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    Default Weapons feel too weak? [D&D 3.5]

    So, on another forum a complaint recently came up: Weapons are too ****ing weak. When you have literally a +60 bonus to damage, the difference between the 1d8 of your longsword and 2d6 of your greatsword feels pretty weak. You probably wouldn't even notice switching to a dagger if you could hold it in two hands. Ultimately, weapon damage dice are fairly useless because damage from other sources is so much easier.

    D&D 4e tried to solve this by giving specific attacks higher weapon damage, and reducing other damage modifiers. This actually did help, weapon damage dice meant a lot more this way. I think this was honestly a good direction to go, but 4e messed up enough other stuff that it's not something most people want to switch to.

    On the other hand, making maneuvers for everybody in 3e is a more attractive option (and you can see the ToB variants of most any martial class on this forum somewhere, plus other variants that aren't ToB but have some sort of power mechanic), it is a pretty large system shift. One that not quite everyone is willing to make. So I have here a pretty simple suggestion that could be seamlessly slided into just about any 3e game to make Weapon damage values more important:


    -Strength now applies at a 1:1 ratio for all weapons, even if being held in two hands.
    -You may now trade in 3 points of strength damage modifier to roll your weapon damage dice an extra time. So if you have 18 strength, instead of rolling 2d6+6 [avg 13] with your greatsword (current system), you would get to roll 4d6+1 [avg 15]. If you have a 22 strength, instead of 2d6+9[avg 16], you could roll 6d6 [avg 21].
    -You may also trade in damage values from other attributes if you have means of applying them to damage, at the same rate. So if you are a level 3 swashbuckler, with 16 int and 16 str, instead of rolling 1d8+6 [avg 10.5] for damage, you could be rolling 3d8 [avg 13.5].


    This change primarily increases the average damage of melee fighters who have a weapon with a damage die of 1d8 or higher. It makes your weapon damage die matter more, so spending a feat to get that bastard sword may actually be worthwhile. The benefit of a two handed weapon is no longer the extra damage bonus from strength, but rather the larger damage die, which lets them leverage their strength better.

    The above conversions assume a medium weapon. Larger weapons require more strength to be traded in for the extra damage dice. This is primarily due to mechanical balance because larger sizes have significantly larger damage dice. The following table shows the threshold for trade in for the various size categories:

    {table=head]Size Category | Average Weapon Size | Threshold
    Medium| 1d8 | 3
    Large | 2d6 | 5
    Huge | 3d6 | 7
    Gargantuan | 4d6 | 9
    Colossal | 6d6 | 14[/table]

    So for example, a Medium Character with Greater Mighty Wallop on his weapon, increasing the size to Colossal, would need to give up 14 points of damage from his strength to gain an extra set of damage dice. But a Medium Character with a normal medium weapon would only require 3 points of strength to increase his damage dice. A large monster would require 5 points of strength to increase his natural weapon damage.

    Sidebar: Weapons beyond colossal
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    There are rare occasions in Dungeons & Dragons where Weapon Size may exceed colossal. There are some creatures classified as "Colossal+" and there are magical effects that can increase the weapon's size beyond the normal maximum. In these cases, you may need to know how to calculate the threshold for exchanging strength for extra weapon dice.

    To determine this, you must first calculate the damage dice of a weapon of that size category with a 1d8 base damage as a Medium weapon. Then, you calculate the average damage of this weapon damage (for reference to calculate the average, take the minimum, add the maximum, and divide by 2. So 1d8 is (1+8)/2 = 4.5). After finding the Threshold, divide the average damage by 1.5, and this is your weapon damage for that size category.

    For example, if a character has somehow gotten his weapon to 3 categories above colossal, you would calculate the damage of a d8 weapon at Colossal+3, which is 16d6. Then you take 16d6 and calculate the average, which is 56. Finally, divide that average by 1.5, to get your Threshold of 37 for that size category. So for a character with a weapon that big to exchange his strength for doubled weapon dice, he must possess and trade off at least a +37 strength bonus to damage.


    This doesn't really change much for rogues and those who use smaller weapons, primarily because the change is intended to make higher damage dice more valuable. Rogues generally have plenty of sneak attack dice to roll around anyway, and typically pretty low strength, so wouldn't get much mileage out of this anyway. Though I do think there may be room to modify how sneak attack works to make light weapons take better advantage of this, the way it currently works is ultimately fine.

