dnd 5e – Can I choose which damage type my Sneak Attack does if my weapon does multiple types?

Contrary to the answer in the linked question, allow me to propose that Sneak Attack doesn’t have a damage type because there is no type specifically mentioned in the text.

Not all damage needs to be typed

See this answer on the damage type caused by blood loss, as well as some in-universe examples of untyped damage: the Stirge’s Blood drain, the Bearded Devil’s Glaive, and the Horned Devil’s Tail. Some types of damage in D&D is untyped and does not fit with the default types.

Sneak Attack only says you deal extra damage, without a type mentioned

The text for Sneak Attack says only this:

Beginning at 1st level, you know how to strike subtly and exploit a foe’s distraction. 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.

You can reason out that, just as the blood loss over time does not have a well-defined type of damage, you can argue that the extra SA damage comes from the exploitation of the target’s distractions and weak spots — which is itself not a kind of well-defined damage.

This tweet claims that all damage has a type, given by Jeremy Crawford himself. This clearly shows the intent behind damage types. However, his tweet is directly contradicted by the Monster Manual, a core rulebook, by showing instances of damage that do not have a damage type.

Note that these instances are not mistakes because they are not in the errata. We are left with the designer stating design intentions that is contradicted by a core rulebook. The core rulebook is more authoritative than a tweet — that’s why it’s a core rulebook.

Without JC’s statement about all damage having a type, the viewpoint that some damage does not have a type is stronger.

You don’t get to choose the damage type of Sneak Attack as it is an untyped damage on top of your normal weapon damage dice.

dnd 5e – How much damage is dealt/taken when that damage also reduces a creature to 0 hit points?

You do the full amount of the damage

Not the difference between the creature’s current hp and 0.

In the basic rules, when talking about hp:

A creature’s current hit points (usually just called hit points) can be any number from the creature’s hit point maximum down to 0.

As you noted in the question, the total amount of damage dealt is a factor. After deducting the amount of damage necessary to bring a creature to 0 hp, if the remainder is equal to or greater than the the creature’s maximum hp (not current hp) then they sufferer instant death.

Let’s examine Bob, who has a maximum hp of 15, but currently has 5 remaining. Bob picks a fight with a dragon that uses a bite attack against Bob. If the damage is 1-4, then Bob should play the lottery as he is very lucky and still standing. If the damage is 5-19, then Bob goes “down to 0” hp. If the damage is 20+, then Bob is instantly killed; after deducting the 5 points to bring Bob to 0 hp, the remainder is equal to or greater than Bob’s maximum hp. So there is a precedence in 5th edition for counting all damage not just going to 0 hp.

In previous editions there was a concept of “negative hit points”. Basically, characters would take damage as normal. Once they reached 0 hp, they were considered unconscious. But you would still track the hp down to -10, and once you hit -10 hp you were completely dead. On top of this, every round that you remained under 0 hp and did not receive medical help, you would lose one more hp; going from -1 to -2 to -3, down to -10; effectively bleeding out. This was the old form of “death saving throws”, or a mechanic to prolong the time before a character died outright.

So back to Bob and the dragon; in old school gaming, from 1-4 damage would still be lucky, 5-14 would be unconscious, and 15+ would be instant death. It doesn’t matter Bob’s maximum hp, just that he was now at -10.

I bring up the past edition rules only because it shows that D&D has included the concept of counting damage exceeding what is required to drop a character for quite some time.

Back to your case; your Paladin can rebuke the full 13 damage.

dnd 5e – Does spike growth inflict cumulative damage on large and bigger creatures?

Spike growth:

The ground in a 20-foot radius centered on a point within range twists and sprouts hard spikes and thorns. The area becomes difficult terrain for the duration. When a creature moves into or within the area, it takes 2d4 piercing damage for every 5 feet it travels.
The transformation of the ground is camouflaged to look natural. Any creature that can’t see the area at the time the spell is cast must make a Wisdom (Perception) check against your spell save DC to recognize the terrain as hazardous before entering it.

