View Full Version : 5e advanced weapon properties (a gnomish look at it)

2015-06-08, 05:11 AM
Note before this begins: Yes this makes the game more complicated. Yes, it is intended to make some of the "sub-optimal" weapons (like dagger, club, morningstar, etc) more usable. No, I do not claim to be the absolute expert on all things weapon, and I am looking for a bit of feedback on how fitting certain abilities are/ the balance of certain weapon abilities.

And before anyone asks, yes my job gives me a lot of free time. This likely surprises no one. >_<

War. War never changes. But the weapons and tactics people use are constantly in flux. The tools change with time and armor, a constant cat-and-mouse of ever changing weapons and fighting styles, all built to counter and defeat each other. Those proficient with their tools of war know how to leverage their unique capabilities and fighting styles, allowing them to use them to deadly effect.

General weapons change: Creatures who are not proficient with a weapon may still apply half of their attack bonus to attack rolls woth the weapon and benefit from general weapon features a weapon possesses. However, they may only benefit from the advanced features of weapons they are proficient with.

The most basic of features, a general weapon feature is inherent to the weapon itself. Anyone can take advantage of these properties, regardless of their formal weapons training. Such features typically do not affect a weapon's over-all effectiveness.

Ammunition: A weapon with the ammunition property fires projectiles at high velocity at foes. Often these weapons require two hands to operate, one to draw the ammunition and the propellant, and one to hold the weapon and aim it while doing so. Ammunition for the weapon is drawn as part of an attack, and is typically expended afterwords. Usually only part of a ranged weapon.

Heavy: Heavy weapons are large, powerful and unwieldy. Such weapons typically must be held in two hands to properly use. Certain feats and features key off of this weapon property. (+1 damage die size)

Finess: These weapons, by their shape and weight, rely more on accuracy and nibleness than brute force. A weapon with this property may use dexterity or strength on attack and damage rolls.

Light: Small, fast and nimble, these weapons are often used by assassins as they are easy to conceal. Light weapons are commonly used in two weapon fighting, as their size allows them to be used without penalty. (-1 damage die size)

Loading: Weapons with the loading property are especially difficult to reload, and require a good deal of time and effort to do so. Ranged weapons with this property may only be fired 1/ action. (+1 damage die size)

Ranged: Ranged weapons may make attacks against creatures at a distance. Ranged weapons have a close range increment and a long range increment, and use dexterity for attack and damage rolls. Attacks with a ranged weapon against targets in its long range increment, and attacks made with a ranged weapon while a hostile creature is adjacent to the wielder are made at disadvantage. (-1 damage die size)

Reach: A reach weapon is longer than a normal melee weapon. A creature with a reach weapon may make melee attacks against creatures or objects 5ft farther than they could normally reach. (-1 damage die size)

Throwing: Melee weapons balanced for throwing and dealing damage from near and far. Throwing weapons have a range increment in their stat block determining their effective range, and may be recovered after they have been thrown. Thrown weapons with the ammunition property, such as the dagger and dart, may be drawn and thrown as part of an attack. (-1 damage die size)

Two handed:[/td] A two handed weapon requires two hands to properly aim and apply force to each attack. (+1 damage die size)

Versatile: Versatile weapons may be used in one or two hands. When held in two hands, a versatile increases its damage die by one size, and the weapon is treated as a heavy weapon when it is beneficial to the wielder.
There are two things to note here. One; Versatile weapons can now use the -5/+10 quality of Heavy Weapon Master, two; Halflings and other "small" creatures can use versatile weapons to benefit from things that proc off of heavy weapons without penalty.

Just thought I would point these things out.

Now we get to the really different stuff. Those trained in a weapon's use beyond simple operation know how to leaverage each and every implament's strengths, pulling off techniques that a simple commoner is unable to perform. Martial weapons, often being better crafted, tend to have more wide-reaching weapon features.

For simplicity's sake, each ability belongs to one "category" of weapon, corresponding to the weapon's damage type. Ranged weapons have their own category.

As a note, an alternate use for these properties could easily be making them into "masterwork" weapon properties, but unless each weapon gains all of their advanced weapon features when it becomes masterwork, it will do nothing to balance out the weapons table.

Bash: A weapon with this property is especially devestating on a lucky hit. When the wielder lands a critical hit with this weapon, they may cause a limb on a living creature to go numb, causing one of the following effects:
One of the creature's arms goes numb. Any weapons used by that arm may not be used on the wielder's next attack action, and if that arm is bearing a shield, then the creature loses that shield's AC bonus until the end of their next turn.
One of the creature's legs is numbed, cutting their land speed in half until the end of their next turn.
The target's wing goes numb, preventing them from flying until the end of their next turn. If they are flying already, then they fall to the ground harmlessly.
If a creature lacks one of the listed limbs, then they may not be targeted by that particular effect.

