“The choice of weapon lies with the challenged party, of course, not that it matters. Make your choice, and die.”
In hindsight, those weren’t the greatest last words.
Most fighters are seasoned soldiers and knights, trained in the use of every kind of weapon there is. So is the specialist, of course – a solid base has never hurt anybody. What sets specialists apart, however, is their complete and unrivaled mastery when it comes to the weapon they have chosen to devote their lives to. What these experts in their field may lack in versatility, they more than make up for with sheer skill when it comes to their chosen weapon.
Beginning when you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you select one category of weapons as your favored weapon.
Weapons fall into the following categories:
- Axes: battleaxe, handaxe, greataxe
- Blades: dagger, greatsword, longsword, rapier, scimitar, shortsword, whip
- Bludgeons: club, flail, greatclub, light hammer, mace, maul, morningstar, warhammer, war pick
- Polearms: glaive, halberd, javelin, lance, pike, quarterstaff, spear, trident
- Ranged Arms: all ranged
Depending on your choice, you are granted one of the following benefits when wielding such a weapon:
- Axes, Grieveous Wounds: You gain advantage on your first attack every turn against a creature whose hit points are below half of its maximum hit points.
- Blades, Upper Hand: Whenever you score a critical hit against a creature, you gain advantage on your next attack against it.
- Bludgeons, Armorslayer: You gain advantage on your first attack every turn against a creature that is wearing medium or heavy armor.
- Polearms, Arm’s Length: You can attack with any polearm as if it had the reach property. You gain advantage on your first attack every turn against a creature more than 5 feet away from you.
- Ranged Arms, Eagle Eyes: You no longer suffer disadvantage on attacks made at your weapon’s long range.
Your choice grants you additional features when you reach 10th level in this class, and again when you reach 18th level in this class.
Starting at 7th level, your exceptional skills with your chosen weapon become apparent to all. Whenever you make a Charisma check that relies on the use of your weapon, you can use your attack bonus in place of your regular modifier.
At 10th level, your choice of favored weapon grants you additional features:
- Axes, Wounding Strike: Whenever you score a critical hit against a creature, that creature suffers half of the damage of the attack again at the start of its next turn.
- Blades, Opportune Strike: Whenever you score a critical hit against a creature, you can immediately make another attack against the same creature.
- Bludgeons, Resounding Strike: Whenever you score a critical hit against a creature, that creature is stunned until the start of your next turn.
- Polearms, Pinning Strike: Whenever you score a critical hit against a creature, that creature is knocked prone. Whenever a prone creature in your melee range attempts to get up, you can use your reaction to pin it. If you do so, the creature counts as grappled until the start of your next turn and must escape this grapple to get up.
- Ranged Arms, Ricochet: Whenever you score a critical hit against a creature, you can immediately make an attack against another creature within your weapon’s short range from the target of the critical hit.
Beginning at 15th level, you can teach your special techniques to others with ease. You can spend 1 hour instructing a number of creatures up to either your Intelligence or your Charisma score (your choice) in the use of your favored weapon. After 1 hour, these creatures gain proficiency with all weapons that belong to your favored category and gain the benefits of your 3rd level feature whenever they use a weapon of that kind for the next 24 hours.
At 18th level, your choice of favored weapon grants you additional features:
Axes, Relentless Offense: Whenever you have advantage on an attack, you deal an additional damage die of your weapon’s kind on a hit.
Blades, Opening: Your attacks score a critical hit on a roll of 17-20 if you have advantage on the attack.
Bludgeons, Breaking Point: Whenever you hit a creature with an attack on your turn, its AC is lowered by 1 until the end of its next turn.
Polearms, Tripping Defense: You can make an attack of opportunity against any creature that attempts to move into a space within 5 feet of you. When you hit a creature with an attack of opportunity, it is knocked prone and its speed is reduced to 0.
Ranged Arms, Crippling Shot: Whenever you hit a creature with an attack, its speed is lowered by 10 feet until the end of its next turn.