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D&D 5E What is the proper attack bonus for summoned fey from Tasha's?

tommybahama

Adventurer
Hey guys,

Can someone please someone confirm the correct attack bonus for the summoned fey spirit from Tasha's Summon Fey spell? I think it is either +3 😩or +6 😲 for a 5th level Druid with a 16 Wisdom.

Below is the creatures stat block. Highlighted in yellow it says that the "Proficiency Bonus equals your bonus." So then I saw the text underlined in red, "Melee Weapon Attack: your spell attack modifier." So I checked the PHB on DnDBeyond and it says, "Your attack bonus with a spell attack equals your spellcasting ability modifier + your proficiency bonus." Another common definition I'm finding floating around the internet is, "Your spell attack modifier is a modifier you add to attack rolls with your spells. It's calculated as your Spellcasting modifier + your Proficiency Bonus."

Adding the proficiency bonus to the attack rolls would makes it a little bit better than a CR 2 polar bear, but still not better than eight CR 1/4 wolves.

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Its your spell attack modifier; the number you use to modify spell attacks (as opposed to your Wisdom modifier).

Which is [your PB + Casting stat mod]

Which for a 5th level Druid (+3 PB) with 16 Wisdom (+3) is +6.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
So I checked the PHB on DnDBeyond and it says, "Your attack bonus with a spell attack equals your spellcasting ability modifier + your proficiency bonus." Another common definition I'm finding floating around the internet is, "Your spell attack modifier is a modifier you add to attack rolls with your spells. It's calculated as your Spellcasting modifier + your Proficiency Bonus."
Both of these definitions are the same.
Adding the proficiency bonus to the attack rolls would makes it a little bit better than a CR 2 polar bear, but still not better than eight CR 1/4
I’m not sure how you figure that. The fey spirit’s bonus on its short sword attack is equal to your spell attack bonus, which for a 5th level druid with 16 Wisdom should be +6. A polar bear’s bonus on its attacks is +7.
 

tommybahama

Adventurer
Thanks for clearing up the proficiency bonus guys!

I’m not sure how you figure that. The fey spirit’s bonus on its short sword attack is equal to your spell attack bonus, which for a 5th level druid with 16 Wisdom should be +6. A polar bear’s bonus on its attacks is +7.

I'm assuming the benefit of multi-attack by the polar bear at +7 is cancelled by the fey spirit's bonus action Fuming that gives it advantage on its single attack roll. My very rough calculation for average damage showed that the polar bear has more DPR but I'm probably wrong on the math.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Thanks for clearing up the proficiency bonus guys!



I'm assuming the benefit of multi-attack by the polar bear at +7 is cancelled by the fey spirit's bonus action Fuming that gives it advantage on its single attack roll. My very rough calculation for average damage showed that the polar bear has more DPR but I'm probably wrong on the math.
Oh, I see! I thought you were just talking about the attack bonus, not the overall DPR.
 


TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Thanks for clearing up the proficiency bonus guys!



I'm assuming the benefit of multi-attack by the polar bear at +7 is cancelled by the fey spirit's bonus action Fuming that gives it advantage on its single attack roll. My very rough calculation for average damage showed that the polar bear has more DPR but I'm probably wrong on the math.
No, I would assume the polar bear has much better DPR. Two attacks is much better than advantage.

Just looked it up, the polar bear has a better DPR. Even if the Druid has an 18 Wisdom, so that the attack bonuses are equal, the bear can do 1d8+5 + 2d6 +5 in total. Assuming an AC 16 opponent, so that that the hit chance is 60%, the bear will do 12.9 DPR. The fey will have an 84% hit chance on 2d6+5 damage, which is 10.1 DPR.
 

tommybahama

Adventurer
+[misc]

Which generally means bonuses from magical spellcasting foci.

So the Level 5 druid above with a Wisdom of 16 with a +1 Moon Sickle would get a +7 to hit on his fey spirit? That's awesome.

