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Can a Hexblade warlock create a ranged pact weapon using the Hex Warrior feature, assuming they do not have the Improved Pact Weapon eldritch invocation?

I'm pretty sure they can't, because it's not stated as such (the way I read it, at least). But what gives me some doubts is how the sentence is worded:

[...] this benefit extends to every pact weapon you conjure with that feature, no matter the weapon's type.

I think what's intended is to say that the two-handed property restriction does not apply.

Note: Remember that a Hexblade is already proficient in both simple and melee weapons.

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Hex Warrior does not change the types of weapons you can conjure with The Pact of the Blade feature.

Nothing in Hex Warrior indicates that it changes what weapons are available for Pact of the Blade. Rather, it states that Hex Warrior applies to your Pact Weapon, whatever that weapon happens to be:

If you later gain the Pact of the Blade feature, this benefit extends to every pact weapon you conjure with that feature, no matter the weapon’s type.

It is just saying “this works with your pact weapon”. Thus, even with Hex Warrior, Pact of the Blade’s restriction to a melee weapon still applies:

You can choose the form that this melee weapon takes each time you create it

So no, Hex Warrior does not allow you to select a ranged weapon as your pact weapon. The purpose of "no matter the weapon's type" is to override the previous restriction placed on the benefits of Hex Warrior:

Whenever you finish a long rest, you can touch one weapon that you are proficient with and that lacks the two-handed property.

If the weapon you are choosing for Hex Warrior is your pact weapon from Pact of the Blade, then the restriction to non-two-handed weapons does not apply.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Worth mentioning Improved Pact Weapon invocation too, which includes the text "Finally, the weapon you conjure can be a shortbow, longbow, light crossbow, or heavy crossbow." - that backs up this answer, and shows that those ranged weapons must still be exceptions unless that invocation is taken. It also gives the OP a way to have ranged pact weapons, if that is what they are looking for \$\endgroup\$ Sep 14, 2021 at 9:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NeilSlater I think OP is aware, they mention it in the question. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 14, 2021 at 9:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, I missed that. Anthough the wording from Improved Pact Weapon is a positive, not implicit, wording that explains how the others fit together. For instance it explains why they have used "no matter the weapon's type" in the Hex Warrior description, it will allow Hex Warrior to apply to the additional weapons from Improved Pact Weapon. If it only over-rode 2 Handed pact weapons as suggested by OP, then ranged weapons from IPW could not benefit from Hex Warrior. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 14, 2021 at 10:04
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A Hexblade can choose a ranged weapon, but that doesn’t make it a pact weapon

The Hexblade patron allows a Warlock to select a weapon to grant it a variety of benefits, many of which are fairly similar to the benefits that the pact weapon of a Pact of the Blade Warlock receives.

However, there are a variety of differences. Most importantly, the Hexblade’s chosen weapon is not (automatically) called a pact weapon. It might be similar, but it is distinct—and anything that refers to “pact weapon” refers only to the weapon chosen with Pact of the Blade—which isn’t (necessarily) the Hexblade weapon.

Part of the confusion here is that many Warlocks often choose the same weapon for both Hexblade and Pact of the Blade. If you do that, then your Hexblade chosen weapon gets all the benefits of being a pact weapon—because it is one. But you could choose to keep them separate if you want, to have two weapons with similar benefits. And for that matter, a Hexblade doesn’t even have to choose Pact of the Blade in the first place.

But with that cleared up, the answer to this question becomes clear: a Hexblade can choose a ranged weapon for their Hexblade features, but that doesn't make it a pact weapon. To make it a pact weapon, they have to choose it with Pact of the Blade—and they can’t unless they have the Improved Pact Weapon invocation.

