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I am hoping to find a table or guide to identify the combinations of weapon properties not used in the 5e PHB. I want to match those weapon types to historic weapons and add them to the list of buyable gear for my players.

For example, there is no martial weapon with the two-handed and reach properties but without the heavy property. I understand the weapon should have a smaller damage die than the pike or glaive because it is not heavy.

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    \$\begingroup\$ @Davo It is not true to say that "most" list questions are off topic here. Asking for a list of something does not make a question off-topic. Only in the certain cases outlined in that meta are they. This didn't look like one of those types. In fact, this seemed to be a very tightly scoped list question as there aren't that many weapon properties to begin with (unless I am missing something here). \$\endgroup\$
    – Rubiksmoose
    Jun 26 '19 at 19:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ Just a heads-up that there may be reasons why those combinations don't exist. A lot of mechanics are based on those properties. \$\endgroup\$
    – NautArch
    Jun 26 '19 at 20:01
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This would be too many to list, and most resulting items would be unbalanced.

In summary, the number of possible weapon tags, damage dice, damage types and proficiency categories means that the number of unique combinations of these runs into the thousands, and most of those would be significantly better or worse than an existing weapon.

However, I give a reasonable subset of unused weapon tag combinations further below.

Additionally, many unique weapons can be made simply by taking a standard weapon and switching the weapon damage type (bludgeoning, piercing, slashing).

Calculation

The existing weapons list comprises 37 items.

Each existing item has one of 8 possible damage dice (no damage, 1, d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, 2d6), three damage types (bludgeoning, piercing, slashing), two attack types (melee and ranged), two proficiency categories (simple and martial), and three mutually exclusive weight categories (light, heavy or neither).

Ignoring special weapon tags, this already gives us 288 unique weapon combinations.

Next, there are eight weapon tags, one of which is Special, which could have unlimited possibilities so I will ignore it. Of the remainder:

  • Ranged weapons can have two-handed or not, and all have either ammunition or thrown, giving 576 possible ranged weapons.
    • The 288 that have ammunition can either have Loading or not, giving 576 ammunition weapons.
    • There are five standard ammunition-weapon ranges, giving a total of 2,880 unique possible ammunition-based ranged weapons.
    • Of the 288 thrown weapons, there are three different given ranges, giving 864 thrown ranged weapons, for a total of 3,744 unique ranged weapons.
  • Melee can have two-handed or not, versatile or neither; finesse or not. This gives us 576 unique combinations.
    • Melee can also be thrown with three ranges, giving each melee weapon four variants: not-thrown, and three thrown. This gives us 2,304 total melee weapons.

In total, we have 6,048 weapon combinations, of which 6,011 are unused. 99.39% of the weapons you come up with are going to be unused combinations.

And nearly all them are going to be unbalanced: dealing more damage than an existing martial weapon with the same traits; having superior traits to a weapon with the same damage; being as good as a martial weapon while being simple; or being weaker than any existing weapon in its proficiency category.

What if we consider properties only?

User inthemanual suggests that the search space could be significantly reduced by ignoring damage dice and using only weapon tags.

The smallest practical set we can make involves ignoring traits which never apply to any weapon (e.g. no melee weapons with ammunition), illogical combinations (e.g. no loading thrown weapons or light+heavy), range modifiers, damage type, and the "special" property:

  • Melee weapons can be finesse, light/heavy/neither, reach, thrown, and two-handed/versatile/neither, for 72 combinations
  • Ranged weapons can be ammunition/thrown, light/heavy/neither, finesse, and two-handed; and ammunition weapons can be loading, for 36 combinations

This gives us 108 possible valid weapon tag combinations, not counting simple/martial. Of existing weapons:

  • There are 14 unique tag combinations on melee weapons
  • There are 8 unique tag comibinations on ranged weapons.

This gives 86 unique unused tag combinations, which seems reasonable. However, many of those are merely absurdly large combinations, like "finesse light reach thrown two-handed". No actual melee weapon in the book has more than three tags, and no ranged weapon more than four. Additionally, it's impossible for a weapon to be two-handed and light, since light means it can be used well in two-weapon fighting.

