Weapon proficiency represents a character’s knowledge and training with a specific weapon. When a character is created, he or she has a few initial slots which must be filled before they embark on their first adventure. A character can assign weapon proficiency slots only to those weapons allowed by their character class. As a character reaches higher experience levels, they also earn additional weapon proficiency points that can be assigned. The rate at which proficiencies are gained depends on the character’s class. Warriors, who concentrate on their martial skills, handle a great number of weapons and gain weapon proficiencies quickly. Mages, who spend their time studying magic, have little time to practice with weapons and gain weapon proficiencies slowly.
A character that has a specific weapon proficiency is skilled with that weapon and familiar with its use. If you have assigned one proficiency point to a weapon, you can use that weapon to attack without penalty. If you equip a character with a weapon they are not proficient in, a penalty to hit and damage rolls will apply. This penalty varies depending on the character’s class:
- Fighters, Rangers, Paladins, Monks, and Barbarians receive a -2 penalty.
- Clerics, Druids, Thieves, and Bards receive a -3 penalty.
- Mages and Sorcerers receive a -5 penalty.
Fighting Styles[edit | edit source]
Characters can also specialize in fighting styles. There are four: Two-Handed Weapon Style, Two-Weapon Style, Single Weapon Style, and Sword and Shield Style. Each fighting style has different advantages.
Two-Weapon Style[edit | edit source]
To fight with two weapons at the same time, place a second weapon into your shield slot. If your character does not have proficiency in Two-Weapon Style, they will incur significant penalties to hit with both weapons, as shown here:
Two-Handed Weapon Style[edit | edit source]
This weapon class allows the character to use a two-handed melee weapon and receive special bonuses:
- Proficient (1 slot): The wielder gets a +1 bonus to damage rolls, a +2 bonus to Speed Factor, and the ability to score critical hits on a roll of 19 or 20 (instead of just 20) when using a two-handed weapon.
- Specialized (2 slots): The wielder gets an additional +2 bonus to Speed Factor (for a total of +4).
Single Weapon Style[edit | edit source]
This weapon class is for characters who do not wish to use a shield but want some bonus when using a one-handed melee weapon:
- Proficient (1 slot): The wielder gets a +1 bonus to Armor Class and inflicts critical damage on an attack roll of 19 or 20.
- Specialized (2 slots): The wielder gets a +2 bonus to Armor Class and inflicts critical damage on an attack roll of 19 or 20.
Sword and Shield Style[edit | edit source]
Almost anyone can pick up a shield and get its basic protection bonuses, but spending slots on this proficiency maximizes the benefits adventurers receive.
- Proficient (1 slot): The wielder gets a +2 bonus to Armor Class against missile weapons.
- Specialized (2 slots): The wielder gets a +4 bonus to Armor Class against missile weapons.
Note: Despite the name of this style, any one-handed melee weapon in combination with a shield receives the aforementioned bonuses.
Weapon Specialization[edit | edit source]
Fighters, Paladins, Barbarians, and Rangers (as well as certain other class kits) can hone their weapon skills to higher levels than other classes. This is accomplished by assigning more proficiency points to a single weapon class. The following table shows the effects of specialization:
**Note that Fighters, Rangers, Paladins, and Barbarians also gain an extra half-attack per round at 7th and 13th level. These extra attacks are cumulative with the ones provided by weapon specialization and grand mastery, so a 9th level Fighter with Grand Mastery would attack 3 times per round.
- Icewind Dale Enhanced Edition Manual - Part 2 - Mastering Melee & Magic