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A torch has a melee attack which deals 1 fire damage.

Torch: A torch burns for 1 hour, providing bright light in a 20-foot radius and dim light for an additional 20 feet. If you make a melee attack with a burning torch and hit, it deals 1 fire damage.

Can I, a thief rogue with a shortsword in my other hand, use that attack as a bonus action in any way, perhaps with my Fast Hands feature or Two-weapon Fighting?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Only if you can argue that its a "light weapon". Because its a torch. And it lights up. I'll show myself out. \$\endgroup\$ – gburton Mar 11 '17 at 13:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ That is the strictest and most literal reading of the rules I've ever seen. Have an upvote. You have achieved level 8 Rule Lawyer. \$\endgroup\$ – Lino Frank Ciaralli Mar 11 '17 at 17:06
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Fast hands would not work, but per the two weapon fighting rules: "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."

Also, per the improvised weapon rules: "Often, an improvised weapon is similar to an actual weapon and can be treated as such. For example, a table leg is akin to a club."

And a club is listed on the weapons table as a light melee weapon. However: a club is two pounds while a torch is one pound (if desired, this discussion illuminates using a torch as an improvised weapon).

Avoiding the brilliant pun of a torch clearly being a 'light' weapon, you might instead get the bright idea to ask your DM if you could just use a lit table leg as a torch ;)

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't suspect the rules would expect torches to be considered similar enough to a club, since they are given a specific difference in damage type. \$\endgroup\$ – inthemanual Mar 10 '17 at 23:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ "This discussion illuminates...." How do I simultaneously groan and slow-clap in text? =D \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Mar 11 '17 at 0:23
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From the rules (PHB p.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.

As the torch is not a light melee weapon, no.

However, the Dual Wielder feat (PHB p.165) says

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

So, if you have this feat, maybe. You see, a torch isn't a "melee weapon", light or otherwise- it's an "improvised weapon". If your DM rules that it is sufficiently like a "melee weapon" that it can use those statistics then this feat would allow you to use it.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Is a torch a one-handed melee weapon, or a non-weapon object that you can make an attack with? \$\endgroup\$ – inthemanual Mar 10 '17 at 23:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @THiebert Depends on if the DM would rule it close enough to an actual weapon (I.E., club) to 'treat it as such' as per PHB p.147; depending on if you feel this can be generalized, once you're at the point where you can treat it as a type of weapon it counts as a weapon. I could see arguments for not doing it since it has unique rules for what to do if it hits while lit. \$\endgroup\$ – CTWind Mar 10 '17 at 23:56
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RAW - No, at least not without taking the Dual Wielder feat first mentioned by Dale M.

Fast Hands is right out, as it allows you to use your bonus action to either make a Sleight of Hand (Dex) check to disarm a trap or open a lock, or to take the Use an Object action.

The rules for Two-Weapon Fighting state:

"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."

Unfortunately, a torch is not classified in the rulebook as weapon, light or otherwise. It is only given a weight, a cost, and the information you have listed in your question. This would make it an improvised melee weapon, which is not light. The Dual Wielder feat provides a workaround by removing this requirement (which is a hefty price to pay for 1 point of fire damage).

If you desperately wanted to use a torch to attack without sinking a feat into your character, you may be able to ask your DM to allow it, since it weighs as much as a dagger (a light melee weapon), and less than other light melee weapons.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Could you "use" the torch with the "Use an Object" action in order to make the attack that the torch allows? \$\endgroup\$ – inthemanual Mar 10 '17 at 23:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ I would be inclined to say "No," since the torch's rules specify making an attack with a torch. \$\endgroup\$ – Reibello Mar 10 '17 at 23:26

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