Crossbow expert bonus action

14 thoughts on “Crossbow expert bonus action

  1. rob says:

    Hi, sorry to bother but I have a crossbow expertise feat question that is starting to become an argument in my 5e game that is just starting. I’ve seen a lot of talk on the feat, but I’ve never seen anyone say whether or not you get to add your ability modifier to the hand crossbow damage if the attack hits.

    I assume you do as this isn’t a twf ruling, however members of my group are suggesting that it would be way to powerful and become a mandatory feat if that were the case. Which of us is correct?

    • Zoltar says:

      Mighty Rob,

      Bother? I’m glad to answer all your questions.

      Well, as Master Jeremy Crawgord said: “This feat is, without a doubt, murky.”
      So I try to answer but only Master Jeremy will unveil the right answer to all of us.

      In Player’s Handbook p.14 says:
      “For attacks with ranged weapons, use your Dexterity modifier for attack and damage rolls.”
      But if you are using two hand crosswbows (in two hands) PHB p.195 says:
      “You don’t add your ability modifier to the damage of the bonus attack.” The bonus is referred to your second hand.

      Last, If you have twf you can add dex bonus to your second hand xbow.

      • rob says:

        Thank you soo much for getting back to me so quickly. I appreciate it. Huh ok so even though two weapon fighting doesn’t apply to ranged weapons it would allow you to add the damage to the off hand bonus action attack in this case. Good to know.

        Another question then if you don’t mind:
        I’ve read, I believe by Jeremy, that the crossbow expertise feat works with only one hand crossbow. Does this mean that using the feat you could fire twice a round with the one hand crossbow and add dexterity modifier to both damages?

        • Zoltar says:

          Mighty Rob,

          Crossbow Expert Feat remove Loading quality from crossbow, so Yes if you have Extra Attack features you can fire multiple bolts.

          Example: a 20th level Fighter can fire 4 bolts in a round (PHB p.72) and add his Dex modifier to attacks and damage rolls.

          Remember: Crossbow Expert Feat remove Loading propriety from all Crossbow (Hand, Light, Heavy).

          • rob says:

            Hi thanks again,
            I think I might not be asking my question correctly. I know about the extra attack class feature. What I was wondering was since Jeremy said crossbow expert allows you to fire a hand crossbow as your attack action and then again as the bonus action, would the bonus action attack get the dexterity modifier in damage as your only using one weapon now or if the rules from earlier still apply where as long as it’s a bonus action you cannot add your ability modifier without a class feature. I hope that makes sense lol. I can confuse even myself.

            • Zoltar says:

              Sorry, but we are entering in the “murky” as Master Jeremy said and now are just my thoughts.

              Crossbow Feat:”…you can use a bonus action to attack with a loaded hand crossbow you are holding.”
              The prerequisite to use this bonus action is to have a loaded hand crossbow and after the first attack you don’t have a loaded crosbow in your hand but you need to reload it.
              Reloading (with a crossbow Expert Feat) is no more considered, but I think that bolts don’t appear magically in your hand crossbow so this could be considered an Interaction
              Interaction with objects are described in PHB p.190, there’s no rule about reloading, of course, but if you read the Table you can understand intent.

              Well my opinion is that with Crossbow Expert feat you can: Attack with a hand crossbow, reload it with a Interaction and Attack with a Bonus Action. All two attacks have dexterity modifier bonus to Attack and Damage rolls.

  2. Cassio says:

    Friend Zoltar,

    you said previously that
    “Well my opinion is that with Crossbow Expert feat you can: Attack with a hand crossbow, reload it with a Interaction and Attack with a Bonus Action. All two attacks have dexterity modifier bonus to Attack and Damage rolls.”

    Would be possible to use the same ideia for a light crossbow or heavy crossbow, since with the Crossbow Expert the loading quality (of any Xbow) would be ignored and the possibility to use the action and bonus account to attack would be maintained?

    • Zoltar says:

      Strong Cassio,

      I’d rule the same idea for light xbow but no with heavy xbow. But please ask to your DM because, because, as you can see from many comments, this Crossbow rules seems the weakest ring of this fantastic 5e system. I hope that next Jeremy Crawford Sage Advice will on xbows rules.

      • Cassio says:

        Friend Zoltar,

        as you said, it’s a murky space in D&D 5. It’s not clear, but it’s open to different interpretations. I’ve talked to my DM and he think that this feat would just be usable with a Hand Crossbow. I’ve read differently, and went for your advices as you’re the master of the masters. For me it seems that aim and pull trigger it’s easy, the hard is to reload (and the Crossbow Expert feat would make it easer). As always, it’s the DM choice, but he’s a reasonable man and fore sure your answer will help me.

        Anyway, thanks for your wisdom. Hope Jeremy Crawford can clarify it better for us all.

  3. Andre Teixeira says:

    Melee weapon, a crossbow is not a melee weapon or a throwing weapon. This is the Two-weapon fighting rule in page 195 PH.


    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 atlack with a different light melee
    weapon that you’re holding in the other hand. Vou don’t
    add your ability modifier to the damage of the bonus
    atlack, unless that modifier is negative.
    If either weapon has the thrown property, you
    can throw the weapon, instead of making a melee
    atlack with il.

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