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5E Warlock's Pact of the Chain

i_dont_meta

Explorer
The third and last paragraph states that when you take the Attack action, you can forgo one of your own attacks to allow your familiar to make one attack of its own with it's reaction. My question: if you're capable of using your bonus action to engage in Two-Weapon Fighting can you forgo THAT Attack to allow your familiar to attack?

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Technically, I can't see why not, if that is the exact wording of the rules.

You're still having to use your attack action to attack, so you're not getting to cast and make a familiar attack. You still need a weapon in your off-hand, and you're still giving up an attack, just up a slightly less-effective attack.
 

ClaytonCross

Kinder reader Inflection wanted
Not only that but because of the wording if you were cross classed into any of the classes that give you multi-attack you could use your the first for you and the second for the familiar, or if you were 7 levels in eldritch knight you could use war magic to cast a cantrip then have your familiar attack with the bonus action attack that provides although War Clerics can attack as a bonus action for a number of times equal to there wisdom modifier per long rest from level 1 which would be the cheapest buy and allows you to keep your hands free. Despite this being the text (and I checked) I would ask your GM about it prior to trying to use it. It should be fine per RAW but I could see it classified as "rule layering" if you catch a GM off guard where if they had time to look it up they could ... clarify ...their interpretation with a house rule or maybe look at how grappling works on "attach actions" and come to terms with it before being put on the spot.

Edit: So I read some of the posts and then I read the relevant wording all of these and I was wrong about Eldritch Knight War magic the rest all seem correct to me. I will put the quotes in a new post below.
 
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toucanbuzz

Adventurer
...when you take the Attack action...
That answers your question there. A bonus action is not part of the Attack action and instead is something separate. RAW, no.

An off-hand attack using a bonus action, by default, is inferior to an Attack action, so there is some design intent here, especially since the Chain Pact familiars can have superior attacks relative to traditional familiars.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
The third and last paragraph states that when you take the Attack action, you can forgo one of your own attacks to allow your familiar to make one attack of its own with it's reaction. My question: if you're capable of using your bonus action to engage in Two-Weapon Fighting can you forgo THAT Attack to allow your familiar to attack?

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No. The Bonus Action attack you make with two weapon fighting is not the Attack Action. To use this feature, you must replace one of the attacks (lower-case a) granted to you by the Attack (upper-case A) Action. And nless your warlock is multiclassed, the Attack Action should only grant one attack.

You also can’t replace the attack granted by the Attack Action and still make a Bonus Action attack with your off-hand weapon.

When you take the Attack action and attack with a light melee weapon that you’re holding in one hand, you can use a bonus action to attack with a different light melee weapon that you’re holding in the other hand.
In this case, you are taking the Attack Action and your familiar is attacking. You are not taking the Attack Action and making an attack with a light weapon that you’re holding in one hand. However, if you have the Extra Attack feature (say, from taking 5 levels in Fighter), then you get to make two attacks when you take the Attack Action, so you can replace one of those attacks with an attack from your familiar and use the other one to attack with a light melee weapon you are holding in one hand. So in that case, you could then use a Bonus Action to make an Attack with a second light melee weapon you are holding in your other hand.

Of course, all of this is a very strict RAW interpretation, and it’s possible your DM will rule differently.
 

jgsugden

Legend
That answers your question there. A bonus action is not part of the Attack action and instead is something separate. RAW, no.
Not so fast - it doesn't say that the attack you sacrifice has to be part of the attack action, merely that you need to take the attack action, and then you forgo one of your attacks. As long as you have used the attack action, RAW, you can forgo *any* attack you have available to allow the familiar attack.
 

toucanbuzz

Adventurer
Not so fast - it doesn't say that the attack you sacrifice has to be part of the attack action, merely that you need to take the attack action, and then you forgo one of your attacks. As long as you have used the attack action, RAW, you can forgo *any* attack you have available to allow the familiar attack.
It mandates Attack action only. Unless and until you get the Extra Attack feature, you only have 1 attack to substitute. Bonus actions, as defined, are an "additional" action above and beyond Moving and Action options. See reference to Mike Mearls' sage advice wherein he clarifies a Dual-Wield fighter with Extra Attack does not get an Extra offhand attack. Offhand attacks are a distinct and separate bonus action from the primary Attack action.

