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I'm a new DM and I have a level 6 ranger in my party. In our game, we came across 4 closely packed enemies in a 1×4 line. The ranger attacked twice with her short-sword, and twice with her crossbow. She has an Extra Attack, Horde Breaker (class feat), and Crossbow Expert.

  • Action: attack knight #2 with crossbow
  • Extra Attack: moved in and hit knight #1 with short-sword
  • Crossbow Expert: hit knight #4 with crossbow (because she hit knight #2 with short-sword)
  • Horde Breaker: short-sword attack against knight #3 who was within 5 feet of knight #2 who was original target.

She also has the Mobile feat, so didn't provoke any opportunity attacks from the enemies as she moved, attacked, and then moved away. I should also note that in our game I edited the Mobile feat to include any attack (and not just melee) to make it interesting for caster classes to take, which I acknowledge makes it an incredibly strong feat.

After the game, one of the other players started saying that she couldn't do what she did, saying that she can invoke either the Mobile feat or the Crossbow Expert feat "since a feat is like a bonus action but without the bonus action penalty... you can only use 1 feat per round."

I've never seen anything saying you can only use 1 feat per round... Crossbow Expert expressly says it is a bonus action, but Mobile doesn't say that, it just says any enemy you attack no longer has the chance to get an opportunity attack against you. Am I wrong here?

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    \$\begingroup\$ What kind of crossbow is he using? \$\endgroup\$ – inthemanual May 10 '17 at 4:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @daze413, I don't think the 4 attacks is in question by the Asker, just the using two feats simultaneously. \$\endgroup\$ – inthemanual May 10 '17 at 5:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ Sorry, the attacks seemed fine to me (it was one action that yielded two attacks via Extra Attack, a bonus action attack, and then a feat action). The point the other player made was that the ranger couldn't use the Crossbow Expert feat AND Mobile feat simultaneously, which made no sense to me. If that were the case, then why bother taking multiple feats that synergize well together? \$\endgroup\$ – Khaostos May 10 '17 at 5:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @daze413, it's entirely legal. Horde breaker allows an additional attack against an additional foe, extra attack grants two attacks during the attack action, and crossbow expert allows an additional attack as a bonus action. That's four attacks. \$\endgroup\$ – inthemanual May 10 '17 at 5:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Note that Mobile only stops enemies from making opportunity attacks if you make a melee attack. It's not clear from the question if this sequence depended on targets of the crossbow attacks not making opportunity attacks. \$\endgroup\$ – Marq May 10 '17 at 8:07
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Feats can be used simultaneously

The only requirement to use a feat is that you meet any prerequisite specified in the feat. No feats that have been released thus far have a requirement that "no other feat has been used this turn," so there's nothing preventing you from using both.

Mobile allows you to not provoke opportunity attacks from creatures you've attacked that round, and Crossbow Expert allows you to make a Bonus Action attack with a hand crossbow, if you've made an attack with a one-handed weapon.

What's not legal, as Daze413 pointed out, is that you're using your "free object interaction" more than once in a round, in order to switch between weapons, or to drop your shortsword and pick it back up multiple times. You cannot dual-wield in this situation, because crossbows need a free hand to be reloaded. If they were made in consecutive order, (sword, sword, crossbow, crossbow) it would be fine, however.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I wouldn't even go so far as to say you "use" a Feat as much as it grants you benefits and abilities, depending on what it says. \$\endgroup\$ – Javelin May 10 '17 at 7:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener May 10 '17 at 10:55
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Your problem is the order, not the feats

As already pointed out by another answer, feats have no such limitations, the only limits you are faced with are the limits on actions, bonus actions and object interactions.

I assume you're talking about a hand-crossbow and not a normal crossbow, else it becomes even less possible, but:

Action: attack knight #2 with crossbow

With you so far, assuming it was a loaded handcrossbow

Extra Attack: moved in and hit knight #1 with short-sword

Possible, she's now still holding a short-sword and a handcrossbow. No object interactions required yet, unless the hand crossbow wasn't loaded yet.

Crossbow Expert: hit knight #4 with crossbow (because she hit knight #2 with short-sword)

Not possible, because the crossbow isn't loaded and she needs a free hand to shoot. Only possible if she drops the short-sword.

Horde Breaker: short-sword attack against knight #3 who was within 5 feet of knight #2 who was original target.

Also not possible, because Horde Breaker requires both attacks to be done with the same weapon. Also, you're no longer holding your short-sword because of the problem in step 3.

What would have been possible, if the targets were in movement range:

  • Action: Move to hit knight #2 and hit with short-sword
  • Horde Breaker: Attack knight #3 who is within 5 feet of #2 with short-sword
  • Move out of range, you've attacked both #2 and #3 so neither gets an opportunity attack
  • Extra Attack: Sheathe the short-sword and fire at knight #1
  • Crossbow Expert: Fire at knight #4, reloading is possible now you're no longer holding a short sword

This wouldn't even require your homebrew mobile feat, as both attacks were made with a melee attack.

So while there is absolutely nothing preventing feats from being used together (and it'd honesty be a terrible houserule because it'll make a lot of characters even more similar if you can only realistically take one feat on a character), the action order as you have described is not possible.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Can the downvoter explain what's wrong with the answer? Did I make a mistake in the action order of what is possible or something? \$\endgroup\$ – Theik Jan 9 at 10:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ although I upvoted your answer, I think some downvotes may come from the fact that you are focused on the "4 attacks" part (and so do I - "It would have worked with 4 hand crossbow attacks!"), but the question is actually about using 2 feats at the same time. Pointing forgotten limitations may be useful, but the DM probably does not need our action-optimization suggestions. \$\endgroup\$ – Bash Jan 9 at 15:54
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Feats aside, The second crossbow attack is not possible due to the ammunition property. You couldn't have reloaded while also using your shortsword because there was no free hand.

The mobile feat has no mention of actions required to work. It is a passive feature that can be used any time you attempt a melee(homebrew: any) attack.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @goodguy5 Loading stops you from firing it more than once in a round, and is what Crossbow Expert removes. Ammunition is the property that requires the free hand, and is not removed by the feat. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Jan 9 at 14:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @T.J.L. duh. facepalm thanks. totally right. \$\endgroup\$ – goodguy5 Jan 9 at 14:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @T.J.L. Actually Loading affects each Action, not the whole round. For a normal character you could fire a crossbow as an Action and as a bonus action. \$\endgroup\$ – Dharleth Jan 10 at 5:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Dharleth How do you propose firing one as a bonus action? \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Jan 10 at 13:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @T.J.L. I'm not aware of all the cases where you could do so as a bonus action. But another example would be a Fighter that uses Action Surge to make a second attack action. They would have to reload between both actions but could normally only fire the crossbow once during each action, even if they had Extra Attack. Crossbow Expert allows them to make multiple attacks. \$\endgroup\$ – Dharleth Jan 13 at 3:39

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