Multi-type Damage Weapons Variant (5e Variant Rule)

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Multi-type Damage Weapons Variant[edit]

While the damage types in all of the books are correct for the weapons presented, they forgot that some weapons can deal different types of damage, though usually not as effectively as its primary type. For example, a rapier can deliver small cuts and scraps, which would deal a very small amount of slashing damage. One can also use the hand guard to punch your opponent, causing bludgeoning damage.

Here is another example. You have a greataxe, but you don't want to kill your opponent, merely disorient or injure him/her/it, so you use the handle to cause bludgeoning damage. While not as powerful as cleaving someone in two, hitting someone with the handle provides more versatility with the weapon, and gives you more options without carrying a bunch of different weapons.

Another example would be the dagger. Though some designs make it unsuitable (but not impossible, in many cases), other designs can be used to effectively slash a enemy or object, sometimes equally as effective as stabbing.

Obviously, some weapons don't have that advantage. Most, if not all, bludgeoning weapons such as clubs, hammers, or staffs do not have a blade or point to deliver slashing or piercing damage, respectively (unless the description of the weapon provides a reasonable explanation for why it can inflict such damage). Some swords, spears, and axes don't have the necessary parts, such as hand guards, pommels, or points, to deal different types of damage.


  • 1.Discuss with your DM with what damage types each weapon generally has and amount of damage those types can inflict. Remember, some designs of a the same weapon, such as the long sword or the halberd, can do what other designs might not be able to do; so keep in mind about weapon descriptions that your DM gives to you and your weapon.
  • 2.Give GOOD reasons why certain weapons have certain damage types. This rule applies to both Players and the DM. If there is a good reason why a club has piercing damage, it should be explained to the best of the ability of the Player/DM. If you don't know what the weapon can do or what design(s) it has, use the Internet. You're already doing it. ;)
  • 3.This should be done before the campaign begins and when weapons are obtained by the Players. This rule is created to reduce stress and (hopefully) arguments about weapons and what they can do.


If you feel this is too OP, here is a variant of this rule. Masters of certain weapons know what they are capable of, while others who haven't trained with the weapon may know nothing but the obvious. Characters who have proficiency with a weapon can use its other weapon damage types, while characters without proficiency cannot.

Now, this whole set of rules, including the variant, is OPTIONAL. Rules like these are supposed to improve the gameplay and your overall experience for the better. If you feel like it would cause too much complexity to the game, it causes too many arguments, or it's just not fun to play around with, don't use it. It is completely up to you (and the DM).

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