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5E A case for weapon master

Warpiglet-7

Adventurer
Weapon master is a feat that often gets bad marks from online pundits.

As is my wont, I enjoy justifying less conventional views in character development and feature selection so here I go again.

I think that weapon master...is not bad. Perhaps not for the reasons you would expect...

first I like half feats. For the cost of one feat for example, I can up armor an arcana cleric and fight with good weapons. Each half feat can boost the str score 1 each while the two remaking halves give heavy armor and the other 4 martial weapon proficiencies.

this is by one example of course.

why do martial weapons matter for a cleric or any non fighter type? I believe getting a magic weapon matters. While a cleric might find a magic mace or spear, adding a long sword, hammer, axe or whatever else means I am much more likely to find a weapon I am proficient with.

a lowly +1 weapon is as good as two points in str as regards damage.

most of the objection about feats like weapon master are that it slows ASIs. If you plan to boost str or dex, finding a +1 weapon you are proficient with is almost as good as an ASI for an attack stat.

for builds/characters that use melee cantrips I think a magic weapon is even more helpful given the amount of damage that rides on a hit.

interested to hear others opinions.

I am thinking for my next character, a cleric of wee Jas, I will go with heavily armored at 1 and weapons master at 4th. Maybe....
 

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Sacrosanct

Legend
I think your perspective is influenced by the old school D&D era, where one of the great benefits of being a fighter is that you had access to all weapons and armor, and could use all of them equally effectively. And magic weapons were truly randomized, not modified or changed to fit the PC wants or existing build they may have been.

So a feat like weapon master might have little value in an edition like 3e, but would have a lot of value in 1e (or a style of play like 1e).
 

Warpiglet-7

Adventurer
I think your perspective is influenced by the old school D&D era, where one of the great benefits of being a fighter is that you had access to all weapons and armor, and could use all of them equally effectively. And magic weapons were truly randomized, not modified or changed to fit the PC wants or existing build they may have been.

So a feat like weapon master might have little value in an edition like 3e, but would have a lot of value in 1e (or a style of play like 1e).
Well interesting. You might be right. I was assuming that we roll on tables in 5e too. Trying to recall if it merely says +1 weapon? If so, it only would matter for ‘specific’ weapons...Dwarven thrower or even artifacts
 

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
My biggest issue with Weapon Master as it currently stands is that it really isn't about weapon mastery. You learn 4 weapons. Maybe if it was called Weapon Training instead, and Weapon Master actually reflected mastery in some fashion, I could be on board with it. 🤷‍♂️

FWIW, we roll randomly to determine what weapon is found with a +1 weapon is discovered. We don't tailor it to the needs of the PCs because IME most PCs that will actually use a magic weapon already know how to use most (if not all) of them. ;)
 

think your perspective is influenced by the old school D&D era, where one of the great benefits of being a fighter is that you had access to all weapons and armor, and could use all of them equally effectively.
Uhh...AD&D had each character only have proficiency with a limited number of weapons. You could learn more upon level up....at a rate determined by your class.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Uhh...AD&D had each character only have proficiency with a limited number of weapons. You could learn more upon level up....at a rate determined by your class.
True, but it was an unofficial rule (officially listed as optional in 2e), and fighters had the lowest penalty for weapons than any other class. But more to the point, weapons were totally randomized so a feat like weapons master in 1e would be more impactful than in later editions, especially in 3e and beyond when magic item Christmas trees and official magic shops were common, and it was more likely a PC would have a magic weapon of the type they wanted, rather than a type they found randomly.
 

Warpiglet-7

Adventurer
After this discussion, the utility of the spell probably changed from campaign to campaign. I think for campaigns with random weapon types (an option in DMG), it’s stick goes up.

min others it’s less, though someone might enjoy rolling a d12 instead of a d6 I suppose.
 


Ace

Adventurer
By virtue of being a half feat, weapon master isn't a bad feat. Its unlikely to be taken by anyone other than variant humans though since there really aren't feats to spare in most builds because most are needed for ASI or complementary feats.

It does have some value as a roleplaying feat especially when mixed with an appropriate background. I was in the city watch so I know polearms and watch weapons or my wizard was a noble and learned to fence with a decent dex you can learn a bunch of finesse weapons and you have a decent melee option and that kind of thing.
 
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Xeviat

Adventurer
Supporter
Here's the bad thing about weapon master: damage feats need to scale. Weapon Master provides a +1 damage bonus going from simple weapon to martial weapon, generally speaking. But, the classes that get extra attack already have martial weapons.

For everyone else who doesn't have Extra attack, it just gives +1 damage, maybe slightly more range on a ranged weapon.
 

