Items Held in Combat


At the start of your turn, decide what you’re holding in your hands, with no action required to put them in your hands. For any actions, bonus actions, or reactions you take before the start of your next turn, you are still holding those objects.

Edge Cases

If you drop or otherwise lose possession of an item before the start of your next turn, you do not get to pull out another one, but you can move an item between hands.

Shields are an exception, which take an action to strap to your arm. You must start the round with one of your hands free, then use your action to strap on the shield. There may be other similar exceptions that will be ruled on as they come up.


  1. At the start of her turn, Elizabeth is wielding her warhammer in two hands. She attacks a monster with the warhammer. Next turn, she starts with the warhammer in one hand, and uses her action to strap her shield to her offhand.
  2. At the start of his turn, Lonovan has a longbow in his hands. He attacks as his action. Later in the round, a monster runs past him. Lonovan cannot make an opportunity attack because he does not have a melee weapon. At the start of his next turn, Lonovan chooses two daggers. He throws one, and transfers the other into his main hand. When a monster runs past him this time, he gets to make an opportunity attack because he now has a melee weapon.
  3. Urgen takes out his greataxe at the start of his turn and attacks with it. Later in the round, someone casts magic missile on him. He cannot cast shield because he does not have a free hand for the somatic component, since both hands are gripping his greataxe.
  4. Aryek starts his turn with a shield in his offhand and a potion in his main hand. He drinks the potion as his action. Until the start of his next turn, he cannot draw another weapon.

Items Held in Combat

Minos RileyJohnGibbs RileyJohnGibbs