D&D 5E Uncanny Dodge (Rogue)

schekker

Explorer
Well, uncanny dodge requires an attacker to hit you, so doesn't work with an breath weapon. Using anything with the name weapon as intended as action in combat is clearly an attack, so your invisibility is gone. Precisely the result which feels logical, so end of discussion at my table.

And no there is no question whether using a weapon in its intended way is an attack. Otherwise they could have simply stated the rule 'you're making an attack if and only if you're making an attack roll. They didn't, so there must be cases where something clearly counts as an attack without requiring an attack roll.
 

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hawkeyefan

Legend
I think uncanny dodge is a reaction specifically for an action that requires an attack roll. Otherwise, it already does what evasion is designed to do two levels earlier, at the cost of a reaction. That would be some really poor design work, wouldn't it?

So you wait two more levels to get evasion just so you can do what UD does but without costing you a reaction?

I don't think that was the intention at all; UD is for attacks that require a roll, and evasion is for dodging area effects.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Im not ignoring anything. By the very fact the question is posed, there is a question.

Which is why I said no that's just people on message boards arguing about anything. You can question anything, in which case the first part of the text could never come into play. As we assume words have meaning, and the section is supposed to have meaning, then we assume there are times where no reasonable question comes into play. Reasonable being the operative word there. No reasonable person thinks intentionally breathing fire on someone is not an attack, by ordinary English language usage of the word attack. So it begins and ends there for that section, at least for me.

I also said we should just ask Mearls and Crawford, and I bet both agree if you breath fire while invisible you become visible. You are of course welcome to play it however you want to play it. That's the beauty of ruling over rules, it's not even a house rule to play it differently at different tables, just play it how it makes sense to you.
 
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Uller

Adventurer
Page 194 of the PHB, under Making an Attack: "If there’s ever any question whether something you’re doing counts as an attack, the rule is simple: if you’re making an attack roll, you’re making an attack."

That couldn't be any clearer. Attacks require attack rolls. It's that simple.

You're right, breath weapons don't break invisibility. They aren't attacks.

If we're to the point where we are parsing rules to the point where we consider a blue dragon spitting a lightning bolt at a PC and concluding it is not attacking the the PC, then the game has gone off the rails. Clearly the dragon is not giving the PC a kiss...

So here is some more parsing just to play devil's advocate: The rule you quote says that if you are making an attack roll, you're making an attack. It does not, however, say that if you aren't making an attack you are not making an attack. So...it covers all circumstances where an attack roll is made, but no circumstances where it is not. Just because you infer the negative of the quoted sentence doesn't make it so.

If an invisible PC spills a cauldron of boiling oil on a character, that's an attack whether the DM requires a roll or not and the PC will become visible again. An attack roll and a saving throw are conceptually the same thing. It is a contest between two characters where one character's ability modifies the roll and the other character's 1(or the environment's) ability modifies the target. Who is rolling the dice is irrelevant.

In fact, I would argue that it is evasion that is broken. Evasion should be usable anytime failure of a dex based check means the target takes half damage ...so for instance, evasion should be usable against Melf's Acid Arrow just as well as against a black dragon's breath.
 

Uller

Adventurer
Well, uncanny dodge requires an attacker to hit you, so doesn't work with an breath weapon. Using anything with the name weapon as intended as action in combat is clearly an attack, so your invisibility is gone. Precisely the result which feels logical, so end of discussion at my table.

So if we agree that the use of a breath weapon is obviously an attack, what does it mean if you have taken damage from it? Has it hit you? If not, then why are you taking damage?
 

Ruzak

First Post
So if we agree that the use of a breath weapon is obviously an attack, what does it mean if you have taken damage from it? Has it hit you? If not, then why are you taking damage?
Sound the DoaM alarm!
Well, uncanny dodge requires an attacker to hit you, so doesn't work with an breath weapon. Using anything with the name weapon as intended as action in combat is clearly an attack, so your invisibility is gone. Precisely the result which feels logical, so end of discussion at my table.
...
This sounds like what we will do.
 
