Scoring Homebrew Nonmagical Weapons (5e Guideline)

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This metric is intended to score any potential weapon design against SRD weapons. A given weapon's score should determine whether the weapon should simple, martial, or too powerful to even be a nonmagical weapon.

It should be noted that any weapon which scores as simple can also be treated as martial, subject to GM discretion. E.g., the spear and the trident have the exact same combat statistics, but one is simple while the other is martial.

Aside from the trident, the only SRD weapon which defies this scoring system is the blowgun, which by this system is considered far too weak to be "worth" being a martial weapon.

Step 1: Damage dice[edit]

Choose damage dice in the first column. Normally, you will start with the Weapon Points (WP) in the second column.

If the weapon is to have the versatile property, start with the WP in the third column. (For the purpose of this system, the versatile property is "When you use this weapon in two hands to make a melee attack, increase the weapon's base damage dice by one step.")

If the weapon is to have the ammunition property, start with the WP in the fourth column. For the purpose of this system, a weapon cannot have both the ammunition and versatile properties.

Damage
Dice
Standard
WP
Versatile
WP
Ammunition
WP
1d2
or less
0 4 35
1d3 8 12 35
1d4 16 24 35
1d6 30 39 40
1d8 47 59* 60
2d4 68 77
1d10 69 79 82
1d12 84
2d6 87

* A versatile weapon with 1d8 damage dice increases to 1d10 when wielded in two hands, not 2d4.

Step 2: Weight-based properties[edit]

A weapon cannot (normally) have both a positive WP property and a negative WP property from this section.

Property WP Adjustment
Two-Handed -16 WP
Heavy -6 WP if paired with two-handed, otherwise +0 WP
Finesse +18 WP
A weapon can't benefit from this property while being wielded in two hands.
Light +2 WP if d3 or lower
+5 WP if d4
+9 WP if d6
+19 WP if d8
+29 WP if 2d4 or d10
+40 WP if d12 or 2d6

Step 3: Reach and range properties[edit]

A weapon can have the reach, thrown, or ammunition property, but (normally) no combination of these three.

Property WP Adjustment
Reach +18 WP if paired with the two-handed property, otherwise +28 WP
Reach can only be placed on a weapon with a damage die of 1d4 or higher.
If the weapon has the reach property and has damage dice of 1d4, 1d6, or 1d8, it gains +3 WP.
If the weapon has both the light property and the reach property, it gains an extra +17 WP.
Thrown +6 WP for thrown (20/60)
+9 WP for thrown (30/120)
Ammunition +4 WP for (20/60)
+6 WP for (30/120)
+16 WP for (80/320)
+20 WP for (100/400)
+27 WP for (150/600)
If the weapon has both the ammunition and loading properties, the preceding value for ammunition is halved.
If the weapon has both the ammunition and light properties, it gains an extra +17 WP.
Loading -5 WP if paired with ammunition or reach, otherwise +0 WP.

Step 4: Special properties[edit]

Special properties are often what make homebrew weapons unique. It's virtually impossible to score every possible special property, but a few examples are listed below.

Property WP Adjustment Description
Accurate +45 WP If you are proficient with an accurate weapon, you have a +1 bonus on attack rolls with it.
The weapon must also have at least one property from ammunition and finesse.
Dire +8 WP If you are proficient with a dire weapon, you add your proficiency bonus to damage rolls instead of attack rolls.
Glove +26 WP A glove weapon is worn on your hand or forearm, and you cannot be disarmed of it. You can hold or wield objects in a hand fitted with a glove weapon, but you can only attack with a glove weapon if that hand is unoccupied. It takes an action to don or doff a glove weapon.
Returning +10 WP See returning.
Unwieldy -16 WP You cannot attack with an unwieldy weapon unless you are proficient. If you are proficient, you cannot add any proficiency bonus to the attack roll.

Step 5: Damage type[edit]

Choose bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing. Anything that deals a different kind of damage should probably be a magic weapon instead.

Although no SRD weapons can deal more than one type of damage, you can optionally have a weapon optionally deal one of two different types, e.g., "bludgeoning or slashing." Such a weapon might have an axe-head and a hammer-head on the same end of the weapon. A weapon with this quality should have +4 WP.

Step 6: Category[edit]

If the weapon's WP value is 45 or lower, it should generally be a simple weapon.

If the weapon's WP value is more than 45 but not greater than 65, it should be a martial weapon.

If the weapon's WP value is greater than 65, it should be a magic item.

Step 7: Weight[edit]

The GM can generally use his or her own judgement. As a general guidelines, however:

  • A weapon designed to be used in one hand should rarely if ever weigh more than 5 lb.
  • A weapon with the finesse or light property should weigh 3 lb. or less.
  • Despite the connotations of the heavy property, this restriction can be due to the weapon's size rather than its weight. For instance a longbow has this property, but weighs a mere 2 pounds.
  • The heaviest weapons in the SRD (pike and heavy crossbow) each weigh 18 lb. The second-heaviest weapons (maul and greatclub) each weigh 10 lb. Everything else is 7 lb. or less. Suffice to say a weapon should rarely weigh more than 7 lb.

