When it comes to 5e martial weapons in Dungeons and dragons, fifth edition, there are some that are awesome, some that are downright terrible, and some that are just plain ridiculous. Let’s take a look at some of the best (and worst) martial weapons in the game! In this article, we will explore the good, the bad, and the silly martial weapons available in D&D 5e.
- What is a martial weapon?
- Types of martial weapons
- The Good, The Bad, The Silly
What is a Martial Weapon?
Martial weapons are common weapons that require more specialized training and skill to use effectively. In D&D 5e martial weapons are divided into several categories, including swords, axes, polearms, and ranged weapons. Each category has its own unique characteristics and abilities, making it important for players to choose the right weapon for their character.
Types of Martial Weapons
Swords are one of the most iconic weapons in fantasy games, and D&D 5e has a variety of swords to choose from. The longsword is a versatile weapon that can be used with one or two hands, making it a great choice for fighters who want to switch between offense and defense. The greatsword is a two-handed weapon that deals heavy damage, but is slower and less versatile than the longsword. The rapier, a finesse weapon, is a light and nimble sword that is perfect for quick strikes and for piercing armor.
Axes are another popular choice for martial weapons in D&D 5e. The battleaxe is a versatile melee weapon that can be used with one or two hands, making it a good choice for fighters who want to switch between offense and defense. The greataxe is a two-handed weapon that deals heavy damage but is slower and less versatile than the battleaxe. The handaxe is a light throwing weapon that can be used as a melee weapon as well.
Polearms are weapons that have a longer reach than swords or axes, making them ideal for keeping enemies at a distance. The halberd is a versatile melee weapon that can be used for both slashing and piercing attacks. The glaive is a weapon with a long, curved blade that is designed for slashing attacks, and one of my personal favorites because of the aesthetic. The pike is a long spear-like weapon that is ideal for keeping enemies at a distance. Pointy stick.
Martial Ranged Weapons:
Martial Ranged weapons are common or simple weapons that can be used to attack enemies from a distance. They are ideal for characters who want to stay out of harm’s way and deal damage from a safe position. The longbow is an adaptable ranged weapon that can be used for both short and long-range attacks. The crossbow is a heavy ranged weapon that requires more strength to use effectively, but deals more damage than the longbow.
Remember that proficiency with a martial weapon is just the beginning. As you gain levels and experience, you can learn new techniques and abilities that allow you to make the most of your chosen weapons. For example, the Great Weapon Master feat allows you to make more powerful attacks with heavy melee weapons, while the Crossbow Expert feat lets you fire a crossbow in close combat without penalty.
In the end, the choice of martial weapon is a personal one that depends on your character’s background, personality, and fighting style. Now let’s get into judging their physical characteristics!
The Good, The Bad, and the Silly
First up, we have the greatsword. As its name suggests, this is a truly great heavy weapon. It deals massive damage and can cleave through multiple enemies at once. It has a damage die of 2d6, making it one of the most damaging weapons in the game. The Greatsword is a weapon that is best suited for characters who want to deal massive damage, and look cool doing it. In real life, it is slower and less versatile than the longsword, and requires more strength to use effectively. But this isn’t real life, it’s tabletop gaming, so go ahead and get the dual wielding feat and become the Double-greatsword anime warrior you’ve always wanted to be!
Next, we have the longbow. This ranged weapon is a staple of archery-based characters and for good reason: it has a long range and can deal devastating damage from a safe distance. It has a damage die of 1d8 and a range of 150/600 feet. This makes it a great choice for characters who want a weapon that can be used in a variety of situations. And let’s be honest, there’s just something satisfying about hitting an enemy from afar and watching them drop. What’s not to love?
And let’s not forget about the crossbow, the “sawed off shotgun of longbows.” This ranged weapon is a great choice for characters who want to deal ranged damage without having to worry about aiming too much. Mechanically, it has a damage die of 1d10 and a range of 80/320 feet. The crossbow also has the loading property, which means that it takes an action to reload after each shot. This makes it a great choice for characters who want to deal significant damage from a distance, and who are willing to sacrifice speed for power. It’s also a great weapon for sneaky characters who want to take out enemies quietly.
