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Wield Oversized Weapon [Epic] is on pg 153 of Complete Warrior. Compared to Monkey Grip on pg 103 (shown below WOW), it looks like all you get for 25 STR and 21 BAB is +2 to hit and the ability to use large double weapons or large weapons in offhand. Is this for real, or am I missing something here?

Prerequisite

Monkey Grip, STR 25, Base attack bonus +21,

Benefit

You can treat any weapon as if it were one size category smaller than normal and one category "lighter" for the purpose of determining the amount of effort it takes to wield. For instance, a halfling with this feat could wield a Medium short sword as a Small light weapon, or a human could wield an ogre's Large greatclub as a Medium twohanded weapon. The weapon still deals its normal amount of damage.

This feat subsumes the effects of the Monkey Grip feat. The feats' effects do not stack.

Normal

You may only wield weapons of your size without penalty.

Compare this with Monkey Grip:

Prerequisite

Base attack bonus +1,

Benefit

You can use melee weapons one size category larger than you are with a -2 penalty on the attack roll, but the amount of effort it takes you to use the weapon does not change. For instance, a Large longsword (a one-handed weapon for a Large creature) is considered a two-handed weapon for a Medium creature that does not have this feat. For a Medium creature that has this feat, it is still considered a one-handed weapon. You can wield a larger light weapon as a light weapon, or a larger two-handed weapon in two hands. You cannot wield a larger weapon in your off hand, and you cannot use this feat with a double weapon.

Normal

You can use a melee weapon one size category larger than you are with a -2 penalty on the attack roll, and the amount of effort it takes to use the weapon increases. A larger light weapon is considered a one-handed weapon, a larger one-handed weapon is considered a two-handed weapon, and you cannot use a larger two-handed weapon at all.

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Just about every option in the game for wielding a larger weapon is awful. A size category adds, on average, +1 damage, which is nothing, and certainly isn’t worth a feat. Damage does grow super-linearly with size, which means each size increase is worth more the more you have, but you can’t get bigger than Colossal so you can’t even really go “all in” on the idea and push the value far enough that it’d be “good.”

Monkey Grip and Wield Oversize Weapon both fall in this category and are entirely typical—i.e. bad—though of the two, taken in a vacuum, Wield Oversize Weapon is probably better, since attack bonus is worth more than damage bonus, and Wield Oversize Weapon’s bonus to attack may well exceed Monkey Grip’s bonus to damage. As you note, Wield Oversize Weapon is an epic feat, so its weakness is particularly egregious when you consider what other epic characters might be doing, but then again, this situation maybe doesn’t look so awful when you consider other mundane epic feats—Epic Weapon Focus gives the same +2 to hit, but only for a specific weapon, and that’s all it does. So you can kind of imagine what the designers were thinking when they wrote it.

The problem here is that Monkey Grip and Epic Weapon Focus are absolute garbage, and not reasonable points of comparison. No one should ever take either feat, so the question “should I take Epic Weapon Focus, Monkey Grip, or Wield Oversize Weapon?” is meaningless—those aren’t your only options. D&D 3.5e has a bajillion feats, and a whole lot of them are much better than any of these feats. You can’t even claim that you’ve run out of better feats to take, because there are definitely stronger feats that you can take as many times as you like, so you’ll never be at a point where any of these feats is the right choice.

In short, Wield Oversize Weapon is awful, and honestly comparing it against Monkey Grip, or other mundane epic feats, is being much too generous. Realistically, since it’s an epic feat, its competition is instead Epic Spellcasting—and anything that isn’t Epic Spellcasting falls far, far short. Epic spellcasters are literally playing an entirely different game from those who are not. Magic dominates the game, right from 1st level—by 21st level, it’s simply not plausible to play a non-spellcaster. Spells just do too much.

Which is to say, the epic rules aren’t balanced. This shouldn’t be a shock to anyone—D&D 3.5e doesn’t even make it to 20th in the first place. A lot of players feel it doesn’t even handle 7th acceptably, and it’s really genuinely difficult to maintain a cohesive game in the face of the absurd power of 7th-, 8th-, and 9th-level spells, even when everyone is trying hard to play nice. Once you move past that, there’s almost no hope, and I cannot more strongly recommend against trying to use the epic rules for any purpose.

Anyway, if you really want to wield a larger weapon, get a pair of strongarm bracers. They’re still not very good—increasing weapon size just doesn’t accomplish very much—but they’re reasonably cheap by mid levels, and they’re about as good as Monkey Grip and Wield Oversize Weapon combined. Or just become larger yourself—stuff like expansion and righteous might are legitimately quite strong, and being a goliath and grabbing mountain rage isn’t bad either. But that’s because being larger is ever so much better than simply having a bigger weapon—primarily because you get the reach.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Oct 7 at 18:47
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Wield Oversized Weapon is not amazing. Most feats are not amazing.

Sadly, D&D 3.x is kind of broken, especially at the higher levels. High-level spellcasters (prepared casters especially) can do ludicrous things when given time, information, and enemies who aren't specifically designed to shrug off their powers... and are often able to swing some pretty overpowered cheese even when not given those things. The epic rules just make that worse, as the epic feats that boost already overpowered abilities tend to be even more overpowered.

