D&D 5E Looking for a house rule for Great Weapon Master


I changed GWM (& SS) so that you drop you PB to hit and gain double that as damage. So, starting off -2 to hit/+4 to damage, doesn't go up to -3 to hit/+6 to damage until 5th level, and maxxes out at -6 to hit +12 to damage. (Of course, I also made similar tweaks to the other styles so they generally get better at higher levels and are dependent on PB).

It's still powerful, but not front-loaded as badly.
early game -5/+10 is too much and late game(if anyone plays it) it's too little, if you expend a feat, you should get more than +0,5 damage per hit.

solution to make it more broad feat:
-1 attack, +2 melee damage/+3 melee damage with 2Handed melee weapons

5th level: -2 att, +4/+6 dmg

11th level: -3 att, +6/+9 dmg

17th level: -4 att, +8/+12 dmg

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I'm looking for a house rule to reduce the power of the second bullet point. I'll explain my parameters.

-I realize that many people think the feat's power level is necessary to achieve martial-caster parity. I have some other little tweaks that help martials, and this is not something I'm concerned about.
-I also realize this feat works fine when played by the casual non-optimized player that WotC designs class features for. While my group chooses not to optimize, I don't like how much this feat's effectiveness is gameable, and want to remove that aspect of it.
-I would like the replacement feature to at least partially scale in effectiveness with number of attacks, so that it is useful for any martial, but high level fighters with their additional attacks get even more out of it.
-I'm aiming for it to effectively grant a 20th level fighter with 4 attacks an additional 8 to 10 points of damage.

Can anyone think of some good rules to do that? An obvious one is just making it grant a +2 damage per attack, but that just doesn't feel right to me.
You're looking to give a 20th level fighter with GWM a total damage bonus in one round using the feat equal to +8 to +10 damage (i.e working out to +2 to +2.5 damage per each of their 4 attacks)? Is that right? Instead of potentially +10 x 4 attacks = +40 damage?

I'm asking because that's a surprising goal to me! Normally the issues with GWM concern too much damage at early levels, not high levels.

And if I've described your goal right, what is it about changing GWM to a flat +2 damage per attack that does not feel right?


If i would rewrite the feat, i would keep the bonus attack if you drop oponent.

As for other part. Before you make attack roll, you can chose to take to hit penalty up to your proficiency modifier and to gain bonus equal to double the penalty. So character with +2 prof modifier could take -1 to hit for +2 damage or -2 for +4 damage, while lv 20 fighter could take anything from -1 to -6 for +2 to +12 damage. If you have multiple attacks, you chose penalty and bonus for each attack.

It gives you kind of sliding scale of risk/reward, and increases slightly damage in tier 4 of game vs opponents with low AC, while it can still give you some damage boost vs high AC opponents.

I think what I'm going to end up using is the 5.5e version, minus the Strength boost (I think it's worth more than a half-feat).

I did have to finagle another rule I'm using to make it work, since one of my goals is to balance the costs and benefits of the different fighting styles.

As the discussion went along, I realized one of the things I don't like about GWM is the choice to take Disadvantage. That's where the whole issue comes in, because the better you are at system mastery (individually and as a party), the better use you can get out of it. It's just worth a lot more to someone who really knows what they are doing than it is to a casual player. I really like to avoid that. I'm perfectly fine with some optimization adding some benefit, but that feat was just a step too far for me.

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