“That day, the druid cast spike growth where a gargantuan, half-burrowed Sandworm stood… and for the next half hour, everybody stopped playing and started frantically browsing through the manuals to figure out what to do.”

So, the question does size matter…?

I take for granted that you can choose as the epicenter of the spell the point where the creature touches the ground: it won’t influence the space where the body of the creature is, nor anything below, but the surrounding terrain on the ground level should be influenced (although you don’t really see such point, the spell doesn’t require you too, contrary to the usual routine). So, the token of this sizeable creature occupies a 16 (4×4) squares space on the grid (12 hexagons if you’re into that). At the start of its turn, it’s gonna find himself in the middle of a semi-hidden spike field. Since the spell only hurts whoever moves into or within the area, I infer that creatures who find themselves already in it and decide not to move won’t get hurt, all the more if they’re half-burrowed. Now, if the creature notices the danger (and it should since it was there) but still decides to move above the terrain (although I guess he could return underground where half his body lies without repercussions), how much does he get hurt? The spell mentions a damage x movement ratio, and with smaller creatures it’s no problem. But what about bigger monsters? Is this 2nd level spell a colossus bane, which indirectly does x4 damage to large monsters, x9 to huge ones and x16 to gargantuan ones per square (=5 feet)?

RAW, I’d rule against it: bigger creatures aren’t affected multiple times by effects that target more than one of their squares (think fireball: no matter the size, if the spell hits just a square or the whole circumference of a token, the damage only hits once). That said, seems to me like this huge AoE spell should indeed scale with the size of its victims as more spikes pierce through their flesh. Also, it wouldn’t be the first time that low level spells were hugely effective against specific creatures (heat metal against full-plated enemies comes to mind).

What do you think?

dnd 5e – Does Calm Emotions prevent the damage from Weird?

Weird says

On a failed save, a creature becomes frightened for the duration. The illusion calls on the creature’s deepest fears, manifesting its worst nightmares as an implacable threat. At the end of each of the frightened creature’s turns, it must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or take 4d10 psychic damage. On a successful save, the spell ends for that creature.

Calm Emotions Says

You can suppress any effect causing a target to be charmed or frightened. When this spell ends, any suppressed effect resumes, provided that its duration has not expired in the meantime.

From this question, we’ve determined that calm emotions does not prevent saving throws against fear effects. This implies you would still make the saving throw against Weird. Does that mean that despite suppressing the effects of Weird, you might still take damage?

I’d like to know how people interpret the rules here, but also how you might rule it at your table. I’m inclined to think it’s silly to still take damage despite suppressing the fear, and would probably rule that you make the saving throw to end the effects of Weird, but if you fail you do not take damage.

dnd 5e – How many times do you roll damage for Chain Lighting?

Chain Lightning has the following description:

You create a bolt of lightning that arcs toward a target of your choice that you can see within range. Three bolts then leap from that target to as many as three other targets, each of which must be within 30 feet of the first target.

The rules for damage rolls state:

If a spell or other effect deals damage to more than one target at the same time, roll the damage once for all of them. For example, when a wizard casts fireball or a cleric casts flame strike, the spell’s damage is rolled once for all creatures caught in the blast.

Assuming four available targets which of the following is correct?

  • Roll once for damage for all of the targets
  • Roll twice for damage, once for the first target, and once for the three subsidiary targets.
  • Roll damage separately for each targets

dnd 5e – What are the most and least-resisted damage types?

The forum post referenced in András’s answer gives a quick overview of the the damage types but misses many important details about how those damage types are distributed.

Dragons contribute disproportionately to immunities for acid, cold, fire, lightning. That’s because dragons generally come in good/evil pairs, and each dragon has 4 stat blocks (wyrmling, young, adult, ancient). So 8/10 lightning immunities are just different ages of blue and bronze dragons. On top of that metallic dragons are good – and thus unlikely to be fought – so in practice there’s only 3 monsters with lightning immunities worth considering.

