4e Weapon Roleplay Question

18 posts / 0 new
Last post

First, let me say thanks to any responses I am able to get. I appreciate the help! 

I am getting ready for a campaign on Friday (first real long term campaign so I am excited). I want to play a rogue, but the only justifiable light weapon to use is a rapier if I don't want daggers (I try not to refluff otherwise I feel like it invalidates choosing in the first place). My problem is, I imagined playing as a lightly armored swordsman, similar to a swashbuckler, but I prefer weapons that are more like longswords and can be used for both piercing and slashing attacks.

Are there any specific instances of rapiers in d&d that work more similar to a broadsword rather than just being used for lunge attacks? Rapiers throughout history have varied so much, I don't know how to imagine d&d setting rapiers to look. Thanks for any advice/input you can give me!

This is an entirely roleplay specific issue by the way. Just trying to make a character I am excited about and can continue for quite some time. Unfortunately rapiers/daggers don't do much for me when looking at the ones pictured in the 4e players handbook.

i would advise that you reconsider your position on refluffing- consider this:

 

Whenever you select an option for a character you're really making two decisions- a fluff (roleplay) decision and a mechanical decision-

The mehanical decision is "What bonuses do i want? What requisites do i need to fulfill? What will allow my character to function in an optimal way?"

The roleplay decision is "How do i image my character fighting? What elements fit into his shtick/personality?"

 

Currently you're experiencing a conflict between these two elements, because you are set on a rapier's stats being a rapier and a longsword's stats being a longsword- because you're thinking of the above decisions as being one and the same. By mentally seperating them, you can turn them into two meaningful decisions- "what is my character using mechanically?" and "What is my character using conceptually?" nothing is invalidated because they both have their place... using a rapier for it's stats is valid mechanically, and using a longsword for an engaging flavor is valid narratively- they don't invalidate eachother- in fact in order to fully satisfy both questions with the optimal answer, such refluffing could be considered necessary.

Furthermore- it isn't even neccesarily "refluffing"

1. The Stats of each weapon represent a specific way of using them (Look at the terminology, your ability to use a weapon's stats comes from "proficency" or training in how to properly use the weapon)

2. Your character isn't proficent in longsword fighting (or if he is, he isn't using it) because what he does isn't longsword fighting

3. He is utilizing his proficency in swashbuckling rapier-esque combat

3. Therefore- it may be better to use the stats of a rapier while using the longsword to reflect this.

Finally, doing so actually more accurately depicts your character then mechanically going with the longsword for the sake of roleplaying- primarily because your character is supposed to be excellent at what he does- so he should be no worse from a roleplay standpoint then any other swordsman- mechanically taking the better option and refluffing is the best way to depict this distinction "he may be using a longsword, but he uses it as though it were a rapier"

 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/8.jpg)

Thanks for the response!

I guess I feel on a personal level, I should have to make choices with consequences, and by using rapier stats but saying he uses a longsword makes me feel like I'm not making a choice but rather bending the game to my own benefit. I just have difficulty justifying that (I know it shouldn't be a big deal, in my mind I just seem to struggle with it). Anyone have info about rapier with cutting edges, or what specifically qualifies as a rapier in 4e? The picture in 3.5 looked more like a saber, but the 4e picture resembles what most people tradtionally consider a rapier. 

Were there rapiers that are slightly wider (2-2.5inch blade width) that could be used for slashing as well as piercing? 

well if you don't like the reflavoring idea... how about you simply have it be a rapier- but a custom made rapier created for slashing rather than poking that looks exactly how you like, maybe even come up with a neat story about how your character aquired it.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/8.jpg)

Thanks, that is an idea I had thought about. When I google rapiers, there seems to be a wide variety of styles, blade widths, and blades. I can never tell which style is the D&D style of rapier or if all of them are considered acceptable. I hate being picky, but I'm borderline ocd about character concepts.

rmc115 wrote:

Thanks, that is an idea I had thought about. When I google rapiers, there seems to be a wide variety of styles, blade widths, and blades. I can never tell which style is the D&D style of rapier or if all of them are considered acceptable. I hate being picky, but I'm borderline ocd about character concepts.

 

all of them are acceptable- including any you make up, that is one thing that is absolutely not dictated by the book- it's the reason Katanas aren't their own seperate thing (as far as i'm aware, you're supposed to use a longsword)

 

IDEA! how about a giant's rapier? a giant would use it to poke things normally but in your hands, it's an awesome broadsword-esque slashing weapon... but is still technically a rapier?

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/8.jpg)

 Never try to mix real-world logic, verisimilitude or simulation with D&D - whatever you're attempting will fail, because the game was never designed to be that in-depth nor can it handle attempting to do so. Real-world historical weapon usage has nothing to do with how weapons function mechanically in D&D.

In 4E, there is no such thing as a slashing or piercing weapon. There are only specific weapon groups which are defined by their mechanical rules statistics, rather than by how they look or how they're used. You can have a rapier that both slashes and pierces, a shortsword that both cuts and stabs, and you don't need to have two seperate weapons to do both... Any illustration in the player's handbooks are simply that - illustrations meant to spark the imagination and inform those who may not be familiar with weapons, not definitive rules on how the weapon must appear.

