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5/04/2019 4:15 am  #1


Average Weapon Damage

I've made a spreadsheet to calculate the average damage output of various weapons under many different circumstances. Here are may findings: https://ynasmidgard.blogspot.com/2019/05/as-average-damage-per-2-rounds.html

 

5/04/2019 5:28 am  #2


Re: Average Weapon Damage

Interesting! Thanks for sharing.


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

5/04/2019 5:28 am  #3


Re: Average Weapon Damage

Very interesting, and thanks much: analyses like this always make me consider implementing the old AD&D weapon vs. AC rules, to adjust certain weapons (like crossbows) which are underpowered in D&D. But increasing the damage output might be much simpler.


"My own concepts in this regard are easy and clear, and I am sure that the word 'simplistic' will be used by my critics. These folk are callow and turgid of intellect; I am reassured by their howls and yelps."
Jack Vance, The Face
 

5/04/2019 7:00 am  #4


Re: Average Weapon Damage

Glad youguys find it interesting.

To be frank, even 1d8+1 and 1d10+2 for light and heavy crossbows, respectively, doesn't fully address the issue. I'm considering 2d4+1 and 2d6+2 at the moment.

     Thread Starter
 

5/04/2019 7:07 am  #5


Re: Average Weapon Damage

Let us know how it goes. I very rarely see people choose crossbow (never?), so I'm clueless about how effective they are in a basic sense, much less across a long period of time and various tactical situations.


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

5/04/2019 7:43 am  #6


     Thread Starter
 

5/04/2019 11:14 am  #7


Re: Average Weapon Damage

I've added a sheet for the monk and been playing around with two-weapon fighting.
I'll add those to the public file early next week.

     Thread Starter
 

5/09/2019 3:21 pm  #8


Re: Average Weapon Damage

Nice work!

My understanding is that the main advantages of crossbows were they 1) didn't require much training to use and 2) had superior armor penetration. I'm not sure having them do almost triple the damage as other bows, regardless of opponent armor, accurately reflects this. It's also worth noting that they have non-damage advantages over other bows even as it stands (for example, a sniper could wait with one cocked and ready to fire on an instant's notice, and could do so in a cramped space where drawing a bow would be impossible, so they are well suited to assassins).

Some of the other weapons have factors besides damage to recommend them. For example, a long sword and a battle axe do exactly the same damage. Meanwhile, a long sword costs twice as much and weighs only one pound less. Why (excepting cases where that one pound makes a difference to encumbrance level) would anyone ever bother with a long sword? Because some classes have long swords on their favored weapons list, but not battle axes (or any of the other weapons with identical profiles); for those classes, the choice is either to take a long sword or take a hit penalty. I think many of the other cases where weapons don't appear to have good cost-damage ratios have similar caveats.

Although I think this is good work, and interesting information to have, I guess I can't be bothered to make changes because I fundamentally don't care what classes, weapons, armor, spells, etc. the players choose for their PCs. So I'm not really inspired to try to tinker with those items in order to boost less popular options. "So what if no one uses a crossbow?" is my feeling, although in fact I've known several players who did prefer them. Coolness winning out over PC optimization, maybe? https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/smile.png

Last edited by Blackadder23 (5/09/2019 3:23 pm)


Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.
 

5/10/2019 2:55 am  #9


Re: Average Weapon Damage

Thank you!

Well, even with 2d4+1 and 2d6+2 damage, stationary bowmen outdamage crossbowmen against unarmoured foes (especially if they have weapon mastery!). It's the guaranteed minimum damage of 3 and 4, respectively, that would give crossbows a distinct and measurable advantage (and the fact that heavy crossbows, albeit only every other round, have a chance to deal a significant amount, making them more visceral).

I agree, though, that damage output isn't the only thing that defines a weapon: there's also cost, weight, style, and other hardly measurable advantages (such as that axes can be used to hack open a wooden crate or door, maces are easier to smash things with, and crossbows are ideal, as you pointed out, for lying on a roof with an arrow cocked, ready to assassinate).

