A Bugbear (Long Limbed: reach +5 feet) wielding a reach weapon (10 feet of reach) can make a melee weapon attack with a reach of 15 feet.

If said Bugbear is a Battle Master with the Lunging maneuver, he can extend his reach of 5 feet for a single attack (achieving 20 feet of reach).

My question is: Can a player character's melee weapon reach be extended even further than that, or is 20 feet the absolute maximum?

Note that I'm searching for official non-playtest material; Unearthed Arcana would qualify as playtest material and be excluded. (Therefore currently excluding the "Giant Growth" Mystic Discipline from Unearthed Arcana).

If a spell/magic item/other can extend melee weapon reach (nonexistant example: "Scroll of Praying Mantis - Your arms grow bigger! You have more reach!"), it qualifies for the question. Material related to melee spell reach does not qualify.


There is some confliction in your question but I'll assume you want to make Melee Weapon Attacks at reach.

The highest reach would be 25 feet with a Bugbear Battlemaster Fighter/Way of the Four Elements Monk's unarmed strike. It costs 1 Superiority Die and 1 Ki point.

  • Base reach is 5 feet
  • Bugbear gives +5 feet
  • Lunging Strike (Fighter: Battlemaster) gives +5 feet
  • Fangs of the Fire Snake (Monk: Way of the Four Elements) gives +10 feet

This combo works because of the Player's Handbook Errata, which changed future printings of the Player's Handbook. It reveals how the unarmed strikes can be used for the battlemaster's lunging strike.

Instead of using a weapon to make a melee weapon attack, you can make an unarmed strike ... You are proficient with your unarmed strikes.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It may be worth linking to Is an Unarmed Strike considered a Weapon attack? to support using Lunging Strike with unarmed strikes, as that was controversial before it was clarified. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jan 17 '18 at 20:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ I didn't know that was ever controversial. I've played with that rule even before the errata made it obvious, but I'll link it. \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Jan 17 '18 at 20:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Bugbear D. Luffy \$\endgroup\$ – Ruse Jan 18 at 22:32

As far as I can tell, you have gotten everything there is to get on this, barring polymorphing into creatures with longer reach. I built a character recently on this concept, and came up with the same design and conclusions you have.

  • Base Reach: +5
  • UA Primeval Guardian Ranger in Guardian Soul: +5
  • Bugbear Reach (Long-Limbed): +5
  • Reach Weapon: +5
  • Lunging Strike (Fighter: Battle Master): +5
  • Fangs of the Fire Snake (Monk: Way of the Four Elements): +10

For a total of 30 reach.

  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ This looks potentially quite useful, but is abbreviated to the point of near-incomprehensibility. Could you perhaps expand a bit? For example, how do you intend to use both a reach weapon and fangs of the fire snake? Also, it looks like the Guardian Soul ranger is UA-only. The OP is asking about non-UA. \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Barden May 3 '19 at 15:00
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @BenBarden The formatting was broken originally, so I've fixed it, for what it's worth. (I don't know how those two will work together either though.) \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener May 3 '19 at 15:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ What is the "Elemental Guardian Ranger"? I can't find that anywhere. In addition, Fangs of the Fire Snake only works with unarmed strikes (and therefore doesn't work with reach weapons, or being a bugbear) \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch May 3 '19 at 18:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch: Presumably they mean the Primeval Guardian ranger from this UA - the Guardian Soul feature makes you Large and also increases your reach by 5 feet. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast May 15 '19 at 21:20

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