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Let's say that after making an attack with my lance by stabbing it into an enemy, I leave the lance there (stab it into the enemy and just let go). Is this considered dropping the lance? And as such, am I able to take out my longsword and attack with it (Fighter lvl 6 has the Extra Attack class feature).

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    \$\begingroup\$ "Is this considered dropping the lance?" - you're talking about "dropping" as a special term, what do you mean exactly? \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Mar 26, 2018 at 13:20

3 Answers 3

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There are no rules (to my knowledge) that govern what happens if you let go of a weapon after an attack; as far as I know, you'd simply drop it to the ground.

If you are of a class that has the Extra Attack feature and are high enough level to make multiple attacks as part of your Attack action, then it would be possible to attack with one weapon, drop it, then draw another weapon and make your additional attack(s) from the Extra Attack feature.

You would have to make your first attack with an already-drawn lance (note that if you attack with a lance, you do so at disadvantage if the target is within 5 feet of you), drop/let go of the lance, use your free object interaction for the turn (not a bonus action) to draw the longsword, and then attack with it.

Rules designer Jeremy Crawford unofficially confirms in this tweet from January 2018 that you can use different weapons for the multiple attacks granted by the Extra Attack feature, reiterating what he stated in this tweet from December 2014.

It's also confirmed in an official ruling in the Sage Advice Compendium:

When you use Extra Attack, do you have to use the same weapon for all the attacks?

Extra Attack imposes no limitation on what you use for the attacks. You can use regular weapons, improvised weapons, unarmed strikes, or a combination of these options for the attacks.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Dec 30, 2019 at 6:07
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Yes, but reach and mounted movement may make this hard

It has been clarified in Sage Advice that "letting go of something requires no appreciable effort," so you would be able to draw a weapon and attack again, presuming you hadn't already interacted with an item this round.

However, since you're attacking with a lance, I need to point out that the rules for mounted combat could get in your way here. Since lances give you disadvantage to attack creatures within 5' of you (PHB, p. 148), I assume you were attacking a creature 10' away. If you were mounted (which isn't certain, but is often the way a lance is used), note that there is disagreement about whether mounts and riders share a turn.

A recent sage advice on the matter indicates that:

Jeremy Crawford: A rider and a controlled mount have separate turns, but they have the same initiative, which means you decide which one goes first.

If your DM is using this version of mounted combat, then if you find yourself 10' away from an enemy, mounted, and with an "Extra attack" still remaining, you could not move your mount forward and then attack: by moving your mount, you are declaring the end of your turn (and the start of its turn). So although you'd still have an "interact with an object" action left to draw the sword, and an Extra Attack left to attack with it, you may have to dismount and approach on foot to actually do so (or throw the sword).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Note that Crawford tweets aren't "Sage Advice"; that's just the name of a third-party site that compiles designer tweets/statements. (Apparently my answer originally made this mistake too :P) Also, as of January 2019, Crawford's tweets are no longer official rulings, just unofficial guidance. You may want to edit your answer accordingly. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Dec 30, 2019 at 6:09
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You can attack, drop, draw and attack again

Assuming you have multiple attacks in one round (for example from the Extra Attack feature), there is no rule that forbids you to drop your weapon after one of these attacks, draw another one and attack with that one.

Just letting go of the weapon or dropping it does not consume your free object interaction for the turn, like sheathing a weapon would. That means, if you have not used it up for something else during the turn already, you will be able to use your free object interaction to draw a weapon. (PHB, p. 190). You then can use that weapon with your Extra Attack.

Sage Advise compendium which counts as official rules has clarified:

When you use Extra Attack, do you have to use the same weapon for all the attacks? Extra Attack imposes no limitation on what you use for the attacks. You can use regular weapons, improvised weapons, unarmed strikes, or a combination of these options for the attacks.

There is also a Sage Advise that talks about the scenario of attacking and drawing another weapon one for an additional attack explicitly:

Can I make an attack with one weapon, then draw a second weapon with my other hand and qualify to use two-weapon fighting? To use the two-weapon fighting bonus action (PH, 195), you must have both weapons in hand when you make the first attack. If you’re instead fighting with two or more weapons as part of the Extra Attack feature, the rule for the two-weapon fighting bonus action doesn’t apply [...]

This is not the exact case you have, as it uses the other hand to draw, instead of of dropping the first weapon; but it states that you could attack, draw and use Extra attack with the drawn weapon (you just would not get a bonus action to attack with it retroactively for the first attack you made ... although all of that is a bit complicated, but that is not relevant for the issue here).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @Exempt-Medic, I think you only get the bonus action if you have both weapons in hand. You could attack with an extra attack after drawing a second weapon, and if you at that point have two you would get an bonus action on the second attack, but you would not retroactively get a bonus action for the first attack, when you yet had not drawn the second weapon. Makes sense? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 6, 2022 at 12:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Now I am not sure any more :) p 195 says "When you take the Attack Action" and you can only take that action once. So I think now it will check if you hold two weapons when you do so, and it does not matter if you draw one later (as you did not hold it when you took the Attack action...) \$\endgroup\$ Mar 6, 2022 at 12:08

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