A weapon is defined by three things; its damage type, its size, and its wield type.
There are three damage types for weapons.
Most often, these are merely flavorful, but they may be relevant on occasion; you may receive bonuses for attacking a door with a bludgeoning or piercing weapon that you don't get for a slashing weapon.
A weapon's size refers to the size of the intended wielder. Most weapons that players will encounter are built for Medium or Small entities.
A weapon may be wielded by entities of other sizes, to a degree. Two-handed weapons made for a small entity are one-handed weapons for a medium entity, or an off-hand weapon for a large entity.
There are three wield types.
Bows, crossbows, and guns
Bows cannot be used one-handed, but smaller, more compact bows will deal less damage over a shorter range.
The rough equivalents are:
- Short bows are off-hand, and have a 30ft range.
- Longbows are one-handed and have a 60ft range.
- Composite bows are two-handed and have a 120ft range.
Crossbows are easier. Reloading is generally included in the attack action, and they all require a free hand to reload. As such, if you are required to reload two crossbows because you are attacking with two of them in two consecutive rounds, you must spend your Minor action in addition to your attack action when attacking.
- Hand crossbows are off-hand, and have a 30ft range.
- Light crossbows are one-handed, and have a 60ft range.
- Heavy crossbows are two-handed, and have a 120ft range.
Guns are similar to crossbows. However, a single gun requires a minor actions to reload. You can reload two guns as a move action. Guns covered by these rules are intended to be early firearms, only able to load a single round at a time.
- Pistols are off-hand, and have a 60ft range.
- Carbines are one-handed, and have a 90ft range.
- Rifles are two-handed, and have a 150ft range.
Bows, crossbows, and guns do not receive any Strength bonuses to their damage.
Thrown weapons are handled similarly to melee weapons.
- Off-hand thrown weapons have a range of 30ft.
- One-hand thrown weapons have a range of 20ft.
- Two-hand thrown weapons have a range of 10ft.
Making attacks with a weapon
Attacks made with a weapon often use the nomenclature [W]. This refers to the weapon's damage. The base damage can be found in the table below, and is modified in the following ways.
If the attack is made with a one-handed or off-hand weapon, and a shield, then the damage is equal to the base damage plus the Strength modifier. You continue to receive the AC bonus from your shield.
If the attack is made with a one-handed or off-hand weapon alone, then the damage is equal to the base damage plus the Strength modifier. You gain a bonus to your attack equal to your Dexterity modifier.
If the attack is made with two one-handed or off-hand weapons is equal to the base damage of the weapon in your primary hand, plus half of the maximum roll of the secondary-hand weapon, plus your strength modifier. If the secondary hand weapon is not an off-hand weapon, you receive a -2 penalty to the attack roll.
If the attack is made with a two-handed weapon, the damage is equal to the base damage plus twice the strength modifier.
It is not possible to attack with a two-handed weapon and another weapon at the same time.
A double-ended weapon can be used as a two-handed weapon, or as two one-handed weapons. Using it as two one-handed weapons incurs the same penalty as using two one-handed weapons normally would.
A human's long sword is a medium, one-handed, slashing weapon.
An ogre's light mace is a large, off-hand, bludgeoning weapon.
A halfling's pike is a small, two-handed, piercing weapon.
It is possible to improvise a weapon out of the objects in your environment. However, doing so does not come without penalty. Attacks made with improvised melee and thrown weapons are made at a disadvantage.
Improvising guns, crossbows, and bows, is generally not possible. However, if such an situation does occur, it is suggested that they also suffer disadvantage on attacks, and their range increments are halved.