    I'd also recommend cutting bonuses out from other places to emphasize the damage from this more, but that's basically a whole extra can of worms to open that I'll avoid for now.


    Sidebar: More Optional Rules
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    While the system described above works well as described, you may be interested in tweaking things a bit more. Here are a couple more optional rules that may interest you:

    Lower Powered Weapons-Right now, the damage scaling is tuned so that trading in your attribute damage bonus for weapon damage bonus is a 50% average damage increase when using a d8 weapon. (ie you trade in 3 points of strength for a d8 which is 4.5 damage, netting a 50% damage increase). That extra amount of power is too much for some people. If you like the concept but want to keep closer to the default power level, the following conversions should keep a much lower average damage:

    {table=head]Size Category | Average Weapon Size | Threshold
    Medium| 1d8 | 4
    Large | 2d6 | 7
    Huge | 3d6 | 10
    Gargantuan | 4d6 | 14
    Colossal | 6d6 | 21[/table]


    This gives medium weapons a slight advantage over larger weapons (roughly 10% faster scaling), but without introducing fractions, this was the closest I could get. Under this system, the difference in damage from the normal system and the new system is much smaller (actually non-existant at the balance point for everything except medium).



    Alternate Crit Resolution-Under the current mechanic, you roll your damage dice, then multiply the result by the crit multiplier, as normal. You can alternatively change crit resolution to work more like it does in 4e. This doesn't actually depend on this system, but it was brought up as something people were interested in, so it's being added here.

    The alternate resolution is simple: When you land a critical hit, rather than rolling damage, you maximize damage. If the weapon has a x3 crit multiplier, you roll damage as normal, but after rolling, you add the maximized damage to the rolled amount. (So if you roll a crit on a x3 weapon that is currently dealing 6d6 damage, you would get 36+6d6 damage). If the weapon has a x4 crit multiplier, you deal double the normal maximum damage (so with the example 6d6 damage weapon, you deal 72 damage on the crit).
    Last edited by Seerow; 2011-10-09 at 03:01 PM.
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    Default Re: Weapons feel too weak? [D&D 3.5]

    I like it. It's simple, effective, and actually makes sense. A high Strength would make a weapon hurt a hell of a lot more. While a fist would hurt more with a high Strength, a weapon would be a hell of a lot more painful, rather than just a few points.

    I also like this because some of the smaller weapons actually become terrifying like this. Scythes? Utterly painful (2d4 becomes 4d4, making the damage ratio become 4-16, rather than 2-8, so the min damage increases by 2, while the max increases by 8, which is a hell of a lot more useful than just a straight +3; plus, the x4 is scary).

    Which brings up a question. Do critical hits multiple all the damage in this variant? I'm assuming they do, and I like the idea that they do.
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    Default Re: Weapons feel too weak? [D&D 3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Domriso View Post
    I like it. It's simple, effective, and actually makes sense. A high Strength would make a weapon hurt a hell of a lot more. While a fist would hurt more with a high Strength, a weapon would be a hell of a lot more painful, rather than just a few points.

    I also like this because some of the smaller weapons actually become terrifying like this. Scythes? Utterly painful (2d4 becomes 4d4, making the damage ratio become 4-16, rather than 2-8, so the min damage increases by 2, while the max increases by 8, which is a hell of a lot more useful than just a straight +3; plus, the x4 is scary).

    Which brings up a question. Do critical hits multiple all the damage in this variant? I'm assuming they do, and I like the idea that they do.
    Glad you like it.


    And yes, the intent is that for all intents and purposes this is weapon damage. So it still multiplies on a crit. As you note, this means if you roll high with a high strength, that roll actually means something, especially on a crit.
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    Default Re: Weapons feel too weak? [D&D 3.5]

    Not a bad idea... but what about this getting stacked with the OTHER TWF/THF feats (Pounce, Shock Trooper, Power Attack, all the classics), and the whole UberCharger build?
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    Default Re: Weapons feel too weak? [D&D 3.5]

    Hmm... I think it's well done, but I'm not sure I like the goal. To me, weapon choice is almost aesthetic; it's a part of the character concept and almost a part of the fluff of the character. Tome of Battle, I think, did an excellent job recognizing this, and making maneuvers equally effective with all weapons...

