Weapon Groups

I was poking around Unearthed Arcana and other alternate rules sources while I was considering item creation, and remembered how much I liked the Weapon Groups alternate rule. Most of this comes straight from UA, but there are a few twists of my own. It can be ret-conned into the campaign without really changing anything present, while offering some more interesting options later on.

Weapon Group Feats

Weapon Group Basics

Weapon Group Feats replace the standard weapon proficiency system, and all proficiency feats in the basic rules. Instead of being based on the general difficulty of using the weapons like the simple/martial/exotic system, it represents training with certain weapons and the similarity between them. It can also represent special training or circumstances, as with monk and druid weapons, or with homebrew groups like primitive weapons or desert weapons. A class’s martial talents are represented in the number of weapon types with which they begin proficiency. If you multiclass and your new class gets more 1st level proficiencies, you gain feats up to that many.

Weapon Group Proficiencies Table

Weapon Groups and Favored Weapons

Any weapon group feat may be selected as a fighter’s bonus feats.

Characters who take weapon-specific feats, such as the Weapon Focus tree, instead apply those feats to a whole weapon group.

Some races get bonus weapon group feats. Others get exotic weapons as part of other weapon group feats. For example:

  • Elves automatically receive weapon group feats for Bows, and either Light Blades or Heavy Blades
  • Dwarves proficient with Axes add the dwarven urgrosh and dwarven waraxe (one-handed) to the group.
  • Gnomes proficient with Picks and Hammers add the gnome hooked hammer to the group.

Weapon Groups

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