Tired of the same old short sword, long sword, great sword options? Here are five weapons out of D&D’s past that would make great additions today.
D&D 5th Edition has a lot of things going for it. Ease of use, accessibility, uncomplicated lists of equipment that you can read through without needing a glossary–but what even is a roleplaying game if there’s not an equipment list so long it makes you wonder just how many tiny differences there can be between polearm types–and is it better to use a Guisarme-voulge or a Voulge-guisarme? That’s why today we’re taking a look back at some of D&D’s older editions and picking weapons that could find a new home in 5th Edition.
Let’s start things off right. This weapon does exactly what it says it does–it’s a highly specialized polearm with a spring-loaded set of sharpened jaws, designed to capture without killing. Mancatchers are the great equalizer, because they always hit AC 10 (plus or minus Dex), and on a hit immediately catch a character. Caught targets lose shield and Dex bonuses and can be pulled or pushed, dealing 1d2 points of damage per round–but the real kicker is those hapless targets are held in place, and can be pulled to the ground where it’s much harder to get in a fight.
The scourge is a barbed flogger that will be right at home in certain, ah, specialty dungeons. This weapon is notable for two things–it does not deal a ton of damage but is fast enough to make multiple attacks, and notably the Large version of this weapon only deals 1d2 points of damage instead of 1d4.
Don’t call it a comeback, because Arquebuses have been in 5th Edition since Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, just not as a player choice. Wielded exclusively by the spacefaring hippos known as the Giff, these low-tech firearms would be a perfect edition giving players one powerful shot and the chance to roleplay out that cool “take a shot, draw another weapon from your brace of pistols” scene that happens in every movie with pirates and pistols.
It is not often that you see a weapon marketed as “not a tremendously successful weapon”, and especially not one that is supposedly able to help dismount horsemen, but in fact does none of this. We’re certain that if it were ported into 5th Edition, it would actually have a reason for existing, instead of to show how there can be bad/useless things in the world as well.
Speaking of weapons that do cool things but aren’t necessarily backed up with mechanics, the Spetum is a polearm that is basically a sai on a stick, and it’s designed to disarm weapons–but once again it doesn’t actually do what it promises. A version of this weapon that allows you to disarm your opponent could be a ton of fun in 5th Edition.
And those are all just from 2nd Edition D&D. What are some weapons you’d add to 5th Edition if you had a chance?
Let us know in the comments… and as always, happy adventuring!