Sunday, February 1, 2015

D&D 5e: Combat & Tactics inspired weapon properties

Here's a little draft of what I was thinking of in my previous post.  I've just taken the combat stuff from the basic rules and added in a few bits in red. The formatting is pretty janky, but eff that. You can see the basics, despite any typos.

I'm calling this System I, the most complex system of properties. System I uses the most weapon properties, including a number of +1 bonuses or penalties. It is more detailed than the simpler system II or basic system, but may be less efficient in play. The DM must broadly describe the physical appearance of humanoid opponents so players know when they can apply these bonuses or penalties. These minor bonuses or penalties may make some weapons more or less desirable in certain situations, so a well-armed warrior will want to switch weapons based on his opponents. Given this, the DM should have few qualms about sundering equipment, and the mending cantrip may see much more use. If mending cannot fix a magic weapon, you may rule that a magic weapon can only be sundered by a more powerful magic weapon (i.e. a rare +2 could sunder an uncommon +1), choose a different piece of equipment to sunder (reducing the effectiveness of non-magic armor or damaging a backpack) or rule an item which ought to be sundered–but cannot be–is instead disarmed. Or some other alternate effect.

Name                          Cost           Damage                                    Weight      Properties
Simple Melee Weapons
Club                             1 sp            1d4 bludgeoning                       2 lb.           Light
Dagger                        2 gp           1d4 piercing                             1 lb.           Close-quarters, finesse, focus (Arcane), light, thrown (range 20/60), quick
Parrying Dagger      5gp           1d4 piercing                         1 lb.          Close-quarters, finesse, light, defensive, quick
Greatclub                    2 sp            1d8 bludgeoning                       10 lb.         Two-handed
Handaxe                      5 gp           1d6 slashing                              2 lb.           Light, thrown (range 20/60)
Javelin                         5 sp            1d6 piercing                             2 lb.           Close-quarters, thrown (range 30/120)
Light hammer            2 gp           1d4 bludgeoning                       2 lb.           Light, thrown (range 20/60)
Mace                           5 gp           1d6 bludgeoning                       4 lb.           Armor-piercing (medium)
Quarterstaff                2 sp            1d6 bludgeoning                       4 lb.           Focus (Arcane, Druidic), ineffective (heavy), versatile (1d8)
Sap                              1 sp          1d6 bludgeoning                  1 lb.          Finesse, light, subduing
Sickle                          1 gp           1d4 slashing                              2 lb.           Focus (Druidic), Light
Spear                           1 gp           1d6 piercing                             3 lb.           Close-quarters, set-for-charge, thrown (range 20/60), versatile (1d8)
Unarmed strike                        1 bludgeoning                                        

Simple Ranged Weapons
Crossbow, light           25 gp         1d8 piercing                             5 lb.           Ammunition (range 80/320), loading, two-handed
Dart                             5 cp           1d4 piercing                             1/4 lb.       Finesse, thrown (range 20/60)
Shortbow                    25 gp         1d6 piercing                             2 lb.           Ammunition (range 80/320), two-handed
Sling                            1 sp            1d4 bludgeoning                                     Ammunition (range 30/120)

Martial Melee Weapons
Battleaxe                    10 gp         1d8 slashing                              4 lb.           Sundering, versatile (1d10)
Estoc                          30 gp        1d8 piercing                         3 lb.          Close-quarters, finesse, armor-piercing (heavy, medium)
Flail                             10 gp         1d8 bludgeoning                       2 lb.           Disarming, tripping, wrap-around
Guisarme                  20 gp        1d8 piercing                         6 lb.          Close-quarters, heavy, reach, set-for-charge, tripping, two-handed
Glaive                          20 gp         1d10 slashing                            6 lb.           Heavy, reach, set-for-charge, two-handed
Greataxe                     30 gp         1d12 slashing                            7 lb.           Heavy, sundering, two-handed
Greatsword                 50 gp         2d6 slashing                              6 lb.           Armor-piercing (heavy, medium), heavy, two-handed
Halberd                       20 gp         1d10 slashing or piercing     6 lb.           Armor-piercing (heavy, medium), heavy, reach, set-for-charge, two-handed
Lance                          10 gp         1d12 piercing                           6 lb.           Reach, special
Longsword                  15 gp         1d8 slashing or piercing       3 lb.           Versatile (1d10)
Maul                            10 gp         2d6 bludgeoning                       10 lb.         Heavy, two-handed
Morningstar                15 gp         1d8 piercing                             4 lb.           Armor-piercing (heavy)
Pike                             5 gp           1d10 piercing                           18 lb.         Close-quarters, heavy, reach, set-for-charge, two-handed
Rapier                         25 gp         1d8 piercing                             2 lb.           Close-quarters, finesse, ineffective (heavy)
Ranseur                     X gp          1d8 piercing                         10 lb.        Close-quarters, defensive, heavy, reach, set-for-charge, two-handed
Scimitar                      25 gp         1d6 slashing                              3 lb.           Finesse, light
Scourge                     5 gp          1d6 slashing                          2 lb.          Disarming, finesse, ineffective (heavy, medium), wrap-around
Shortsword                 10 gp         1d6 piercing                             2 lb.           Close-quarters, finesse, light
Trident                        5 gp           1d6 piercing                             4 lb.           Close-quarters, thrown (range 20/60), versatile (1d8)
War pick                     5 gp           1d8 piercing                             2 lb.           Armor-piercing (heavy)
Warhammer               15 gp         1d8 bludgeoning                       2 lb.           Versatile (1d10)
Whip                            2 gp           1d4 slashing                              3 lb.           Disarming, ineffective (heavy, medium), finesse, reach, tripping, wrap-around