Among elementals, fire elementals contribute disproportionately to non-poison immunities: there’s 9 kinds of fire elementals, and they’re all immune to fire damage. Other than those, only Ice Mephits (cold) and Djinni (lightning, thunder) contribute immunities.

Fiends contribute a large amount of resistances and immunities to fire, cold, and to a lesser extent lightning. There’s 11 devils, 13 demons and 4 yugoloths in the Monster Manual.

  • 11/11 devils are immune to fire and resistant to cold (presumably so they can survive in the hot and cold layers of the Nine Hells).
  • 12/13 demons are resistant to fire (the last one is immune)
    • 11/13 are resistant to cold (the last two are immune)
    • 13/13 resist lightning
  • 4/4 yugoloths resist cold, fire, and lightning
  • Night hags are resistant to cold and fire
  • Hell hounds and nightmares are immune to fire

There’s 6 kinds of Slaadi and they’re all resistant to acid, cold, fire, lightning, and thunder. This makes sense, since they come from the chaotic plane of Limbo.

Incorporeal creatures (banshees, ghosts, poltergeists, shadows, shadow demons, specters, will-o’-wisps and wraiths) also resist acid, cold, fire, lightning, and thunder (along with non-magical weapon damage). A few of them are immune to cold rather than resistant. All except the shadow demon (which is still resistant) are immune to necrotic damage, and both shadow monsters are the only ones vulnerable to radiant.

Yogoloths and oozes round out the resistances and immunities to acid.

Undead, fiends, constructs, and true elementals make up the bulk of poison immunities. These are generally non-biological creatures that don’t need food, drink, or sleep. By “true elementals” I mean the ones that are made up entirely of their element, as opposed to elementally-infused flesh-and-blood creatures like azers, salamanders, and genies.

Undead make up almost all resistances and immunities to necrotic damage, and many contribute to the cold resistance totals.

Constructs make up 6/10 of those psychic immunities (3 of those are golems). The rest are couatls, sphinxes and demiliches.

In short, resistances and immunities are distributed fairly predictably among large groups of similar monsters. Rather than thinking in terms of number of resistances or immunities, it’s more practical to think in terms of monster types. It’s also worth noting that cold, fire, and lightning resistances often happen together, but monsters that resist those types rarely resist force, radiant, psychic or – if the target isn’t undead – necrotic damage. Acid is also a fairly good fallback, since it works on non-Yugoloth fiends and all undead other than the incorporeal ones.

dnd 5e – If the Phantom Steed spell ends because the steed takes damage, do you still have 1 minute to dismount?

You still get the minute if the steed takes damage.

This is an interesting spell, in that it gives us a little extra after the spell ends. I think that swapping the order of these sentences may help make this more clear:

The spell ends if you use an action to dismiss it or if the steed takes any damage. When the spell ends, the steed gradually fades, giving the rider 1 minute to dismount.

Here we can see clearly that it doesn’t matter how the spell ends, we still get another minute to dismount.

Unless the mount is killed

We still treat the phantom steed as a regular mount. This seems evident from the spell description:

The creature uses the statistics for a riding horse

So the steed has stats and hit points, and so it would seem that the rules for losing all of your hit points would apply in some way.

To this end, I would rule that if the steed takes damage, you still have a minute for it to act like an normal steed, unless it is killed, at which time all the things that would normally happen when your horse is killed out from under you happen. Specifically, your mount would dead, which means it would fall prone, and this rule from the Mounted Combat section applies:

If your mount is knocked prone, you can use your reaction to dismount it as it falls and land on your feet. Otherwise, you are dismounted and fall prone in a space within 5 feet it.

And the corpse of your mount will fade when the minute is up.

dnd 5e – Does the Gauntlets of Flaming Fury’s fire damage work on the Armorer Artificer’s Thunder Gauntlets?

The wording for Thunder Gauntlets that are a part of the Armorer Alchemist’s Guardian Armor model state:

Each of the armor’s gauntlets counts as a simple melee weapon while you aren’t holding anything in it and it deals 1d8 thunder damage on a hit.

