A weapon is a tool designed or used for inflicting bodily harm or physical damage. Weapons are used to increase the efficacy and efficiency of activities such as hunting, crime, law enforcement, self-defense, and warfare.
Weapons are grouped into several interlocking sets of categories. These categories pertain to what training is needed to become proficient in a weapon’s use (simple, martial, or exotic), the weapon’s usefulness either in close combat (melee) or at a distance (ranged, which includes both thrown and projectile weapons), its relative encumbrance (light, one-handed, or two-handed), and its size (Small, Medium, or Large).
Simple, Martial, and Exotic Weapons
Simple weapons hardly require any training to use, allowing for almost all classes to use them. Most combat oriented ombat oriented classes are proficient with both simple and martial weapons. Characters of other classes are proficient with an assortment of mainly simple weapons and possibly also some martial or even exotic weapons. A character who uses a weapon with which he or she is not proficient takes a -4 penalty on attack rolls.
Melee and Ranged Weapons
Melee weapons are used for making melee attacks, though some of them can be thrown as well. Ranged weapons are thrown weapons or projectile weapons that are not effective in melee.
Light, One-Handed, and Two-Handed Melee Weapons
This designation is a measure of how much effort it takes to wield a weapon in combat. It indicates whether a melee weapon, when wielded by a character of the weapon’s size category, is considered a light weapon, a one-handed weapon, or a two-handed weapon.
Every weapon has a size category. This designation indicates the size of the creature for which the weapon was designed.
A weapon’s size category isn’t the same as its size as an object. Instead, a weapon’s size category is keyed to the size of the intended wielder. In general, a light weapon is an object two size categories smaller than the wielder, a one-handed weapon is an object one size category smaller than the wielder, and a two-handed weapon is an object of the same size category as the wielder.
Sometimes objects not crafted to be weapons nonetheless see use in combat. Because such objects are not designed for this use, any creature that uses one in combat is considered to be non proficient with it and takes a -4 penalty on attack rolls made with that object. To determine the size category and appropriate damage for an improvised weapon, compare its relative size and damage potential to the weapon list to find a reasonable match. An improvised weapon scores a threat on a natural roll of 20 and deals double damage on a critical hit. An improvised thrown weapon has a range increment of 10 feet.
A better weapon is usually more expensive than an inferior one, but more expensive doesn’t always mean better. For instance, a rapier is more expensive than a longsword. For a dexterous rogue with the Weapon Finesse feat, a rapier is a terrific weapon. For a typical fighter, a longsword is better.
Here is the format for weapon entries (given on individual weapon entries).
This value is the weapon’s cost in gold pieces (gp) or silver pieces (sp). The cost includes miscellaneous gear that goes with the weapon. Note: This cost is the same for a Small or Medium version of the weapon. A Large version costs twice the listed price.
The Damage columns give the damage dealt by the weapon on a successful hit. The column labeled "Dmg (S)" is for Small weapons. The column labeled "Dmg (M)" is for Medium weapons. If two damage ranges are given then the weapon is a double weapon. Use the second damage figure given for the double weapon’s extra attack. Table: Larger and Smaller Weapon Damage gives weapon damage values for weapons of various sizes.
The entry in this column notes how the weapon is used with the rules for critical hits. When your character scores a critical hit, roll the damage two, three, or four times, as indicated by its critical multiplier (using all applicable modifiers on each roll), and add all the results together. Exception: Extra damage over and above a weapon’s normal damage is not multiplied when you score a critical hit.
Any attack at less than this distance is not penalized for range. However, each full range increment imposes a cumulative -2 penalty on the attack roll. A thrown weapon has a maximum range of five range increments. A projectile weapon can shoot out to ten range increments.
This column gives the weight of a Medium version of the weapon. Halve this number for Small weapons and double it for Large weapons.
Weapons are classified according to the type of damage they deal: bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing. Some monsters may be resistant or immune to attacks from certain types of weapons.
Some weapons deal damage of multiple types. If a weapon is of two types, the damage it deals is not half one type and half another; all of it is both types. Therefore, a creature would have to be immune to both types of damage to ignore any of the damage from such a weapon.
In other cases, a weapon can deal either of two types of damage. In a situation when the damage type is significant, the wielder can choose which type of damage to deal with such a weapon.
Some weapons have special features. See the weapon descriptions for details.
All items (95)