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    Default Re: Weapons feel too weak? [D&D 3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by SamBurke View Post
    Not a bad idea... but what about this getting stacked with the OTHER TWF/THF feats (Pounce, Shock Trooper, Power Attack, all the classics), and the whole UberCharger build?
    The majority of those don't affect strength at all. For example Power Attack/Shock Trooper is totally independent of strength, and is a flat bonus. Your average damage goes up a few points, but if you're using all of those it's not breaking the bank anyway.


    I will point out I mentioned I'd personally aim to lower bonuses from other sources as well. The first step probably would be something along the lines of nerfing power attack in line with the PF power attack (as unpopular as that change was, it really was for the better), and getting rid of shock trooper/leap attack. The problem with reducing the power of power attack/charging is after taking that away, you need to give something back.

    At that point you're looking at a systemic change to move melee from DMF to classes with actual abilities, and that's a much larger change than the aim of this thread. So I kept it simple, just addressing the things specifically relevant to this change. It should be able to fit into a game at most power levels (anything higher powered than "Sword and Board is overpowered!") without disrupting play balance too much, but while making weapons feel like they have a more profound impact.



    edit:

    Hmm... I think it's well done, but I'm not sure I like the goal. To me, weapon choice is almost aesthetic; it's a part of the character concept and almost a part of the fluff of the character. Tome of Battle, I think, did an excellent job recognizing this, and making maneuvers equally effective with all weapons...
    *Shrug* Personally I feel each weapon should have its niche, and characters should pick the weapon most appropriate to them. I also made a project out of rebalancing the weapons to a point buy system (see sig), with the potential for upgrading the weapons. That's not really necessary to use this change, but if you find previously flavorful weapons useless, those changes may keep the weapon relevant even with damage dice meaning more.
    Last edited by Seerow; 2011-09-25 at 01:06 AM.
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    Default Re: Weapons feel too weak? [D&D 3.5]

    Main problem I see with that there will be quite a few issues arising with balance. That aside, the point of the fix isn't about class balance; it's about making weapons more deadly(and more fun!). Especially since this means these classes get to roll more dice! Rogues get their fistful of d6s, blaster casters can get a lot of dice with evocations, but with this now Barbarians and Fighters can join in on the dice-rolling fun! Heck, if you let things like Weapon Specialization add to the number of dice instead of adding raw damage, Fighter actually begins to look promising - and, surprisingly enough, this would benefit Monks quite a bit because even though they're MAD and won't have a really high STR, their scaling damage dice will make things fun at high levels.

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    Default Re: Weapons feel too weak? [D&D 3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by RndmNumGen View Post
    Main problem I see with that there will be quite a few issues arising with balance. That aside, the point of the fix isn't about class balance; it's about making weapons more deadly(and more fun!). Especially since this means these classes get to roll more dice! Rogues get their fistful of d6s, blaster casters can get a lot of dice with evocations, but with this now Barbarians and Fighters can join in on the dice-rolling fun! Heck, if you let things like Weapon Specialization add to the number of dice instead of adding raw damage, Fighter actually begins to look promising - and, surprisingly enough, this would benefit Monks quite a bit because even though they're MAD and won't have a really high STR, their scaling damage dice will make things fun at high levels.

    In short, I approve
    Yeah, Monks even with a 22 strength by level 20 (doable with a start of 10) are throwing 6d10 damage dice, which is pretty impressive.

    And I would totally approve of weapon specialization changing from +2 damage to +1[w] damage with your specialized weapon.


    This does also improve the benefit of becoming large. I mean that Fighter with a great sword just jumped from 2d6 to 3d6, aka from 10d6 to 15d6. A pretty substantial jump, even before you consider strength boosts from the size increase. The guy wielding a bastard sword 1 handed just went from 5d10 (27.5) to 10d8 (45) a pretty substantial increase.
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    Default Re: Weapons feel too weak? [D&D 3.5]

    The first thought that comes to mind is that this variant suddenly makes the Vital Strike line of feats worth much more.

    A 28 Str raging Barbarian wielding a greatsword moves from 4d6 + 13 [27] damage on a Vital Strike, to 16d6 [56] damage. A pretty impressive increase.
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    Default Re: Weapons feel too weak? [D&D 3.5]

    Or you can try a system where different types of weapons generally do work differently, with distinct feat support to allow different combat styles by weapon type all in the main rule book (Fantasy Craft).

