The rogue had been tracking the warlord for months. Last week he finally pinned down the lord’s exact location. Now it was time to act.
The rogue armed himself with a rapier, a slender and deadly sword. He had been trained in the art of fencing and was confident in his ability to take down this enemy.
He crept through the shadows, careful to remain undetected. The rogue sprang out of the darkness at just the right moment. He had caught the warlord completely alone and unaware.
The rapier dids its job, slicing through the air and felling the enemy. He can rest now, his family avenged.
How to use a Rapier in DnD 5e
Choosing a weapon is a crucial part of character creation. The weapon you choose can reflect your character’s personality or even be your character’s personality. Are they a bulging Warhammer-wielding half-orc Barbarian, or are they a slinky rapier-wielding Rogue?
Players should consider their characters’ strengths and weaknesses when choosing. This guide to the Rapier in 5e should help you decide what weapon is right for you.
Rapiers are common in any Dungeons & Dragons 5e campaign. They provide an excellent balance between speed and damage. They also offer unique advantages that can be invaluable to skilled adventurers.
What is a Rapier 5e?
A rapier is slim in appearance and has two sharp edges. Rapiers are quick, and characters use them primarily for thrusting and stabbing. It has a small protection cover just before the handle.
According to the Player’s Handbook, a Rapier costs 25 gp, and does 1d8 piercing damage. A rapier is a martial melee weapon.
|Rapier||25 gp||1d8 piercing||2 lbs||Finesse|
There are two main types of weapons in 5e, simple and martial. The implication is that simple weapons are common and can be used by all. In contrast, martial weapons require extra training. Both simple and martial weapons can have specific properties.
Proficiency with a Rapier allows you to add your proficiency bonus to the attack roll for any attack you make with it.
For example, a rapier is a martial weapon with finesse property.
Every time your character attacks in 5e, they must roll a d20 to determine the outcome. Typically a player adds a few numbers to their roll to get their final attack score.
Assuming you are proficient in your weapon, you add your proficiency bonus. The product of these numbers determines how successful your attack will be.
D20 +modifier+ profecency bonus= attack
Most weapons in 5e add a Strength or Dexterity modifier to their initial attack roll. Finesse weapons allow you to use your dex modifier to your attack role.
Someone using a finesse or weapon with Dex as the attack modifier is more agile when attacking. The opposite of a finesse weapon would be a heavy weapon like a Greatsword. You would use your character’s strength modifier when attacking.
An Orc in rage would swing a Greatsword with all its strength, while a sneaking Rogue would use their dexterous hand to slice an enemy’s throat from the shadows.
Who can use a Rapier?
Anyone can pick up a Rapier and use it. However, know only some characters are proficient with a Rapier.
Since a Rapier is a martial weapon, its wielder is typically proficient in martial weapons. Classes proficient in martial weapons can add their proficiency bonus to their attacks with those weapons.
How do you know if you are proficient in martial weapons? Only a few classes are proficient in martial weapons:
A couple of classes are proficient, specifically in Rapiers. Rogues and Bards are the exceptions to the rule. They can use the Rapier without being proficient in martial weapons.
Is a Rapier a good weapon?
Rapiers can be excellent weapons. They deal decent damage, 1d8, compared to most simple and martial weapons. They also pack more punch than the other finesse weapons, such as the following:
- Dagger (1d4 piercing)
- Whip (1d6 slashing)
- Sort sword (1d6 piercing)
- Scimetar (1d6 slashing)
However, unlike these other finesse weapons, the Rapier does not have the light property. Light weapons are small and easy to handle. A character with two light weapons can hold one in each hand or duel wield.
You cannot dual-wield Rapiers because they do not have the light property. Pair a rapier with a shield. Your character will +2 to AC with a shield.
There are always trade-offs when picking weapons and feats. If you are deadset on dual-wielding rapiers, you can take the Dual Wielder feat.
The benefit of the Dual Wielder fear is that you can use two-weapon fighting even when the one-handed melee weapons you are wielding aren’t light. With this feat, you can use heavier weapons, such as Greatswords or Rapiers, in your off-hand without having to worry about the penalties associated with using them.
Which classes can best use a rapier?
Rapiers can be perfect for a Rogue. Rouges are naturally proficient with rapiers. The Player’s Handbook (page 96) includes rapiers as an option in their Quick Build section.
Rogues are fast and agile, often on the wrong side of the law. Rogues benefit from having a Dex-based weapon because they focus more on intelligence, cunning, and agility than brute force.
