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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default On weapons and armor: Exotic bonanza

    In the grand scheme of things DnD, the availability of weapons in the Pathfinder/3.5 is not a big issue. There are numerous choices for numerous things. However, there are two issues that have always bugged me.

    The first is the absence of Exotic bows. Exotic crossbows are there in plenty, as well as racial weapons. However, it seems that, in all the planes and parallel universes that have spawned weapons like the halfling staff sling and the goblin horse-chopper, no one managed to come up with an improvement for the bow. So, what would an exotic bow look like?

    Perhaps it would give a flat +1 to its damage, due to its construction from rare woods treated with alchemical oils? Perhaps it would have a higher crit range or a larger damage? Exapnded range? All of the above? I would probably go for 1d10 for medium creatures, with a slightly enhanced range. Something like this:

    Gaverian composite longbow (exotic, ranged): Small 1d8/ Medium 1d10, x3, 120 ft.

    I also find the orc racial weapons strange. Everywhere they are depicted as brutal, menacing, unsophisticated killing machines, but their racial weapons are double weapons, which require a certain... finesse to use. I would replace one of them with a large slashing/bludgeoning weapon, ideal for the modern frothing orc barbarian. Something like this:

    Orcish falchion (exotic, two-handed): Small:1d8/Medium:1d10, 1820/2, S/P, Sunder, Disarm

    A fearsome falchion with spikes protruding from the blade, the orcish falchion is unbalanced and unwieldy in the hands of the untrained. When used by someone trained, it can inflict horrible wounds that bleed profusely and it is ideal for catching and breaking other weapons.


    Finally, I always thought that the concept of the exotic can and should be applied to armor, in a way similar to what Monte Cook had done in his Arcana Evolved. When taking the Exotic Armor Proficiency, a martial character becomes proficient in an exotic armor from each of the categories he is already proficient at. I propose the following:

    Chain and leather (Light, exotic): Made from a chain surcoat reenforced with boiled leather knee guards and epulets, chain and leather allows the trained user to cover his vulnerabilities with small movements, while remaining light and silent. Armor bonus: +4, Max Dex +4, no skill penalty

    Studded hide shirt (Light, exotic): Made from the thick hide of animals, this shirt has then been used to create studded leather.
    Armor bonus: +5, Max Dex +5, -2 penalty

    Breastplate and leather (medium, exotic): A combination of a breastplate with the stout leggings and under armor of the leather armor.
    Armor bonus: +7, Max Dex +4, -4 penalty

    Studded leather coat (medium, exotic): This armor has been made from different types of thick and soft leather, and reinforced with small studs whenever possible.
    Armor bonus: +5, Max Dex +5, -1 penalty

    Reinforced plate armor (heavy, exotic): This is full plate armor, whose key areas have been treated with extra steel reinforcements and sliding plates of metal. The shifting nature of the plate means that it needs special training to harness its full benefits.
    Armor bonus: +10, Max Dex +2, -6 penalty

    Bashing shield (shield, exotic): This shield has been carved from lightweight steel and especially angled to maximize the force of a shield bash. It enables the protection of a heavy steel shield, while counting as light for off hand attacks.
    Shield bonus: +2, -2 penalty

    Reinforced shield (shield, exotic): Constructed with shifting plates of steel, this shield makes its user very hard to hit accurately.
    Shield bonus: +3, -2 penalty

    Gauntlet buckler: This marvel of shield design attaches a buckler in a special gauntlet that allows the trained user to move it out of the way when fighting in the melee. The wielder of a gauntlet buckler does not suffer a -1 to penalty to melee.

    Covering shield: This variant tower shield has been carefully engineered to provide all the benefits of the tower shield, while weighting less. The trained user can use it as a tower shield, but he suffers only a -1 to attack rolls when it is strapped on. Moreover, the covering shield has a maximum dexterity bonus of +3.

    EDIT: It seems that both the bow and the exotic shields already exist in the Races of Stone, in a very similar format. Still, I take that as a sign that the above suggestions are on good track. I also noticed that a buckler is missing. I added one that does away with the -1 to melee. I also added a variant tower shield.

    What do you think? Do the above make sense?
    Last edited by ProudGrognard; 2012-10-10 at 08:03 AM.

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    Default Re: On weapons and armor: Exotic bonanza

    Just want to point out there is an exotic bow. Greatbow in Complete Warrior.


    There's also exotic armors in... I think Races of Stone.
    Last edited by Seerow; 2012-09-22 at 10:36 AM.
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    Default Re: On weapons and armor: Exotic bonanza

    I've done a fix for basic archery (it's included in the same thread as my homebrewed ranger) and I'm working on some weapons changes of my own. I've been trying to figure out some good ways to differentiate the various bows.