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    Default Re: Weapons feel too weak? [D&D 3.5]

    Normal System
    Human Fighter 6
    Assuming 18 Str to start, +2 item, 4th hd bonus into STR, you have 21 STR. If we give him a greatsword, that's 2d6+7(14), plus another 3 or 4 from other sources.
    Ogre 4/LA 2
    Assuming 18 into Str, +2 item, 4th HD bonus to STR, you have 31 STR. if we give him a greatsword, that's 3d6+15 (25.5), Plus another 1 or 2 from other sources.
    Ogre is doing about 10 more damage than the human.

    This System.
    Human Fighter 6
    Assuming 18 Str to start, +2 item, 4th hd bonus into STR, you have 21 STR. If we give him a greatsword, that's 4d6+2(16), plus another 3 or 4 from other sources.
    Ogre 4/LA 2
    Assuming 18 into Str, +2 item, 4th HD bonus to STR, you have 31 STR. if we give him a greatsword, that's 12d6+1 (43), Plus another 1 or 2 from other sources.
    Ogre is doing about 25 more damage than the human.

    The problem is this system makes larger weapons on high STR creatures really good. For example, the hybrid form wereboar (MM1, page 177). This moves it from 2d8+22 (31) to 12d8 (54).
    Hell, a titan (MM1, page 242) would go from 4d6+27 (41) damage to 20d6+4 (144) damage per attack, and can make 4 attacks per round.


    Now I like the idea behind this, I really do, but currently this just screws the fighter over even more.
    Last edited by jojolagger; 2011-09-25 at 07:57 AM.
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    Default Re: Weapons feel too weak? [D&D 3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Curious View Post
    The first thought that comes to mind is that this variant suddenly makes the Vital Strike line of feats worth much more.

    A 28 Str raging Barbarian wielding a greatsword moves from 4d6 + 13 [27] damage on a Vital Strike, to 16d6 [56] damage. A pretty impressive increase.
    I'm not particularly familiar with Pathfinder, but iirc that precludes use of a full attack and takes like 3 or 4 feats, so it probably still isn't particularly worthwhile. But it is better at least.


    Quote Originally Posted by paddyfool
    Or you can try a system where different types of weapons generally do work differently, with distinct feat support to allow different combat styles by weapon type all in the main rule book (Fantasy Craft).
    You could, but this is meant as a patch on 3.5 to make weapons matter a little more. Many here aren't particularly interested in finding a new system just because it's better in that regard, especially if it's worse in others.


    Quote Originally Posted by jojolagger
    *snip*Now I like the idea behind this, I really do, but currently this just screws the fighter over even more.
    Admittedly, when I was looking at this, it was from the perspective of player characters. Monsters with really high str (most monsters) could throw it out of whack, especially since most are balanced around lots of attacks using that strength, and having higher damage dice despite not being a two handed weapon. But let's look closer at it.

    Given the example of the Titan, Titan's strength is 43, base weapon damage is 4d6. That 43 strength translates into a +16, which is a x5 multiplier, giving you 24d6 + 1 (avg 85)


    But this is at this point competing with a raging Barbarian. Who has 18+5+5+6+8 = 42 strength, for the same +16 strength bonus. With an Enlarge Person (should be trivial to have any time you want by level 20 when you're looking at if you're going toe to toe with a Titan), the Barbarian with a Greataxe has a 3d6 base damage, and a +17 str bonus. That gets you 18d6+2 (avg 65).

    The damage IS lower, but not significantly so, and other bonuses even out. (The only other damage bonus the Titan has is +3 enhancement. The Barbarian could easily have another handful of d6 and more flat bonuses to add to his damage, even before considering power attack).



    If you're worried about the Fighter falling behind in raw damage, you can make his Weapon Specialization feats either a part of base weapon damage (so it increases with high strength as well. So your Fighter with a Greatsword and 34 strength and enlarge person has 3d6+4+13(str) increase to 15d6+20+1(str) (avg 73.5)). This allows Fighters a bit more flexibility, because the same benefit applies to their Longsword as their Greatsword. (Your large guy with a bastard sword can one hand a weapon and be hitting for 10d8+20 (avg 65)). Alternatively you can have weapon specialization straight up grant extra weapon dice as if your strength were 3 higher (thus making the first example instead be 21d6+1 avg 74.5).