Well interesting. You might be right. I was assuming that we roll on tables in 5e too. Trying to recall if it merely says +1 weapon? If so, it only would matter for ‘specific’ weapons...Dwarven thrower or even artifacts
Hm. I've only played one 5e campaign where we rolled for treasure, and even then the DM exchanged the weapons for ones we were proficient with. I guess it's not our interests to carry around weapons that were given as rewards if none of the PCs can use them. It's easier to just change the weapon to one that's being used. Even when we rolled specific weapons.

Edit: In our case a Mace of Smiting or Disruption (I don't recall which since it wasn't my item) became a Maul.
 


Horwath

Hero
TBH, feat is complete rubbish.

And armor feat proficiencies are next to complete rubbish.

Here is a feat that could see more use.

FEAT:
Martial Training;
gain +1 to str, dex or con
You gain proficiency with all weapons and shields
You gain one level of armor proficiency above your current: none->light, light->medium, medium->heavy.
 

Undrave

Hero
The feat is garbage, don't try so hard to justify it.

Random weapon prof. should just be part of your background. Anybody who can make use of them with weapons related features would already have proficiency, so if you don't have those features the meager bonus to damage isn't gonna make you a weapons user. It doesn't do anything.
 

Ace

Adventurer
I feel like the feat should just give you proficiency with simple and martial weapons instead of only 4. I don't really think that would be overly powerful for those few cases where a character doesn't have full access to all weapons but wants to add it.
This isn't a bad idea but I think the designers assumed you would a take one level dip of a martial class. Yes you can lose your capstone but most D&D games probably don't go that high and you won't lose any feats or ASIs doing so.
 

The problem with the Feat (and most feats) is primarily the opportunity cost. Instead of getting +1 on your primary ability you're getting just +1 on damage. If a feat isn't worth +1 modifier to your primary ability, then it's almost never worth taking. Even if you've maxed out your primary ability, there are just overall better feats that are worth +1 to your primary ability.
 

Warpiglet-7

Adventurer
TBH, feat is complete rubbish.

And armor feat proficiencies are next to complete rubbish.

Here is a feat that could see more use.

FEAT:
Martial Training;
gain +1 to str, dex or con
You gain proficiency with all weapons and shields
You gain one level of armor proficiency above your current: none->light, light->medium, medium->heavy.
I acknowledge that weapon master is not stellar, hence the post. Totally totally disagree on armor feats.

for a feat I can get a+1 to an ability and potentially increase my armor class 5 points or more!

a warlock or bard with studded leather base AC 12. A warlock with half plate and shield AC 17! That is a very big change for 1 ability score bump IMO.

when we play we don’t always have everyone insulated from the fight. That kind of AC bump is very meaningful not including a potential bump from a magic shield.

I can see your point on weapons but not at all on armor.
 

Horwath

Hero
I acknowledge that weapon master is not stellar, hence the post. Totally totally disagree on armor feats.

for a feat I can get a+1 to an ability and potentially increase my armor class 5 points or more!

a warlock or bard with studded leather base AC 12. A warlock with half plate and shield AC 17! That is a very big change for 1 ability score bump IMO.

when we play we don’t always have everyone insulated from the fight. That kind of AC bump is very meaningful not including a potential bump from a magic shield.

I can see your point on weapons but not at all on armor.
Warlock -> hex blade
Bard ->valor/swords
Wizard ->bladesinger
Cleric ->healing/nature/war/forge

if nothing else, take one level of fighter.

anything except weapon/armor proficiency feats as described in PHB.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
I acknowledge that weapon master is not stellar, hence the post. Totally totally disagree on armor feats.

for a feat I can get a+1 to an ability and potentially increase my armor class 5 points or more!

a warlock or bard with studded leather base AC 12. A warlock with half plate and shield AC 17! That is a very big change for 1 ability score bump IMO.

when we play we don’t always have everyone insulated from the fight. That kind of AC bump is very meaningful not including a potential bump from a magic shield.

I can see your point on weapons but not at all on armor.
Moderately armored isn't a terrible feat if your game doesn't have MCing. But if it does, it's a much lower opportunity cost to simply grab armor from a one-level dip.
 

Warpiglet-7

Adventurer
Warlock -> hex blade
Bard ->valor/swords
Wizard ->bladesinger
Cleric ->healing/nature/war/forge

if nothing else, take one level of fighter.

anything except weapon/armor proficiency feats as described in PHB.
I took arcana cleric. With a low dex...heavily armored is great. I know some don’t like the opportunity cost of a half feat (one point!) in an ability. I don’t like delaying spell progression most of the time.

I do not like hexblade theme much either and think fiend is cool. These feats keep me from having to pick a patron or a deity domain I am not interested in.

if it was a full feat I could see your point.
 

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