I know I'm not supposed to be thinking of changes to the Beacon rules at this time. I understand that I am in the ready for play-testing and preparation phase. I know I should be preparing for playing in a sci-fi HEROES game and anticipating what that system might feel like. I know I haven't finished playing Assassins Creed 2 yet and am behind one episode of Walking Dead. But I can't help it. I have been thinking a lot of about Variable Weapon Damage.
Here's the thing. I am worried about introducing Minimum Strength requirements for weapons into the game as written because it seems a bit to fiddly, and a bit well ... inelegant. Initially the idea was one I picked up from the M20 forums that answered the core question - how can prevent spell casters from using great axes. I like the idea that MinSTR works with armor because you don't change armour that much and it serves to keep everyone from running about in plate and jumping over pits and such. I like MinSTR as a replacement for outright prohibition - I don't like the fact that it becomes a burden when a character grabs a weapon off a dead gnoll. I have also been thinking alot about this post about D6 weapon damage on B/X Blackrazor and other similar postings. The real problem isn't figuring out how to discourage imbalance by making it harder to use certain weapons - the real problem is the fact that making a dagger do 1d4 means no-one wants to use a crappy dagger. On the other hand I still don't want a dagger to do the same damage as a two handed battle axe - even if the two handed damage bonus of +1 is applied.
So what I am thinking of is making all 'light' weapons do 1d6 and all other 'heavy' weapons do 1d8. Light weapons wouldn't have a MinSTR, other weapons would have a blanket MinSTR of 12. Some of the existing weapons that do 1d6 I'd move into the 'light weapons' group, like the club, the scimitar and the rapier as well as all the ranged weapons except the long bow and the heavy crossbow. That would simplify things a lot I think. As for 2 handed weapons - they would do 1d8 yes, but you would still get the full STR bonus as a damage modifier (remember that one handed gives you half the STR bonus as damage).
That would simplify things while giving more options for flavour in the game. And your storybook rogue would not be hobbling himself by carrying around a brace of daggers as his main weapons anymore. Nor would your 7 foot tall dual battle-axe wielding wild man be such a one man wrecking crew.
I'm not saying this is a done deal, but I have been thinking of it.