    If you're simply worried about the Titan instagibbing the Fighter, which may be a concern given you showed a number that was an average 144 damage, I'd like to point out you did the math on that one wrong, and 20d6+4 averages 74 not 144. It seems you just straight up took max damage there. It is still about a 50% increase in damage from the monster, but the player is looking at a similar increase, and the player does have the HP to soak up multiple hits of 74, so it shouldn't be a huge problem.






    Honestly though I am more worried about those low level numbers. It may be that Monsters need to be excluded from the system, due to their strength values being too high for their level during most of the early levels. Alternatively natural weapons have a different conversion rate (Monks can treat their unarmed strikes as manufactured weapons when it benefits them I believe so I think they'd be unaffected). I'm not sure yet.
    Last edited by Seerow; 2011-09-25 at 10:04 AM.
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    Default Re: Weapons feel too weak? [D&D 3.5]

    Yeah, if you're using a damage-optimized build, weapon damage isn't all that important.

    Scythe or falchion bypasses greatsword (assuming you're going 2-handed either way and crits are possible and you just care about DPR) at +28 flat bonus to damage.
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    Default Re: Weapons feel too weak? [D&D 3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    But this is at this point competing with a raging Barbarian. Who has 18+5+5+6+8 = 42 strength, for the same +16 strength bonus. With an Enlarge Person (should be trivial to have any time you want by level 20 when you're looking at if you're going toe to toe with a Titan), the Barbarian with a Greataxe has a 3d6 base damage, and a +17 str bonus. That gets you 18d6+2 (avg 65).
    Actually starting with a 18 is rather rare, titan has better reach, allowing for gibbage the moment the barbarian steps near, and the 18d6 needs caster support (or a potion, including action, every combat).

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    If you're simply worried about the Titan instagibbing the Fighter, which may be a concern given you showed a number that was an average 144 damage, I'd like to point out you did the math on that one wrong, and 20d6+4 averages 74 not 144. It seems you just straight up took max damage there. It is still about a 50% increase in damage from the monster, but the player is looking at a similar increase, and the player does have the HP to soak up multiple hits of 74, so it shouldn't be a huge problem.
    I was doing the math a bit wrong, forgot a divide by 2 in my calculation. I blame having had no sleep in the past 24 hours.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    Honestly though I am more worried about those low level numbers. It may be that Monsters need to be excluded from the system, due to their strength values being too high for their level during most of the early levels. Alternatively natural weapons have a different conversion rate (Monks can treat their unarmed strikes as manufactured weapons when it benefits them I believe so I think they'd be unaffected). I'm not sure yet.
    Actually, at low levels it makes them properly dangerous.

    However, I would still advise at least lowering the possibility for abuse, I have an idea for a really OP character using this. Early guesses point to 8d8 (36) by level 3.

    Maybe allow a tumble check/reflex save to avoid some of the bonus dice?
    Last edited by jojolagger; 2011-09-25 at 10:30 AM.
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    Default Re: Weapons feel too weak? [D&D 3.5]

    Actually starting with a 18 is rather rare, titan has better reach, allowing for gibbage the moment the barbarian steps near, and the 18d6 needs caster support (or a potion, including action, every combat).
    Even if 18 is rare, you have 16 and just lose the +1 at the end.


    And you can get large without caster support, though caster support does make it easier. I expect every PC to have some way of getting large being trivially available by max level. It makes that big of a difference. I mean an at will or permanent item of enlarge person is pretty cheap, following the rules in the DMG. As are potions. Or a Wand to hand to the caster so he doesn't have to waste actual resources. Or in the case of the Barbarian if he's a Goliath he can just become large on his own accord.

    Actually, at low levels it makes them properly dangerous.

    However, I would still advise at least lowering the possibility for abuse, I have an idea for a really OP character using this. Early guesses point to 8d8 (36) by level 3.
    Level 3? Hrm let me see....

    3rd level lets you buy off a LA+1, and get a second feat. So Goliath Barb with his two feats spent on Reckless Rage and Fullblade proficiency, and takes the Mountain Rage substitution. Getting him 2d8 base damage, and a +8 rage bonus to strength. With a 20 base (16 base, +4 racial) that's 28 strength. That's a +9 strength bonus. Being Large increases the full blade from 2d8 to 3d8, then the +9 strength bonus lets you translate that to increasing weapon damage 3 times, all the way up to 12d8 (54 damage).


