pathfinder 2e – Can a Battle Oracle take the Marshall dedication?

Nothing in the rules for Archetypes clarifies whether the prerequisite is meant to be “trained in all martial weapons” or “trained in at least one martial weapon”.

I, personally, think that the prerequisites are not fulfilled

Looking at various classes like Fighter or Barbarian, we see that they use the exact formulation of “Trained in martial weapons”, the exact same words used by the Archetype prerequisite. As a battle oracle, you are not trained in Martial Weapons as a whole, but instead would write down “trained in Weapons in the ‘Axe’ group” or “trained in Flail, trained in Combat Grapnel, trained in […]”. Which to me means you are not, in fact, “trained in Martial Weapons”.

In conclusion: You would need to ask your GM or come to your own conclusion if you are the GM

The answer is not clear at all, and I can see how people might not be on the same page as I am here. So your best bet is to ask your GM, or decide for yourself if you are the GM. Personally, I don’t really think there would be any balance concerns if you were to allow it, as the requirement could easily be met with a general feat.

dnd 5e – What is the point of the Battle Master fighter’s Evasive Footwork maneuver?

Evasive Footwork protects against all opportunity attacks

The alternatives you list only protect against opportunity attacks from a single creature. In contrast, you could use Evasive Footwork to run past a whole group of enemies, and all of their opportunity attacks will be against your increased AC.

Evasive Footwork doesn’t require a roll to succeed

A shove attack to knock a creature prone requires a contested ability check. Both of the Battle Master maneuvers you mention require you to first hit with an attack and then have the target fail a saving throw before they will do anything to prevent an opportunity attack. In contrast, Evasive Footwork just works, with no need to succeed on a d20 roll first.

Evasive Footwork does not use your action

All your other suggestions require the use of your action (or part of it) to attack the target you wish to escape from. Usually this isn’t a problem, since as a fighter you generally want to spend your action hitting something. But attacking might be undesirable if you want to use your action to do something else, like slotting the Macguffin of Power into the Power Macguffin Receptacle after dodging and weaving your way past the horde guarding it, with AC your enhanced by your Evasive Footwork.

(Credit to @V2Blast for pointing this out.)

You might want to provoke a bunch opportunity attacks (and have them miss)

If you use Evasive Footwork and then run past a bunch of enemies, chances are they will all take a swing at you with their reactions, and most of them will miss against your increased AC. This expends all the enemies’ reactions, allowing your squishy allies to move around more freely without provoking opportunity attacks. This could be especially useful if your party needs to make a hasty retreat, since it allows your allies to use their action to dash away rather than take the disengage action.

This use is, of course, very DM-dependent. Realistically, only the most disciplined and well-trained enemies would recognize your distractionary tactic and forgo the opportunity attack, but the DM might (intentionally or not) play less intelligent enemies as if they automatically know you’ve used an ability to make yourself harder to hit and have them refrain from taking opportunity attacks against you, despite the fact that there is not necessarily an obvious visual tell when using this maneuver.

(Credit to @DanielZastoupil for this idea.)

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dnd 5e – What to do when I’m forced to make battle decisions by other players?

I’ve been playing a campaign of DnD that has been quite fun thus far. There has however been few instances in battles where I feel like I’m being forced to make some unoptimal moves in battle by the rest of the PC group. For example me being coerced into “tanking” in a narrow hallway, when I would’ve rather drawn the group of enemies to us, ultimately saving us from a lot of damage. The thing is, these moves I’m forced into aren’t usually “obviously dumb”, and would usually require some explaining why I would rather do it in another way (and the reason for my own tactics are based more on my personal experiences playing a lot of TRPG games.)

I usually tend to buckle because trying to explain my thoughts feels like it’s wasting time, and against several people it already feels discouraging to defend your stance (nevermind my tanking usually happens in Wild Shape since I play a druid character, so I can’t even speak in-game anyway). We’re also talking about tactics for the fight-wholesale, I’m not usually micromanaged on individual actions.

But I would be lying if it didn’t frustrate me be made to do less than ideal things, especially since the campaign we’re playing is generally seen as though.

How to deal with this? Should I just “go with the flow” of the rest of the party even when I don’t feel like it’s the best choice to speed the game along, or at least try to dig my heels a bit? If talking to the DM is the right choice, what should I say?

mutants and masterminds 3e – Does Quickness work in the midst of battle without Skill Mastery?

The description of Quickness indicates that it only works with Routine actions.

