5E Drop bow and unsheathe sword: still get to attack?
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  1. #1

    Drop bow and unsheathe sword: still get to attack?

    In my last session I allowed the fighter to drop his bow, unsheathe his sword, and still attack on the same turn. The PHB only mentions unsheathing the sword as an example of a free object interaction, but I figured dropping an object adds hardly any further complexity to the undertaking (certainly no more than reaching into a backpack to pull out a potion bottle, which is allowed). Legit ruling?

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    That's how I've always run it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Brebeuf View Post
    In my last session I allowed the fighter to drop his bow, unsheathe his sword, and still attack on the same turn. The PHB only mentions unsheathing the sword as an example of a free object interaction, but I figured dropping an object adds hardly any further complexity to the undertaking (certainly no more than reaching into a backpack to pull out a potion bottle, which is allowed). Legit ruling?
    It's what I do as well. Dropping something doesn't take any time, especially for something like a bow.

    You really have to decide how much you care, combat in D&D is so fast if you start requiring actions to do things (taking off/putting a shield for example is an action) it has quite an impact on that PC. Just be consistent and do what makes sense to you.

  4. #4
    Generally, I wouldn't (and don't) heavily police the item interaction rules. It's not worth it except to stop gross abuses. It's a very minor rule that isn't worth stopping the game to fuss about in all but the most absurd circumstances. I don't like discouraging inventive or creative play, and this rule is basically all about forcing players to think about the action economy mechanics instead of putting themselves into the mind of their characters or thinking outside that box. The rule is draconian at best, and encourages meta game thinking at worst.
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    By RAW, any object interaction should count, including dropping an item. However, not only does this feel wrong (dropping something is just opening fingers), but Free Actions were used in previous editions to account for things like this. 5E does not have "free actions" AFAIK, but most groups IME still use them for such.

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    Dropping something you hold is effectively "not an action". It's not a free objection interaction (you are ceasing to interact with it. ), so you can drop something and still have your one free objection interaction.

    https://www.sageadvice.eu/2017/03/29...pping-weapons/

    (Note: a shield cannot be dropped so easily - 5e assumes it is strapped to your arm, and it takes an action to get it off before you can drop it.)
    Last edited by Caliban; Sunday, 3rd December, 2017 at 06:13 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacon Bits View Post
    Generally, I wouldn't (and don't) heavily police the item interaction rules. It's not worth it except to stop gross abuses. It's a very minor rule that isn't worth stopping the game to fuss about in all but the most absurd circumstances. I don't like discouraging inventive or creative play, and this rule is basically all about forcing players to think about the action economy mechanics instead of putting themselves into the mind of their characters or thinking outside that box. The rule is draconian at best, and encourages meta game thinking at worst.
    Agreed. I run my games pretty tight to RAW, but this is one exception I make, and for the exact reasons you stated.

    Shields still get the RAW treatment, though. I'm often tempted to make it a bonus action for Shield Master feat, but none of my players have ever expressed an interest in taking it.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Nevvur View Post
    Agreed. I run my games pretty tight to RAW, but this is one exception I make, and for the exact reasons you stated.

    Shields still get the RAW treatment, though. I'm often tempted to make it a bonus action for Shield Master feat, but none of my players have ever expressed an interest in taking it.
    So how do either of you rule it and how un-RAW does it get. Do you allow a pc to stow a bow, draw a weapon, and attack?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Bacon Bits View Post
    Generally, I wouldn't (and don't) heavily police the item interaction rules. It's not worth it except to stop gross abuses. It's a very minor rule that isn't worth stopping the game to fuss about in all but the most absurd circumstances. I don't like discouraging inventive or creative play, and this rule is basically all about forcing players to think about the action economy mechanics instead of putting themselves into the mind of their characters or thinking outside that box. The rule is draconian at best, and encourages meta game thinking at worst.
    What megagaming do you see as a result?

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