Alex’s Homebrew: Additional Weapons

Alexander’s Expanded Weapons List

New Weapon Properties

Many weapons have special properties related to their use, as shown in the weapons table. This supplementary table adds the hooked and restraining properties to the existing list of weapon properties.

Hooked. A weapon with the hooked property may be used to make a strength (athletics) check against a large or smaller creature against their AC. On a  success, the targeted creature is pulled 5 feet closer to you or dismounted if applicable. Making this check deals no damage, but does qualify as a melee weapon attack for the purposes of the extra attack and rage class features.

Restraining. You may on your turn use your action to make a special weapon attack against a large or smaller creature. A creature hit by this attack becomes restrained until freed, however the attack deals no damage. This action has no effect on creatures that are formless, or creatures that are huge or larger. A creature can use its action to make a DC 10 strength check, freeing itself or another creature within its reach on a success. Dealing 10 slashing damage to the weapon (AC 10) also frees the creature without harming it, ending the effect and destroying the weapon. When you use an action, bonus action, or reaction to attack in this way, you can make only this attack regardless of the number of attacks you can normally make.

Special Weapons

Weapons with special rules are described here.

Brass Knuckles. When making an unarmed strike with brass knuckles, you may add +1 to damage rolls. If you do not already have a bonus to unarmed strikes, you may instead deal 1d4 bludgeoning damage plus your strength modifier as your damage with brass knuckles.

Atlatl. The atlatl cannot be used as a weapon on its own, but grants a +1 to ranged weapon attack rolls and damage rolls with javelins or similar projectiles.

Boomerang. If the boomerang misses its target when thrown, make a DC 10 dexterity check. On a success, the boomerang returns to you at the end of your next turn unless interrupted on its path.

Weapon

Cost

Damage

Weight

Properties

Simple Melee Weapons

Billhook

20 gp

1d8 slashing

6 lb.

Heavy, reach, two-handed, hooked

Brass Knuckles

2 gp

1 lb.

Special

Scythe

5 gp

1d8 slashing

8 lb.

Reach, heavy, two-handed

Simple Ranged Weapons

Atlatl

5 gp

2 lb.

Special

Boomerang

1 gp

1d4 bludgeoning

1 lb.

Finesse, thrown (20/80), special

Stonebow

30 gp

1d6 bludgeoning

5 lb.

Ammunition (range 50/150), loading, two-handed

Martial Melee Weapons

Hook Swords

25 gp

1d6 slashing

3 lb.

Finesse, light, reach, hooked

Man Catcher

50 gp

1d6 bludgeoning

10 lb.

Reach, two-handed, restraining

Meteor Hammer

50 gp

1d6 bludgeoning

18 lb.

Thrown (10/20), reach, restraining

Monk’s Spade

30 gp

1d10 slashing

8 lb.

Reach, heavy, two-handed

Martial Ranged Weapons

Chakram

1 gp

1d4 slashing

? lb.

Finesse, thrown (30/60)

Recurve Bow

50 gp

1d8 piercing

2 lb.

Ammunition (range 150/600), two-handed

About the Weapons

These are a selection of weapons that I felt couldn’t be done justice by reflavoring an existing 5e weapon. Admittedly, some changes are rather small (such as the stonebow from a light crossbow or a recurve bow from a longbow), but they are all as I felt they should be to effectively represent these weapons in 5e. Many of these weapons are exotic (in fact at least four of them would be perfect monk weapons), and as such they may not be readily available at every city or settlement in your setting. It’s up to the DM to determine the availability of these weapons, or their price if they don’t agree with the number I’ve set. Either way, I hope that if you’ve been wanting a weapon that wasn’t previously available for you to play, you can find it here.

A billhook, also called a bill hook or simply bill, was a common weapon in parts of Europe (particularly England) during the medieval period. It’s quite similar to a halberd in design, but was actually derived from agricultural hooks used for cutting branches. As such, it has a very distinct hook which can be, and in fact was, used by foot soldiers to dismount cavalry. Billhooks used as weapons often had spikes reminiscent of spear points, similar to a halberd. Agricultural billhooks, unlike their warfaring descendants, were often one-handed.

Brass knuckles are exactly what you think they are. While I did have classic brass knuckle dusters in mind while making this table, similar implements have been made of various metals and other materials. Relatives of brass knuckles include push knives (which I would use dagger stats for) and cestuses (cesti? It’s like an ancient boxing glove that sometimes had metal on it). If you’d like you may use the rules presented here for strikes with armored gauntlets.

