My Cleric has the War Caster feat, a mace in his right hand, and a shield in his left. He casts inflict wounds, which requires a touch attack to be executed against an opposing enemy, a goblin for instance.

If the cleric uses his mace as a means to touch the creature, would this function as a touch attack? Would this deal mace damage in addition to the Inflict wounds? Why or why not?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Would the mace deal damage to the opponent? Or would 'inflict wounds' be the only damage calculated? \$\endgroup\$
    – Sakmet
    Feb 6 '16 at 3:06

All the Warcaster feat does is negates the need to have one hand free to cast the Somatic component of spells, so long as your hands are occupied by either weapons and/or a shield.

It doesn't allow you to cast spells through a weapon.

Inflict Wounds allows you to make a melee spell attack not a melee weapon attack. As such, unless otherwise stated in the spell's description, only the spell damage is inflicted, not the weapon damage.

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    \$\begingroup\$ And given that your character's hands are full at the time, I believe the appropriate thing to do is to narrate your character performing the touch spell attack as a righteous hip-bump. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 27 '19 at 19:57

The feat lets you keep your mace in your hand while casting

While there is no "touch attack" in 5e D&D, let's walk through how Inflict Wounds works.

Inflict Wounds has both Verbal and Somatic components. Somatic components require (p. 203 PHB):

free use of at least one hand to perform these gestures.

The simplest thing to do without the feat is to drop or sheathe the mace and cast Inflict Wounds, per the spell. Dropping or sheathing the mace costs you neither an action nor a bonus action. Refer to page 190 of the PHB and the "Other Activity on Your Turn" section:

Your turn can include a variety of flourishes that require neither your action nor your move.

As well as the "Interacting with Objects Around You" sidebar:

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

  • draw or sheathe a sword

Since you could draw or sheathe a weapon as one such interaction, dropping or sheathing your mace leaves your hand free to cast that spell.

You can't cast the spell through your mace, though. You need a free hand ...unless you have the War Caster feat (PHB, p. 170). In that case, you can cast the spell with the mace in your hand.

You can perform the somatic components of spells even when you have weapons or a shield in one or both hands.

Because you have the feat, you can cast the spell and Inflict Wounds does the damage if you score a hit. That spells requires that you roll for a hit. (See page 205 of the PHB, and spell description on page 253 of the PHB).

On a hit, the target takes 3d10 necrotic damage.

Your mace isn't part of that attack.


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