• Justin Handlin

Weapon Perks: Your choice of weapon matters in Dungeons & Dragons


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Weapon Perks was written because, other than a few key features, the weapons in the 5th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons can often feel the exact same. In some cases, they ARE the exact same. Take a look at the trident and the spear for instance. Same states, different names. Nothing separates them, not really. Just flavor. The goal of Weapon Perks is to give the players additional reasons to pick a specific weapon.


Weapons are more than just objects that adventurers carry to stab, slice, or break enemies with. In the proper hands of a master, they can be powerful tools to gain the upper hand against an enemy. A weapon perk is a special skill or technique that can be used with a specific weapon. This allows each weapon to feel unique among all of the options the adventurers have, and hopefully give them their own identity.


All the weapon perks are part of the weapons, but require that the creature be proficient with the weapon In order to execute the weapons perk. If a perk requires a creature to make a saving throw, the DC equals 8 + proficiency bonus + Strength or Dexterity modifier (your choice).


Below are a few of our favorites from the book. You can listen to our entire breakdown in our youtube video.


Dagger

Weapon Perks | Dungeons and Dragons Weapon Options
Weapon Perks | Dungeons and Dragons Weapon Options

A dagger is a knife with a very sharp point and usually two sharp edges, typically designed or capable of being used as a thrusting weapon. This made them potent weapons for penetrating small gaps in armor. Daggers have been used throughout history for close combat confrontations for this reason, and are a favorite of assassins. Many cultures have used adorned daggers in magical and non-magical rituals and ceremonial contexts. The distinctive shape and historic usage of the dagger have made it iconic and symbolic.


Hidden Weapon. As a bonus action, you may make a Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) check to conceal up to two daggers on a success. As an action, you can make a single weapon attack with a hidden dagger against a creature that hasn’t taken a turn in combat yet. Your attack can score a critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20.


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Dart

The dart is a very unique weapon. It’s the only one to start off as a pastime of soldiers on duty. Guard duty can get dull, which is good, as it means everyone is safe. But sometimes the soldiers needed something to do. So when they were on duty they would set up an empty ale cask and throw spearheads at them. They even started using fire to sear the outside into a single target. The interesting thing is, the officials encouraged the soldiers to partake as it was an effective way to practice their aim and throwing skills. While not the most effective weapon in their arsenal, darts are easy to conceal and can be effective with precision.


Barrage. The small nature of these weapons makes it easy to throw multiples at once. Immediately after you take the Attack action on your turn to make a ranged weapon attack, you can make two additional ranged weapon attacks as a bonus action.


Point Blank. Making a ranged weapon attack against a target within 5 feet of you doesn’t impose disadvantage on the attack.


Weapon Perks | Dungeons and Dragons Weapon Options
Weapon Perks | Dungeons and Dragons Weapon Options

Trident.

The trident is a variant of the spear. Instead of a single point, it has three fork-like prongs. It was designed by a fisherman who had lost one of his eyes, with poor depth perception, he had a very difficult time with spear hunting and fishing. Since his aim was always off by just a little bit, he took additional spear tips and attached them to the end of a spear. This allowed him to compensate for his weakness. It wasn’t until a gang of bandits tried to rob him that he realized the potential of them in combat. The forks would allow a user to “catch” an oncoming weapon. He set out to sell his new creation.


Redirecting Parry. When a creature hits you with a melee weapon attack, you may use your reaction to attempt to parry and redirect their blow. Make an attack roll with your trident. If the result of this roll equals or exceeds their attack roll, their attack misses. You may choose a new target for the attack within reach. If the attack roll would hit their armor class, they take the weapon's damage.


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