[RPG] Is the Wield Oversized Weapon epic feat as bad as it looks


Wield Oversized Weapon [Epic] is on pg 153 of Complete Warrior. Compared to Monkey Grip on pg 103 (shown below WOW), it looks like all you get for 25 STR and 21 BAB is +2 to hit and the ability to use large double weapons or large weapons in offhand. Is this for real, or am I missing something here?


Monkey Grip, STR 25, Base attack bonus +21,


You can treat any weapon as if it were one size category smaller than normal and one category "lighter" for the purpose of determining the amount of effort it takes to wield. For instance, a halfling with this feat could wield a Medium short sword as a Small light weapon, or a human could wield an ogre's Large greatclub as a Medium twohanded weapon. The weapon still deals its normal amount of damage.

This feat subsumes the effects of the Monkey Grip feat. The feats' effects do not stack.


You may only wield weapons of your size without penalty.

Compare this with Monkey Grip:


Base attack bonus +1,


You can use melee weapons one size category larger than you are with a -2 penalty on the attack roll, but the amount of effort it takes you to use the weapon does not change. For instance, a Large longsword (a one-handed weapon for a Large creature) is considered a two-handed weapon for a Medium creature that does not have this feat. For a Medium creature that has this feat, it is still considered a one-handed weapon. You can wield a larger light weapon as a light weapon, or a larger two-handed weapon in two hands. You cannot wield a larger weapon in your off hand, and you cannot use this feat with a double weapon.


You can use a melee weapon one size category larger than you are with a -2 penalty on the attack roll, and the amount of effort it takes to use the weapon increases. A larger light weapon is considered a one-handed weapon, a larger one-handed weapon is considered a two-handed weapon, and you cannot use a larger two-handed weapon at all.

Best Answer

Just about every option in the game for wielding a larger weapon is awful. A size category adds, on average, +1 damage, which is nothing, and certainly isn’t worth a feat. Damage does grow super-linearly with size, which means each size increase is worth more the more you have, but you can’t get bigger than Colossal so you can’t even really go “all in” on the idea and push the value far enough that it’d be “good.”

Monkey Grip and Wield Oversize Weapon both fall in this category and are entirely typical—i.e. bad—though of the two, taken in a vacuum, Wield Oversize Weapon is probably better, since attack bonus is worth more than damage bonus, and Wield Oversize Weapon’s bonus to attack may well exceed Monkey Grip’s bonus to damage. As you note, Wield Oversize Weapon is an epic feat, so its weakness is particularly egregious when you consider what other epic characters might be doing, but then again, this situation maybe doesn’t look so awful when you consider other mundane epic feats—Epic Weapon Focus gives the same +2 to hit, but only for a specific weapon, and that’s all it does. So you can kind of imagine what the designers were thinking when they wrote it.

The problem here is that Monkey Grip and Epic Weapon Focus are absolute garbage, and not reasonable points of comparison. No one should ever take either feat, so the question “should I take Epic Weapon Focus, Monkey Grip, or Wield Oversize Weapon?” is meaningless—those aren’t your only options. D&D 3.5e has a bajillion feats, and a whole lot of them are much better than any of these feats. You can’t even claim that you’ve run out of better feats to take, because there are definitely stronger feats that you can take as many times as you like, so you’ll never be at a point where any of these feats is the right choice.

In short, Wield Oversize Weapon is awful, and honestly comparing it against Monkey Grip, or other mundane epic feats, is being much too generous. Realistically, since it’s an epic feat, its competition is instead Epic Spellcasting—and anything that isn’t Epic Spellcasting falls far, far short. Epic spellcasters are literally playing an entirely different game from those who are not. Magic dominates the game, right from 1st level—by 21st level, it’s simply not plausible to play a non-spellcaster. Spells just do too much.

Which is to say, the epic rules aren’t balanced. This shouldn’t be a shock to anyone—D&D 3.5e doesn’t even make it to 20th in the first place. A lot of players feel it doesn’t even handle 7th acceptably, and it’s really genuinely difficult to maintain a cohesive game in the face of the absurd power of 7th-, 8th-, and 9th-level spells, even when everyone is trying hard to play nice. Once you move past that, there’s almost no hope, and I cannot more strongly recommend against trying to use the epic rules for any purpose.

Anyway, if you really want to wield a larger weapon, get a pair of strongarm bracers. They’re still not very good—increasing weapon size just doesn’t accomplish very much—but they’re reasonably cheap by mid levels, and they’re about as good as Monkey Grip and Wield Oversize Weapon combined. Or just become larger yourself—stuff like expansion and righteous might are legitimately quite strong, and being a goliath and grabbing mountain rage isn’t bad either. But that’s because being larger is ever so much better than simply having a bigger weapon—primarily because you get the reach.