Doing double duty as both a weapon and walking stick, a quarterstaff in 5E (PHB) is a simple and ancient piece of technology. In this article, we’ll take a look at how quarterstaffs work in 5E and interesting ways to use them.
How quarterstaffs work
A quarterstaff is a simple weapon that costs 2 SP and does 1d6 bludgeoning damage on a hit. It has the versatile property, meaning that you can choose to use two hands when you attack with the weapon, increasing the damage from 1d6 to 1d8. A magical staff, or staff that functions as an arcane focus, can also be used as a quarterstaff for the purpose of making melee attacks.
Big ol’ beat stick
If you’re enamored with the idea of smacking around monsters with a long stick for your next PC you might be wondering which classes get the most out of it and how you can make it better. Fear not, here are a couple of examples to get your creative juices flowing:
Druid – These nature casters have access to the Shillelagh cantrip, which allows them to use their Wisdom Modifier instead of Strength, makes the damage magical, and makes the damage a d8 even if they only use one hand. That last benefit synergizes very well with a Druid’s shield proficiency, allowing them to make up for lacking metal armor without missing out on damage.
Monk – Using a quarterstaff with two hands is an easy way for most Monks to optimize their damage, allowing them to outpace their Martial Arts damage until Tier 3.
Warlock – Specifically, Pact of the Tome Warlocks can get a lot out of a quarterstaff by taking Shillelagh to use Charisma instead of Strength. However, they can then take it even further by using Shillelagh together with either Green-Flame Blade or Booming Blade, and even Hex in harder fights. This allows a Warlock to do good melee damage, whilst being Charisma SAD without needing to be a Hexblade.
We hope that this article has been helpful and helped you look bonk some sense into evil-doers. If you’re a new player learning the game, then check out our how to play DnD 5E section, or if you’re here because you’re considering a quarterstaff-using Monk, then check out our Monk 5E guide. Until next time, may your staff never break and your arms never tire.
What is a quarterstaff in DnD 5E?
A quarterstaff is a type of versatile simple melee weapon in DnD 5E.
How does a quarterstaff work in DnD 5E?
A quarterstaff is a versatile weapon that can be used either one or two-handed, with a d6 damage for the former and a d8 damage for the latter.
Can a character use a quarterstaff with two-weapon fighting in DnD 5E?
Yes, but only if you take the Dual Wielderfeat. You can’t use a quarterstaff with two-weapon fighting without this feat as a quarterstaff is not a light weapon. However, if you do take the feat, whilst using two-weapon fighting you won’t be able to use the versatile trait.
How does a quarterstaff interact with other abilities and spells in DnD 5E?
The most notable interaction between a quarterstaff and another part of the game is the Shillelagh cantrip natively available to Druids. This cantrip allows a Druid to use Wisdom instead of Strength, sets the damage of the staff to 1d8 even one-handed, and makes the damage magical.