I want to create a Battle Master fighter who uses a crossbow as his main weapon.

By RAW, you can use a Battle Master maneuver with a ranged weapon as long as the description does not say the maneuver requires a melee weapon or a melee weapon attack.

Thematically, I got some explanation on how some maneuvers function with ranged weapons. For example, the Trip Attack could be an arrow to the knee, which would force the target to fall.

But I have some trouble, thematically, on how you can push someone with a ranged weapon and the Pushing Attack maneuver. Is that up to my DM's discretion?


It works

And that's really all the game cares about. How you wish the fluff it is up to you and your DM, but as far as the game is concerned, you use a maneuver, it causes the enemy to go flying back 15 feet if they fail a strength saving throw, and that's that.

You could fluff it by aiming higher than the center of gravity or something, or perhaps it's a "covering fire" of sorts that causes them to have to quickly take 15 feet worth of steps back to avoid being punctured by a billion bolts. In reality, no single attack with a weapon is somehow going to send an enemy flying 15 feet away from you without also sending them prone, so even if you're using it with a melee weapon, it's still going to be wonky trying to explain what exactly just happened.

If your DM is okay with fluffing your character as having a few magical arrows, you could simply say that the push attack maneuver is a wind arrow / bolt that causes a burst of wind that pushes people back.

At the end of the day, don't worry too much about it. Sometimes a game mechanic is just a game mechanic.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ +1. Narrative explanation is an individual/table exercise and that's all this is. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jan 30 at 14:50

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