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    Default [4e] Weapon Expertise Feat

    Hi, all.

    I'm sorry if this has been asked before. I did a search on it and din't find anything, so I figured 'd strt a new thread.

    In the gaming group I'm in at the moment, we're having a bit of a discussion going regarding the Weapon Expertise Feat in the PHB2 (p. 190).

    It states that if you take that feat, you get a +1 bonus to attack rolls with your chosen weapon group for a weapon power.

    There were a few questions that arose regarding this.

    The first is whether you gain the +1 attack bonus to your BAB since a Basic Attack is defined as an at-will Attack Power (PHB p. 287).
    The Character Creator from WotC seems to think that it doesn't, but going by the definitions of the feat and of a Basic Attack, it should count.

    The second is, do you get the bonus for an AoO, a Charge attack or an attack which has been granted by someone or something? They are still defined as a Melee Basic Attack, so should include the attack bonus.

    Would that be a bug or oversight in the Character Creator from WotC, or what do you guys think?
    Any response would be appreciated.
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    Default Re: [4e] Weapon Expertise Feat

    Quote Originally Posted by KuReshtin View Post
    The first is whether you gain the +1 attack bonus to your BAB since a Basic Attack is defined as an at-will Attack Power (PHB p. 287).

    The second is, do you get the bonus for an AoO, a Charge attack or an attack which has been granted by someone or something?
    Yes, and yes. Both RAW and RAI are for the feat to apply to any and all of your attacks (with the specified weapon c.q. implement).
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    Default Re: [4e] Weapon Expertise Feat

    Not to disagree with Kurald (whom I usually agree with emphatically), but no, you do not gain a +1 to your BAB.

    Remember, BAB is Base Attack Bonus... your attack bonus before all modifiers are applied. So yes, you do get a +1 to hit and damage with the Weapon Expertise feat, but that bonus is added to your BAB, it does not change your BAB.

    If that were the case, then one could say that a +1 magic weapon also changed your BAB, which is not the case, it adds to it.

    The simple fact that the bonus applies only to your spcific weapon group should be enough to indicate that it is not changing your BAB... or it would apply in any and all circumstances, independent of what weapon or implement you were using.

    In regard to the second part of your question, yes, the +1 to hit and damage does apply on AoOs, charges, interrupts, basic attacks, powers, etc... any time you hit (or attempt to hit) a target using a weapon with which you have Expertise, you add the +1.
    Last edited by Tyger; 2009-08-20 at 07:12 AM.
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    Default Re: [4e] Weapon Expertise Feat

    WotC's Character creator has the small flaw of not adding all the bonuses to Attack and Damage rolls when you view the Character sheet, it will only add first one or two Misc bonuses you get, while forgetting that you can usually end up an additional like three Misc bonuses.

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    Default Re: [4e] Weapon Expertise Feat

    Tyger, Weapon Expertise doesn't add any damage, only attack bonuses. Otherwise you're right and the character builder isn't always correct as has been proved repeatedly.
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    Default Re: [4e] Weapon Expertise Feat

    I believe it would be added to basic attacks, I'm not sure why it would specify for 'powers only' since all attacks either use a power or use the basic attack power.

    ...Maybe there's a case I'm forgetting.

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    Default Re: [4e] Weapon Expertise Feat

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyger View Post
    Not to disagree with Kurald (whom I usually agree with emphatically), but no, you do not gain a +1 to your BAB.

    Remember, BAB is Base Attack Bonus... your attack bonus before all modifiers are applied.
    D'Oh! Of course it doesn't change the BAB.. I knew that.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sipex View Post
    I believe it would be added to basic attacks, I'm not sure why it would specify for 'powers only' since all attacks either use a power or use the basic attack power.

    ...Maybe there's a case I'm forgetting.
    I think the main confusion was because the others didn't notice that a Basic Attack is an at-will power. They got too focused on the Class powers all doing something funky and interesting, and therefore didn't see the Basic Attack as a 'power'. They just saw it as an 'action', which would mess up the definitions.


    Thanks for the input, guys. Much appreciated.
    Last edited by KuReshtin; 2009-08-20 at 08:31 AM.
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    Default Re: [4e] Weapon Expertise Feat

    Quote Originally Posted by KuReshtin View Post
    The first is whether you gain the +1 attack bonus to your BAB since a Basic Attack is defined as an at-will Attack Power (PHB p. 287).
    Quote Originally Posted by Tyger View Post
    Not to disagree with Kurald (whom I usually agree with emphatically), but no, you do not gain a +1 to your BAB.
    Um, there is no "Base Attack Bonus" in 4e. You add the +1 feat bonus (at levels 1-10) to all weapon attacks that use the feat. This involved attack, using dailys, opportunity attacks, charging, etc.

