Take a longsword, for example. Does the attacker choose piercing or slashing before they make the attack roll, after the attack roll is made but before the damage roll, before they make the damage roll, or even as the last part of the attack, after all the numbers are said and done?

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    \$\begingroup\$ A normal longsword does only deal slashing damage. What kind of longsword are you refering to? Are you refering to the versatile property? This property does not alter the damage type, but the damage die depending on the number of hands you use. \$\endgroup\$
    – fabian
    Commented May 13, 2019 at 22:21

1 Answer 1


You don't choose

No weapon in the PHB weapon table gives more than one damage type.

Each weapon has one type associated with it, so you just use that type.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Ah. Clearly I have to talk to my DM about some changes he made. Thank you very much. \$\endgroup\$
    – user55434
    Commented May 13, 2019 at 22:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ @user55434: Good luck. Note that even if there were such an item that allowed you to choose the damage type (or a house-rule that let you do this in general), it would (need to) specify in the weapon description or the text of the house-rule how it worked. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented May 13, 2019 at 22:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @user55434 I mean, logically...I'd say you have to pick before your attack roll...but that just be my ruling (from a narrative perspective, an Attack roll is you attempting to hit your opponent. You have to decide if you're going to slash or thrust before you try to hit them) and thus is just my opinion...not something I can actually set as an answer. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 13, 2019 at 22:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ @user55434 FWIW, multiple damage types on a weapon was a thing in previous editions, and a 5e DM who has houseruled that some weapons have multiple damage types might well be bringing that in from previous experience (though longswords were never piercing). \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    Commented May 13, 2019 at 22:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ Related on previous editions with multiple types: rpg.stackexchange.com/q/87126/48759 Note: you still don't choose, the weapon deals both types of damage, not 50/50 the entire amount counts as both. \$\endgroup\$
    – linksassin
    Commented May 14, 2019 at 0:11

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