Is there any way to actually impose disadvantage (not just cancel advantage) on saving throws against spells for a creature with Magic Resistance?

Many creatures in D&D 5e have a feature called Magic Resistance. One such is the Archmage:

Magic Resistance. The archmage has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

So the Archmage has advantage on saving throws against magical effects. Suppose I wanted to weaken the Archmage’s resistance to magic – I use some effect that gives disadvantage on the saving throw for my spell. Normally, this would balance out to a straight roll, as the rules for advantage and disadvantage say:

If circumstances cause a roll to have both advantage and disadvantage, you are considered to have neither of them, and you roll one d20. This is true even if multiple circumstances impose disadvantage and only one grants advantage or vice versa. In such a situation, you have neither advantage nor disadvantage.

This seems to set a baseline for a straight roll on saves against magical effects, that the Archmage can never roll at disadvantage against magical effects.

But is there a way to get around this? Keep in mind, such an ability must respect the specific beats general rule:

That said, many racial traits, class features, spells, magic items, monster abilities, and other game elements break the general rules in some way, creating an exception to how the rest of the game works. Remember this: If a specific rule contradicts a general rule, the specific rule wins.

The general rule here is that advantage and disadvantage balance out to a single die roll, so getting around Magic Resistance must either specifically override the rule for advantage and disadvantage, or eliminate Magic Resistance entirely.

Is there any way (e.g. magic item, class feature, spell, etc.) to force a creature with Magic Resistance to make a save against a magical effect with disadvantage?


While writing this up I did find this closed question which asks generally how to combat creatures with Magical Resistance, I intend this to be a (hopefully) more focused version of that question.

Does the Eldritch Knight’s Eldritch Strike feature impose disadvantage on a saving throw against a spell cast before the attack?

Consider the following scenario:

A level 10 Fighter with the Eldritch Knight (EK) archetype (PHB, p. 74-75) is facing a single opponent, and has hold person as a spell available.

  1. EK attacks with both attacks available. If both miss, they try again next turn. If either hits, Eldritch Strike (the level 10 archetype feature) triggers against the target, and EK will proceed to the next step.
  2. (a turn passes)
  3. On EK’s next turn, they cast hold person on the person targeted previously. The target has disadvantage on the save due to Eldritch Strike. If they still pass, EK goes back to square one. Otherwise, EK does the following:
  4. EK Action Surges (Fighter level 2 ability). They use the Attack action to get two attacks with advantage against the target. If either hits, it does critical damage (thanks to the paralyzed rider on hold person), and Eldritch Strike triggers.

The wording in Eldritch Strike is as follows:

When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, that creature has disadvantage on the next saving throw it makes against a spell you cast before the end of your next turn.

Does the target have disadvantage on the save against hold person it makes at the end of its next turn, even though hold person was cast before the triggering of the Eldritch Strike event that would impose disadvantage?

Does the disadvantage on saves from Shadow Sorcerer’s Hound of Ill Omen feature persist beyond the first turn?

Shadow Sorcerer’s Hound of Ill Omen feature’s text reads:

…Additionally, while the hound is within 5 feet of the target, the target has disadvantage on saving throws against any spell you cast. The hound disappears if it is reduced to 0 hit points, if its target is reduced to 0 hit points, or after 5 minutes.

I’m curious if against any spell you cast refers to the action of casting the spell, or the condition of having been a spell that you cast in any tense.

The difference being that a spell like Hold Person would only get disadvantage on the first saving throw with the first interpretation, but on all following saving throws with the second interpretation.

The only comparable feature that I know of is Heightened Spell, a Sorcerer metamagic, that reads:

When you cast a spell that forces a creature to make a saving throw to resist its effects, you can spend 3 sorcery points to give one target of the spell disadvantage on its first saving throw made against the spell.

This feature is clear in its intent, that only the initial saving throw against any spell is affected and given disadvantage.

The lack of clarification on Hound of Ill Omen makes me wary of which way to rule.

Mage slayer gives disadvantage on concetration on all attacks or just on the reactive one?

Mage Slayer:

When a creature within 5 ft. of you casts a spell, you can use your reaction to make a melee weapon attack against that creature, and when you damage a creature that is concentrating on a spell, that creature has disadvantage on the saving throw it makes to maintain its concentration. You also have advantage on saving throws against spells cast by creatures within 5 ft. of you.

Does that mean that when this PJ hits a mage concentrating on a spell with the Attack action on their turn, they also have disadvantage? Or does it just happen when the attack occurs upon being triggered by a spell being cast on mele range?

Can a PC regularly impose disadvantage on enemies’ saves? If so, how?

There are many ways to get advantage/disadvantage on attacks: the Dodge and Help actions are specifically designed for this in combat, and 10 of the 14 conditions in Appendix A have at least one effect causing (dis)advantage on attacks. Also note they use the universal term “attack roll” with no distinction between melee/ranged or weapon/spell.