Martial Ranged Weapons
Blowgun                      10 gp         1 piercing                                 1 lb.           Ammunition (range 25/100), ineffective (heavy, medium), loading
Crossbow, hand          75 gp         1d6 piercing                             3 lb.           Ammunition (range 30/120), light, loading
Crossbow, heavy        50 gp         1d10 piercing                           18 lb.         Ammunition (range 100/400), armor-piercing (heavy), heavy, loading, two-handed
Longbow                     50 gp         1d8 piercing                             2 lb.           Ammunition (range 150/600), heavy, two-handed
Net                              1 gp                                                         3 lb.           special, thrown (range 5/15)

New Properties:
Armor-piercing. This weapon provides a +1 bonus to hit opponents wearing the apropriate class of armor (heavy, medium, or light).

Close-quarters. This weapon can be used without penalty in tight spaces, underwater, or in close formation.

Defensive. This weapon provides a +1 bonus to your armor class as though it were a shield when it is wielded in your off hand (or two-handed). You can benefit from only one defensive weapon at a time, and cannot combine this bonus with a shield.

Disarming. This weapon provides a +1 bonus to rolls to disarm an opponent. Additionally, when you score a critical hit you may disarm your opponent in lieu of doing additional damage.

Focus. This weapon can be used as a focus for appropriate spellcasters (Arcane, Divine, Druidic).

Ineffective. This weapon has a -1 penalty to hit opponents wearing the appropriate class of armor (heavy, medium, or light).

Quick. When you are being grappled or a larger opponent otherwise moves into your space, you may use your reaction to make a free attack.

Set-for-charge. When you ready this weapon for an attack and an opponent moves at least 10 feet to within your reach, your readied attack is considered a critical hit if it hits.

Subduing. When you attack to subdue with this weapon, you knock the target out if they are reduced to less than two hit points for each of your levels (i.e. 6 hit points or less when you are level 3).

Sundering. This weapon provides a +1 bonus to rolls to break an opponents weapon or shield. On a critical hit, in lieu of dealing additional damage you may destroy an opponents shield.

Tripping. This weapon provides a +1 bonus to rolls to push an opponent, but only when pushing them prone. Additionally, when you score a critical hit you may push a two-legged opponent prone in lieu of doing additional damage.

Wrap-around. This weapon provides a +1 bonus to hit opponents using shields or behind cover.

So what about that System II? You get it by removing armor-piercing, ineffective, and wrap-around. System II abandons a few of the options that might drag down play in system I, notably the minor bonuses or penalties of weapon vs armor type. This should result in a slightly more detailed game than the basic rules, but may make weapon choice still a bit more exciting.

I'm still looking at a few of the consequences of this system. For example, you may see the Longsword now can also do piercing damage (but doesn't get the close-quarters property). This is because the otherwise identical axe now gets sundering. So its still a bit of an exercise in grid-filling and doing what you can to distinguish each weapon here. There's probably a couple other oddities that I didn't notice yet and probably should fix, but this is quite worked out compared to the previous musings. But the basic rules have this too: no point in choosing a sickle when you could have a hand-axe. Which made me think maybe a couple weapons could have the Arcane Focus, Divine Focus, or Druidic/Primal focus too, meaning a druid just might pick a sickle as a weapon. Its not much, but that's pretty much why the sickle is an option, no? So make it explicit in a few places. But there's probably a few more weapon pairs that could be distinguished a bit more.

1 comment:

  1. Reflecting on this a bit, I might remove the defensive property (and a couple associated new weapons). I think it worked when you needed to spend a feat on it, but +1 to AC is kinda big in 5e. If you brought back an AD&D style weapon proficiency system (rather than just "all weapons") it might work as those would then be meaningful choices, but going off of the new PHB this defensive property might be too much.