[b]Breach: This weapon is designed to fight foes who wear heavy armors, bashing helms, denting breast plates and battering shields alike. The first attack a weapon with this quality makes each turn against a foe in heavy or medium armor is made with advantage. Certain slashing weapons may possess this capability.

Crushing: The weapon is especially potent against inanimate objects. Attacks against objects made with it are made at advantage, and all hits against these objects deal an additional 5 damage.

Grab: This weapon has a length of rope or chain on it that a skilled user may attempt to use to grab and disarm their foes. When attacking a foe in your reach with this weapon, you may use a bonus action to force an opposed athletics check. If you succeed, you may disarm or grapple the foe.

Staggering: This weapon's force is weighted to disrupt a target's movement. Eact time this weapon deals damage to a creature, that creature's movement is slowed by 5ft until the beginning of their next turn. Certain ranged weapons may possess this capability.

Armor piercing: Instead of taking the attack action with this weapon, you may spend your action to make a single attack with advantage. If this attack hits, you may add an additional damage die to the damaged rolled for every instance of the Extra Attack feature you possess. On a critical hit, you double these damage die. ((Note, only an action may proc armor piercing.))

Charge: This weapon is meant to be used from horse back. As long as you are mounted, you may use this weapon in one hand without penalty. However, this weapon is unwieldy against enemies that are too close, and you have disadvantage on attack rolls against foes within 5ft while using this weapon. This advanced feature does not modify a weapon's damage die.

Horse-killer: This weapon is meant to be used to deal greater damage to mounts that charge into them. Instead of taking the attack action or ready action, you may use your action to set your spear. When a mounted creature moves towards you and enters your reach, you may use your reaction to make an attack against its mount. This attack is automatically treated like a critical hit if it lands, regardless of the actual roll. If this kills the mount, the rider must make a DC 13 dexterity saving throw or be pinned beneath the mount when it collapses.

Pin: When you damage a prone creature with this weapon, you may use your bonus action to attempt perform one of the following effects to a creature one size larger than you or smaller. The attempt requires you to succed on an opposed athletics check with the target. If you succeed, you are unable to use the weapon until you release your target or it escapes.
[list] You may pin the target's weapon to the ground, preventing them from wielding it until they can overcome your original athletics check.
You pin the creature's leg to the ground, preventing it from moving until it succeeds against your original athletics check.
You pin the creature's arm to the ground, preventing it from using that limb until it succeeds against your original athletics check.

Protection: This weapon is meant to prevent attacks from landing on you in a duel, and sacrifices some power to increase your defense. While held in your off hand, this weapon increases your AC by 1.

Repost: When an enemy in reach misses you with a melee weapon attack, you may take advantage of their temporary imbalance with this lightning-fast weapon. You may use your reaction to make a melee attack against the creature. If this attack hits, you do not add your ability modifier to its damage.

Balanced: This weapon's balance allows it to be thrown much farther than normal. The increase to range is displayed next to this feature in each weapon block.

Compound: This weapon is designed with a mechanical stop that makes the weapon easier to draw and aim, but reduces its over-all power. While taking the attack action with this weapon, you may use your bonus action to grant one attack advantage. However, the highest ability score bonus you can apply to the damage of your damage rolls with this weapon is +3.

Cranked: A crossbow with a hand crank may be reloaded at a much greater rate than normal. A crossbow with this property allows the weilder to make an attack with it as a bonus action.

High-draw: Pulling back this bow's string is as much a feat of strength as it is skill. You may use your strength or dexterity bonus on attack and damage rolls with this weapon.

Steel rain: When you are making ranged weapon attacks with this throwing weapon and either have an open hand or both hands full of weapons with this property, you may make two additional attacks with these weapons as a bonus action (assuming you have enough to throw). Treat these as offhand weapon attacks for determining what modifies their damage.

Cleaving: A weapon with this property is meant to swing with greater power, and is wieghted to slice deeply through both flesh and steel. This weapon deals +1 damage on a hit.

Deflect: Techniques this weapon use involve blocking and weaving as much as they do attacking. When a creature damages you with a weapon attack while you are wielding this weapon, you may use your reaction to reduce the damage by your dexterity modifier. This property may be applied to piercing weapons as well.

Hooked: A hooked weapon has an indent meant to catch and pull someone off-balance while it slices into them. When a creature is damaged with this weapon, the wielder may use their bonus action to attempt to trip or drag the creature. Dragged creatures must remain adjacent to the wielder, and this property may only be used against creatures one size category larger than the wielder or smaller.

Momentum: This weapon is weighted for a continuous, fluid dance, and can leverage the momentum it gains to greater effect. This weapon has advantage on the first attack roll each turn against a lightly or unarmored target.

Slicing: While this weapon may not deal much damage on a particular hit, the wounds it inflicts are instead meant to slowly bleed the enemy dry. This weapon deals -1 damage on damage rolls, but creatures damaged by it begin bleeding. A bleeding creature is dealt 1 damage at the start of their turn for each time they are damaged by this weapon. All bleeding is stopped by a creature using their action to perform a successful DC 10 wisdom (medicine) check or by recieving magical healing. Undead, elementals and constructs are immune to this effect.

