What Counts as a Damage Modifier?

I was posting a homebrew/houserule here for critique (found here: Two-Weapon Fighting Mechanic Alterations ) and a point of confusion that came up was what exactly 5e counted as a damage modifier. The person who answered stated that they usually don’t consider adding extra dice as a damage modifier and that got me curious. This left me wondering about what exactly can be affected with calling out specifically damage modifiers

I looked around for an answer to this, but couldn’t find anything that wasn’t about ability scores or other beginner type questions.

So my question is, what is normally considered a damage modifier? And what falls under the damage modifier umbrella term? Would calling out just damage modifiers affect both static and dice related damage (from spells, class abilities, weapons, abilities, etc) or would it have to be spelt out to affect dice added to the damage?

What counts as a sorcerer spell for the purposes of wild magic surge?

Wild Magic Surge:

Starting when you choose this origin at 1st level, your spellcasting can unleash surges of untamed magic. Immediately after you cast a sorcerer spell of 1st level or higher, the DM can have you roll a d20. If you roll a 1, roll on the Wild Magic Surge table to create a random magical effect. A Wild Magic Surge can happen once per turn.

If a Wild Magic effect is a spell, it’s too wild to be affected by Metamagic. If it normally requires concentration, it doesn’t require concentration in this case; the spell lasts for its full duration.

What fulfills the requirements of a "sorcerer spell of 1st level or higher"?

A few options that I can think of for defining a "sorcerer spell"

Any spell that you’ve learned from Sorcerer and that you’re casting through the Spellcasting feature.

This is my idea of the default answer. A sorcerer spell is a spell you’ve learned as a sorcerer and are casting as a sorcerer.

Any spell that you’ve learned from Sorcerer

This is also reasonable. But it opens the door to casting spells through magic items, such as Cape of the Mountebank, triggering wild magic surges.

Any spell on the Sorcerer spell list.

Still reasonable. This would mean that learning the spell Hold Person through Bard’s learned spells and casting it could trigger a wild magic surge, as it’s a spell that’s both on the Bard’s spell list and the Sorcerer’s.

Does making a melee weapon attack with Shillelagh still counts as a Strength-based attack?

Playing a melee Circle of Spores Druid and wanting to use that 1d6 extra damage I’d get if I cast Guardian of Nature and take the Primal Beast form. Here are the relevant texts from each spells:

"…For the duration, you can use your spellcasting ability instead of Strength for the attack and damage rolls of melee attacks using that weapon…"

Guardian of Nature
"Primal Beast. Bestial fur covers your body, your facial features become feral, and you gain the following benefits:

  • Your walking speed increases by 10 feet.
  • You gain darkvision with a range of 120 feet.
  • You make Strength-based attack rolls with advantage.
  • Your melee weapon attacks deal an extra 1d6 force damage on a hit."

I know the Great Tree form specified Wisdom-based attack rolls, but would it be out of the question if the benefits from the Primal Beast form would apply to melee weapon attacks despite under the effect of Shillelagh?

MySQL – multiple counts on relations based on conditions – JOIN VS. SUBQUERY

I don’t want to share my exact DB structure, so let’s assume this analogy :

--categories-- id name  --products-- id name cat_id 

I then have SQL like this :

SELECT categories.*, count(CASE WHEN products.column1=something1 and products.column2=something2 THEN 1 END) as count1, count(CASE WHEN products.column3=something3) as count2  FROM categories LEFT JOIN products ON products.cat_id=categories.id GROUP BY categories.id 

The problem here is that the GROUP BY is taking too long, it’s a difference between 0.2s query and 2.5s query.

What counts as a “debilitating condition”?

In the discern health spell it talks about the ability to identify a debilitating condition.

The name of the creature’s debilitating condition (ability drained, confused, fatigued, etc.).

What would be classified as a debilitating condition? Would any other detrimental effect (eg. Dominate person, charm person, disease, poison) be identifiable by this spell?

What counts as willing movement?

So this is something I just found out about that I find odd:

  • Opportunity attacks—trigger off of movement that uses the creatures movement (action, move action, bonus action, reaction.)
  • Sentinel—Whenever a creature within 5 ft of you makes an attack at a creature other than you.
  • Booming blade—If the target willingly moves.
  • Mental Prison spell—if it moves, attacks through it, or reaches any part of body out of it.

So the “willingly” is different than other rulings for how effects related to movement works. However what exactly fits willing?

  • Cause fear—nope magic is having them move.
  • Dissonant whispers—same thing. They have to immediately move.

So the creature has to want to move completely of its own accord.

  • Crown of Madness—Humanoid creature you choose must make a wisdom saving throw. On a fail it is charmed by you. (Next is flavor text so skipping.) While charmed in this way the target must make an attack on a creature other than itself that you mentally choose on each of its turns before moving. It can act normally if you choose no creature or if none are within reach.

Crown of madness isn’t making them move but doesnt specifically say willing. And if the ruling for willing is movement not caused by magic what about magic causing situations where you take damage if you don’t move. Would a creature shimmering with evocation energy be spared because he moved out of the magical blender that is cloud of daggers? If no, then what is the go-to rule for willing movement that I should be using?

In short, what movement counts as willing, and where can it be found? Is moving out of obvious danger caused by magic, willing? Is moving away from an ally so you don’t hit them, willing?

If there isn’t any actual ruling on willing, that’s fine; I’ll go back to running it with my interpretation, so that it has same wording as AOO. If there is an actual 5e term or explanation for willing (that isn’t Sage Advice), please let me know. I just don’t see why it was necessary to put a term in the spell that isn’t used anywhere else. I understand it could have been overlooked since it was in a splatbook or has just been ignored since most people probably assume that there is “Forced ” and “Willing” movement, with the willing being defined as: any movement from an action, move action, bonus action, or reaction. In same way AOO work.

What counts as “end your movement”?

The Pack Master PP (Dragon 364) gets this as the 11th level feature:

When you end your movement 2 squares from an enemy, you can shift 1 square as a free action.

If I need to approach an enemy with threatening reach this is very handy.

  1. If I shift one from adjacent as a move action (so I am now 2 squares away), can I shift another?
  2. If an attack power like Nimble Footwork1 lets me shift, can I shift another?
  3. If I charge the bodyguard, can I shift one before or after the attack, to get close to the guarded controller?
  4. If I stand up (ending my move action) can I shift 1 if an enemy happens to be 2 squares away where I was prone?

1) Warlord 1 (Martial Power), lets you shift 1 if you hit

What counts as being “wounded” for the purpose of the rules on recovering a point of Hope?

In The One Ring game, players are allowed to recover a point of Hope if their Fellowship focus is not wounded during the session. The issue is that the rules don’t seem to state if they mean the Wounded condition (which involves a successful edge hit with armor failing to overcome injury), or simply having taken damage.

What counts as a disease?

Do any books contain a rules definition of what is and is not a disease.

Here are some examples of aliments I, the DM, would like to see if they match the definition if such a thing exists. I put a broad range of aliments here and included things like Kidney Failure to try to illustrate what I would like to compare to the definition.


  • Down Syndrome
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Failure
  • Malaria (Dormant or Active)