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I have a level 4 Paladin with the Dual Wielder feat (PHB p. 165):

You master fighting with two weapons, gaining the following benefits:

  • You gain a +1 bonus to AC while you are wielding a separate melee weapon in each hand.
  • You can use two-weapon fighting even when the one-handed melee weapons you are wielding aren't light.
  • You can draw or stow two one-handed weapons when you would normally be able to draw or stow only one.

He does not have the Two-Weapon Fighting fighting style. He is wielding a longsword in one hand and a handaxe in his other (a thrown weapon).

Can the paladin throw the handaxe, switch grips on the longsword to hold it two-handed, and then use his bonus action from Two-Weapon Fighting to swing the longsword as a two-handed weapon?

If yes, can he then end his turn by drawing another handaxe (2nd free object interaction for Dual Wielder, and assuming he has another axe to draw)?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hello and welcome to RPG.SE. Please take the tour and visit the help center page. I have edited your question to make it more clear what you are asking. Please review my edit to make sure the intent of your question has been retained -- if you don't like my changes feel free to revert to your original version or edit it yourself. :) \$\endgroup\$ – LegendaryDude Apr 26 '16 at 17:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ related: Are you still two-weapon fighting if you've thrown one of your weapons... \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Apr 26 '16 at 18:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ Z.Moe, this site isn't a discussion forum. Instead of using comments to debate on multiple answers, feel free to write what you think is the conclusive answer to your own question, using the insights you've gathered. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Apr 26 '16 at 21:53
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No

But the argument is not so straightforward.

The problem with this question is that the RAW are murky enough to allow for some leeway in interpretation. Going by RAI, the intention was clearly to use Two-Weapon Fighting with one-handed weapons, and not game the system by attacking with a versatile weapon while holding it in two hands, arguing that it still counts as a one-handed weapon for the Dual Wielder feat.

The Rules

Dual Wielder

You can use two-weapon fighting even when the one-handed melee weapons you are wielding aren’t light.

While this qualifies the longsword for two-weapon fighting, the Versatile property states that:

Versatile

This weapon can be used with one or two hands. A damage value in parentheses appears with the property—the damage when the weapon is used with two hands to make a melee attack.

This explicitly states the need to use both hands to make a two-handed attack and use the bigger weapon dice, thus disqualifying this use case from the Dual Wielder requirement (one-handed melee weapons).

The Conclusion

While you can use a thrown handaxe and then attack with the longsword, you can only do so using the one-handed dice the Versatile weapon tag provides.

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No. When you switch your grip to use both hands, the longsword is no longer "in the other hand" because it's now also in the first hand. "Other" denotes that it is not in the first. Two weapon fighting no longer applies.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Apr 26 '16 at 21:49
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Whatever your DM rules is correct

The rules themselves are ambiguous and turn on what "holding in the other hand" means and since the rules are written in English not Boolean logic this is not clear.

One interpretation is that so long as the weapon is "in the other hand" it doesn't matter that it is in the first hand as well. This allows the use of a versatile weapon.

The other is that "the other hand" means not the first hand. This disallows the use of a versatile weapon.

For what it's worth, I would rule the second way since English must be read in context and "the other hand" is juxtaposed with the "one hand" from earlier in the sentence. In context "the other hand" means not the one you already used. As a player, I would be satisfied with either ruling from the DM.

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Yes, there is nothing wrong with your build, and you can draw the handaxe again as a free object interaction.

The Dual Wielder feat removes the light limitation on your weapons. It also gives you an extra object interaction (might not be needed, but gripping the long sword might be considered an object interaction by some DM's).

PHB pg 165:

DUAL WIELDER

You master fighting with two weapons, gaining the following benefits:

  • You gain a +1 bonus to AC while you are wielding a separate melee weapon in each hand.

  • You can use two-weapon fighting even when the one handed melee weapons you are wielding aren't light.

  • You can draw or stow two one-handed weapons when you would normally be able to draw or stow only one.

PHB pg 195:

TWO-WEAPON FIGHTING

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. You don't add your ability modifier to the damage of the bonus attack, unless that modifier is negative.

