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I currently have a Pact of the Blade warlock, and recently came across a dancing sword (a rapier). I am considering making it my pact weapon, but there is still a minor inconvenience. While the dancing sword’s ability to fly up to 30 feet is a nice ability to attack at a distance, the pact weapon of a warlock is stated in the PHB to disappear if further than 5 feet from the user for a minute.

Is there a way to circumvent this, and keep it from disappearing if it's far away for more than a minute?

I am considering finding either:

  • A way to prevent the weapon from disappearing after 1 minute as long as it is more than 5 feet from me
  • A way to re-summon the weapon back into my hand without using up an action

I am considering setting a trap with the weapon - Allowing it to lay hidden until an enemy walks past it, then command it to attack.

If neither work out, I think I’m capable of living with it. A minute of combat (apparently 10 rounds) does seem like plenty of time to fly the weapon back.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Does your table allow multiclassing? \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Apr 2 at 18:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch So far nobody has multiclassed at our table for this campaign, and our DM isn’t against it. Most of us aren’t looking to do so for this campaign, but we’ve discussed this with each other and we wouldn’t mind too much if someone did. \$\endgroup\$ – Cook Doo Apr 2 at 18:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Apr 3 at 1:02
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A Dancing Blade automatically attempts to return to your hand after 4 attacks.

The Dancing Sword item description states that:

After the hovering sword attacks for the fourth time, it flies up to 30 feet and tries to return to your hand. If you have no hand free, it falls to the ground at your feet. If the sword has no unobstructed path to you, it moves as close to you as it can and then falls to the ground. It also ceases to hover if you grasp it or move more than 30 feet away from it.

You can attack once with it each round as a bonus action, so the blade will likely return to your hand after 4 rounds. Unless you spend 6 rounds using your bonus action on something else after sending the sword flying or deliberately move away from the blade after sending it out, you shouldn't have to worry about it being out of your reach for a minute.

Alternatively...

You can take 3 levels of Fighter for the Eldritch Knight Weapon Bond feature.

The Weapon Bond feature states:

At 3rd level, you learn a ritual that creates a magical bond between yourself and one weapon. You perform the ritual over the course of 1 hour, which can be done during a short rest. The weapon must be within your reach throughout the ritual, at the conclusion of which you touch the weapon and forge the bond.

Once you have bonded a weapon to yourself, you can’t be disarmed of that weapon unless you are incapacitated. If it is on the same plane of existence, you can summon that weapon as a bonus action on your turn, causing it to teleport instantly to your hand.

This will allow you to summon the blade to your hand with a bonus action.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This definitely helps remove some of my concerns, but I’m also considering creating a trap, allowing the weapon to lay in wait at a distance and attack when an enemy moves past it. \$\endgroup\$ – Cook Doo Apr 2 at 18:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ @CookDoo as a readied action? \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Apr 2 at 18:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose Makes sense, that sounds like it will work. \$\endgroup\$ – Cook Doo Apr 2 at 18:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @CookDoo Don't you have to make an attack with a dancing sword first, and then it can attack on its own for a few rounds until needs to return? I don't think a standard, non-pact, dancing sword can work for the trap. And making it a pact weapon adds the limitation of needing to remain within 5 feet. \$\endgroup\$ – Michael Richardson Apr 2 at 21:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelRichardson: Close. It's a bonus action to "toss this magic sword into the air and speak the command word", at which point it flies up to 30 feet and makes the first attack. But you're right that, as written, you can't let the sword "lie in wait" somewhere other than in your hand and then activate its ability. You need to be holding it when you activate it. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Apr 3 at 1:08

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