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D&D 3E
Improvised Weapon Questions 
9th-Aug-2008 04:21 am
Tree Canopy
Can you make an improvised weapon masterwork, and then enchant it? Also, can you take an Exotic Weapon Proficiency for the specific type of improvised weapon to eliminate the -4 penalty?

Just for giggles, I'm trying to create a Cloistered Cleric that lugs around a big tome of holy scripture to whack people with instead of a traditional weapon. Someone mentioned getting it enchanted with the Throwing property since her Ranged attack is better than her Melee, and I realized I've never really investigated improvised weapons much.
9th-Aug-2008 10:02 am (UTC)
No. The -4 weapon non-proficiency penalty comes from the fact that the object is not designed to be a weapon. Theoretically, you could design a book to be a weapon, I guess, but it would be a very special book.
9th-Aug-2008 02:18 pm (UTC)
So? Maybe this book is better designed as a weapon than normal books--hence it only has a -3 penalty after masterwork.

IIRC, there are no rules that you can't masterwork an improvised weapon. It sounds like fun, and if your group is okay with the tone, go for it! Don't let the rules get in the way of you having a good time.

Furthermore, I might (might) argue that you could get a masterwork book (giving +2 to a skill check, say) and then call that a masterwork weapon--it's a weapon when improvised as such, and it is masterwork :p
9th-Aug-2008 05:23 pm (UTC)
Masterwork would only logically apply to things the object is useful for. A masterwork disguise kit would not give you a bonus to attack rolls with it because the masterwork quality comes from having additional, useful makeup and disguises and such. It also doesn't make sense to make a normal book a masterwork weapon without first making it a weapon.

So, as I said, he'd have to first turn it into an actual official weapon before he could start treating it like one. Perhaps reinforce the book with iron like a door, and make a grip on the binding to make it easier to swing.

I like the stats you came up with...

War Book, Exotic Melee Two-Handed Weapon, 1d6/x2 bludgeoning damage. Also acts as a holy symbol for purposes of spell components.

Because theology books can be huge.
9th-Aug-2008 11:07 pm (UTC)
If only it could be like books from FFTactics, reading from it deals psychic damage within 15'.
9th-Aug-2008 02:31 pm (UTC)
Personally, I would just houserule that this cleric can treat a particular class of books as maces.
9th-Aug-2008 02:58 pm (UTC)
I always believe a creative player should be rewarded, so as a DM I'd help them figure out the mechanics.

I would require they take an exotic weapon proficiency. It may be improvised for other people, but that cleric has its use down pat. Then, since it is an exotic weapon, I see no reason why it can't be masterwork. Maybe it has a metal binding and reinforced edges. I would probably make the damage pretty low, maybe 1d2 or 1d3 (or possibly 1d4-1, min zero), but also remember it is a 2-handed weapon, so you get 1.5 Str. :)

I might also allow them to take a second feat and use it as a buckler. I wouldn't allow it for free with the original EW feat, or I'd put some penalty like if someone makes a critical while you're using it for defense, you make a Reflex save or lose a finger.
9th-Aug-2008 04:15 pm (UTC)
Some DMs would say: but the Drunken Master PrC gets the ability to use improvised weapons without penalty, so if you want to use the book normally you'd need to take levels in that. We couldn't let you just flavor your weapon (say, a mace or a club) as a book, because that would invalidate this other crappy class that no one even cares about.

Those DMs bother me.

How about:
War Book, Exotic Melee Two-Handed Weapon, 1d6/x2 bludgeoning damage. Also acts as a holy symbol for purposes of spell components.

Or maybe
War Book, Exotic Melee Two-Handed Weapon, 1d4/x2 bludgeoning damage. Also acts as a holy symbol for purposes of spell components. A character wielding a War Book is treated as carrying a buckler at the same time (with accompanying Shield bonus, ASF, ACP, etc).

The second one seems really balanced to me. A feat that lets you forgo damage for AC (without the feat you'd be doing 1d8 from a staff, so you're giving up 2dmg for 1AC average. In other words, this feat can be balanced as an extremely limited and weaker version of Combat Expertise). Then it's a weapon he can go about mastercrafting, or adding shield spikes, or whatever he wants.

What do you think?
9th-Aug-2008 05:39 pm (UTC)
I personally think the first one looks balanced as well. From the Imp.Wpn Damage table on Complete Warrior 159, a book big enough to have to wield two-handed would deal 1d8 damage. So reducing it by one size and allowing the Holy Symbol usage/enchantability doesn't seem overpowered.

Oh, and I really appreciate the feedback from everyone. :)
9th-Aug-2008 03:52 pm (UTC)
I'd allow the exotic weapon proficiency holy scripture, like someone else said it's creative. Not sure about the master crafting though.
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