April 13, 2017

Exotic Arms and Armor

Comments from the Finger: We've expanded our exotic weapons and reworked some of the weapon properties for use with the Complete Craftsman (available on Patreon May 1st.)

The PDF for these weapons is in the Craftsman Redux.

Exotic Arms and Armor

Exotic weapons, armor, and shields are pieces of equipment that require an incredible level of skill to wield or wear properly, as they are often either unusually heavy, oddly balanced, or bizarre in construction. As such, no class other than the craftsman gains proficiency with any of the items presented below. To gain proficiency with a piece of exotic equipment, you must take the Exotic Mastery feat.

Exotic Weapons
Weapon Cost Damage Weight Properties
Exotic Melee Weapons
Asp 50 gp 1d4 bludgeoning 1 lb. Collapsible, finesse, light, thrown (20/60)
25 gp
1d6 slashing 1 lb. Finesse, light, returning, thrown (30/120)
Dervish 150 gp 1d6 slashing 5 lb. Double (1d6 slashing), finesse, light, two-handed
Double-Sword 200 gp 1d8 slashing 10 lb. Double (1d8 slashing), heavy, two-handed
Dwarven Waraxe 200 gp 1d8 slashing 12 lb. Double (1d8 piercing), heavy, two-handed
Goliath Hammer 150 gp 2d8 bludgeoning 20 lb. Superheavy, two-handed
Grand Spear 150 gp 1d8 piercing 10 lb. Thrown (20/60), versatile (1d10)
Great Scimitar 350 gp 1d8 slashing 4 lb. Finesse, versatile (1d10)
Mountain Cleaver 250 gp 2d12 slashing 45 lb. Massive, superheavy, two-handed
Quickblade 50 gp 1d4 piercing 1 lb. Collapsible, finesse, light, thrown (20/60)
Shield Axe 100 gp 1d6 slashing 5 lb. Shield
Spiked Chain 100 gp 1d4 slashing 6 lb. Double (1d4 slashing), finesse, reach, two-handed
Titan Maul 200 gp 2d12 bludgeoning 45 lb. Massive, superheavy, two-handed
Tether Club 150 gp 1d8 bludgeoning 4 lb. Finesse, switch (1d6 bludgeoning, finesse, reach)
Warpike 150 gp 1d12 piercing 15 lb. Reach, superheavy, two-handed
Whipsword 300 gp 1d8 slashing 4 lb. Finesse, switch (1d6 slashing, finesse, reach)
Zweihänder 150 gp 2d8 slashing 15 lb. Superheavy, two-handed
Exotic Ranged Weapons
Greatbow 200 gp 1d10 piercing 15 lb. Ammunition (150/600), superheavy, two-handed
Portable Ballista 450 gp 1d12 piercing 25 lb. Ammunition (200/800), loading, mounted, superheavy, two-handed

Weapon Properties
Many exotic weapons have special properties related to their use, as shown in the Exotic Weapons table.
     Collapsible. This weapon has hollowed out portions, usually in the handle, allowing you to collapse it in on itself for ease of storage and concealment. While stowed, you have advantage on Dexterity(Stealth) checks made to conceal this weapon.
     Double. This weapon has two damage-dealing ends. While wielding this weapon, you are treated as if you are wielding two weapons, and, while engaging in two-weapon fighting, you can use either end of the weapon to make bonus attacks. 
     Massive. This weapon is incredibly large and heavy. When a creature wields this weapon, it reduces the number of attacks that creature can make with the Attack action by one, to a minimum of one. 
     Mounted. This weapon is normally used while attached to a tripod, wagon, or other bracing mount. While it is mounted, it can't be moved. You can mount or unmount this weapon as an action. While it is unmounted and the creature wielding it is not prone, this weapon can only be used proficiently by a Medium or larger creature with a Strength score of at least 17.
     Returning. When you throw this weapon, you can make a DC 15 Athletics check. If you succeed, the weapon returns to your hand at the end of your turn. 
     Shield. This weapon is large enough or shaped in a certain way so that you can use it to protect yourself from damage. While wielding this weapon and not wielding a shield, you gain a +1 to your AC. You may only gain the benefit of one weapon with this property at a time. 
     Superheavy. This weapon is unusually large for its type. You must have a Strength score of at least 17 to proficiently wield a superheavy weapon. Creatures smaller than Meduim size cannot wield a superheavy weapon, regardless of their Strength score. This property also counts as the Heavy property.
     Switch. This weapon has two forms. The damage and properties of its second form are listed in parentheses. You can use a bonus action to swap between these forms.

