D&D 5E Using battlemaster maneuvers and sharpshooter damage with seeking arrow

ECMO3

Hero
I am playing an Arane Archer who has battlemaster maneuvers through Superior Technique and Martial Adept feat. The character also has sharpshooter feat.

Seeking Arrow is part of an attack but it uses a save instead of an attack roll. The description even calls it an attack:

Seeking Arrow. Using divination magic, you grant your arrow the ability to seek out your target, allowing the arrow to curve and twist its path in search of its prey. When you use this option, you don’t make an attack roll for the attack. Instead, choose one creature you have seen in the past minute. The arrow flies toward that creature, moving around corners if necessary and ignoring three-quarters cover and half cover. If the target is within the weapon’s range and there is a path large enough for the arrow to travel to the target, the target must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, it takes damage as if it were hit by the arrow, plus an extra 1d6 force damage, and you learn the target’s current location. On a successful save, the target takes half as much damage, and you don’t learn its location.

Most battlemaster maneuvers (specifically concerned with menacing attack and pushing attack) state they are used "when you hit a creature with a weapon attack" - This is a weapon attack, and the creature takes damage "as if it were hit" but you don't actually "hit" the creture with it, so I think maneuvers would not work with seeking arrow (but would work with most other arcane shots).

Sharpshooter states: "Before you make an attack with a ranged weapon that you are proficient with, you can choose to take a -5 penalty to the attack roll. If that attack hits, you add +10 to the attack's damage." - I think this does work. You choose to use this before you make an attack, so "I am choosing the -5 penalty", then instead of rolling for the attack you use seeking arrow and the enemy takes all that damage as if he was hit plus 1d6 force (or half with a save). I think this is similar to using this with portent.



What do the other rules lawyers say?
 
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DND_Reborn

Legend
Ok, first Sharpshooter:

Sharpshooter states: "Before you make an attack with a ranged weapon that you are proficient with, you can choose to take a -5 penalty to the attack roll. If that attack hits, you add +10 to the attack's damage." - I think this does work. You choose to use this before you make an attack, so "I am choosing the -5 penalty", then instead of rolling for the attack you use seeking arrow and the enemy takes all that damage as if he was hit plus 1d6 force (or half with a save). I think this is similar to using this with portent.
You take a -5 to the attack roll... but with Seeking arrow:

Seeking Arrow. Using divination magic, you grant your arrow the ability to seek out your target, allowing the arrow to curve and twist its path in search of its prey. When you use this option, you don’t make an attack roll for the attack. Instead, choose one creature you have seen in the past minute. The arrow flies toward that creature, moving around corners if necessary and ignoring three-quarters cover and half cover. If the target is within the weapon’s range and there is a path large enough for the arrow to travel to the target, the target must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, it takes damage as if it were hit by the arrow, plus an extra 1d6 force damage, and you learn the target’s current location. On a successful save, the target takes half as much damage, and you don’t learn its location.
You don't make an attack roll. So, you have no attack roll on which to apply the -5 penalty. Without the -5 penalty, there is no +10 to damage.

So, IMO, no go for Sharpshooter with Seeking Arrow.

However, for the Battle Master stuff, I would say yes in most (if not all?) cases.
 





DND_Reborn

Legend
Hmm....I think I'd be more inclined to impose disadvantage on the attack rather than advantage on the save. After all, it's the archer who normally takes the penalty to increase the impact.
Sure, but in this case there is no attack to impose disadvantage on, since it requires a save by the target.
 



ECMO3

Hero
Advantage on the save is probably not worth the +10 damage, IMO, but I tend to value the control elements of Maneuvers way more than the bonus damage.
It is half damage on success so it is worth way more. It is an automatic +5 bonus.

With +10 damage, seeking arrow would be 21 average with a 16 dex, so that would be 10 damage with a successful save.

Without the +10 seeking arrow would do 11 with a failed save (and 5 with a success) So statistically saving with the +10 is going to be about as much damage as failing without it.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Sharpshooter definitely doesn’t work because there’s no attack roll being made to which you can apply the -5 penalty. Battlemaster maneuvers are a little more ambiguous. Seeking arrow does say “you don’t make an attack roll for the attack” but it’s unclear if this is meant in the plain English usage or in the game mechanical usage - you are definitely attacking someone with your bow and arrow, but are you technically making a Ranged Weapon Attack? I don’t think the text alone gives enough information to draw a solid conclusion. In the absence of any other evidence though, I’d chalk it up to a DM judgment call, and personally I would err in favor of letting the player do the cool thing they want to do. So, I would allow it.
 

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