If an ally summons a spiritual weapon, would you be able to grab it and attack with it? And if so, what would the damage and modifiers be?


No; the spiritual weapon is used by the caster

The text in the spell description is pretty clear on who makes the weapon attack: you (the spell caster). It is also clear on who causes it to move.

When you cast the spell, you can make a melee spell attack against a creature ... on a hit, the target takes force damage equal to 1d8 plus your spell casting bonus ... as a bonus action, on your turn, you can move the weapon up to 20 feet ....(PHB p. 278)

What happens when the spell is cast is that it creates a magical effect. If someone else were able to use this weapon as you suggest in your question, they would be making a melee weapon attack, or a melee attack, not a melee spell attack. (Melee attack, PHB p. 195; spell attack rolls, PHB. p. 205).

Why is it important that this spell specifies a melee spell attack? Attacks that are ranged (as opposed to melee) have disadvantage on when opponents are within 5 feet of you. (PHB. p. 195 & p. 205).

A spell is a discrete magical effect. PHB. 201

As another clue to the spell's function, the spell is described as being from the evocation school, rather than conjuration school. Were a weapon to be created or summoned by this spell, it would most likely have been classified as conjuration.

Some conjuration spells create objects or effects out of nothing ( p. 203, side bar, Schools of Magic)

Spells in this edition generally do what is in the spell text. If this magical effect created a weapon that was transferable to another creature, a provision for that would be in the spell's text.

Compare this to a different spell, like Goodberry

Up to ten berries appear in your hand and are infused with magic for the duration. A creature can use its action to eat one berry (PHB. p. 246)

In this case, a creature indicates that use of the berries is not restricted to the spell's caster.

For another example, see Magic Stone

You touch one to three pebbles and imbue them with magic. You or someone else can make a ranged spell attack with one of the pebbles by throwing it or hurling it with a sling. (XGtE, p. 160; EE Player Guide, p. 20).

If the official rulings from J Crawford are of interest, he has the following to say:

A pact weapon is a physical object that someone else can pick up. A spiritual weapon is a spell effect.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Jeremy Crawford has also said explicitly that spiritual weapons are not physical objects \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Mar 2 '18 at 21:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose Thx for the link \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Mar 2 '18 at 22:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ "Spell attacks that are ranged (as opposed to melee) have disadvantage on opponents who are within 5 feet of you." - not entirely correct. It's rather that you have disadvantage on any ranged attack roll while an opponent is within 5 feet of you - not just if the ranged attack targets the opponent next to you. PHB p. 195: "When you make a ranged attack with a weapon, a spell, or some other means, you have disadvantage on the attack roll if you are within 5 feet of a hostile creature who can see you and who isn’t incapacitated." \$\endgroup\$ – PixelMaster Nov 13 '18 at 8:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PixelMaster Is that clearer? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Nov 13 '18 at 13:09

No, you can't

If the spell created a usable weapon, the spell's description would say so. It does not.

Related question: "Is Spiritual Weapon considered a Spell or a Weapon for Resistance/Immunity purposes?"


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