Just looked it up, the polar bear has a better DPR. Even if the Druid has an 18 Wisdom, so that the attack bonuses are equal, the bear can do 1d8+5 + 2d6 +5 in total. Assuming an AC 16 opponent, so that that the hit chance is 60%, the bear will do 12.9 DPR. The fey will have an 84% hit chance on 2d6+5 damage, which is 10.1 DPR.

That means the DPR for a druid summoning the fey spirit and attacking with cantrips after that is going to have a lower DPR then Treantmonk's baseline of 16.5 DPR? That's very disappointing.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
So the Level 5 druid above with a Wisdom of 16 with a +1 Moon Sickle would get a +7 to hit on his fey spirit? That's awesome.



That means the DPR for a druid summoning the fey spirit and attacking with cantrips after that is going to have a lower DPR then Treantmonk's baseline of 16.5 DPR? That's very disappointing.
Well, assuming a 2d8 cantrip with 60% hit rate, that would be 5.4 additional DPR, so 15.5 DPR.

I don’t know how Treantmonk is deriving their 16.5 DPR baseline, so I’m not sure if it’s an apples to apples comparison. I’d need to know the assumed hit rate.
 



Dausuul

Legend
Maybe. RAW on the subject isn't clear. If something gives you "a bonus on your spell attack rolls," does that count as an increase to your "spell attack bonus?"

You could argue either way. That being the case, I think the correct thing to do is ask which ruling will produce better results at the table: Less bookkeeping, better balance, less confusion, etc. On those criteria, I come down solidly in favor of "yes."
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I can see the argument for why it wouldn't work by RAW, but I think RAI it should work. The whole point of using the character's spell attack modifier is to simplify bookkeeping.

Maybe. RAW on the subject isn't clear. If something gives you "a bonus on your spell attack rolls," does that count as an increase to your "spell attack bonus?"

You could argue either way. That being the case, I think the correct thing to do is ask which ruling will produce better results at the table: Less bookkeeping, better balance, less confusion, etc. On those criteria, I come down solidly in favor of "yes."

Fair enough. In my undersstanding, spell attack modifier is a specific derived attribute, just like spell save DC. It’s calculated as spellcasting ability modifier + proficiency bonus, and while magic items may add an additional bonus to spell attacks, that bonus is not part of your spell attack bonus. But I suppose RAW is ambiguous enough you could interpret it the other way...
 

Dausuul

Legend
Fair enough. In my undersstanding, spell attack modifier is a specific derived attribute, just like spell save DC. It’s calculated as spellcasting ability modifier + proficiency bonus, and while magic items may add an additional bonus to spell attacks, that bonus is not part of your spell attack bonus. But I suppose RAW is ambiguous enough you could interpret it the other way...
I see where you're coming from, and from a purely technical standpoint I might even agree. However, the result is a situation much like "attack with a melee weapon" vs. "melee weapon attack"--a deeply confusing and unintuitive distinction, just waiting to trap the less rules-savvy player.

Sadly, the "melee weapon" issue impacts too many things to easily rule it away. The same is not true of the moon sickle, however, and there is enough ambiguity in the text that I'd call it a ruling rather than a house rule.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I see where you're coming from, and from a purely technical standpoint I might even agree. However, the result is a situation much like "attack with a melee weapon" vs. "melee weapon attack"--a deeply confusing and unintuitive distinction, just waiting to trap the less rules-savvy player.

Sadly, the "melee weapon" issue impacts too many things to easily rule it away. The same is not true of the moon sickle, however, and there is enough ambiguity in the text that I'd call it a ruling rather than a house rule.
Yeah, this is a consistent problem with the language in 5e. They use natural-sounding language in a technical way, and it makes for lots of unintuitive outcomes like these.
 

tommybahama

Adventurer
Well, assuming a 2d8 cantrip with 60% hit rate, that would be 5.4 additional DPR, so 15.5 DPR.

I don’t know how Treantmonk is deriving their 16.5 DPR baseline, so I’m not sure if it’s an apples to apples comparison. I’d need to know the assumed hit rate.

He bases his damage off of the avearage damage a warlock could do with Hex + Eldrich Blast.He's assuming +7 to hit by level 5 (which is higher than his optimized Shepherd druid). Pasted from his video:
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