View Full Version : Weapon Type based on Culture

2007-03-17, 07:44 PM
I was thinking that it might be cool to change how weapons are classified based on culture. Like how some weapons are simple, some are martial, and others are exotic.

For example, in an Oriental flavored nation things like nunchaku and Kamas might be simple weapons; while a warhammer or great sword might be exotic.

In a society of horse archers, bows would be basic because every young bow learns how to use a bow. Yet crossbows are exotic because they aren't part of that culture's technology or knowledge.

This can also cover things like how all elves know how to use a longbow or dwarves seem to be better able to learn how to use a waraxe.

So basically, for ever world culture and/or race you could have a different set of simple, martial, and exotic weapons.

2007-03-17, 07:52 PM
Isn't this more about homebrew than Gaming?

2007-03-17, 08:50 PM
Isn't this more about homebrew than Gaming?

Everybody makes mistakes...

2007-03-17, 09:07 PM
True, but the OP should ask for the tread to be moved.

On topic, I think the idea would be good, but it should only involve at most 4 weapons per race, or else it gets a bit complicated.

2007-03-17, 09:23 PM
Elves already have this covered by their extra proficiencies, and dwarves by their racial treated as martial clause. It's an alright idea to bat with, sure, but it should be relatively limited. In general, anything labeled as "simple" should stay there. Mainly because it's in that category because anyone can use it functionally if they can wield it at all. However, swapping certain martials with certain exotics could be played with. Still, I think the best way to truly represent this is with "culture sets." This could be done more like a flaw/merit point-buy system, in the sense that (pending DM approval w/backstory) you can take an EWP in exchange for not being proficient with certain martial weapons. Still, if it's a home-campaign and you just want to run with it, then run with it!

2007-03-17, 09:25 PM
It opens itself up massively for abuse.

"Yes, but my character was raised in a society where the spiked chain was used as a skipping rope, so it MUST be a simple weapon."

2007-03-17, 09:40 PM
It opens itself up massively for abuse.

"Yes, but my character was raised in a society where the spiked chain was used as a skipping rope, so it MUST be a simple weapon."

Chances are, DM would dictate cultural weapons. Moreso if it was a homebrew world.

2007-03-18, 09:18 AM
Consider using the Weapon Proficiency Groups, they pretty much cover what you are asking for.

2007-03-19, 08:27 PM
Well theres a couple weapons that I never really understood why they were martial to begin with, mainly the sap or greatclub. The sap cant possibly be used in any other way than a club, and I assume the greatclub just for mechanical reasons.

2007-03-19, 11:32 PM
It opens itself up massively for abuse.

"Yes, but my character was raised in a society where the spiked chain was used as a skipping rope, so it MUST be a simple weapon."

Again, the DM can just tell the player to sit down and shut up.

and i would only consider using the rule if everyone was going to take it seriously and not abuse it

PnP Fan
2007-03-20, 01:03 PM
If you look at many of the "exotic" weapons, they arent' exotic just because they come from another culture. They are exotic because they have some nifty special ability that takes them a step beyond martial weapons. For example, the bastard sword can do d10 damage in one hand, if you take the EWP. Normally damage in the d10 to d12 range is reserved for two handed weapons. Ranged trip attack for the whip. There are others, I just don't have my book handy.
So, just be careful if you do this that you aren't giving some cultures a disproportionate advantage over other cultures. I wouldn't go beyond extra martial proficiencies myself if I were going to do this.

2007-03-20, 01:38 PM
For the most part I think the weapons catagories make sense across all cultures. Crossbows are simple weapons because they can be used by almost anyone with very little if any training (historicaly it was known that conscripted pesents could be given a ~10min explanation and demonstration and then serve as a crossbow unit). It doesnt mean the weapons were necessarily used well (thats where BAB comes in), but it is unlikely that anyone picking up a simply weapon will be incapable of making it work or hurting themselves in the attempt.

Along those lines, anyone trained in martial combat, like a professional soldier, can function with the slightly more difficult to use (often do to size, unwieldy balance, shear mass, etc) weapons of war.

The exotic weapons have so many individual querks that no single area of training can cover them all. Even if you grow up in a feudal eastern society a nunchaku requires specific and extensive training to use with any effectivness and without possing a serious risk to the user and nearby friends.

I agree with the previous sentiment that you could brobably better represent the regional availability/prevalance of weapons with bonus feats/proficiencies. For instance in your hourse-bow example give everyone from that region the shortbow proficiency (like elves with longswords). This way the difficulty/training needed to use a shortbow is still represented, but your also representing that "every boy learns to shoot from birth."

2007-03-22, 01:18 AM
I agree with PNP- the groupings are designed to reserve the better weapons for the fighting classes. That's why a hand crossbow (or repeating crossbow) is exotic, because they're all basically point and shoot. I've never wielded either in real combat, but I don't think that there's that big a difference between using an axe (martial) and a mace (simple).

I disagree with Orthelos' example if not his entire argument. I understood the nunchaku and most of the polearms are refinements of common farming implements. They were commonly used because peasant farmers could easily understand thier use and quickly adapt them to combat.

Directly on topic, however, I think that the RAW specifically authorize cultural variants. On the last page of the race section it specifically mentions that if your dwarf (or elf etc) did not grow up in their native culture they would not pick up the cultural traits, but they should be substituted with something appropriate. For example, if your mounted archery culture humans may have to give up their extra feat, their bonus skill points (they spend time learning to fire short bows) or perhaps they only have 20' of movment, because they ride everywhere.