Hs anyone else noticed this shifter wrinkle?

Sacrosanct

Legend
I ran a longtooth paladin/fighter with a greatsword and the bite was pretty handy. I had Great Weapon Master, but it wouldn't activate most rounds. On the other hand, the bite was a free Str-based attack that I could use every round to apply paladin smites and battlemaster expertise dice. I could miss twice and crit with the bite, doing 2d6 + 6d8 + Str by blowing a spell slot and a fighter die.

Keep in mind that a lot of two-handed and sword + board builds don't have a reliable bonus action attack, on demand. Having a whole extra attack to apply riders has its uses.
I am almost positive that Jeremy Crawford did a sage advice where smites do not apply to unarmed and natural attacks, but only weapons.

When you are bitten by a paladin does that turn you into an angel?
No, but you do turn into a pretentious know it all who thinks they are the morality police.
 

overgeeked

Explorer
Wildhunt: "no creature within 30 feet of you can make an attack roll with advantage against you"

Weak and very situational? Unless you pick up two levels of Barbarian for Reckless Attack....
Sure. It's kinda strong if everything you fight is within 30ft. But any DM worth their salt will read that and start unloading on you from 31ft away. A few sacrificial melee opponents making normal attacks against you to keep you away from the ranged, then pepper you with ranged with advantage. A few bow-wielding rogues would put a serious dent in your day.
 

Fenris-77

Explorer
If the DM starts rocking attacks from 31ft in a case like this he's probably a terrible person and he should feel bad. It's bad enough when players get gamey like that, but it's worse when DMs do it. I am categorically not saying that monsters shouldn't have tactics and strategy, because they should, but targeting a character as described above is crap DMin IMO.. If a DM felt that strongly about the rule he should just disallowed it, not engage in petty revenge.
 

overgeeked

Explorer
If the DM starts rocking attacks from 31ft in a case like this he's probably a terrible person and he should feel bad. It's bad enough when players get gamey like that, but it's worse when DMs do it. I am categorically not saying that monsters shouldn't have tactics and strategy, because they should, but targeting a character as described above is crap DMin IMO.. If a DM felt that strongly about the rule he should just disallowed it, not engage in petty revenge.
I will never understand that thinking. The players will literally spend hundreds of dollars to get access to all the books to find every loophole to exploit it to the Nth degree, with entire forums dedicated to character and strategic optimisation...and that’s a perfectly valid and reasonable and good way to play. But the DM avoids a melee powerhouse and attacks from range and he’s a shit DM? Bullshit.
 

Fenris-77

Explorer
@overgeeked - Avoiding the melee powerhouse and attacking at range is a very different thing than specifically messing with the 30' range of a character ability. You might have noticed I specifically mentioned that I'm all for monsters having tactics and whatnot right?

I'd also argue that pairing two abilities that work with advantage isn't really exploiting the rules to the Nth degree. You don't need white room stats to make that connection. What constitutes loophole exploitation is probably an entirely separate conversation though.
 
I am almost positive that Jeremy Crawford did a sage advice where smites do not apply to unarmed and natural attacks, but only weapons.
The smite spells require a weapon. The smite ability requires a melee weapon attack, and unarmed strikes count as a melee weapon attacks (as opposed to "an attack with a melee weapon"). So RAW you can smite (or use battlemaster abilities etc) with the bite.
 

NaturalZero

Explorer
The smite spells require a weapon. The smite ability requires a melee weapon attack, and unarmed strikes count as a melee weapon attacks (as opposed to "an attack with a melee weapon"). So RAW you can smite (or use battlemaster abilities etc) with the bite.
Yes. I wasn't even aware that it was in question, honestly. The text says, "instead of using a weapon to make a melee weapon attack, you can use an unarmed strike." A bite is an unarmed strike, an unarmed strike counts explicitly as a melee weapon attack, and the smite feature keys off of melee weapon attacks. I just glanced at a smite spell and even it says "weapon attack" instead of actually requiring a weapon.
 
Given that you have to expend resources and ditch two bonus actions to do this I suspect it won't be much a problem in practice. An awful lot of fights are over in in under five rounds in 5E. So you'd need to judge well the time to do this. Still, nice synergy.
 

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