So in a given turn in combat, you can interact with an item once per turn for free, then any subsequent interactions with the same or another item costs an Action (which, unless you can Action Surge or are hasted, this is your only Action).

Is drawing an arrow from a quiver to fire it from your bow an item interaction, or is this just part of the Attack Action with the bow?

For example, let's say I have a Ranger (low level, so that he doesn't yet have Extra Attack, not that it should affect this question, but let's keep it simple anyway) and he has a longbow and a shortsword. On his previous turn, he drew his sword with his free item interaction (whilst his bow was still in his other hand, since it only requires two handed to use, not to hold) and slew a nearby enemy that was badly injured (not worth an arrow).

Combat continues and it's his turn again; he wants to sheath his sword and fire at another enemy at distance with his bow (which he's still holding). By sheathing the sword and thus using up his free item interaction, can he now not draw an arrow without wasting his Action, thus not being able to actually fire the arrow?

Also, I'm aware of the "drop the sword" option, but this situation is illustrative of the rule I'm trying to discern, so I don't care about how to actually have him fire an arrow or not.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Possible duplicate of What is considered an object? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 19, 2018 at 18:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DaaaahWhoosh: This is not a duplicate in any way, unless I am missing something huge. The linked question is asking "What is classified as an object?" whereas this one is asking "Does interacting with this object as part of an attack count as an interaction?". Completely different. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 19, 2018 at 19:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose The accepted answer to that question also answers this one. Possibly this site works different, but I thought it was at least worth pointing out. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 19, 2018 at 19:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DaaaahWhoosh: Possible duplicates are definitely worth pointing out. On this site, we only mark as duplicate if the questions are identical or too similar. It doesn't matter if the answers are transferable or not. See: If an answer to question A can be found in question B, should we close A as duplicate of B? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 19, 2018 at 19:54

1 Answer 1


Drawing an arrow from a quiver is part of the action of attacking with a longbow

Longbows (and all ranged weapons that fire projectiles) have the ammunition property which says:

Drawing the ammunition from a quiver, case, or other container is part of the attack (you need a free hand to load a one-handed weapon).

Thus, it is not an object interaction or anything else. It is simply considered part of your attack.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Furthermore, this is true even for Crossbows. The loading property just caps the number of attacks you can make, it doesn't change any part of the action economy. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 19, 2018 at 16:30

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