I have a sweet spot for B/X D&D in my heart, where everyone attacks only once per round and only d4-d6-d8 damage dice exist (at least for players) - a very intuitive system. AS&SH, on the other hand, has more options, more varied attack rates and damage dice, and I felt the need to investigate whether certain options worked as I anticipated them to work. I have no intention to "balance" things; rather, I had a vague feeling crossbows weren't actually that great (and maybe that a bunch of crossbowmen shooting at my players wouldn't be as threatening as I hoped?), and I needed data to support that.

     Thread Starter
 

5/10/2019 8:49 am  #10


Re: Average Weapon Damage

Ynas Midgard wrote:

Thank you!

Well, even with 2d4+1 and 2d6+2 damage, stationary bowmen outdamage crossbowmen against unarmoured foes (especially if they have weapon mastery!). It's the guaranteed minimum damage of 3 and 4, respectively, that would give crossbows a distinct and measurable advantage (and the fact that heavy crossbows, albeit only every other round, have a chance to deal a significant amount, making them more visceral).

I agree, though, that damage output isn't the only thing that defines a weapon: there's also cost, weight, style, and other hardly measurable advantages (such as that axes can be used to hack open a wooden crate or door, maces are easier to smash things with, and crossbows are ideal, as you pointed out, for lying on a roof with an arrow cocked, ready to assassinate).

I have a sweet spot for B/X D&D in my heart, where everyone attacks only once per round and only d4-d6-d8 damage dice exist (at least for players) - a very intuitive system. AS&SH, on the other hand, has more options, more varied attack rates and damage dice, and I felt the need to investigate whether certain options worked as I anticipated them to work. I have no intention to "balance" things; rather, I had a vague feeling crossbows weren't actually that great (and maybe that a bunch of crossbowmen shooting at my players wouldn't be as threatening as I hoped?), and I needed data to support that.

B/X is all weapons are d6.
If variable weapon damage option is used, the pole arm or 2handed sword will get you a d10.

Personally, I would counter that the single d6 does less to "balance" the game as it does to add greater use of all the weapons - providing much more room for robust roleplaying.
 

Last edited by Iron Ranger (5/10/2019 8:58 am)


3d6 straight.
 

5/10/2019 8:59 am  #11


Re: Average Weapon Damage

@Iron Ranger
Oh yeah, mea culpa.
Still, the impact of variable weapon damage is easier to predict than that of variable attack rates and weapon mastery - the precise effect of which I wished to investigate in the first place.

     Thread Starter
 

5/10/2019 10:36 am  #12


Re: Average Weapon Damage

Ynas Midgard wrote:

@Iron Ranger
Oh yeah, mea culpa.
Still, the impact of variable weapon damage is easier to predict than that of variable attack rates and weapon mastery - the precise effect of which I wished to investigate in the first place.

I prefer the d6 flat play style, but I do find the weapon vs armor and weapon speeds from ad&d fun in their own ways too.

Please keep us posted on your investigations!!


3d6 straight.
 

Yesterday 8:45 pm  #13


Re: Average Weapon Damage

Sorry for the thread necromancy, but I thought this was an interesting topic.  Looking at it from a real life perspective - the advantages of a crossbow are the ease of targeting with relatively little training and the ease of achieving high draw weights (increased force/penetration).  The downside is obviously the slow reload rate.  For bows, the main advantage is the faster reload rate but the downsides are that it is harder to learn to shoot and also has a much higher strength requirement to reach comparably high draw weights.  In the hands of experts, the bow is a better weapon hands down due to the faster reload rate.  I've seen experts shoot with both amazing speed and accuracy.  What is rare is extremely strong individuals who can shoot that way.  Perhaps the answer might be to reduce the base damage for a bow but to allow the strength bonus to damage?  Just a thought.       

 

Today 12:02 am  #14


Re: Average Weapon Damage

Oh, no problem at all!
That's a very good observation and a reasonable solution. I'm gonna run the numbers to see how that changes things.

     Thread Starter
 

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