Does Mind whip prevent bonus actions if you take away an action?

The text for mind whip states

You psychically lash out at one creature you can see within range. The target must make an Intelligence saving throw. On a failed save, the target takes 3d6 psychic damage, and it can’t take a reaction until the end of its next turn. Moreover, on its next turn, it must choose whether it gets a move, an action, or a bonus action; it gets only one of the three. On a successful save, the target takes half as much damage and suffers none of the spell’s other effects

Meanwhile, the rules state

[…] anything that deprives you of your ability to take actions also prevents you from taking a bonus action.

If the target chooses a bonus action, it technically shouldn’t be able to do so, as it was deprived of its action. Or is this a case of specific beats general?

If I ready a action (spell) in response to a companion’s attack, what is a fair GM rulling over the order of events?

In our campaign, I have a cleric who wished to use Ready an Action as his move. His idea behind this was that he wanted to ready Guiding Bolt and the condition he set was that, when one of the player (fighter) attacked a creature (one of 2 trolls), he would release the bolt beforehand. Therefore the figther would have advantage on her attack if the Guiding Bolt hit first.

I ruled that the fighter hit first, but I’m not so sure now – and feel like I was unfair in my ruling, maybe.

I can see both points of view:

  1. If I was the cleric readying my spell, I would cast the spell as soon as I noticed my fighter’s companion intention to attack a creature.

  2. But, also if I’m the fighter and I’m 5′ away from a creature, maybe my attack would land first, before the Guiding Bolt.

I would like some RAW guidance on this please. But, if not explicitly available, then a response with lived experience of a GM on a similar ruling to do with resolving oder of events.

Healing Word in a Higher Level Slot — is it still a Bonus Action to cast?

If I prepare healing word in a higher level spell slot, is it still a Bonus Action to cast?

Related context

My DM cites Critical Role as evidence that this is probably not the case because in all the hours he’s watched them play their 5e campaign, they have ruled healing word in higher slots as not a Bonus action.

I’ve not watched Critical Role, so I don’t know if this is even the case in the show.

What happens if a character’s declared action becomes impossible?

What happens if a character’s declared action becomes impossible before they can attempt it in the attack phase? Do the core rules support the idea that they get to pick a different action, or perform a similar action, or do they effectively lose the ability to act in that round?

For example, if a character wants to shoot someone but the target suddenly disappears from this plane of existence, is that character still forced to spend her round shooting at nothing, or can she now opt not to pull the trigger?

Since "shooting at the location where the target recently was" isn’t impossible, a better example might be if a character is disarmed before they can use a weapon. Can that character do nothing but follow through with their declared weapon-attack, albeit pantomimed?

Considering actions other than attacks, if someone declares that they’ll run across a room and through an open door, but the door is closed and bolted shut before their turn in the initiative order, are they then forced to run up to the door, or would they be allowed to remain in place since their intention is now impossible?


  • This is setting aside the rules for aborting an attack in favor of a defensive action.
  • It makes sense that changing an attack’s target during the attack phase would not be allowed, since that would give the attacker an unfair advantage in surprising a higher-initiative target who did not anticipate being attacked and thus had no defensive action prepared.

Does the use of a gunner major action always preclude the use of the Snap Shot minor crew action?

In Starfinder, during starship combat, the Snap Shot minor crew action allows a crew member who has taken a major crew action earlier in the round to fire a starship weapon during the gunnery phase. The rules state:

You can fire one of your starship’s weapons with a –2 penalty to the gunnery check. You can take this action only if no other gunner actions have been taken during the gunnery phase (including snap shot).

The wording of the second sentence raises questions. Does it disallow Snap Shot actions completely if another character intends to take a gunner major action? Does it disallow Snap Shot actions unless they’re taken before all gunner major actions for the round? Or does it simply disallow Snap Shot if the character attempting it has already carried out a gunner major action?

The scenario I am facing in play is this: a pilot has completed a pilot major action in the Helm phase and positioned the ship to put the enemy ship in the port quadrant. There are two gunners on board. The first gunner has fired at the enemy ship with a turreted weapon. The second gunner has fired at the enemy ship with a port arc weapon. The pilot’s player points out that the ship also has a forward arc weapon that has the broad arc property–meaning that it can target ships in the port or starboard arcs with a -2 penalty. He wishes to Snap Shoot the broad arc weapon at the ship in the port arc with a cumulative penalty of -4 (-2 for firing outside the weapon’s normal arc and -2 for the fact that it is a Snap Shot). This seems like a reasonable request to me, but do the rules preclude it? If they do, then had the pilot declared this intention before the other gunners rolled, would he have been able to do it within the rules?

Does a Duergar Spy’s Enlarge action double its damage dice from its Sneak Attack trait?

In the module The Forge of Fury (tiny spoiler) there is a Duergar Spy creature. Its statblock is on p. 234 of Tales from the Yawning Portal.

I am interested in the way two of its features interact with each other, Enlarge and Sneak Attack. If the Spy qualifies for a Sneak Attack while Enlarged, are the damage dice added from the sneak attack doubled?

The duergar spy’s Enlarge action says:

For 1 minute, the spy magically increases in size […] While enlarged, the spy is Large, doubles her damage dice on Strength-based weapon attacks, and makes Strength checks and saving throws with advantage.

