Tavern Brawler feat states that:

You are proficient with improvised weapons and unarmed strikes.

And the rules for improvised weapons are:

In many cases, 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. At the DM’s option, a character proficient with a weapon can use a similar object as if it were that weapon and use his or her proficiency bonus. An object that bears no resemblance to a weapon deals 1d4 damage.

So can you use Magic Weapon spell on an Improvised weapon?


This depends on DM ruling.

The rules don't explicitly cover this case, so there are two, equally-valid ways to rule this.

The first is that improvised weapons don't count as weapons. This ruling is supported mainly by a few parts of the Improvised Weapons description (page 147, PHB). It says:

Sometimes characters don't have their weapons and have to attack with whatever is dose at hand... In many cases, an improvised weapon is similar to an actual weapon...

These line heavily imply that, while improvised weapons often act like weapons, they actually aren't. Since magic weapon specifies that it can only target weapons, by this ruling improvised weapons can't be made magic.

This interpretation is supported by Jeremy Crawford, who tweets:

Weapon Bond works with a bona fide weapon ("Behold, my sword!"), not an improvised weapon ("Look, a stool!").

The second interpretation is that, since the phrase "improvised weapons" contains the word "weapon", then improvised weapons must be weapons. With this interpretation, anything that can be done to a weapon can also be done with an improvised weapon.

Both of these interpretations are valid, and based on valid rules reasoning, so this is going to be dependent on your DM.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Crawford supports the first ruling. The fact that only something on a weapon table is a weapon is consistent with other rulings, too; for example only something in the ranged weapon tables counts as a ranged weapon, even though many melee weapons can make ranged attacks. \$\endgroup\$ – Doval Apr 18 '17 at 1:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think the DM's discretion could also depend on the continued feasibility of the improvised weapon - a 'use once' beer bottle is firmly in the 'improvised' category, but a hefty table leg could be kept, and is effectively a sturdy club in all but name... \$\endgroup\$ – SeanR Apr 18 '17 at 9:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Doval I'd agree more with your point if the feat (in this question) didn't grant proficiency for improvised weapons. That leaves me scratching my head on the "for one proficient" versus "anyone with improvised" and I thus find "Rules as Fun" per Al's answer to be the best way to answer this. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Apr 18 '17 at 13:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast I don't see why it matters that the feat grants proficiency. A longsword doesn't stop being a weapon in the hands of someone who's not proficient. If nothing else, Crawford has been consistent about this: "An improvised weapon is, indeed, a weapon, but only the moment it's used as such. A chair/shield/etc isn't a weapon otherwise." "Dual Wielder is intended to work with actual weapons. Using the feat with improvised weapons is up to the DM." \$\endgroup\$ – Doval Apr 18 '17 at 23:43

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