I was recently intrigued with the idea of a Swashbuckler rogue and decided to see what I could do. I wanted to kind of make a duel crossbow buccaneer so I went with the Crossbow Expert feat

When I was checking out the abilities of the Swashbuckler and I saw Fancy Footwork I was curious if it would apply to my crossbow attacks that are within melee range of the target. I understand the actual ability says melee attacks, but I think it makes sense since the abilities description doesn't seem to have anything to do with the weapon, and more their ability to slip away easily after making an attack.

When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you learn how to land a strike and then slip away without reprisal. During your turn, if you make a melee attack against a creature, that creature can’t make opportunity attacks against you for the rest of your turn.

I was just curious what you guys thought and/or what you would allow in your own games!

  • \$\begingroup\$ You can't wield two hand-crossbows, because you need a free hand to reload. See rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/124723/… (but you can make just as many attacks with one that you are trying to with two). \$\endgroup\$ – Adeptus Sep 25 '18 at 3:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TimTheTortoise Unfortunately we do not handle questions looking for opinions or polls about how other people do things. Is that what you are looking for here? Or are you looking for clarification about what the rules actually say here? \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Sep 25 '18 at 3:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose Ah I understand, I was indeed looking for opinions and I was unaware that was the case. \$\endgroup\$ – TimTheTortoise Sep 25 '18 at 3:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TimTheTortoise I'm sorry to hear we may not be able to help with this particular question. We do have a list of reccommended places that handle these types of questions much better though. You can find it here. We just want you to be able to find the best answer to your question! And of course, if you have any further questions we are happy to help. Welcome to the site and I hope to see you around. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Sep 25 '18 at 3:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TimTheTortoise a related question we might be able to help you with here might be something like "What would the mechanical implications of allowing ranged weapons to be used with Fancy Footwork?". That way the experts here could help elaborate on what the possible consequences and pitfalls of allowing this might be. If you are interested in this, you can edit this question to ask that instead. Otherwise you don't have to do anything really if you really are just more interested in discussion of what people think about the idea. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Sep 25 '18 at 3:46

Fancy Footwork does not apply to crossbow attacks

As you correctly state, this ability only works with melee attacks:

During your turn, if you make a melee attack against a creature...

Since crossbow attacks are ranged attacks they would not qualify.

Regardless of if something makes narrative sense for an ability or not, it is what the ability actually says that matters if you are following the rules as written. And this one does not allow ranged attacks to count.

Of course, if you can convince your DM to allow it, they are more than able to allow it at their table. But this would be a deviation from the RAW and intent of the ability. More importantly, this is a conversation you are going to have to have with them and not us as we have no authority at your table.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Of course, I understand the ability says melee attack, I am more concerned with the narrative side and other opinions. Thank you for yours! \$\endgroup\$ – TimTheTortoise Sep 25 '18 at 3:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TimTheTortoise I know I suggested an alternate way you could ask this question such that we can answer it here above, but it is important to remember that no matter what we random internet strangers think, the only person whose opinion matters is going to be your DM in the end. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Sep 25 '18 at 3:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ Our DM seems to enjoy the debate and the prospect of his mind being changed. He is currently indifferent and is allowing us to decide amongst ourselves but we reached a stalemate so we decided to take to the internet! I really am just looking for opinions as a sort of tie breaker. \$\endgroup\$ – TimTheTortoise Sep 25 '18 at 3:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TimTheTortoise makes sense. I hope you find your answer somewhere and sorry again for not being able to help this time. :) \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Sep 25 '18 at 3:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ I hope I do too! I appreciate all of the efforts you put in to help clear this up for me and I'm sure to be back here soon! Ciao! \$\endgroup\$ – TimTheTortoise Sep 25 '18 at 3:58

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