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For my Kensei monk I'm exploring potential additional kensei weapons.

Kensei Weapons. Choose two types of weapons to be your kensei weapons: one melee weapon and one ranged weapon. Each of these weapons can be any simple or martial weapon that lacks the heavy and special properties. The longbow is also a valid choice. You gain proficiency with these weapons if you don't already have it. Weapons of the chosen types are monk weapons for you. Many of this tradition's features work only with your kensei weapons. When you reach 6th, 11th, and 17th level in this class, you can choose another type of weapon – either melee or ranged – to be a kensei weapon for you, following the criteria above.

At level 3 I picked the longsword and longbow. At level 6 I'd like to pick a two-handed non-heavy non-special melee weapon, preferably with reach. Conceptually*, a polearm would be sweet. Mechanically, a damage die of 1d8 or higher would be awesome.

Going through the list of equipment a couple times now, I seem to have only three options that come close:

  • a greatclub has two-handed but lacks reach.
  • a whip has reach but lacks two-handed.
  • a lance has reach and "kind of two-handed", but also has the special property (so can't be a kensei weapon unfortunately).

Are there actually such weapons that fulfill my wishes? In other words, is my source for equipment up-to-date with all the released books, including the playtest material of Unearthed Arcana?


*In case it matters: I like the idea of wielding a two-handed reach weapon as an unarmored old man, because I think it's cool. It's inspired by dextrous martial artists IRL that wield relatively light polearms.

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There are indeed no weapons that fulfill your requirements.

List of all reach melee weapons:

  • Glaive (Heavy, Two Handed, Reach)
  • Pike (Heavy, Two Handed, Reach)
  • Halberd (Heavy, Two Handed, Reach)
  • Whip (Finesse, Reach)
  • Lance (Special, Reach)

This is likely intentional, reach is a powerful tag in 5E allowing for a lot of battlefield control especially combined with feats like Sentinel.

If you are interested mostly in the aesthetics of the character rather than the mechanics, I would suggest working with your GM and creating a custom weapon. The DMG provides some guidance in that area.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. Good Luck and Happy Gaming! \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil May 24 at 10:11
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No kensei weapons that can be wielded in 2 hands with reach

But you do have other options!

While there isn't a weapon that pure Kensei builds can use that has both reach and can be wielded in two hands, there are some that can be wielded in two hands.

What you're looking for is the versatile property as well. And there are several weapons available that also fit the other requirements for kensei weapons:

  • Greatclub (Two-handed, 1d8 bludgeoning)
  • Quarterstaff* (versatile, 1d6 one-handed, 1d8 two-handed bludgeoning)
  • Spear* (versatile, 1d6 one-handed, 1d8 two-handed piercing)
  • Battle Axe (versatile, 1d8 one-handed, 1d10 two-handed slashing)
  • Longsword (versatile, 1d8 one-handed, 1d10 two-handed slashing)
  • Warhammer (versatile, 1d8 one-handed, 1d10 two-handed bludgeoning)

*eligible for Polearm Master feat, but a monk arguably has better use of their bonus action. Note that the damage die for the bonus action PAM remains a d4. You'd still get the OA when they enter your reach, though.

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While the spear and quarterstaff do not have the Reach property they are both included in the Polearm Master feat. They also do 1d8 damage when wielded with 2 hands.

When I play a Monk character I often choose the spear as my main monk weapon and take the Polearm Master feat as soon as I am able.

As listed in the description of the Monk class, it is common for monks to have weapons that are variations of common weapons.

Certain monasteries use specialized forms of the monk weapons. For example, you might use a club that is two lengths of wood connected by a short chain (called a nunchaku) or a sickle with a shorter, straighter blade (called a kama). Whatever name you use for a monk weapon, you can use the game statistics provided for the weapon in chapter 5,

If you are concerned that a spear is too plain then spend some time looking at the "spears" that have been used in Chinese traditions. You can come up with something very interesting and unique in appearance that is still mechanically a "spear."

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    \$\begingroup\$ Why would Polearm Master be great for a Monk? You throw half the feat out the window, both the first benefit and Martial Arts take a bonus action, they are mutually exclusive. Of all the non-caster classes, for Monks is PM the least useful. \$\endgroup\$ – András May 24 at 19:59

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