View Poll Results: So where do you stand, the simple or specialised feat camp?

18. You may not vote on this poll
  • Simple Weapon Proficiency Groups.

    12 66.67%
  • Specialised Weapon Proficiency Groups.

    6 33.33%
  • I am undecided.

    0 0%
Page 2 of 2 First 12
  1. #11

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Jonesboro, Arkansas, United States
    For d20 the simple weapon proficiency approach is best, considering the complexity of d20 combat rules. Personally, I prefer the specialized weapon proficiency approach for systems that have less of a focus on battles and more of a focus on combat itself. In my own rpg I use a very specialized weapon proficiency system where characters train not in groups of weapons but in individual weapons themselves, gaining a limited proficiency with related weapons. In my opinion, only pure warriors sould know how to wield a diverse range of weaponry. Non warrior-classes should not have access to very many weapons at all. Maybe just a knife, sword, or staff (staves being one of the easiest weapons to master).
    FG II Full license holder.

  2. #12
    Another issue with weapon proficiency is that the current d20 system attempts a balance throughout all phases of the game. I.E. choosing feats for your character is an agonizing decision because they are so well balanced. Playing a rogue? Do you take Weapon Focus or Improved Initiative? Or Point Blank Shot? Or Skill Focus in Hide? Also, feats are balanced against skills which are balanced against spells which are balanced against class features. When you dilute the effectiveness of a weapon proficiency feat, you change the balance in favor of other feats, classes and skills. Wizards are affected very little by changes to weapon proficiency as they don't rely on them. Fighters are extremely impacted. Do you grant additional feats to martial classes? Do you say one feat lets you pick X number of weapons?

    Not to say that more realistic weapon proficiency systems aren't workable, but keep in mind that the changes are not made in a vacuum.

    As for the real world difference between training with an axe versus a longsword, or a dagger versus a mace, no doubt the difference is even more pronounced than in any of the proposed systems. The differences between individual weapons of the same type probably warrant special treatment. Baseball players can be hugely affected by a single ounce of weight in a bat, after all. Of course, the systems are an abstraction and the real debate is over the level of abstraction that feels right for a particular group.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Ged
    I think that ICE's HARP has a rather good system for handling "weapon proficiencies", although there still remains some complexity that could be streamlined.
    • Weapons are classified into several classes (such as 1-handed edged, 1-handed concussion, and thrown),
    • which are subdivided into weapon groups (e.g. for 1-handed there are 4 groups including long blades and axes)
    • and further a default weapon is selected from the group. In summary, on might have skill for long sword, without the need to worry about groups and classes.

    However, having the long sword weapon skill gives a bonus for using all 1-handed edged weapons and better bonus to all other long blades. The default weapon of a group can be changed by training for a week (for instance, from long sword to falchion).

    Using the conversion mechanisms between Rolemaster and D&D 2nd edition (or just common sense), the rule could be quite easily adapted to d20.

    (ICE offers the HARP lite (98 pages pdf of core rules) freely on their web site.)
    That system sounds a little too complicated even for me, and I like detail.
    Tailz Silver Paws
    Follow Tailz on Twitter, Facebook,, and Studio WyldFurr.
    "You can now watch me building maps and other fantasy gaming art on Twitch"

  4. #14
    The most awe inspiring systems, in my opinion, involve a skill-chart style listing of weapons (sub-charted by category) with increasing penelties the further you get from a weapon you master. These systems are like ICE's HARP that Tailz Silver Pawz mentioned.

    SYSTEM A A linear chart
    For example (of a simple system like this, but not HARP): Say you are a super-master-uberslasher with a Rapier and have a +12 attack with it. Attacks with one handed slashing weapons would be in the +8-9 range. Attacks with one handed piercing weapons would be in the +8-9 range because of the pierce association.
    Two handed slashing weapons are an entirely different style and would put me in the +2-3 range. I probably have a minus for two handed bashing weapons.

