5E Expanded Weapons List

77IM

Explorer!!!
So this thread got me thinking about weapons again, and I got a creative itch and just had to devise my own Expanded Weapons table.

I didn't go into this exercise with any particular goals, but in hindsight, I did this:

1. More "cosmetic" options: I'm the kind of person who really likes that there are a bunch of weapons that are functionally equivalent, but appear on the chart anyway, just because they have a different damage type or are shaped different. I think it helps players to feel like their characters are "meant" to be part of the setting/genre -- "re-skinning" makes me feel like the setting/genre is pushing back against my character concept. Also certain re-skins are just stupid, like club -> nunchaku (I added "light flail" to fix this one, for example).

2. More peasant options: falchion, scythe, woodcutting axe. Basically there are some gaps in the Simple weapons list that I wanted to fill. Mechanically, these are similar to existing options, but with cosmetic differences (see point 1).

3. More finesse options: Because rapiers shouldn't have all the fun. I made several versatile weapons be versatile (finesse), including some simple weapons. This is a slight power increase to wizards/sorcerers and other Dex-based simple-weapon-users; like you can now build an archer-cleric without being stuck with the lousy dagger as your only good melee option. Longsword suddenly becomes a super attractive option for rogues and bards, and has a reason for elves to train with it, plus it's easier to pretend it's a pop-culture katana (as opposed to historically-accurate katana). I'm hoping it's not more attractive than dual-wielding, especially now that rapier+dagger is an option. At higher levels rapier+dagger might be better than scimitar+scimitar, but at higher levels, TWF needs all the help it can get. So there's definitely a risk here that this unduly rewards Dex, which looks on paper like the god-stat. However in my experience Dex isn't unbalanced. If anything, high Strength is not useful enough to non-warrior-types, so these changes let a lot of characters switch to the more useful Dex.

4. More exotic options: I don't see a lot of whip users, and that's sad. While we're fixing that, let's throw in a favorite from yesteryear, the spiked chain. And then, I like boomerangs, and apparently the chakram was a real thing and not just a gimmick on Xena: the Warrior Princess, and they seem pretty cool. And I always liked the naginata but glaive doesn't do it justice because I really envision it as a Kensei monk option, or even just plain finesse. (Which may not be historically accurate, but seems very in-genre, for a more cinematic/mythological sort of game, which is what D&D has become.) So I added that but called it "light glaive" to keep the pseudo-European feel. I thought about going deep down the rabbit-hole of non-European weapons, but decided not to for this document.

5. Extensions only: For backwards compatibility, I tried to only add or improve, not remove. I don't want to look at a monster stat block and think "oh crap, that weapon doesn't exist / works totally different now." In most cases, modified weapons just have new options applied (like finesse or versatile) but in a few cases I increased damage or range, which I think should be easy to handle. The one place where I did wind up having to remove something, was making the greatclub heavy, which means halflings and gnomes and goblins can't wield it very effectively any more. I think that's OK because they can just use a quarterstaff two-handed instead and get basically the same thing.

6. Weapon Master feat: By golly, in the RAW this feat is terrible. Since I was thinking a lot about weapons, I decided to improve this feat. A) I wanted it to be useful to characters who already had martial weapon proficiency, which is why it gives a +1 to damage. (Probably still weaker than an ASI, which is +1 to attack and damage, except that this bonus can exceed the +5 limit on ability scores. By 1 point, on damage, which is not a big deal to me.) B) I wanted simple weapons be viable choices, even to characters who have martial options available, hence the damage die increase, which effectively makes simple weapons comparable to martial weapons. C) I kept the selection of 4 weapons as a nod to RAW (like if you're converting a character who took Weapon Master -- my condolences -- you translate the 4 proficiencies gained under RAW into the 4 special weapons). And because some people's idea of a "weapon master" is more about specialization. D) But the feat also gives proficiency in every weapon, because that's other people's idea of "weapon master." Balance-wise, most characters only ever use 4 or fewer weapons anyway.

7. Non-goal: Historical accuracy. I view D&D in a more cinematic/mythological/pop-culture/larger-than-life way. Many of our contemporary ideas about how medieval weapons worked are just flat-out wrong, and I'm totally OK with that. Instead I am aiming for "makes immediate sense to the average person." Like, a bigger weapon should generally deal more damage than a smaller one.

8. Non-goal: Balance other areas of the system, notably Dexterity, GWM/SS, and Polarm Master. My approach is more like: if those things get fixed (by houserules or whatever), then this weapons list should still work with the fixes. Exception: one potential fix for Dexterity that I often see floated is the elimination of the rapier (the best finesse weapon) and I went in the other direction, going all-in on finesse weapons.


