3
\$\begingroup\$

The title says it all, but I'll elaborate for clarity, though I'm not clever with stories so it will be bland:

Ernie the Eldritch Knight has bonded to his halberd. Plot happens and his halberd is now in a remote area far away from him, and it has been broken in half by one clean slice across the handle.

By RAW, can Ernie summon the two weapon pieces to himself with his class feature?

Factors that affect a simple ruling, in my mind:

In favor of NO:

  1. The object is clearly not usable as a halberd anymore, and any practical interpretation would say it's not even a proper weapon anymore.
  2. Since the weapon is summoned to the fighter's hand, having more than one piece could be problematic.
  3. The cantrip Mending states "This spell repairs a single break or tear in an object you touch, such as...two halves of a broken key..." (emphasis mine), which implies the two halves are separate entities, laying precedent for the status of a broken object if you choose to read it that way.

In favor of YES:

  1. A broken clock on the wall is still a clock. A "broken, bonded weapon" could, by that logic, be considered a "bonded weapon," even though it could no longer be properly wielded.
  2. A weapon with embellishments such as decorative paint or a leather handle around the wooden core would, ostensibly, summon the whole thing. By this logic all pieces can be summoned as part of the whole.
  3. The cantrip Mending states "This spell repairs a single break or tear in an object you touch, such as...two halves of a broken key..." (emphasis mine) which implies that the key can still be referenced as "an object," singular, if you choose to read it that way.

I can see a DM ruling on either side of this, but that's not the question. Are there any rules that give guidance on this, perhaps in regards to broken weapons or objects, that remove any uncertainty by RAW?

As a note, two pieces were used as an example so Mending could be applied without question. The answer should extend to broken or damaged objects in general, noting if the number of pieces or nature of damage is a factor.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ As far as I'm aware, there aren't really any rules on weapons breaking in 5e, especially for situations this specific. \$\endgroup\$ – wz-billings Aug 17 '17 at 2:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @jeanquilt yes, there are. - weapons are objects, and break just like the others. "For the purpose of these rules, an object is a discrete, inanimate item like a (...) sword (...)" \$\endgroup\$ – Mindwin Aug 17 '17 at 23:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mindwin From reading those rules, they only describe how to break objects, not how objects (including weapons, as you pointed out) behave when they are broken, which I believe is more relevant to the question at hand. If you feel that you have a RAW answer regarding how a broken weapon behaves re: the situation described in the quesiton, I encourage you to post an answer and cite it. \$\endgroup\$ – wz-billings Aug 18 '17 at 1:07
10
\$\begingroup\$

It's up to DM. Yes, it's a plain, old, simply, boring answer but there is no RAW with which to rule by.

The eldritch knight's weapon bond simply states that you bond with a weapon and can summon that weapon to you. It doesn't say anything about what happens if the weapon is broken and it's likely something the designers either didn't think of or purposefully didn't make a ruling for in order to not bog the game down with rules for every little thing. It's also not stated what breaks that bond, aside from breaking it to bond with a third weapon.

As such it's left up to the DM. If the plot requires you to trek halfway across the world to retrieve the weapon then you can be sure that's what you'll be doing instead of being allowed to summon it back. If the DM decides that a broken weapon also means a broken bond then that's their prerogative. It's not like it's anything particularly game breaking to allow a broken weapon to be summoned but it could reasonably depend on how broken it is and what the weapon is (mundane as opposed to magical or powerful artefact). Two pieces, sure they could allow it; shattered into a thousand pieces, what's the point.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Agreed. This is in plot device territory now. Either let the EK do the cool thing he gets to do, or have the EK take on a cool quest to get back his weapon. Honestly, the broken part is probably less important than the "For some reason you're not able to summon your family's ancient halberd", so if you don't have a cool quest for the party to undertake, just let him have it back, both pieces. \$\endgroup\$ – JPicasso Aug 17 '17 at 12:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.