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When you get the Extra Attack action, you can break up your movement and attack different targets at varying distances from your starting point.

Does the same apply with TWF? As in, can I approach my first target, use my attack action, then move, and use my bonus action to attack a different target?

From PHB 195:

"When you take the Attack action and attack with a light melee weapon that you're holding in one hand, you can use a bonus action to attack with a different light melee weapon that you're holding in the other hand."

The key seems to be how to interpret "when:" either "immediately after" or "whenever (during your turn)."

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Yes you can break up the attacks from Two Weapon Fighting

The rules in the SRD make it clear that this is completely legal:

Moving between Attacks

If you take an action that includes more than one weapon attack, you can break up your movement even further by moving between those attacks. For example, a fighter who can make two attacks with the Extra Attack feature and who has a speed of 25 feet could move 10 feet, make an attack, move 15 feet, and then attack again.

Clearly, Two-Weapon Fighting involves more than one weapon attack and thus qualifies to have those attacks broken up with movement in between if so desired.

If that isn't good enough, Jeremy Crawford (official D&D rules guru) has also made it clear that this is correct:

Can 2-weapon fighting bonus action/attack be split up with movement?...

Movement can happen not only before and after an action, but it can also happen between attacks.

Note: I realize this answer comes to the same conclusion as @LegendaryDude, but I felt that the answer would be much improved with the addition of cited sources.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Two things: The SRD is not official rules material, but it is consistent with the PHB wording here. Second, TWF involves an action and a bonus action, and the rules you quote concern taking one action that involves more than one attack, not two. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Nov 16 '20 at 12:50
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Yes. Because the second attack from TWF is a bonus action, it does not need to be made as part of your regular attack action and you can use movement between them as if it were any other bonus action granted to you. Note that the same goes for the bonus action unarmed attack the monk gets when he makes a melee weapon attack with a monk weapon or an unarmed attack.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Just clarifying that you can also move between attacks granted by the Attack action if you have more than one (Extra Attack), unless otherwise specified (for example, like with the Hunter Ranger feature: Horde Breaker). \$\endgroup\$ – MrNattious Mar 2 '16 at 7:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MrNattious I didn't think clarification was necessary, since that was the general rule referenced in the question. \$\endgroup\$ – LegendaryDude Mar 2 '16 at 13:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fair enough. I misunderstood where you were speciying about how it was a bonus action as it being the reason you can move between attacks. Re-reading it now, I see it was a bit of a brain fart with reading comprehension on my part :) \$\endgroup\$ – MrNattious Mar 2 '16 at 19:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think it was a brain fart - the "you can use movement between them as if it were any other bonus action" bit is definitely misleading. If you have 4 attacks as part of your normal attack action, and a bonus action attack, you can move, attack, move, attack, move, attack, move, attack, move a bit more, attack with your bonus action, and still move again afterwards - it's got nothing to do with being able to move between bonus actions specifically. \$\endgroup\$ – Dan O'Shea Nov 17 '20 at 11:59
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I disagree with the above, here's why:

I know this is an old thread, but I wanted to put up my thoughts and see what people think because I came here when looking for rules clarification.

In my interpretation you can't split up movement between the attacks taken using Two Weapon Fighting action, actually specifically referencing the above rules snippets is where I'm taking my interpretation from. I feel like I'm going a bit mad because I seem to be the only person I can find who interprets it this way, and ordinarily I'd concede that I was wrong due to a much, much greater collective wisdom, but I wanted to throw this out there and see what people thought.

So as the above states (and I think this is actually the best evidence you can't move between the attacks granted by TWF): "If you take an action that includes more than one weapon attack...". Now with TWF you are not taking an action that includes more than one weapon attack, as it does with the extra attack feature, you are using a bonus action that is triggered upon making a melee weapon attack to then make a further attack. It is not part of the same, single attack action (as with the 'extra attack' ability, where making an attack action results in being able to make two, separate weapon attacks).

I would also consider the trigger of when it's possible to take the bonus action as "...when you make a melee attack" meaning at the time of taking that action. This bonus action could be triggered on any melee attack (considering action surges or extra attack) but only once per turn and only at the time of making a melee attack.

I feel like it doesn't make mechanical sense considering the rules quoted above, also considering that playing it this way is basically giving any character the 'extra attack' feature, which as I understand it, is supposed to be a fairly good step up in terms of player power when they reach 5th level. I might be wrong but at least using DnD beyond quite a few of the 'physical' classes came with the two weapon fighting action, I doubt that wizards and sorcerers get it.

I also feel that thematically it doesn't make sense. What we're talking about here is someone hitting someone with the sword in their right hand, then running and hitting someone else with the sword in their left hand. I mean they don't need to be using two weapons at this point. As opposed to making both of the attacks together at the same time, which would then look and feel more like two weapon fighting because you're using the weapons at the same time.

Pretty sizable post, wanted to get all my thoughts down. If anyone does want to comment and shoot this down, please specifically include which parts of the rulebooks or whatever that you're using that makes you believe it acts this way. If it is the above snippets from the previous posters then I guess we just have a different way of looking at those and I'm probably wrong considering that everyone else is on your side :)

Thanks!

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Just want to say that I do believe this answers makes sense, though you may want to quote the rules directly. I think you'll find that people would say that even if TWF is triggered by making an attack with a light melee weapon, that does not mean you must use it immediately after that attack. Of course, that's an iffy part of the rules with some features explicitly saying they happen immediately after their trigger and Crawford saying it can happen any time on that same turn. \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Nov 16 '20 at 12:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ The rules state: "You choose when to take a bonus action during your turn, unless the bonus action’s timing is specified" though it's unclear how exactly that applies to TWF. I've actually discussed this a bit before. 5e doesn't do a great job at explaining when "when" is. Just wanted to explain that I do see where this answer is coming from and which parts of it people likely disagree with. (The actual trigger for TWF and when you could actually use the BA attack depending on that trigger). \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Nov 16 '20 at 13:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ But where are my manners? Welcome to RPG.SE! Please take the tour if you haven't already done so and feel free to ask questions or visit the help center for further guidance. Best of luck and happy gaming! \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Nov 16 '20 at 13:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ To be fair to the Wizard or Sorcerer who is not multiclassing and has no racial weapon proficiencies, the only weapon they're have on the Proficiency List that this would work with is a Dagger. Dual-wielding daggers does 0.5 more damage than a two-handed quarterstaff on average if all attacks hit, but the dual-daggering dweomerer has to juggle the Object Interaction on their turn if he wants to do this in a combat where he's also slinging spells that use Somatic or Material components. \$\endgroup\$ – notovny Nov 16 '20 at 18:03

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