By comparison, effects on saving throws seem to be quite rare and limited in scope. In terms of common actions & conditions:

  • The Dodge action gives advantage on Dex saves;
  • The restrained condition gives disadvantage on Dex saves;
  • 4 conditions (paralyzed, petrified, stunned, unconscious) cause Str/Dex saves to fail automatically, in addition to other debilitating effects.

This still leaves 4 of the 6 ability score saves unaccounted for.

Is there any regularly available way that a PC can impose disadvantage on a specific saving throw? For example, in order to make a spell that requires that save more likely to take effect.

For the purpose of defining “regularly available”, I’m looking at these criteria:

  • Either applies universally to all saves (such as “the next spell you cast that requires a save”) or lets the PC choose from more than 1 ability score save.
  • Is available to PCs below level 5 (doesn’t require dedication to a particular class beyond the first advancement tier).
  • Appears in any officially-published book (not Unearthed Arcana or third party).

Since advantage and disadvantage caused in a heavily obscured area cancel out, what effect does it have in combat?

The rules say that creatures in a heavily obscured area “effectively suffer from the blinded condition”.

The blinded condition states:

Attacks rolls against the creature have advantage, and the creature’s attack rolls have disadvantage.

So when the Darkness spell (to use one example) is cast, combatants gain advantage and disadvantage when attacking others who are also inside the area, which cancel out.

Since they then cancel each other out and attacks are made normally, what really changes?

How to negate disadvantage on performance?

My bard will need to play for a long time. Long long time. Long enough that they’ll basically collapse from exhaustion (exhaustion level 5, speed reduced to 0). I assume I will need to roll performance at least once per exhaustion level. I would very much like to do that without disadvantage on performance.

My bard will be level 10, and utilizing level 10 Magical Secrets is an option. This is a one-time event, but duration will depend on DM (a few days maybe). My bard has relevant instrument proficiency, if that can help. Solution can be, but does not have to be, somehow getting advantage for all these rolls. Getting a specific magic item might not be out of the question. Multi-classing is not an option. (Ask for more details and I’ll add them here.)

In this situation, what ways exist to negate the disadvantage caused by exhaustion level 1 on Performance(CHA) ability checks?

Do opportunity attacks have disadvantage if I use my action to Dodge and then move out of melee range?

I am currently playing a multi-class Cleric 5 / Rogue 2 and at times I have managed to kite melee mobs successfully using my Cunning Action to Disengage, then my movement and then using a ranged attack, which has worked fine for most of the time. Sometimes though I get pounced on by several melee mobs at once (3-5), especially when we face tactical mobs. In this case I have ended up in a loop where they catch up with me each time because I am having to use my Cunning Action to Disengage, instead of Dash.

Sometimes, I just want to get away quite far by using Dash instead, without getting pummeled by the opportunity attacks in the process. I want to get more distance between me and the mobs so they cannot catch up with me in their next move.

Basically, I want to be able to use Dodge as my Action so that when I move out of melee range from the 3-5 mobs there is less of a chance the mobs will hit me in the process, with 3-5 opportunity attacks. We’ve not tried this in our campaign yet, so I want some confirmation about how this works and whether the 3-5 melee mobs who are right next to me would get disadvantage on their opportunity attacks as I try to dash off?

I especially appreciate answers that contain play-tested experience from DMs who have managed this situation or players who have actually played as a Rogue.

Why NAT is a disadvantage when TCP source port field is 16 bits?

Here is an excerpt from Andrew S. Tanenbaum, Computer Networks, 5th edition, Chapter 5 (The Network layer), Page 455:

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My question is on the second paragraph. From what I understand, basically this part talks disadvantage of using NAT(Network Address Translation). I don’t understand what second paragraph is trying to say about disadvantage of using NAT because it seems to me that the second paragraph is saying about benefit of using NAT because by using NAT, we can solve the problem of depletion of IP address.

Can anyone explain to me what the second paragraph is trying to convey?

Can a level 17 Aasimar Light Domain Cleric cause every saving throw for their damaging spells to be made with disadvantage?

Reading through the features of the light domain Cleric I’ve discovered:

Corona of Light which states (Emphasis added):

Starting at 17th level, you can use your action to activate an aura of sunlight that lasts for 1 minute or until you dismiss it using another action. You emit bright light in a 60-foot radius and dim light 30 feet beyond that. Your enemies in the bright light have disadvantage on saving throws against any spell that deals fire or radiant damage.

Now the Aasimar race has subrace racial features that allow them to add radiant damage to any spell that deals damage, which causes that spell to now do radiant damage as well as their normal damage.

These features are: Radiant Soul and Radiant Consumption

Which both state (Emphasis added):

You can deal extra radiant damage to one target when you deal damage to it with an attack or a spell

So if you combine these two features you can cause any damage dealing spell saving throw to be made at disadvantage. As far as I know this all perfectly works RAW. What I want to know is if there is any rule (excluding adventure league rules) I am forgetting that would prevent me from using this combination in games?