Weapons come in all shapes and sizes, and for many different purposes. They have different styles of use, require different physical attributes to make use of to their full potential, and all have their own advantages and disadvantages. Weapons are sorted into weapon catergories, comprising of related weapons that are used in a similar way (these are most commonly related to certain feats with effects that function on all weapons in a single chosen weapon catergory).
The following is a brief guide to the different statistics, properties and attributes a weapon will have:
The following is a brief guide to the different statistics, properties and attributes a weapon will have:
Size denotes the size of the weapon in terms of size catergories, like those of characters and creatures. These relate to a number of different things, such as the ability of a person or creature to wield such a weapon - a weapon of the same size catergory as the wielder can be wielded either one or two handed (unless the weapon is a Dexterity based melee weapon). Weapons one or two size catergories smaller are always used one handed, and weapons one size catergory larger are always used two handed. Weapons outside of these ranges cannot be wielded by that particular person or creature - they are simple too big or too small for them to use in any viable way.
The comparison between the weapon's and wielder's size catergory also affects the speed the wielder can attack. For weapons that are the same size catergory as the wielder, no bonus or penalty is involved. Weapons that are one size catergory larger give a -1 penalty to initiative, whereas weapons one size catergory smaller give a +1 bonus to initiative, and weapons two size catergories smaller give a +2 bonus to initiative. These bonuses and/or penalties do not stack if more than one weapon is being used at the same time, and weapons often have special rules which add to or take away from this initiative bonus.
Size also factors slightly when calculating the damage a weapon deals; a character wielding a Strength based melee weapon two handed adds 2x their Strength modifier to their damage instead of just 1x.
Proficiencies are the training a person or creature must have to wield a certain weapon without penalty; effectively the knowledge of how to use the weapon in the way it was designed. Proficiencies come in four types: Universal, Simple, Martial and Unusual. Universal weapons are those so easy to use, that everyone picks up the knowledge of how to use them from every day life, or through other weapon training. Simple weapons require a bit more effort to learn the basics, but those basics are quick to pick up for all but the slowest of individuals. Martial weapons are weapons of war, and are harder to master but are still relatively easy to pick up for those who's profession involves every day use of weaponry - soldiers, guards, warriors, hunters and the like. Unusual weapons are those weapons where even the basics are tricky to learn, requiring a lot more time and effort.
Each class provides a set of points the character may spend on proficiencies (see the class pages for this information), as well as access to a limited number of the types previously mentioned. If a character possesses multiple classes, only the highest points value is used (they are not added together), but the character gains access to all the types available through any of their classes. Each region of a world also has a list of weapons commonly used within it, and therefore those weapons a character will be familiar with from growing up and/or training in that area.
The base cost for a proficiency in a weapon is 1 point for Simple, 2 points for Martial and 3 points for Unusual. Universal weapons do not cost points, and a character will gain proficiency in all of the universal weapons of their region for free. If a weapon is outside of the types listed for their particular class (or classes), they may still gain proficiency in that weapon, but the point cost is doubled. Similarly, if the weapon doesn't appear in the list for the character's region, the point cost is also doubled. If the weapon falls under both these headings, the base cost is tripled instead.
Without a proficiency in a weapon, a character or creature will take penalties to their attack when wielding that weapon; -2 for Universal weapons, -4 for Simple weapons, -8 for Martial weapons and -12 for Unusual weapons. This is halved if the character or creature possesses a proficiency for a weapon in the same weapon catergory as the one they are trying to use.
Every weapon has a listing for the statistic it uses; this will always be either Strength or Dexterity. This shows which modifier is added to the character's attack and damage when they are wielding that particular weapon. Weapons using the Dexterity statistic are most often ranged weapons, smaller weapons, or weapons with the slicing (and sometimes piercing) damage type.
Melee weapons with Dexterity as a main statistic cannot be wielded two handed, regardless of size.
The damage a weapon deals always comes in the form of a dice number, from anywhere between 1d2 and 1d12, or sometimes more. This is the base damage the weapon deals without any modifiers from the wielder's statistics, feats or other sources of damage on the weapon itself. Some weapons have multiple damage types, often from having different parts of differing shapes (such as a halberd with its blade and spike). Normally for these weapons, a single part must be chosen to attack with in a single round, but the wielder may choose to switch between rounds. Other weapons possess two different damage types, but strike with both at the same time (such as a morningstar with its spiked ball which also bludgeons). Such weapons deal the weapon's base damage as half of each of the types (with the first damage type listed taking precedent in cases where rounding of decimals is necessary).
Sometimes a damage type will also have "AP" shown next to it in brackets - this means that particular damage type is Armour Piercing, and therefore ignores reduction of that damage type on armour.
Every so often, the wielder of a weapon will hit the weak spot of a creature, either through luck or skill. The critical value of a weapon, at least the first part of it (called the critical range), is the chance that this will happen when rolling the d20 for an attack roll (before adding anything on, such as the character's or creature's attack). The second part of the critical value is the critical multiplier, which is the amount the physical damage of the attack is multiplied by on a successful critical hit.