Step 8: Cost[edit]

The costs for weapons in the SRD often depends as much on the weapon's construction and the materials required, than the weapon's actual effectiveness. A pike for instance is as effective as a halberd, but because a pointy spear tip is much easier to make than an ornate halberd head, the pike is much cheaper. Even so, any weapon that has high WP for its category should generally be more expensive than other weapons with lower WP.

A simple melee weapon should cost 5 gp or less. The cheapest one, the club, is a mere 1 sp.

A martial melee weapon should generally be between 5 gp and 50 gp. Some classes, like the fighter, can start with "any martial melee weapon." Thus making one significantly more costly than 50 gp is general ill-advised.

Ranged weapons can be a little more expensive. On the high end, a simple ranged weapon should rarely if ever cost much more than 25 gp. A martial ranged weapon should rarely if ever cost much more than 75 gp.

Examples[edit]

SRD Weapons
Weapon Category WP Damage Weight Properties Reach & Range
Club Simple 16 1d4
16 WP
Dagger Simple 45 1d4
16 WP
Finesse, light
+23 WP
Thrown (20/60)
+6 WP
Greatclub Simple 31 1d8
47 WP
Two-handed
-16 WP
Handaxe Simple 45 1d6
30 WP
Light
+9 WP
Thrown (20/60)
+6 WP
Javelin Simple 39 1d6
30 WP
Thrown (30/120)
+9 WP
Light Hammer Simple 27 1d4
16 WP
Light
+5 WP
Thrown (range 20/60)
+6 WP
Mace Simple 30 1d6
30 WP
Quarterstaff Simple 39 1d6, versatile
39 WP
Sickle Simple 21 1d4
16 WP
Light
+5 WP
Spear Simple 45 1d6, versatile
39 WP
Thrown (20/60)
+6 WP
Crossbow, Light Simple 45 1d8, ammunition
60 WP
Two-handed
-16 WP
Ammunition (80/320), loading
+1 WP
Dart Simple 40 1d4
16 WP
Finesse
+18 WP
Thrown (20/60)
+6 WP
Shortbow Simple 40 1d6, ammunition
40 WP
Two-handed
-16 WP
Ammunition (80/320)
+16
Sling Simple 41 1d4, ammunition
35 WP
Ammunition (30/120)
+6 WP
Battleaxe Martial 59 1d8, versatile
59 WP
Flail Martial 47 1d8
47 WP
Glaive Martial 65 1d10
69 WP
Heavy, two-handed
-22 WP
Reach
+18 WP
Greataxe Martial 62 1d12
84 WP
Heavy, two-handed
-22 WP
Greatsword Martial 65 2d6
87 WP
Heavy, two-handed
-22 WP
Halberd Martial 65 1d10
69 WP
Heavy, two-handed
-22 WP
Reach
+18 WP
Longsword Martial 59 1d8, versatile
59
Maul Martial 65 2d6
87 WP
Heavy, two-handed
-22 WP
Morningstar Martial 47 1d8
47 WP
Pike Martial 64 1d10
68 WP
Heavy, two-handed
-22 WP
Reach
+18 WP
Rapier Martial 65 1d8
47 WP
Finesse
+18 WP
Scimitar Martial 57 1d6
30 WP
Light, finesse
+27 WP
Shortsword Martial 57 1d6
30 WP
Light, finesse
+27 WP
Trident Simple 45 1d6, versatile
39 WP
Thrown (20/60)
+6 WP
War Pick Martial 47 1d8
47 WP
Warhammer Martial 59 1d8, versatile
59 WP
Whip Martial 65 1d4
16 WP
Finesse
18 WP
Reach
+31 WP
Blowgun Martial 33 1, ammunition
35 WP
Ammunition (30/120), loading
-2 WP
Crossbow, Hand Martial 61 1d6
40 WP
Light
23 WP
Ammunition (30/120), loading
-2 WP
Crossbow, Heavy Martial 65 1d10, ammunition
82 WP
Heavy, two-handed
-22 WP
Ammunition (100/400), loading
+5 WP
Longbow Martial 65 1d8, ammunition
60 WP
Heavy, two-handed
-22 WP
Ammunition (150/600)
+27 WP
Homebrew Weapons
Weapon Category WP Damage Damage Type Weight Properties Reach & Range Special
Ball & Chain Martial 65 1d8
47 WP
bludgeoning Heavy, two-handed
-22 WP
Thrown (20/60)
+6 WP
+8 WP: Dire
+1 WP (estimate): "Pull back"
+25 WP (estimate): "Shielded Sentinel"
Bec de Corbin Martial 64 1d10
68 WP
bludgeoning Heavy, two-handed
-22 WP
Reach
+18 WP
Boar Spear Martial 65 2d6
87 WP
piercing Heavy, two-handed
-22 WP
Boomerang Simple 40 1d4
16 WP
bludgeoning Light
+5 WP
Thrown (30/120)
+9 WP
Returning
+10 WP
Brandistock Simple 31 1d8
47 WP
