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I'm asking RAW, not "talk with your DM." Thank you for your help beforehand.

Pact of the Blade says "You can't affect an artifact or sentient weapon in this way" in regards to making a magic weapon your pact weapon.

A Hexblade is a sentient magic weapon, as read in XGtE, "a force that manifests in sentient magic weapons..."

It sounds to me like you cannot turn your patron into your pact weapon, which would be very self defeating because you're effectively making a contract with a living weapon to be able to better wield other weapons.

Am I interpreting this correctly or overthinking it?

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3 Answers 3

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The Hexblade is the warlock, not the weapon

Let's start by reading the Hexblade description carefully. From Xanathar's Guide to Everything, page 55:

You have made your pact with a mysterious entity from the Shadowfell - a force that manifests in sentient magic weapons [...] The shadowy force behind these weapons can offer power to warlocks who form pacts with it.

(emphasis mine)

Note that the Hexblade Warlock is not making a pact with a sentient weapon, nor are they necessarily in possession of one. Rather, they are making a pact with a being that also creates and manifests within sentient weapons. The warlock may then wield a mundane or magical weapon as their pact blade, following the normal rules for pact weapons.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry, this doesn't answer the core of my question. I misinterpreted the first part, this is true. But even though the contract is being made with an entity who created the weapon, it still leaves us with the matter of the weapon itself being described as "sentient" in the patron description. \$\endgroup\$
    – user67505
    Dec 20, 2020 at 5:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ That doesn't sound right. Do you mean the Hexblade is the patron? \$\endgroup\$
    – Anagkai
    Dec 20, 2020 at 10:51
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I think I found my answer myself hidden within the flavor.

The description of the Hexblade is very misleading because it keeps referring to weapons. This put the idea in my mind the player was receiving some kind of magical weapon at level 1. There is nothing in the archetype features bestowing the player a weapon.

The word "manifest" did not help either. Now I understand the proper interpretation of the passage is the patron(s) themselves is/are weapon craftsman of sorts, and we only know they exist because of the weapons they created. It works in the same way we know a black hole exists; we can observe the effects even though we cannot see the body itself.

Thank you to those of you who were friendly and did their best to help me. Sorry to everyone else if you feel I wasted your time.

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That isn't right

You aren't forming a pact with a sentient weapon. You are forming a pact with the entity who empowers some of them with it's own essence.

The restriction on sentient weapons and artifacts only refers to the ability to place said weapon into an extradimensional space while you aren't using it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The first part of your response has already been clarified. Thank you all the same. The issue on how extensive the restriction on sentient weapons and artifacts is debatable. It can just as easily be interpreted as including the entire section of the feature. "You can transform one magic weapon into you pact weapon [...] You can't affect an artifact or sentient weapon in this way." \$\endgroup\$
    – user67505
    Dec 20, 2020 at 5:58

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