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So I'm wielding a two handed sword. Can I grapple with one hand and use the 2hd sword as a improvised weapon? Obviously the damage dice would be less.

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2 Answers 2

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You do not need Tavern Brawler

Improvised Weapon will let you wield a 2h sword in 1 hand:

An improvised weapon includes any object you can wield in one or two hands, such as broken glass, a table leg, a frying pan, a wagon wheel, or a dead goblin.

It goes without saying that a sword is an object.

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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 I add explicit information about Tavern Brawler, I'm not sure if I want to assume that the player has no idea how improvised weapons work, I generally prefer more focused answers rather than info dumping everything possibly related to the question. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 13, 2019 at 0:11
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Yes, but Tavern Brawler isn't required.

PHB, p. 147

An improvised weapon includes any object you can wield in one or two hands.

Assuming you can hold the sword in one hand, you can use it as an improvised weapon.

PHB, p. 148

An object that bears no resemblance to a weapon deals 1d4 damage.

As the sword resembles a weapon, the DM would select the damage die.

Even though it's not required, Tavern Brawler still has some benefits. As per Tavern Brawler, you would have proficiency on the attack roll.

You are proficient with improvised weapons

Tavern Brawler also allows you attempt a grapple on a bonus action after making an attack with an improvised weapon.

When you hit a creature with an unarmed strike or an improvised weapon on your turn, you can use a bonus action to attempt to grapple the target.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Isn't there a difference between "wield in one hand" and "hold in one hand"? \$\endgroup\$ Dec 13, 2019 at 0:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Gandalfmeansme Here's a video of someone using a two handed sword with one hand. youtube.com/watch?v=DbNL_At0IVw \$\endgroup\$
    – NeutralTax
    Dec 13, 2019 at 0:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why would the DM determine the damage die? \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Dec 13, 2019 at 0:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch It says if the weapon bears no resemblance to a weapon you default to a d4 \$\endgroup\$
    – NeutralTax
    Dec 13, 2019 at 0:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch I initially misread the "DM selects the damage type" section. I still stand by interpretation though. \$\endgroup\$
    – NeutralTax
    Dec 13, 2019 at 0:35

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