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D&D 5E How game-breaking is it if GW Fighting Style applies to smites?

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If you find a magic melee weapon there is probably about a 90% chance it is not heavy. And if you find a vorpal shortsword or a sunblade the feat is useless.

The biggest problem with GWM in published campaigns is the lack of magic weapons that work with it.

The most common magic items are Staffs and daggers and there are some pretty awesome ones available in published adventures at relatively low levels.

In all the WOTC adventures I only know of one very rare magic heavy melee weapon (Harizawn from Tyranny of Dragons).

IME what actually happens in play is the GWM guy is doing half damage most of the time in tier 2+ or if he is lucky late in game he is swinging a +1 Glaive while the rest of the party is using awesome weapons.
Do any DMs really not rework campaigns to fit their players?

If you deal out weapons/armor that no one uses, you might just replace them with sacks of gold.


Do any DMs really not rework campaigns to fit their players?

I have heard some do. I have never done this myself or played with one who did and I play a lot of D&D with people worldwide.

If you deal out weapons/armor that no one uses, you might just replace them with sacks of gold.

The things is people do use them, as long as they don't take feats like GWM.

My fighter who starts off with a Maul and takes no feat is going to do fine with a dragontooth dagger he finds, losing no damage at all in damage when he goes from the "big gun" to the "little poker".

I'm playing a 19th level strength martial in a game right now who is swinging a Staff of Thunder and Lighting. That is an awesome weapon, it can stun opponents once a day and do an extra 2d6 damage once a day in addition to giving some spell-like options. If I had GWM I would still be using it because it is the best weapon we have, but I never took that feat.


I feel like the question is about great weapon fighting style.

I.e. reroll 1 and 2 on the damage.

I would allow it to reroll smite damage as well. It's pretty weak otherwise.


Do any DMs really not rework campaigns to fit their players?

If you deal out weapons/armor that no one uses, you might just replace them with sacks of gold.

Nope because then it encourages people to pick the best weapons via feat support.

Eg a +2 short-story becomes a +2 weapon that's vastly better due to the -5/+10 feats espicially ranged ones.

I do provide a list of weapons more likely to turn up eg in Norse game swords, spears, axes.

Magical hand crossbows and polearms generally don't exist.

Real-life optimization is all about understanding the specific game, the DM, and your specific situation.

Do you roll instead of point-buy? What rolls did you get? Does the DM allow flanking? Does the DM run monsters more by the book, or do they tend to customize? What kind of monsters do you expect to encounter in the campaign? What capabilities do you anticipate the other party members bringing?

Normally, I wouldn't recommend GWM outside of barbarians. But in one of my recent games, the DM said they were using the DMG flanking rules. That's such a commonly used rule, and changes the build calculus towards melee so heavily, that I always ask at session zero if it's in use. Combine that with rolling stats and doing well (17-15-14-14-10-9). And knowing that one of the other players was playing a buff-focused twilight cleric, so bless and extra survivability would be frequent. That pushed me towards one of my favorite concepts, the Elven Accuracy boosted melee flanker with GWM. (Specifically, a shadar-kai battle smith artificer.)
How does elven accuracy work with GWM?
You need shillelagh or hexblade multiclass to combine both.

IMHO, "power attack" should be it's own separate half-feat.

+1 STR or DEX
-1 attack, +2 damage(+3 damage for heavy melee weapons, +1 damage with light weapons)

at 5th level:
-2 attack, +4 damage(+6/+2)

at 11th level:
-3 attack, +6 damage(+9/+3)

at 17th level:
-4 attack, +8 damage(+12/+4)

No. It should be no feat at all, but an option for everyone.

One handed melee weapon or ranged weapon: add prof bonus to damage instead of attack roll.

Two handed weapon: add double prof bonus to damage instead of attack roll.

I’ve never understood the fascination with PB scaling of power attack feats.
It is how it worked in 3e.

But to be honest, it is not worth a feat at low levels then. See my post above.

I realy think such basic combat options should not be gated behind feats.

I could even imagine using the former 3e (combat) expertise feat as an example and allow reducing your to hit to get a bonus to AC. Here adding your prof bonus to AC instead of adding it to your attack will probably be better than using the dodge action. Maybe adding half prof bonus is sufficient. Or maybe you can split your prof bonus on attack and AC.

Could make combat a bit more intersting by adding decision points if you like that.

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