Again, if intended to apply to anything except the Attack action, the designers would have said "bonus" action, "reaction," or the like.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
No. The Bonus Action attack you make with two weapon fighting is not the Attack Action. To use this feature, you must replace one of the attacks (lower-case a) granted to you by the Attack (upper-case A) Action. And nless your warlock is multiclassed, the Attack Action should only grant one attack.

You also can’t replace the attack granted by the Attack Action and still make a Bonus Action attack with your off-hand weapon.


In this case, you are taking the Attack Action and your familiar is attacking. You are not taking the Attack Action and making an attack with a light weapon that you’re holding in one hand. However, if you have the Extra Attack feature (say, from taking 5 levels in Fighter), then you get to make two attacks when you take the Attack Action, so you can replace one of those attacks with an attack from your familiar and use the other one to attack with a light melee weapon you are holding in one hand. So in that case, you could then use a Bonus Action to make an Attack with a second light melee weapon you are holding in your other hand.

Of course, all of this is a very strict RAW interpretation, and it’s possible your DM will rule differently.
I agree with this. When dual wielding, you don't get a bonus attack until you make an attack with a light weapon held in one hand. When you do so, you get a bonus action that you can use only to make an attack with a different weapon that must be 1) light and 2) held in a different hand from the first weapon.

If you use the Pact of the Chain feature to replace your Attack action attack, then you never make an attack with a light weapon held in one hand, and therefore never get the bonus action.

If you make the attack with a light onehanded weapon for the Attack action, then you get the bonus action, but it can only be used to make an attack with a different light weapon held in a different hand and not substituted for the Pact of the Chain attack. IE, if you don't use it to make the weapon attack, you're not using that bonus action.

If you have multiple attacks with your Attack action, you can sacrifice one for Pact of the Chain, but you still can't sacrifice the dual wielding bonus action because that only allows you to do the attack with the off handed weapon.

So, in conclusion, no, there is no circumstance where you can substitute your dual wielding bonus action for Pact of the Chain familiar attack. By RAW. Again, ask your DM -- they might not mind at all.
 

Not so fast - it doesn't say that the attack you sacrifice has to be part of the attack action, merely that you need to take the attack action, and then you forgo one of your attacks. As long as you have used the attack action, RAW, you can forgo *any* attack you have available to allow the familiar attack.
I'd say that's stretching it a bit far. Technically the text also doesn't specify that "when you take the attack action" means on the same turn. It could perhaps only be necessary was taken on the same day as the warlock lets the familiar attack in place of one of his eldritch blasts? ;)
 

DM Dave1

Adventurer
EDIT: sorry, I was wrong... note to self: READ the rules before explaining them. :p
 
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ClaytonCross

Kinder reader Inflection wanted
Now with quotes!!

As I see it if you use the Attack action, you can replace one of your attacks that turn to attack with your Familiar. Casting a spell as your action would prevent familiar attacks.

Pact of the Chain
"Additionally, when you take the Attack action, you can forgo one of your own attacks to allow your familiar to make one attack of its own."
- Meaning you replace 1 attack not the attack action as long as you used the Attack action in the process.

Grapple (For any SageAdvice references since they seem to read the same to me)
"When you want to grab a creature or wrestle with it, you can use the Attack action to make a special melee attack, a grapple. If you’re able to make multiple attacks with the Attack action, this attack replaces one of them."
- Meaning you replace 1 attack not the attack action as long as you used the Attack action in the process.

Two-handed fighting
"When you take the Attack action and attack with a light melee weapon that you’re holding in one hand, you can use a bonus action to attack with a different light melee weapon that you’re holding in the other hand."
- I say yes but ask your GM since they could argue that the bonus action is a separator though nothing says that, it would be a GM call.

War Cleric (When you use the Attack action, you can make one weapon attack as a bonus action.)
- I say yes but ask your GM since they could argue that the bonus action is a separator though nothing says that, it would be a GM call.

