The Crossbow Expert feat gives three benefits, the first of which is explicitly tied to crossbows and the last of which to only hand crossbows. But in the middle, there is:

Being within 5 feet of a hostile creature doesn't impose disadvantage on your ranged attack rolls

Notably missing is a qualifier like "when attacking with a crossbow". Does this mean that the benefit applies to other ranged weapons and to spells which require ranged attack rolls? Or does the name of the feat itself limit this to crossbows?

  • \$\begingroup\$ @Nitsua60 Shouldn't the other question be closed as a duplicate of this one? This one is far older, and worded more generically. \$\endgroup\$
    – T.J.L.
    Mar 14, 2018 at 12:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @T.J.L. see meta here. I may have acted too hastily, though, so don't be shy about making an argument in the "other direction." If you do ping me and I'll delete my current "answer" and watch for a while to see where votes point. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Mar 15, 2018 at 12:34

2 Answers 2



Crossbow expert's middle feature is a general ranged enhancement and not simply a crossbow feat.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Seems strange that a longbow archer, throwing expert, or ranged caster may want to take a crossbow feat. Is there an equivalent non-crossbow feat that does the same thing for bows or other types of ranged attacks? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mag Roader
    Sep 21, 2014 at 5:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MagRoader Not with the same exact features. Sharpshooter gives nice effects for ranged characters, but if you want the shooting at 5ft benefit you'd have to take the cross bow feat. \$\endgroup\$
    – MC_Hambone
    Sep 21, 2014 at 6:09

No. Developer Mike Mearls clarified that the similarly worded opportunity attack for Polearm Master must involve a polearm attack, even if you could attack with something else, such as a spell from War Caster. I would expect the same standard to apply here.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The polearm master attack specifies the weapons you can be wielding. No such specification is made in this feat. \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    Sep 23, 2014 at 11:49
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The developers clarified here dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/sageadvice_feats that they wanted the range benefit to be generic. \$\endgroup\$
    – mmacvicar
    Feb 16, 2017 at 4:55

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