Robertscribbler’s Homebrew Feat Tweak For Shield Master in D&D 5e + Melee Weapon Feat Tweak Mini-Series

In this 19-minute video on the Robertscribbler YouTube channel, I explore a tweak for the Shield Master feat in Dungeons and Dragons 5e. Shield Master is commonly nerfed by GMs and official rules arbiters alike in 5e D&D. For this feat tweak, I carve out an expanded ability to use a bonus action to shove and potentially knock opponents prone. Another minor rules change — in this case one that makes playing Shield Master both more fun and effective without breaking the game.

With the addition of a Shield Master feat tweak, I conclude my comprehensive mini-series for making melee combat more fun, flavorful and realistic in D&D 5e. This mini-series includes a much-needed upgrade to the Dual Wielder feat and changes to both Great Weapon Master and Polearm Master (Swift Master) to add variety and options to these already-strong feats. If you wish to use these guides for your games, the links are below:

Great Weapon Master

Polearm Master (Swift Master, still only on YouTube)

Dual Wielder

Homebrew Horrors — A Skeletal Mage for D&D 5e

Artwork by The Lady Blue Wolf

Introducing the first monster in the new Homebrew Horrors as a part of our Dragon’s Dungeon Talk — the Skeletal Mage. Emerging from haunted tombs and dark dungeons, the Skeletal Mage is a dangerous menace that wields potent arcane magics. Whether a remnant of an ancient civilization, summoned by a potent curse, or animated by a powerful necromancer, the Skeletal Mage is a cunning terror drawn to the shadows and fueled by a hatred for all living things.

This Skeletal Mage is a slightly modified version of the one used by Dungeon Master Graham in our Icewind Dale campaign based on the classic 2E computer RPG. Converted to 5e rules, the Skeletal Mage provides Game Masters with a potent spellcaster as a challenge for level 4-7 characters in D&D adventures. Please enjoy our free homebrew 5e D&D Skeletal Mage monster below:

SKELETAL MAGE  — 5e stats

Medium Undead, lawful evil

Armor Class 15 (Mage Armor)
Hit Points: 39 (6d8+12)
Speed 30 ft

1014 (+2)15 (+2)108 (-1)16 (+3)

Saving Throws Con +4, Cha +5
Skills  Arcana +2, Intimidation +5

Damage Vulnerabilities: Bludgeoning

Damage Immunities: Poison

Condition Immunities: Exhausted, Poisoned
Senses Darkvision 60, passive Perception 9
Languages Common

Challenge: 3 (700 XP), Proficiency Bonus +2

Spellcasting: Skeletal Mages cast the following spells, acting as a 5th level caster, requiring no spell components and using Charisma as its spellcasting ability (DC 13, +5 to hit).

Cantrips: Chill Touch, Light, Shocking Grasp

Level 1 (4 slots): Absorb Elements, Magic Missile, Mage Armor

Level 2 (3 slots): Acid Arrow

Level 3 (2 slots): Lightning Bolt, Stinking Cloud


A Skeletal Mage can cast a spell — either a leveled spell or a cantrip.

  • Chill Touch. Ranged Spell Attack: +5 to hit, range 120 feet, one target. Hit: (10) (2d8) necrotic damage and target cannot regain hit points until the start of the Skeletal Mage’s next turn.
  • Shocking Grasp. Melee Spell Attack: +5 to hit, melee reach 5 feet, one target. Hit: (10) (2d8) lightning damage and target cannot take reactions until the start of its next turn.


Skeletal mages are gaunt, clothed in tatters, and move with the sound of a scaping menace. Their eyes are illuminated by a malign, green glow.

Robertscribbler’s Homebrew Alteration to Great Weapon Master for Longsword Fighting in D&D 5e

In this 15-minute video on the Robertscribbler YouTube channel, I explore a tweak for the Great Weapon Master feat in Dungeons and Dragons 5e. Great Weapon Master is probably the most universally used feat for melee combat in 5e D&D. For this feat tweak, I add to the variety of weapons that qualify for Great Weapon Master in order to allow a greater number of historical and fantasy fighting styles in-game. Though this homebrew tweak is a minor rules change, I find it adds a great deal of flavor to games (not to be confused with my use of WOTC official rules to optimize the longsword and other 1-handed weapons).

Robertscribbler’s Homebrew Feat Tweak For Dual Wielder in D&D 5e

In this 17-minute video on the Robertscribbler YouTube channel, I explore a tweak for the Dual Wielder feat in Dungeons and Dragons 5e. Though many are inspired to play Dual Wielders in 5e D&D, some feel its feat support lacks the punch of other styles such as Great Weapon Master and Polearm Master. This video provides a balanced, yet powerful homebrew option for those who wish to wield a melee weapon in each hand in D&D 5e.

For your ease of reference, the complete homebrew feat is provided below. Changes to the official D&D 5e feat are highlighted in orange:

Homebrew Dual Wielder Feat for D&D 5e

  • You gain a +1 bonus to AC and a +2 bonus to damage when you are wielding a separate weapon in each hand.
  • You can use two-weapon fighting even when your one-handed weapons aren’t light. When you score a critical hit while two-weapon fighting, you may use a bonus action to make two attacks with your off-hand weapon instead of one.
  • You can draw or stow two one handed weapons when you would normally be able to draw one.

Robertscribbler on Don’t Split the Party in D&D 5e

In this 45-minute video on the Robertscribbler YouTube channel, I explore the tactical ins and outs of the old adage “Don’t Split the Party” in Dungeons and Dragons 5e. This video explores different considerations including party vulnerability to AOE, the need to maneuver to hit team monster hard, and the fun of risk-taking in D&D 5e. This guide is intended to balance risk and reward by providing some helpful rules of thumb for both fun and party survival during tough encounters.

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