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5E Arguments about if the help action breaks invisibility. This is the second title. A third title, Thread = Dead.

TrueBagelMan

Explorer
So a warlock can take Pact of The Chain to get an invisible familiar which against creatures that don’t have a blindsense or truesight means no AoO against them, can’t get killed by Magic Missile and sight based abilities. If you took a level of Cleric or Magic Initiate (Cleric/Artificier possibly) you then can cast sanctuary on your Familiar. Is there any buffs to have it not die as often in combat besides these?
 

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jasper

Rotten DM
Are you asking what spells you or the party can cast to make a familiar last longer in combat?
 

If you took a level of Cleric or Magic Initiate
Or a Divine Soul Sorcerer. A one level dip as a Divine Soul Sorcerer can grant access to Sanctuary and Shield of Faith.
At low level the 10 minute concentration limit means it can last for multiple encounters in a fast paced scenario. The bonus action to cast is gravy.

That would take the Imp to AC 15. At low tier an AC 15 Invisible Imp, taking the Dodge action is going to be a challenge for goblins to hit, at least.
 



TaranTheWanderer

Adventurer
Or a Divine Soul Sorcerer. A one level dip as a Divine Soul Sorcerer can grant access to Sanctuary and Shield of Faith.
At low level the 10 minute concentration limit means it can last for multiple encounters in a fast paced scenario. The bonus action to cast is gravy.

That would take the Imp to AC 15. At low tier an AC 15 Invisible Imp, taking the Dodge action is going to be a challenge for goblins to hit, at least.
I'd say having the familiar do a 'help' action would break invisibility and Sanctuary. I see it as the equivalent to an attack.

But, if you're going to go Divine Soul Sorcerer, cast an Aid spell at a higher level slot. Giving you and your familiar 5 to 15 max hit points is pretty nice. And it lasts for 8 hours.

Out of morbid curiosity, what does any of this have to do with the title of the thread???
I'm assuming ways to keep it alive while allowing it to do the Help action???

Short answer: Use an Owl. (flyby attack)
 


Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
The advantage goes away as soon as the familiar dies.
Yes, but how is the familiar providing advantage is the underlying question. To use the help action in combat requires to you help in attacking the target. This voids Invisibility (although not Improved Invisibility). Is this the issue you're seeking help in mitigating?
 

TrueBagelMan

Explorer
I'd say having the familiar do a 'help' action would break invisibility and Sanctuary. I see it as the equivalent to an attack.

But, if you're going to go Divine Soul Sorcerer, cast an Aid spell at a higher level slot. Giving you and your familiar 5 to 15 max hit points is pretty nice. And it lasts for 8 hours.


I'm assuming ways to keep it alive while allowing it to do the Help action???

Short answer: Use an Owl. (flyby attack)
Help Action isn’t an attack or spell. Invisibility stays up. Flyby Owl has the issue of being killed by magic missile that spell is a guaranteed hit, and invisibility is mimicking it. I also doubt that the party’s arcane casters would want to use up there concentration on an invisibility spell.
 

TrueBagelMan

Explorer
Yes, but how is the familiar providing advantage is the underlying question. To use the help action in combat requires to you help in attacking the target. This voids Invisibility (although not Improved Invisibility). Is this the issue you're seeking help in mitigating?
The stat block attached says that invisibility breaks if it casts a spell or attacks. Nothing about the help action. Invisibility is at the bottom. The issue I have is there are ways around invisibility. The invisible familiar dies easily against Truesight and Blindsenses. If they are on the ground then also tremorsense. All of these don’t care about invisibility.
 
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dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
I'd say having the familiar do a 'help' action would break invisibility and Sanctuary. I see it as the equivalent to an attack.
Given the wording under the Help Action:

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I would also rule this removed any Invisibility. If the target creature can't see you, how are you really distracting it??? :unsure:

But, since @TrueBagelMan doesn't feel that way... it is simply a difference in rulings. shrug

The invisible familiar dies easily against Truesight and Blindsenses. If they are on the ground then also tremorsense.
IME such foes are not commonplace at all. Sure, there are some, mostly in tier 3 and tier 4, though, but by then most familiars aren't of much use either.
 

TheSword

Legend
Supporter
As a DM there is no way I would allow an invisible familiar to aid an attack without breaking invisibility. You’re either assisting an attack or you can’t be seen in which case you’re no distraction.

