Sage Advice : Class Features
When you use Extra Attack, do you have to use the same weapon for all the attacks?
Extra Attack imposes no limitation on what you use for the attacks. You can use regular weapons, improvised weapons, unarmed strikes, or a combination of these options for the attacks.
[NEW] What is the timing of Flash of Genius?
You use Flash of Genius immediately after the triggering d20 is rolled and before any of the effects of the roll are applied. Unless a rule tells you otherwise, a reaction occurs immediately after its trigger.
[NEW] Which action is used to activate a Spell-Storing Item?
Activating a Spell-Storing Item uses the Use an Object action.
[NEW] Can an artificer dismiss one of their infusions on an object early?
No. An infusion lasts until one of the circumstances described in the “Infusing an Item” section of the Infuse Item feature.
Does the barbarian’s Danger Sense work against breath weapons and enemies’ special abilities?
A barbarian’s Danger Sense benefits the Dexterity saving throw against any effect that the barbarian can see.
For the barbarian’s Reckless Attack, do you grant advantage to all enemies, or only to the target of your attack?
If you use the barbarian’s Reckless Attack, all attack rolls have advantage against you until the start of your next turn.
Do the benefits from Bardic Inspiration and the guidance spell stack? Can they be applied to the same roll?
Yes, different effects stack if they don’t have the same name. If a creature makes an ability check while it is under the effect of a guidance spell and also has a Bardic Inspiration die, it can roll both a d4 and a d6 if it so chooses.
Is the intent that a bard gets to know the number rolled on an attack roll or ability check before using Cutting Words, or should they always guess? If used on a damage roll, does Cutting Words apply to any kind of damage roll including an auto-hit spell like magic missile?
You can wait to use Cutting Words after the roll, but you must commit to doing so before you know for sure whether the total of the roll or check is a success or a failure. You can use Cutting Words to reduce the damage from any effect that calls for a damage roll (including magic missile) even if the damage roll is not preceded by an attack roll.
Can a bard replace spells gained through Magical Secrets?
When you gain a level in the bard class, the class’s Spellcasting feature lets you replace one bard spell you know with another bard spell of an appropriate level. A spell learned through your Magical Secrets feature counts as a bard spell for you, so it can be replaced upon gaining a bard level later. But it must be replaced by a bard spell, according to the rule in the Spellcasting feature.
Which spell scrolls can bards understand—spells from the bard list only, or spells from the bard list plus spells from Magical Secrets?
A bard can use any spell scroll that has a bard spell on it—including spells gained from the Magical Secrets feature, which are treated as bard spells for that character.
[NEW] Does using College of Valor’s Combat Inspiration add to the damage of an attack count as a damage die for purposes of critical hits?
When a cleric uses the Destructive Wrath feature, does it maximize all damage getting rolled, as long as some of it is lightning or thunder?
Destructive Wrath is meant to maximize lightning and thunder damage only.
[NEW] If a Grave Domain cleric casts a spell that restores hit points to multiple creatures and one of those creatures has 0 hit points, does the spell restore the maximum number of hit points to all targets of the spell?
No. Only a creature with 0 hit points benefits from the hit-point-restoration portion of the Circle of Mortality feature.
What happens if a druid wears metal armor?
Druids have a taboo against wearing metal armor and wielding a metal shield. The taboo has been part of the class’s story since the class first appeared in Eldritch Wizardry (1976) and the original Player’s Handbook (1978). The idea is that druids prefer to be protected by animal skins, wood, and other natural materials that aren’t the worked metal that is associated with civilization. Druids don’t lack the ability to wear metal armor. They choose not to wear it. This choice is part of their identity as a mystical order. Think of it in these terms: a vegetarian can eat meat, but chooses not to. A druid typically wears leather, studded leather, or hide armor, and if a druid comes across scale mail made of a material other than metal, the druid might wear it. If you feel strongly about your druid breaking the taboo and donning metal, talk to your DM. Each class has story elements mixed with its game features; the two types of design go hand in hand in D&D, and the story parts are stronger in some classes than in others. Druids and paladins have an especially strong dose of story in their design. If you want to depart from your class’s story, your DM has the final say on how far you can go and still be considered a member of the class. As long as you abide by your character’s proficiencies, you’re not going to break anything in the game system, but you might undermine the story and the world being created in your campaign.
