How does a monk’s Martial Arts feature modify damage done by magical monk weapons?

I’m curious about how exactly the Martial Arts class feature modifies damage done with magic weapons that add extra damage. Here’s the relevant bullet point of the class feature (which is on page 78 of the PHB, and in the basic rules).

  • You can roll a d4 in place of the normal damage of your unarmed strike or monk weapon. This die changes as you gain monk levels, as shown in the Martial Arts column of the Monk table.

The kind of scenario I’m curious about is a 10th level monk (Martial Arts die: 1d8) wielding a Frost Brand. Here’s the relevant part of the rules for the weapon (from page 171 of the DMG, and in the basic rules):

Frost Brand

Weapon (any sword), very rare (requires attunement)

When you hit with an attack using this magic sword, the target takes an extra 1d6 cold damage. […]

A shortsword version of a Frost Brand is a valid monk weapon, and it does 1d6 piercing damage as well as the additional 1d6 cold damage described in the quote. If our monk was attacking with it and wanted to use Martial Arts, which dice would be replaced? Just the base die for the weapon, or both dice? If both dice would be replaced, what damage type would the 1d8 damage be?

Does Martial Arts replace non-dice based damage modifiers? Would a Shortsword +1 do 1d8+1 damage, or just 1d8? Would Martial Arts replace the extra +7 damage you’d get when a Mace of Smiting gets a crit? Obviously for a lot of weapons, switching out the damage may be a bad idea, but its unclear if you can just swap the base damage die and still keep the additional magical damage.

(This topic came up in discussion of a question I asked about a homebrew tweak to a monk subclass. I realized I don’t actually know how the rules-as-written work, which makes it a bit trickier to homebrew!)

Oil of Impact: Blunt Weapons: Monks & Martial Arts?


Oil of Impact: This magical substance is charged with a powerful dweomer which has beneficial effects upon blunt weapons and missiles of all sorts, magical and non-magical. When applied to a blunt weapon such as a club, hammer, or mace, it causes the weapon to both be magical and deliver extra damage. When the oil is applied to a missile, its effect is to make it both magical and very deadly upon impact. Missiles upon which the oil of impact will properly function are hurled hammers, hurled clubs, sling stones, and sling bullets. A flask of this substance will contain from 3-5 applications. Each application will last for 9-12 rounds on a hand-held weapon, but when applied to a missile weapon the substance has but a single “charge.” With respect to missiles, however, only a small amount need be used, so that 4-5 sling missiles or 2 larger weapons can be treated with a single application. If the oil is used on a hand-held weapon, its dweomer will bestow + 3 status to the weapon’s hit probability and cause + 6 damage on a successful hit. Missiles will be + 3 both “to hit” and to damage.

I’m DMing a game and rolled this item up randomly. It seems like a monk could put this on their fists, gauntlets, feet, or boots, or any character with martial arts that inflict bludgeoning damage. But I’m not sure. Seems like there’s been a ruling on this before as a way for older edition monks to hit weapon resistant creatures. We have a monastic OA character who has a staff as well, so they can either wield the stick and make this work, or, if this makes sense, they can use the oil on their fists/palms. Their damage would be the same either way, so its more of an aesthetic ruling, but might be useful later for other purposes.

How many weapons can I coat with the 1/2 ounce of basic poison from an alchemy jug?

One of the the liquids than an alchemy jug can produce is 1/2 ounce of basic poison. However, there is no indication in the item’s description of how much you can do with this amount of poison. In the description for a poison vial, it says you can coat 1 weapon or 3 pieces of ammunition with the poison from one vial, but it doesn’t say how much poison comes in a vial. So, is the half ounce of poison from an alchemy jug intended to be equivalent to one vial? If not, how many weapons or pieces of ammunition can be coated using the half ounce of poison?

How many weapons can I place on a ship?

I am DMing a new campaign and its going to be based mostly on naval battles, and piracy. The issue I am having is that in the DMG (page 119) it sets out the types of ship available. However since they have no offensive stats it seems to me that they should be able to bring siege weapons on board. That being said the most reasonable thing I can imagine is that the restricting factor should be a combination of weight and space available.

Does anyone have any thoughts on how many siege weapons a ship can hold? I was able to find information on siege weapons (DMG page ~250) however it does not mention weight.

The only thing I have reasoned thus far is to use the weight as a hard limit. For example, a Keelboat can carry 0.5 tonnes (1100 lbs). Assuming the crew/passengers is not accounted for in this we could likely carry a few Balista or a Cannon on a single Keelboat.

Looking for people with actual experience running a Naval campaign, or with references backed by RAW (or other official sources).

Can other PCs use Alchemical Weapons?

I wanted to get some clarity on something. My character is an alchemist for reference. If I craft Alchemical Weapons like those listed in the Alchemists Manual, can my other party members use them? For example if I wanted to make some alchemical arrows for our rogue, would there be a rule against them using it? I know I have to take a special feat to allow my party to use Extracts, but I haven’t found anything stating the same is true for alchemical items (bombs excluded).

Im sure my GM would be okay with it, but he doesn’t want to make a bunch of exceptions to written rules.

How does Knock-Down work with reach weapons?

Knock-Down is one of my favorite feats in 3.5, letting you make a trip attempt after dealing enough damage with a melee attack. But does that work if you’re using, say, a glaive? You can’t trip with a glaive, so presumably the touch attack part of the trip attempt would have to be made unarmed (with your foot or something). But such an opponent would be out of unarmed reach, since the glaive is a reach weapon. So can you make the free trip attempt, or are you forced to forgo it?

Will doubling the price & damage of grenades make them balanced compared to other weapons?

Context: I’m running a group through the Dead Suns adventure path. This is the first time any of us have used Starfinder. One of the party members is an ysoki envoy who would like to focus on grenades for damage (inspired by this question). It’s a party of 6, so I routinely give bonuses to named/solo foes and increase the number of mooks in encounters.

The group has reached level 5, and we’ve noticed that grenades just don’t do a whole lot, though. Our solarian routinely wallops enemies for 30+ damage per round, and can Supernova for 6d6 damage. Meanwhile the envoy is chucking around looted Mk1 grenades that do 1d6 or 1d8 damage or purchased Mk2 grenades that do 1d12 or 2d6 damage. In a recent fight, their enemy was able to make effective use of grenades only because 5 mooks threw grenades at the same time (and even then most of the party members struck took about 15 damage, since the saves were easy).

Proposal: I’m thinking about adding an “Elite” version of all damage-dealing grenades that costs twice as much and deals twice as much damage. As an example, the Mk1 Shock Grenade is a level 1 item costing 130 credits that deals 1d8 damage; the Elite Mk1 Shock Grenade would also be a level 1 item but would cost 260 credits and deal 2d8 damage. Foes important enough to have a name who carry grenades would carry the elite versions, while faceless mooks would use the normal versions.

Looking at later levels, an Elite Mk5 Frag Grenade would be a level 14 item costing 37.5k credits and dealing 20d6 damage. That sounds like a lot of damage, but almost any character could spend 72.3k credits and proficiently wield an Advanced Seeker Rifle, a level 14 longarm that deals 6d8 damage per shot. It seems like elite grenades would be highly effective from an action economy perspective, but too expensive to be used casually (which is how grenades probably should work, really).

Is this a viable change or am I overlooking anything?