Weapon Descriptions
     Asp. Deceptively simple, an asp is a metallic club with a hollow handle into which the rest of the club can be retracted, allowing it to be both quickly deployed and concealed. 
     Chakram. A chakram is a circular, aerodynamic metal disc with a large hole at the center, looking like a flattened, razor-sharp ring. While functional in melee combat, the chakram is primarily a throwing weapon. Particularly skilled users can direct the disc to ricochet after throwing, returning back to their waiting grasp.
     Dervish. With two scimitars affixed to either end of a long haft, the dervish is a weapon that lends itself to fast, fluid motion and mesmerizing combat styles.
     Double-Sword. A double-sword can take many forms, but the most common is that of two longsword blades attached to either end of a single handle. Fighting with such a weapon grants the benefits of fighting with two swords, with the power and control of a single weapon.
     Dwarven Waraxe. Useful for fighting in tunnels and other closed spaces, a dwarven waraxe is a double weapon with a heavy axe head at one end and a wickedly barbed spike at the other.
     Goliath Hammer. A goliath hammer is an exceptionally large hammer well suited to the heavy builds of several large species of humanoid.
     Grand Spear. While not overly long, a grand spear has a heavy, weighted head that gives it greater puncturing power and a cleverly designed counterweight that maintains its ability to be thrown or wielded one-handed.
     Greatbow. Though not much greater than a longbow, a greatbow is quite a bit heavier and has a substantially stronger pull, firing arrows as powerful as a heavy crossbow.
     Great Scimitar. A larger version of the scimitar, great scimitars are comfortable to use on one hand or two, yet retain their namesake's speed and flexibility. Many great warriors treat the great scimitar as a trophy weapon, adorning them with gems and complex inlays.
     Mountain Cleaver. A truly monstrous weapon, the mountain cleaver is less like a large axe and more like a massive meat cleaver. Though very slow and supremely unwieldy, the mountain cleaver is unmatched in its damage.
     Portable Ballista. Even larger and heavier than the heavy crossbow, the portable ballista is designed to be moved to a battlefield, placed in a spot on the ground or on a movable tower, and fired from a fixed position.
     Quickblade. A quickblade is almost identical to a dagger, save for the hollow handle into which the blade can be retracted and the spring-trigger mechanism used when deploying the blade.     
     Shield Axe. Not simply a shield with a sharpened edge, a shield-axe is a cleverly constructed shield with a grip that can be quickly shifted from use for defense to attack.
     Spiked Chain. A spiked chain is a 10-foot length of chain with a pair of wickedly sharp weighted barbs at either end. Designed to be a fluid, fast moving weapon, it offers amazing flexibility and options in combat.
     Tether Club. The tether club, at first glance, appears to be nothing more than a 3-foot long steel pole; with a twist, though, a wielder can unlock the club’s center section, splitting the club into two sections connected by a length of steel cable. 
     Titan Maul. Even larger than a giant hammer, a titan maul is a bludgeon of truly massive proportions. Though only the strongest of warriors can even attempt to wield one, those that can are terrifying in battle. 
     Warpike. Similar to a glaive, a warpike is a heavy polearm with a pair of weighted blades at one end, one longer than the other. The warpike counts as a polearm.
     Whipsword. A complicated and flashy device, the whipsword is a series of razor sharp bladed segments running along a cable which is attached to a sword pommel. With a flick of the wrist, you can change a whipsword from a bladed whip to a sword and back again.
     Zweihänder. Larger even than a greatsword, a zweihänder is a massive sword with an almost axe-length haft. It is nearly impossible to wield even in two hands, unless the wielder is exceptionally strong and well-trained.

Exotic Armor
Armor Cost Armor Class (AC) Strength Stealth Weight
Light Armor
Hardened Leather 500 gp 13 + Dex modifier 15 lb.
Medium Armor
Hero Plate 1,500 gp 16 + Dex modifier (max +2) Disadvantage 50 lb.
Heavy Armor
Battle Plate 2,000 gp 19 16 Disadvantage 75 lb.
Mountain Plate 3,000 gp 20 Special Disadvantage 100 lb.
Tower Shield 150 gp +3 18 20 lb.
Wall Shield 100 gp +2/special 16 15 lb.