Can a bound and gagged druid simply use Wild Shape to get out? It’s hard to capture someone who can turn into a mouse at will.
Transforming into a different size can be an effective way of escaping, depending on the nature of the bonds or confinement. All things considered, someone trying to keep a druid captive might be wise to stash the prisoner in a room with an opening only large enough for air to enter.
Does the druid’s Elemental Wild Shape limit you to the four creatures listed, or can you turn into any creature with the elemental type?
The creatures listed in Elemental Wild Shape—air, earth, fire, and water elementals—are specific creatures in the Monster Manual, not creature types or subtypes. Elemental Wild Shape allows you to transform into one of those creatures.
Can a Circle of the Moon druid speak the languages it knows while in the form of an elemental?
Yes, since the elementals listed in Elemental Wild Shape can speak. A literal interpretation (RAW) of Wild Shape could reasonably lead you to think that transformed druids can speak only languages that appear in an elemental’s stat block, but the intent (RAI) is that druids retain their knowledge, including of languages, when they transform and can speak the languages they know if an adopted form can speak.
If a druid in elemental form can speak, can the druid cast spells?
A druid can cast spells in a Wild Shape form only upon gaining the Beast Spells feature at 18th level.
If a druid takes the Magic Initiate feat and chooses detect magic as their one spell, can the druid cast that spell as a ritual?
A druid’s Ritual Casting requires a ritual to be prepared. The spell from Magic Initiate is known but not prepared.
Does the fighter’s Action Surge feature let you take an extra bonus action, in addition to an extra action?
Action Surge gives you an extra action, not an extra bonus action. (Recent printings of the Player’s Handbook no longer include the wording that provoked this question.)
Can a fighter have two fighting styles active at once?
Dueling and Defense, for example. You can benefit from more than one Fighting Style option at a time, as long as they don’t have conflicting requirements, as Dueling and Great Weapon Fighting do.
Does the Archery fighting style work with a melee weapon that you throw?
No, the Archery feature benefits ranged weapons. A melee weapon, such as a dagger or handaxe, is still a melee weapon when you make a ranged attack with it.
Is the Dueling fighting style intended to support a shield?
Yes. A character with the Dueling option usually pairs a one-handed weapon with a shield, a spellcasting focus, or a free hand.
If you use Great Weapon Fighting with a feature like Divine Smite or a spell like hex, do you get to reroll any 1 or 2 you roll for the extra damage?
The Great Weapon Fighting feature—which is shared by fighters and paladins—is meant to benefit only the damage roll of the weapon used with the feature. For example, if you use a greatsword with the feature, you can reroll any 1 or 2 you roll on the weapon’s 2d6. If you’re a paladin and use Divine Smite with the greatsword, Great Weapon Fighting doesn’t let you reroll a 1 or 2 that you roll for the damage of Divine Smite.
If my Battle Master fighter provokes an opportunity attack and it misses, can I use Riposte?
Yes, you can use the Riposte maneuver in response to an opportunity attack that misses you, assuming your reaction is available.
Does the "when" in the Eldritch Knight’s War Magic feature mean the bonus attack comes after you cast the cantrip, or can it come before?
The bonus action comes after the cantrip, since using your action to cast a cantrip is what gives you the ability to make the weapon attack as a bonus action. That said, a DM would break nothing in the system by allowing an Eldritch Knight to reverse the order of the cantrip and the weapon attack.
If my Eldritch Knight casts true strike and has the War Magic feature, is the attack granted by War Magic made with advantage because of true strike?
No. The attack from War Magic is made normally, and you get the benefit of true strike on your next turn if the spell hasn’t ended.
