Is Weapon Economy Too Simple?

When it comes to Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition, the design brief really does push for “simplicity” in many areas, and I can appreciate this to an extent, having heard tales of the mathematical calculations that existed previously.But it does kind of leave things feeling just a little.. Bland, not even just bland but disappointing, players like loot, they like to feel like they’re rewarded for their adventure, part of that includes finding new weapons in your travel.

Now, it is accepted that in 5E magic items are more rare than previously (even if the sage advice doesn’t seem to correspond) but what of your standard blacksmith? Are their skills the same across every township and city?Is the entire world homogenised in skill level?

I don’t know about anyone else but I find it very.. odd, that a short sword from a village blacksmith, a capital city, and from an ancient crypt, are all fundamentally and functionally the same.In fact, in the games I’ve played the DM has taken to describing the beauty in craftsmanship for weapons bought, that may not offer any real variety but it does mean that [check retsams sheet] whip carries the creators name, a tiny distinction that only exists as long as the character owns the weapon.

So what would I rather?Honestly, I would divorce a weapons attack and damage bonus.Looking at a hypothetical short sword, if we were to imbue the attack bonus not from magic, but from the quality, we could have a weapon that varies greater, whilst still being relatively simple.

What I would propose, and something I may look to include in my next campaign, is a system where an ancient weapon may suffer a penalty to hit, but still be capable of doing more damage.
It would be simple enough:
An ancient rusted weapon might suffer a -2 to hit.
A Goblin’s scavenged weapon would be -1.
A small village might produce 0 bonus to hit.
Then a decent smith would give a +1.
Next highly proficient obviously +2. 
And finally, a master of the craft would create a custom weapon that offers +3.

This wouldn’t change how often they can find magical items that increase damage, but would change the discussion, when a player finds an ancient magical sword that will hit less, but do more damage.

I can see this being an interesting plot point in an adventure.
Imagine with me for a second, a party who wake up in a dungeon with only scavenged supplies.
As the rules currently stand, a sword you pry from the hands of an ancient dead soldier is just as good as one forged today, it feels mechanically off to have them the same.
It would also add an element of urgency in trying to get something better, or get your own gear back.

But of course, this is just the ideas of a single DM and not for every table, but I feel it adds more to the game than it removes.

Are you happy with weapon economy in 5th Edition? Do you have your own fix for this that you feel is better than my own thoughts? Let me know in the comments and maybe I will steal it for my games in the future.

As a final note, before you call me out in the comments, I do realise that the above may require some balance, but this could be handwaved using a “What you’re used to/what is designed for you” argument.
ie: A Goblin/Kobold’s weapon would be built for small hands, so do not work as well for other Humanoids, or skeletins in an ancient dungeon have swung the same sword for a thousand years and have mastered that no matter how rusty.

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