    It would not be added to attacks that don't involve the weapon. Weapon Expertise (Heavy Blade) would not apply to your grappling an opponent, for example.

    Technically, attacks which don't have the Weapon keyword don't benefit from the feat, so Weapon Expertise (Light Blade) would not help a Warlock or Sorcerer casting a spell with a dagger - you'd need Implement Expertise (Dagger) for that. That's a bit of a narrow reading, though, and unfairly nerfs Gishes. I tend to tread Weapon Expertise/Implement Expertise as basically the same feat for granting bonuses, for those few characters who've decided to use a melee/spellslinger combat.

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    Default Re: [4e] Weapon Expertise Feat

    Quote Originally Posted by erikun View Post
    Weapon Expertise (Light Blade) would not help a Warlock or Sorcerer casting a spell with a dagger - you'd need Implement Expertise (Dagger) for that. That's a bit of a narrow reading, though, and unfairly nerfs Gishes.
    There's a hybrid feat for that in the monk preview, actually (it works on one "thing" whether it's a weapon or an implement).

    Expertise does mean that fighters are penalized for switching weapons, or wizards for swapping implements. Basically, you're expected to take one "thing" and stick with it.
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    Default Re: [4e] Weapon Expertise Feat

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    There's a hybrid feat for that in the monk preview, actually (it works on one "thing" whether it's a weapon or an implement).

    Expertise does mean that fighters are penalized for switching weapons, or wizards for swapping implements. Basically, you're expected to take one "thing" and stick with it.
    Can you not just retrain it?

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    Default Re: [4e] Weapon Expertise Feat

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharikov View Post
    Can you not just retrain it?
    You can, but until then, you don't get a benefit from your old feat.

    Although something like Weapon Expertise (Heavy Blade) will allow you to switch between a Longsword, Greatsword, and Glaive and still keep the bonus - they're all heavy blades. You won't get the bonus with a Rapier, though, until you retrain.

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    Default Re: [4e] Weapon Expertise Feat

    There's numerous (non-Living) 4e games where the GM doesn't even treat Expertise as a feat: PCs simply gain a +1 bonus to all attack rolls at given intervals, and then the Expertise line is excluded from available feat choices (1st/11th/21st is an example interval set, another one's 5th/15th/25th).

    On top of eliminating the feat tax (let's face it, most 4e characters take this sooner or later, since the vast majority of what they can do requires to-hit rolls), this has the added benefit of not shoehorning the characters into using certain weapons/implements, which I find preferable (in particular for divine classes, which tend to have to use one of each type for full effectiveness). Hell, I even heard that many games run for WotC staff members auto-include said benefits instead of presenting them as feat choices :/. Just another option to consider.
    Last edited by Edea; 2009-08-20 at 02:24 PM.
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    Default Re: [4e] Weapon Expertise Feat

    the feat gives +1 to all attack rolls with any weapon power you use with a weapon from the chosen group.

    let's say your character is a swordmage, alright. you take Weapon Expertise (Heavy Blades).

    when you read the line stating a power's keywords, you only add the feat's bonus to the powers with the [weapon] keyword if you're using a "heavy blade".

    a basic attack is a power, as per p.287

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    Default Re: [4e] Weapon Expertise Feat

    Quote Originally Posted by Edea View Post
    There's numerous (non-Living) 4e games where the GM doesn't even treat Expertise as a feat: PCs simply gain a +1 bonus to all attack rolls at given intervals, and then the Expertise line is excluded from available feat choices (1st/11th/21st is an example interval set, another one's 5th/15th/25th).

    On top of eliminating the feat tax (let's face it, most 4e characters take this sooner or later, since the vast majority of what they can do requires to-hit rolls), this has the added benefit of not shoehorning the characters into using certain weapons/implements, which I find preferable (in particular for divine classes, which tend to have to use one of each type for full effectiveness). Hell, I even heard that many games run for WotC staff members auto-include said benefits instead of presenting them as feat choices :/. Just another option to consider.
    I support this. I'm also giving the players paragon defenses/robust defenses for free once they qualify.
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    Default Re: [4e] Weapon Expertise Feat

    Quote Originally Posted by Decoy Lockbox View Post
    I support this. I'm also giving the players paragon defenses/robust defenses for free once they qualify.
    Give them a replacement feat that produces an untyped bonus, not those feats (which grant feat bonuses). And then ban that feat.

    There are actually somewhat interesting feats that give feat bonuses to those, but are gimped because they aren't as good as the general-purpose one.

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    Default Re: [4e] Weapon Expertise Feat

    Also, I believe weapon expertise is an untyped bonus, so it can stack with other feats that DO give specified feat bonuses, such as Hellfire Blood.

    I do believe it's been errata'd that if your implement is your weapon expertise weapon of choice, like a Swordmage's sword or a warlock pact blade, then that also adds its effects to any power using Implement as well. If not, Implement Expertise certainly does.

