[RPG] Does the extra attack from Great Weapon Master apply to all melee weapons


The Great Weapon Master feat (PHB, pg. 167) states:

On your turn, when you score a critical hit with a melee weapon or reduce a creature to 0 hit points with one, you can make one melee weapon attack as a bonus action.

The flavour of Great Weapon Master ("You've learned to put the weight of a weapon to your advantage, letting its momentum empower your strikes") suggests that this should apply to heavy weapons (or at least versatile weapons) only.

But as it's written, it appears that any melee weapon can benefit from this. It doesn't appear to specify that it needs to be a heavy weapon or anything (like the other bullet point of this feat, which does).

So someone with a dagger and shield could potentially get this feat and make additional attacks as a bonus action (if they crit or drop someone to 0hp).

Is that right?

Best Answer

You are right

To use the first ability of Great Weapon Master feat, you only need to attack with a melee weapon. Dagger is a melee weapon and as long as you crit or reduce a creature to 0 hit points, you can make a melee weapon attack with your bonus action, including with different weapon other than the one that procs the GWM.

I believe it is intentional, as you can see from this published article from Sage Advice:

When designing a feat with a narrow use, we consider adding at least one element that can benefit a character more broadly—a bit of mastery that your character brings from one situation to another. [...] shows that some of the character’s expertise with one type of thing—crossbows, in this case—transfers to other things.