In summary, I think these changes make some PCs slightly stronger, but not so much that it unbalances the party. (Except possibly all the new finesse options; I'm not totally confident in my reasoning there.) But I like the new options and somehow this slightly bigger table makes more sense to me.

Link: Expanded Weapons
 
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Volund

Explorer
That's a pretty table. Nice work.
Things I like:
The off hand property. d4/d8 TWF has the same power as d6/d6 TWF, and is probably more iconic.
Expanding the versatile property to more weapons. In my group we assume that martial weapons that aren't Light, Finesse, or Two-handed automatically have the Versatile property and upgrade from d8 to d10 when wielded with two hands.

For game balance reasons, I would prefer to keep Versatile and Reach exclusive to Str fighters. I could buy into the idea of the the Light Glaive or a finesse quarterstaff, but at the same time adding finesse to any weapons that are eligible for the PAM feat seems to be encroaching on one of the few things that Str fighters can do but not Dex fighters. I try not to be one of the "it shouldn't work that way" people when talking about a fantasy game, but I'm struggling with a Dex-based PAM adding their Dex mod to the bludgeoning damage of the bonus attack. If adding the Dex mod to piercing damage doesn't bother me, I'm not sure why adding it to bludgeoning damage would, but it just does. A nimble fighter in leather armor whirling around with a light glaive sounds cool, so I think I could get over it. It also helps out all the casters who are otherwise stuck with a +2 magic quarterstaff without the Str to actually wield it as a weapon.

I think the feat would be fine with just the first two features. The third seems too powerful. If you wanted one more feature, I suggest one with a limited use: Once per short rest you can use your superior weapon skill to gain advantage on an attack roll. You can add an extra weapon die to the damage once per short rest (like Orcish Fury). Something like that.

I'm jealous of your D&D table-making skills!
 
Hmmm, some things I like, some I don't...
The spiked chain is back - aaaarrrgh! ;)
Glaive finesse, no.

And from my very own real life hay-making experience: a scythe is not a reach weapon.
 

Cap'n Kobold

Adventurer
Some interesting stuff. I don't agree with a lot of it, but it will certainly help in optimising ranged and Dex-heavy characters. Layout is good and categories are logical.

A few nitpicks that may or may not be worth considering:
Falchions didn't really have an extended handle, and weren't generally used with two hands.
I'd suggest making Slings at least, a Finesse ranged weapon. (I houserule that bows are as well, but you may choose not to go that far.)
Chakram aren't generally effective melee weapons, but some variants could technically be used like that, so fair enough.
Making whips Light weapons I'm not sure of: They don't strike me as something that is easily and naturally usable in pairs without additional training (the feat).

Hmmm, some things I like, some I don't...
The spiked chain is back - aaaarrrgh! ;)
Glaive finesse, no.

And from my very own real life hay-making experience: a scythe is not a reach weapon.
Likewise. The concept of the Versatile (Finesse) property is something that I just can't rationalise in RL terms.

Also argh on the spiked chain's very existence, but I'm guessing its a fantasy staple now so needs to be included along with Studded Leather armour. *Twitch*
Glaive finesse makes just as much sense as Quarterstaff finesse. Which is none from a RL point of view, but quite a bit from the point of view of making certain character types more mechanically optimal.

And true. Actual scythes aren't reach weapons. But it was common for a scythe blade to be mounted vertically on a straight haft to create a weapon. That would have reach. (Because its basically a Glaive at that point.) ;)
 

77IM

Explorer!!!
Thanks for the feedback! You are making me re-think several things. Part of me wants All The Characters to have access to All The Things... but I definitely see value in restricting certain options to certain niches.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
One question I had was if the weapons you listed as Versatile (1dX, finesse) was meant to imply that the weapon only becomes finesse when used in two hands? That's what putting it inside the parenthesis implies to me. If the weapon is supposed to be a finesse weapon both one-handed and two handed, then you should probably put it outside the parenthesis as its own property, as right now it looks like a sub-property of the Versatile feature.

(Of course if that's what you are going for... that if you use it with two hands you now can be more nimble with it, thus allowing for DEX, then how you have it would be fine. I just couldn't tell if that was indeed your choice. You may want to add a note in the Weapon Properties section that that was a purposeful gain so that folks know for sure that finesse only applies when used two-handed.)
 

Quartz

Adventurer
The heavy flail as a finesse weapon? Just no. And why is the trident a finesse weapon? Similarly, I don't see the reasoning behind making the whip a light weapon.

