|Weapons table from the Ready Ref Sheets|
I have written previously about redesigning the weapon versus AC modifiers as bonuses, and then making access to that table a fighter benefit. Basically, the idea was to reformulate the table as only bonuses, and then give that table to the players of fighter characters. As it would always be a good thing to use the table, players would be incentivized to pay attention to that sort of thing, and probably also be incentivized to carry more than one kind of weapon (so that they would be able to have advantages against different kinds of enemies).
Redoing the weapon versus armor class table is hard though, so I never managed to bring that idea to fruition. But what if we don’t change the numbers at all, but rather only read the parts of it that are advantageous to the player? We can still keep the negative numbers, but rather than weapon penalties against certain kinds of armor (players are not going to try very hard to remember that), instead consider the negative numbers as armor strength against particular weapons. So, for example, if you are wearing plate armor, you can impose a -3 attack penalty against someone attacking you with a dagger. I think this table is identical to the one in Supplement I: Greyhawk, other than the omission of the military pick.
(Aside: I believe that second column, the one that goes 1, 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc is supposed to indicate weapon length. This could be used to determine space required or initiative. But that is a topic for another post.)
So here is a version of the data in the above table, displayed as benefits and by diegetic armor type rather than AC number. Players obviously only need to pay attention to the weapons they have. Unless otherwise noted, all penalties and bonuses are 1.
WEAPONS: STRONG AGAINST
- dagger: unarmored (+2), shield
- hand axe: unarmored, shield
- mace: plate
- hammer: chain, plate
- battle axe: chain, chain & shield
- morning star: unarmored (+2), shield (+2), leather, leather & shield, chain (+2), chain & shield
- flail: unarmored, shield, leather, leather & shield, chain (+2), chain & shield, plate (+2), plate & shield (+2)
- pole arm: unarmored (+2), shield (+2), leather (+2), leather & shield, chain
- halberd: leather & shield, chain (+2), chain & shield, plate
- two-handed sword: unarmored (+2), shield (+2), leather (+2), leather & shield (+2), chain (+3), chain & shield (+3), plate (+2), plate & shield
- mounted lance: unarmored (+3), shield (+3), leather (+3), leather & shield (+3), chain (+2), chain & shield
ARMOR: STRONG AGAINST
- chain: hand axe, spear
- chain & shield: hand axe, spear, dagger
- plate: dagger (-3), hand axe (-2), sword, spear
- plate & shield: dagger (-3), hand axe (-3), sword (-2), spear (-2), pole arm, pike