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Talk:Weapon Proficiencies That Work (3.5e Variant Rule)

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Feats Instead Edit

Rather than call them "proficiency points", just call them feats. Fighter BAB classes would get 10, Rogue BAB classes would get 7, and Wizard BAB classes would get 5. Have your entry read, "in addition to the feat a character earns every third level (hit die), he or she also earns a feat every second point of BAB they gain, which can only be spent on weapon proficiencies (simple, martial, or exotic). A character cannot take proficiency with a weapon they do not have physical access to (DM discretion advised)."

Just makes more sense to me.--Tavis McCricket 21:44, May 10, 2010 (UTC)

I just call them proficiencies myself. I think you are referring to a section where I mock the munchkin mentality that might suggest a "refund" of "points" spent, when that is not how the rule works at all.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Teh Storm (talkcontribs)

Exotic Weapons Edit

How do you compensate for the higher power that many exotic weapons might have? Are you basically giving all character EWP for free? --Ghostwheel 21:54, May 10, 2010 (UTC)

If he kept the "point" system, he could always price EWPs at two points, rather than one.--Tavis McCricket 21:56, May 10, 2010 (UTC)
That would still effectively make them free, since characters usually pick one weapon and stick with it--especially if it's stronger than other weapons they could wield. --Ghostwheel 22:10, May 10, 2010 (UTC)
With the ever expanding list of weapons anyway, what is the point of making exotic weapons cost more anyway? In this site alone, how many weapons have we added? and some were to simple and martial weapons to boot. not to mention the "official" game material that adds to all three groups indiscriminantly. Thus, weapon proficiencies are not the issue. It is about NOT forcing player to give up a valuable feat to learn how to use a ogre sized shaving razor.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Teh Storm (talkcontribs)
The point is due to the same original point that there was always to make weapons exotic--they're generally stronger. Just two the come to mind from the core books are the spiked chain and kusari-gama (the other exotic weapons in the core books are fairly crap), but there are others outside of those (an example) that one shouldn't just get for free. --Ghostwheel 18:19, May 11, 2010 (UTC)
Stronger in what sense? From what I can tell exotic weapons are just more unusual, forming interesting opportunities. The Harpoon is my favorite example. It allows you to impale a target and control its motion. However, it opp operates assuming you are stronger than your victim. If you try using a harpoon on a dragon, it will drag you away and eat you! Exotic weapons are just weird. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Teh Storm (talkcontribs)
Firstly, exotic weapons are purely optional. There is nothing wrong with the existing list of martial weapons. That being said, any player that wants to utilize the option of an exotic weapon needs to be willing to "pay" the price, in this case being a feat.
Secondly, some exotic weapons are quite good. A spiked chain is a reach weapon that can be used on adjacent targets. That's a huge boon to any melee character. Likewise, many exotic weapons have larger damage dice (full blade), or larger crit ranges (elven court blade), bigger crit multipliers (mercurial greatsword). Things that are worth the investment of a feat.
Really it just seems like you need to read more source books, and see watch options exist.--Tavis McCricket 21:36, May 11, 2010 (UTC)
@Storm: First, please learn to indent and sign your posts. Secondly, that's a good example of a weapon that gives you an extra option, one that's VERY respectable to a controller-type character. It's demonstratively stronger than a longsword or greataxe, and is good enough that people are willing to pay a feat to get it. This variant makes it so that there's no difference whatsoever in investment to get an exotic weapon or a martial weapon. You may as well say that everyone can use any weapon, since people choose one weapon and stick with it. --Ghostwheel 22:51, May 11, 2010 (UTC)
All excellent arguments, ladies and gents. Now allow me the opportunity to address them all. Travis, excellent point regarding my limited library. And I do recognize that many of the exotic weapons are flavor weapons that add extra options. After, who hasn't liked the idea of a fighter toting a full blade? However, I do NOT consider them worth a feat. What is the point of your fighter buddy being able to use a full blade if he was never able to max out the Power Attack branch? Why should the halfling rogue have to choose between spending experience to become an elf, become proficient with the longbow or get the Defensive Archery feat?
Ghostwheel, excellent point about the expanded options that exotic weapons provide, until you consider the uneven spreading of the class proficiencies. Monks start with almost no martial weapons but a wide selection exotics. I know I keep coming back to them, but rogues have their proficiencies cut down in such a way that leaves almost every two handed weapon out of their reach but leaves the best and most concealable exotic in their grasps. Bards start play with whips, one my favorite multi-use trapper from hell weapons.
I thank you all for your concern and advice. Please continue.--Teh Storm 23:30, May 11, 2010 (UTC)
Bad example, since monks don't care about weapon proficiencies--the ones that they have suck, especially the exotic weapons they get free. That's why they get them for free--they suck and don't give any new options. Furthermore, a decent monk's unarmed damage is going to easily be greater than any base weapon of his size at most levels. Whips also suck compared to spiked chains--note their inability to damage unarmored foes, and their uselessness in a tripping build since you can't take AoOs with them. --Ghostwheel 04:33, May 12, 2010 (UTC)
Here is my point exactly: exotic weapons are just WEIRD. The only thing you can do with a spiked chain that you can't do with a whip (don't forget whip-daggers, which you get for free with whips) is be targeted by heat metal. I have played with monks that preferred weapons when fighting anything but humaniods and animals because of nasty abilities that happen to weapons that hit creatures. And ye forget that you cannot reforge a monks fists into vorpal flaming fists.--Teh Storm 23:46, May 11, 2010 (UTC)
@storm actually you can http://dungeons.wikia.com/wiki/SRD:Vorpal_Strike granted, you gotta be epic, but you can have vorpal fists. and theres a variant classs ability that can let you have flaming. i get what you mean, but you exactly picked bad examples--NameViolation 05:06, May 12, 2010 (UTC)