The “and it deals 1d8 thunder damage” clause only applies when the gauntlets are used as simple melee weapons, which they only count as when no other items (not just weapons) are held.

So as soon as the Alchemist holds anything in a hand, that hand’s gauntlet can’t benefit from Thunder Gauntlet.

Meanwhile, Gauntlets of Flaming Fury from Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus state:

While you wear both of these steel gauntlets, any non-magical weapon you grasp with either gauntlet is treated as a magic weapon. As a bonus action, you can use the gauntlets to cause magical flames to envelop one or two melee weapons in your grasp. Each flaming weapon deals an extra 1d6 fire damage on a hit.

So the Gauntlets essentially ignite whatever weapon they are being used to hold. However, because Thunder Gauntlets require that the Alchemist not be holding anything in them, you have an either-or, but not both situation.


User Medix points out that it is possible to bring this whole issue to a grinding halt even before this. The line of reasoning goes something like this:

Armor Model’s Thunder Gauntlets relates to the Arcane Armor feature. That feature states:

As an action, you can turn a suit of armor you are wearing into Arcane Armor

It is possible to parse this to mean that only complete suits of armor may be made into Arcane Armor. If part of that suit is replaced, the replaced component is not able to benefit from any features of Arcane Armor that the part it replaced could benefit from.

In other words, because Gauntlets of Flaming Fury are standalone gauntlets and not part of a larger suit of armor, they can’t be used with with any gauntlet-related features of Arcane Armor.

I personally think that puts players in a terrible position where they have to choose between class features and magic items. Magic items are meant to be attractive character upgrades.

Moreover, the rules for Arcane armor state “Your metallurgical pursuits have led to you making armor a conduit for your magic” I think that’s sufficient textual support for a DM to rule that an Artificer is clever enough to figure out how to incorporate magical armor into a larger suit. As Tim Gunn might say: Make it work, Artificers.

spells – Can a simulacrum heal non-hit point damage?

The spell Simulacrum, while open to interpretation on many fronts, is very clear on how to heal (repair) a damaged simulacrum, requiring a complex and costly process and a lab.

A complex process requiring at least 24 hours, 100 gp per hit point, and a fully equipped magical laboratory can repair damage to a simulacrum.

The spell mentions hit points directly, but a simulacrum can be damaged in many other ways such as ability damage, non-lethal Damage or even ability drain. It got me to wonder how to treat such types of damage.

I was thinking it would either :

  • Be immune to those types of damages (highly unlikely)
  • Heal those types of damages as a normal creature (by resting or using spells)
  • Heal those types of damages in a lab using the same process but without the cost (as the only cost mentioned is for hit points)
  • Be stuck with any such damages

I haven’t been able to find any definite answer on the internet.

How does a simulacrum treat those types of damage ?

dnd 5e – A new ki idea for increasing monk damage

A more 5e friendly way to phrase it might be

Before you take the attack action, you may spend 1 ki point. If you do, your unarmed strikes deal 1d6 damage until the end of your turn, this increases to 1d8 at 5th level and 1d10 at 11th level

However, you didn’t specify if you want it to continue upping the die, so you could add

…and 1d12 at 17th

Balance-wise, you could change it too

…1d6 damage until the end of your next turn..”

Mechanically, this proposed revision is weak.

The difference from a d4 to a d6, d6 to d8, etc is an average of 1 damage. Monks are not traditionally designed for DPS and often run out of ki. If we look at comparable options, flurry of blows functionally gives an additional attack that does 4 damage minimum at 2nd level assuming a 16/17 dex and increases from there. If you use the ability and hit you will deal an extra 1 damage per unarmed strike, assuming you aren’t using a weapon and only use unarmed strikes and every attack hits, you will deal an extra 3 damage.
If you are looking for a real burst of extra damage, you could flurry of blows AND use this ability for an extra 4 damage if everything hits. There is no harm in adding it as an additional ability however this definitely could do a lot more.

Potential options could be any number of these, declaring the ability like a smite after you hit, having it last until your next turn, potentially having it last for 1 minute, giving a bonus to hit, or just additional damage.