SooperGenius wrote:The price and EV differences are there but fairly inconsequential. After a level or two characters don't have a hard time buying standard weapons. The typical fighter-type isn't going to be so constrained by EV that it becomes an issue.
The role-playing concerns, I totally agree with.
I guess my (very small) discontent is that making tactical choices that matter is a fun part of the game. Which weapon to use based on interesting trade-offs is part of those tactical decisions. Making it so there aren't really interesting differences in a class of weapon is missing an opportunity.
I don't actually have a defense or apology for the C&C weapons list. Here are some thoughts though:
Legolas with a heavy crossbow would feel silly. When I make my own characters this is often the primary consideration -- where am I from, what kind of weapon might I actually have. This is largely aesthetic and setting related (and yes, you are a liability to your party if you pick something cute instead of effective, but it's also more immersive if you aren't a thief dragging around a wheeled ballista).
Mechanically, yeah, everyone who can should be using a heavy crossbow, a bearded axe, a piercing axe or bastard sword, or a club.
But say you are a fighter who specializes in heavy crossbows and you find a +3 longbow lying around. This is where tradeoffs start to come into play: especially fighters end up using a variety of weapons in their career. The fact that multiple weapons exist and force them to consider the tradeoffs is part of the fun, I guess.
But bear in mind in OD&D weapons all do 1d6. Variable weapon damage by itself is kind of arbitrary. AD&D added the weapons vs. armor chart, which changes the tactics up quite a bit, but is unwieldy in play.
Some games just cut the flavor entirely and all daggers/knives do this much damage, all one-handed weapons do this much, etc.
In another thread the CKG STR rules for bows is mentioned. This is a differentiating factor. Also, the presence of items like arrows of slaying -- nothing says you need to have this available in all ammo types.
CKG also has a rate of fire rule whereby you can array your arrows about you before combat starts and fire additional shots. It would be reasonable to rule that one cannot do this with a heavy crossbow.
If you want every weapon to be a totally unique thing, you might look at either version of the Arms and Armor book (they aren't very similar IMO.) Those books give additional statistics for these weapons that change how they might work in different situations. Mostly for melee weapons, though there are more types of bows and crossbows listed and also several different kinds of arrows.
Personally, when I hear complaints of the variety "why doesn't everybody do X if it's best," I have a few thoughts. First, yes, why not? (Or if it doesn't matter, make them all the best.) Second, why not? Because it's boring. Third, *shrug* it's a D&D type game, and this is the level of abstraction we have right now.
One of my least favorite parts of computer games is carrying around a golf bag of slightly different weapons that are all useful in a handful of situations. It seems cool at first that you have the Blessed Forgotten Heroic Elven Bow of Boofendir, that does 3d6 on the third Sunday of the month and casts "mend" on your shoelaces and kills undead who died of drowning but gives goblin enemies a charisma bonus, but once you've found 40 of those you end up going back to the stupid peasant sword you started with just to stay sane (it's one reason I like a non-lethal monk with a vow of poverty as a character.)