You can perform routine tasks—anything that can be done as a routine check (see Routine Checks in The Basics)—fast, perhaps very fast. Subtract your effect rank from the normal time rank to perform a task to determine how long it takes you. So, for example, if you have Quickness 7, a routine task normally taking an hour (time rank 9) takes you (9 – 7 = time rank 2) 30 seconds. Non-routine checks are not affected by Quickness, nor is movement speed.

Without Skill Mastery, which allows routine checks in non-routine situations for a skill, does that mean that, under pressure, the person with Quickness can’t employ their skills? That when The Flash is being shot at, his ability to quickly perform normally routine tasks goes away? That seems counter to the source material, and also counter to the Time Stop ability in the Time Powers Power Profile, which includes Quickness with a Quirk that only routine actions can be performed.

Time Stop: Quickness (Subtle 2), Speed (Subtle 2), Quirk: Limited to routine actions while active (–4 points) • 2 points per rank

The 2E version instead used a version of routine tasks based on the “Take 20” mechanic which applied to skills where there was no penalty for failure and included on the chart which skills that could be used for.

You can perform routine tasks quickly. For purposes of this power a “routine task” is one where you can take 20 on the check. At rank 1 you
perform such tasks at twice normal speed (x2). Each additional rank
moves your speed one step up the Time and Value Progression Table
(x5, x10, x25, and so forth). At rank 20, you perform routine tasks at 5
million times normal speed! Tasks where you cannot take 20 (including
combat actions) are unaffected by Quickness, nor is movement speed

system agnostic – How can I avoid my-guy-syndrome after devastating battle

We are a group of three players. Me (a priest of the goddess of healing and agriculture), Alice (priest of the god of light/time/law) and fighter-archetype Bob.

Our last evening went as follows. The previous evening I and Bob coerced an NPC (“John”) to gather information for us and to meet with us the following day in the ghetto before a city. I went there alone, as Alice and Bob attended some other business and I didn’t want to miss our informant. When I arrived, another NPC told me

You have to hurry. John was already here. He told me it was urgent and to tell you he’ll meet you in the forest. And he was bleeding, it looked bad!

Concerned as a healer about the wounded man, I immediately followed. After following the trail for quite some long time, I had a critical miss-roll and got lost in the forest, until I rejoined with my comrades, which ultimately followed. We finally arrived at an obvious ambush, where John was lying on the ground, with a gaping wound on the back (shoulder blades were visible), on the brink of death, but still breathing. As I was unarmed, I ignored the imminent danger and immediately went to him to try to save his life, assuming the enemy wouldn’t attack an unarmed priest. A battle ensued nontheless. Due to severely unlucky dice rolls, our 2nd priest got one-shotted (down to low health, bleeding and unconscious). Our fighter-archetype had gone around the group and attacked from behind. I was also attacked, but defended by my dogs. After the first dog was killed, I retreated hastily, without completing the healing ritual that would have saved both John and Alice.

Although Alice was rescued by the rogue boss (healing potion…go figure), my character presumes her dead. Furthermore, she believes the important people of the city are behind this attack, to save the secret John had discovered. Thus it now seems logical to me, to leave this place behind, as going back to the city seems like certain death (you can only enter through the gates, so going in unseen is not an option).

I don’t want this to be a my-guy-syndrome situation, but how can I plausibly not abandon the group? I already told the GM that I need some time to think about my next move, because of the situation above.

dnd 5e – Is my adaptation of the Battle Master as a Wizard subclass balanced relative to other Wizard subclasses and to the original Battle Master?

I wanted to create a subclass for Wizard that uses an expendable die resource to augment its magic and benefit its allies, similar to how the Battle Master Fighter expends superiority dice to fuel maneuvers which augments its attacks and benefit its allies.

The following were some significant steps and motivations in my design process.

The following is the result of my design effort.

Arcane Expertise

At 2nd level, you gain proficiency in the Arcana skill if you aren’t
already proficient in it, and your proficiency bonus is doubled for
any ability check you make that uses Arcana.

Magical Savant

When you choose this school at 2nd level, you learn magical theorems
that are fueled by special dice called savant dice.

Theorems. You learn three theorems of your choice, which are detailed under “Theorems” below. Many theorems enhance a spell or
other magical effect in some way. You can use only one theorem per
effect.

You learn two additional theorems of your choice at 6th, 10th, and
14th level. Each time you learn new theorems, you can also replace one
theorem you know with a different one.

Savant Dice. You have four savant dice, which are d8s. A savant die is expended when you use it. You regain all of your expended
savant dice when you finish a short or long rest.

