I want to hit enemy's axe to break it. How this is properly played in D&D 5e? And what about shield or armor? Can I attack these items to break it?
Equipment takes damage under a variety of circumstances, but most of the circumstances are rare unless a character devotes resources to breaking things
Such a character might...
- sunder a item held or worn by a foe. The character picks the item to sunder. If the sunder attempt is successful, determine if the item breaks by consulting Damaging Objects. The Damaging Objects section answers many of your questions about, for example, energy damage versus objects and acid versus leather.
cast a spell that specifically harms objects, such as the spell shout, but unless a spell says it harms objects--either in the heading or in the description--it doesn't harm objects.
Note that some spells--for example, fireball and lightning bolt--readily affect unattended objects (i.e. objects not in a creature's possession), but attended objects (i.e. objects in a creature's possession) aren't usually required to make saving throws separate from the character. Instead, the (usually more narratively important) creature makes the saving throw, and, whether the creature survives the spell or not, the gear the creature possesses remains unharmed.
Also, for example, acid arrow inflicts acid damage to a creature that's the spell's target but that same acid arrow spell doesn't also harm that creature's possessions. Were the caster to target with the spell a piece of gear in the creature's possession, then the piece of gear would take the acid damage instead of the creature.
manipulate the environment--usually via spells like burning gaze but sometimes via items (but, strangely, apparently not alchemist's fire)--so that a foe suffers ongoing damage from an environmental effect. Most things don't do this--and it won't happen unless the thing being used says it does happen--, but among effects that do reference the environment rules, catching on fire is by far the most common, and, so you, know
Those whose clothes or equipment catch fire must make DC 15 Reflex saves for each item. Flammable items that fail take the same amount of damage as the character.
Emphasis on that tedious task mine.
- cast enough spells that require saving throws to force a foe on a saving throw to roll--eventually--a 1. This results in an exposed item suffering harm. If an order is needed as to what attended objects take damage before other attended objects, it's reasonable for the DM to start with the magical attacks chart. Using it for unintended purposes, however, is liable to cause hard feelings. Players really don't like their characters' stuff broken, especially with house rules.
KRyan's laid out well the reasons why the game functions this way, but let me add that even the most realistic of table-top role-playing games rarely track wear and tear on a character's gear.1 That minutiae is better suited for video games or unusual RPGs emphasizing the importance of the characters' gear over the importance of the characters.
- So much so that even Steven Jackson Games's deeply simulationist GURPS, 3rd Edition made tracking damage to a character's shield a wholly optional rule.
I've read the rules quite extensively and will try to compile an answer to my own question.
No, they can't be used for those skills.
Siege Equipment are objects, not weapons.
They are classified as Large Objects, not weapons. Despite being occasionally referred to as "weapons", they don't fall under the category of Weapons, in the sense they can be equipped, disarmed and, above all, used in an Attack Action.
They don't require proficiency to be used
Your class grants proficiency in certain weapons, reflecting both the class's focus and the tools you are most likely to use.
Usually something like: proficiency with martial weapons, proficiency with swords. Siege weapons are usable by anyone, with the Use an Object action.
They are not listed in the weapons tables
Instead, they show up in the DMG, together with objects like Suspended Cauldrons. These cauldrons, despite being siege weapons (defensive mostly), are clearly not weapons in the regular sense, they don't even have an attack roll.
The PHB claims the table mentions only most common weapons, but these weapons all share many characteristics (which are also shared by improvised weapons):
they can be equipped and disarmed.
you add your own modifiers to their attacks
you use the Attack action to attack with them
they are neatly arranged into categories
We will see that Siege Weapons have none of these traits.
They have fixed damage and attack rolls
You don't add modifiers to them (Proficiency, Strength or Dexterity), either to Attack or Damage rolls. This is because it's the Siege Weapon's Attack Roll, and not yours.
They require actions to be used (not Attack Action).
It takes one action to load the weapon, one action to aim it, and one action to fire it.
Meaning Extra Attack or similar features are off the table as well. Meaning anyone can use them, no proficiency with it is necessary.
When an object requires your action for its use, you take the Use an Object action.
So, you are not making the attack rolls at all, you are Using an Object, and the object's use has an Attack and a Damage roll. You fire the weapon (using the "Use an Object" action), and it's the object's attack roll (not yours). This also furthers the point that Siege Weapons are Objects you use, not Weapons in the classical sense.
Weapons belong to a class of weapons: simple or martial or natural, ranged or melee
Every weapon is classified as either melee or ranged.
The three categories are simple, martial, and natural.
This is supported by Crawford
There are three categories of weapons in the game:
A weapon is in only one of those categories, unless a rule makes an exception
No siege weapon is actually defined as belonging to any of theses classes. In fact, some would be quite hard to describe (Suspended Cauldron drops something on top of enemies, is this a ranged attack?).
Doval's comment also makes a great point:
Being able to make a ranged weapon attack doesn't make something a ranged weapon.
Now, let's closely examine each of the skills we looked at.
Once per turn, you can deal an extra 1d6 damage to one creature you hit with an attack if you have advantage on the attack roll. The attack must use a finesse or a ranged weapon.
It requires ranged or finesse weapons, which Siege weapons are not (they are objects). You are also not attacking, you're using an object. You couldn't trigger Sneak Attack with a magical staff that threw a fire bolt at someone when used.
Flavor-wise, Sneak Attack is about using finesse to hit the soft-spots of a distracted target. It doesn't sound right to do this with a gigantic trebuchet, does it?
You gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls you make with ranged weapons.
Like before, siege weapons are not ranged weapons (just like you wouldn't get a +2 when throwing a Spear).
Plus, I still defend that you are not the one making the Attack Roll, as you don't add any modifiers to it. You are using an object, and its the object's attack roll, not yours.
you learn a ritual that creates a magical bond between yourself and one weapon.
These are not classical weapons, but Objects. You wouldn't be able to bond with a table, just because you can throw it at people. Just because you can use it as a weapon, it doesn't mean it IS a weapon. Also,
you can't be disarmed of that weapon unless you are incapacitated.
This implies you can equip a weapon and be disarmed from it, which does not happen with Siege Weapons.
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