    Is that more or less what you had in mind?


    As opposed to without this, the Barbarian would have been hitting for 3d8+13 (26.5), so he pretty much doubled his damage.


    On one hand, this was pretty much spot on with what should have happened: The Full Blade Proficiency was worth something. Its damage value increased from +3 damage over a greatsword, to +12 damage over the great sword. If the Barbarian did the same thing with a greatsword instead it would have been only 42 extra damage.

    On the other hand, that's a pretty nasty chunk of damage for a level 3 character. Even the 26 was a pretty heavy hit for a level 3. Do you have any ideas for a way to tone this down at low levels without causing to fall further behind at high?



    Edit: A thought: What if you took a note out of power attack's book, and for every time you increase weapon damage, you also take a -1 penalty to hit? I'm not sure if this would actually translate to a damage per round increase for most weapons though, it might balance things better for bigger weapon dice, but it would likely weaken the option for d8 and maybe even d10.

    Edit2: Alternative thought: What if strength conversions went up with weapon dice? Don't think I'm really happy with this system either, but it would allow for more fine tuning.
    Last edited by Seerow; 2011-09-25 at 10:50 AM.
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    Default Re: Weapons feel too weak? [D&D 3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    Level 3? Hrm let me see....

    3rd level lets you buy off a LA+1, and get a second feat. So Goliath Barb with his two feats spent on Reckless Rage and Fullblade proficiency, and takes the Mountain Rage substitution. Getting him 2d8 base damage, and a +8 rage bonus to strength. With a 20 base (16 base, +4 racial) that's 28 strength. That's a +9 strength bonus. Being Large increases the full blade from 2d8 to 3d8, then the +9 strength bonus lets you translate that to increasing weapon damage 3 times, all the way up to 12d8 (54 damage).


    Is that more or less what you had in mind?
    Not Really. The one I planned on wouldn't need to worry about rage running out or similar. And can probably be done at first level.
    Also, made a separate ECL 11 char averaging 162 damage, with 2 attacks on a full attack.
    Of course, A caster could probably break this even better. I'll take a look at CoDzilla use.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    On the other hand, that's a pretty nasty chunk of damage for a level 3 character. Even the 26 was a pretty heavy hit for a level 3. Do you have any ideas for a way to tone this down at low levels without causing to fall further behind at high?
    Tumble check or reflex save to avoid/weaken heavy hits.
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    Default Re: Weapons feel too weak? [D&D 3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by jojolagger View Post
    Tumble check or reflex save to avoid/weaken heavy hits.
    Defensive Roll never really worked as a mechanic, as your Ref/Tumble bonus is never going to match a damage roll you want to avoid. If it's based on the BAB of the target vs. Reflex, it might work...
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    Default Re: Weapons feel too weak? [D&D 3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    Defensive Roll never really worked as a mechanic, as your Ref/Tumble bonus is never going to match a damage roll you want to avoid. If it's based on the BAB of the target vs. Reflex, it might work...
    Or maybe STR Bonus. either fits.


    Quote Originally Posted by jojolagger View Post
    Of course, A caster could probably break this even better. I'll take a look at CoDzilla use.
    Went with artificer instead, because each really nice spell is on a different list. Still possible to get all four on most casters. (Combo can be had at a 7500 gp price tag, to purchase as scrolls, at CL 20)

    Anyways 432d6 (1512) damage. And full BAB, Possibly with the speed weapon property, and wraith strike is easy to add.
    That's 2160d6 (7560) per round.
    If I squeeze in 38 more damage, (102% average damage) Char could one shot Zeus. Not one full attack, one strike.
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    Default Re: Weapons feel too weak? [D&D 3.5]

    Try BAB bonus versus BAB bonus. Not sure how to get the reduction out of that, but it gives the advantage to Fighters over other classes... which is where it should be, in melee.

    Depending on how you came about this idea (Balance or fluff?), weapons aren't necessarily too weak. Ability with a weapon is more important than the weapon for causing damage. Maybe look at increasing die size on weapons instead of the normal strength bonus - a strong dagger wielder has a chance to cause as much damage as an average longsword wielder. I might play around with this a bit later and come up with something.

    Also remember die mechanics: More dice = closer to average distribution. Higher numbers of dice are more likely to get an average value, and less likely to get an edge value. Less larger dice gives you highly variable outcomes.
    Last edited by Darkone8752; 2011-09-25 at 01:10 PM.

