Newest Unearthed Arcana for D&D Features Weapon Mastery Rules

Published: April 25, 2023 3:53 PM /


Artwork from the Dungeons & Dragons adventure Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage.

Wizards of the Coast have announced another wave of Unearthed Arcana for Dungeons & Dragons. This newest batch of playtest material is to help the company get feedback on changes they will be making to their 2024 revision of their fantasy TTRPG. Similar material was released in the past under the working title of One D&D. But this Unearthed Arcana won't be addressing questionable game terms like race or attempts at rebalancing certain casters. This material will be making changes to weapons and martial classes.

The D&D Weapon Mastery Unearthed Arcana

The announcement of this Unearthed Arcana comes from an official video on the Dungeons & Dragons YouTube channel. In the video, D&D's Lead Rules Designer Jeremy Crawford discusses its contents as well as the design reasons for such changes. First, Crawford mentions that this test material is the largest they have released so far at fifty pages. Those fifty pages will contain new rules for five character classes, new spells, new feats, a revised rules glossary, and a brand-new Weapon Mastery system.



Crawford then goes into detail about the Weapon Mastery system. He states that it is the design team's attempt to address how underdeveloped Martial classes that focus on weapons feel. In addition to giving those classes more tactical decisions, the system will attempt to make each weapon in the game stand out more.

How it works is that when playing as a certain Martial class like the Fighter or Barbarian, you will gain the Weapon Mastery class feature. The feat will allow the character to use a Weapon Mastery Property, a special trait on every single weapon in the revised player handbook. Examples include Topple, which allows you to know an enemy prone, Cleave which lets you strike another adjacent target with your weapon attack, and Graze which allows you to deal some damage even if you miss.


Crawford then explains how the new system in the Unearthed Arcana will affect Martial classes. Every Martial class in the game will receive some form of Weapon Mastery as they progress in all material going forward. This will include the Fighter, Barbarian, and Monk classes. Finally, there will be a Weapon Mastery feat. This will act similarly to the Magic Initiate feat, allowing characters from different classes to gain some of the benefits more dedicated classes enjoy.

Last but not least, Crawford confirms that this Unearthed Arcana will also revise certain weapons. Tridents have been adjusted to make them stand out from spears. The spear and warpick's stats have been adjusted, and the shortsword is back to being a Martial weapon.

This new Unearthed Arcana will be available to download on April 26th on D&D Beyond.


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