Among the most useful tool available to any wastelander is their weapon. A good weapon is like a good friend; a reliable ally through thick and thin.

Weapons are grouped into melee weapons and the following types of ranged weapons: ballistic weapons, energy weapons, heavy weapons, low tech weapons, and a few special weapons that cannot be so easily classified. Heavy weapons typically also belong to another category, such as the minigun which is also a ballistic weapon or the gatling laser which counts as an energy weapon.

The various Weapons tables show the cost, weight, and other properties of the various armaments found in the wasteland.

Weapon Proficiencies

Weapons are further divided into the simple and martial proficiency groups. Some classes are only proficient with simple weapons, while others are proficient with both simple and martial weapons. The savage is proficient with martial melee weapons but not martial ranged weapons. It is also possible for characters to obtain proficiency with specific weapons even if they aren’t proficient with the weapon’s proficiency group.


A weapon that can be used to make a ranged attack has a range as well as the ammunition or thrown property. The range lists two numbers. The first is the weapon’s normal range in feet, and the second indicates the weapon’s long range. When attacking a target beyond normal range, you have disadvantage on the attack roll. You can’t attack a target beyond the weapon’s long range.

Weapon Properties

Many weapons have special properties related to their use, as shown in the relevant Weapons table.

Ammunition. You can use a weapon that has the ammunition property to make a ranged attack only if you have ammunition to fire from the weapon. Each time you attack with the weapon, you expend one piece of ammunition. Drawing the ammunition from a quiver, case, or other container is part of the attack (you need a free hand to load a one-handed weapon)
If you are using a low-tech weapon such as a bow, crossbow, or sling you can recover half your expended ammunition after an encounter by taking a minute to search the battlefield.
If you use a weapon that has the ammunition property to make a melee attack, you treat the weapon as an improvised weapon (see “Improvised Weapons” later in the section). A sling must be loaded to deal any damage when used in this way.

Burst Fire. As an Action, a weapon that has the burst fire property can pepper a 10-foot cube area within its normal range with shots. Each creature in the targeted area must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw against a DC equal to 8 + the attacker's Dex bonus + their proficiency bonus (if they're proficient in the weapon), taking the weapon’s normal damage on a failed save. On a successful saving throw, a target takes half the weapon's damage. A target that is within the weapon’s long range has advantage on its saving throw. Using burst fire expends a number of ammunition based on the weapon’s clip size:

  • If the weapon’s unmodified clip capacity is divisible by 8, the weapon expends 8 bullets each time you use burst fire.
  • If the weapon’s unmodified clip capacity is divisible by 10, the weapon expends 10 bullets each time you use burst fire.
  • If the weapon’s unmodified clip capacity is divisible by 12, the weapon expends 12 bullets each time you use burst fire.

Finesse. When making an attack with a finesse weapon, you use your choice of your Strength or Dexterity modifier for the attack and damage rolls. You must use the same modifier for both rolls.

Full Auto. A Full Auto weapon such as a minigun or laser minigun always uses burst fire. Due to their incredibly high rate of fire, these weapons expend double the usual amount of ammunition each time burst fire is used (16, 20, or 24 depending on clip size).

Heavy. Small creatures have disadvantage on attack rolls with heavy weapons. A heavy weapon’s size and bulk make it too large for a Small creature to use effectively.

Light. A light weapon is small and easy to handle, making it ideal for use when fighting with two weapons.

Loading. Because of the time required to load this weapon, you can fire only one piece of ammunition from it when you use an action, bonus action, or reaction to fire it, regardless of the number of attacks you can normally make.

Reach. This weapon adds 5 feet to your reach when you attack with it, as well as when determining your reach for opportunity attacks with it.

Reload. A weapon with this property can fire multiple shots before it needs to be reloaded. Once its complement of ammunition is fired, it can then be reloaded to its maximum capacity using an action or a bonus action (the character’s choice).

Slow Loading. To reload a single piece of ammunition into a slow loading weapon, the wielder must spend one of the following combinations of actions and movements, uninterrupted, but in any order:

  • 1 full move (the character may not move any distance at all or make an object interaction), 1 action, and 1 bonus action.
  • 2 full moves (the character may not move any distance at all or make an object interaction on either turn) and 1 bonus action spanning the end of one turn and the beginning of the next.
  • 2 full moves (the character may not move any distance at all or make an object interaction on either turn) and 1 action spanning the end of one turn and the beginning of the next.

While reloading the weapon, taking a reaction interrupts the loading process and it must be started again.

Slow Reload. The Slow Reload property is possessed by manually loaded firearms with multiple chambers, such as revolvers, along with certain other weapons. Like the Reload property, a limited number of rounds can be made with a firearm that has the Slow Reload property. Once all bullets in the gun are expended, a character can continue to use the weapon as though it had the loading property (ie. they load a single chamber, then fire the bullet), or they can partially or fully reload the weapon’s empty chambers. To reload the firearm’s empty chambers, the wielder must spend some combination of the following actions and movements, in any order.

  • 1 full move reloads 2 bullets.
  • 1 action reloads 2 bullets.
  • 1 bonus action reloads 2 bullets.

The process of reloading a slow reload weapon can be interrupted prematurely without the process needing to start again from the beginning. Any bullets currently chambered at the time of the interruption remain so.

Special. A weapon with the special property has unusual rules governing its use, explained in the weapon’s description (see “Special Weapons” later in this section).

Thrown. If a weapon has the thrown property, you can throw the weapon to make a ranged attack. If the weapon is a melee weapon, you use the same ability modifier for that attack roll and damage roll that you would use for a melee attack with the weapon. For example, if you throw a handaxe, you use your Strength, but if you throw a dagger, you can use either your Strength or your Dexterity, since the dagger has the finesse property.

Two-Handed. This weapon requires two hands when you attack with it.

Versatile. This weapon can be used with one or two hands. A damage value in parentheses appears with the property—the damage when the weapon is used with two hands to make a melee attack.

Unique Properties

Some weapons and weapon modifications have unique properties, which are described in the relevant section for that weapon or modification on the melee weapons, melee weapon modifications, ranged weapons, and ranged weapon modifications pages.

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