2D4 Begone: The CONSSo what are the downsides to removing the 2d4 damage die size?
Here are a couple potential problems that I can see. Please let me know if you have any I should add! 1)
Removing the 2d4 damage die reduces variety.
It should be mentioned that since the 2d4 damage die only exists with 2-handed weapons, it's only the 2-handers that suffer from this.
Still, one example I can think of is the Greatclub
Currently it is a Mace, and does +2 2d4.
This is actually a decent fit, as it does less damage than the Morningstar and more damage than the Quarterstaff.
When removing the 2d4, we have to make a choice.
Change it to +2 1d8 or +1d10.
Personally, I put it at 1d8.
My reasoning is that the design of the Greatclub seems to suggest it's meant as a measuring post for a 'big old piece o'sumthin' you would smack something with if left with no other choice. It isn't really designed to be the main weapon damage dealer of any character.
Besides, there is the Morningstar already which is also a Mace and seems to fit that role for characters who are only proficient with Simple weapons.
If we were to change it to 1D10, now it would do the same damage as the Morningstar and our new Scythe (thought it did do the same damage as the Scythe before, which was a little wierd...).
That aside, what it really comes down to is....
Would you sacrifice better balanced weapons for a little variety only available to 2-handers?
Personally I wouldn't, as much as I love my variety. But that's just me.2)
Removing the 2d4 now creates a +2 1D10 Glaive. This may potentially be an issue, especially for current Polearm lovers.
Mechanically, it would do the exact
same damage as the current Halberd and Longspear.
But when you combine that with the Heavy Blade feats, a few Fighter class features, and Polearm Gamble some people would now consider the new Glaive a 'must-have' weapon that any D&D player would pick over other Polearms.
I don't believe that is true, however. Let me tell you why.
A popular build right now is the Opportunity Attack Optimized Polearm Fighter.
You can read one of the many examples here
I want to keep this relatively short, so I'll let you read them if you want the exact details.
Basically, the idea is to try and get as many OA's as you can (such as when you have Polearm Gamble and an enemy approaches you) and to keep things away from you (using the Fighter's Combat Superiority).
It should be noted that any Fighter
can pull off this trick with any Polearm.
.. it is just more optimized with Blade Opportunity (+2 to hit w/OAs) and Heavy Blade Opportunist (using at-wills w/ OAs).
Therefore, if the Glaive did the same damage as the Halbard and Longspear many people think it would be unbalanced.
But here's the problem, as I see it.
In order to use this build, you need a few things....
-You must have high ratings in Strength, Dexterity, and Wisdom
be a Fighter
spend 2 extra feats
intend to optimize specifically for OAs
These are all variables, and you cannot
guarantee every player will make these choices. Therefore, you cannot balance the base weapon design around them.
What if I'm not a Fighter, but want to use a Polearm? Is the new Glaive still an overwhelming choice?
If I want to optimize my situational OAs, sure. And only then if I can afford a higher Dexterity.
But what if I want to optimize for damage? In that case, the Halbard is the obvious choice as Deady Axe adds High Crit.
What if Dexterity and/or Wisdom are one of my dump stats? I won't even qualify.
What if I have a bunch of other feats I'd rather take instead of Blade Opportunist and Heavy Blade Opportunity?
Even if I am a Fighter, what if I prefer the Axe or Spear powers instead?
Heck, what if I just don't like the flavor of the Glaive?
What if my GM always plays tactically and almost never
lets me get any Opportunity Attacks?
See what I'm getting at?
Personally I think a +2 1d10 Glaive would not be unbalanced.
It's just very good when optimizing for a very specific trick using a very specific build of a specific class.
Is that a big enough problem to justify "nerfing" the weapon for everyone else
who uses it?3)
When removing the 2d4 damage die it could mean we have to change a bunch of creature stats as well, because they do 2d4 damage.
This could be a problem and a hassle... but I actually think the modular design of 4e really works in our favor.
See, in 4e Monsters aren't built like PCs.
They have their own specific rules.
As well, we aren't getting rid of 2d4 damage everywhere
, just on the 2-handed damage chart.
There should be no problem whatsoever in leaving the current monster stats as they are.
Even if the PCs should happen to slay a monster and want to steal his gear you could easily convert it to the current equivalent and be done with it.