[NEW] Can the Disarming Attack maneuver disarm a creature of a shield it has donned?
No. Disarming Attack forces a creature to drop an object it is holding. Donned shields aren’t merely held.
If a monk uses a staff or another versatile weapon twohanded, does it still count as a monk weapon?
Yes. A monk weapon must lack the two-handed property, but nothing prevents a monk from wielding such a weapon with two hands. Fundamentally, a monk weapon counts as such no matter how a monk uses it.
The dart is not classified as a monk weapon, yet a monk gets 10 darts as starting equipment. Why is that?
Starting equipment often lends versatility to a character. In this case, a monk’s darts provide a ranged attack option, not a Martial Arts option.
Does the Martial Arts feature turn monk weapons and unarmed strikes into finesse weapons?
No. The feature grants a benefit that is similar to the finesse property, but the feature doesn’t confer that property.
When a monk using Deflect Missiles catches and throws a projectile, what is the damage of the attack?
A missile counts as a monk weapon if it is thrown using Deflect Missiles; it deals its damage or Martial Arts damage (the monk’s choice).
Can a monk use Stunning Strike with an unarmed strike, even though unarmed strikes aren’t weapons?
Yes. Stunning Strike works with melee weapon attacks, and an unarmed strike is a special type of melee weapon attack. The game often makes exceptions to general rules, and this is an important exception: that unarmed strikes count as melee weapon attacks despite not being weapons.
When a monk uses Empty Body, does the invisibility remain in effect after the monk attacks?
Yes. The invisibility of the monk’s Empty Body isn’t ended by the monk attacking.
Does a monk’s Purity of Body feature grant immunity to poison damage, the poisoned condition, or both?
That feature grants immunity to both. As a result, a monk with Purity of Body can, for example, inhale a green dragon’s poison breath unharmed. Similarly, the monk is unaffected by ray of sickness, which both deals poison damage and imposes the poisoned condition.
Can the monk’s Open Hand Technique push a Large or larger creature or knock it prone?
The Open Hand Technique intentionally ignores creature size. A monk’s ki fuels many extraordinary effects! If a feature is limited by creature size, the feature tells you so.
Does a monk need to spend any ki points to cast the minor illusion cantrip granted by the Shadow Arts feature?
No. The ki point cost in the feature applies only to the other spells in it.
For a Way of Shadow monk, can their silence be dispelled?
A spell is a spell, no matter its source. When you cast a spell through a feature, the spell is subject to the normal spellcasting rules, unless the feature says otherwise.
Can a monk of the Way of the Four Elements replace Elemental Attunement with another elemental discipline?
Yes. Even though you know Elemental Attunement automatically, without having to choose it, you can exchange it for a different discipline at 6th, 11th, or 17th level.
Would a Paladin’s Divine Sense register a tiefling due to their infernal heritage?
A tiefling is a humanoid, not a fiend, and therefore escapes the notice of Divine Sense. The feature detects creatures that have the celestial, fiend, or undead creature type.
Can my paladin use a smite spell along with Divine Smite? As in, I cast wrathful smite, hit, then use Divine Smite on the same attack?
Yes, you can use Divine Smite on the same weapon attack that benefits from a smite spell, such as wrathful smite—as long as the attack you make after casting the smite spell is a melee weapon attack. Divine Smite doesn’t work with any other kind of attack.
[NEW] Can a paladin use Divine Smite when they hit using an unarmed strike?
No. Divine Smite isn’t intended to work with unarmed strikes. Divine Smite does work with a melee weapon attack, and an unarmed strike can be used to make such an attack. But the text of Divine Smite also refers to the "weapon’s damage", and an unarmed strike isn’t a weapon. If a DM decides to override this rule, no imbalance is created. Tying Divine Smite to weapons was a thematic choice on our part—paladins being traditionally associated with weapons. It was not a game balance choice.
There is no component pouch option in the ranger’s starting equipment. Does the class not need one, nor a focus for spells?
