The warblade's level 1 extraordinary ability weapon aptitude, in part, says

You also have the flexibility to adjust your weapon training. Each morning, you can spend 1 hour in weapon practice to change the designated weapon for any feat you have that applies only to a single weapon (such as Weapon Focus). You must have the newly designated weapon available during your practice session to make this change. For example, if you wish to change the designated weapon for your Weapon Focus feat from greatsword to longsword, you must have a longsword available to practice with during your practice session. (Tome of Battle 22)

The swordsage's level 1 extraordinary ability discipline focus (Weapon Focus), in part, says, "At 1st level, you gain the benefit of the Weapon Focus feat for weapons associated with the chosen discipline" (16).

Can a swordsage 1/warblade 1 take an hour (or maybe more) in the morning and, using the special ability weapon aptitude, trade the weapons that are granted the benefit of the feat Weapon Focus due to discipline focus so that totally different weapons receive the benefit of the feat Weapon Focus instead?

That is, can a swordsage 1/warblade 1, having picked the Tiger Claw discipline, take an hour (or maybe more) in the morning to trade his Weapon Focuses with the kukri, kama, claw, handaxe, greataxe, and unarmed strike for—assuming he could find the weapons—Weapon Focuses with the bolas, the fire bomb, the gun, the lightning lance, the thunderlash, and the triple dagger?

"What are you trying to pull?": I'm developing a character that can use the widest variety of exotic weapons to their fullest. Proficiency with all exotic weapons is available, so far as I can tell, at character level 6 at the earliest by taking level 1 of the Complete Scoundrel prestige class master of masks (52-6), opting for a gladiator mask. However, the Complete Warrior prestige class exotic weapon master (30-1) says that its class feature exotic weapon stunts applies only to weapons with which the creature has the feat Weapon Focus. The method the question supposes, if it works, seems like the best way to get the maximum number of Weapon Focus feats for the minimum investment. Alternatives to these decisions are welcome, but, please, first answer the question.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Not answering the question, but "for any feat" does not seem to be "for any feat_s_". So, if at all possible, this is going to take many hours. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 13:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @EugeneRyabtsev That's okay. Once a weapon's changed, a weapon only need be changed again to ditch a current weapon to pick a new weapon. The dude doesn't have to, like, do it again every day. That would suck. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 13:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @EugeneRyabtsev the Warblade's special ability specifically calls out that you can change any number of single-weapon feats during the single hour of training. \$\endgroup\$
    – tzxAzrael
    Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 0:49

2 Answers 2


One could argue that swordsage doesn’t grant the Weapon Focus feats themselves, just their “benefit.” But that implies that they don’t count for any prerequisites, which is obnoxious (since they wouldn’t stack with Weapon Focus if you took it for a prerequisite) and doesn’t seem entirely in keeping with the premise of the ability (they could have easily just said that the swordsage gets a +1 bonus to attack rolls with the weapons).

Personally, the only time I’d even consider doing something like that is in the face of an attempt to pull the Dark Chaos Feat Shuffle on them. But then, I would just ban embrace the dark chaos and shun the dark chaos.

Barring that, I think that they are valid targets for Weapon Aptitude; if you get the feats, they can be modified by the class feature.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Having recently played a totemist at low- to mid-levels, having Weapon Focus a lot would've been pretty okay. I mean, six times for 1 class level and maneuvers, too? That's okay before level 6. (If I wanted DCFS shenanigans I'd just Obtain Familiar and trade away Alertness nigh-infinite times.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 14:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan To get Weapon Focus on the right things, you’d need the warblade level, too, so now you’re talking two levels away. And totemist really wants a level of barbarian for pounce, and that’s three. Etc. And natural attacks have pretty substantial accuracy benefits (more of them, at low levels, and lack of cumulative iterative penalties at high levels). Not saying it’s terrible, just saying it’s not something that would worry me or cause me to ban it. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 14:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry. I should've mentioned I'd already taken the warblade level to more easily take Stormguard Warrior, and the barbarian level was a no-brainer. But, yeah, my experience at low levels was similar to a flurry of misses and, upon reflection, those six +1s look pretty good, but at the time I did without and thrived, so, yeah. Maybe unnecessary, but it at least sounds good if only in the short term. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 14:23


By RAW, the Swordsage ability does not give the feat "Weapon Focus", only a benefit that is equivalent to it.

If the DM decides that it does give you a number of weapon focus feats, then you should discuss how that would play out with them. They may decide to restrict the retraining to weapons of other disciplines, or apply some other restrictions. This goes quickly into speculation about possible house-rules.

If this is allowed by your DM, it would still take an hour of practice with each weapon, to change each feat individually.

On a side note, without being allowed to retrain feats, there aren't very many exotic weapons included in the various disciplines. Bastard Sword/Katana for Diamond Mind, Dwarven Waraxe and Two Bladed Sword for Iron Heart, Nunchaku for Setting Sun, Kama and Claw1 for Tiger Claw. Only Shadow Hand has 3 exotic weapons (Sai, Siangham, Spiked Chain) and many have none.

A more effective method to achieve your goal might be to just buy Weapon Focus a few times, and retrain them as needed. This gives you a reason to keep several exotic weapons around, and you can include in your backstory an expertise in all exotic weapons, and simply excuse it as such dedication with your current weapons that your skills with other weapons are quickly put to the back of your mind.

"Ah, the Two-Bladed Sword! It's been a while since I've used one of these. I'll need to refresh my skills with it before I take it into battle."

1 I'm not sure if there is actually a "Claw" weapon in one of the books, or if this is referring to the Natural Attack.

  • \$\begingroup\$ While 1 is strictly-speaking true, if we ignore that and presume that what you get is feat enough to be modified by things that modify feats like Weapon Aptitude, you would have to have Weapon Focus however many times, since Weapon Focus itself only modifies one weapon. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 1:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well yea, definitely. If you can convince your DM to rule that this actually gives weapon focus, then by RAW it should give a number of instances of it for each weapon in the discipline's group. But then we get into pits like Elven Warblades who want to retrain their racial weapon proficiencies, which may or may not be a place you want to go with this. But it still remains a highly DM-dependent outcome, with a speculative outcome. \$\endgroup\$
    – tzxAzrael
    Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 1:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ My point was that your 2. is rather irrelevant. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 2:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ On review, you definitely have a point. \$\endgroup\$
    – tzxAzrael
    Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 2:10

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