A familiar doing this is actually quite cool when not invisible. I’m thinking like Ikaros in Assassins creed Odyssey. In fact that game gave me a whole new perspective on familiars.
 

TaranTheWanderer

Adventurer
I rule that Help action gets rid of invisibility. Your games are different, I guess.

Aid can give 5 to 15 hit points (5th level casting will give 3 allies 15 permanent hitpoints that recover with healing etc...) A 16 hit point Owl could survive a magic missile barrage (possibly). Give it a brooch of shielding and it will be immune to MM.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
As a DM there is no way I would allow an invisible familiar to aid an attack without breaking invisibility. You’re either assisting an attack or you can’t be seen in which case you’re no distraction.

A familiar doing this is actually quite cool when not invisible. I’m thinking like Ikaros in Assassins creed Odyssey. In fact that game gave me a whole new perspective on familiars.
Wait....are we arguing that only a visual distraction is a real distraction in combat? Wouldn't that imply the corollary that a creature with blindsight would be immune to the Help action?

I have no trouble envisioning multiple ways an invisible sprite can assist in combat. Shouting in the enemy's ear, untying their shoelaces, magically making a noxious smell under their nose, etc.

I think the game recognizes a distinction between an attack and an action that simply hinders the enemy, and the Help action is the latter.
 

I might allow an invisible familiar to use the Help action. You could probably easily come up with a way to annoy someone even if you can't be seen. But I would also rule in that instance that the enemy knows the location of the familiar. Allowing the enemy to attack it at disadvantage. And since familiars don't have high ACs, it's still likely to hit.
 

The stat block attached says that invisibility breaks if it casts a spell or attacks. Nothing about the help action. Invisibility is at the bottom. The issue I have is there are ways around invisibility. The invisible familiar dies easily against Truesight and Blindsenses. If they are on the ground then also tremorsense. All of these don’t care about invisibility.
So you want a permanent advantage?

IMO, anything that is 100% fool proof is game breaking and not fun. Every bonus, IMO, should be situational or able to be countered under the right conditions.
 

TrueBagelMan

Explorer
So you want a permanent advantage?

IMO, anything that is 100% fool proof is game breaking and not fun. Every bonus, IMO, should be situational or able to be countered under the right conditions.
It’s on one attack only, and it isn’t foolproof. The idea of the thread was learn what buffs there are in the game to make the familiar not die as often.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
The stat block attached says that invisibility breaks if it casts a spell or attacks. Nothing about the help action. Invisibility is at the bottom. The issue I have is there are ways around invisibility. The invisible familiar dies easily against Truesight and Blindsenses. If they are on the ground then also tremorsense. All of these don’t care about invisibility.
Yes, and when you Help in combat, you aid another in attacking the target. "Attack" in this case is not game jargon referring only to the Attack action and the results thereof, but instead to things that would normally be considered attacking. Feinting, for instance, is an attack that's started and then stopped in order to confuse. Still, however, an attack.

Of course, what constitutes an attack is up to your GM. I think the wording of Help in combat is pretty clear that you're participating in an attack, though.
 

TrueBagelMan

Explorer
Yes, and when you Help in combat, you aid another in attacking the target. "Attack" in this case is not game jargon referring only to the Attack action and the results thereof, but instead to things that would normally be considered attacking. Feinting, for instance, is an attack that's started and then stopped in order to confuse. Still, however, an attack.

Of course, what constitutes an attack is up to your GM. I think the wording of Help in combat is pretty clear that you're participating in an attack, though.
It is? But wouldn’t the fighter then just use the help action for the rogue and then attack with his extra attack? I don’t remember that being how it worked. Is it similar to the Shove action then?
 

TheSword

Legend
Supporter
Wait....are we arguing that only a visual distraction is a real distraction in combat? Wouldn't that imply the corollary that a creature with blindsight would be immune to the Help action?

I have no trouble envisioning multiple ways an invisible sprite can assist in combat. Shouting in the enemy's ear, untying their shoelaces, magically making a noxious smell under their nose, etc.

I think the game recognizes a distinction between an attack and an action that simply hinders the enemy, and the Help action is the latter.
Nope you could yank someone’s coat, try and trip their feet, buffet their shoulder or swoop down and if an eagle you could swoop down and buffet your wings in their face...

... all those things would make you visible though.

I don’t believe a bad smell would make someone drop their guard in combat nor a loud noise. A fireball detonating doesn’t have that effect so why would a sprite shouting. Anything strong enough to do so would be an attack.
 

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