To become skilled in a particular weapon, the character must devote an extra weapon proficiency slot to it.
Becoming Skilled in a melee weapon provides a character with two main benefits: first of all, he gains a +1 bonus to attack rolls and a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon; secondly, he gains an extra attack once per two rounds. A 1st-level fighter normally attacks once per round, but a 1st-level long sword specialist attacks three times per two rounds.
Characters who specialise in a ranged weapon (including slings and thrown weapons), gain an increased rate of fire with these weapons and a +1 bonus to attack rolls. If a character specialises in a weapon that can be used either for melee or as a missile weapon (spears, daggers, hand axes, etc.), he gains the melee benefit described above when using the weapon for hand-to-hand combat and the increased rate of fire for using the weapon for ranged attacks.
Characters who specialise in a bow or crossbow gain a +1 bonus to hit at any range (normal range penalties still apply, of course), an increased rate of fire, and a new range category: point-blank. Point-blank range is 30 feet for bows or 60 feet for crossbows. At point-blank range, the character gains a +2 to damage.
Characters with weapon Skill can add strength damage bonuses to Axes, Hammers, Spears or composite bows at short or point blank ranges.
|Weapon||1st-6th level||7th-12th level||Level 13+|
|Cho Ku No||2/1||5/2||3/1|
|Other Thrown Weapons||1/1||3/2||2/1|
All characters with Skilled ability (or better) in a weapon can attempt to resist a Disarm.
Usually only Warriors and Ninja (including multi-class warriors) may gain weapon Mastery
There are swordsmen, and then there are swordsmen. A warrior who devotes his life to the study of martial combat and the characteristics of a single type of weapon can become a weapon expert—a fighter whose precision, quickness, and skill are virtually unequaled anywhere.
Weapon Experts are rare characters. To achieve mastery in a weapon, a character must first become skilled in the use of that weapon. Then, at any time after he reaches 5th level, he or she can spend another proficiency slot to become a weapon Expert . He can continue to devote proficiency slots to the study of his chosen weapon, but can’t progress faster than the rate at which he gains new weapon proficiency slots.
If a fighter spends another proficiency slot on a melee weapon he already is skilled in, his attack and damage bonuses increase to +2 / +3 , and he gains the ability to Deflect weapon attacks. Weapon Experts are automatically Specialised in Disarm. If the Character has already spent a proficiency slot in Disarm, they gain Mastery in Disarm at the beginning of their next level.
For ranged weapons the attack bonus at all range categories increases to +2. For bows and crossbows, his point-blank bonuses increase to +3. (Remember, this bonus doesn’t take range modifiers into account, so the archer has a total of +2 at short, +0 at medium, and –3 at long range, if the penalties are factored in.)
By spending a second slot on mastery (for a total of 4 slots), a character can become a weapon master. Masters increase the speed factor of their chosen weapon by 2; for example, a dagger would have a speed category of 0. Masters also score critical hits on rolls of 18 or higher rather than only on a natural 20 (2x dice roll + bonuses rather than double damage like a natural 20).
Melee weapons become +3 to hit and +4 damage. Missile weapons become +4 to hit +1 to damage.
Masters who specialise in bows, crossbows, slings, or firearms gain a new range category: extreme range. For all weapons, extreme range is 1/3 farther than long range. Extreme range shots have a –10 penalty to hit before adjustments are made for the effects of mastery.
Masters who spend one more slot (for a total of 5) on learning their weapon of choice can become Grand masters. Grand masters gain one additional 1/2 attack per round. The final bonus to hit is +4, the damage is +4 on melee weapons, +2 on missile weapons.
Thus, a two-handed sword in the hands of a grand master inflicts 3d8 points of damage on large targets. Needless to say, grand masters are extremely dangerous opponents.