A weapon proficiency measures a character's knowledge and training with a
specific weapon. When a character is created, the player checks Table 34 to see how many weapon proficiency slots the character has. These initial
slots must be filled immediately, before the character embarks on his first
adventure. Any slots that aren't filled by then are lost.
Each weapon proficiency slot must be assigned to a particular weapon, not just
a class of weapons. Each weapon listed in Table 44 (Weapons) requires its own proficiency; each has its own special tricks and
quirks that must be mastered before the weapon can be handled properly and
effectively. A fencer who is master of the epee, for example, is not necessarily
skilled with a saber; the two weapons look similar, but the
fighting styles they are designed for are entirely different. A player
character could become proficient with a long bow or a short bow, but not with all
bows in general (unless he devotes a proficiency slot to each individually).
Furthermore, a character can assign weapon proficiency slots only to those weapons
allowed to his character class.
As a character reaches higher experience levels, he also earns additional
weapon proficiencies. The rate at which proficiencies are gained depends on the
character's class. Warriors, who concentrate on their martial skills, learn to
handle a great number of weapons. They gain weapon proficiencies quickly. Wizards,
who spend their time studying forgotten magical arts, have little time to
practice with weapons. They gain additional weapon proficiencies very slowly.
Multi-class characters can use the most beneficial line on Table 34 to determine their initial proficiencies and when they gain new proficiencies.
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