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hawkeyefan

Legend
So if we agree that the use of a breath weapon is obviously an attack, what does it mean if you have taken damage from it? Has it hit you? If not, then why are you taking damage?

Because you failed to avoid the effect?

I get that a dragon breathing on folks is "an attack" as we would define the term in the real world, but I think there are terms in the game that are more applicable to the discussion.
 

Celtavian

Dragon Lord
To me Uncanny Dodge is used to reduce the damage from an attack when the attacker rolls an attack to hit.
All other forms of attack that require saving throws for instance, come under Evasion.
Hope that makes sense.

All other saves aren't covered under evasion. Therein lies the issue.

There are wisdom and constitution saves that do damage. Does Uncanny Dodge work against them? Evasion only works against dexterity saves, right?

Let's say a wizard casts disintegrate against your rogue. It's a constitution save. It doesn't require an attack roll. Would it be impossible to see a rogue using Uncanny Dodge against a disintegrate ray? I think not. Is a disintegrate an attack? Does it hit you?

I think Uncanny Dodge would be effective against a disintegrate spell that focuses a ray at you. But according to some, only if the attack uses an attack roll is it effective. It would be nice to see this cleared up. It will greatly weaken Uncanny Dodge against non-dexterity based attacks that don't require an attack roll, but it will at least provide clarity. I imagine the as more spells come out, Uncanny Dodge will get weaker and weaker as casters choose spells that don't require attack rolls and do damage against a save other than dex.
 
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hawkeyefan

Legend
So if Uncanny dodge does work against any damage dealing effect, what does evasion really do for the rogue? It's only advantage over UD if we interpret all damage as attacks is that it doesn't cost a reaction.

And if it does work that way, if a 7th level rogue is hit with a fireball and fails his Dex save, he takes half damage from the fireball; could he roll with that to only take a quarter damage?

It just seems that this interpretation is very liberal and makes Uncanny Dodge much more powerful than I think it was designed to be. It also seems to go against the flavor or intent of the ability. How does one roll with a disintegrate ray? If you see a guy swinging a sword or shooting an arrow at you, you can roll with the attack , lessening it's severity. That makes sense. Not so much for rolling with a Cone of Cold spell. How do you roll with cold?

Attacks are defined pretty clearly on page 193. And saves on page 179. You never save against an attack, you save against an effect.
 

Celtavian

Dragon Lord
So if Uncanny dodge does work against any damage dealing effect, what does evasion really do for the rogue? It's only advantage over UD if we interpret all damage as attacks is that it doesn't cost a reaction.

And if it does work that way, if a 7th level rogue is hit with a fireball and fails his Dex save, he takes half damage from the fireball; could he roll with that to only take a quarter damage?

It just seems that this interpretation is very liberal and makes Uncanny Dodge much more powerful than I think it was designed to be. It also seems to go against the flavor or intent of the ability. How does one roll with a disintegrate ray? If you see a guy swinging a sword or shooting an arrow at you, you can roll with the attack , lessening it's severity. That makes sense. Not so much for rolling with a Cone of Cold spell. How do you roll with cold?

Attacks are defined pretty clearly on page 193. And saves on page 179. You never save against an attack, you save against an effect.

How does one roll with a fire ray? How does one roll with an electrical shock? You can dodge Fire Bolts, Scorching Rays, and the like...what's the difference from dodging a disintegrate ray? You don't take the brunt of the damage because you reacted quickly enough to remove yourself from harm. Isn't that intent?

Is taking a quarter damage all that powerful once a round? What if you need your reaction for something else like getting hammered by a death knight or a purple worm? I don't see how it becomes too powerful to work against anything that is an attack from another creature. You get the hell out of dodge.

Evasion works against everything with Dex saves. It basically acts as Damage Resistance to anything that gives a Dex save. Is it that much more powerful if you can use your single reaction to lower the damage to a quarter? Not really. A lot of the time against Dex effects, you'll take no damage. It doesn't make much sense you couldn't get out of the way of a disintegrate ray or similar attacks that have to hit a target full on.
 

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