I was reviewing the 2017 PHB Errata v. 1.22 and I saw something interesting. Under Feats, it says for Weapon Master

the chosen weapons must be simple or martial.

What does this mean? Aren't all weapons simple or martial? What weapons are there besides simple or martial? Is this just a wording mistake?

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    \$\begingroup\$ For another example of such a phrasing there is Tenser's transformation: "You have advantage on attack rolls that you make with simple and martial weapons." \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Mar 11 at 16:41

The PHB mentions Improvised Weapons, which do not necessarily belong to either category:

Sometimes characters don't have their weapons and have to attack with whatever is at hand. An improvised weapon includes any object you can wield in one or two hands, such as broken glass, a table leg, a frying pan, a wagon wheel, or a dead goblin.

Often, an improvised weapon is similar to an actual weapon and can be treated as such. For example, a table leg is akin to a club. At the DM's option, a character proficient with a weapon can use a similar object as if it were that weapon and use his or her proficiency bonus.

An object that bears no resemblance to a weapon deals 1d4 damage (the DM assigns a damage type appropriate to the object). If a character uses a ranged weapon to make a melee attack, or throws a melee weapon that does not have the thrown property, it also deals 1d4 damage. An improvised thrown weapon has a normal range of 20 feet and a long range of 60 feet.

Natural Weapons (such as the Lizardfolk's jaws) are also a thing, and according to Jeremy Crawford they too are neither martial nor simple.

As enkryptor mentioned, some monsters use weapons that are not explicitly categorized.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I would argue that a frying pan is a martial weapon. Anyways, I remember in past versions there were exotic weapons that defied categorization. Do those still exist in 5th edition? \$\endgroup\$ – Chthonic One Mar 11 at 23:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ChthonicOne As far as I know, exotic weapons don't exist in 5e. At least not in the PHB. \$\endgroup\$ – Mars Plastic Mar 12 at 1:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ The gladiator background allows you to replace the instrument from the entertainer background with an unusual weapon. \$\endgroup\$ – Eternallord66 Mar 12 at 18:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Eternallord66 Yes, but "unusual" is used informally here, as the listed examples seem to support. It is not a weapon type. \$\endgroup\$ – Mars Plastic Mar 12 at 18:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, I was just pointing out another descriptor for weapons. \$\endgroup\$ – Eternallord66 Mar 12 at 19:31

There are weapons which are usually not available for player characters.

Some examples are:

  • A Grimlock's spiked bone club
  • A Kuo-toa's pincer staff
  • A Redcap's sickle
  • A Chain Devil's chain

You can still find such a weapon in your adventures, but Weapon Master wouldn't work with it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ If I remember correctly, there was Exotic weapon proficiency in a dnd based computer game Neverwinter Nights. Would that be something that existed only in the game or did something like that exist in other dnd edition, instead of 5e? \$\endgroup\$ – Gnudiff Mar 11 at 22:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Gnudiff Neverwinter Nights was based on 3/3.5e D&D rules, which did indeed categorise weapons as simple, martial, or exotic (you can read about this in the 3.5e system reference document here). \$\endgroup\$ – Carcer Mar 11 at 22:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor +1 for awesome monster weapons, but can you explain why these would not fall into either simple or martial? Just because they are not listed on the PHB weapons list, it does not mean that they couldn't be classified as either a simple weapon or a martial weapon. Just a thought. \$\endgroup\$ – Orc's Plunder Mar 12 at 7:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Orc'sPlunder they could, but they aren't. At least I don't know any official source which does that. \$\endgroup\$ – enkryptor Mar 12 at 12:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ The weapons table in the PHB simply shows "the most common weapons used in the worlds of D&D". It is not an exhaustive reference, by its own admission. \$\endgroup\$ – illustro Mar 13 at 13:44

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