Can a character with the Defensive Duelist feat who never makes an attack with the finesse weapon still gain the benefit of the feat?

The description of the Defensive Duelist feat says (PHB, p. 165):

When you are wielding a finesse weapon with which you are proficient and another creature hits you with a melee attack, you can use your reaction to add your proficiency bonus to your AC for that attack, potentially causing the attack to miss you.

Assume a spellcaster who has the Defensive Duelist feat is holding a dagger and an arcane focus. For the duration of combat, they cast spells and never make a melee weapon attack. Do they still gain the benefit of the feat?

Hradening WMI: Any security benefit to changing Impersonation level?

Does changing the Default Impersonation Level in Windows machines to 2 or 1 help mitigate against WMI exploitation?

wbemImpersonationLevelAnonymous 1     Moniker: Anonymous Hides the credentials of the caller. Calls to WMI may fail with this impersonation level. wbemImpersonationLevelIdentify 2     Moniker: Identify Allows objects to query the credentials of the caller. Calls to WMI may fail with this impersonation level. wbemImpersonationLevelImpersonate 3     Moniker: Impersonate Allows objects to use the credentials of the caller. This is the recommended impersonation level for Scripting API for WMI calls. wbemImpersonationLevelDelegate 4     Moniker: Delegate Allows objects to permit other objects to use the credentials of the caller. This impersonation will work with Scripting API for WMI calls but may constitute an unnecessary security risk. 

Can any of the found greater steeds benefit from the weapon proficiencies granted by Tenser’s Transformation?

The mount summoned by the 4th level Paladin spell find greater steed has this interesting ability:

While mounted on it, you can make any spell you cast that targets only you also target the mount.

The 6th level wizard spell Tenser’s tranformation grants weapon proficiencies;

You have proficiency with all armor, shields, simple weapons, and martial weapons.

After casting Tenser’s transformation while riding my found greater steed, technically my mount would have proficiency with all simple and martial weapons.

Obviously the primary issue here is going to be the question of “appropriate anatomy” – can magic that makes the uncoordinated wizard with no weapon skills a martial juggernaut also give my griffon the basic ability to firmly grasp a short sword? Are any of the mounts listed1 able to make use of any of the weapon proficiencies granted by Tenser’s transformation?


1 a griffon, a pegasus, a peryton, a dire wolf, a rhinoceros, or a saber-toothed tiger.

Do racial features which grant advantage on specific ability/skill checks provide a benefit skill checks made with different abilities?

The rules for making skill checks are usually cut and dried. If a character is making a check to see if they can swim against a current, this would usually be a Strength (Athletics) check.

But the rules allow for unique circumstances to require skill checks with atypical abilities.

For example, if you have to swim from an offshore island to the mainland, your DM might call for a Constitution check to see if you have the stamina to make it that far. In this case, your DM might allow you to apply your proficiency in Athletics and ask for a Constitution (Athletics) check.

Certain races afford the character advantage on specific checks (most commonly Wisdom (Perception) checks that involve smell or vision).

I can imagine a situation where a DM might request an Intelligence (Perception) check to see if a character is able to identify which of two glasses of wine is poisoned or a Constitution (Perception) check to see if a character can keep their eyes on something flying very close to the sun without squinting.

In these atypical scenarios, does the creature’s racial benefit still give them advantage on the check in spite of the fact that the fundamental ability being used with their skill is not the one explicitly cited in the description of their racial feature?

How to avoid the guidance cantrip from dominating the game without creating any benefit?

The guidance cantrip is bothering me – not because it makes ability checks easier but because it does not have a relevant opportunity cost and because it disrupts the flow of the game. Any time a skill check is required that can be foreseen players can just use the cantrip. I find this very annoying, since it causes a lot of extra dice rolling and discussion without any meaningful decisions that would add anything to the game.

I do know that the spell requires concentration, that I can create opportunity costs through my content and that I could just ban the spell outright. This was extensively discussed in this question: Casting Guidance cantrip for every roll?

I could ban the spell but I would like to avoid that and creating additional complications specifically for this spell is a lot of work. Are there other, easier solutions?

What benefit (if any) do horses or carriages offer when travelling long distances?

The rules for Travel Pace in the PHB and Basic Rules are good and straightforward, with players able to travel on foot for 8 hours per day without over-exerting themselves, choosing a pace of Slow (2 miles/hour, 18 miles/day; can move stealthily), Normal (3 m/h, 24 m/d) or Fast (4 m/h, 30 m/d, take a penalty to pass Perception).

In this same section, there are two paragraphs about mounts and vehicles; they specify that mounts can gallop at twice the normal fast pace for an hour, and with frequently freshened mounts – typically only available in highly populated areas – a rider can travel fast over long distances. However when it comes to vehicles, only water going vessels or flying mounts get you travelling faster; for commonly available forms of transport:

Characters in wagons, carriages, or other land vehicles choose a pace as normal.

Is this right? Rules as written it seems there is no benefit to travelling by wagon or carriage, and certainly it takes the same amount of time as walking. In my current game of Dragon of Icespire Peak, the players have spent quite a bit of time demanding horses or a carriage in order to travel the 65 miles from Phandalin to Butterskull Ranch, believing it would get them there faster (as the quest there seems urgent). But looking up the travelling rules it really seems there’s no speed benefit to them paying for a ride or hiring horses, except that they might shave an hour off their travel time each day in the latter case. That makes sense for a wagon which is designed only for hauling stuff, not speed, but what about a carriage or a riding horses?

I’d like to know if there are any additional benefits (beyond the purely narrative) that I am missing for travel by carriage, or any ways that mounts or vehicles can decrease their travelling time (beyond the double fast pace for one hour).

I’m also interested in any house rules you may have used to give players a speed boost through riding over walking.

Can a mule benefit from a Phantom Steed?

The Phantom Steed spell creates a “Large quasi-real, horselike creature” that can be ridden by “you or a creature you choose”. “You decide the creature’s appearance” and it “uses the statistics for a riding horse.”

The rules for mounted combat state that “A willing creature that is at least one size larger than you and that has an appropriate anatomy can serve as a mount”

Can a mule ride on a phantom steed?

The conditions appear to be that (1) the Steed is willing (which I think we can assume from the nature of the spell), that (2) it is a size larger than the mule (Mules are Size Medium, Riding Horses are Size Large), and that it (3) has “appropriate anatomy”.

Now, obviously a real riding horse does not have an appropriate anatomy to be ridden by a mule.

But the phantom steed is not a riding horse. It is a “horselike creature”, whose appearance is decided by the spell’s caster.

So, RAW, does anything prevent the caster from stating that the steed created has its appearance including appropriate anatomy to be ridden by a mule, any other size medium or smaller quadruped, or other non-traditional riders?

Can a Swords bard benefit from Blade Flourish’s speed increase again if they take the Attack action again?

The Swords Bard’s 3rd level feature, Blade Flourish, states:

[…] Whenever you take the Attack action on your turn, your walking speed increases by 10 feet until the end of the turn […]

So if a Bard took the Attack action multiple times (through something like haste or Action Surge) would they gain the speed increase multiple times as well?