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    Default Re: [4e] Weapon Expertise Feat

    Quote Originally Posted by Altima View Post
    I do believe it's been errata'd that if your implement is your weapon expertise weapon of choice, like a Swordmage's sword or a warlock pact blade, then that also adds its effects to any power using Implement as well. If not, Implement Expertise certainly does.
    That's a different feat, Focused Expertise, which applies only to a single weapon, but gives +1/2/3 to hit whether used as a weapon or implement.

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    Default Re: [4e] Weapon Expertise Feat

    Quote Originally Posted by Edea View Post
    There's numerous (non-Living) 4e games where the GM doesn't even treat Expertise as a feat: PCs simply gain a +1 bonus to all attack rolls at given intervals, and then the Expertise line is excluded from available feat choices (1st/11th/21st is an example interval set, another one's 5th/15th/25th).

    On top of eliminating the feat tax (let's face it, most 4e characters take this sooner or later, since the vast majority of what they can do requires to-hit rolls), this has the added benefit of not shoehorning the characters into using certain weapons/implements, which I find preferable (in particular for divine classes, which tend to have to use one of each type for full effectiveness). Hell, I even heard that many games run for WotC staff members auto-include said benefits instead of presenting them as feat choices :/. Just another option to consider.
    I agree with this whole-heartedly. It seems to me that the expertise feat (and some of the other PHB 2 feats like epic will, etc) were designed to correct flaws inherent in the attack/defense scaling of pcs vs monsters.

    I know not that many people have played paragon/epic tier 4e as much (especially us LFR-peoples), but I've done enough to realize that it can get really dumb when monsters attack non-AC defenses. (i.e. "Yes, it hits your reflex on a 2, and the fighter, and the cleric. It needs a 4 for the rogue.")

    When I run a home game, I'm also giving "expertise" out there for free, along with a paragon defense feat and an epic defense feat when my PCs get there.

    Realistically though, the expertise feats are so good that everyone EVER should take them. Feats should represent specialization; any feat that should be taken by everyone really, in my opinion, should have to be taken by nobody. (Either by eliminating the overpowered feat, or giving everyone what they should get for free.)

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    Default Re: [4e] Weapon Expertise Feat

    Quote Originally Posted by Ughman View Post
    I agree with this whole-heartedly. It seems to me that the expertise feat (and some of the other PHB 2 feats like epic will, etc) were designed to correct flaws inherent in the attack/defense scaling of pcs vs monsters.
    This is definitely the prevailing view for weapon/implement/etc. expertise. The long and the short of the math is that monster defenses scale by level while PC to-hit scales by 1/2 level, leaving an increasingly large gap in that department (15 points at level thirty). Stat boosts and increasing weapon/implement enhancement bonuses take care of a lot of that gap (9 of the 15 points at level thirty), with the rest supposedly being handled by things like more gear, more powers, synergy between that stuff, etc.

    The problem is that while the "other stuff" handles a lot of the gap, it doesn't quite handle all of it. PCs still fall increasingly far behind, and the expertise feats pretty handily take care of most, if not all, of the gap.


    tl;dr: We know for a fact that monster defense out-scales PC attacks, and the expertise feats are just about the right size to make up the difference.
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    Default Re: [4e] Weapon Expertise Feat

    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
    Stat boosts and increasing weapon/implement enhancement bonuses take care of a lot of that gap (9 of the 15 points at level thirty), with the rest supposedly being handled by things like more gear, more powers, synergy between that stuff, etc.
    Stat and enhancement actually handles 10 out of the 15 points, not 9. (+4 from stat, +6 from enhancement).
    The problem is that while the "other stuff" handles a lot of the gap, it doesn't quite handle all of it. PCs still fall increasingly far behind, and the expertise feats pretty handily take care of most, if not all, of the gap.
    The other problem is that the feat becomes ridiculously good by level 16, let alone 26. +1 to hit is actually not that far off being balanced -- it is good for a 4e feat, but not unbalancingly good.

    +2 to hit for a single feat makes it quite probably the best feat in the game. +3 is just ridiculous.

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    Default Re: [4e] Weapon Expertise Feat

    Quote Originally Posted by Yakk View Post
    Stat and enhancement actually handles 10 out of the 15 points, not 9. (+4 from stat, +6 from enhancement).
    Ah, I must've miscounted. The overall point is the same either way though


    Quote Originally Posted by Yakk View Post
    The other problem is that the feat becomes ridiculously good by level 16, let alone 26. +1 to hit is actually not that far off being balanced -- it is good for a 4e feat, but not unbalancingly good.

    +2 to hit for a single feat makes it quite probably the best feat in the game. +3 is just ridiculous.
    Agreed. The fact that they fall so far behind that it can only be fixed by a ridiculously good feat is just plain wrong
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