Rant on masterworking [Tome]

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Rant on masterworking [Tome]

Post by MisterSinister on Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:03 am

OK, the way that masterworking is handled in DnD is quite frankly retarded. If it's on a weapon, it's a flat plus you will honestly forget in a level or two, while on armour, it gives a plus which, according to FnK armours, will disappear of its own accord anyway, and in non-FnK, only matters in tiny cases. This is also universal, so a masterwork axe, a masterwork club and a masterwork arrow being all the freaking same in the benefits of the masterworking, which is daft in the extreme. This has to stop.

To make matters even worse, we're talking about a 300gp investment here. Given that DnD's profession rules actually plain-out-and-out state that a person earns 1gp a day (or close to such), it means that this represents TEN MONTHS of savings for an ordinary person. Now, consider what kind of things that kind of money can buy you. I would certainly say the sword you bought with that much cash would do a lot more than cause 1/20 attacks to hit instead of miss - seriously, this crap is worth like 100gp at the VERY most.

So enough of this nonsense. Let's make masterworking actually mean something real. This means that it will be weapon-group specific, do something which scales and is as non-numeric as possible, and will be worth the 300gp paid for it. Due to the specific nature of weapons, some categorisation is needed - therefore, I will use the categories presented under Weapon Group rules from UA, as they seem to make some manner of unitary sense.

Axes

OK, according to fluff, axes chop through things really well. Now, this could be represented by an armour reduction, or a DR burn mechanic. Overall, I find the latter to be preferable.

Rules: A masterwork axe reduces the DR of any target by an amount equal to the user's Strength modifier. DR/alignment cannot be reduced this way.

Basic Weapons

One of the biggest problems with this group is that it's not thematically connected very well - we have the club and the quarterstaff, which are kinda similar, and then the dagger, which doesn't resemble them at all. The quarterstaff and dagger are weapons which could conceivably rely on Dexterity, but the club is purely a Strength thing. In fact, the only thing which unifies them at all is the fact they're easy to use - hardly an easy thing to figure out. Thus, this group will be omitted, as being a metagame construct.

Bows

Generally speaking, a masterwork bow shoots further or hits harder. Since the former is almost academic, let's work with the latter.

Rules: A masterwork bow deals additional damage equal to the user's Strength modifier. This is in addition to the Strength modifier you normally receive.

Claw Weapons

Ninjas. Neko-te. Climbing walls. 'Nuff said.

Rules: A masterwork claw weapon gives a +3 circumstance bonus on all Athletics checks made to climb. Additionally, they are considered climbing tools for all purposes.

Crossbows

Masterworking a crossbow would likely make it punch through armour better, or, perhaps, deal more damage due to a stronger pull. Since the latter is already taken care of by our new crossbow rules, let's work with the former.

Rules: A masterwork crossbow ignores up the the user's Dexterity modifier in AC from armour with all attacks made by it, provided that the targeted opponent is more than 30' away.

Druid Weapons

This group is also made of WTF. The weapons literally have no connection to each other half the time. Again, this needs to be left out of further consideration for the same reason as basic weapons - they are literally a metagame consideration.

Flails and Chains

Tripping.

Rules: A masterwork flail or chain gives its user a bonus on all trip checks equal to his Strength modifier. Additionally, for the purposes of tripping, the user is always considered to have the Edge against an opponent, unless that opponent is wielding a shield or a reach weapon.

Heavy Blades

While there is a dead-obvious case for extra damage, this is not particularly exciting. Another aspect of most of these weapons (not the longsword, but honestly, who cares?) is that they were historically wielded as reach weapons. Thus, masterworking them could improve their balance, which would allow this to be done.

Rules: A masterwork heavy blade gains 5ft of reach.

Light Blades

These are fairly easy - they are supposed to be good at disarming stuff and parrying. Now, the former is kinda narrow and boring, so let's go with the other.

Rules: When using the Combat Expertise option while wielding a light blade, you may add one-half your Dex modifier as an additional dodge bonus to your AC.

Maces and Clubs

Maces and clubs traditionally wrecked armour pretty bad. However, we already have a weapon which does this - the crossbow. However, since it's a ranged weapon, we hardly care.

Rules: Against armour heavier than light, a masterwork mace or club ignores an amount of AC from armour equal to the user's Strength modifier.

Monk Weapons

Quite honestly, this is yet another category which has no connectedness. So let's leave it be.

Picks and Hammers

This is yet another tricky group, as it includes weapons as diverse as the light hammer and the scythe (?!). Additionally, these things were good at cutting through armour - but our maces and clubs already take care of this. One easy justification would be that they are good at tripping people - but again, this is taken care of by the chains group. To this end, I'm gonna leave this group for now, pending further suggestions.

Polearms

These kick the asses of chargers and cavalry. So let's work with this.

Rules: Against charging opponents (whether by readied action or in the subsequent round), or against mounted opponents (at all times), a masterwork polearm receives a bonus to hit equal to one-half the user's Dexterity modifier. Against a charging, mounted opponent, the bonus is instead equal to the user's entire Dexterity modifier.

Slings and Thrown Weapons

This is something of a difficult one. Since these are intended to be thrown away rather than used repeatedly, having these masterworked seems like a rich man's game, and thus rather unlikely. Thus, leaving blank.

Spears and Lances

This is a fairly easy group to do - spears which have been masterworked are more aerodynamic, making them easier to throw.

Rules: A masterwork spear or lance has its range increment doubled, or gains a range increment of 20ft if it didn't already have one.

How's this?


