I’m a lvl10 sorcerer: should I plan for Spell Sniper + Eldritch Adept to get a powerful cantrip?

I’m currently a level 10 Tiefling Sorcerer, playing my first game of D&D (5e). I’m mostly selecting spells for boon’ing party members, with a couple of save-or-suck spells in reserve + simple damage output (e.g. Chaos Bolt + Fire Bolt). I’d quite like to have a more chunky Cantrip, e.g. Eldritch Blast, but I’d also like to hit level 20 Sorcerer, too. I already have the Observant and Ritual Caster feats, and 20 Charisma as a luck did have it when we rolled our characters, too.

Draft plan: Level 12 Spell Sniper (Eldritch Blast) + level 16 Eldritch Adept (Agonising Blast)

An artificer in our group is providing me with a Mind Sharpener set of robes, so I don’t think Warcaster is necessary until potentially late game.

Thoughts, comments, shaming, critique?

How do you resolve the damage and effects of Eldritch Claw Tattoo’s “Eldritch Maul” ability on a hit that is beyond your weapon’s normal melee range?

The Eldritch Maul ability says:

each of your melee attacks with a weapon or an unarmed strike can reach a target up to 15 feet away from you, as inky tendrils launch toward the target. In addition, your melee attacks deal an extra 1d6 force damage on a hit.

So, let’s say that I’m using the Eldritch Maul ability with a normal shortsword to melee attack a target that is 15 feet away. Is it only the inky tendrils that hit the target, dealing just 1d6 force damage, or should I also factor in the 1d6+STR/DEX piercing damage of the shortsword as if it hit the target as well?

Follow-up question: If the weapon was magical, would its magical properties factor into the attack?

For example: Would your attack with the Eldritch Maul ability benefit from a +1 weapon?

In another example: Would a Dagger of Venom’s poison property proc on a melee hit from 15 feet away while using the Eldritch Maul ability?

Dagger of Venom says:

You can use an action to cause thick, black poison to coat the blade. The poison remains for 1 minute or until an attack using this weapon hits a creature.

Is my Warlock useless to the group now that we have a wizard with Eldritch Blast and two Bards who focus on utility?

Recently the other players in my group got tired of their characters; now they’ve turned up with new ones and I’m worried that my Warlock has nothing to add to the group anymore.

My Character

Level 5 human Pact of the Tome warlock, Fiend patron.
Stats: STR 14, DEX 12, CON 13, INT 14, WIS 14, CHA 19
Invocations: Agonizing Blast, Repelling Blast and Devil’s Sight.
Feats: Spell Sniper
Spells: hex, darkness, hunger of Hadar, invisibility, and comprehend languages

My group: a barbarian, two bards, a wizard and a rogue/druid multi-class (sorry I don’t know specifics on their classes); a Sorcerer or Cleric might be joining soon.

I am thinking that now that we have a wizard (with EB), it’s stupid to have the ritual invocation (Book of Ancient Secrets). One bard is the face whilst the other has utility spells like charm person and darkness; I’m not a Hexblade so I can’t go melee.

I feel like I’m just an extra mouth to feed; is there anything more I can do to contribute to the party that someone else isn’t doing better?

The DM rolls to see if we have night-time encounters or not.

Eldritch Devil Sight and Darkness spell

Situation: Drow Warlock casts darkness. Moves out of the effect area then uses devil sight to see through the darkness to use ranged combat against enemies.

  1. Devil Sight description states "You can see normally in darkness, both magical and nonmagical, to a distance of 120ft."
  2. Key word is ‘in’.
  3. No where does it say into or through.

Q: Can the Drow Warlock see through the magical darkness and engage the enemy with ranged combat?

Is it possible for a single-class Eldritch Knight to learn Hex, or Hunter’s Mark, etc?

I am trying to build a singly-classed Fighter with ready access to a bonus damage on hit spell like Hex or Hunter’s Mark, but I’m not seeing many options for that combination.

While Eldritch Knight gives access to Wizard spells, Wizards don’t have access to either Hex or Hunter’s Mark. Nor does Magic Initiate (which would be easy to pick up with the Fighter’s ASI progression) allow a purloined Hex to be cast with Eldritch Knight spell slots — at least per my reading of the feat and this answer here, it’s once per long rest regardless of whether or not you have spell slots.

