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I get from the PHB that there is no general rule for disarming an opponent but only a specific rule for Battle Master fighters.

Can we assume that other classes (even other fighters subclasses) lack the training for such move or can we deduce that everyone can attempt a disarm without the superiority dice?

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The closest thing to a general rule I can see is the sidebar in the section on Grappling/Shoving a Creature (Basic Rules p.74):

Contests in Combat

Battle often involves pitting your prowess against that of your foe. Such a challenge is represented by a contest. This section includes the most common contests that require an action in combat: grappling and shoving a creature. The DM can use these contests as models for improvising others.

It certainly seems like the intention of a section like this would be to allow you to attempt special maneuvers (such as disarming) as an action in combat via a contest if you're not as trained as the Battlemaster, but, as always, it's up to the DM.

As of the DMG's release (DMG p.271), there is an officially suggested contest for disarm attempts (though, to be clear, it is still an optional rule/action that may or may not be present in any given DM's game):

Disarm

A creature can use a weapon attack to knock a weapon or another item from a target's grasp. The attacker makes an attack roll contested by the target's Strength (Athletics) check or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check. If the attacker wins the contest, the attack causes no damage or other ill effect, but the defender drops the item.

The attacker has disadvantage on its attack roll if the target is holding the item with two or more hands. The target has advantage on its ability check if it is larger than the attacking creature, or disadvantage if it is smaller.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think this is a good way to handle it. Moreover is less effective than a Battlemaster manouver (@Joshua) which inflicts considerable damage and has a harder saving throw. \$\endgroup\$ – fortuna Sep 11 '14 at 8:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 for sufficient ambiguity. I think this side-bar opens the doors for Players and DMs alike to new and exciting combat capabilities; ones we've all seen and used before if we've ever played 3.5e. This basically spells out the possibilities of disarming and tripping and possibly feinting and sundering as well. It's a gosh darn shame the spiked chain is gone (spiked chain fighters were ridiculous anyway). \$\endgroup\$ – Javelin Dec 28 '14 at 17:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ So essentially the weapon is dropped on the ground? Will it take their next action to pick it up? \$\endgroup\$ – BrightIntelDusk Aug 16 at 17:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BrightIntelDusk I believe the rules would treat retrieving the weapon from the ground as the 'free object interaction' for the turn (for the disarmer or whoever else wished to retrieve it). If they didn't wish to use their one free object interaction on retrieving it, then it would take an action. That would be better off as (or may already be) its own question if the details are a concern, however. \$\endgroup\$ – CTWind Aug 16 at 18:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ If the weapon is on the ground then an adventurer in the same party could potentially pick up the disarmed weapon, use their action to disengage and run off with the weapon. Especially if their turn in combat is before the enemy gets a turn. This would leave the enemy to pick a different weapon or modify their attack to be a hand to hand combat. Is this correct? \$\endgroup\$ – BrightIntelDusk yesterday
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The DMG adds more (optional, added to game at GM discretion) combat action options (page 271). One such optional action is the disarm action:

Disarm

A creature can use a weapon attack to knock a weapon or another item from a target's grasp. The attacker makes an attack roll contested by the target's Strength (Athletics) check or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check. If the attacker wins the contest, the attack causes no damage or other ill effect, but the defender drops the item.

The attacker has disadvantage on its attack roll if the target is holding the item with two or more hands. The target has advantage on its ability check if it is larger than the attacking creature, or disadvantage if it is smaller.

General rules for maneuvers are still not present. It takes training to do such things effectively and as a result only the Battle Master can do it.

Tripping & disarming are generally poor options anyway.

  • Tripped - no longer entire movement to get up, only costs part of move speed.
  • disarmed - drawing a new weapon is basically free (can be done as part of a weapon attack). Significant number of monsters use natural attacks and not weapons.

There rules for Grappling & Shoving a creature in the PHB pg 195. The same page mentions using them as a model for improvising other maneuvers, as CTWind's answer points out.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Which is a shame, because disarming and tripping have a long and illustrious history in warfare. Certainly tripping + bonus attack would result in advantage for the attacker. \$\endgroup\$ – PipperChip Sep 10 '14 at 16:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ Indeed.With multiple opponents the prone condition is still nasty. I admit that i like disarm mostly for role play, is a good way to show superiority or end a fight without much harm. \$\endgroup\$ – fortuna Sep 10 '14 at 17:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ -1. General rules for maneuvers are actually present. They're just not in the players' jurisdiction. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Sep 10 '14 at 17:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie no they aren't. There are some super general rules for contests, but those are not the kind of general rules that this answer would be referring to. "DM discretion" is not a general rule. \$\endgroup\$ – wax eagle Sep 10 '14 at 17:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ @waxeagle It is in 5e... \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Sep 10 '14 at 20:28
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The DMG has rules for disarming on page 271. It is an attack roll vs the target's Athletics or Acrobatics check.

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Disarm / Trip, Whatever: with standard Rules: You make a contest as usual (or with battlemaster i.e.) do no Damage, and have the effect. Be a battlemaster and you do damage (and superiority Die Extra Damage) in the Same action.

Regarding: Tripping is not worth it: it is, if you have More Attacks per Round, or If you have friends who can use the the situation to their advantage, or if you simply want to run away

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1: DM Book Disarming: Deals no damage. It does not state the item drops at the targets feet. Have it land x distance and y direction (judgement based on item size/weight/obstacles etc..) Possibly even at the feet of either target or disarmer. The target may draw an attack of opportunity if it leaves the disarmers reach to retrieve the object or could disengage as its full action to avoid the AoOpp.

2 Battlemaster Disarming: Their disarm does damage but the object falls at the opponents feet.

Interacting: I would suggest in order for the disarmer to interact with the object they must move to be within 5ft of where the object lands. This could mean drawing an attack of opportunity by leaving their opponents range.

I would not allow the disarmer to interact with an object directly under the target. The target would have to be moved (pushed...and in keeping with a battlemasters abilities to control the battlefield) or move itself first.

Just the rules I use:)

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