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D&D > Tabletop RPGJun 26, 2024 4:00 pm CT

How Weapon Mastery works in D&D, featured in the 2024 Player’s Handbook

Weapon Mastery is a new class feature in the 2024 Player’s Handbook for Dungeons & Dragons that gives Simple and Martial weapons specific properties that can used in combat by martial classes. This feature was designed to give martial classes extra tactical options in line with each class’s weapon proficiencies, as well as the opportunity for a bit more narrative flair.

Let’s look at what we know about how the Weapon Mastery feature works as we wait to see the full picture when the 2024 Player’s Handbook releases on September 17!

What is Weapon Mastery?

Weapons Mastery is a Level 1 martial class feature for Fighters, Barbarians, Rangers, Rogues, and Paladins that gives the Simple and Martial weapon they are proficient in different properties, or the ability to apply a specific effect in combat. There are eight different Weapon Mastery properties available and each one has a specific trigger to apply the effect. The Mastery properties are listed in the Equipment section of the PHB alongside the weapon’s inherent properties such as Reach, Light, or Versatile. If the weapon meets your class’s requirements, you can learn and use that weapons mastery property in combat.

  • Cleave: If you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you can make a second attack against a creature within 5 feet that is also within your reach. When you hit with the second attack, you can roll your weapon’s damage but you don’t add your ability modifier unless it’s negative.
  • Graze: If you miss a creature with your weapon, you deal damage equal to the ability modifier you used to make the roll.
  • Nick: Allows you to make the additional attack you receive from wielding two Light weapons as part of the initial attack action instead of as a bonus action. Keep in mind, if you’re duel-wielded light weapons, this doesn’t give you the opportunity for a third attack using a Bonus Action because the Light property specifies only one extra attack.
  • Push: Allows you to launch a creature you hit 10 feet straight away from you without a save. Push only works on Tiny, Small, Medium, or Large creatures.
  • Sap: When you hit an enemy with an attack, this mastery property inflicts Disadvantage on your target’s next attack roll before the start of your next turn.
  • Slow: When you hit a creature and deal damage, you can reduce its Speed by 10 feet until the start of your next turn. This effect does not stack and a creature’s speed cannot be reduced by more than 10 feet at a time.
  • Topple: When you hit a creature, you can force it to make a Constitution saving throw or fall Prone. The DC for this save is 8 + Proficiency Bonus + ability modifier used to make the attack.
  • Vex: When you hit a creature and deal damage, this mastery property gives you Advantage on your next attack roll before the end of your next turn.

How does Weapon Mastery work?

During combat, if your character is wielding a weapon and they have learned that weapon’s Mastery property, they can use it on every attack during their turn as long as they meet the properties trigger. There isn’t a restriction to the number of times a mastery property can be used but each class has a certain number of Mastery properties they can learn. Rangers, Rogues, and Paladins can only learn two Mastery properties at any given time. Meanwhile, Barbarians start off with two Mastery properties at level 1 but can learn more as they level. Fighter start with three Mastery properties with the ability to learn additional Mastery properties, and can also swap some of the specific effects at level 9. If you want to change the type of Mastery properties your character knows, you can only do so during a Long Rest.

There’s also a feat that you can use to learn more weapon properties but we don’t know what it’s called. It also remains to be see what else could possibly affect Weapon Mastery for certain classes, like backgrounds, but we’ll learn more about the system once the 2024 Player’s Handbook releases September 17.

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