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This question already has an answer here:

The Disarm action is designed to knock an object out of the holder's hand and presumably into the holder's space. Because enemies aren't allowed to enter that space, nobody will be able to pick up the weapon in that time, especially in a duel. But picking the item back up is a free object interaction on the holder's next turn.

This means that, except for in corner cases, disarming an enemy doesn't cost them anything.

So what's it for?

Edit: This question has not already been answered, since the top answer of the linked question interprets the rules for Disarming very differently, which conflicts with my question.

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marked as duplicate by SevenSidedDie dnd-5e Jun 26 '16 at 1:19

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This question has not already been answered, since the top answer of the linked question interprets the rules for Disarming very differently, which conflicts with my question. \$\endgroup\$ – Robert Jun 26 '16 at 1:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ Just because you don't like the answer doesn't change the fact that the question is the same. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Jun 26 '16 at 1:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's the answer — the one with 24 votes — that makes the assertion, not the question. I suppose you could technically revise this question to say "assuming the reading given here is wrong, and Disarm actually does" … whatever it is you think it does differently (I actually can't tell). Be prepared for an answer that says "Well, that assumption is not valid, because ABC", however. \$\endgroup\$ – user17995 Jun 26 '16 at 3:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ I added another answer to the linked question, which I think is a perfectly appropriate answer to your question as well. If it isn't, please edit your question to clarify the conflict you're referring to. \$\endgroup\$ – Dan Henderson Jun 26 '16 at 23:30
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  • If you're disarmed, you remain so for a reaction.
  • If you're disarmed, you may be unable to parry on someone else's turn.
  • You can disarm an opponent to force it to drop its shield, and get an easier follow-up attack.
  • You can disarm an opponent to force it to drop some other item for whatever purpose.
  • If you disarm an opponent and follow-up with a shove, the item is no longer at its feet.
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  • \$\begingroup\$ How do you disarm and shove in the same turn? \$\endgroup\$ – Robert Jun 26 '16 at 1:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ There are a number of ways. Shove replaces only a single attack (if you have multiple). L2 Fighter can use an action surge. And if push comes to shove (pun intended) using team-work, an ally can do the shoving. \$\endgroup\$ – Disillusioned Jun 26 '16 at 2:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Note that whether disarm can be used against a shield is the subject of another question; when I'm not on mobile I could find you a link. \$\endgroup\$ – Dan Henderson Jun 26 '16 at 23:06

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