piercing Two-handed
-16 WP
Cane Simple 30 1d4, versatile
24 WP
bludgeoning Light
+6 WP
Clawed Bracer Martial 65 1d6
30 WP
piercing Light
+9 WP
Glove
+26 WP
Clawed Glove Simple 43 1
0 WP
slashing Finesse, light
+19 WP
Glove
+26 WP
Chakram Martial 63 1d6
30 WP
slashing Finesse, light
+27 WP
Thrown (20/60)
+6 WP
Crescent Cleaver Martial 51 1d8
47 WP
piercing or slashing
+4 WP
Crescent Staff
or Falx
Simple 41 1d6, versatile
39 WP
slashing
Cudgel Simple 41 1d6, versatile
39 WP
bludgeoning
Deku Stick Simple 45 1d10
69 WP
bludgeoning Two-handed
-16 WP
Loading
+0 WP
Melee weapon is destroyed on a hit
-8 WP (estimate)
Dragonbone Club Simple 33 1d8
47 WP
bludgeoning Heavy, two-handed
-22 WP
+8 WP: Dire
Duplex Bow Martial 65 2d4, ammunition
77 WP
piercing Two-handed
-16 WP
Ammunition (20/60)
+4 WP
Consumes 1 extra piece of ammunition
Fauchard Simple 29 1d6
30 WP
slashing Heavy, two-handed
-22 WP
Reach
+21 WP
Gauntlet Simple 42 1d4
16 WP
bludgeoning Glove
+26 WP
Giant Boomerang Martial 63 1d10
69 WP
bludgeoning Heavy, two-handed
-22 WP
Thrown (20/60)
+6 WP
Returning
+10 WP
Godentag Simple 29 1d8
47 WP
bludgeoning or piercing
+4 WP
Heavy, two-handed
-22 WP
Heavy Flail Martial 62 1d12
84 WP
piercing Heavy, two-handed
-22 WP
Heavy Pickaxe Martial 47 1d10
69 WP
piercing Heavy, two-handed
-22 WP
Karambit Simple 39 1d4
16 WP
slashing Finesse, light
+23 WP
Kpinga Simple 45 1d6
30 WP
bludgeoning Light
+9 WP
Thrown (20/60)<r>+6 WP
Lizal Boomerang Martial 65 1d6
30 WP
slashing Finesse
+23 WP
Thrown (20/60)
+6 WP
+10 WP: Returning
-4 WP Negative effects on "natural 1" attack roll
Lizal Tri-Boomerang Martial 62 1d8
47 WP
slashing Thrown (30/120)
+9 WP
+10 WP: Returning
-4 WP Negative effects on "natural 1" attack roll
Lone Cane Martial 52 1d8
47 WP
bludgeoning Two-handed
-16 WP
Reach
+21 WP
Master's Keg Simple 39 1d6
30 WP
bludgeoning Light
+9 WP
Mattock Simple 34 1d6
30 WP
piercing or slashing
+4 WP
Mattock, War Martial 63 1d8, versatile
59 WP
piercing or slashing
+4 WP
Pole Mace Martial 65 1d10
69 WP
bludgeoning Heavy, two-handed
-22 WP
Reach
+18 WP
Poleaxe Martial 64 2d4
68 WP
slashing Heavy, two-handed
-22 WP
Reach
+18 WP
Slingstaff Simple 30 1d6, ammunition
40 WP
bludgeoning Two-handed
-16 WP
Ammunition (30/120)
+6 WP
Spiked Greatclub Martial 47 1d10
69 WP
bludgeoning Heavy, two-handed
-22 WP
Sportsman's Rapier Martial 62 1d2
0 WP
piercing Finesse
+18 WP
Accurate
+45 WP
Swordstaff Martial 59 1d8, versatile
59 WP
piercing
Talwar Martial 65 1d8
47 WP
slashing Finesse
+18 WP
Poor examples - Weapons that by this definition are overpowered for their category
Weapon Category WP Damage Weight Properties Reach & Range Notes
Stronger
Greatclub
Simple 46 2d4
68 WP
Heavy, two-handed
-22 WP
Any simple melee weapon that deals more than 1d8 damage will need a significant drawback.
Simple
Rapier
Simple 47 1d6
30 WP
Finesse
+18 WP
The dagger is the pinnacle of simple finesse weapons, and the rapier the pinnacle of martial finesse weapons. It is difficult to make a more damaging finesse weapon without considerable drawback.
One-Handed
Pike
Martial 78 1d8
47 WP
Reach
+31 WP
While it is possible to make simple reach weapons and one-handed reach weapons, they would do lower-than-normal damage or have other drawbacks.
One-Handed
Powerhouse
Martial 68 2d4
68 WP
A single-handed weapon that deals more than 1d8 damage will need some kind of drawback.
Stronger
Longbow
Martial 76 1d10, ammunition
82 WP
Heavy, two-handed
-22 WP
Ammunition (80/320)
+16 WP
A more damaging longbow is possible, but only with a property like loading or a vastly reduced range.

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