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I've been studying up on disarm interactions, and how you might be able to pick up a weapon after you disarmed your enemy of it.

The issue I'm facing is: none of the threads I'm seeing mention anything about what it takes to interact with an object (in particular, pick it up and stash it in your inventory) when your hands are full.


That brings me to question 1:

If, I can supposedly just pick up the enemies weapon after I knock it out of his hands, does it take having a free hand?

If I knocked a weapon out of an enemy's hands while wielding a weapon and a shield, can I just pick his weapon up and stash it? Or would it pretty much require me dropping my weapon to pick his up (effectively making disarm pointless if I attempt it on my own if what I am holding is better than, or equal to, what he has)?


second question: It takes an action to don or doff a shield; can one don a shield from their back without using an item interaction to have it in hand? I'm wondering if I have a shield on my person, but not in hand, and disarmed an enemy, assuming it takes the use object interaction to pick up his weapon (and another to stow it). Then, on the following turn, can I stow the weapon I picked up with my object interaction action, and use my action to don a shield (without an object interaction to take my shield out)?

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    \$\begingroup\$ How, narratively, would you pick something up without a free hand (or similar appendage)? \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Feb 5 at 5:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast Good point! \$\endgroup\$ – Dezvul Feb 5 at 5:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, relevant meta: 1 post - 1 question , is it a rule or a guideline or what? \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Feb 5 at 5:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you referring to the optional Disarm rules in the DMG or the battlemaster's Disarm maneuver? Asking mostly to understand if you are using this mechanic for everyone or just asking about the battlemaster feature. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Feb 5 at 12:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ It was in reference to the optional disarm rules \$\endgroup\$ – Dezvul Feb 6 at 1:06
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Yes, you can pick up an item as a free action

The examples for free object interaction state:

Here are a few examples of the sorts of thing you can do in tandem with your movement and action:

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  • pick up a dropped axe

As for the rest of your questions:

  • If, I can supposedly just pick up the enemies weapon after I knock it out of his hands, does it take having a free hand? Yes, you need a free hand to pick up an object

  • If I knocked a weapon out of an enemy's hands while wielding a weapon and a shield, can I just pick his weapon up and stash it? You cannot wield a weapon in a hand with a weapon or shield, but you can carry one. If you can describe it then your DM may allow it, eg; "I let go of my shield and let it hang from my arm, then reach down and grab the enemy's axe"

  • Or would it pretty much require me dropping my weapon to pick his up (effectively making disarm pointless if I attempt it on my own if what I am holding is better than, or equal to, what he has)? You could always drop yours in a safe place (behind you?) or better yet, just kick the enemy's weapon away.

  • Can you pick up an item sending it directly to inventory as one object interaction? or does it take a second item interaction to do so? Inventory doesn't exist. You can pick up an item for free, you can put an item in your backpack for free, but to do both on one turn you need to use an action.

  • It takes an action to don or doff a shield; can one don a shield from their back without using an item interaction to have it in hand? Retrieving something from your backpack or a pouch requires item interaction, so I would assume so would taking something off your back. Examples that are given as free interaction: "withdraw a potion from your backpack" "fish a few coins from your belt pouch"

  • I'm wondering if I have a shield on my person, but not in hand, and disarmed an enemy, assuming it takes the use object interaction to pick up his weapon (and another to stow it). Then, on the following turn, can I stow the weapon I picked up with my object interaction action, and use my action to don a shield (without an object interaction to take my shield out)? I doubt it, your DM may be more lenient. You could instead drop the weapon behind you, or instead of picking it up in the first place, just kick it away.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch In combat you have no facing mechanically, however it is unarguable that PCs do in fact face some direction. That direction is usually towards the enemy, therefore behind you means "on the side opposite the enemy". \$\endgroup\$ – pllpnakjlx Feb 6 at 0:36

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