[spoiler=Rules for weapons]Welcome to the wonderful world of weapon rules! Today we will be looking at what goes into the creation of a weapon stat block (as shown on the table below).

To keep this as simple as possible, here is the basic guide:
Simple weapons start at a 1d8.
Martial weapons start at a 1d10.
A weapon may have as many general weapon features as makes sense, applying the dice size change inherent to each as per the norm.
For each advanced feature a weapon has, its damage die is lowered by one size (to a minimum of 1d4).

Weapon nameDamage dieDamage typeFeaturesWeightCost
Simple melee
Brass knuckles1d4Bash*, finess, light, stagger*B0 lbs2 silver
Club1d6BCrushing*, light2 lbs2 copper
Dagger1d4PFiness, light, thrown (25/75), steel rain*1 gold
Greatclub1d10BTwo handed10 lbs2 gold
Handaxe1d6SLight, thrown (30/90)2 lbs2 gold
Javelin1d6PBalanced* (+20/+30), thrown (30/ 120)2 lbs5 silver
Light hammer1d4Breaching*, light, thrown (30/90)B3 lbs1 gold
Mace1d6Bash*B4 lbs4 gold
Pitchfork1d6Pin*P5 silver3 lbs[/tr]
Quarterstaff1d8Two handed, bash*B4 lbs3 silver
Scythe1d8 Slicing*, two handedS6 lbs5 gold6 lbs
Sickle1d4Finess, light, slicing*S1 lb2 gold
Spear1d6Horse killer*, thrown (30/90), versatile (1d8)P2 lbs2 gold
Simple ranged weapons
Crossbow, light1d8Ammunition, armor piercing*, loading, ranged (80/320), two handedP5 lbs25 gold
Dart1d4Finess, light, thrown (30/90)P1/8 lbs5 copper
Shortbow1d6Ammunition, ranged (80/320)P25 gold2 lbs
Sling1d4Ammunition, ranged (60/180), staggering*B1 silver0 lbs
Melee martial weapons
Battleaxe1d8Cleaving, versatile (1d10)S10 gold6lbs
Defender1d4Defender*, deflect*, finess, lightP/S10 gold2 lbs
Epee1d12Armor piercing*, finess, heavy, two-handedP30 gold6 lbs
Falchion1d8Finess, momentum*, versatile (1d10)S25 gold5 lbs
Flail1d6Grab*, breachB10 gold5 lbs
Foil1d6Defending*, repost*P15 gold2 lbs
Glaive1d10Heavy, hooked*, reach, two-handedS20 gold6 lbs
Greataxe1d12Cleaving*, heavy, two-handedS30 gold7 lbs
Greatsword1d12Breach*, heavy, two-handedS6 lbs35 gold
Halberd1d10Heavy, horse-killer*, reach, two handedP/S25 gold7 lbs
Lance1d12Charge*, heavy, reach, two-handedP10 gp6 lbs
Longsword1d10Versatile (1d12)S25 gold5 lbs
Maul1d12Crushing*, heavy, two-handedB15 gold10 lbs
Morningstar1d8Bash*, heavy, staggering*B/P15 gold6 lbs
Pike1d10Heavy, horse killer*, reach, two-handedP15 gold8 lbs
Polehammer1d10Breach*, heavy, reach, two-handedB/P25 gold9 lbs
Rapier1d8Repost*, finessP/S25 gold3 lbs
Scimitar1d6Finess, light, momentum*S25 gold4 lbs
Shortsword1d6Defending*, finess, lightP/S25 gold2 lbs
Trident1d8Pin*, versatile (1d10)P15 gp4 lbs
War pick1d8Armor piercing*P10 gold5 lbs
Warhammer1d8Bash*, versatile (1d10)B15 gold5 lbs
Whip1d4Finess, grab*, light, reachP/S5 gold2 lbs
Ranged martial weapons
Blowgun1d6Ammunition, light, ranged (30/120)P10 gold1 lbs
Crossbow, hand1d6Ammunition, armor piercing*, light, loading, ranged (40/160)P50 gold3 lbs
Crossbow, Heavy1d10Ammunition, armor piercing*, heavy, loading, ranged (100/400), staggering*, two handedP50 gold13 lbs
Crossbow, repeating1d8Ammunition, armor piercing, cranked, loading, ranged (40/160), two handedP250 gold10 lbs
Horn bow1d8Ammunition, high-draw*, ranged (80/320), two-handedP50 gold4 lbs
Longbow, compound1d8Ammunition, compound*, ranged (150/600), two handedP75 gold3 lbs
Longbow, recurved1d10Ammunition, ranged (120/480), two-handedP50 gold3 lbs
Weighted net1d4Grab*, light, thrown (10/30)B]1 gold5 lbs

*Denotes an advanced weapon technique.