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    Default Re: Weapons feel too weak? [D&D 3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by jojolagger View Post
    Went with artificer instead, because each really nice spell is on a different list. Still possible to get all four on most casters. (Combo can be had at a 7500 gp price tag, to purchase as scrolls, at CL 20)

    Anyways 432d6 (1512) damage. And full BAB, Possibly with the speed weapon property, and wraith strike is easy to add.
    That's 2160d6 (7560) per round.
    If I squeeze in 38 more damage, (102% average damage) Char could one shot Zeus. Not one full attack, one strike.
    I'm curious; what spells exactly were you using here? The numbers are impressive, yes, but without explanation, it mostly just looks like your spamming random numbers.
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    Default Re: Weapons feel too weak? [D&D 3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Domriso View Post
    I'm curious; what spells exactly were you using here? The numbers are impressive, yes, but without explanation, it mostly just looks like your spamming random numbers.
    One is probably Greater Mighty Wallop, one is possibly Earth Hammer, not sure of the other two.
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    Default Re: Weapons feel too weak? [D&D 3.5]

    Honestly, I'm not too worried about what casters explicitly trying to break the system are capable of, because any caster trying to break anything is going to lead to something broken. That once again treads back to larger systemic fixes.


    I also really really don't like the idea of a defensive roll mechanic to try to negate bonus damage. I mean, would you allow a defensive roll to negate just the strength bonus damage? I doubt it. The point is that extra weapon dice replace a strength bonus.


    One thought that does occur to me though: Rather than a different conversion rate for natural weapons, or for higher damage dice, how about a different conversion rate based on your weapon size?

    As long as the conversion rate remains higher than the average weapon damage of a weapon at that size, it will remain favorable, but be less broken. So you tune the size modifier to that average. I went with a 3 for medium so that everything of 1d8 and above would get a net gain, to varying degrees. 3 is actually about 33% lower than the average of a d8.. So carrying that rate along:


    Medium: 1d8 (4.5) - 3
    Large: 2d6 (7) - 5
    Huge: 3d6 (10.5) - 7
    Gargantuan: 4d6 (14) - 9
    Colossal: 6d6 (21) - 14


    So our earlier example titan has a +16 strength mode, taking his base damage from 4d6+24 (38), to 12d6+2 (44), for a slight damage increase, but not as dramatic as was seen before.

    Our Large Barbarian with 28 strength now deals 6d8+4 damage as opposed to 12d8 damage.

    A colossal creature/weapon that has an average weapon size of 6d6 has to give up a whopping 14 points of strength damage to double up his weapon dice.

    It is also worth noting I specified weapon size, rather than creature size. So if you are stacking up size mods with spells (such as Greater Mighty Wallop), or even doing something as simple as monkey gripping a bigger weapon, it takes more strength to take advantage of it. The ratio will still favor you making the trade when you can, but you won't be able to as often, which severely reduces the power creep.



    What does everyone think of this potential solution? Right now I'm pretty satisfied with it. It still does have some damage increase, but the abusability factor is -far- lower.
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    Default Re: Weapons feel too weak? [D&D 3.5]

    I do like that one. Keeps larger creatures powerful, but not obnoxiously so.

    And, I agree. I don't really care how spells mess with things. More, I'm just curious about the build.
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    Default Re: Weapons feel too weak? [D&D 3.5]

    Very, very nice. Simple, elegant and effective. I might make it 4 points of damage in my own games... but I'm definitely using this.
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    Default Re: Weapons feel too weak? [D&D 3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Domriso View Post
    I'm curious; what spells exactly were you using here? The numbers are impressive, yes, but without explanation, it mostly just looks like your spamming random numbers.
    Giant size (IIRC, the Wu gen spell), +4 size categories +32 STR
    Divine Power (for full attack), +6 STR, Full BAB
    Greater Mighty Wallop, +5 size categories
    Shillelagh, +2 size categories
    Add an item alteretion'd Belt +6 and a +2 tome, any you have 432d6 per attack.
    Start with a 1d6 quaterstaff. It goes up 11 size categories. Then assuming 12 STR to start, you end up with 58 (12+32+6+6+2) total.
    Last edited by jojolagger; 2011-09-25 at 03:48 PM.
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    Default Re: Weapons feel too weak? [D&D 3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by jojolagger View Post
    Giant size (IIRC, the Wu gen spell), +4 size categories +32 STR
    Divine Power (for full attack), +6 STR, Full BAB
    Greater Mighty Wallop, +5 size categories
    Shillelagh, +2 size categories
    Add an item alteretion'd Belt +6 and a +2 tome, any you have 432d6 per attack.
    Start with a 1d6 quaterstaff. It goes up 11 size categories. Then assuming 12 STR to start, you end up with 58 (12+32+6+6+2) total.
    First: Doesn't at least one of those spells have a specific limitation that caps it at colossal?
    Second: Assuming they don't, using the system noted above, you gained 11 size categories, bringing your d6 first to colossal which is 4d6. You then have 7 size enhancements left. iirc the way it works is it doubles every 2 categories (so 2d6->3d6->4d6 doubled, then 4d6->6d6->8d6, doubled) which means damage dice goes up to:

