Since I am trying to capture a sword & sorcery feel to the campaign as opposed to the standard Tolkien-esque/pseudo-medieval vibe that so many D&D campaigns aspire to, I’ve allowed any class to use any weapon. However, I can see how this could get out of control if no guidelines are established. So, as promised, I’ll be introducing a (hopefully) quick and easy weapon proficiency system at the next meeting. Since I find it easier to explain longer concepts in writing, here’s a preview of what we’ll be doing on Sunday.
Each character starts with an initial number of weapon proficiencies based on their class. Fighters begin knowing how to use four weapons competently; clerics can use three with skill, and magic-users are adept with only two. Dwarves are treated as fighters in this case, giving them four weapons of proficiency.
Any character attempting to use a weapon they aren’t adept with suffers a penalty to any and all attack rolls. Fighters using a weapon they aren’t trained in are -2 to hit; clerics are -3 to hit, and magic-users are -4 to their attack roll. As above, dwarves are treated as fighters and suffer a -2 penalty. For those of you who like charts, it breaks down like this:
Number of weapon proficiencies
Penalty to hit with a non-proficient weapon
Fighters (including dwarves)
As characters advance in level, they will gain addition weapon proficiencies based on their class. As each class reaches the levels listed below, they gain another weapon proficiency chosen from the list at the bottom of the page. Fighters gain a new weapon proficiency every two levels after the 1st; clerics gain one every three levels after the 1st, and magic-users gain one every four levels after the 1st. Again, in chart form, this looks like
I don’t want to get too crazy with this system so rather than make every single weapon cost its own proficiency, I’ve broken them down into categories, some broader than others. Being proficient in a category allows you to utilize any weapon in that class without penalty. These weapon categories are:
Ball & chain
Flail, morning star
Light and heavy crossbows
Pole arms of many assorted styles and flavors
Spear (both in melee and thrown), trident
Quarterstaff, magical staves
Two-handed sword, bastard (two-handed
Long sword, scimitar, falchion, bastard (one-handed)