Monday, January 11, 2010
I dunno about you, but my great axe deals d10 damage!
It seems like this post has stirred some discussion over the topic of weapon damage in D&D.
Here are some loose thoughts explaining why I like different types of dice for rolling weapon's damage (or why I oppose the idea of all weapons dealing d6 damage).
I believe that different damage dice are useful because, at least in my opinion, D&D has no other way of showing the advantage of wielding one weapon over another (somehow I never cared for weapon speed tables and etc.).
Let us imagine a fight in which one of the warriors is armed with a dagger and the other one with a long sword. The advantage of the second combatant is obvious and that's where different damage dice come handy. It's simple, one of them takes more damage since he's wielding an inferior weapon, which puts him into disadvantage. If they both were wielding daggers, the fight would have been even and they'd just slowly stab each other to death. In the first example, the dagger wielder dies faster because his opponent's weapon allows for better in combat performance, than his own weapon.
Some might say, the example with the sword vs. dagger works good, because it's obvious which one of them is inferior. But what about weapons that are completely different? Like say a sword vs. an axe?
It's true that the sword is a faster and a more useful weapon (in combat, not in every day life!). However in this case, the difference is simply in damage. An axe is a crude weapon that deals a lot of damage. A sword wielder might deliver several lighter slashes, but when the axe armored barbarian lands a blow - he hacks. It's much easier to hack some one's arm off with an axe than with a sword.
So this is my small rationalization of weapon damage. Even though I don't think my interpretation was the original reason for introducing varying weapon damage, it works fine for me.
Most of all it's fun!
I'd rather see those 10 and 8 sided polyhedrons roll as players hack their way through enemies, than count weapon speed and what not.