An atlatl, or spear-thrower, is essentially a lever that extends the power and reach of your arm when throwing spears, darts, arrows, and javelins. Sometimes, but not always, these levers were weighted. Atlatls stretch back to the stone age and multiple cultures have had their own take on the idea, but the name “atlatl” is Mesoamerican in origin. Different in structure but identical in purpose were leather thongs or loops, reminiscent of slings, used by ancient Greeks and Romans. These would be called an ankule or amentum.

A boomerang, considered by many to be a symbol of Australia, is an Aboriginese throwing weapon used for hunting. It’s essentially an angled wooden aerofoil that, when thrown, would spin and generate enough lift to allow it to travel long distances. In reality the boomerangs that are made to return to the user aren’t quite the same ones used for hunting or distance throwing, but the returning property is famous enough that I needed to include it. Similar weapons have been found in Egypt, India, Europe, and the Americas, though they probably weren’t killing kangaroos with them.

The stonebow on this table is very similar to the light crossbow for good reason, that being because it is a crossbow. More specifically, come crossbows were modified to be able to shoot stones or sling bullets rather than bolts. Given that this is a modification, it’s best to treat it as a separate weapon lest some adventurer try to shoot rocks when they run out of bolts (heaven forbid if a player uses creativity). In all seriousness though, take it as you will. Just remember sling bullets aren’t fletched for accuracy or distance.

Hook swords, also known as twin hooks, fu tao, hu tou gou, or shuang gou, hail from China and are made to be used in a pair. They are, as one might expect, swords with hooks on the end. They also feature a prominent crescent-shaped guard around the handle and a spike where one might expect a pommel. All of these are sharp and can be used in various combinations to either hurt people or make impressive martial arts displays. As they are a very fancy weapon and one associated with wushu martial arts, I can almost guarantee you that your party monk wants a pair.

A man catcher is really less of a weapon and more of a capturing tool, but it would probably hurt a lot to be hit over the head with it so I’ve given it a 1d6 base bludgeoning damage. It features a metal semicircle on a long pole with spring-loaded bits on the ends that would make it so that it could be easy to fit it around someone’s neck and difficult to remove. Although man catchers featured spikes on the inside of where the neck would go, these were designed with armor in mind rather than intended to stab the detainee. Man catchers were used on both violent criminals and people with wealthy families. As bizarre as they are, you can’t tell me there’s no place for one in your campaign.

A monk’s spade, crescent moon spade, zen staff, or Shaolin spade, is a Chinese polearm bearing a flat shovel blade on one end and a crescent blade on the other. They were designed for traveling buddhist monks to give proper burials to dead people they find just lying around (curious it happened so often they need a tool for it) or to defend themselves against bandits and predators. Though, as an adventurer one is more likely to use the self-defense part and the burying part on the same day.

A Scythe is like a sickle but bigger. It similarly evolved from agricultural tools made for cutting grain, but they’re made for cutting a lot more grain at once. A farming scythe can make a good improvised weapon in a pinch, but scythes made for warfare don’t have the awkwardly-angled blade that makes cutting at a low angle easier and any other angle harder.

A chakram, or chalikar, is a sharpened metal circle made to be spun around the finger and thrown, carrying the momentum with which they were spinning. They originate in the Indian subcontinent and are associated with Sikhs, though a variant on the design comes from Java. While they weren’t traditionally made as part of the brim of a classy bowler hat, there’s little reason not to try.

A meteor hammer, also called a dragon's fist, dai chui, flying hammer, sheng bao, or liu xing chui, consists of two metal weights connected by a rope or chain. While its usage is more similar to a flail, its similarity to South American bolas (and the fact that you could use it in the same manner if it had a long enough chain) led me to give it the restaining property. The idea is that you throw the meteor hammer and it wraps around an opponent’s limbs and restrains them. It should be noted, however, that while bolas are similar, the cords connecting the weights are much longer, enabling their use as a capturing device. If you would like, you may remove the restraining property from the meteor hammer and allow your players to use bolas, which could be given the in-game properties of a net.

A recurve bow is a category of bow that uses its curved construction to amplify the force of its springing back to shape. This results in a bow that can potentially be as strong as a longbow while being a little easier to use. Either way, its smaller size when compared to the longbow led me to remove the heavy property from the weapon.

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