Last edited by MisterSinister on Sun Feb 15, 2009 1:07 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Rant on masterworking [Tome]

Post by Tshern on Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:17 am

Your fixes seem to be a bit off balance. +3 to Athletics checks as opposed to reducing your opponents AC by a good number? If the price is the same, this is kind of punitive as anyone not using two-handed weapon in 3.5 is pretty much automatically nerfed anyway. Perhaps I misunderstood your point, but this is the first thought I got.

Also, to fix picks and scythe, perhaps they could do the club trick to light armour. So, if someone wears a chain shirt, he's fucked. This might actually even make sense, since poking something through a shirt like that is not totally out of question.

I'd add a small +2 or +3 bonus to disarming with those light blades, the Combat expertise bonus is way too situational and in most cases utterly useless.

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Re: Rant on masterworking [Tome]

Post by MisterSinister on Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:21 am

Tshern wrote:Your fixes seem to be a bit off balance. +3 to Athletics checks as opposed to reducing your opponents AC by a good number? If the price is the same, this is kind of punitive as anyone not using two-handed weapon in 3.5 is pretty much automatically nerfed anyway. Perhaps I misunderstood your point, but this is the first thought I got.

Also, to fix picks and scythe, perhaps they could do the club trick to light armour. So, if someone wears a chain shirt, he's fucked. This might actually even make sense, since poking something through a shirt like that is not totally out of question.

I'd add a small +2 or +3 bonus to disarming with those light blades, the Combat expertise bonus is way too situational and in most cases utterly useless.

They are off-kilter, but there's a reason for that - it's called 'I'm not much of a dev'. If you can suggest something which is more-or-less in-line with things instead of the +3 bonus, I would be very grateful.

The Combat Expertise bonus is something EVERYONE can do under Tomes, which is what I design for. However, if someone is insane enough not to be using Tome rules, then yes, I agree completely.

On clubs and scythes: Good idea - that way, I can make maces and co. apply to medium/heavy armour.
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Re: Rant on masterworking [Tome]

Post by Tshern on Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:53 am

I try to come up with something. It's just those weapons are a bit underwhelming to say the least. Even giving a bonus when you are in someone elses square sounds quite useless as does extra damage in grapple situations.

As a suggestion, please post if your thread deals with Tome content, it makes it easier for everyone to distinguish. So far we two are the only ones around who have some knowledge of the system.

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Re: Rant on masterworking [Tome]

Post by MisterSinister on Sun Feb 15, 2009 1:06 am

Tshern wrote:I try to come up with something. It's just those weapons are a bit underwhelming to say the least. Even giving a bonus when you are in someone elses square sounds quite useless as does extra damage in grapple situations.

As a suggestion, please post if your thread deals with Tome content, it makes it easier for everyone to distinguish. So far we two are the only ones around who have some knowledge of the system.

Sure thing - I'll make it a point to edit these to do so. I might even tag the titles. And thanks - all help is appreciated.
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Re: Rant on masterworking [Tome]

Post by Tshern on Sun Feb 15, 2009 1:10 am

No problem, perhaps tossing in [Tome] or something to the title would help. Probably wouldn't scare people away, since Tomes are not that different, the mechanics are quite similar. Perhaps I can contribute more later.

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Re: Rant on masterworking [Tome]

Post by Reverend Red on Mon Feb 16, 2009 6:27 pm

Okay, for what it's worth, I'm going to go ahead and post according to my knowledge of D&D3.5ed and not that of the Tomes, which I have still yet to read, and according to my knowledge of medieval weaponry.

Considering spears and lances: I do wonder why masterworking a melee weapon makes it a better thrown weapon. Is anyone seriously going to throw away their fucking lance?

Flails and chains: Though I do respond well to the usefulness of tripping (especially on lower levels, where Masterwork mostly carries its usefulness anyway) I think disarming should be also a factor. I mean, a chain weapon, like a spiked chain or a kusarigama was used for removing weapons from the other guy's hands. As for flails being used to tripping, I don't even know how that would work in practise.

Thrown weapons (and arrows!): As for the logic of actually masterworking thrown objects, it doesn't make much sense, in terms of the extensive amount of GP to do so, but the fact is, ranged combat should be encouraged more (and let's all remind ourselves, this is one of those famous "opinions") and therefore I'd like to propose that masterwork thrown, slung or shot weapons and equipment could perhaps be considered so endurant, that they are not in fact lost or broken in use.

Concerning picks and hammers: I wonder if the two groups be separated. If not, one idea, though this would obviously be biting the warrior types in the ass, would be that they're better or even supreme at sundering armor. Because a warpick, used to pierce through chainmail and the joints of a plate mail (or if the pick was at the back of a cavalry-used hammer, through the plate itself) would essentially ruing the armor - hammers, then again, ruined plate but their damage went through chain and lighter armor unnoticed. Is armor-sundering a bad idea?

Light blades: I think the expertise rating of a person can't really be determined by their weapons, or at least it can't really be enhanced by them (except if magical, and yes, you can argue against this as well as against anything) but would rather give an advantage at close-quarthers fighting. Bonuses to Attacks of Opportunity, or even additional AoO's?

Claw weapons: this confuses me. In warfare or duels, these were never really a combat option, and different kinds of claws were added to gauntlets, bracers and weapons as a bonus. I think, since we're trying to beef up warrior types here anyway, it might be considered that these weapons would be an added bonus to the aforementioned objects. Sort of like slotless weapons, perhaps? The climbing aid is definetly a logical step.

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Re: Rant on masterworking [Tome]

Post by Tshern on Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:01 pm

Sundering armors is not possible as per D&D 3.5.

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Re: Rant on masterworking [Tome]

Post by Reverend Red on Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:06 pm

I'll take it as a bad idea then.

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