Crossbow Expert is a feat in Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition (5e) that allows a character to use a crossbow with greater proficiency and effectiveness.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the Crossbow Expert feat, including its benefits, how to acquire it, and how to use it in combat.
What is Crossbow Expert 5e?
Crossbow Expert is a feat in D&D 5e that provides a variety of benefits to characters who use crossbows in combat. The primary benefit of the feat is that it allows a character to make a ranged attack with a loaded crossbow as a bonus action, which is normally not possible.
This allows characters to deal significant damage with a crossbow while also using their action for other purposes, such as movement or attacking with a different weapon.
|Bonus action attack||Can make a bonus action attack with a loaded crossbow|
|Ignore loading property||Can ignore the “loading” property of crossbows|
|Close quarters shooter||No disadvantage on ranged attacks in melee|
|Extra damage||Adds proficiency bonus to damage rolls with crossbows|
|Versatility||Can use a hand crossbow as a melee weapon|
How to Acquire Crossbow Expert 5e?
To acquire the Crossbow Expert feat in D&D 5e, a character must meet the following prerequisites:
- The character must have a Dexterity score of 13 or higher.
- The character must have proficiency with martial weapons, which includes crossbows.
Once a character meets these prerequisites, they can take the Crossbow Expert feat when they reach 4th level or higher. Alternatively, some DMs may allow characters to acquire the feat through other means, such as by completing a quest or finding a special item.
Benefits of Crossbow Expert 5e
The Crossbow Expert feat provides several benefits to characters who use crossbows in combat. Here are some of the key benefits:
Bonus action attack:
As mentioned earlier, the feat allows a character to make a ranged attack with a loaded crossbow as a bonus attack action. This can significantly increase the character’s damage output in combat.
Ignore loading property:
The feat allows a character to ignore the “loading” property of crossbows, which normally requires a character to spend an action to reload the weapon after each shot. This means that a character with the feat can make multiple attacks with a crossbow in a single turn, as long as they have enough ammunition.
The feat allows a character to make ranged attacks with a crossbow even when an enemy is within 5 feet of them. Normally, making a ranged attack in such close quarters would have disadvantage, but the Crossbow Expert feat negates this penalty.
The feat allows a character to add their ability modifier to damage rolls made with a crossbow, which can significantly increase the character’s damage output.
How to Use Crossbow Expert 5e in Combat
To make the most of the Crossbow Expert feat in D&D 5e, it’s important to understand how to use it effectively in combat. Here are some tips:
Use your bonus action:
The primary benefit of the feat is the ability to make a ranged attack with a loaded crossbow as a bonus action. Make sure to take advantage of this feature as often as possible to increase your damage output.
Since the feat allows you to ignore the “loading” property of crossbows, you can make multiple attacks in a single turn as long as you have enough ammunition. Use your movement to stay at a safe distance from enemies while still being able to make attacks.
Target weak spots:
The increased damage from the feat means that you can take down enemies quickly if you target their weak spots. Aim for areas with lower armor class or where the enemy is vulnerable, such as the eyes or joints.
Crossbows are ranged weapons, which means that they’re most effective when used at a distance. However, enemies may try to close the gap and engage you in melee combat. In such situations, it’s important to take cover behind obstacles or allies to protect yourself and continue making ranged attacks.
When there are multiple enemies on the battlefield, it’s important to prioritize your targets. Focus on enemies that pose the greatest threat to you or your allies, such as spellcasters or powerful melee fighters.
Classes that work well with Crossbow Expert
The Crossbow Expert feat can benefit a wide range of character classes, but some classes are particularly well-suited to using this feat to its fullest potential.
Here are a few classes that can make great use of the Crossbow Expert feat:
Fighters are an obvious choice for the Crossbow Expert feat, as they have access to the Archery fighting style, which grants a +2 bonus to ranged attack rolls. Additionally, fighters can make multiple attacks in a turn at higher levels, allowing them to take full advantage of the Crossbow Expert feat’s bonus action attack. Fighters can also benefit from the extra damage provided by the feat, making them even more deadly at range.
Rangers are another great choice for the Crossbow Expert feat, as they have access to the Hunter fighting style, which also grants a +2 bonus to ranged attack rolls. Rangers can also benefit from spells like Hunter’s Mark, which adds additional damage to each attack against a target. The Crossbow Expert feat’s bonus action attack can also help rangers who need to move and reposition frequently in combat.
Rogues can make great use of the Crossbow Expert feat by combining it with their Sneak Attack ability. By using the feat’s bonus action attack to make a ranged attack with a loaded crossbow and then using their action to make a Sneak Attack with the same crossbow, rogues can deal a significant amount of damage to a single target. Rogues can also benefit from the extra damage provided by the feat, and the Close Quarters Shooter benefit can help them deal with enemies who try to close the gap in combat.
Artificers are an often-overlooked class when it comes to ranged combat, but they can be surprisingly effective with the Crossbow Expert feat. Artificers can use their Infusions to add magical properties to their crossbows, increasing their damage output or adding additional effects to their attacks. Additionally, Artificers can use their spellcasting abilities to buff their own attacks or hinder their enemies, making them a versatile and effective ranged combatant.
These are just a few examples of classes that can make great use of the Crossbow Expert feat in D&D 5e. Of course, any character that focuses on ranged combat can benefit from this feat, so don’t be afraid to try it out with your own favorite class!
Types of Crossbows in D&D
In Dungeons and Dragons, there are several different kinds of crossbows that a character can use. Each type has its own strengths and weaknesses, and can be used in different ways depending on the character’s build and play style. Here are the most common types of crossbows in D&D:
The Light Crossbow is the simplest and most common type of crossbow in D&D. It deals 1d8 piercing damage and has a range of 80/320 feet. The Light Crossbow has the “loading” property, which means that it can only be fired once per action, regardless of how many attacks a character can normally make.
The Hand Crossbow is a small, one handed weapon crossbow that can be used as a melee weapon in addition to a ranged weapon. It deals 1d6 piercing damage and has a range of 30/120 feet. The Hand Crossbow also has the “loading” property, but the Crossbow Expert feat allows characters to ignore this property and make a bonus attack action with a loaded Hand Crossbow.
The Heavy Crossbow is a larger, more powerful crossbow that deals 1d10 piercing damage. Also, it has a range of 100/400 feet. The Heavy Crossbow also has the “loading” property, but it requires two hands to use and takes an action to reload. This makes it slower to use than the Light Crossbow.
The Repeating Crossbow is a unique crossbow that can fire multiple bolts before needing to be reloaded. It deals 1d8 piercing damage and has a range of 80/320 feet. The Repeating Crossbow has a capacity of five bolts and can fire all of them before needing to be reloaded, making it a great choice for characters who want to deal a lot of damage quickly.
The Siege Crossbow is a massive, heavy crossbow designed for use in sieges and other large-scale battles. It deals 2d10 piercing damage and has a range of 300/1200 feet, making it one of the most powerful ranged weapons in the game. The Siege Crossbow is also incredibly slow to reload, taking several rounds to prepare between shots.
These are just a few examples of the types of crossbows that a character can use in Dungeons and Dragons. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, and can be used in different ways depending on the character’s build and playstyle.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I use the Crossbow Expert feat with any type of crossbow?
Yes, the Crossbow Expert feat can be used with any type of crossbow, including hand crossbows, light crossbows, and heavy crossbows.
Do I need to have ammunition to use the feat’s bonus action attack?
Yes, you must have ammunition loaded in your crossbow to use the feat’s bonus action attack. However, the feat allows you to ignore the “loading” property of crossbows, which means you can make multiple attacks in a turn as long as you have enough ammunition.
Can I use the feat’s bonus action attack if I use my action to reload my crossbow?
No, you cannot use the feat’s bonus action attack if you use your action to reload your crossbow. The bonus action attack requires a loaded crossbow, and the “loading” property of crossbows requires an action to reload.
Can I use the Crossbow Expert feat with other feats or abilities that enhance ranged attacks?
Yes, the Crossbow Expert feat can be combined with other feats or abilities that enhance ranged attacks, such as the Sharpshooter feat or the Fighter’s Archery fighting style.
Can I use the Crossbow Expert feat with sneak attack as a rogue?
Yes, a rogue can use the Crossbow Expert feat to make a ranged weapons attack action with a loaded crossbow as a bonus action and then use their action to make a sneak attack action with the same crossbow. This can result in a significant amount of damage to a single target.
The Crossbow Expert feat in D&D 5e is a powerful option for characters who prefer to use crossbows in combat.
Its primary benefit of allowing a bonus action attack with a loaded crossbow can significantly increase a character’s damage output. Other benefits of this feat make the character more versatile and effective in combat.
Now you can make the most of the Crossbow Expert feat and become a formidable ranged combatant.
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