 As far back as the 1st Edition Player's Handbook, more than 30 years ago, (which actually did have rules for different types of slashing, piercing and bludgeoning weapons), it specifically stated that each particular weapon in the game actually represents a generic archetype of a weapon, and that players should feel free to define their own particular weapon however they want within that framework. A longsword could be called a katana, a tai chi sword, a knight's sword or anything else that the player wanted, and it made no difference mechanically. A rapier, saber, epee or any other dueling and/or fencing-style weapon - even one that's simply made up by you and the DM - is covered by the rapier's game statistics since it represents any bladed weapon longer than a shortsword whose light weight and design call for a more finesse-oriented style of use, relying on speed, quckness and dexterity as well as the sharpness or pointiness of the blade rather than weight and force to do damage.

 

 Literally, a weapon in 4E D&D is a set of game statistics - a weapon group, a couple of weapon properties, a proficiency bonus and a damage die. Anything beyond that is completely undefined as far as the rules-as-written are concerned. Just imagine your rapier as a fencing saber - which is nothing more than a particularly thin one-edged longsword, since it has a blade running the entire length as well as a sharp point.

 

Show

I am the Magic Man.

(Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.)

 

I am the Lawnmower Man.

(I AM GOD HERE!)

 

I am the Skull God.

(Koo Koo Ka Choo)

 

There are reasons they call me Mad...

rmc115 wrote:
I guess I feel on a personal level, I should have to make choices with consequences, and by using rapier stats but saying he uses a longsword makes me feel like I'm not making a choice but rather bending the game to my own benefit.
This stuck out to me. What's wrong with bending the game to your benefit? The goal is to have fun, right? If you change the game such that it's more fun for you and doesn't diminish anyone else's enjoyment of the game, is that bad? I'm asking sincerely.

rmc115 wrote:

Thanks, that is an idea I had thought about. When I google rapiers, there seems to be a wide variety of styles, blade widths, and blades. I can never tell which style is the D&D style of rapier or if all of them are considered acceptable. I hate being picky, but I'm borderline ocd about character concepts.

There is no fixed D&D style of rapier - the only thing D&D tells us about the rapier is the stats. From there, you can describe it as any kind of historic rapier if you wish, or, as everyone else has pointed out, any other kind of weapon or melee attack.

I think this whole idea is silly and you should just be a goblin vampire. 

 

 

I was just tussling with this same question for my character, it just doesn't seem like a scout would use a rapier bc it isn't useful for cutting down vegetation or fighting beasts. I personally wanted to be able to fix the sword to still be light and accurate with slashing. I looked at "hanger," riding sword, back sword, cutlass, and "cut and thrust." 

I am sure you saw this article in your google searches: http://www.thearma.org/Youth/rapieroutline.htm

And here's some more info from the same site.
http://www.thearma.org/terms4.htm#Medieval%20&%20Renaissance%20Sword%20Forms%20and%20Companion%20Implements

sirthomas, did you ever come up with a solution?

 

Yeah I am cool with "backsword." You might prefer sabre or cutlass,  Those choices feels like a suitable replacement for the rapier fluff that might still use the same mechanics.

http://www.thearma.org/essays/thrusting_vs_cutting.html

I had a similar problem once with Panartias – the namesake for my account here. My concept was a Jack of all trades character starting as a fighter, changing to thief and finally to mage. And I envisioned him as a Swashbuckler. The only problem was there weren’t any Swashbucklers or rapiers back in 2ed (at least in the basic books). So I gave him a narrow long sword with an elaborate hand guard and called it a rapier. Later I found a sentence in the forgotten Realms supplement supporting my view along the lines of “These noblemen use rapiers (treat as long swords)”. Later again the supplement “The Complete Fighter’s Handbook” came out and it had Swashbucklers as one of the fighter-kids and “new” weapons  - among them rapier and sabre. It turned out, I had done a good job creating my own Swashbuckler – I had fulfilled all the requirements  - all that was left to do was to grab the benefits the kid offered. Only I couldn’t decide what stats (rapier or sabre) to use for my long sword/rapier. After pondering this for some time (and researching weapons), I decided to keep the long swords stats since the weapon my character specialized in was an early rapier with a weight like a long sword and used for slashing/cutting as well as thrusting/piercing. This resulted in a slightly higher damage but slightly higher speed factor as well, so everything balanced out.

So long story short: Feel free to customize or re-flavor. As has been shown there is a wide variety even among one weapon type!

Panartias, ladies-man and Jack of all trades about his professions:

"Once, I was a fighter -

to conquer the heart of a beautiful lady.

Then I became a thief -

- to steal myself a kiss from her lips.

And finally, I became a mage -

- to enchant her face with a smile."

I just found my design for the longsword-rapier. One square (grid) is one square inch. The character in the background I did for size-comparison.

Panartias, ladies-man and Jack of all trades about his professions:

"Once, I was a fighter -

to conquer the heart of a beautiful lady.

Then I became a thief -

- to steal myself a kiss from her lips.

And finally, I became a mage -

- to enchant her face with a smile."

rmc115: If you want a rapier-style weapon with cutting edge from history you should probably have a look at the Bolognese sword.

A typical example I think is: http://www.hroarr.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/regenyei-peter-bolognese-feder.jpg

Sign In to post comments