Further, 3.x feats in general are kind of warped. Some of them are potential system-breakers, while others are basically useless. Finding one or more feats that are just lousy... shouldn't shock you.

Still, sure, let's look at Wield Oversized Weapon in context... specifically, in the context of "you're a melee type who's built to deal damage by swinging weapons, and you have an epic feat to spend" How does it look compared to the other options?

Well... the Epic Feat pickings for a bog-standard warrior (or equivalent) are not great. You can get +1 to hit for everything, you can get +1 to AC, you can get +3 to DR (doesn't stack with armor, but will stack with itself), you can increase a stat by one, you can increase spell resistance by 2 (if you already have spell resistance)... the significant majority of Epic feats that aren't dependent on already having a bunch of magic or other interesting class features are either mild or situational. Getting +2 to hit, stacks with everything is really not that bad by comparison.

...unless you have control over your available magical items. If that's the case, then strongarm bracers (at a price that's petty for you) will give you all the benefit of both Monkey Grip and Oversized Weapon, in one very affordable package. Sure, it means that you need to use your bracers slot... except that you can take Additional Magic Item Space with that Epic Feat you've just opened up (leaving you the original Monkey Grip feat slot to do whatever with), and still have a bracer slot free for whatever you wanted a bracer slot free for.

While there's an argument to be made that one could stack Strongarm Bracers and the two feats, that doesn't even matter, because we can take normal feats with our Epic Feat slots. See, the thing that sinks epic general feats is that there are so few of them. 3.x is crammed to the gills with feats, 90% or more of which aren't worth taking pretty much ever from an optimization standpoint. Compared to the average feat out there, +2 to hit is really quite good... but there are so few epic feats overall that once you trim a few off the sides (say, by ignoring all of the broken Epic Spellcasting feats) it turns out that what you're looking at pretty much are the at-best-mediocre feats, by and large. Compared to the other kinds of feats that you can acquire, +2 to hit is okay, but not really competitive. Worse yet, it's not really even giving you +2 to hit for a feat. After all, realistically, we're only getting the step from medium to large, or maybe the step from large to huge, and it's at the cost of 2 feats. Looking at the weapon size table, at best that's giving you +1d6 damage per hit, and for two feats, at that level, that's kind of pathetic.

So... yeah. First, 3.x doesn't work well at epic levels without (at minimum) a lot of massaging and houserules by the DM (and if you have those, you should be talking with the DM). If you're in a largely non-houseruled epic campaign, then one hopes that you'd have one of the builds that would let you get some actually good stuff our of Epic Feats (...because in general, if you don't have that, your ability to contribute meaningfully is suspect regardless of what you do with said epic feats). If you're in a largely non-houseruled campaign with no interesting powers to buff, then there are better feats to buy. There's a lot of shiny non-epic feats out there, and there are a few gems even in the epics. For example, you could get a lot more mileage out of buying Additional Magic Item Space repeatedly and festooning yourself with expensive and powerful magical items.

In the context of all published feats for fighter-types? Wield Oversized Weapon isn't terrible, for what it does. There are certainly worse out there. In the context of "feats you might actually want to take, given a reasonable selection"? It's pretty bad.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Let us continue this discussion in chat. \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Barden Oct 7 at 0:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan I have modified my answer in response to some of your feedback. Could I ask for your reaction to the result? \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Barden Oct 7 at 1:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ @BenBarden Yeah, there’s some really solid points in there now and you’ve addressed the things that had me most concerned. Additional Magic Item Space is a great call for a real work-horse epic feat—though I probably wouldn’t use it for strongarm bracers since the guidelines’ 50% surcharge to combine it with another magic item is at most 3,000 gp, and I doubt many DMs are going to be looking to increase that premium for that item (or bother to nix the combo altogether). \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Oct 7 at 3:48
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It has circumstancial uses

The feat has a few benefits:

  • If you're monkey gripping already, you now gain +2 to attack for one feat. This stacks with other feats like Epic Weapon Focus.
  • If you're Small (halfling, etc), you can now wield human-sized weapons that you find as treasure. At epic level is when you're going to start finding items again that your party can't craft. Perhaps you're a halfling rogue and your party's fighter can give you his hand-me-down +6 longsword instead of selling it for half.
  • If you're Small, your greatsword now goes from 1d8 (average 4.5) to 2d6 (average 7), a damage increase of 2.5. This is weaker than Epic Weapon Specialization (+4), but it stacks with that.
  • If you're Medium, you can now wield weapons carried by Large enemies.
  • You can dual-wield with reach weapons, spiked chains and other mechanically useful combinations.
  • You may have a class ability for throwing or deflecting light weapons or similar. It now becomes more useful.
  • You can play a gimmick build for aesthetic reasons.
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  • \$\begingroup\$ “It’s about as good/slightly better than/almost as good as {some atrociously weak option},” as in your first and third points, isn’t a point in this feat’s favor. Comparison with other awful feats doesn’t create a circumstance in which this feat is useful. The second and fourth points should not be a trouble for an epic character, who is going to need custom-made weapons anyway. There are better options (e.g. DMG’s kusari-gama) for the fifth. As far as I know, no ability as described in the sixth point exists. And as for the seventh, a good DM does not enforce feat taxes for aesthetics. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Oct 6 at 14:16

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