A wizard at my table wants to use weapons (greatswords) for his Animate Objects spell. Do I take the weapons base damage and match it with the table of Animate Objects (2D6 making them Medium), or are there any rules I may have missed pertaining to the object-size of weapons?

Any clarification, or your own interpretation (if its up to DM's) would be most welcome.

After all of your great informative input, I'm going with the following:

  • Weapons weighing 1 lb. or less as Tiny (daggers, darts and ammunition)
  • Heavy Weapons as Medium (glaive, greataxe, greatsword, halbert, maul, pike and h-crossbow)
  • All other Weapons as Small (unless indicated otherwise, oversized for example)

2 Answers 2


Despite Miniman's size description, the Heavy and Light properties should make a difference. By RAW,

Heavy. Small creatures have disadvantage on attack rolls with heavy weapons. A heavy weapon’s size and bulk make it too large for a Small creature to use effectively.

Light. A light weapon is small and easy to handle, making it ideal for use when fighting with two weapons.

A classical greatsword, for example, has 1.75m size, which is probably twice as long as a barrel. The DMG's size descriptions lists:

  • Tiny (bottle, lock)

  • Small (chest, lute)

  • Medium (barrel, chandelier)

I would separate between Heavy, Light, and other weapons, and give them separate sizes.

Personally, I'd go with medium-size for Heavy Weapons (big ass chunks of metal), and Small-size for the others. I would only go for tiny-size for some Light Weapons (e.g., small daggers).

Animate Objects, by RAW, describes how your items do damage.

It makes a slam attack with an attack bonus and bludgeoning damage determined by its size. The DM might rule that a specific object inflicts slashing or piercing damage based on its form.

I would also say that part of a weapon's damage is based on how it is swung, how it is used. The wizard does not control them like a martial artist, so the weapons do the damage shown in the Animate Objects table. I'd just change the damage type to correspond to the weapon's damage.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes the damage table from Animate Objects is RAW, but i totally agree with you on the sizes and damage type. Too bad we have to come to a homebrew concensus on size here. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rikkard
    Feb 21, 2017 at 10:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm guessing that, since Animate Objects cannot target weapons being worn or carried, weapons aren't its ideal target, so they weren't described in RAW. Its more targeted at random objects, likes stones or silverware. \$\endgroup\$
    – BlueMoon93
    Feb 21, 2017 at 10:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think it also works fine if you have weapons do their normal damage and count them as being objects of the size for that damage, as suggested in the question. Five animated greatswords attacking at +5 for 2d6+1 isn't particularly powerful for a 5th level spell. \$\endgroup\$
    – Marq
    Feb 21, 2017 at 11:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ So true, but my table is filled to the brim with power players so in these instances I'd rather not give my wizard the idea that in the future he'll be able to juggle 3 flametongue greatswords. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rikkard
    Feb 21, 2017 at 11:08
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Rikkard Remember that Animate Objects can't affect magical objects, or objects being held or carried. \$\endgroup\$
    – Marq
    Feb 21, 2017 at 12:15

The DMG (page 247) includes size categories for objects, as well as some examples.

Tiny (bottle, lock)

Small (chest, lute)

Medium (barrel, chandelier)

Large (cart, 10-ft.-by-10-ft. window)

This places most weapons firmly in the Small category - while some weapons are bigger than lutes, none are as big as barrels. Smaller weapons such as daggers probably belong in Tiny, since they would be comparable to bottles.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah I arrived at this table soon after starting research on the subject. Although the examples given leave a lot up to the imagination. A light weapon would then be considered as tiny and a heavy weapon as medium, everything else as small. If only they had added weight to this table... \$\endgroup\$
    – Rikkard
    Feb 21, 2017 at 11:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rikkard Yeah, it'd be nice if it was a little more specific. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Feb 21, 2017 at 11:02
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ My barrel wielding, exclusively gorilla wildshape, Druid wants to have a word with you about the assertion that no weapons are as big as barrels. Konkey Dong will not be denied!!! \$\endgroup\$ Feb 21, 2017 at 18:13

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