Posted on

D&D 5e weapons nomenclature: When a longsword is not always a longsword

D&D and weapons

= Labeled diagram of a sword and its scabbard. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Weapons have always been a big part of Dungeons & Dragons. This makes sense considering combat has played a large role in D&D since the game’s earliest days. True, a Dungeon Master and players can enjoy tabletop roleplaying without combat, but usually there is some kind of conflict. Even for the most non-violent-oriented RPG players, often those interested far more in the RP aspects of the game than combat, there tends to be some form of conflict as this creates tension, and without this tension the characters within the game are living rather humdrum lives and the game itself can become quite dull.

So, conflict ensues, which often enough leads to physical conflict, actual combat. Despite the fantasy aspects of D&D, the magic and the monsters, weapons tend to make an appearance, usually weapons that are taken from the real world and history. Continue reading D&D 5e weapons nomenclature: When a longsword is not always a longsword

Posted on

New DM Handbook: Implementing Firearms

New DM HandbookLast week, I talked about how you can include firearms in your Dungeons & Dragons game. Truthfully, I don’t think I included everything, but I believe it was a good primer for how to think about including firearms into your game. Perhaps in the future I’ll compile a more detailed modern firearms ruleset, which would include a detailed look at what I talked about last week, what I’m going to talk about right now, and other elements I never addressed, but that is then and this is now.

My main focuses here is about class archetypes. While the Monk will require the Way of Gun Fu archetype in order to use modern firearms, the Barbarian, Fighter, Paladin, Ranger, and Rogue classes will be granted proficiency in the identified modern firearms by class. Continue reading New DM Handbook: Implementing Firearms

Posted on

Rethinking Finesse in 5th Edition D&D


rapierA brief history of Finesse

The idea of using Dexterity to influence melee attacks in Dungeons & Dragons officially came about in Third Edition D&D with the Weapon Finesse Feat. Before that, all melee attacks were based upon Strength unless one’s DM came up with a house rule. For the first time, this allowed lighter combatants to stand toe to toe against heavier opponents, at least if wielding a rapier, dagger or a handful of other weapons.

Along comes Fifth Edition, and instead of making Finesse a Feat, it becomes a property of particular weapons (All in all, I personally consider this an improvement, though I have a quibble or two I’ll mention later). However, there is a subtle difference between how Finesse works in Fifth Edition than in earlier editions.



In Fifth Edition D&D, Finesse weapons use not only Dexterity, but can also use Strength. This might seem a minor difference, but it can be an important one.

The Fifth Edition Difference

The notion of Finesse as a Dexterity modifier for attacks seems to continue to hold, at least in my experience. Most wielders of Finesse weapons tend to be of the lighter sort, your Fighters with rapiers, Rogues with shortswords and daggers, etc. This makes a certain amount of sense because the majority of Finesse weapons are of the lighter sort and more fitting to agile combatants. Continue reading Rethinking Finesse in 5th Edition D&D