Then there’s the rapier. This elegant, light weapon is perfect for swashbuckling heroes and graceful fighters alike. It’s lightweight, fast, and deals a respectable amount of damage (1d8 piercing). It’s a finesse weapon, which means that it uses the character’s Dexterity modifier instead of their Strength modifier for attack and damage rolls. This makes it an excellent choice for characters with high Dexterity scores, such as Rogues, and the occasional Bard. Also, if you swing a rapier fast enough it gives off a whistling little whooshing sound. Swish swish, baby.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the less desirable martial weapons in the game. First up, we have the flail. This martial weapon is just impractical. It’s heavy, unwieldy, and difficult to use effectively. It deals 1d8 bludgeoning damage, and it looks pretty dumb doing it. With some modifications, this common weapon has potential to be cool, but not on this list. Get outta here.
Next there’s the Morningstar. This melee weapon is basically just a spiked ball on a stick. It deals 1d8 piercing damage, and you may as well have a longsword. Maybe a Morningstar can be your character’s starting weapon, but honestly, it’s better used for “flavor” than for having many unique aspects as a melee weapon.
Next, we have the war pick. This weapon is basically just a glorified ice pick. Mediocre damage, awkward to swing, not a lot to work with or look at. Maybe it can be used in tandem with some fun puns or one-liners like “You’ve Picked your last nose,” or “I’m a miner, and you’re looking hard as a rock.” Maybe not that last one. Whatever, who brings a Pick to a sword fight anyway?
And let’s not forget about the whip! Certain weapons feel out of place in a game designed to slay hoards of monsters, and in my opinion the whip is one of them. It’s a finesse weapon that’s not much better in combat than a light weapon like a dagger, but it does look kind of kinky? Maybe more bards should use whips. That way, “S&M” by Rihanna can be set on loop at the table for ambience. Hawt.
Finally, we have the truly ridiculous martial weapons in the game. First up, we have the Quarterstaff. This light weapon is just a long stick. That’s it. It’s boring. Plus, it’s hard to take someone seriously when you have a sword, and they’re wielding a stick.
We have made it to the halberd! This melee weapon is just plain weird. It’s a combination of an axe and a spear, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. This weapon is confused. I’m confused. Am I supposed to use this to chop, or to poke? I don’t know. Together, we’d make a great identity crisis.
And finally, we have the whip-dagger. This finesse weapon is exactly what it sounds like – a whip with a dagger on the end. It’s not very effective in combat and it just looks kind of ridiculous. Plus, who thought it was a good idea to combine a whip and a dagger? Maybe Scorpion from Mortal Kombat, but to me it sounds like a Rogue tried to pitch this to the party at the town-hall meeting. “Guys, I can totally get a sneak attack from 20ft away. It’s a ranged weapon now… Plus the bard said I looked good holding it, and that’s doing a lot for my confidence.”
Conclusion: Martial Weapons
In conclusion, while there are some truly awesome martial weapons in D&D 5e, there are also plenty of weird, impractical, and downright silly ones. But that’s part of what makes D&D so great – there’s always room for a little humor and ridiculousness. So, if you’re looking to create a truly unique and hilarious character, consider picking one of the less desirable martial weapons in the game. You never know, you might just surprise your DM (and your fellow players) with your creative use of a whip-dagger or nunchaku!
And who knows, maybe one day these “bad” martial weapons will get a buff or a revamp, and become some of the coolest and most powerful weapons in the game. After all, D&D is all about creativity and imagination, so anything is possible. In the end, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the game, no matter what weapons you choose to wield. So whether you’re swinging a greatsword or flailing around a nunchaku, embrace the absurdity and enjoy the ride.
What’s your favorite Martial Weapon? Do you agree with our list? Let us know in the comments below! Check out our article that goes in depth on Daggers HERE