Let's say that there's a magic greatsword that provides some sort of a useful boon: say, it gives you advantages on all of your saving throws vs. spells.

Should I allow a character to simply hold that weapon in one of their free hands just for the sake of leveraging that boon. This character has no intention whatsoever of ever using the magic greatsword as a weapon, and in fact almost never has any intention of making a melee weapon attack since they are a spellcaster.

That the character does not even have proficiency with greatswords is another interesting, if completely tangential, fact.

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    \$\begingroup\$ What is the actual description of the item? It might make a difference. \$\endgroup\$ – Szega Feb 14 at 10:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you asking "If the magic item doesn't specify, can you just hold it in one hand to gain its benefits" or "I've made this magic item; should I let them gain the benefits just by holding it in one hand?" They are very different questions. You ask the former in the title, but the body of the post seems to imply the latter. And if it's an entirely hypothetical item... How can we answer the question? \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Feb 14 at 11:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast My question was the former. :) The reason I use phrasing like "should I allow" is because this was a custom homebrew item from an adventure one of the players ran as a DM for the party I DM for. \$\endgroup\$ – natlee75 Feb 14 at 17:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Szega It gives the wielder a +2 bonus to their spell save DC. \$\endgroup\$ – natlee75 Feb 14 at 17:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ So it says "While you wield this weapon, your spell save DC increases by 2."? Also, please edit the additional info you provided in comments into the question. \$\endgroup\$ – Szega Feb 14 at 20:45

Yes, the character can hold a two handed weapon in only one hand

The two-handed feature for weapons says:

Two-Handed. This weapon requires two hands to use.

However the PHB errate offers further clarification:

Two-Handed (p. 147). This property is relevant only when you attack with the weapon, not when you simply hold it.

So, a two-handed weapon takes two hands to use, but when not being used to attack can be held in one hand without incurring a penalty on any other actions.

As long as the boons which the magic greatsword provides the PC with are passively active - (i.e. the do not require the greatsword to be used in an attack, in order to be triggered) then simply holding it in one hand should be enough to gain the benefit of these boons.


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