Armor Descriptions
     Battle Plate. Sturdier than even full plate, battle plate consists of a full suit of interlocking plates with a layer of thick hide and chain underneath.  
     Hardened Leather. While similar in material to leather armor, hardened leather adds an additional layer of lacquer, hardening the leather to an almost iron-like strength.
     Hero Plate. Though not substantially heavier or more cumbersome than half plate, hero plate is certainly more impressive: large pauldrons, a winged helmet, and decorative flair adds to the inspiring protection provided by this suit of armor.
     Mountain Plate. Almost too heavy and cumbersome to wear, even for the strongest of warriors, mountain plate consists of a suit of inch-thick plate armor with a bolted-on helmet, gauntlets, and boots. Donning mountain plate takes nearly 15 minutes, and requires latching a number of heavy-duty clamps and latches. Mountain plate is exceptionally large and heavy: it requires an 18 Strength to wear, cannot be worn by creatures smaller than Medium size, and reduces your walking speed by 5 feet, regardless of your Strength score.
     Tower Shield. Substantially larger than a regular shield, a tower shield is a large, generally rectangular plank of thick wood or metal sufficient to provide cover for nearly your entire body.
     Wall Shield. Even larger than a tower shield, a wall shield is a massive, door-sized shield with a set of imposing spikes set into the bottom edge, facing the ground. It is much more cumbersome to use and proves to be a bit less effective than a tower shield in normal melee combat. The spikes along the bottom row serve to anchor the shield into the ground: as an action, you can slam the shield into the ground and brace yourself behind it. While anchored this way, a wall shield ceases to grant you a bonus to AC and instead provides up to full cover for a Medium sized creature.

New Feats

The following feats are available to characters of all classes.

Exotic Craftsman
You have discovered the secrets of forging unique, exotic weapons or armor.
  • Increase your Intelligence score by 1, to a maximum of 20
  • You learn to craft exotic armor and shields or exotic weapons
  • When crafting, you double the amount of progress you make towards completing an item each day.

Exotic Mastery
You are practiced in wearing unwieldy and exotic armor, and you gain the following benefits:
  • Increase your Strength or Dexterity score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • You gain proficiency with two pieces of exotic equipment, which can be exotic weapons, armor, or shields.


  1. Imagine a Path of Iron Barbarian who wears Mountain Plate and uses the Brutal Grip feat to wield a Titan Maul and a Tower Shield. His AC would be high enough that you wouldn't be to worred about using Reckless Attack to cancel your disadvantage from one handing the Maul.

    1. Yep. He'd also need to burn TWO feats to get access to all three items, so I'd say that it's worth it.

    2. Level 4 Variant Human. That said, I'm still using these in my game as my players aren't the sharpest tools in the shed.

    3. Yeah, that would work. Still, that's also 3,500 gp, so if you're not too keen on letting these things inot the hands of your players, just be wary about how much money you're giving them :-)

    4. Technically they would have to sacrifice three feats, because the Moutain Plate counts as an Exotic piece of Armor. The Exotic Mastery only allows two pieces of equipment that each player can take. Still, seems worth it.

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  3. My problem with Super heavy is every fighter at level 1 has 16 str it should be like 20 str or 16 and a dex requirement if not then the zwihander becomes the best weapon to use on the list for martial classes

    1. Except that they'd need to take a feat to get proficiency. And the gp cost is likely to be an issue for the first couple of levels (especially as it's competing with armour).

      Although as it happens, I agree that 16 is too low. I'd have put the threshold at 17 if I was writing this. Gotta make those odd numbers count! And you have to properly invest in strength to get 17 at level 1.

    2. Those are some good reasons to increase it to 17. I'll probably do just that

    3. That makes sense. Consider it done.

  4. Is it just me or are some of these weapons worse than many of the non-exotic ones? For example, the asp provides a very minimal improvement over a dagger, the spiked chain is worse than dual-wielding whips, et cetera.

    If this was intended, I have to say I appreciate it. It definitely hits home the idea that these are exotic not because they're hard to make or hard to use, but because they are highly impractical.

    1. To be fair, none of these are supposed to be objectively worse, but they aren't intended to be a massive increase either. The Asp for example, is collapsible and deals bludgeoning damage, but is otherwise a dagger alternative.

      I hate to be the one to break it to you, but you can't dual-wield whips, my man.

    2. For a feat investment in Dual Wielder (one feat being the same level of investment you make to wield the spiked chain) you can dual wield whips and gain a +1 to AC while doing so (equivalent to the benefit of also picking up an exotic armor with your Exotic Mastery feat). Dual wielding whips is basically the same thing as using a spiked chain and an exotic armor, but less expensive.

  5. In regards to the portable ballista, how does it function when it is mounted? It reiterates the requirements of superheavy when unmounted, but its not clear if mounted use makes this more available. Got a gnome craftsman that I'd like to use this.

  6. Can you wield superheavy weapons without 17 strength,but you just can't use proficiency even if you have exotic weapons proficiency? I want to know if a wild hunt warlock with less than 17 str could have a greatbow or portable ballista as their huntsman's bow?

  7. the Mountain Cleave is not to much powerfull

  8. Question how does mountain plate interact with Dwarves speed not being reduced by Heavy Armor

    1. I would assume specific over general, so the dwarf trait that explicitly ignores the armor trait would take priority.

  9. Is masterwork armor considered Exotic?