And does a boomerang - a piece of crafted wood - really cost 2 gp? 2sp might be more appropriate.
 

77IM

Explorer!!!
Versatile (finesse) is described on the second page, and means that the weapon gains the finesse property when you wield it in two hands.

Weapon Master feat is meant to increase the damage of simple weapons to match martial weapons, so a greatclub that does 2d6+1 is by design (since a maul would do 2d6+1 with the feat). The intention is to allow PCs who are Weapon Masters to use weapons that would ordinarily be sub-optimal, and make them not sub-optimal. For example, a war cleric could choose to use a mace, which is the most iconic cleric weapon, and it would do as much damage as a longsword 1-handed.

I'm not sure what I was thinking with heavy flail. I think that may be a relic of an earlier draft before I had included spiked chain. (A lot of chain weapons, like the meteor hammer, can be classified as flails. But game-mechanically I don't think they resemble the heavy flail very much, since those weapons are more about entangling your foe from a distance.)
 

Satyrn

Visitor
. . . apparently the chakram was a real thing and not just a gimmick on Xena: the Warrior Princess, and they seem pretty cool.
In my game, a chakram returns to your hand at the end of your next turn, though you must use your reaction to catch it. During the time it is in the air, you can use a bonus action to make another attack with it.
 

77IM

Explorer!!!
So I made a bunch of changes based on feedback. I dropped the weapon die on the finesse-reach weapons, and eliminated the simple-reach weapons. So now all the reach weapons are martial, and all the really good ones are Strength-based.
 

Satyrn

Visitor
In my game, a chakram returns to your hand at the end of your next turn, though you must use your reaction to catch it. During the time it is in the air, you can use a bonus action to make another attack with it.
Oh, and just to add some context. Most of the weapons I've added into my game have been inherently magical.

The guns are were made by legendary dwarven smiths who weaved magic into them to launch the ammo, for example, and a chakram is crafted by monks in their monastery, where they weave their ki into the weapon. With this excuse, I can give my guns whatever properties I want, and I can have the chakram work like it does on Xena without anybody whining "but that's not realistic!"
 

DM Dave1

Adventurer
Fun stuff and nothing too crazy that I'm seeing. Nice work! I particularly like adding light to whips to allow for them to be a reasonable two weapon fighting option. Ooo.. and the added distance for the net to give it a little more allure. Maybe throw the finesse into versatile (finesse) for the trident to keep it consistent with the spear... then again maybe leave it as is since you may be trying to differentiate it from the spear...
I look forward to seeing how this evolves as you consider the community suggestions that are coming in.
 

Quartz

Adventurer
With all those high damage two-handed finesse weapons, why - especially in a featless game - would anyone bother with Str?
 

aco175

Adventurer
I like the club being finesse. I tend to have a walking cane fill the same role. The sword-cane gives you two light weapons similar to dagger and the normal cane with both being finesse and light. I also allow PCs trained in martial weapons to use the cane part defensively to give +1 AC and still use the sword part for 1d4. I thought about 1d6, but do not want to make it too cool, especially since I give it advantage to smuggle into places.

I never thought about having a weapon need two hands to make finesse, but I like the concept.
 

77IM

Explorer!!!
With all those high damage two-handed finesse weapons, why - especially in a featless game - would anyone bother with Str?
The same reason anyone bothers with Str now. "High damage" here means 1d10, which isn't that great, especially in two hands: dual-wielding two d6 finesse weapons is usually better, as is getting a rapier + dueling style + shield. And "all those" at this point means exactly one weapon, the longsword. I'm OK with the longsword becoming iconic again. (Longsword™, the fireball™ of weapons.)

That said, you may be right. I personally have not observed Dex becoming the "god stat:" the people I game with tend to take Str more often than Dex. But maybe a two-handed d10 finesse option would be the straw that breaks the camel's back.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I like your ideas. I’m at work, and my break isn’t long enough to dive deep on the document, so I’ll just address concepts.

Versatile (finesse): Love it. I love using versatile to add a property instead of adding damage.

Spiked Chain: Yes, good. I’m here for it. I generally just make it a whip with versatile (1d6)

Off-hand: awesome. A much appreciated fix. Great!

Finesse reach weapons: don’t get rid of these. There has to be a different way to avoid dex-PAM. Or do what I do and fix that issue Str side, with prof to damage when you use Str for weapon attacks.


Side note about anachronistic weapons and armor. [shrug]

But seriously, “studded leather” is just leather armor reinforced with metal. There are a dozen different kinds in real life, just assume it’s one of them.

Also, can we add damage dice to shields?
 

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