    From the weapon of your choice on the master weapon chart (rapier in this example), count the weapons between it and the chair leg you just picked up and get your midifier by taking a minus from your attack for every weapon you move up or down the chart. Every actual category you cross (one handed piercing to one handed slashing) you get a much worse attack modifier (and maybe a damage modifier if Dam is being done seperately).

    SYSTEM B A dynamic, 3 deminsional chart
    Simple enough, but that's just the begining; because the weakness of systems like this is when the game designers make a linear list. Meaning you only go up or down the chart. Weapons are dynamic and you use many of them in simular ways for different reasons. To avoid oversimplification, your list has to be a series of small groups with the top and bottom slot of a particular group being a suggestion on what group you can link to. A dynamic system like this is rewarding in it's actual use at the gaming table but makes character concept and generation a nightmare.

    Example: Let's have this system A)use STRENGTH for swinging a weapon with all your might and DEXTERITY for trying to hit critical areas, B)organize the lists according to motion of attack (with axes you make one handed overhead or horizontal swings, and with flails the same moves plus entangling sweeps) and C) organize the list with the smaller weapons at the bottom.

    ONE HANDED Chopping these are STRENGTH weapons which you swing with all your might

    From here go to Two handed list at Battleaxe (bottom of Two handed slashers chart) or go to short sword (bottom of one handed military slashers)
    Hand axe

    From here go to Club (bottom of one handed smashing chart) or optionally knife (bottom of one handed piercing chart)

    ONE HANDED SMASHING these also happen to be STRENGTH weapons you swing with all your might.

    From here go to club (bottom of two handed bashing)

    From here go to cleaver (on one handed slashers chart) Or optionally to fist (bottom of unarmed chart)

    Now's the cool part. You can pick up shortsword and use all that FLAIL knowlege you've been mastering. Just take a minus 1 for every weapon slot you move up or down a chart, and a minus 2 for every chart you cross. It's like the Kevin Beacon game.

    Basically, you loose allot of playablility with systems like this, which is ironic because they are so rewarding to the individuals who master them.

    When I say loose playability, I don't mean just slowing down the action at the gaming table. I mean loosing players as well. Many players want as much bang as they can get with ease of play. When you get a system like this all dialed in, don't be surprised to look up and find yourself alone at the gaming table.

    I.C.E makes some very rewarding games with along this concept, but if they had playability we'd all be playing Rolemaster right now instead of D20.

  5. #15
    Hand axe
    From here go to Club (bottom of one handed smashing chart) or optionally knife (bottom of one handed piercing chart)
    This should read:
    Hand axe
    From here go to Mace (bottom of one handed smashing chart) or optionally knife (bottom of one handed piercing chart)
    See, I already messed it up. That kinda complexity is askin fer trouble.

  6. #16
    Not really dealing with proficiencies, but I liked what they did in the Everquest RPG with weapon speeds. Essentially larger, slower weapons would reduce your BAB progression, and lighter, faster ones would increase it. In effect, at 20th level a fighter with a dagger would get 6 attacks per round, while one with a greastword would get 3. Magical effects like Speed would decrease the weapon's speed by one class, so a speed dagger could give 7 attacks, and a greatsword 4. It only added one stat to each weapon, and one chart to the book, but added a lot of balance to the weapons, and gave fighter types a reason to do something other than just pick the biggest weapon on the chart.

  7. #17
    After discussions with the gamers I game with, I have re-written my weapon proficiencies to be a cross between the D20 Modern ones and the D&D ones. That way people who know D&D or D20 will be able to follow the flow.

    But I still like a more detailed system myself, but since I am putting together a World War II set for use with D20, I best stick with what D20 system players are used too.
    Tailz Silver Paws
    Follow Tailz on Twitter, Facebook,, and Studio WyldFurr.
    "You can now watch me building maps and other fantasy gaming art on Twitch"

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