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If I cast spiritual weapon, would it be possible to grab it and make a melee attack with it?

Of course the attack would take my action and I would have to use my strength modifier to hit because I am physically swinging it, but is it possible to do that? Could I even just grab it and run thirty feet, then release it so it can move and attack for my bonus action?

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No, you can't use spiritual weapon as a melee weapon

This is a really cool idea but unfortunately doesn't work by RAW or RAI.

Melee Attack

Spells only do what they say and no part of spiritual weapon indicates that you can use it as a melee weapon.

Spiritual Weapon states:

You create a floating weapon that lasts for the duration or until you cast this spell again.

So I can certainly see where this idea came from. However it specifies you make a melee spell attack as a bonus action. So that is the only attack it can make.

Regarding movement

As a bonus action, you can move the weapon up to 20 feet and repeat the attack against a creature within 5 feet of it.

The only way to move spiritual weapon is to use your bonus action to move it 20ft. There is no way to gain additional bonus actions in a single turn so you can't move it further than this.


Potential Homebrew

WARNING THIS IS UNTESTED. I am not recommending this but providing it as a base if you wish to homebrew this into your game.

The second part of your question has potential for homebrew.

Could I even just grab it and run thirty feet, then release it so it can move attack for my bonus action?

Using your action this way seems like a balanced option to me. Allowing movement shouldn't be too game-breaking but would be definitely not supported by RAW.

However...

There may be some unintended consequences to allowing this. As Rubiksmoose points out, the weapon is not a physical object at all and cannot be grabbed. If you can grab it so can other creatures. This completely changes the nature of the spell. Does it now occupy a space? Can it be damaged? etc.

As spiritual weapon can take any form you wish, allowing it to be a physical object would bring it fairly close to the 14th level illusion schools Illusory Reality feature. Though not as powerful this is still extremely strong for a 1st level spell and you would want to limit how it could be used.

The first question allowing you to use your action to attack with spiritual weapon is broken and should not be allowed. Cast at first level this may not seem like a big deal. 1d8 + Spellcasting Modifier is equal or less than most melee weapons you would normally be wielding.

The problem is when casting at higher levels, at 5th level spiritual weapon deals 3d8 force damage. Allowing attacks with action and bonus action would mean 6d8 force damage per turn, potentially up to 60d8 over the duration for a single 5th level spell slot.

Allowing it to be used as a weapon also exposes you to the question of making attacks of opportunity with it. Spiritual Weapon cannot make attacks of opportunity by RAW and allowing this would only exacerbate the problem with this house rule.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ If the person who changed their vote from up to down after I added the homebrew section could explain why that would be appreciated. I know it's not required I'm just confused why the change after I thought I improved the answer. \$\endgroup\$ – linksassin Nov 13 '18 at 10:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Addressing the imbalance of opportunity attacks using the spiritual weapon is excellent. \$\endgroup\$ – Vylix Nov 13 '18 at 12:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ So here's some concerns with your homebrew: RAW the weapon is not a physical object at all and cannot be grabbed. Changing this raises some complicated questions. Does it now occupy it's space? Also if you can grab your weapon to move it why couldn't your opponent? I think the house rule is a well intentioned attempt to find a way to realize OP's ideas but I just think it will introduce a lot more problems. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Nov 13 '18 at 12:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Recommending untested homebrew may be why the vote was switched. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Nov 13 '18 at 13:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose and NautArch, thanks for the advice. I will make it clearer that I don't recommend using homebrew without testing when suggesting solutions in future. \$\endgroup\$ – linksassin Nov 13 '18 at 13:11

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