Can you use the rules for improvised weapons and have a large item, such as a 10 feet pole arm to gain reach and threaten a larger area?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ You may've meant 10-ft. pole instead of 10-ft. pole arm, but I took the question at face value anyway. I urge you to keep the question as-is even if you meant something different. The question's more interesting that way. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 0:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Alright, I missread what you said but it is now as normal again \$\endgroup\$
    – Simon
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 0:30

1 Answer 1


The DM can permit some improvised weapons to have reach

While the Player's Handbook describes improvised weapons (113), Complete Warrior on Improvised Weapons summarizes those rules and expands them, saying

As detailed in the Player’s Handbook, objects not crafted to be used as weapons may nonetheless find use in combat.…

Any creature using an improvised weapon—from a broken bottle to a barstool—in a fight is considered to be nonproficient with it and thus takes a −4 penalty on attack rolls made with it. An improvised weapon scores a threat (a possible critical hit) on a natural roll of 20 and deals double damage on a critical hit. An improvised thrown weapon has a range increment of 10 feet.

What about fighting with ladders, wagon wheels, or coils of rope? In the hands of a determined (or desperate) individual, these oddly shaped objects offer a wide variety of options in combat. … [one of which may be…]

Reach: Long objects (such as ladders) have reach, allowing a Small or Medium character to strike at opponents up to 10 feet away (but not at adjacent foes). These objects are treated as two-handed weapons. (158-9)

However, I suspect—as the question's example posits using a pole arm as an improvised weapon—that you're not thinking about bonking a dude with a ladder or the ubiquitous 10-ft. pole but, instead, about smacking a dude some distance away with your non-reach-yet-hafted halberd or spear. In such a case, first the DM decides if that object that's crafted to be a weapon can also be an improvised weapon then, second, the DM decides if the weapon-that's-an-improvised-weapon gains reach.

(The DM is wise to be wary of allowing objects crafted to be weapons to also be used as improvised weapons. For example, allowing weapons to function as improvised weapons means a crossbowman now threatens squares—and can make attacks of opportunity—by clubbing folks with his crossbow-as-an-improvised weapon, eliminating one of a low-level ranged combatant's primary weaknesses.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ The question was about a person that was using AoO:s to take 5ft steps (with evasive reflexes), so just holding a pole offers a -4 but gives reach as a improvised weapon. Said person also has a feat that allows him/her to take an AoO everytime someone attacks, effectivly making him/herself immortal to normal attacks \$\endgroup\$
    – Simon
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 0:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Simon (If one of those is the feat Robilar's Gambit, remember that that feat says to "[r]esolve your attack of opportunity [or whatever you've substituted for an attack of opportunity] after your foe’s attack." (Emphasis and editorializing mine.)) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 0:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ No, unfortunately not its a homebrew feat, perhaps I should start a new question on the subject?dandwiki.com/wiki/Deflect_Attack_(3.5e_Feat) Are homebrew feats okey to bring into here for questions? Its more of a general question on the flow of feats and their interaction with eachother but the example I have uses said homebrew feat \$\endgroup\$
    – Simon
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 0:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Simon It's totally okay to post question about homebrew material as long A) there's a problem, and B) context's provided. Expect disagreement as to how the feat works, though. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 1:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Simon Consider: Reach weapons usually don't let the user attack adjacent squares. A long pole (a polearm) would have reach, but be useless against adjacent creatures. A short pole (a staff) could attack adjacent creatures but not have reach. If an opponent is adjacent to the character, then even with that feat he would not be able to use his AoO's because his weapon cannot reach. Also, you only get 1 AoO per turn (or a small handful, with Combat Reflexes). The "RAW" principle can still apply to homebrew, and the feat does not grant extra AoO... All assuming he wants to attack. \$\endgroup\$
    – tzxAzrael
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 2:21

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