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  • You can't create / materialize something that isn't listed as a "melee weapon" without extra invocations.
  • There are "melee weapon" weapons that have the Thrown property, like daggers and spears, and you can create one of those out of thin air as your Pact Weapon as an Action, and then throw it with +Cha hit/damage (from Hex Warrior) with another Action. (And then go pick it up, or spend another action to summon another.)
  • You can use Hex Warrior (+Cha) with a ranged 2h weapon like a longbow or heavy crossbow if you have a magic one that you do the ritual over to make into your Pact Weapon, otherwise not without extra invocations.
  • You can use Hex Warrior (+Cha) with a ranged 1h weapon like a Hand Crossbow, Blowgun, Dart, Sling, Net (non-damaging), without even taking Pact of the Blade. As a Hexblade, you're proficient with martial weapons. You still can't summon / create one with Pact of the Blade. The no-2h limit prevents this from working with Light/Heavy Crossbow or any regular Bow.

Only the first point really answers your specific question, but they're highly related and may help understand exactly what the interaction of these separate features does/doesn't allow.
Explanation / justification of those points:


I think what's intended is to say that the two-handed property restriction does not apply.

Correct, any weapon you materialize as (or make into) your Pact Weapon works with Hex Warrior (+Cha instead of +Str or +Dex). So it bypasses the restriction against 2h weapons for Hex Warrior. But does not remove the "melee" weapon restriction for materializing a Pact Weapons.


Interestingly, if you have an existing magic weapon of any kind, including a bow, you can make it into your Pact Weapon, and thus use Hex Warrior with it for +Cha hit/damage.

You can transform one magic weapon into your pact weapon by performing a special ritual while you hold the weapon. [...]

Notice the lack of mention of "melee" weapon in this paragraph, so you can definitely make it your pact weapon.

Does the Hexblade Warlock's Hex Warrior feature apply to a magic weapon that is transformed into your Pact Weapon? argues that the "this benefit extends to every pact weapon you conjure with that feature" wording in Hex Warrior applies even to pre-existing magical weapons that you made into your Pact Weapon. (Perhaps not artifact / sentient ranged weapons, though, since you can't dismiss / summon them even if you bond one as a Pact Weapon.)

Thematically it's cool and believable that a Hexblade / Pact of the Blade gets extra benefits from a magical weapon.


Hand Crossbow and other 1h ranged weapons

Notice that Hex Warrior alone says:

Whenever you finish a long rest, you can touch one weapon that you are proficient with and that lacks the two-handed property. When you attack with that weapon, you can use your Charisma modifier, instead of Strength or Dexterity, for the attack and damage rolls.

That no-2h is the only requirement. No mention of being a "melee weapon", or getting the bonus only for "melee attacks". It can't be a Pact Weapon because these are not melee weapons (unless you have a magic one and make it your Pact Weapon as above), so you can't summon these from thin air. Even if you could, it would still need ammo. You will have to carry one around with you, along with ammo.

All of the following are ranged weapons without the Two-handed property:

  • Hand Crossbow ranged weapon (martial, crossbow): 1d6 30/120, properties: Light, Loading, Range
  • Blowgun ranged weapon (martial, blowgun): 25/100, props: Loading, Range
  • Dart ranged weapon (simple): 1d4 20/60, props: Finesse, Range, Thrown
  • Sling ranged weapon (simple, sling): 1d4 30/120 props: Range
  • Net ranged weapon (martial, net) no damage listed 5/15 props: Range, Thrown

Melee Pact Weapons you can throw

You can throw your pact weapon. It disappears if it's more than 5ft from you for more than 1 minute, so that's no obstacle to throwing. It can be any "melee weapon".

Since it's a Pact Weapon, you automatically get to use Hex Warrior with it, although there aren't any "Two-handed, Thrown" weapons. I searched Roll20's 5e SRD item database for melee weapons with the Thrown property, and none of them also had Two-handed. Spear is Versatile, so you can use two hands while making melee attacks with it, but you could do that (and still use Hex Warrior's +Cha instead of +Str) with a mundane spear you had with you, because the rule doesn't say you can't use both hands on a Versatile weapon, it says the weapon can't have the Two-handed property.

This is of course of limited utility because it takes an Action to summon a Pact Weapon. And unless you walk over to it after throwing (to pick it up with a free object interaction), you don't have it anymore after throwing it.

You're much better off using a hand crossbow or carrying multiple hand axes, light hammers, javelins, or even darts, than to spend every other Action on summoning a new weapon.

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