    5-6d6
    6-8d6
    7-12d6
    8-16d6
    9-24d6
    10-32d6
    11-48d6

    Now that with the system in the OP and 58 strength gets you +24 strength, so a 8x multiplier on damage dice, getting you 432d6, which matches up with what you had. So I guess I remembered that progression formula right.


    Now with the new system, to get to that size category with a d8 weapon, you would have one category higher (since colossal with a d8 is 6d6 vs 4d6), getting you 64d6 as your baseline weapon. The average damage of that is 224, giving you a threshold of 150 strength to be able to multiply your weapon damage. Since you only have +24 strength, you are unable to do this. Your stuck with 48d6+24 damage.


    This does require you to know the math and calculate out what the threshold is when going beyond colossal, but honestly if you're pushing weapon sizes beyond colossal then you're already enough of an optimizer you should be able to deal with that. A simple table would handle it for the vast majority of situations.
    Last edited by Seerow; 2011-09-25 at 04:02 PM.
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    Default Re: Weapons feel too weak? [D&D 3.5]

    Greater Mighty Wallop has a size cap, yes. It doesn't stack with Giant Size.
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    Default Re: Weapons feel too weak? [D&D 3.5]

    Updated the OP to reflect the different damage thresholds for different weapon sizes, along with a side bar on how to calculate threshold if it comes up in a game.

    I'm pretty satisfied with the solution until someone finds a glaring problem in it.




    Now I'm going to go out of my way trying to find a problem:

    Let's take a guy with 28 strength (+9), and a 2d6 weapon. So he has 8d6 (avg 28) weapon damage as medium.

    He increases to Large, and now has 6d6+4 (avg 25) as large.

    Increases to Huge, and now has 8d6+2 (avg 30) as Huge.

    Increases to Gargantuan, and now has 12d6 (avg 42) as Gargantuan

    Increases to Colossal, and now has 6d6+9 (avg 30) as Colossal



    This seems like a potential problem. Basically if you gain a size category and lose a multiplier as a result, your average damage may actually decrease, which is counter intuitive. Of course, larger sizes typically come with a higher strength as well, so this probably isn't a problem in practice, except for maybe discouraging things like Greater Mighty Wallop.
    Last edited by Seerow; 2011-09-25 at 04:43 PM.
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    Default Re: Weapons feel too weak? [D&D 3.5]

    This certainly ups the power of melee types, but it seems that the end result is that everyone can now play rocket tag, instead of just the wizards. Personally, I'd rather no one was playing rocket tag.

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    Default Re: Weapons feel too weak? [D&D 3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    This certainly ups the power of melee types, but it seems that the end result is that everyone can now play rocket tag, instead of just the wizards. Personally, I'd rather no one was playing rocket tag.
    Rocket Tag is Shock Trooper/Power Attack/Leap Attack.


    This is actually a pretty moderate damage increase relative to that. Average damage increases is a few points in the normal range of characters, and with the recent changes it's not even that bad for the most optimal characters.

    The biggest advantage is letting melee roll more dice, which everyone loves to do, and increasing the potential difference between weapons, making your chosen weapon's damage mean more, rather than not even noticing the difference between having a d4 and a d12 because you have +80 static damage.

    Don't take one guy saying a wizard is getting thousands of d6 and translate that to rocket tag for melee. Cause for one, that's a caster. For two, it's been fixed :p
    Last edited by Seerow; 2011-09-25 at 04:51 PM.
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