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5E Weapon Group Variants

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Anyone have a favorite weapon group variant? Variant rules that make swords feel different from axes or glaives different from halberds. Variant ruses that makes light hammers, war hammers, war picks, and mauls share a property, maneuver, or special attack.
I get why official rules weren't in the release versions of 5e.

But I was wondering if any custom or homebrew weapon group rules have caught your eye? Any you've found, bought, or made yourself.

This topic has come to mind because the enemy factions in the game I DM are divided on racial lines and I wanted to make the martial sides of them pop a little. The PCs have to choose what order they tackle them and how heavy they throw down. So I'm more inclined to a rule that works on both sides there.
 

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Eltab

Hero
Not quite what you want, but...

I miss the older edition feature that some monsters were vulnerable / resistant to certain kinds of weapon damage. For instance, Skeletons laughed at arrows (resistant to Piercing damage) but took double from hammers / maces (Bludgeoning damage).

For a gladiator-type fighter, a specialized polearm that can trip the target on a hit - at reach distance. And a special Reaction to let him use it in response to his enemies' movement.

More on-target:
Are you familiar with the 4e weapon specialization features / feats / rules? Those might lead towards what you want.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
So I have started work on making a series of weapon type feats that rival PAM (and don't overlap with it).

Here is the current draft:

Archer​

The blood of the bowman or woman flows in your veins.
  • As a bonus action you can end your turn and take aim on a target you can see. On your next turn, you gain advantage on all ranged weapon attack rolls on that target, and if 2 of the dice rolled to make the attack have the same value, your attack becomes a critical hit.
  • If you make a ranged weapon attack on a creature within 5’, you may choose to attempt to spend 5’ of your movement to move away from it at the same time. If you do so, your attack doesn’t have disadvantage, and if it hits your movement does not provoke an opportunity attack.
  • Shortbows deal 1d8 damage in your hands, and longbows deal 1d10 damage.
  • When you deal damage with a longbow or shortbow, you can add both your strength and dexterity damage to the damage roll instead of just dexterity.

Dual Wielder​

You master fighting with two weapons, gaining the following benefits:
  • You gain a +1 bonus to AC while you are wielding a separate melee weapon in each hand.
  • You can use two-weapon fighting even when the one handed melee weapons you are wielding aren’t light, and you add your attribute bonus to damage on any attack granted by it.
  • As part of the attack action, if you make an attack with advantage with a weapon held in one hand, you may use one lower attack roll to attack with a weapon held in the other hand.

Master of the Blade​

You have mastered bladed weapons (daggers, short swords, scimitars, long swords and greatswords).
  • When you roll weapon damage with a blade you may add either strength or dexterity to the damage roll. You may not add the same attribute to damage more than once this way.
  • When you are missed by an attack, you may expend a reaction to make an attack with a one handed weapon or a blade you are wielding. After or before such attacks, you may also move up to ½ of your speed; this movement does not provoke an opportunity attack from the triggering attacker.
  • When you take the attack action, you may draw a weapon as part of an attack with it.

Deadly Axe​

You have mastered using axes in combat: the hand axe, battleaxe and greataxe.
  • If your attack roll is even, your attacks with an axe deal an extra damage die. (This is doubled on a crit just like other damage dice)
  • Your attacks with axes deal double damage to objects.
  • If you roll a natural 1 on a weapon attack, you may take a risky gamble and expend a reaction to repeat the attack on the same target with advantage. If this repeat attack misses, you hit yourself.

Hammer Rhythm​

You have conditioned yourself with the endurance required to use hammers in combat; the warhammer, maul and throwing hammer.
  • When you hit with a hammer, it deals additional bludgeoning damage equal to your constitution modifier.
  • When you score a critical hit with a weapon attack, your attacks against the target gain advantage until the end of your next turn.
  • If you miss a creature with a hammer, as a bonus action you may make another attack with a hammer on that creature.
They need (yet another) balance pass. I also need to rotate them a bit so they have more active effects on the fiction of the game, not just mechanics.
 