Like other spellcasters, the ranger follows the rule on components in chapter 10 of the Player’s Handbook. A ranger typically uses a component pouch for the material components of spells, but doesn’t start with one because rangers don’t have spells at 1st level.
Can a ranger move between the attack rolls of the Whirlwind Attack feature?
No. Whirlwind Attack is unusual, in that it’s a single attack with multiple attack rolls. In most other instances, an attack has one attack roll. The rule on moving between attacks (PH, 190) lets you move between weapon attacks, not between the attack rolls of an exceptional feature like Whirlwind Attack.
[NEW] Does a Monster Slayer ranger’s Supernatural Defense feature apply if a creature damages the ranger, thus causing the ranger to make a Constitution saving throw to maintain concentration on a spell?
Can a rogue use Sneak Attack more than once per round?
The Sneak Attack description specifies that you can use the feature once per turn, but it’s not limited to your turn. The feature also doesn’t limit the number of times you can use it in a round. You sometimes get a chance to use Sneak Attack on someone else’s turn. The most common way for this to happen is when a foe provokes an opportunity attack from you. If the requirements for Sneak Attack are met, your opportunity attack can benefit from that feature. Similarly, a fighter could use Commander’s Strike to grant you an attack on the fighter’s turn, and if the attack qualifies, it can use Sneak Attack. Both of those options rely on the use of your reaction, so you could do only one of them in a round. Because you get only one reaction per round, you’re unlikely to use Sneak Attack more than twice in a round: once with your action and once with your reaction.
For Sneak Attack, what if another enemy of your target was 10 feet away with a polearm (which has a reach of 10 feet), instead of 5 feet away? Would you still be able to use Sneak Attack?
The 5-foot limitation in Sneak Attack is unaffected by the reach of a weapon. That other enemy of the target is creating a close-up distraction, regardless of the weapon in hand.
Does Uncanny Dodge work automatically against every attack a rogue or ranger gets hit by? Spell attacks too?
A use of Uncanny Dodge works against only one attack, since it expends your reaction, and only if you can see the attacker. It works against attacks of all sorts, including spell attacks, but it is no help against a spell or other effect, such as fireball, that delivers its damage after a saving throw rather than after an attack roll.
Can a rogue use Evasion if they are surprised?
The rule states that if you are surprised, you can’t move or take an action. A surprised rogue can use Evasion, since that feature doesn’t require the rogue to take an action or move.
Can the rogue’s Reliable Talent feature be used in conjunction with Remarkable Athlete or Jack of All Trades?
No. Each of these features has a precondition for its use; Reliable Talent activates when you make an ability check that uses your proficiency bonus, whereas the other two features activate when you make an ability check that doesn’t use your proficiency bonus. In other words, a check that qualifies for Reliable Talent doesn’t qualify for Remarkable Athlete or Jack of All Trades. And Remarkable Athlete and Jack of All Trades don’t work with each other, since you can add your proficiency bonus, or any portion thereof, only once to a roll.
Can a thief use the Fast Hands feature to activate a magic item?
No. One of the benefits of Fast Hands is being able to take the Use an Object action as a bonus action, but using a magic item doesn’t fall under Use an Object, as explained in the Dungeon Master’s Guide (p. 141). In contrast, using a nonmagical item, such as a healer’s kit, is in the domain of Use an Object.
For triggering the rogue’s Assassinate ability, when does a creature stop being surprised? After their turn in the round, or at the end of the round?
A surprised creature stops being surprised at the end of its first turn in combat.
[NEW] Does the Thief’s Use Magic Device feature allow them to use spell scrolls?
Yes. The intent is that a Thief can use spell scrolls with Use Magic Device.
[NEW] Can a Thief use Fast Hands to use or apply poisons?
Yes. Administering poison uses the Use an Object action.
If a sorcerer casts a spell with only verbal or somatic components using Subtle Spell, can an opponent use counterspell against it?
