Solars have the following weapon attack on their stat block:

Slaying Longbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +13 to hit, range 150/600 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d8 + 6) piercing damage plus 27 (6d8) radiant damage. If the target is a creature that has 100 hit points or fewer, it must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or die.

If you defeat a solar, can you take its Slaying Longbow and use it?


3 Answers 3


It's up to the DM.

D&D 5e Monster Manual p.11, under Equipment, says (emphasis mine):

A stat block rarely refers to equipment, other than weapons used by a monster. A creature that customarily wears clothes, such as a humanoid, is assumed to be dressed appropriately.

You can equip monsters with additional gear and trinkets however you like, using the equipment chapter of the Player's Handbook for inspiration, and you decide how much of a monster's equipment is recoverable after the creature is slain and whether any of that equipment is still usable.

Hence it's entirely up to the DM whether you can take and use a solar's bow.

Strictly speaking, a monster attack entry only defines how that weapon works when the monster uses it. The rules don't define whether the slaying effect is a property of the solar or its bow, or what its stats would be if a player acquired it as a magic item, so that's up the DM too.

It would be an exceptionally powerful item (like the 9th level spell power word kill but it allows a save, so approximately as strong as an 8th level spell for free on every attack), so the DM would be within reason to deny the item on balance grounds.

Also note that you don't get the solar's attack and damage bonuses, but rather your own, as is normal for a character wielding a longbow. You don't get the 6d8 radiant damage, which is clearly stated to be from the solar's inherent Angelic Weapons property. You'd also probably have difficulty using what is presumably a longbow sized for a Large creature.

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    \$\begingroup\$ @Erik Is that listed in the solar's equipment section? Or is it listed under the solar's special abilities? Maybe the solar shouts, "Slaying Longbow!" when it uses the ability, like in an anime... \$\endgroup\$
    – Oblivious Sage
    Jun 27, 2019 at 17:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ fwiw: it seems to be inspired from 3.5e, where these were described as "+2 composite longbows that create any sort of slaying arrow when drawn" (unsure if you could retain Angel weapons after defeating them though in previous editions) \$\endgroup\$ Jun 27, 2019 at 17:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ It might be worth discussing why a DM might or might not choose to let the longbow be recoverable. (For example, the impact on game balance of its special abilities in a player's hands.) \$\endgroup\$ Jun 27, 2019 at 20:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MattVincent: If history is of interest, solars were first statted out by Gygax in Dragon #64 (Aug 1982), then appeared in the 1E Monster Manual II (1983) in basically the same form. The text in both says, "Each has a huge composite bow (36” range) and various Arrows of Slaying". \$\endgroup\$ Jun 28, 2019 at 3:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you go by 3.PF (which isn't the same system but has specific rules for this), an angel's equipment generally isn't really equipment and it's more manifested special properties that the angel channels into it. A Solar can do its slaying arrow trick with any bow, though it generally carries a pretty good one regardless. \$\endgroup\$
    – Almadel
    Jun 28, 2019 at 8:25

First, the Slaying Longbow is listed under the Actions section, and there is no equipment listed for the Solar, so it is up to the DM whether the Solar uses persistent weapons, or forms them at the time of attack, meaning there may not be any weapon to loot.

As for the Slaying Longbow attack, there are 3 parts, attack, damage, and special:

Ranged Weapon Attack: +13 to hit, range 150/600 ft., one target.

As in any other attacks in 5e, the + to hit is a result of the creature itself and any listed bonuses, none of which are present, so you would only use the range and target traits.

Hit: 15 (2d8 + 6) piercing damage plus 27 (6d8) radiant damage.

As in any other attack, this lists the average, die, and ability modifier damage done by this weapon (dependent upon the creature), but also lists bonus radiant damage, which is the result of one of the Solar's traits:

Angelic Weapons. The solar's weapon attacks are magical. When the solar hits with any weapon, the weapon deals an extra 6d8 radiant damage (included in the attack).

This indicates that the weapon itself does not do the additional 6d8 radiant damage, so you would not be able to make use of it.

In addition, there is a special section of the attack not present elsewhere:

If the target is a creature that has 100 hit points or fewer, it must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or die.

Which is likely a special attack trait of the Solar, that is not present within the weapon.

Now, assuming the attack is made with a persistent longbow that can be looted, the only info we have for it is a damage of 2d8 piercing, meaning you would not have access to any special properties.
In addition, because the Solar is of size Large, the longbow might be oversized.

Applying all of the above, if the longbow is capable of being looted, you would have a ranged weapon that does 2d8 + Dexterity modifier damage, and which may be oversized.
Finally, it would of course be up to your DM if you can loot the weapon, what properties it has, and if it is magical or not.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This answer could be improved by providing support for the "2d8" nature of the longbow. You may want to include the equipment size optional rules in the Dungeon Master's Guide. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 27, 2019 at 18:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DavidCoffron Thanks for the suggestion, I decided to go ahead a rewrite my response for clarity, if you think anything is still to0 vague, please let my know. \$\endgroup\$
    – Journer
    Jun 27, 2019 at 20:35

Not in Adventurer's League. In Adventurer's League, you earn Treasure Checkpoints that can be cashed in for magic items, based on their Rarity and the magic item table that they appear on. Since the Solar's Slaying Longbow is not listed on any magic item tables, and it does not have a Rarity, this means that it is not available for a player to use.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Is there any indication that OP is playing in AL? (Also, is there any indication the longbow is a magic item? ...Along the same vein: Does AL say anything about special kinds of nonmagical equipment?) \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Jun 28, 2019 at 6:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also: ...from what I know, the Treasure Checkpoint system is no longer a thing in AL season 9. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Nov 3, 2019 at 5:28

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