    I was thinking that crossbows should be simple, the shortbow and repeating crossbows martial, the longbow exotic. I wanted to differentiate the weapons, and all other things being equal, why would you pick a shortbow when it's improved counterpart does more damage? I run into the same issue with making Shortbows simple (since my fix allows damage from bows to scale better than crossbows).

    I'll need to go check out the Greatbow, but I've got a feeling that just a bump up in damage dice won't justify spending a whole feat.
    In my mind, exotic weapons should have an extra unique function that normal weapons don't. This is similar to something I proposed as an option in another recent thread regarding ranged combat: maybe we should let a greatbow user make ranged trip and disarm attacks (represented by shots aimed at the knee or wrist), and perhaps even ranged sunder attacks against shields and armor.
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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: On weapons and armor: Exotic bonanza

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    Just want to point out there is an exotic bow. Greatbow in Complete Warrior.


    There's also exotic armors in... I think Races of Stone.
    Thanks for the tip about the Greatbow! As far as I can see, it is almost identical with what I proposed.

    The armors on the hand are completely different. Any opinions on those?

    I've done a fix for basic archery (it's included in the same thread as my homebrewed ranger) and I'm working on some weapons changes of my own. I've been trying to figure out some good ways to differentiate the various bows.

    I was thinking that crossbows should be simple, the shortbow and repeating crossbows martial, the longbow exotic. I wanted to differentiate the weapons, and all other things being equal, why would you pick a shortbow when it's improved counterpart does more damage? I run into the same issue with making Shortbows simple (since my fix allows damage from bows to scale better than crossbows).

    I'll need to go check out the Greatbow, but I've got a feeling that just a bump up in damage dice won't justify spending a whole feat.
    In my mind, exotic weapons should have an extra unique function that normal weapons don't. This is similar to something I proposed as an option in another recent thread regarding ranged combat: maybe we should let a greatbow user make ranged trip and disarm attacks (represented by shots aimed at the knee or wrist), and perhaps even ranged sunder attacks against shields and armor.
    Well, making bows exotic will make the ranged warriors such even more. And I agree about your sentiments on exotic weapons. However, I must point out that a bump in the die is equal to a +1 to damage, which is comparable to a mediocre feat. Perhaps the Greatbow halves all distance penalties as well?


    Also, any comments on the feats?

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    Default Re: On weapons and armor: Exotic bonanza

    I think you should have a feat "unique weapons" or something like that rather than "exotic". Then that could either be an exotic weapon, something a bit awkward for everyone to use but with some trick, or a better version of an existing weapon. I would give each race options for exotic weapons without a feat tax. Maybe they will require minimum ability score or level, but still. Better weapons on the other hand should always require a feat.

    -I like the chained leather (my favorite from your list)

    -I think reinforced plate armor maybe should give some protection against critical hits and stay +8. Like decrease attackers critical range by 1 or 2.

    -Orcish weapons should indeed be heavy and deadly, I would say with a penalty. Maybe a TH weapon with 2d8 damage giving -1 AC for the round you attacked with. Just full offensive.

    -Reinforced shield seems fair

    -A bow should have a better crit range than a crossbow in my opinion. So maybe some exotic weapons that boost crit range to 18-20/x2

    -Armor piercing weapons are another way to go. I would suggest to bypass DR (any kind). So a heavy crossbow or a longbow for example with same damage but bypassing 5 points of DR. It does same damage against someone without DR but will give +5 damage if someone has 5 or more. Which seems fair to me. Then you can invest on having two weapons and switching, making fighter more versatile on their options (and use a heavy orcish weapon to splatter a non-melee monster when needed as well).

    -The rest of the armors seem fair

    -If you like weapons you will like the Engineer homebrew class (or maybe not) which is coming up tomorrow

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    Default Re: On weapons and armor: Exotic bonanza

    Quote Originally Posted by ProudGrognard View Post
    Well, making bows exotic will make the ranged warriors suck even more. And I agree about your sentiments on exotic weapons. However, I must point out that a bump in the die is equal to a +1 to damage, which is comparable to a mediocre feat. Perhaps the Greatbow halves all distance penalties as well?

    Also, any comments on the feats?
    There are several issues that ranged combat has that tends to make it less effective than a melee build of the same investment. I think trying to fix all that from the weapons end of things is difficult and has the potential for abuse, which I why I started by modifying the base rules and feats for ranged combat first.

    IMHO, a +1 bump in damage should not be a mediocre feat, it is a BAD feat. It is mathmatically weak and mechanically uninteresting; a mediocre feat can be either powerful or interesting, and a good feat would be both.
    That was why I suggested adding additional combat options to the greatbow, to make up for the fact that it was more difficult to master.