Eldritch Knight War magic (when you use your action to cast a cantrip, you can make one weapon attack as a bonus action.)
- So no, I was wrong this doesn't work since you did not use the attack action.

Extra attack
"Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn."
- Literally seems to be written with this in mind, defiant yes.

--Also as a side note, Warlock of the Chain/Sorcerer can Attack action attack with Familiar quicken metamagic cast 1 action spells.
 
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Rossbert

Explorer
An alternate reading of the literal words are that when you take the attack action is referring very literally to the time that that action is being taken.
If "when I take a lunch break, while I'm at my desk I can watch YouTube" at work it doesn't mean that I can watch YouTube any time I am at my desk after I have taken lunch.
 

ClaytonCross

Kinder reader Inflection wanted
An alternate reading of the literal words are that when you take the attack action is referring very literally to the time that that action is being taken.
If "when I take a lunch break, while I'm at my desk I can watch YouTube" at work it doesn't mean that I can watch YouTube any time I am at my desk after I have taken lunch.
While your not wrong, it could if you don't ever have to do anything after lunch but phone watch and that does not mean that if you take your lunch in your car you can't watch YouTube on your phone. So, while I get your point, this is not work, its D&D and generally players take turns and within that turn they can manipulate the order of things, I for example, allow players to move 10ft take an attack action using the extra attack feature attack one person, move 10ft again and use a bonus action to cast healing word on an ally around the corner, and move a third time and use the second attack of the extra attack action.

I get you or another GM might not allow that. So I would say as far as I can see rules as written, you use the attack action on your turn you can substitute one attack to your familiar. Getting more picky over that is not clarified in the RAW. If your saying RAI means only using the attacks provided by the attack action they could have written it:

Additionally, when you take the Attack action, you can forgo one of the attacks you received from that action to allow your familiar to make one attack of its own.

...They didn't. So RAW is "Additionally, when you take the Attack action, you can forgo one of your own attacks to allow your familiar to make one attack of its own."

Now they could have clarified as

"Additionally, when you take the Attack action, you can forgo one of your own attacks including those from bonus actions and action surge on the same turn to allow your familiar to make one attack of its own."

The true is it says in RAW: "Additionally, when you take the Attack action, you can forgo one of your own attacks to allow your familiar to make one attack of its own."
--- So take the attack action and you can give one of your attacks to your familiar. Any argument over picking a specific attack on your turn is a house rule since it does not say which attack you have to pick.

I do also think nit picking between attack actions is a waste of GM and player time since all the attack actions have the same weight BUT I do recognize that if a GM comes to the conclusion you did first and then a player interprets the way I do, that player will VERY likely come across as rule layering which will put this on a GMs naughty list and cause a house rule to prevent the perceived violation. So my best advice to players and GMs is just be aware of it, make your choice, try to make sure the other side knows before its used, and try to be tolerant of this as possible to "misinterpret" while not trying to rules lawyer but just learning the rules as the GM uses them. The RAW might be solid but the RAI would have to be clarified and ultimately this rule is not a game/class breaker ether way. If the GM needs to house rule so everyone can get past it, house rule and get past it. The only time I see this as a possible REAL problem is if someone built a character with one understanding (Like a Cleric/Warlock) but then couldn't use the investment to actually play as intended similar to a player building a level 1 Rogue with Expertise in investigation, 16 intellect, and the dungeon delver feat only to find out the GM only ever used passive perception for traps or 1 Rogue with Expertise in Perception, 16 Wisdom, and the Observant feat only to find out the GM only ever used active investigation roles for traps... (seriously I have run across both) ... Point is a player wanting to understand a rule in the game and be good at something does not make them an evil player (by itself anyway) so if they build to this RAW and you think RAI should be:

"Additionally, when you take the Attack action, you can forgo one of your own attacks received from this action to allow your familiar to make one attack of its own."

Then, let them know your house rule to clarify RAI a head of time, or possibly make some "Session 1 Character Corrections" with GM oversight and their new understanding. ... I had a good GM let me change the Observant feat for the Alert feat because he decided one day out of the blue he did not want to use passive perception any more AT ALL because they wanted the games to be more random and I was happy to do it as opposed to being stuck with useless feat that would just irritate me every time I saw it because I didn't take it to read lips but to make a non-rogue non-ranger scout.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Throw me into the camp that says that were you to take the Attack action and attacked with a light melee weapon in your main hand (thereby allowing you to make an attack with a light melee weapon in your off-hand), you could allow the Familiar to substitute its attack for the off-hand one.

