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I ran into a couple of questions while playing D&D 5th:

  1. Does drawing a weapon take an action?
  2. Does picking up a weapon from the ground take an action?
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No, drawing a weapon does not take an action. Nor does picking up a dropped weapon. Both answers are found in a sidebar on page 190 in the Player's Handbook (PHB).

Interacting with Objects Around You

Here are a few examples of the sorts of thing you can do in tandem with your movement and action:

(omitted)

  • draw or sheathe a sword
  • pick up a dropped axe

(omitted)

Note that you are allowed to interact with only one object per turn for free (p. 190, Other Activities on Your Turn, PHB). This means that you can draw or sheathe a weapon for free as part of another action (such as a move or attack), but to do both in the same turn you'll need to take the Use an Object action or have the Dual Wielder Feat (p. 165, Feats, PHB).

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You can draw or pick up a weapon without using an action, but only one of them.

In the Player's Handbook there is a feat called Dual Wielder. One of the benefits of this feat is the ability to handle two one-handed weapons for free during your turn, rather than just one.

Player's Handbook page 165:

You can draw or stow two one-handed weapons when you would normally be able to draw or stow only one.

This makes it clear that the initial rules about only interacting with one object as a free action is not only RAW but also RAI. So you can draw or pick up a weapon, but only once. If you want to interact with a second object, you will need the "Use an Object" action - unless you have the Dual Wielder feat, in which case you can draw or stow two one-handed weapons by using only one (free) object interaction.

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