When I haven't been doing schoolwork or playing in Scott's Tunnels and Trolls game, I've been playing some old favorite Legend of Zelda games. Not only do games like Link's Awakening, A Link to the Past and the other Zelda games have a great adventure framework, they've also gotten me thinking about how elements of these games could be integrated into Basic D&D.
Link can generally do a few things with his sword, mostly slashing and stabbing, but also the charged Spin Slash maneuver which attacks all enemies around him. In later editions of D&D, something like this would be covered by an Encounter or Daily power that you could use in a combat encounter. But as much as I like the Power framework, I don't just want to graft it wholesale onto the Basic rules. If I wanted to use them, I would honestly be better served by playing 4th Edition. So how do you make things like special maneuvers work for Basic fighters without 4th Edition style powers?
My idea has been to base it on weapons used. In the Basic and Expert books that I own, there's not much mechanical difference between using a staff or a sword other than the damage dealt. If wielding a warhammer gave you the ability to knock enemies prone or a spear giving you a bonus to AC when used two-handed, it could add a little bit of mechanical variation to things. Hell, it might encourage the use of weird weapons like bolas or whips if they had cool little bonus effects alongside the standard damage.
Is this how Weapon Mastery works in the Companion or Master set? I don't have either of those, but I've heard that they add a bit of proficiency boost to the Fighter.