The way I'm reading it... all the Pact of the Chain feature states is that so long as you "take the Attack action", you can forgo ANY of your own attacks to allow the familiar to attack. But it says nothing about how you acquire the attack that you substitute in the first place, nor what type of action you use to make it. If you take the Attack action, any attacks you acquire can be substituted so long as you fulfill the obligations for how you acquire them.

As far as two-weapon fighting is concerned... it says that if you take the Attack action *and* you attack with a light melee weapon that you're holding in one hand, you can attack with a light melee weapon in your other hand (using your Bonus action). And via Pact of the Chain, you may forgo one of your attacks to allow the familiar to make an attack of its own (using its Reaction.) Obviously you can't forgo your main hand attack because that causes your off-hand attack to disappear (since you only get your off-hand attack if you both use the Attack action *and* make an attack with a light melee weapon)... but the off-hand attack *is* an attack itself and thus I don't see a reason why it shouldn't be allowed to be forgone.

Now, this is how I personally read it and would personally rule it at my table. There's probably a good chance that were Sage Advice asked, they'd tell us that the intention was that only your main hand attacks coming directly from the Attack action were meant to be substituted. But as far as how it's written (from what I'm reading in the SRD)... I see no reason why any attack could not be forgone so long as the Attack action was taken.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Throw me into the camp that says that were you to take the Attack action and attacked with a light melee weapon in your main hand (thereby allowing you to make an attack with a light melee weapon in your off-hand), you could allow the Familiar to substitute its attack for the off-hand one.

The way I'm reading it... all the Pact of the Chain feature states is that so long as you "take the Attack action", you can forgo ANY of your own attacks to allow the familiar to attack. But it says nothing about how you acquire the attack that you substitute in the first place, nor what type of action you use to make it. If you take the Attack action, any attacks you acquire can be substituted so long as you fulfill the obligations for how you acquire them.

As far as two-weapon fighting is concerned... it says that if you take the Attack action *and* you attack with a light melee weapon that you're holding in one hand, you can attack with a light melee weapon in your other hand (using your Bonus action). And via Pact of the Chain, you may forgo one of your attacks to allow the familiar to make an attack of its own (using its Reaction.) Obviously you can't forgo your main hand attack because that causes your off-hand attack to disappear (since you only get your off-hand attack if you both use the Attack action *and* make an attack with a light melee weapon)... but the off-hand attack *is* an attack itself and thus I don't see a reason why it shouldn't be allowed to be forgone.

Now, this is how I personally read it and would personally rule it at my table. There's probably a good chance that were Sage Advice asked, they'd tell us that the intention was that only your main hand attacks coming directly from the Attack action were meant to be substituted. But as far as how it's written (from what I'm reading in the SRD)... I see no reason why any attack could not be forgone so long as the Attack action was taken.
I disagree because of how bonus actions work. You don't have s bonus action which you can do something from a list of allowable bonus actions, instead you may do specific things as a bonus action.

In other words, dial wielding doesn't give me the option to use my bonus action to make an attack with my off hand weapon, it tells me that i may make an attsck with my off hand as a bonus action. This is an important RAW concept. If i want to.substitute my off hand attack for a familiar attack via Pact of the Chain, that doesn't qualify me for a bonus action. Essentially, you dont have a bonus action to use unless you attack with your offhand weapon, and then only if you use the Attack action and attack with yout primsry hsnd weapon. Since the only declatation that can be done as a bonus action is attack with your off hand, substituting that action for another doesnt entitle you to do it as a bonus action.
 

MechaTarrasque

Adventurer
The wording makes me think they may have intended for there to be an invocation that would let the chainlock make two attacks at one point, but then they dropped it (it isn't the first time I have had this thought, the wording of planar ally is pretty suggestive that it was meant to be a warlock spell as well as a cleric one).
 

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