly as "Scale mail," so just call it "Scale" (implying "Scale armor," in the same way "Banded" implies "Banded armor").  Same thing goes for "Hide coat," the second word is supefluous, just call it "Hide."  As for "Plated coat," pick Splint or Banded, or something else all together, or just label it "Banded / Splint" to indicate the listed stats encompass both armor types.

I like the classification of armors as Leather, Linked, or Plate, though I'm not sure about the implementation.  I did something similar in one of my own tinkerings with the armor list, but I had different armor types appear in different categories, so one type of "Leather" armor might be Light while another might be Medium (just an example).  Your method of tying each to a category is definitely cleaner and more straightforward, I'm just not sure that it makes that much sense using the categories as they appear to be intended in 5e -- an intention I'm also not sure your categories reflect.  Your categories are more qualitative (based on how the armor is constructed), whereas the categories in the playtest are more quantitative (based on the numerical effect the armor has on the wearers mobility).  From a gameplay standpoint at least, I think the latter makes more sense.  Grouping armors together by materials/construction is idea for applying cross-category properties, but I don't think it's quite as effective for determining proficiency -- again, at least from a gameplay standpoint.

Anyway, here is one of the absolute simplest revised armor lists I came up with awhile back:

Armor         /        Price        /  Armor Class (AC)     / Speed   / Stealth          /  Weight
Light
   Leather       /      10 gp       /   11 + Dex modifier       /  --           /  --                     / 15 lb.
   Hide          /       500 gp      /   12 + Dex modifier       /  --           /  --                     / 25 lb.
   Mithral Chain  /   5,000 gp  /   13 + Dex modifier      /   --           /  --                     / 10 lb.
Medium
   Ringmail      /     25 gp        /  13 + Dex mod (max 2) /  --           /  --                     / 25 lb.
   Scale          /      500 gp      /  14 + Dex mod (max 2) /  --           /  --                     / 30 lb.
   Lamellar     /  5,000 gp       /  15 + Dex mod (max 2) /  --           /  --                     / 45 lb.
Heavy
   Brigandine    /    40 gp        /  14                               /  -5           /  Disadvantage  / 35 lb.
   Chainmail     /     75 gp        /  15                               /  -5           /  Disadvantage  / 40 lb.
   Banded        /     250 gp      /  16                               /  -5           /  Disadvantage  / 45 lb.
   Splint           /     500 gp      /  17                               /  -5           /  Disadvantage  / 45 lb.
   Plate            /     5,000 gp   /  18                               /  -5           /  Disadvantage  / 50 lb.
Shield
   Light Shield    /   10 gp        /  +1                              /  --             --                        3 lb.
   Heavy Shield   /  25 gp        /  +2 (Dex mod max 2?) / -5?          Disadvantage?    7 lb.
 

Basically, I got rid of the more exotic materials (except mithral, though I'd happily ditch that too), and of course gave studded leather the boot.  Since ringmail is the only thing remotely close to what studded leather was intended to represent (bits of metal on the surface of a leather backing), I put that in its place (having ringmail as heavy armor was just silly).  I was at a loss as to what to put in ringmail's formor spot -- heavy armor that's also cheap? -- but I settled on studded leather's other possible real-world counterpart, Brigandine, though in this case I'm intending it as a full suit like some eastern societies used; an entire robe/coat + pantaloons with metal plates woven in would be pretty heavy and awkward to wear, but less expensive (and less effective) than a similarly heavy and awkward suit of mail, so I think it works.  I then bumped Banded down a notch so that it wouldn't be Splint in all but name (though I could see bumping Splint down instead), which also bumped Chainmail down to conveniently fill the empty "AC 15" gap.  (Someone suggested putting Breastplate in the AC 15 spot, and I could see doing that instead and just dropping Splint altogether.)  Lastly, I also gave two iterations of shield (I think more than two would be overkill), though I'm still not settled on the stats yet.

So is this excatly what I'd like to see from the armor list?  No.  Is it close, and at least acceptable?  Yes.

"I want 'punch magic in the face' to be a maneuver." -- wrecan

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