A critical hit must be confirmed before it is successful. If a critical hit is scored, a critical confirmation roll must be made in the same way as the attack roll (against the AC of the target). If this roll also "hits" the target, the critical hit is confirmed and the physical damage is multiplied. However if the roll "misses", the critical hit fails - the attack deals damage as normal and is not multiplied.
All ranged weapons have a two-part range value. The first of these is the weapon's minimum range, the maximum at which the weapon may be used with no penalty to attack. The second value is the maximum range. The character takes a -5 penalty to attack to hit a target within the minimum and maximum ranges. A target outside the maximum range of the weapon can still be targeted, but the character takes an additional -1 penalty to attack for every 5 feet they are away from the maximum range.
Automatic hits from natural 20s do not apply for targets outside the maximum range of a weapon.
Value, Grid & Stack
Everything has its price, and everything takes effort to carry. The value of a weapon is the base currency cost of the object itself, before any modifiers come into play from material, bonuses or even merchant prices.
The grid size of an object is the size of the space (the number of grid blocks) it takes up in the character's inventory grid. For this purpose, the two numbers are reversable.
Certain items, such as thrown weapons and ammunition, also have a "stack" value; this is the number of individual items of that kind (only identical items with identical properties count for this purpose) that can fit in the grid slot listed for that item (for example, short arrows have a stack size of 25 and a grid size of 1x2 - this means 25 short arrows can fit in a single 1x2 grid slot).
Finally, some weapons have special properties such as "light", "unwieldy" or "hand-and-a-half". These properties are listed here.
Charge - The weapon can be used to charge with no penalty to the attack roll for the attempt.
Charge (Mount) - The weapon can be used to charge with no penalty to the attack roll for the attempt, but only while mounted.
Charge (Resist) - The weapon can be used against a charging individual, negating any bonus damage they might deal with a successful charge attempt. Additionally, any attacks of opportunity provoked from the charge attempt follow the bonus damage rules for charging.
Curved - A curved weapon provides an additional +1 bonus to initiative, and a +1 bonus to the required primary statistic. Additionally, the attack penalty for using the weapon while mounted is reduced by 4.
Dangerous - The weapon deals damage to the wielder on a d20 roll of 1 when rolling for attack (damage is calculated as normal).
Disarm - The weapon can be used to disarm with no penalty to the attack roll for the attempt.
Disarm (Immunity) - The weapon is immune to disarm attempts.
Disarm (Resist) - Provides a +5 bonus to resist disarm attempts.
Grapple - The weapon can be used to grapple with no penalty to the attack roll for the attempt.
Half-and-a-Half - One handed and two handed use of the weapon requires two different proficiencies, with the two handed style considered Martial and the one handed style considered Unusual. Upgrading an existing Martial proficiency in one of these weapons to an Unusual proficiency requires the character to pay the difference in costs of the two proficiencies only.
Improvised: Using this weapon in a way other than that which it was designed means it counts as an improvised weapon. A character does not gain any bonuses related to the weapon type from feats (such as weapon feats) or other sources if they are using a weapon in an improvised way.
Mana Pool: The item, in addition to its use as a very basic weapon, has a pool of mana from which a spellcaster (of the correct type, or a non-spellcaster with the correct knowledge) may call the item's spell-like abilities (as described in the individual magical item entry). Once depleted, the item's mana pool must be refilled via a ritual.
Non-Lethal - Damage dealt by the weapon is non-lethal.
Offhand Defense - Provides a +1 bonus to shield AC per offhand attack when wielded offhand, which stacks with any feats that provide shield AC based on offhand weapons and dual wielding. This bonus does not apply in a round the weapon is used to attack.
Reach - Doubles the reach of the wielder, but imposes a -8 penalty to attack when the target is within half or less of that reach distance.
Reach (Extra) - Triples the reach of the wielder, but the weapon cannot be used within one third or less of that reach distance, and the wielder takes the normal reach penalty for using weapon between one third and full reach.
Returning - When thrown, this weapon returns to the thrower (catching the weapon is a free action, but it takes 1 round to return). If the weapon hits its target, it only has a 25% chance of returning (assuming it survives the hit, as per the recoverability rules).
Slow - The slow property means the weapon in question takes an extra (full) round to reload.
Spread - The weapon loses damage over range as well as accuracy, at a rate of -1 damage for every 5ft after minimum range (minimum of 1). On a critical hit, the range increment is doubled.
Sunder - The weapon can be used to sunder with no penalty to the attack roll for the attempt. The weapon also counts as semi-armour piercing; it ignores secondary damage reduction on armour of the weapon's damage type, as long as the weapon's hardness is equal to or higher than the hardness of the target's armour.
Thin - The weapon counts as armour piercing against its damage type on successful critical hits or sneak attacks.
Trip - The weapon can be used to trip with no penalty to the attack roll for the attempt.
Unwieldy - An unwieldy weapon imposes an additional -2 penalty to initiative, and a +2 bonus to the required primary statistic.
Weighted - A weighted weapon imposes an additional -1 penalty to initiative, and a +1 bonus to the required primary statistic.
Wounding - The weapon possesses the Wounding (Weak) property.