    Another possibility is to design a selection of payload-style arrows that could fire things like nets, tripwires, glue/acid/fire bombs, grappling hooks, etc, but these larger, specialized arrows would require a different kind of bow (exotic).

    Quote Originally Posted by Waargh! View Post
    I would give each race options for exotic weapons without a feat tax. Maybe they will require minimum ability score or level, but still. Better weapons on the other hand should always require a feat.
    Balacing everything while still having interesting and unique weapons might be very problematic; I would prefer to restrict weapon selection to class, rather than by race, and just give melee-heavy classes more feats.

    -I think reinforced plate armor maybe should give some protection against critical hits and stay +8. Like decrease attackers critical range by 1 or 2.
    Good idea, but the mechanic of that would be very clunky, I think. There is an armor enchantment on the SRD called Fortification that reduces the chance to deal critical damage. I would either use that, or have it grant the bonus to your AC against rolls to confirm critical hits.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rater202 View Post
    It's not called common because the sense is common, it's called common because it's about common things.
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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: On weapons and armor: Exotic bonanza

    Thanks for the interesting discussion.

    I am loath to alter the basic mechanics of armors and weapons by giving them armor piercing, pseudo-fortification or great damage-plus-penalty. This is why I opted for a citius-altius-fortius approach, be extending what most weapons and armor do anyway.

    I can see why a +1 bump to weapon damage is... meh. However, any more, like an increased crit range could be too much (again, without adding ad hoc abilities).

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: On weapons and armor: Exotic bonanza

    I edited the above to correct spelling mistakes and such like. Still, no more thoughts?

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    Default Re: On weapons and armor: Exotic bonanza

    I'm sorry to have to tell you, but your shield variants aren't especially thrilling.

    A bashing shield is mostly useless because of the Agile Shield FighterPHb2 feat. It allows you to make a primary attack and a shield bash attack at a -2 penalty, regardless of any other effects, such as not having TWF or the "handedness" of the shield. The feat does require the Shield Specialization and Improved Shield Bash feats as prerequisites, but you're going to want those if you ever plan on bashing anyway, so that's a wash compared to Exotic Shield Proficiency (bashing shield).

    Similarly, a reinforced shield is pretty much exactly the same thing as an extreme shieldRoS.

    Sorry to be the shield-bearer of bad news.
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    Default Re: On weapons and armor: Exotic bonanza

    Thanks for the answers, Lyndworm. Actually, you are not the bearer of bad news. It is good to know that my thinking is on the right path. I don't have easy access to RoS, but it is good to know that these exist. If they do by published sources even better, I work within the framework of PF, so I don;t usually consult 3.5 material.

    The same could be said about the agile shield fighter feat. I must confess I hadn't caught the fact that it disregards whether it is a heavy or a light shield. Thanks for the clarification. Please note that, per my suggestion, a fighter would not need an Exotic Shield feat. The Exotic Armor feat gives him access to one armor of each category he is already proficient. But that doesn't really change your point.

    So it seems that the shield thing already exists. That is good! Any comments on the armor?

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    Default Re: On weapons and armor: Exotic bonanza

    Quote Originally Posted by ProudGrognard View Post
    Please note that, per my suggestion, a fighter would not need an Exotic Shield feat. The Exotic Armor feat gives him access to one armor of each category he is already proficient. But that doesn't really change your point.
    I wasn't aware that Pathfinder considers shields a form of armor proficiency; sorry for my mistake. You may want to mention in the OP that, though compatible with 3.5, this equipment is intended primarily for Pathfinder (assuming that that's true, and I didn't confuse myself somehow ).

    Quote Originally Posted by ProudGrognard View Post
    So it seems that the shield thing already exists. That is good! Any comments on the armor?
    Hmm... It's certainly not bad by any means, and your changes to the way Exotic Armor Proficiency works definitely increases the value of the feat. I'd say that, for 3.5, they're pretty solid exotic armors.

    I see you've recently added some new shields, as well.

    The gauntlet buckler instantly made me think of the gauntlet shieldRoS, but they're quite different, mechanically. Yours is decent, though (much like the bashing shield) there's a feat to do that already: Improved Buckler DefenseCW. Unlike Agile Shield Fighter, this feat only requires shield proficiency as a prerequisite. Given how you've changed the nature of exotic defensive equipment, an item is better than a feat by a large margin, though, so you're in the clear.

    The covering shield is a neat idea, but not good enough to warrant its own feat. Coupled with an exotic heavy armor (since they've been rolled into the same feat), it's much better, though. A solid shield.



    You may want go include weights and prices for your various pieces of gear.
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    Default Re: On weapons and armor: Exotic bonanza

    Thanks Lyndworm for the valuable feedback.

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    Default Re: On weapons and armor: Exotic bonanza

    I'm happy to be of service.
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