Taking this into account, the full list of unused melee weapons with three or fewer tags is as follows:

  1. Finesse, heavy
  2. Finesse, heavy, reach
  3. Finesse, heavy, thrown
  4. Finesse, heavy, two-handed
  5. Finesse, heavy, versatile
  6. Finesse, light, reach
  7. Finesse, light, versatile
  8. Finesse, reach, thrown
  9. Finesse, reach, two-handed
  10. Finesse, reach, versatile
  11. Finesse, thrown
  12. Finesse, thrown, two-handed
  13. Finesse, thrown, versatile
  14. Finesse, two-handed
  15. Finesse, versatile
  16. Heavy
  17. Heavy, reach, thrown
  18. Heavy, reach, versatile
  19. Heavy, thrown
  20. Heavy, thrown, two-handed
  21. Heavy, thrown, versatile
  22. Heavy, versatile
  23. Light, reach
  24. Light, reach, thrown
  25. Light, reach, versatile
  26. Light, thrown, versatile
  27. Light, versatile
  28. Reach
  29. Reach, thrown
  30. Reach, thrown, two-handed
  31. Reach, thrown, versatile
  32. Reach, two-handed
  33. Reach, versatile
  34. Thrown, two-handed
  35. Thrown, versatile

However, some of these are still somewhat hard to imagine, such as finesse two-handed weapons or finesse heavy, although I suppose the spiked chain might fall into one of these categories.

Of all unused ranged weapons, excluding "finesse":

  1. Ammunition, heavy
  2. Ammunition, light
  3. Ammunition, loading, heavy
  4. Thrown
  5. Thrown, heavy
  6. Thrown, light
  7. Thrown, two-handed
  8. Thrown, two-handed, heavy

With only finesse weapons:

  1. Ammunition, finesse
  2. Ammunition, finesse, heavy
  3. Ammunition, finesse, light
  4. Ammunition, loading, finesse
  5. Ammunition, loading, finesse, heavy
  6. Ammunition, loading, finesse, light
  7. Ammunition, loading, two-handed, finesse
  8. Ammunition, loading, two-handed, finesse, heavy
  9. Ammunition, two-handed, finesse
  10. Ammunition, two-handed, finesse, heavy
  11. Thrown, finesse, heavy
  12. Thrown, finesse, light
  13. Thrown, two-handed, finesse
  14. Thrown, two-handed, finesse, heavy

Additionally, for any of these, or any of the game's 37 base weapons, you can change the damage type between bludgeoning, piercing and slashing, which in many cases creates a unique weapon. You also have a lot of variety in terms of the range property on thrown or ranged weapons.

Bear in mind also that you must benchmark the weapon damage based on other weapons of its proficiency class. Most reach weapons are heavy and two-handed, and those that aren't either have a major special drawback (lance) or deal tiny damage (whip).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Technically, "light" and "heavy" properties are not mutual exclusive. \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Jun 26 '19 at 21:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor Technically true, no rule forbids it, but no weapon in the Player's Handbook uses it, and it seems too silly a combination to make sense. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 26 '19 at 21:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ Two heavy axes, one for each hand, make sense to me. In 5e, "light" is a misnomer, it basically means "you can dual wield this", not "this is not heavy". The opposite(-ish) of "light" is "two handed". A minor nitpick anyways. \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Jun 26 '19 at 21:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think the question considers that the damage die would reflect the combination of traits to find balance, rather than being an additional trait itself. Thus I think the correct answer space is considerably smaller than this answer gives. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 26 '19 at 21:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor The Player's Handbook does describe light weapons as "small and easy to handle", and heavy weapons as having "size and bulk". \$\endgroup\$ Jun 26 '19 at 21:30
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As Quadratic Wizard stated (very well), you'd be better served to stick with the play tested 37 combinations. But nothing prevents you from mapping a historical weapon to the closest similar weapon and using the historical name for flavor.

Example: Use the Sickle stat block for a Kama

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    \$\begingroup\$ That's what I'd do too. When a player in my game wanted to play a character who wielded a daikatana (a long two-handed katana) I just used the stats for the greatsword. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 26 '19 at 21:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ Related on Refluffing weapons when you're not a monk \$\endgroup\$
    – NautArch
    Jun 26 '19 at 21:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ You might want to cite the relevant section from DMG p. 41 ("Wuxia") to support your point as well: "Having players refer to a tetsubo or a katana rather than a greatclub or a longsword can enhance the flavor of a wuxia campaign. The Wuxia Weapon Names table lists alternative names for common weapons from the Player’s Handbook and identifies their real-world cultural origins. An alternative name changes none of the weapon’s properties as they are described in the Player’s Handbook." \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Jun 26 '19 at 22:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ You can also pick a an existing stat block and then just call it whatever you want, I had a pirate character who wanted a barbed whip and I just had her use the rapier state block. the name of the weapon is just flavor anyway, the barbarian has a gigantic scythe, stat wise it is just a greataxe but for RP and flavor it is gruesome sythe. \$\endgroup\$
    – John
    Jun 27 '19 at 18:20

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