Why Does This Work? Edit

Talk about begging the question. How is this better than the Races of War way, where you can get proficiency by just using it for a week? Weapon proficiency is not something that's so important that you should have to really keep track of it beyond lump sum. Surgo 22:24, May 10, 2010 (UTC)

But we already do. In "realistic" game, first level characters would start out with no proficiencies in anything, and have to practice constantly with what ever they come across to keep sharp. Try this at home: learn to throw a knife. After a few hours you will find out how to sink it in the target reliably. After a week you can do so in a variety of distances and positions. Now stop practicing for a week or so. You will be once again miserable at throwing knives. While realistic, it is less fun. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Teh Storm (talkcontribs)
Not that I've mastered much of anything, but I'm still just as good at archery, fencing, and target shooting as I've ever been, regardless of how long it's been since I last did them. Are you speculating, or speaking from personal experience?
Also, magic dude, freakin' magic. A wizard can etch a fireball into his mind for later use, but a fighter can't remember how to wield a weapon he used two months ago? Why does realism need to factor into it?--Tavis McCricket 19:02, May 11, 2010 (UTC)
To the person who responded to me: uh, that did not answer my question. At all. In fact, it didn't even address my question. Surgo 19:06, May 11, 2010 (UTC)
I speak from personal experience. I feel some of the permanent changes to my body that make relearning easier. From my ground fighting I have the signature "turned in" toes that mark ground fighters. My foil fencing has resulted in an outward point in my right foot and made the "at ease" position my natural resting stance. But I also realize that while these changes are mostly permanent, should I ever not practice I will have to retrain my body back into that state. Teh Storm 23:38, May 11, 2010 (UTC)
That has...what to do with Dungeons and Dragons, exactly? Surgo 04:41, May 12, 2010 (UTC)
There are limits to a game trying to be reality before it becomes unfun. If I wanted I could write a game that perfectly replicated reality, but it would be thicker than War and Peace, half of it would be a mix of physics equations with dice rolls and the other half would resemble a horrible hybrid of a physicians desk reference with a encyclopedia of the history of killing people. And it would be boring beyond belief. This isn't a game about the real life tall skinny fencers or the refined art of making a perimeter scan every time you visit a familiar place; it is a game where someone the size of your ten-year-old brother can kill a biologically impossible creature by conjuring fire out thin air. I think that we as gamers forget that sometimes. I came here because I thought I had ideas that make the game more fun. I'll leave it to the rest of you to decide if they are. Teh Storm 23:56, May 11, 2010 (UTC)
I think the question wasn't "how does this relate to reality?" and more "why would I use this system that puts fixed limits on warriors and requires point tracking in place of the exploit system in Races of War?" I'm with you that the feat system is junk and overvalues proficiencies, and I'd use this in place of it if I weren't using the other one. - TarkisFlux 05:45, May 12, 2010 (UTC)
I think that just swinging something around for a week doesn't make you a auto master of it. Anyone who blew themselves up with a wand of fireballs they were using as a backscratcher knows what I mean.Teh Storm 20:34, May 13, 2010 (UTC)
what the hell is that even supposed to mean? oh, let me mistake this magical wand as a stick, oops explosion? what did the subconsciously make a use magic device check? did they mutter the activation word? now your just not making sense. --NameViolation 20:48, May 13, 2010 (UTC)
Here is a better example: if one were to give a monkey a standard police issue 9mm Glock, one of two things will happen: the monkey will shoot himself, or will conclude "this is the hardest rock EVER!" Granted, humans are the one animal dumb enough to wonder if they could shoot themselves again, but the point remains. If a medieval warrior were to find a rifle or a gravity hammer or whatever, if they were lucky not to kill themselves they would start out using them as clubs or spears. It takes instruction to learn how to use a weapon, or at the very least a month of random experimenting. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Teh Storm (talkcontribs)
Proficiency=/=mastery. If they were giving people Weapon Focus, Weapon Spec, Greater Focus, Greater Spec, Improved Critical with a weapon after a week, you'd have a point. But they're not, so you don't.--Tavis McCricket 21:32, May 13, 2010 (UTC)
so there is no chance the monkey would point it away and pull the trigger? from a purely statistical stand point there are a lot more than 2 possibilities of the monkey + gun scenario. I'm pretty sure i get the point you're trying to make, but you have an uncanny knack for bad examples (take that light-heartedly). put there is a big difference between being able to use it and being good with it. in modern society, most people can use a gun (point, and click), but being able to use it well (i.e. marksman status) is a whole different ball game. once you've been shown how to swing a certain type of sword/use a gun/swing an axe, you remember that. Now if you dont practice i could see losing weapon focus and specialization after months, but you dont default to using the axe like a club, or holding the sword by the blade, or pointing the gun at the ground to shoot someone. How often do we recite our abc's? oh i havent done it in a week, i guess they go in the order shown on the keyboard, right? No...--NameViolation 21:42, May 13, 2010 (UTC)
My experience with weapons is limited to looking at sword prices online longingly, but I think given a week in a do-or-die situation I could at least overcome a -4 penalty with a short sword (pretending my body was already in the right physical condition). If my fighter can already use a longsword, I'd wager he could learn the ins and outs of a bastard sword in a week. Maybe he still is better with a longsword (mechanically speaking, he has Weapon focus and specialization), but he's probably competent with a bastard sword (mechanically speaking, no -4 penalties on an attack roll). I see this variant rule as "better than SRD"(I think) but not better than the one week system. --The Badger 21:56, May 13, 2010 (UTC)