If a spell that’s altered by Subtle Spell has no material component, then it’s impossible for anyone to perceive the spell being cast. So, since you can’t see the casting, counterspell is of no use.
Metamagic rules state you can’t use multiple Metamagic options on a single spell. Can you use one option multiple times?
A sorcerer can use one Metamagic option once in the casting of a spell, not the same option more than once. For instance, a sorcerer can’t quadruple the duration of a spell by spending 2 sorcery points on Extended Spell.
Elemental Affinity improves one damage roll of a spell, not multiple rolls? So with scorching ray, I don’t add my Charisma modifier to each ray that hits?
That’s correct. Elemental Affinity benefits one damage roll per casting of a spell, even if the spell allows more than one roll. So, for example, the feature improves one of the rays of a scorching ray spell or one of the beams of an eldritch blast spell.
Can Empowered Spell affect all the rays of a scorching ray spell, or just one?
A sorcerer’s Empowered Spell could affect more than one ray of a scorching ray, abiding by the feature’s die limit. For instance, if you create three rays with the spell and you have a +3 Charisma modifier, you could reroll one of the damage dice for each ray, or two of the damage dice for one ray and one of the damage dice for another one.
Does Quickened Spell allow a sorcerer to cast two spells a round of 1st level or higher?
No, the sorcerer must follow the rule for casting a spell as a bonus action and casting another spell on the same turn; the other spell must be a cantrip with a casting time of 1 action.
Can my sorcerer use Twinned Spell on a spell duplicated by the casting of a wish spell? And if so, how many sorcery points does it cost?
Yes, you can. It costs the number of sorcery points appropriate for the level of the spell you’re duplicating.
Does a sorcerer’s Wild Magic Surge effect replace the effect of the spell that triggered it, or do both effects happen?
The spell and the Wild Magic Surge effect both happen. As clarified in the errata for the Player’s Handbook, a surge effect that normally requires concentration does not require concentration in this case.
Can my sorcerer use Twinned Spell to affect a particular spell?
You can use Twinned Spell on a spell that …
- targets only one creature
- doesn’t have a range of self
- is incapable of targeting more than one creature at the spell’s current level
If you know this rule yet are still unsure whether a particular spell qualifies for Twinned Spell, consult with your DM, who has the final say. If the two of you are curious about our design intent, here is the list of things that disqualify a spell for us:
- The spell has a range of self.
- The spell can target an object.
- The spell allows you to choose more than one creature to be affected by it, particularly at the level you’re casting the spell. Some spells increase their number of potential targets when you cast them at a higher level.
- The spell can force more than one creature to make a saving throw before the spell’s duration expires.
- The spell lets you make a roll of any kind that can affect more than one creature before the spell’s duration expires.
Do warlock spells granted by the Expanded Spell List feature count against the number of spells known?
The spells granted by that feature aren’t automatically known by a warlock. Those spells are added to the warlock spell list for the character, who can choose them when learning a new warlock spell of the appropriate level. Once learned, such a spell does count against the number of spells the warlock knows.
Does the Eyes of the Rune Keeper invocation work on magical runes?
Eyes of the Rune Keeper lets you read any form of writing, including the linguistic meaning of a rune, if any.
If a warlock uses Pact of the Blade to bond with a magic weapon, does that weapon have to be a melee weapon, and can the warlock change the weapon’s form?
The warlock’s Pact of the Blade feature (PH, 107–8) lets you create a melee weapon out of nothing. Whenever you do so, you determine the weapon’s form, choosing from the melee weapon options in the Weapons table in the Player’s Handbook (p. 149). For example, you can create a greataxe, and then use the feature again to create a javelin, which causes the greataxe to disappear.
You can also use Pact of the Blade to bond with a magic weapon, turning it into your pact weapon. This magic weapon doesn’t have to be a melee weapon, so you could use the feature on a +1 longbow, for instance. Once the bond is formed, the magic weapon appears whenever you call your pact weapon to you, and you can’t change the magic weapon’s form when it appears. For example, if you bond with a flame tongue (longsword) and send the weapon to an extradimensional space, the weapon comes back as a longsword when you summon it. You don’t get to turn it into a club. Similarly, if you bond with a dagger of venom, you can’t summon it as a maul; it’s always a dagger.