Its Sneak Attack trait says:

Once per turn, the spy can deal an extra 7 (2d6) damage when it hits a target with a weapon attack and has advantage on the attack roll, or when the target is within 5 feet of an ally that isn’t incapacitated and the spy doesn’t have disadvantage on the attack roll.

The spy has a Shortsword attack. A Shortsword is normally a finesse weapon, meaning one can use either Str or Dex for to hit and damage. The stat block suggests the Spy uses Dex, but explicitly applies Enlarge to it (the spy has a Str mod of +0 and a Dex mod of +3).

Shortsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit. Hit: 6 (1d6+3) piercing damage, or 10 (2d6+3) while enlarged.

Does a clay golem’s haste action actually give it more attacks?

A clay golem has an action called Haste that is thematically similar to the spell of the same name but mechanically rather different:

Haste (Recharge 5–6). Until the end of its next turn, the golem magically gains a +2 bonus to its AC, has advantage on Dexterity saving throws, and can use its slam attack as a bonus action.

At first glance, this appears to grant the golem one additional attack (as a bonus action). However, using the ability costs the golem its action, with which it could otherwise make 2 slam attacks. Since the ability lasts until the end of the golem’s next turn, it can attack with its bonus action on both the turn it uses the ability and the following turn, yielding a total of… 2 additional attacks. Thus, it seems that over the course of these 2 turns, the golem will get 4 attacks, regardless of whether it uses its Haste ability or not. The only difference is that with Haste, one of those attacks comes 1 turn later.

So, am I correct in finding that the net effect of the golem’s Haste action is to delay one of its attacks by one turn in return for improved defenses for 1 round, as opposed to actually granting additional attacks? Obviously there are cases where this is unambiguously a benefit, e.g. when the golem can’t get into melee on the current turn, but I suppose I find it a bit surprising that, if anything, the golem’s Haste action causes it to attack more slowly.

Do named actions in monster statblocks use the Attack action?

This question is inspired by the following and stems from wondering whether the Steel Defender’s "Force-Empowered Rend" action involves taking the Attack action:

  • Can a hasted steel defender benefit from its extra actions?

Take the Lich for example, It has an action titled "Paralyzing Touch"; does this involve the Attack action? Similarly, the Ogre has the "Greatclub" and "Javelin" actions; do these involve the Attack action? Does the Adult Black Dragon’s "Acid Breath" involve the Attack action? How does one know if something listed under "Actions" in a monster’s statblock involves taking the Attack action or not?

This matters for various features that key off of taking the Attack action while somebody is polymorphed, shapechanged, Wild Shaped, or by some other means has become one of these creatures while maintaining their class features such as Extra Attack or the Monk’s Flurry of Blows.

Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Immediately after you take the Attack action on your turn, you can spend 1 ki point to make two unarmed strikes as a bonus action.

The only thing I have managed to find that I think might be relevant is the following SAC ruling:

Q. Can you use a melee spell attack to make an opportunity attack? […]

A. […] A few monsters can make opportunity attacks with melee spell attacks. Here’s how: certain monsters—including the banshee, the lich, and the specter—have a melee spell attack that isn’t delivered by a spell. For example, the banshee’s Corrupting Touch action is a melee spell attack but no spell is cast to make it. The banshee can, therefore, make opportunity attacks with Corrupting Touch.

Note that this question is different from my previous question:

Does using an Owl's "Talons" action while Wild Shaped count as taking the Attack action?

The question failed to ask what I actually wanted to ask. It happened to be asking about an action that could effectively be accomplished through unarmed strikes and was not explicitly asking about things like the Lich’s Paralyzing Touch and a Dragon’s Breath. This question, in contrast, is asking about such features explicitly.

Does Discipline Focus (Insightful Strikes) add the Wisdom bonus to each attack of Flashing Sun’s full-attack action?

Discipline Focus (Insightful Strikes) states the following:

At 4th level, you can add your Wisdom modifier as a bonus on damage rolls whenever you execute a strike from the chosen discipline. At 12th level, you can choose a second discipline to which this ability applies.

and Flashing Sun states the following:

Flashing sun allows you to make an additional melee attack during this round. As part of this maneuver, you take a full attack action and make your normal melee attacks. However, you can make one additional attack this round at your highest attack bonus. All the attacks you make this round, including the extra attack granted by this maneuver, are made with a -2 penalty.

So, the thing is, Flashing Sun includes a full attack in its description, and Insightful Strikes says "damage rolls", in plural. Does this mean that it adds the Wis bonus to each attack’s damage roll, only to the one added by the strike itself, or neither?

Can you break up your Attack action for a bonus action?

You can do it to move:

If you take an action that includes more than one weapon attack, you can break up your movement even further by moving between those attacks. For example, a fighter who can make two attacks with the Extra Attack feature and who has a speed of 25 feet could move 10 feet, make an attack, move 15 feet, and then attack again. (PHB 190)

It would be necessary for the Great Weapon Master feat:

On your turn, when you score a critical hit with a melee weapon or reduce a creature to 0 hit points with one, you can make one melee weapon attack as a bonus action

As a level 17 Fighter, if I can not place a bonus action between attacks, there are two possibilities:

  1. I have to wait until I finished all 4 attacks of the action, to make another attack as a bonus action
  2. the bonus action attack is wasted unless the kill or crit happens on the 4th attack

So can I take a bonus action in the middle of the attacks of an action?