This Doesn't Work Edit

The intent is fairly clear with the rule, being "player's should be able to learn to use more weapons without investing in their limited amount of precious feats". However, this rule just doesn't work. Here are the points why:

1: Not all weapons are equal. Simple weapons are typically weaker than martial weapons, and with the investment requirement of a feat (when not using this rule), exotic weapons are of a greater power still. For example, a simple club to a martial Flail (a one-handed bludgeoning weapon still, with a higher damage dice and a couple extra benefits) to the exotic (as a one-handed weapon that's also totally not "weird") bastard sword, which also gets a higher damage dice and higher critical threat range. Valuing these levels of weapons as the same doesn't work. Sure, you can give out simple weapon proficiencies and martial weapon proficiencies without a problem, but the exotic ones, you're going to need a different system for that.

2: Players pretty much stick with one weapon. Granted, they may get a new version of it, but the guy who wields a big greatclub identifies his character with that weapon, and probably has a few feats invested in its use specifically for it. A high level character isn't going to care or make use of a new proficiency unless it allows him to wield some kind of pimped out magic weapon he happens upon as loot randomly.

3: There is zero need to call these "proficiency points" anything but feats. They're feats. Bonus feats. Extra training beyond what a character gains as part of a class? Yeah, that's a feat. Calling them anything else just confuses the point.

4: No decent rule should require a DM to judge it on a case by case value. Ever. There is no exception. Why even bother calling out proficiency with "boom boom stick"? If a character has never heard of one, he can't very well just use a weapon that he has no access to use. He'd be wasting an opportunity for proficiency if he did. You could say "a character must have time to train with the weapon to gain proficiency with it".

