The Crossbow Expert feat lets you use a Hand Crossbow in your offhand and take a shot when you attack with your main hand.

Most people I've seen, seem to think this will allow Dual Wielding Hand Crossbows. What I'm curious about is if you get dex mod to damage on the second shot. There are two lines of thought I've come up with on this.

Either it follows the TWF model, where you do not get the offhand weapon's modifier without an extra feat, or it follows the Monk's Bonus attack model, which grants the modifier.

I'm not sure which way to land on this.


1 Answer 1


The way the feat is worded, it's not actually using the TWF rules. The feat itself allows you to use the crossbow in your offhand as a bonus action, so you get the Dex mod to damage.

A trend can be noticed with feats is that they rarely require another feat to be useful for the character concept. (Though there are some obvious exceptions )

If the intention of the feat was to not allow you the bonus, it would instead allow you to use the handcross bow in your off hand for two weapon fighting.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Based on the numbers you gave I'd say the longbow is better. The average of 1d8 is 4.5 so the average damage would be (4)+10+Dex = 14+Dex (pessimistically). Average for 2d6 is 7, so you get average damage = 7+Dex. Of course, those are just the averages when you hit. Once you get into hit chance the question changes to "Is it better to hit more often for less damage, or less often for more damage" \$\endgroup\$
    – D.Spetz
    Commented Aug 14, 2014 at 20:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just wanted to add some math here (3 years later): For damage, crossbow expert is unequivocally better, especially against higher AC (of course, you also eat your bonus action). For instance: Per round, with a +4 Dex, Crossbow expert deals 67% more damage vs AC 15 and 112% more damage vs AC 17. You simply have more, better chances to hit. Avg dmg: Longbow vs 10 AC 9.47 Crossbow vs 10 AC 11.60 Longbow vs 15 AC 4.85 Crossbow vs 15 AC 7.85 Longbow vs 17 AC 3.00 Crossbow vs 17 AC 6.35 Longbow vs 20 AC 1.15 Crossbow vs 20 AC 4.10 anydice.com/program/e209 \$\endgroup\$
    – andrew
    Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 17:08
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ This is missing some important points... Crossbow Expert says nothing about "offhand", just that you're holding the hand crossbow. Because the hand crossbow is itself a one-handed weapon, it triggers the feat on its own and leaves a hand free (as required by the Ammunition property). \$\endgroup\$
    – T.J.L.
    Commented Mar 12, 2018 at 14:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @T.J.L. Could you write an answer based on that? \$\endgroup\$
    – Tommi
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 6:18

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