So this is my problem, spell caster with a bow.

Round 1

  1. Equip bow as free object interaction (PHB.190)
  2. draw and load ammunition as part of ammunition property (PHB.146)
  3. attack
  4. end of round 1

Round 2

  1. Release one hand from the bow (Not an action )
  2. Draw spell focus as a free object interaction
  3. cast a spell preforming its eventual somatic component with the same hand as the focus (Source: 5e System Reference document p.102)
  4. end of round 2

Round 3 (here the problem starts)

  1. Sheathe spell focus as a free object interaction (could probably drop it but would rather not)
  2. RAW I would need to use a free object interaction to equip the bow two-handed again. but again according to this the intent is manipulating objects or picking objects up. All my character does is move his hand
  3. draw and load ammunition as part of ammunition property (this is also a part that requires the character let go of one hand of the bow to get the ammunition)
  4. attack
  5. end of round 3

What are your thoughts on this does the rule RAW or RAI (from credited sources) support this?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Related: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/51994/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Adeptus
    Commented Mar 3, 2017 at 2:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Support what? Are asking if you can do all of the 5 listed things in round 3? \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Commented Mar 3, 2017 at 2:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Have a look into the "War Caster" and "Dual Wielding" feats. This may make the interactions a lot smoother. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben
    Commented Mar 3, 2017 at 4:18

2 Answers 2


Think about how you use a bow.

  • One hand holds the bow
  • The other hand holds the arrow and string

When you're not in the middle of the load-and-fire process of the Attack action, the bow only occupies one hand.

If you want to ignore common-sense and look for specific rules support, the PHB Errata says:

Two-Handed (p. 147). This property is relevant only when you attack with the weapon, not when you simply hold it.


RAW: Round 3 is Illegal

Steps 1 and 2 require a free Object Interaction, but doing 2 of those in one turn will result in you having to spend your action on the second one, performing the Use An Object action. This means you cannot do step 4 (attack).

PHB pg 190

You can also interact with one object or feature of the environment for free, during either your move or your action. For example, you could open a door during your move as you stride toward a foe, or you could draw your weapon as part of the same action you use to attack.

If you want to interact with a second object, you need to use your action. Some magic items and other special objects always require an action to use, as stated in their descriptions.

As for your concern about step 3, that is a legal move IF you did not do either step 1 or 2 from before.

PHB pg. 146-147

Ammunition. You can use a weapon that has the ammunition property to make a ranged attack only if you have ammunition to fire from the weapon. Each time you attack with the weapon, you expend one piece of ammunition. Drawing the ammunition from a quiver, case, or other container is part of the attack. [...]

So that interaction with the ammunition does not count as an object interaction.

Recommendations, for Fun's sake

  1. Ask your DM if you can have your longbow be your spellcasting focus
  2. Drop your spellcasting focus instead (takes no action at all, not even a free one). If your spellcasting focus is an amulet or similar object hanging around your neck, then dropping it is fine. (credit to @Greenstone Walker for that)
  3. Use Handwavium and allow those two object interactions as part of one free action, if everyone else at the table thinks it's fair
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ If you hang the focus around your neck, on a lanyard or necklace, then dropping it is fine. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 3, 2017 at 2:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GreenstoneWalker This is also true, adding that to my answer. Thanks! \$\endgroup\$
    – user27327
    Commented Mar 3, 2017 at 3:10

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .