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Heavy Crossbow 5e D&D Guide



Greetings, fellow adventurers! In my two decades of traversing the expansive landscapes of Dungeons & Dragons, few weapons have held the raw power and battlefield presence as the Heavy Crossbow.

Today, we embark on a journey to unravel the mysteries behind this formidable ranged weapon.

From its basics to the rules governing its usage, who can harness its might, and practical examples to inspire your campaigns, this article aims to be your guide through the intricacies of the Heavy Crossbow in the 5th Edition of D&D.

What is Heavy Crossbow?

The Heavy Crossbow, a weapon revered for its sheer stopping power, is a two-handed ranged projectile weapon in Dungeons & Dragons 5e.

Known for its simplicity and reliability, this crossbow packs a punch that can pierce through armor and strike fear into the hearts of adversaries.

How to Use Heavy Crossbow?

Proficiency with martial weapons is a prerequisite for wielding the Heavy Crossbow effectively.

Loading and firing the crossbow requires an action in combat, and it’s essential to note that it demands the use of both hands.

The Heavy Crossbow embodies a balance between power and practicality, making it a favorite among characters who prefer to engage foes from a distance.

Rules for Using the Heavy Crossbow:

  • Damage: The Heavy Crossbow delivers a hefty blow, dealing 1d10 piercing damage on a successful hit. This makes it a potent choice for characters who seek high damage output.
  • Range: With a normal range of 100 feet and a long range of 400 feet, the Heavy Crossbow is designed for striking targets at a considerable distance. Attacks beyond the normal range are made with disadvantage.
  • Loading Property: Like its lighter counterpart, the Heavy Crossbow is subject to the “Loading” property. This means a character can only fire it once per turn, regardless of the number of attacks they may possess.

Who Can Harness Its Might:

The Heavy Crossbow is a martial weapon, requiring proficiency to wield effectively.

Characters with proficiency in martial weapons, such as fighters and certain subclasses of other classes, can make the most of the Heavy Crossbow’s formidable capabilities.


  1. Dwarven Marksman: A stout dwarven fighter, clad in heavy armor, might utilize a Heavy Crossbow to provide powerful ranged support to their comrades.
  2. Elven Sniper: An elven ranger, skilled in precision and finesse, may choose the Heavy Crossbow as a versatile option for striking down distant enemies with deadly accuracy.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I use a Heavy Crossbow while wearing a shield?

No, the Heavy Crossbow requires the use of both hands to load and fire effectively, preventing the simultaneous use of a shield.

Does the Loading property prevent me from using extra attack features?

Yes, the Loading property restricts you to firing the Heavy Crossbow once per turn, even if you possess the Extra Attack feature.

Can I add my Dexterity modifier to the damage rolls with a Heavy Crossbow?

No, the Heavy Crossbow uses your Strength modifier for attack and damage rolls, emphasizing raw power over finesse.

Does the Long Range property impose any additional penalties?

Attacks beyond the normal range are made with disadvantage, reflecting the increased difficulty of hitting distant targets.

Can I use the Crossbow Expert feat to bypass the Loading property?

No, the Crossbow Expert feat explicitly mentions hand crossbows, light crossbows, and heavy crossbows, allowing you to ignore the Loading property.


In the vast arsenal of weapons available in Dungeons & Dragons 5e, the Heavy Crossbow stands out as a symbol of power and precision.

Whether wielded by a seasoned fighter or a skilled ranger, this two-handed ranged weapon offers a reliable option for those who prefer to engage their enemies from a distance.

May your aim be true, and your bolts strike fear into the hearts of your adversaries as you venture forth into the realms of adventure!

Hey, I'm Alex Hawthorne, a D&D enthusiast for two incredible decades. From battling beholders to deciphering ancient runes, I've lived it all. Now, I'm here to share my adventures, wisdom, and a few critical hits. Let's roll!

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