Weapon Mastery

Weapon Mastery is a character’s ability to use weapons with greater skill than the game normally allows. All characters, not just fighters, can learn to use weapon master.

Weapon Choices

When a new character is created, that characters receives a number of weapon proficiency slots as shown in the table below.

Group Initial # Levels Non-proficiency Penalty
Warrior 4 3 -2
Wizard 1 6 -5
Priest 3 4 -3
Rogue 3 4 -3

All characters must spend a slot (or more for higher levels of proficiency) for each weapon they wish to become familiar with. If that character uses a weapon that he is not proficient with, then the penalty listed above is tacked on to the attack roll. Spending the slots required on a weapon choice gives the character a basic understanding of how to use that weapon. There are six levels of mastery for melee weapons and three for ranged.

Number of Weapon Slots Spent Level of Mastery
0 Unskilled
1 Proficient
2 Specialized
3 Expert
5 Master
8 Grand Master

At beginning levels, only warriors may choose to upgrade their level of mastery to skilled. Rogues, priests and mages must spend their weapon slots on separate weapons and must wait until gaining new weapon slots in order to become more skilled in a weapon. At first level, characters must use up all their proficiency slots. At higher levels, characters can save slots for a later use. Also, warriors may become more skilled in more than one weapon, while other character classes may gain a greater level of mastery in only one weapon. In general, the higher a character’s level of mastery with a weapon, the more damage he does with the weapon and the greater number of special results he can achieve with the weapon. At higher levels, it takes an additional slot (two total) to attain Master ranking in a weapon, and two additional slots (three total) to attain the ranking of Grand Master.

Training

To gain a higher level of mastery in a weapon, not only must the character spend the required weapon slot but he must be trained by someone who has equal or greater knowledge of that specific weapon. That someone could be another PC but it is usually a NPC teacher.

After finding a trainer who will provide the necessary instruction, the student must pay all of the required costs before training can begin. The costs and time required for weapon training vary by the level of mastery sought (and by the teacher), and they are listed below.

Level of Mastery Sought Time Required Cost Per Week
Proficient (new weapon) 1 week 100 gp
Specialized 2 weeks 250 gp
Expert 4 weeks 500 gp
Master 8 weeks 750 gp
Grand Master 12 weeks 1000 gp

A student can train only to the next rank of ability above his own. During each training period, there is a chance of failing to achieve the next rank. His chances of success and failure vary by the mastery levels of himself and his trainer, as given in the chart below. From the character’s perspective, failure may occur because the trainer has insufficient knowledge or lacks the ability to train others or because the student cannot fully absorb the new information. Failure does not mean that the character has lost his weapon slot for that experience level. The slot is still there and it’s still dedicated to the weapon and level of mastery he has chosen for it. The student has lost the time and money he has spent, but he may spend more time and money until he succeeds.

The chance of success is checked halfway through the training period, and the student is immediately informed of the results. (In the role-playing situation, usually this consists of the teacher taking the student aside and telling him that he is not ready yet and that it is useless to continue.) The student may then either continue his training (despite the teacher’s recommendations) or stop his training. If the student continues to train, he may attempt to train with another teacher with a 10% bonus added to the success roll. If the student stops training, he will not lose the time involved and usually the teacher will refund half of the student’s payment. However, the student does not receive the 10% bonus for the next time he attempts to attain the next level of mastery.
Student’s Knowledge Trainer’s Knowledge

Proficient Specialized Expert Master G. Master
None 60% 80% 95% 99% 99%
Proficient 1% 50% 70% 90% 95%
Specialized -—— 1% 40% 60% 80%
Expert -—— ———- 1% 30% 50%
Master -—— ———- ———- 1% 20%

As noted in the table above, there is a small chance that a character may better himself by training with someone of equal ability. Grand Masters are difficult to find and very expensive to train with, so at higher levels, most characters tend to study multiple times with their peers in order to gain the 10% bonus (which is cumulative!).

Results of weapon mastery
For melee weapons the results are as shown on the following table, for ranged weapons use the table below that.

Level of proficiency Total slots spent Attack roll bonus Bonus damage Bonus Attacks per round
Unskilled 0 * 0 0
Proficient 1 0 0 0
Specialized 2 +1 +2 0
Expert 3 +3 +3 1/2
Master 5 +3 +4 1/2
Grand Master 8 +3 +5 1
Level of proficiency total slots spent Attack roll bonus Special abilities
Unskilled 0 * -
Proficient 1 - -
Specialized 3 - Point Blank

Point Blank → The character gains the ability to vastly improve his accuracy at close distances. When an enemy is withing 6 to 30 feet, gains +2 to his attack roll.
*See non-proficiency penalty for your class.

Aside from putting proficiency points into a given weapon, one may also put them into a style of fighting in order to better yourself when fighting a given way.

Level of proficiency Total Slots spent Two-Handed Weapon Sword and Shield Single Weapon Two Weapon**
Unskilled 0 - - - -4 to main, -8 to offhand thac0
Proficient 1 +1 dmg -2 AC vs missiles -1 AC bonus -2 to main, -4 to offhand THAC0
Specialized 2 +2 dmg -4 AC vs missiles -2 AC bonus -2 to offhand THAC0
Expert 3 +2 dmg, crit on 19 & 20 -4 AC vs missiles, Bash -2 AC, crit on 19 & 20 -

Bash → Encounter based ability (one use per encounter), allows you to bash with your shield for half damage, but the target must save vs para or be stunned for 2 rounds.

**Some classes (Ranger and Assassin) are automatically considered masters of fighting with two weapons, therefore it would be futile to put further points into this fighting style.

Weapon Mastery

Realm of Toril Vokun Slemming