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5E GWM+Longbow


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MikalC

Villager
@MikalC - I think your argument about weapon traits falls short of being supported by the rules. The rules give properties, and change them. There is nothing that says in the case of a ranged weapon used in melee that it loses it's other properties, or that 'improvised' somehow supercedes all of them. All it does is change the damage type and what proficiencies count. Saying that it does anything other than that simply isn't supported by the RAW. Keep in mind, this is just about the straight RAW, I personally don't think GWM should apply.

Lets look at a related question. If you throw a great axe, it counts as improvised. Does it also lose the heavy property in that situation? Thus allowing it to be thrown by small sized creatures with no disadvantage? Just curious what you'd say about the same rule in a different application.
They inherently lose those properties because the improvised weapons have their own properties which are noted in the improvised weapon description.

and for your related question- yes, it loses the heavy property and you can throw it for 1d4+str damage, without proficiency.

the reason why a heavy weapon provokes disadvantage when wielded by a small creature is due to the size and weight making it too unwieldy to be used normally.

throwing the great axe however is NOT using it normally.

You’re essentially tossing the weapon and hoping it hits something, and if it does it does so with a force that’s much less than actually using it properly.

so yeah. It loses the property and from a verisimilitude sense makes sense as well, when a mental image of a something too large to be used correctly can still be thrown for a minor effect.
 

toucanbuzz

Adventurer
Dammit, this guy used his longbow as a pretty fearsome weapon in melee, bashing people's faces with it. However, unless he was proficient in
improvised weapons," aka "clubs" (an improvised simple weapon" that resembles the attack he's doing), GWM feat won't do much good. But if he knows simple weapons, it appears the rules as written say he can bash away with "great weaponmaster feat."


1589945996347.png
 

MikalC

Villager
Dammit, this guy used his longbow as a pretty fearsome weapon in melee, bashing people's faces with it. However, unless he was proficient in
improvised weapons," aka "clubs" (an improvised simple weapon" that resembles the attack he's doing), GWM feat won't do much good. But if he knows simple weapons, it appears the rules as written say he can bash away with "great weaponmaster feat."


View attachment 122150
Orrrr... he had the tavern brawler feat and a high strength and was fighting low CR enemies with low HP values.

Because an improvised weapon fashioned out of a ranged weapon has the specific 1d4+str and not resembling something like a club.
 

Immoralkickass

Explorer
I'm also not sure what would be so great about using a longbow with GWM even if it did work.
So that you can take both GWM and Sharpshooter and use both for -10/+20!!

Before you tell me it cannot work: Sharpshooter says 'Before you make an attack with a ranged weapon.' Clearly, using the longbow to make a melee attack is an attack with a ranged weapon, as opposed to a ranged weapon attack.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
They inherently lose those properties because the improvised weapons have their own properties which are noted in the improvised weapon description.
I'm happy to split the difference here. I simply don't agree with your reading of the RAW. However, the overall silliness of the example at hand makes it pretty low stakes.
and for your related question- yes, it loses the heavy property and you can throw it for 1d4+str damage, without proficiency.
So the great axe is so heavy and bulky for a Gnome to wield in melee that it grants disadvantage, but you're fine with him hucking the thing 60 feet without disadvantage? I find that more aggravating than the longbow example. To each his own.

the reason why a heavy weapon provokes disadvantage when wielded by a small creature is due to the size and weight making it too unwieldy to be used normally.

throwing the great axe however is NOT using it normally.
No, apparently its easier, which I just can't get behind. :D
You’re essentially tossing the weapon and hoping it hits something, and if it does it does so with a force that’s much less than actually using it properly.
See, that's not actually what the rules are modelling here. All improvised means is that you don't add your proficiency modifier. Its no different than a wizard swinging a sword. The accuracy difference there starts at a measly 10% and never gets higher than 30%, and that's the difference between the best of the best and joe average.

so yeah. It loses the property and from a verisimilitude sense makes sense as well, when a mental image of a something too large to be used correctly can still be thrown for a minor effect.
This is really the key. If you don't have verisimilitude issues with it, and neither do your players, then it's a fine ruling for your table. The same issue really rubs my rhubarb the wrong way and I'd rule differently (the small PC still has disadvantage to huck the great axe). Both those answers are fine at the table.
 

MikalC

Villager
I'm happy to split the difference here. I simply don't agree with your reading of the RAW. However, the overall silliness of the example at hand makes it pretty low stakes.
So the great axe is so heavy and bulky for a Gnome to wield in melee that it grants disadvantage, but you're fine with him hucking the thing 60 feet without disadvantage? I find that more aggravating than the longbow example. To each his own.
No. I’m fine with him chucking the thing TWENTY Feet without disadvantage. If you actually paid attention to the rules you’d know the first number is normal range, the second is long range, which applies its own disadvantage.

No, apparently its easier, which I just can't get behind. :D
See, that's not actually what the rules are modelling here. All improvised means is that you don't add your proficiency modifier. Its no different than a wizard swinging a sword. The accuracy difference there starts at a measly 10% and never gets higher than 30%, and that's the difference between the best of the best and joe average.[
except that you’re wrong in every aspect here.
One it’s not easier, as shown above. Unless you think a non proficient 20 foot throw for 1d4+str is better than a straight up disadvantage melee attack for 1d12+str, or even better, a 21-60 ft throw at disadvantage.

Also you state that improvised weapons only means you don’t add your proficiency modifier. The improvised weapon rules have been stated several times and you’re simply wrong. If that were the case then the rules would say they keep x qualities while having y different qualities. They only state the weapon has y different qualities.

unless, again, you’re going to argue that a crossbow used as a melee weapon still had the loading quality.

