9
\$\begingroup\$

As the title states, I have a question about how the rules handle using the Extra Attack class feature to make two separate attacks with a two-handed weapon and a thrown weapon.


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


PHB Page 190. You can also interact with one object or feature of the environment for free, during either your move or your action. For example, you could open a door during your move as you stride toward a foe, or you could draw your weapon as part of the same action you use to attack.


Not official rule, but this developer Tweet says:

@DnDMontreal [Apr 4, 2015]:
@JeremyECrawford what are the rules on dropping weapons? People are dropping weapons to circumvent only having one 'Interaction with Object'

@JeremyECrawford [Apr 4, 2015]:
@DnDMontreal The intent is that letting go of something requires no appreciable effort. But picking it up does.


TL;DR
So, my question is, can I perform this sequence of events during my turn?

  • Start turn with Halberd in both hands
  • Let go of Halberd with one hand (either letting the pole arm hang mid-air in one hand, or propping it up with the butt-end on the ground) without using "free action"
  • Draw Javelin from storage, throw said Javelin at one target out of melee range
  • Replace second hand onto halberd to attack second target that IS within melee range
  • Use Bonus Action to do whatever I want (including possibly butt-end attack with Halberd from Polearm Master feat)

This comes up as a result of looking at a handful of other questions, and finding them all not quite capturing my own question:


I apologize for the wall of text, but based on this research, my reading is that the above scenario is allowed per RAW (and a little RAI doesn't hurt my case). I just want confirmation from the larger community to make sure that I got it right for when I present it to my DM and fellow players.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your input. I am new to DnD and table top RPGs so I didn't know about that. I have edited the post to reflect what you said. \$\endgroup\$ – Grissly May 27 at 10:55
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ No worries, it comes up quite often. But where are my manners? Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already and see the help center or ask us here in the comments (use @ to ping someone) if you need more guidance. Good Luck and Happy Gaming! \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil May 27 at 10:57
8
\$\begingroup\$

Taking one hand off a weapon does not use up any part of the action economy

There is a list of things you can do with your object interaction on your turn and a number of them involve picking things up, drawing things, or putting things away into specific places. Conspicuously missing from this list is anything about simply dropping an item nor anything about changing your grip on an item. This is especially notable because the list includes both opening and closing a door, yet only picking up a weapon, not dropping one. Thus we can conclude that dropping an item and changing your grip on an item do not use up your object interaction, nor any other part of your action economy.

Others generally agree that removing one hand from a weapon can be done for free (quotes are from the most upvoted answers):

[...] Taking your hand off the weapon should not require any action expenditure - you are just letting go of it, same as if you dropped it. [...]

[...]Release one hand from two-handed weapon (non-action) [...]

[...] Taking your hand off it in the first place should not require any action expenditure - you are just letting go of something, same as if you dropped it. [...]

Lead Rules Designer Jeremy Crawford also stated in a tweet that this is the case:

Q. what are the rules on dropping weapons? People are dropping weapons to circumvent only having one 'Interaction with Object'

A. The intent is that letting go of something requires no appreciable effort. But picking it up does.


Putting a hand onto a weapon might require your object interaction

I've written about this before and will mostly repeat from my other answers found under the following:

We don't know very many things about this scenario but we do know that drawing a weapon (going from 0-handed to not 0-handed) uses your object interaction. We also know dropping a weapon and then picking it up would require you object interaction (going from 1-handed to 0-handed to 2-handed). But I wasn't able to find anything on a direct change of handedness. Thus it would ultimately be up to the GM whether you can go from holding something in 1 hand to holding it in 2 for free.

I have personally ruled that this can be done for free and have not seen this creating any problems in my own games.

There is also this series of Crawford tweets that could be used to support this stance:

Q. Help resolve a debate. By RAI should a caster be able to prop a 2h weap against his shoulder in order to cast?

A. Yeah, I would allow it too. A two-handed weapon needs two hands to be used, but not necessarily two to be carried.

Q. He's basically saying that switching between 1 or 2 hands is a non-action.

A. That's correct.

This somewhat supports that going from 1-handed to 2-handed is a non-action, but it's not rules-based, nor is it a direct statement that that truly is meant to be the case.


That said, the answer I used earlier about Somatic components states the following:

[...] You can then use your free object interaction to restore your grip after casting. [...]

There are no quoted rules to support this stance, but the answer does have a score of 57.


Regardless, you technically cannot use your bonus action on the attack granted by the Polearm Master feat because you attacked with a javelin

A similar situation is described in the following questions:

The crux of the argument here depends on the following phrasing in the Polearm Master feat (emphasis mine):

When you take the Attack action and attack with only a glaive, halberd, quarterstaff, or spear you can use a bonus action to make a melee attack with the opposite end of the weapon. [...]

You can use this bonus action if your Attack action consists only of attacks using glaives, halberds, quarterstaves and spears; however, in your example you are throwing a javelin and thus your Attack action does not consist solely of the required attacks and thus you cannot take the bonus action granted by the feat.

That said, this is a rather small thing to draw such a distinction on and I believe a GM would be well within their rights to rule otherwise.


A summary of the action-economy requirements of your proposed scenario

  1. Start turn with Halberd in both hands

    • This just happens
  2. Let go of Halberd with one hand completely for free

    • This is how myself and others would rule
  3. Draw Javelin from storage

    • This uses your one free object interaction
  4. Throw said Javelin at one target out of melee range

    • This is part of the Attack action
  5. Replace second hand onto halberd

    • This might require a second object interaction and thus would not be possible; at my own tables this can be done for free
  6. Attack second target that is within melee range

    • This is part of the Attack action
  7. Use Bonus Action to do whatever I want, including possibly butt-end attack with Halberd from Polearm Master feat

    • This is technically not possible because your Attack action had an attack using a javelin; at my own tables I would allow using Polearm Master's bonus action attack
| improve this answer | |
\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ so if i understand your reasoning right, the contentious bit becomes whether re-gripping you polearm counts as a free object interaction (thus if it's a second interaction, it would not be free), there are arguments to be made, mostly by RAI, but up to GM. Also, if situation is allowed, I would have bonus action available, but not for PAM bonus attack because of wording "only". \$\endgroup\$ – Grissly May 27 at 20:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Grissly That's what the rules seem to say, at least to me. Though at my own tables I would definitely rule that you can do exactly what you've described and your object interaction would be used when drawing the javelin. I'm always for giving my players (especially the martial characters) more options. I'll add a summary and what I'd do at my own tables at the end \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 May 27 at 20:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ yeah i think i might like bold the parts that are the question too, for ease of reference for others. thanks mate \$\endgroup\$ – Grissly May 27 at 20:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.