I've always been a variable weapon damage guy...when I first got my Otus Basic Box and I was perusing the rules, when I came to the part about how variable weapon damage is an optional rule, and that you can use 1d6 for all weapons I scoffed, "What a load of horseshit!'
Nowadays, I'm intrigued by the concept. I'm all for simplicity, encouraging flavourful weapon choices, and experimenting with the different systems throughout D&D's history. And, like many have said, a knife can kill you just as dead as a Dwarven Double Great Axe. It's not like D&D's variable weapon damages are based on any rigourous, true scientific realism or anything. Plus, non-variable weapon damage solves some firearm conundrums.
Now, the following is inspired by both the frequent house rule I see among OD&D types that all weapons inflict 1d6 damage, but for a two-handed weapon you roll twice and take the higher roll, and also the weapon notes in the awesome Terminal Space that suggest using a similar method for energy weapons and the like.
Blair's OD&D & B/X D&D Semi-Variable Weapon Damage Houserule
- Weapons inflict 1d6 damage on a hit.
- However, as many have been already doing, roll two dice for two handed weapons and use the higher roll. This may be applicable for heavy crossbows.
- But, when using a dagger/knife, club, sling stone or improvised weapon (chair, rock, broken bottle), roll two dice and take the lower of the two rolls.
And here's a similar system for use with the Carcosa variable damage dice rolls.
- Use the Carcosa dice type table to determine what kind of dice to use for weapon damage on a hit.
- However, when using a two-handed weapon, roll twice on the aforementioned table, and use the higher of the two results.
- And when using a dagger/knife, club, sling stone, or improvised weapon, roll twice, as above, but use the lower of the two rolls.
I'd probably use the above methods in conjunction with the OD&D Greyhawk Weapon Vs. AC Modifiers, just to be idiosyncratic (I love weapon vs. AC modifiers!).
I've been lax with the music lately...here's a great, classic track by a band that you all should be listening to instead of The Sword... ;)