Is there anything that cancels out Small creatures’ disadvantage to attack when using Heavy weapons?

A party member in a D&D 5e game I’m in is playing a halfling paladin. It occurred to me (for whatever reason) to ask what weapon they were wielding, and they said their main weapon was a maul, and their backup was a warhammer/shield combo).

Upon checking the Weapons table, I discovered that mauls have the “Heavy” weapon property:

Heavy. Small creatures have disadvantage on attack rolls with heavy weapons. A heavy weapon’s size and bulk make it too large for a Small creature to use effectively.

The player seemed to be unaware of this (a similar character in Critical Role apparently wielded heavy weapons without issue – of course, CR is not necessarily a perfect demonstration of the rules as written).

As such, I was curious whether there is anything in the rules (i.e. not homebrew or a house rule) that cancels out this innate disadvantage for player characters, other than gaining advantage from some other source in combat.

(Note: the issue has already been resolved in our game between the player and DM, so it’s purely a rules question.)

Does casting the Detect Evil and Good spell on a killed monster reveal anything?

If I kill some kind of evil creature like a zombie, chuck it into a shallow grave and burn its remains, would casting detect evil and good on the skeletal remains reveal anything?

Or do destroyed/slain monsters immediately stop registering for such effects?

The spell does not specify if the creature needs to be alive, dead, or whole. However, it may cease to be considered a creature if it is dead; I do not know.

The detect evil and good spell description reads:

For the duration, you know if there is an aberration, celestial, elemental, fey, fiend, or undead within 30 feet of you, as well as where the creature is located. Similarly, you know if there is a place or object within 30 feet of you that has been magically consecrated or desecrated.

Additionally, would you know that it was undead? Or just that it is one of those types of monster?

Also, does it remain ‘undead’? Once undead, always undead?

I assume this spell only reveals if the monster is one of the types in the list (not which one?), and not alignment like I think perhaps past editions of D&D have done.

Does switching between using a versatile weapon one-handed to two-handed cost anything with regards to the action economy?

The versatile weapon property says (PHB, p. 147):

Versatile. This weapon can be used with one or two hands. A damage value in parentheses appears with the property–the damage when the weapon is used with two hands to make a melee attack.

A weapon with the versatile property, such as a longsword or a quarterstaff, can be wielded with one or two hands. Does it consume any part of the action economy to switch between using one or two hands on your turn?

Intuitively I’d say no, I imagine it costs absolutely nothing, but I can imagine, at worst, there being arguments for it costing your “free object interaction” (PHB, p. 190). Which is it?

(Below are some related Q&As, but not specific to versatile weapons, sadly).

The accepted answer to a related Q&A (thanks @NautArch) suggests that:

Taking your hand off the weapon should not require any action expenditure – you are just letting go of it, same as if you dropped it.

You can then use your free object interaction to restore your grip after casting.

The reasoning for the first case makes sense, but the second case isn’t backed up by anything, although I can see the logic behind it.

The errata posted in that answer, to me, suggests that it would in fact cost nothing to grip the weapon with a second hand, almost like it’s “part of the attack”, similar to how the Ammunition weapon property works, but again, this is logic, not RAW.

To give a concrete example, if we imagine that a PC’s turn starts with a longsword in one hand and a spellcasting focus in the other; they spend their bonus action casting a spell with their focus, and then spend their free object interaction putting that focus away. With only their action left, can they now attack with their longsword using it as a versatile weapon (i.e. dealing 1d10 damage instead of 1d8)?

See also, the “following round” scenario of this question (thanks @Medix2), which involves sheathing a shortsword and attacking with a longbow that requires two hands. This is almost exactly the same scenario as the one I detailed above.

Does limiting Sneak Attack to the Dexterity choice on Finesse Weapons imbalance anything?

Inspired by this question “Reckless Attack + Sneak Attack synergy?”.

This question brought my attention to something that seems odd. I was about to make a house ruling that in order to be able to utilize Sneak Attack that you had to choose the Dexterity option on the finesse weapon, this seems thematically sound as well as implied by the text in the ability. One of my players has tried to counter argue the point. Since I was not really convinced by his argument I thought I would ask the community.

Sneak Attack PHB 96 (emphasis mine):

Beginning at 1st level, you know how to strike subtly and exploit a foe’s distraction. Once per turn, you can deal an extra 1d6 damage to one creature you hit with an attack if you have advantage on the attack roll. The attack must use a finesse or a ranged weapon.

Finesse weapons have the text as follows PHB 147 (emphasis mine):

When making an attack with a finesse weapon, you use your choice of your Strength or Dexterity modifier for the attack and damage rolls. You must use the same modifier for both rolls.

I understand that this would pidgeon-hole Rogues to be more Dexterity based but to be quite honest they already are quite reliant on it as most of their base kit and skills are leaning that direction. Most brute Rogues are multi-classed into a martial class in my experience as well. In addition classes are in and of themselves pidgeon-hole anyway.

To strike subtly implies to me more Dexterity rather than Strength.

So would making this change do anything imbalanced other than limiting arguably “sub-optimal” builds?

Is there anything in the rules that say a familiar can attune to magic items? [duplicate]

This question already has an answer here:

  • Can a familiar attune and wear or use a magic item? 3 answers

Is there anything in the rules that say a familiar can attune to magic items?

I’ve seen lots of questions about if familiars can attune to items and the community seems to agree on that they can. However, my DM will not allow this without seeing a specific ruling that they can, as it is not enough for them to simply not have a ruling against it.

Has Jeremy Crawford put out anything that confirms familiar can attune to and use magic items? Did I miss something in the rules? Or is it simply, nothing says they can’t?

How can I DM a long fall that should be lethal if my players don’t do anything to save themselves? [on hold]

I am planning a short campaign in DnD 5e that starts out with my players imprisoned upon an airship. The airship gets attacked, and all passengers are hurled towards the ground from a substantial height (more than 3000ft).

A few key points:

  • These are 16th-level characters (because we want to do a high-level adventure). I won’t tell my players that they “should” or “might take” magical starting equipment or spells that give them flying speed etc.
  • They are stripped of their equipment (because they were imprisoned, by even stronger characters)
  • the fall should be lethal, if they do not intervene. I’m considering moving the damage cap for falling up for this very reason (I plan to use the “a creature falls 500 ft at the start of a round” rule). I want to avoid the “raging barbarian just fell out of the sky and just tanks the impact” scenario, if possible.

My current ideas are as follows:

  • the cargo from the ship – that contains their equipment, which they can recover later in the campaign – also includes Scrolls of Feather Fall. The scrolls are scattered in the air around them and can be grabbed and used. This has the caveat that Feather Fall is only on the Bard’s, Sorcerer’s, and Wizard’s spell list, so if we don’t have one player with this class, RAW they cannot read this scroll
  • a player could grab a sail from the airship and use it as a improvised parachute – this is probably far out of the rules, but I might rule this as a DC 20 Acrobatics or Athletics check?
  • the players can attempt to fall into water, a lake or something similar. This will reduce their damage, but might still kill them.

So, are there any good solutions for this scenario that – work for (almost) all classes or – let one player save the whole party or – somehow negate the fall damage otherwise?