Critical effects work.

On a critical hit triggers a save (DC 8+Prof+your attack stat) or else:

Swords: Bleed (1 die of weapon damage at the start of each subsequent enemy turn. An action and a DC 15 Medicine check staunches the bleeding).
Hammers: Incapacitate till end of next turn.
Axes: No save; simply do an extra die of damage on a critical hit.

For natural attacks, claws are swords, bites are axes and slams are hammers.
 

6ENow!

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
We used a system similar to @Flamestrike , adding the following weapon properties:

Piercing: Skewer
Bludgeoning: Stun
Slashing: Wound

1603791953681.png

1603791966042.png
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I was going back and forth between Critical hit effects or Attack modifications.

Flail
Critical Hit: When you roll a critical hit with a flail or whip, the target must make a Dexterity saving throw with a DC equal to 8 plus your Strength plus your proficiency modifier or take 2d8 bludgeoning damage.

Or

Attack Modification: When you make a melee attack with a flail or whip against a target holding a shield, you can use your bonus action to add 1d8 to your attack and damage rolls.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
We used a system similar to @Flamestrike , adding the following weapon properties:

Piercing: Skewer
Bludgeoning: Stun
Slashing: Wound

View attachment 127968
View attachment 127969
Might I suggest "DC of your attack roll minus 10" or "minus 12"?

The math of -12 and the attack roll is nearly identical, but you already have the attack roll calculated usually. ;) -10 just makes it easy.

Admittedly, having "attack modifier +8" precalculated is also possible.
 

jgsugden

Legend
The key to these being useful designations is to make sure they are easy to use and significant, but not too powerful.

That gets tricky when you try to fold it into an established rule set. The best I have come up with is giving each weapon type a special that triggers on a crit. A bludgeoning weapon may break someone's bones on a crit, giving them a level of exhaustion until they are healed. A slashing weapon may inflict bleeding, giving bonus damage on subsequent turns until the target is healed or rests. A piercing weapon may damage an organ, poisoning the target until healed.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
The key to these being useful designations is to make sure they are easy to use and significant, but not too powerful.

That gets tricky when you try to fold it into an established rule set. The best I have come up with is giving each weapon type a special that triggers on a crit. A bludgeoning weapon may break someone's bones on a crit, giving them a level of exhaustion until they are healed. A slashing weapon may inflict bleeding, giving bonus damage on subsequent turns until the target is healed or rests. A piercing weapon may damage an organ, poisoning the target until healed.

They can be powerful. The issue is that the DM and Player must know the level of power and frequency the rule variant is.

It can be a rare but powerful surprise or a common but weak occurrence. The key is knowing what you are getting.

Also it wasn't a bludgeoning/piercing/slashing variant I was looking for. But those are cool. I was looking more for a axe/flail/hammer/mace/sword variant.

But they could be combined. I could see having a damage type variant and weapon type variant to spice up the monotony of a "Humans only" or "Commons only" campaign.
 

6ENow!

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
Might I suggest "DC of your attack roll minus 10" or "minus 12"?

The math of -12 and the attack roll is nearly identical, but you already have the attack roll calculated usually. ;) -10 just makes it easy.

Admittedly, having "attack modifier +8" precalculated is also possible.
It's because it is basically the same for everything else in the game:

8 + proficiency + ability modifier

just with the possibility of a bonus from magic, class features, etc. The "attack modifier" is already calculated and on the character sheet. Adding 8 hopefully isn't too difficult for people that precalculating it is necessary. ;)
 

Taronkov

Explorer
This may have been mentioned but the Midgard Heroes Handbook gives abilities to all weapons in the phb plus their own handful of weapons as well. I have not found any(yet) that are broken or cause any issues at all and they can certainly make combat more interesting and give melee combatants further options besides 'I swing my sword'.
 

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