The feature allows the conjuring forth of a melee weapon, yet we allow more versatility when it comes to magic weapons. We didn’t want a narrow focus in this feature to make a warlock unhappy when a variety of magic weapons appear in a campaign. Does this versatility extend outside the melee theme of the feature? It sure does, but we’re willing to occasionally bend a design concept if doing so is likely to increase a player’s happiness.
If you’re a Pact of the Blade warlock, can someone else wield your pact weapon?
Yes. Someone other than the warlock can use a pact weapon before the weapon disappears.
Does the warlock’s Awakened Mind feature allow twoway telepathic communication?
The feature is intended to provide one-way communication. The warlock can use the feature to speak telepathically to a creature, but the feature doesn’t give that creature the ability to telepathically reply. In contrast, the telepathy ability that some monsters have (MM, 9) does make two-way communication possible.
Does using a bonus action break invisibility from a warlock’s One with Shadows invocation?
Taking a bonus action breaks the invisibility of a warlock’s One with Shadows. A bonus action is an action.
Is an abjurer’s Arcane Ward healed only when the ward has 0 hit points?
The ward regains hit points whenever the abjurer casts an abjuration spell of 1st level or higher, not just when the ward has 0 hit points. As is normal for healing, the ward can’t regain more hit points than its hit point maximum: twice the wizard’s level + the wizard’s Intelligence modifier.
Does casting alarm as a ritual heal Arcane Ward?
Any abjuration spell of 1st level or higher cast by an abjurer, including a ritual, can restore hit points to the abjurer’s Arcane Ward.
How does Arcane Ward interact with temporary hit points and damage resistance that an abjurer might have?
An Arcane Ward is not an extension of the wizard who creates it. It is a magical effect with its own hit points. Any temporary hit points, immunities, or resistances that the wizard has don’t apply to the ward. The ward takes damage first. Any leftover damage is taken by the wizard and goes through the following game elements in order: (1) any relevant damage immunity, (2) any relevant damage resistance, (3) any temporary hit points, and (4) real hit points.
An abjurer gains resistance to spell damage at 14th level. Does the abjurer’s Arcane Ward gain this resistance when a spell hits the abjurer?
The abjurer, not the Arcane Ward, gains the resistance at 14th level.
Does the evoker’s Potent Cantrip feature apply to cantrips with attack rolls or only to saves?
Potent Cantrip affects only cantrips that require a saving throw, such as acid splash and poison spray.
Does the 14th-level illusionist ability let you make something real every round, or just once?
Illusory Reality is intended to make one illusory object real per illusion spell.
For the Shapechanger feature of the School of Transmutation, does polymorph need to be prepared if I only want to cast it without using a spell slot?
A transmuter must have polymorph prepared, as normal, to cast it with the Shapechanger feature.
[NEW] Can Minor Conjuration create a copy of a book, complete with all its text, if the wizard hasn’t seen all the text?
No. In the case of a multipart object, the intent is that you must have seen all parts of the object to duplicate those parts. In the case of a book, if you have seen only the cover, then the duplicate created will be a copy of the cover, and the pages will be blank.
[NEW] Can a School of Divination wizard on the Ethereal Plane use Portent on a creature that the wizard can see on the Material Plane?
Yes. Portent requires you to be able to see the creature, but it has no range restriction.
[NEW] For a wizard to cast a ritual spell contained in their spellbook, do they need to read from the book or use it as part of the ritual?
No. As written, the rule doesn’t require you to read from the book. The narrative intent, however, is that the wizard is reading from their book, but the only mechanical requirement is that the wizard has the spell in their spellbook.
Written by Jeremy Crawford (Sage Advice Compendium v2.6)