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Martial Arms Training Manual
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Martial Arms Training Manual

Suggested Price $3.50

Slam, Sunder, Batter and Cleave your foes with this combat enhancement that introduces techniques, a new way to wield weapons and utilize fighting styles.

Each weapon and fighting style now has an active component, making them more than a static bonus or hit die, and giving more options and tactical opportunities for you and your allies. The weapon techniques make each weapon useful in different circumstances, and changing your weapon may be the most important thing you do on your turn.

With 3 new Fighting Styles, updated UA fighting styles, new shields, exotic weapons, and a technique for every weapon in 5e, this supplement is designed to provide martial classes the ability to make deeper decisions than damaging an enemy in combat. 

This supplement will slightly increase the power level and greatly increase the versatility of martial classes. A DM should treat this supplement as playtest material and alter techniques, fighting styles, and new weapons as needed.

If you like this supplement, please leave a review or comment. Likewise, if you see anything out of place, post in the discussion or send me a message and I'll get it fixed ASAP. 

Thanks for reading.


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V1.0 - Small balance tweaks to several weapon techniques such as Daze and Stagger. Clarity edits in certain text. A couple typos in the shield and weapon sections have been fixed.

V2.0 - Large revisions and tweaks to many weapon techniques, like the battleaxe, greataxe, and crossbows. Added UA fighting styles. Added new weapons. Added variant rules for using multiple techniques on a single weapon.

V3.0 - Major revision, updated mechanics to allow extra attack on most weapons when using techniques. Reworks to Greatclub, Halberd, Garrote, Javelin, Light Crossbow Shortsword, Spear, Trident, and Warhammer.
V3.1 - Mostly text fixes, changed rapier, spiked chain, and thrown weapon fighting style

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Reviews (4)
Discussions (7)
Customer avatar
Cone H September 21, 2019 10:45 pm UTC
Heya doing was just wondering about the two handed fighting style with the two weapon attack maneuver, when it says "Make a single attack roll with the lower
of your two weapons’ attack modifiers. If the attack hits,
it deals damage equal to both weapons’ damage die +
your Strength or Dexterity modifier." does it mean you add the number of weapon's die like 2d6 would be a 12 or do you roll for the 2d6 like normal? (Sorry if this sounds dumb I'm just really confused by the wording)
Customer avatar
Brian I September 22, 2019 12:59 am UTC
Weapon attacks in 5e, and by extension the ones in the manual have pretty specific terminology, so I can see why it could confuse someone.

To use the Two-Weapon Fighting style you need to be using a one-handed or versatile weapon in each hand. Meeting this requirement, you can make a Two-Weapon Attack as part of any attack action you make.

A Two-Weapon Attack is striking with both of your weapons at once. If you have a different bonus to hit on each of your weapons, you use the lower of the bonuses
(for an example, I have a shortsword, and a magic +1 dagger. I have a bonus of +5 with the shortsword, and +6 with the dagger, but the Two-Weapon Attack is made at a +5 because it uses the lower of the two, which is the shortsword in this example)

When you hit with a Two-Weapon Attack, you roll both weapons' damage dice, add them together, and add your ability modifier once. (for example, I have a shortsword and a dagger, and hit an enemy with my Two-Weapon Attack. The...See more
Customer avatar
Nick W October 13, 2019 6:53 pm UTC
"To use the Two-Weapon Fighting style you need to be using a one-handed or versatile weapon in each hand. Meeting this requirement, you can make a Two-Weapon Attack as part of any attack action you make."

Is Martial Arts Training Manual meant to be used with a variant two-weapon fighting system? Because this is not how two-weapon fighting works in vanilla, and if this document is meant to be used alongside a houseruled two-weapon fighting, it should include mention of this somewhere. The vanilla rule is that both weapons must be light (not merely one-handed), and this document doesn't offer any exception to that.

Going to incorporate this into my next game, and I'd like to know what the default assumption for balance purposes is here.
Customer avatar
Brian I October 13, 2019 8:26 pm UTC
Hello Nick!

