I am trying to see if I am breaking any rules of D&D 5e here.

I am a Swashbuckler Rogue (possibly irrelevant).

I am wielding a hand crossbow and a rapier in each hand, with the Crossbow Expert feat (PHB, p165). On my turn I use my action to hit with my rapier, then drop the rapier as a free action, shoot the hand crossbow as bonus action, then pick up rapier as my Object Interaction. Аm I breaking any game rules here or am I good?

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ I know what you mean, and I know that this is just a result of the joy that is the English language, but I do so love to picture that "...I am wielding a hand crossbow and a rapier in each hand..." means that you actually have 1 crossbows and 1 rapiers in one hand, and 1 crossbow and 1 rapier in the other hand, and you are actually dual wielding some crazy, welded together sword-that-shoots-crossbow-bolts / stabby-crossbow combination. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 3, 2019 at 10:17

3 Answers 3


Yes, you can do that.

You can do everything exactly as you described. If you start your turn with a Rapier and a loaded Hand Crossbow in hand you can:

  1. Attack with the Rapier (Action used up)
  2. Since you used the Attack action and attacked with a one handed weapon, you can use a bonus action to attack with a Hand Crossbow you are holding thanks to your Crossbow Expert feat. (Bonus action used up)
  3. You now need a free hand to reload the Hand Crossbow so you can drop the Rapier without using your object interaction (as per this Sage Advice) and reload the Hand Crossbow using your now free hand. (Hand Crossbow reloaded)
  4. Finally you can use your item interaction to pickup the Rapier. You're now back to having both a Rapier and a loaded Hand Crossbow in hand. (Rapier back in hand)

You will obviously look very silly doing so. A DM could at their discretion dispense you from having to go through this sequence every turn by allowing you to stow your Rapier away in its scabbard and retrieve it in the same turn for the purpose of re-loading your Hand Crossbow, or simply rule that you get to reload the Hand Crossbow with a Rapier in hand.

A DM wouldn't be breaking much by allowing you to do that given that you always pick your weapon back up at the end of the turn so you're never in a situation where un-handing your Rapier matters, unless you're fighting in an uncommon situation such as a steep incline, a tight rope or the surface of a liquid when using some water walking magic.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ I like to flavor this sequence as stabbing the rapier into the ground or tossing it into the air, handling the crossbow, then plucking the rapier out of the ground or air. It's mechanically equivalent in most circumstances but sounds more like something you'd see in a movie and less like a bumbling moron. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 3, 2018 at 16:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why do you "need a free hand to reload the Hand Crossbow"? Is there a rule for this? \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Sep 3, 2018 at 16:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor Well for starters you physically can't load a crossbow with the same hand that's holding it, or with a hand that's holding something else. This being said check out rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/47370/… for an explanation of how this fits into the rules. \$\endgroup\$
    – Yannick MG
    Sep 3, 2018 at 17:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @YannickMG now I see, thank you rpg.stackexchange.com/a/63376/27377 \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Sep 3, 2018 at 18:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ u could work out a kind of magazin if your dm's cool with it. tinkerer set and some research .maybe 5 bolts in a case with a mechanism that reloads them, like a clockwork or something \$\endgroup\$
    – clockw0rk
    May 2, 2020 at 2:25

Strictly from PHB, you can't do that

There isn't exactly a "Free Action" in 5e. The concept is presented, though, in PHB p. 190.

You can also interact with one object or feature of the environment for free, during either your move or your action. For example, you could open a door during your move as you stride toward a foe, or you could draw your weapon as part of the same action you use to attack.

If you want to interact with a second object, you need to use your action. Some magic items and other special objects always require an action to use, as stated in their descriptions.

Basically, "Object Interaction" is a "Free Action", which you have already used to drop your rapier.

Although is says "interact with a second object", it's implied that interacting with the same object again later also needs an action.

From Devs' twitter, though... You can

Ok, from the comments. Crawford states you can drop the weapon at absolutely no cost, it seems (meaning you didn't actually use your "Object Interaction").

But then Mearls goes further: he states you can Sheathe, Draw and Attack at the same turn. (Honestly this is how I've been ruling it for long, hence I'm not used to the drop shenanigan).

So you don't even need to drop it, you can just sheathe it and then draw it again. Although Mearls' tweet is more about switching weapons, I don't see why doing it for the same weapon would be any harder or take any longer.

Everything else is fine.


Late to the party, but if you have crossbow expert, the feat states "You ignore the loading property of crossbows with which you are proficient." (According to dndbeyond currently) My take with hand crossbows is that you manage some way to reload with the one hand holding it.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The need for a spare hand is due to the Ammunition property, not the Loading property. \$\endgroup\$
    – BBeast
    Jan 25, 2021 at 4:39

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