The Player’s Handbook (page 53) also gives the Bard a Rapier in the Quick Build Bard character suggestion. Bards are very well suited to using rapiers. Bards are entertainers, but they are also graceful creatures. They often have high dexterity as well as high charisma. These traits make the rapier the perfect weapon for a bard.
A Blade Bard
Bards from the College of Swords are known as blades. They are one group that benefits a lot from using Rapiers. Blades train and entertain with swords. They delight crowds with mock battles and sword juggling. Despite their party tricks, spectators should note that blades are also fearsome warriors.
Bards choose their College at level 3. With the College of Swords, the blade gains the Dueling feat. This feat adds +2 to damage rolls when the Bard uses a single one-handed weapon. This feat is perfect for the Rapier. A Bard can add a +2 to the already heavy 1d8 that the Rapier doles out.
College of Sword bards also gain Blade Flourish at level 3. Blade Flourish increases the damage that their target takes. With a Rapier, these fierce artist-warriors can do some severe damage.
The Rogue archetype of the Swashbuckler is also excellent with the rapier. They are known for being quick, elegant, and charming. The Swashbuckler can use their speed to attack their opponent with maximum force while slipping away from enemy attacks.
When the Rogue chooses an archetype at level three, once the Swashbuckler makes a melee attack, the target can no longer make attacks of opportunity against that character. The Swashbuckler can Dash in and out of battle quickly.
Additionally, Swashbucklers can use Sneak Attack if they have an advantage on the attack, if their target has an enemy within five feet of it, or if they are attacking a target and no other creature is within 5ft of them. They can use Sneak Attack all the time.
Pair these extraordinary feats with a Rapier’s power and finesse, and maximize this character’s abilities and attributes.
Battle Master Fighter
If you are looking to use a Rapier and be on the front lines of the battle, then try a Battle Master Fighter. When your fighter chooses the Battle Master archetype at level 3, you can pick three maneuvers you want to use in battle.
The parry and the riposte maneuvers allow you an extra opportunity to attack your opponent with your rapier. These maneuvers make for an extra nimble fencer with a noble background in the art of the sword.
Using a Rapier as a DM
Rapiers are not inherently magic weapons. However, these weapons can possess magic properties. In your story, you can have your players search for a cursed sword or award your rouge with a +1 Rapier after a successful dungeon crawl.
Additionally, it would be natural for any Dex-based NPC to carry a Rapier. DMs can use them as plot points or targets of jealousy in your campaign.
DnD 5e is a versatile game; you can create a perfectly unique character in many ways. Rapiers are sleek and quick, well suited for the faster and less aggressive classes.
The Rapier is an excellent choice for characters who want to be able to fight in close quarters. Its finesse property makes it an ideal choice for characters who wish to rely on their Dex.
Try it in your next campaign.
Rapier 5e FAQs
Is the Rapier or Longsword better in 5e?
When used with one hand, the Rapier (1d8 piercing damage) and the Longsword (1d8 slashing damage) deal the same amount of damage. However, the Longsword has the versatile property which allows you to wield it in two hands, increasing its damage (1d10 slashing damage).
The Longsword does not have the Finesse property, meaning you can only add your Strength modifier as a bonus. The Rapier allows you to use either DEX or STR. So, if your Dexterity bonus is higher, wielding the Rapier makes more sense.
What is the damage bonus for a Rapier in 5e?
Because the Rapier is a Finesse Weapon, you can use either Dexterity or Strength modifiers to add to the damage.
Is the Rapier or Shortsword better in 5e?
The answer depends on the character you’re building. The rapier deals higher damage (1d8 piercing damage) compared to the shortsword (1d6 piercing damage).
The Shortsword has the Light property, which the Rapier does not. Therefore, you can use two-weapon fighting with two shortswords. The Rapier works well with a shield and does more damage. So it all depends on how you want to arm your character.
Can you dual-wield Rapiers in 5e?
Technically, no. You cannot dual-wield Rapiers in 5e because these weapons do not have the Light property. However, if you really want to dual-wield them, you can always take the Dual-Wielder feat.
How much does a Rapier cost?
According to the Player’s Handbook, a Rapier usually costs up to 25 gp.
How much damage does the Rapier deal?
The rapier deals 1d8 piercing damage.
Can you wield a Rapier and a shield?
Yes. Rapiers are one-handed weapons, so you can hold a shield with your other hand to give you an extra +2 AC bonus.
Jillian started learning Dungeons & Dragons in 2014. After being encouraged by a friend to make a character, she became fully involved in character creation and later became an awesome Dungeon Master. Jillian strives to use her creativity to spread her knowledge of DnD and interpret the ruleset.