As an aside, did you actually count the number of weapons? I counted and got just over 70 for the core set of weapons. With actual proficiencies into account, it's less than that, since bows and all that jazz. There is potential here, but as is, it just doesn't work right yet. --Ganteka Future 06:20, May 12, 2010 (UTC)

A) I have had it up to here with this "proficiency point" bullshit. There is a reason they are in quotations, and that is because there are no points to spend. These are proficiencies you pick up. I arranged it that way. If you look at them as point then you are using a very disturbing munchkin like mindset that would see opportunities to abuse this rule. B) Almost every single one of the heavy fighters (BAB 20s) is proficient with three quarters of all weapons in the game anyway. While I agree the majority of people will choose one toy and play with it, there are times when specialized tools are needed, and this expands the menu of options. And C) Not all weapons are equal, but the special effect ones are very well spread. The Bastard Sword is a big long sword in function, but the spear deals hideous amounts of damage against chargers, can be thrown farther than a throwing axe, and is a simple weapon to boot.Teh Storm 06:39, May 12, 2010 (UTC)
For point A) which addresses point 3:
"I have had it up to here with this "proficiency point" bullshit."
This is why, in my comment, I pointed out that it doesn't belong in the article. Apparently that wasn't clear.
For point B) which addresses point 2 and parts of point 1:
"Almost every single one of the heavy fighters (BAB 20s) is proficient with three quarters of all weapons in the game anyway." and "...there are times when specialized tools are needed, and this expands the menu of options."
Are the specialized tools the exotic weapons? These guys already start out with all simple and martial weapon proficiencies, so that would have to be the case. Handing out free exotic weapon proficiencies is fine if you want everyone to have them.
For point C) which addresses point 1:
There was no need to point that out as I was remarking on a general trend rather than the specifics of a given weapon. The main aspect of point 1 was to address that, in general, exotic weapons are of greater strength since they are the ones that basically never come free and you have to buy into them to use them (generally with a feat, though possibly through investment in a class or race or some other means). As I mentioned just a bit ago, if you want everyone wielding exotic weapons, that's cool. Players should get to use what they want because it's fun so long as it doesn't disrupt the game. Some exotic weapons can disrupt the game.
I am now much tired. Sleep now and I'm sure we'll continue this discussion later. --Ganteka Future 07:35, May 12, 2010 (UTC)
The munchkin nonsense has been edited out. Telling people what style they should or should not be playing the game with has no business in a wiki article. - TarkisFlux 17:26, May 12, 2010 (UTC)
Here is a thought: have multiple proficiencies required to use an exotic weapon (it makes sense seeing as they are harder to use), but each point you invest toward getting that exotic weapon reduces the attack roll penalty by 1. Yes, I know you don't want to call them points. Bear with me. So if you invest 1 point, you have a -3 to hit with an orc double axe (for instance). When you invest 2 points it becomes -2. When you invest 4 points, you don't have any penalty (you are proficient). Then offer a feat that gives 4 proficiency points. Bingo! If Bob the fighter gets 4 points by level 8, I think it is reasonable that in that time he can gain a free exotic proficiency. --Andrew Arnott (talk, email) 17:42, May 12, 2010 (UTC)

Btw... Edit

  • Stop stating your opinion as though it factors into a balance debate. Whether or not exotic weapons are wierd is irrelevant.
  • Monks can get vorpal flaming fists. Even before epic, if they want.
  • Spiked chain does more damage, hits adjacent foes, can be used to take AoOs. A spiked chain is better than a whip.
  • A fighter gets 18 feats, 19 if they are human. They will not be prevented from taking the feat tree(s) of their choice by taking a single exotic weapon proficiency.
  • A fullblade does 2d8 damage, while a greatsword does 2d6. Exotic Weapon Prof can be taken at level 1, while Weapon Spec has to wait till 4. You gain more damage per hit, four levels earlier. That's not flavor.
  • A double bladed sword is a 1d8/1d8 double weapon. Exotic Weapon Prof can be taken at level 1 with Two Weapon Fighting, while a fighter wanting to wield two longswords would have to take Two Weapon Fighting and Oversized Two Weapon Fighting to negate the penalties for using a one handed weapon in the off-hand (something double weapons are not subject to).

What you want isn't a bad idea. Your arguments are simple poor, and not relevant to what is being discussed. How well a person retains combat training in real life has no bearing on DnD, unless you want to create a house rule that says "if a player doesn't use abilities granted by a feat at least once per month, they lose access to said feat". Then the same would have to carry over to spells, psionic powers, martial maneuvers, class abilities... You get my point.--Tavis McCricket 18:46, May 12, 2010 (UTC)

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