If either weapon has the thrown property, you can throw the weapon, instead of making a melee attack with it.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The problem here is not in the interaction economy, but in the fact that neither Dual Wielder nor Two-weapon fighting work with two-handed weapons. You can swing the longsword, yes, but only as a one-handed weapon. \$\endgroup\$ – Meta4ic Apr 27 '16 at 11:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ While I really wanted this to be true, it specifically calls out one hand... \$\endgroup\$ – Jason_c_o Jul 19 '18 at 9:32
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Yes to both parts of your question.

The bonus action attack from two-weapon fighting normally only applies when you are wielding a light melee weapon in both hands. The dual wield feat removes the light requirement, but it still has the following requirement:

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.

Since you've already satisfied "tak[ing] the attack action with a melee weapon you're holding in one hand" to earn the bonus attack action, you're holding a different melee weapon in the other hand, and we know you can freely draw a second weapon from the dual wielder feat, there is nothing restricting the course of action you have described. Some DMs might not even require you to use your interaction to switch grips (I probably wouldn't).

Note that this is possible with just about any melee weapon that has the thrown property in combination with any versatile weapon. If you're wielding tridents or spears (both of which are versatile and thrown), you could even throw your spear as an attack, make a second attack with two hands on your remaining spear, then draw a third spear to remain fully armed.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ not that it really matters to the question- but handaxe was picked because I "refluffed" them into a throwable shortsword (called a "Gladius" to avoid confusion w/normal shortswords). This satisfies my "half-orc who throws swords instead of daggers" urge without dealing with the nasty mechanics of actually throwing a sword. \$\endgroup\$ – Z.Moe Apr 26 '16 at 20:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ Can the second weapon actually be drawn or stowed at a different time than the first one? I always assumed it is intended to be read as "when drawing or stowing a weapon, you can now draw or stow two weapons at once." Might that merit a separate question? \$\endgroup\$ – ammut Apr 26 '16 at 20:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ "When you take the Attack action and attack with a [...] melee weapon that you’re holding in one hand" - If you're holding it in two hands, does it still qualify? \$\endgroup\$ – Adeptus Apr 27 '16 at 1:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Adeptus When you make an attack by throwing your handaxe that you are holding in one hand, you can use a bonus action to attack with the longsword you're holding in the other hand. I don't see a problem with the player using a "non-action" to switch grips on the sword at the moment of the bonus action attack. \$\endgroup\$ – LegendaryDude Apr 27 '16 at 12:27
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Although it does bend the strict RAW a bit, I would allow a character to do this. Do note, though, that without the TWF fighting style, your longsword swing in this example will not have your strength bonus added to its damage.

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No, he can't do it- but he can absolutely do something similar at 5th level. If the Paladin was 5th level and possessed the Dual Wielder feat (and thus had the extra attack feature) he could attack versatile for the second attack, because as a Sage Advice on Extra Attack said:

Extra Attack imposes no limitation on what you use for the attacks.

In the example given the Paladin doesn't have the Two Weapon Fighting Style so the only reason to use this technique would be if you had Great Weapon Fighting Style (Duelist would simply throw the axe and then swing the sword).

He can't attack versatile to start, because he's holding 2 weapons. He can attack versatile once he throws one. He took the attack action holding 2 weapons and is eligible for a bonus attack (with no damage modifier since he does not have the fighting style) with a one handed weapon- which he can make by drawing a second weapon after his attack action. Switching grips does not count as drawing a weapon, but even if we count it he is still only making his two legal weapon draws. The ability to draw 2 weapons can not be discounted in this discussion because it's integral to the feat and feats are supposed to mean big things (some arguments which were otherwise correct wanted to downplay this aspect of the feat, but that isn't quite fair). He can then make the bonus attack with either weapon (without mods) and, if the newly drawn weapon is not thrown, he can maintain his +1 AC bonus moving forward.

Note that on a versatile longsword's 1d10 with Great Weapon Fighting you're looking at a result of 3-10. If you had Duelist you could certainly throw a handaxe and attack with the versatile weapon one handed. In that instance it would be in the same range of 3-10. Admittedly, I haven't checked any other weapons (I'm pretty exclusively a sword guy).

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