Is there some other way for an Eldritch Knight to learn some sort of damage boosting concentration spell along with their other spells?

Does the reach increase of the Eldritch Claw tattoo stack with Fangs of the Fire Snake?

The Eldritch Claw tattoo released in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything includes the Eldritch Maul ability which grants the following benefit:

For the duration, each of your melee attacks with a weapon or an unarmed strike can reach a target up to 15 feet away from you, as inky tendrils launch toward the target.

The Fangs of the Fire Snake elemental discipline also grants the following benefit:

Your reach with your unarmed strikes increases by 10 feet for that action, as well as the rest of the turn.

After activating Eldritch Maul and using Fangs of the Fire Snake what is the reach of my unarmed strikes? Would it be 25 feet or would it be 15 ft?

What’s the cheapest way for an Eldritch Knight to be able to wield two weapons while still being able to cast spells with somatic/material components?

For the purpose of this question, assume "two weapons" to include "a one-handed weapon and a shield".

Compared to other spellcasters, Eldritch Knights are sort of at a disadvantage when it comes to achieving dual-wielding and the like, as they generally cannot use spellcasting foci (except when using magic items such as a Ruby of the War Mage). Thus, they normally seem to require a free hand for casting spells with components other than verbal ones. For comparison, a wizard could wield a Staff of Power, which – due to being a staff – counts as an arcane focus and thus solves the issue of noncostly material components, but it can also be used as a +2 quarterstaff.

For an EK trying to trivialize somatic components, Warcaster is the obvious choice (no difference to other spellcasters in this regard), and the requirement of a free hand for material components (without a GP cost) can be avoided with a Ruby of the War Mage. However, the former requires spending a feat (even though Warcaster is a pretty good feat for EKs anyway, especially considering that fighters get more ASIs than the average class), and the latter blocks an attunement slot and doesn’t work for costly material components. Plus, if you happen to die in a battle, your attunements end, even if you get Revivified right away (although that’s probably a very rare or even legendary problem ^^).

Is there a cheaper way to get around the issue? For the purpose of defining "expensive", please consider this order (the higher up on the list, the more expensive):

  1. Multiclassing (and requiring three multiclass levels is obviously worse than requiring one)
  2. Requiring additional actions
  3. Feats
  4. Attunement Slots
  5. Requiring additional bonus actions
  6. Choosing specific (sub-)class options, such as a Fighting Style.
  7. Magic Items without attunement
  8. Ingame time (e.g. downtime training)
  9. Requiring your object interaction
  10. Money

I’m aware of other questions on almost the same topic, namely this one (warlock-focused or at best generic), this one (technically answers the issue, but some GMs might consider dropping and picking your weapon up cheesy, plus there are downsides and it only works with Sage Advice rulings), as well as this one (answers claim it’s not an issue, which is not true IMHO – for example, Booming Blade or Green Flame Blade, both great melee cantrips for an EK, have material components).

Can an Eldritch Knight use a Ruby of the War Mage?

As explained in How does an arcane focus work with an Eldritch Knight?, Eldritch Knights can’t use an arcane focus as a spellcasting focus.

Ruby of the War Mage (XGtE p. 138), however, states:

Etched with eldritch runes, this 1-inch-diameter ruby allows you to use a simple or martial weapon as a spellcasting focus for your spells. […]

This paragraph doesn’t mention anything about arcane foci or anything like that, but straight up says that you can use the weapon as a spellcasting focus; the only requirement being that you are a spellcaster (which is true for Eldritch Knights).

Can you use this magic item to circumvent the otherwise existent restriction to component pouches for Eldritch Knights? Or am I missing some rule that disallows this "trick" / workaround?

Artificer Artillerist: Can multiple Eldritch cannons be activated on the same bonus action?

So in my understanding eldritch cannons can be created during a battle with an action. The first one of the day doesn’t require expending a slot.

But what about activation and movement during a battle? Can you activate and move all cannons during bonus action?