This is really the key. If you don't have verisimilitude issues with it, and neither do your players, then it's a fine ruling for you
Except in my case I’m using the actual RAW, and you’re not
 

jasper

Rotten DM
Dammit, this guy used his longbow as a pretty fearsome weapon in melee, bashing people's faces with it. However, unless he was proficient in
improvised weapons," aka "clubs" (an improvised simple weapon" that resembles the attack he's doing), GWM feat won't do much good. But if he knows simple weapons, it appears the rules as written say he can bash away with "great weaponmaster feat."


View attachment 122150
You forget he was the was the DM pet and won the girl too. In fact I think he was a DMPC. And the rest were along for the story.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
Except in my case I’m using the actual RAW, and you’re not
Okey-dokey. :LOL: You do you. Trading personal insults about intelligence and reading comprehension seems a little gauche though. Especially when the difference between using and interpreting seems to have somehow vanished like a puff of smoke. Anyway, moving on. Have a good one.
 


I think we are overlooking a key bit of text here - “An object that bears no resemblance to a weapon". An unstrung longbow stave is very similar to a quarterstaff, and archers would have used their bows as such if forced into melee. (wouldn't be much use as a bow afterwards though).

NB D&D art often depicts longbows a bit on the small side.

Quarterstaffs do not have the "heavy" property.
 

Horwath

Adventurer
In Races of the Wild, a 3.5e book, you could make your longbow "Elvencrafted". That would treat your bow as a quarterstaff for melee combat.
It is not heavy, but you would be proficient with it and have normal attack roll.
 


the Jester

Legend
Jeez y'all...
Not everyone sees Crawford's tweets as very convincing, regardless of WotC's official stance on a given day. His "roll 1d4+1 and it's for all of your magic missiles" post alone removed all his credibility as a rules guru for some people, just to post one example.

That said, in this case, I agree with him- and I find the "loading" argument to be particularly persuasive.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Mod Note:

Folks, it is not a good look to get snippy at each other over exactly what fantasy game bonus you get for whacking someone with a stick that isn't deisgned for that kind of whacking. How about respect come before the stake in the ground over rules interpretations, hm?
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
the improvised weapon rules state everything that an improvised weapons is and can do. Every weapon type does the same. Improvised weapon does NOT say it keeps traits when a ranged weapon is used in melee.

otherwise a crossbow used as a improvised weapon would have the loading quality and would need to be reloaded before making another melee attack with it.

And what are the traits of an improvised weapon?
1d4+str, ability to be thrown at a range of 20/60.

that’s it.
Specifically: “An object that bears no resemblance to a weapon deals 1d4 damage (the DM assigns a damage type appropriate to the object). If a character uses a ranged weapon to make a melee attack, or throws a melee weapon that does not have the thrown property, it also deals 1d4 damage. An improvised thrown weapon has a normal range of 20 feet and a long range of 60 feet. “

unless you’d like to argue that a crossbow needs to be reloaded before used again as an improvised melee weapon then your argument doesn’t hold water. You can’t pick and choose if you think qualities carry over. Regardless, 5e is specific- what a rule says is what happens. If it isn’t in there, then it doesn’t exist. And nowhere in improvised weapons does it state that it transfers existing qualities from the base weapon when using ranged in melee
The Loading property wouldn’t interfere with using a crossbow to make a melee attack.

Loading
Because of the time required to load this weapon, you can fire only one piece of Ammunition from it when you use an action, Bonus Action, or Reaction to fire it, regardless of the number of attacks you can normally make.
Since making a melee attack with a ranged weapon does not require you to fire a piece of ammunition from it, the Loading property does not prevent you from doing so multiple times in a turn.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
So that you can take both GWM and Sharpshooter and use both for -10/+20!!

Before you tell me it cannot work: Sharpshooter says 'Before you make an attack with a ranged weapon.' Clearly, using the longbow to make a melee attack is an attack with a ranged weapon, as opposed to a ranged weapon attack.
This is technically correct by RAW, though I can’t imagine any DM allowing it.
 

MikalC

Villager
The Loading property wouldn’t interfere with using a crossbow to make a melee attack.
Ah but if you keep the qualities of the original weapon you do, because that ALSO means you keep the ammunition quality, which means you’d also need to use that ammo whenever making a melee attack.
If you’re going to assume you keep all qualities, then you have to use all qualities, not cherry pick them.

Since making a melee attack with a ranged weapon does not require you to fire a piece of ammunition from it, the Loading property does not prevent you from doing so multiple times in a turn.
except that ammunition rules state each time you make an attack (any attack. It doesn’t specify ranged only except in the fluff description) you must use ammo, which thus triggers loading.

but again, it’s all moot as it’s already been pointed out where Crawford clarified an improvised weapon loses all its original qualities when used as an improvised weapon. You know, like the RAW says (unless you can point out where it says in improvised weapons that the ranged weapon used in melee keeps its original qualities)

So...yeah. Either they keep them all and you use stuff like ammunition and loading along with heavy, or they don’t.
 

MikalC

Villager
Okey-dokey. :LOL: You do you. Trading personal insults about intelligence and reading comprehension seems a little gauche though. Especially when the difference between using and interpreting seems to have somehow vanished like a puff of smoke. Anyway, moving on. Have a good one.
No worries. I’ll continue using the RAW for this because it makes sense and doesn’t do something stupid like assume you can GWM with a longbow
 

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