A player with a loxodon artificer wants to wield a shield and use a sling, blowgun, or hand crossbow, where the loxodon's trunk grasps the weapon and frees one hand to load the ammunition.
Is this within the 5E rules?
A loxodon trunk can't wield weapons or shields or do anything that requires manual precision, such as using tools or magic items or performing the somatic components of a spell. It can lift and grasp things, open/close doors and containers, grapple, and shove, among other uses. (Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica, p. 18)
The ammunition and loading rule is that: "Drawing the ammunition from a quiver, case, or other container is part of the attack (you need a free hand to load a one-handed weapon)."
Loading the three weapons in question would require the trunk to:
- Take a stone from an open bag and place it on the sling pouch.
- Grasp the blowgun, freeing the hand to retrieve and load a dart into the mouthpiece.
- Grasp the crossbow, freeing the hand to wind and load.
Would any of that be 'wielding' a weapon?
What's the difference between wielding versus holding a weapon? Would any of that require 'precision'?
Loading, by rule, is part of the attack, and the trunk can't be used to attack. However, in the latter two cases, the free hand does the loading, and the trunk only grasps the weapon. The sling, in contrast, has the trunk loading and the hand grasping.
Could the loxodon player get around this by grasping the sling with the trunk, loading with the free hand, and swapping the loaded sling from the trunk back to the hand?
The description of the loxodon trunk says it's my decision as the DM, but I'm looking for specific rules or Sage Advice (if any) on which I can base that decision.