You gain another savant die at 6th level and one more at 14th level.

Theorems

The theorems are presented in alphabetical order.

Applied Studies

When you make an Intelligence (Arcana, History, Nature, or Religion)
check, you can expend one savant die to add it to the check.
Alternatively, when you or a friendly creature who can see or hear you
makes an Intelligence (Investigation) check, you can use your reaction
and expend one savant die to add it to the check before or after
making the check, but before any effects of the check are applied.

Beguiling Spell

When you cast a spell that forces a creature to make a Wisdom saving
throw against being charmed or frightened, you can expend one savant
die to make the spell especially beguiling and hard to ignore.
Subtract the savant die from that creature’s first saving throw
against the condition.

Damping Defense

When a creature damages you with a weapon attack, you can use your
reaction and expend one savant die to reduce the damage by the number
you roll on your savant die + your Constitution modifier.

Distracting Spell

When you hit a creature with a spell attack, you can expend one savant
die to distract that creature, giving your allies an opening. You add
the savant die to the attack’s damage roll. The next attack roll
against the target by an attacker other than you has advantage if the
attack is made before the start of your next turn.

Dual Strike

When you cast a spell with a duration of Instantaneous and it deals
damage to a creature on your turn, you can use a bonus action to
direct one of your companions to strike in tandem. When you do so,
choose a friendly creature who can see or hear you and expend one
savant die. That creature can immediately use its reaction to make one
weapon attack against the same target, adding the savant die to its
attack roll.

Elemental Flux

When you cast a spell that deals acid, cold, fire, lightning, or
thunder damage, you can expend one savant die and choose one of the
spell’s damage types from that list to substitute for another type
from that list for the spell’s duration. The first time you roll
damage for the spell using the substituted type, add the savant die to
the damage roll.

Focusing Oration

When a friendly creature that can see or hear you misses with an
attack, you can use your reaction and expend one savant die to refocus
that creature’s efforts. Add the savant die to the attack roll,
possibly changing the outcome.

Galvanizing Oration

When a friendly creature that can see or hear you makes a saving throw
to end an ongoing effect on itself or to maintain concentration, you
can use your reaction and expend one savant die to add it to the
saving throw.

Maneuvering Spell

When you cast a spell with an area of effect, you can expend one
savant die to direct one of your comrades to exit the area. Choose a
friendly creature who can see or hear you in the area. Before the
spell takes effect, that creature can use its reaction to move up to
its speed, adding the savant die to its AC until it stops moving.

Mental Agility

When you roll initiative at the start of combat, you can expend one
savant die to add it to the roll. When you use this theorem and aren’t
incapacitated, you can’t be surprised on your first turn in combat.

Merciful Spell

When you reduce a creature to 0 hit points with a spell and the target
isn’t killed outright, you can expend one savant die to hold back some
of the spell’s energy and merely knock the target out. The target
falls unconscious and is stable. You gain temporary hit points equal
to the savant die roll + your Wisdom modifier.

Precision Spell

When you make a spell attack against a creature, you can expend one
savant die to add it to the attack roll. You can use this theorem
before or after making the attack roll, but before any effects of the
attack are applied.

Reactive Cantrip

When a creature misses you with a melee attack, you can use your
reaction and expend one savant die to cast a damaging cantrip that
targets only that creature and has a duration of Instantaneous. Add
the savant die to the cantrip’s damage roll.

Stirring Oration

When you cast a spell with verbal components on your turn, you can use
a bonus action and expend one savant die to encourage one of your
companions with an insightful speech woven into your spellcasting.
Choose a friendly creature who can see or hear you. That creature
gains temporary hit points equal to the savant die roll + your
Charisma modifier.

Swift Spell

When you cast a spell that forces a creature to make a Dexterity
saving throw, you can expend one savant die to make the spell
especially swift and hard to avoid. Subtract the savant die from that
creature’s first saving throw against the spell.

Tough Spell

When you cast a spell that forces a creature to make a Constitution
saving throw, you can expend one savant die to make the spell
especially tough and hard to withstand. Subtract the savant die from
that creature’s first saving throw against the spell. This theorem
can’t hinder a Constitution saving throw made to maintain
concentration.

Expeditious Research

Starting at 6th level, you can use the Search action as a bonus
action.

Improved Magical Savant

At 10th level, your savant dice turn into d10s.

Timely Epiphany

Starting at 14th level, when you roll initiative and have no savant
dice remaining, you regain one savant die.

