Bryan's Players Handbook Supplement
Weapon Specialization

Weapon specialization is an ability available to fighters and some fighter sub-classes. The fighter uses a weapon proficiency slot to learn extra ability with one weapon, such as long sword, broad sword, mace, or bow. When using this weapon the fighter gains bonuses to hit and damage, and may receive additional attacks per round.

To specialize in a weapon, the fighter must use two weapon proficiencies slots instead of the usual one. At 1st level a fighter has four weapon proficiency slots -- if he chooses to specialize he may choose three weapons of proficiency, one of which is specialized. A fighter may specialize in only one type of weapon, regardless of level.

Six levels after choosing to specialize in a weapon the fighter may choose to double specialize in that weapon. Another weapon proficiency slot must be used for this purpose. Six levels after that the fighter may again use a weapon proficiency slot to triple specialize, which gives the fighter the best specialization that can be obtained.

As noted, specialization gives the fighter bonuses to hit and damage, and may gain additional attacks per round. Although a fighter may choose to specialize in a weapon any time a new proficiency is earned due to level, the most benefits accrue if the specialization is performed at 1st level. The following tables display the hit and damage bonuses and attacks per round if the fighter specializes at first level. Note the differences between melee and distance weapons.

Melee Weapon Specialization Bonuses

Specialization

Level

Hit/Damage Bonus

Attacks/Round

Single

1-3

+1/ +1

1

Single

4+

+1/ +1

3/2

Double

7-9

+2/+2

3/2

Double

10+

+2/+2

2

Triple

13-15

+3/+3

2

Triple

16+

+3/+3

5/2

Distance Weapon Specialization Bonuses

 

 

Hit/ Damage Bonus by Range

Specialization

Level

Short

Medium

Long

Single

1-3

+1/+1

--

--

Single

4+

+1/+1

+1/+1

--

Double

7-9

+2/+2

+1/+1

--

Double

10+

+2/+2

+2/+2

+1/+1

Triple

13-15

+3/+3

+2/+2

+2/+2

Triple

16+

+3/+3

+3/+3

+3/+3

Distance Weapon Attacks per Round

 

 

Attacks per Round

Specialization

Level

1/2

1

2

3

Single

1-3

1/2

1

2

3

Single

4+

1

2

3

4

Double

7-9

1

2

3

4

Double

10+

2

3

4

5

Triple

13-15

2

3

4

5

Triple

16+

3

4

5

6

If a fighter choose to specialize at a level after 1st level, the progression of abilities has the same span, e.g., double specialization can occur 6 levels after the decision to specialize. Please note that for melee weapons this negates the advantage of additional attacks per round.

For instance, Sam Swordswinger chooses to specialize in the long sword at 4th level. He immediately gains and additional +1 to hit and damage when using a long sword. Three levels later, at 7th level, he gains three attacks every two rounds -- but he gets that for attaining 7th level regardless of specialization. In this example only at 16th level would he gain additional attacks per round not granted by level. So the best advantage is gained by specializing at 1st level.

A similar progression occurs for missile weapons, e.g., if a fighter choose to specialize in throwing daggers at 7th level he cannot double specialize until 13th level.

Also note that specialization in a weapon and throwing that weapon are different. A fighter specialized in throwing handaxe does not gain any special ability when using it as a melee weapon.


Copyright 2008 Bryan Fazekas