The exception is baked into the 5e system, in the form of the feat Dual Wielder (on PHB p.165), whose second benefit reads:

"You can use two-weapon fighting even when the one-handed melee weapons you are wielding aren't light."

So you are correct that each weapon normally has to have the Light property. Once you have the Dual Wielder feat, you can use one-handed melee weapons, including versatile weapons which you are wielding with one hand, for two-weapon fighting and two-weapon attacks.

Hope that clears it up!
Customer avatar
Nick W October 14, 2019 12:00 am UTC
Fair enough, thanks. I know a lot of people houserule TWF various ways so I wanted to make sure.
Customer avatar
Benjamin S February 22, 2020 11:51 pm UTC
So that means making a Two Weapon Attack is not only giving up on one additional chance to score a critical hit, but you're also lowering your chance to hit and your overall damage... why exactly should anyone use it again?
Customer avatar
Nicholas N March 16, 2022 9:38 am UTC
you can still use your bonus action for something else, if you could only make one attack, if your target has damage resistance, or if you need to meet a damage threshold to trigger an effect (I.e. Hydra's heads)
Customer avatar
Matthew C June 12, 2019 8:23 pm UTC
Personally, I'd suggest making it so the taking aim ability improves your normal distance rather than your maximum. How I interpret range is that the normal range is how far a person could hit a target with any particular accuracy, whereas the maximum range is how far the weapon can throw a projectile under normal circumstances (IE, firing it at a 45 degree angle on flat ground).
Customer avatar
Brian I June 13, 2019 9:23 pm UTC
That would be an interesting change, although Sharpshooter (the feat) makes the normal range a minimally important statistic on most fighters or rangers who take the Archery fighting style. My personal thinking was that the max range was for a straight shot, which could be accomplished in a closed environment, and taking aim would be making the higher angle shot with a skilled eye- but in your thinking, the normal range increase makes more sense. I'd recommend you houseruling it for a bit and see what you like better.

Thanks for your feedback.
Customer avatar
Brian A February 12, 2019 11:40 am UTC
I'm confused on how the warhammer's ability works. The wording states that "it deals bludgeoning damage equal to 1d6/1d8 + your Strength modifier". What does "1d6/1d8" mean? Is that referring to the versatility? If so, it should be '1d8/1d10'.
Customer avatar
Chuck W February 12, 2019 12:13 pm UTC
I just checked my copy, it's in the Warhammer, Spear (+Melee Weapons table), and Gythka (+Melee Weapons table). The Gythka explains why it has two damage amounts in its description, saying that it can be used as a double handed weapon or wielded in a different stance as two weapons. Maybe this wording is missing from the others or it is explained somewhere else. It also seems strange the way damages are listed on the Melee Weapons table. It looks like it specifies damages for specific techniques but then Spear has Skewer (1d4/1d6) which I guess means there are two damage amounts for skewering.

Clan Crafter Hralding, I think perhaps these multiple damage amounts could benefit from better explanation and formatting.
Customer avatar
Brian A February 12, 2019 12:24 pm UTC
I believe the intention was that it refers to the versatility of the weapons. As per standard rules, a weapon with the 'versatile' property has a larger damage die when it's two-handed. Therefore, if a person using this supplement wanted to use the warhammer's 'stagger' ability while one-handing it, the damage would be 1d8 + mod. Likewise, the damage would be 1d10 + mod if two-handing it. I think it's the same for the other weapons that have the '1dX/1dX' wording, since the spear has the versatile property too.

Like I said, this is what I believe the intention is. It's just that the wording makes it difficult to follow, plus the fact that he seems to have gotten the damage dice wrong for the warhammer in particular.
Customer avatar
Chuck W February 12, 2019 5:59 pm UTC
Just above the Melee Weapons table under Versatile Techniques it says, "If a technique deals a different amount, or different type of damage when used by a weapon, it will be listed in parenthesis after the technique."

That seems like the answer until you look at the entry for Spear, "Spear – Extend, Impale, Skewer (1d4/1d6)"
It has two numbers listed for the Skewer technique.