Is this Wizard School of Pedagogy balanced relative to other Wizard subclasses and to the original Fighter Battle Master that inspired it? In other words, can the School of Pedagogy coexist with those other subclasses as a useful, distinct, and coequal option without impinging on their design? Things to watch for…

I am not at all concerned with whether the Pedagogy Wizard seems thematically or mechanically similar to the Sorcerer, so any similarity between the concept of theorems and of metamagic isn’t considered to be infringing on the use case of Sorcerers for purposes of my question, unless a theorem directly replicates a particular Sorcerer metamagic option.

(To the best of my ability, I’ve followed the recommendations on Meta for how to present a homebrew balancing question. I’m happy to accommodate actionable suggestions for improvement of the question. However, if I need to iterate the subclass design again after reviewing the answers, that will be done in a separate question. Finally, sorry for the wall of text. I hope it’s easy to follow.)

dnd 5e – Does the Battle Smith artificer’s Steel Defender get a full turn?

The Steel Defender only does what the rules specifically say it does.

For reference, the Battle Smith artificer’s Steel Defender subclass feature says (E:RftLW, p. 61):

In combat, the steel defender (…) can move and use its reaction on its own, but the only action it takes on its turn is the Dodge action, unless you take a bonus action on your turn to command it to take one of the actions in its stat block, or the Dash, Disengage, Help, Hide, or Search action.

There is nothing in the rules that would prevent NPCs from having their full supply of activities per turn in combat, including a bonus action and a free item interaction. So technically, yes, a steel defender has those. But the rules above are pretty clear about what you can do with a steel defender, which includes moving, taking reactions, and a list of specific actions, but does not include any bonus actions or item interactions.

In other words, while your steel defender technically has a bonus action and item interaction available to it, it never uses them on its own and you have no way of instructing it to do so, which is functionally the same as if it didn’t have them at all. Note that “interact with an object” is not one of the listed actions, so by RAW, you can’t instruct your steel defender to use its action to interact with a second object, which suggests that you can’t tell it to interact with a first one, either.

…but ask your DM

Your DM should feel free to rule otherwise on a case-by-case basis. While it’s entirely reasonable that a Steel Defender may not be able to understand a complex instruction like “dig through my bag and bring me the potion of water breathing” or “twist the dial ten degrees to the right”, and may not be physically capable of turning a doorknob or speaking the command word to activate a magic item as a bonus action, it seems absurd that a steel defender could not perform simple object interactions such as knocking over a table or pushing a rock.

dnd 5e – Does the Martial Adept superiority dice scale up alongside the Battle Master fighter’s superiority dice if you acquire the subclass after the feat?

Apparently it’s intended to scale, though that’s not totally obvious

As you point out, in the original printing of the PHB, the second bullet point of the Martial Adept feat read (PHB, p. 168):

If you already have superiority dice, you gain one more; otherwise, you have one superiority die, which is a d6.

This clearly indicates that Martial Adept’s superiority die does scale up with the Battle Master fighter’s Improved Combat Superiority feature, turning into a d10 at 10th level and a d12 at 18th level.

However, the very first errata in 2015 reworded that part of the Martial Adept feat to read as it does now (emphasis mine):

You gain one superiority die, which is a d6 (this die is added to any superiority dice you have from another source).

However, that errata document (and every other one up through 2017 or so) summarized the change as follows:

The superiority die is added to any others you have, no matter when you gain them.

Some people (including me!) were initially confused when the 2018 PHB errata quoted the new text, thinking it was a new change distinct from the previous printings (though it’s not marked as “(NEW)” in the errata document). However, the only new thing in that regard is that the 2018 errata consistently includes direct quotes of the new/current wording, rather than paraphrasing it as previous errata PDFs did (which can potentially lead to confusion, as in this case).

Many people understood this to mean that the Martial Adept die does scale with the Battle Master’s superiority dice regardless of when they get the feat vs. the subclass. However, the revised wording of the feat could also be interpreted to mean exactly the opposite – that this superiority die is separate from and in addition to any existing superiority dice (i.e. that it’s a flat d6, and does not scale with the Battle Master’s superiority dice).


Eventually, lead rules designer Jeremy Crawford unofficially clarified how Martial Adept interacts with Battle Master fighters in an April 2020 tweet:

If you’re a Battle Master fighter and take the Martial Adept feat, the superiority die from the feat improves when you gain the Improved Combat Superiority feature, which intentionally makes no distinction between a die you get from the class and a die you get from the feat.