I'm not disagreeing with you, I think you're probably right about the crafter's intention, but it's still very open to interpretation. Although I'm not too concerned with how any DM would choose to use it, it's just a one die difference from what I've seen, I have been advocating the use of this book with my friends and one of them is a natural rules lawyer. He will ask about this the first time he looks at the table with 99% certainty. I would like to see it clarified or at least be able to enter the courtroom armed with more information :P
Customer avatar
Brian I February 12, 2019 7:13 pm UTC
Hello, thank you all for sharing your thoughts, I see the confusion that is happening. Let me try to alleviate it.

For any versatile weapon's technique, it has two damage dice listed for wielding it 1 handed or 2 handed. So the warhammer technique deals 1d6 in 1 hand and 1d8 in 2 hands. The reason it isn't 1d8/1d10 on the technique is that these techniques often "downgrade" your damage die for an added effect, so the warhammer having 1d6/1d8 on its special technique is appropriate, given that its normal attack damage is 1d8/1d10.

Versatile Techniques is a frankly confusing wording, given that it has nothing to do with the versatile weapon category. I should use a different word for that section heading and title. Perhaps Flexible Techniques. When the next revision comes around I'll be sure to update it, and clear up the wording.
Customer avatar
Chuck W February 12, 2019 11:46 pm UTC
"Alternative Techniques" seems more accurate to me.

Thanks for clearing this up. Maybe a sentence or two under Weapon Techniques to explain it would help. I can see you already have a tight layout there so best of luck to you. This book has been the answer to my fighter/barbarian combat apathy, both as a player and a DM.
Customer avatar
Niklas L December 03, 2018 1:42 pm UTC
Hiya, I got this a little while ago, and I'm just curious about how the cover from the shields should be handled? Just the front 90 degrees?
Customer avatar
Marvin J December 03, 2018 6:52 pm UTC
Not the author, but I would not limit the cover to any angle. There are no RAW on facing, and I believe it makes sense to be able to turn the shield around when needed - instead of standing still for 6 seconds.

However I homeruled that the bonus action to raise or lower must be taken at the beginning of one's turn.
Customer avatar
Brian I December 05, 2018 12:09 am UTC
If you are not using facing rules, Marvin is right, the shield-bearer is assumed to be able to swing the shield around and protect all sides of themselves.

If you are using the optional facing rules on p. 252 of the DMG (and it sounds like you are) then you can treat the cover as only covering the front arc and the side that the shield is mounted on.

If you're meaning the cover granted behind the tower and wall shields by the protection fighting style, as long as the shield-bearer is between the attacker and the target, and the target is within 5 feet of the shield-bearer, the cover applies. If you're using facing rules, it only applies to a creature behind the shield-bearer in the direction of the two protected arcs.

I hope that clears it up!
Customer avatar
Eric S November 05, 2018 6:34 am UTC
Great book! wish it more printer friendly.
Customer avatar
Brian I June 12, 2019 6:34 pm UTC
v3.0 now has a Printsafe option. Printers rejoice!
Customer avatar
Kurt T May 22, 2018 2:00 am UTC
Really interesting. All my players are enjoying the flavour of their weapons a lot more, and fighting styles are more meaningful. Well done!
Customer avatar
Da W February 26, 2018 2:10 am UTC
I like this book, nicely formatted and looks like good quality. But, there is some editing needed. See the end of the Garrote entry. Also, the Tower Shield text at the end contradicts the table at the beginning of that entry.
Customer avatar
Brian I February 26, 2018 5:51 am UTC
The Garrote text must have slipped in from an earlier version. Thanks for catching that. It will be altered in the next revision.

As to the tower shield, which numbers are in contradiction? The barrier is intended to be 1/2 cover rather than 3/4, if that is what you are referring to.
Customer avatar
Brian I February 28, 2018 1:40 am UTC
I found the text you were referring to and it will be altered in the next revision. Probably within a couple days.
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This title was added to our catalog on February 05, 2018.