In order to understand Crawford’s ruling, we then have to look at the wording of the Battle Master fighter’s Improved Combat Superiority feature (PHB, p. 74):

At 10th level, your superiority dice turn into d10s. At 18th level, they turn into d12s.

Given the parenthetical in the revised wording of the Martial Adept feat, it’s unclear to me whether the superiority die from Martial Adept remains a d6 from Battle Master fighter levels 3-9, or if it becomes a d8 as soon as you have any Battle Master fighter levels. (That may be worth asking as a separate question.)

However, what is clear from Crawford’s interpretation is that when you gain the Improved Combat Superiority feature, it is intended to extend the benefit to Martial Adept’s additional superiority die as well. Since the feature merely says “your superiority dice” (rather than “your superiority dice from this archetype” or “your superiority dice from the Combat Superiority feature”), it does apply to all your superiority dice, no matter where they’re from.1


If the intent was for Martial Adept’s superiority die to scale, the initial 2015 errata’s change in the wording of the feat seems unnecessary/self-defeating, since the first errata clearly indicated that it scaled (since it just added to your existing superiority dice if you had them already).

The reason for the errata may have been that the original wording might suggest that Martial Adept’s superiority die would scale if you had Battle Master fighter levels first before taking the feat, but not if you took the feat and then gained levels in Battle Master fighter (as you wonder in the question). In contrast, the revised wording merely says “this die is added to any superiority dice you have from another source”, with no mention of the Battle Master fighter.

However, if the change was merely out of concern about the rules around the Battle Master needing to account for other sources of superiority dice, then the designers could have instead removed the relevant wording from Martial Adept entirely and explicitly clarified in the Battle Master’s own features that Martial Adept’s superiority dice scale with it. Instead, Martial Adept’s clear but flawed wording was replaced with vague/unclear wording (that has resulted in confusion and rules arguments for years now).

Especially given the confusion around this issue, this question would be a good one to provide an official ruling on in the Sage Advice Compendium, rather than relying solely on Crawford’s tweet (which is not an official ruling) to understand the interaction.


1 The same logic extends to the interaction of the Battle Master fighter’s Improved Combat Superiority feature with other sources of superiority dice in playtest content, though none have yet been published. UA: Class Feature Variants adds the Superior Technique option to the fighter’s Fighting Style feature, letting any fighter gain a d6 superiority die and one maneuver (rather than two maneuvers, as Martial Adept grants). The playtest versions of the Cavalier and Scout fighter archetypes in UA: Kits of Old, as well as the Monster Hunter fighter archetype from UA: Gothic Heroes, also have superiority dice and an identical Improved Combat Superiority feature, so they’d interact with other sources of superiority dice in the same way.

dnd 5e – Using Battle Master Maneuvres with Polearm Master

Been enjoying the Battle Master Fighter, but have a question about use of maneuvres with the two parts of Polearm Master:

Polearm Master

When you take the Attack action and attack with only a
glaive, halberd, or quarterstaff, you can use a bonus action to make a
melee attack with the opposite end of the weapon. This attack uses the
same ability modifier as the primary attack. The weapon’s damage die
for this attack is a d4, and it deals bludgeoning damage.

While you are wielding a glaive, halberd, pike, or quarterstaff, other
creatures provoke an opportunity attack from you when they enter your
reach.

On the first part, can a maneuvre be used as part of the melee attack with the shaft of the weapon? You cannot (mostly) use two maneuvres on a single attack, however does this Bonus Action constitute a new attack? If so I am also assuming the main halberd attack is resolved first and then the bonus action. So I couldn’t use the bonus action to attempt a trip with the shaft, then if successful attack with the halberd itself at advantage.

On the second part I can use my reaction to attack a creature that comes within my reach. Can I then apply some of the maneuvres to this attack? This is focused on the wordings being different, so for example:

Restraining Strike

Immediately after you hit a creature with a
melee weapon attack on your turn, you can
expend one superiority die and use a bonus
action to grapple the target (see chapter 9 in the
Player’s Handbook for rules on grappling). Add
the superiority die to your Strength (Athletics)
check. The target is also restrained while
grappled in this way.

“On your turn” clearly means that I couldn’t perform this using a Reaction. However to compare:

Trip Attack

When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can expend one superiority die to attempt to knock the target down. You add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll, and if the target is Large or smaller, it must make a Strength saving throw. On a failed save, you knock the target prone.

That makes no reference to the attack being on my turn, so if an opponent charged towards me I could use Polearm Master to initiate a Reaction. On a hit, can I use a Maneuvre that only requires a “weapon attack” as part of this Reaction?