If your target has an enemy within 5ft, can you sneak attack without using a finesse or ranged weapon?

A rogue and fighter are engaged in melee combat with a goblin. The rogue is unarmed. Can the rogue activate Sneak Attack?

The rules for Sneak Attack state:

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.

You don’t need advantage on the attack roll if another enemy of the target is within 5 feet of it, that enemy isn’t incapacitated, and you don’t have disadvantage on the attack roll.

The question arises from the difficulty in parsing the bolded sentence. I have heard 2 interpretations:

  1. You can sneak attack if (you have advantage and the attack is made using a finesse or ranged weapon) or (an enemy of the target is within 5ft, etc).
  2. You can sneak attack if ((you have advantage) or (an enemy of the target is within 5ft, etc)) and the attack is made using a finesse or ranged weapon.

The first interpretation hinges on the idea that when the second paragraph says "on the attack roll" it is still talking about the same "attack" as in the first paragraph. The second interpretation hinges on the idea that the first interpretation is bizarre and unnatural – if that was the intent, there are many ways that it could have been worded to be clearer.

Thematically, I am leaning towards the first – not having a finesse or ranged weapon shouldn’t stop the rogue from exploiting a distracted foe.

Considering RAW only (no twitter please), how should this feature be interpreted?

Eldritch Smite: Can you decide whether the enemy goes prone or do they always go prone?


Once per turn when you hit a creature with your pact weapon, you can expend a warlock spell slot to deal an extra 1d8 force damage to the target, plus another 1d8 per level of the spell slot, and you can knock the target prone if it is Huge or smaller.

Since it says "can knock the target prone." I assumed it was optional, (though you wouldn’t have much reason not to if in melee, within 5 ft.)

Can a character wear both Chain mail and Leather to get a higher AC and to fool an enemy?

Background:
I am reading the anime book "Goblin Slayer", the light novel not the comic.

In it the main character wears leather armor over plate or chain to both stack his AC and to confuse his (not very intelligent) enemies into hitting where leather is vulnerable but plate or chain is not.

Question:
In dnd 5th edition, can one wear multiple types of armor and get an AC stack? Can it confuse weak foes like goblins?

Notes:
Here are answers that don’t speak to this question:

  • Can a chain shirt be concealed under normal clothing? (this is about concealed, I’m asking about stacked)
  • Stacking multiple types of armor (this is not dnd 5e centric)
  • Can you wear a Mithral Chain over Snakeskin Tunic and have their effect stack? (this is pathfinder)

Please, if you are going to down-vote, say why in the comments. If I don’t know what I did wrong, it is literally impossible for me to willfully act better and change that thing. It might happen by accident, but the universe doesn’t like happy accidents.

Can Alert prevent Surprise if you don’t know the enemy exists?

In a large dark temple, a player with the Alert feat and Darkvision can only see out to 60 ft, but at 100 ft there is an enemy with 120 ft Truesight sitting in a Silence spell and firing a crossbow. If the player rolls 20 for initiative and the enemy rolls 10, does the player get to attack first? Or should the enemy get to fire the shot before initiative is rolled? Or should the enemy roll initiative for itself, fire a shot, and then have the player roll into the initiative?

What is considered an enemy for an Orc’s Aggressive trait?

Volo’s Guide to Monsters says that you may play an Orc character, which gives you the following trait, amongst others (p. 120):

Aggressive. As a bonus action, you can move up to your speed toward an enemy of your choice that you can see or hear.

My question is: what can be considered as an enemy for this trait to apply?

  1. Anything I want
  2. Any living creature, including non-hostile ones
  3. Only creatures that are hostile to me (actual enemies)

For example, can I choose a tree as my enemy, justifying it by a "Me find tree insult my race, me hate tree, me ANGRY!", and then bonus-move toward said tree?

Can shadow arrow be used as a wand of enemy detection?

Magic exists which can divine the intentions of other creatures toward me.

"Wand of Enemy Detection"

While holding it, you can use an action and expend 1 charge to speak its Command Word. For the next minute, you know the direction of the nearest creature Hostile to you within 60 feet, but not its distance from you. The wand can sense the presence of Hostile creatures that are ethereal, Invisible, disguised, or hidden, as well as those in plain sight.

Arcane Archer: Shadow Arrow (emphasis mine)

You weave illusion magic into your arrow, causing it to occlude your foe’s vision with shadows. The creature hit by the arrow takes an extra 2d6 psychic damage, and it must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be unable to see anything farther than 5 feet away until the start of your next turn.

Abilities and Effects do what they say they do. There is no fluff in descriptions. As written, it appears that if I hit a creature with my Shadow Arrow, it does regular arrow damage plus 2d6 psychic damage. In addition, if the creature hit is my foe, it must make a Wisdom save or have its vision occluded.

Suppose I want to determine if an NPC of uncertain loyalty is my foe or not. I hit him with Shadow Arrows. If his vision becomes occluded, he must be my foe. If not, he is either not my foe or he has made his save.

  1. Does the Shadow Arrow really know who is my foe, similar to a wand of enemy detection, or does it assume that anyone I would shoot at must be my foe?

  2. If the latter, could an NPC that was trying to gain my trust volunteer to receive my arrow? Would that affect the result if they were being truthful? Deceptive?

  3. If my DM has me roll critical fails as attacks on allies when I fire into a melee, can I be confident that my shadow arrow will not be able to occlude the vision of anyone friendly to me?

Related: What is the definition of hostile?

What is the difference between "hostile" and "enemy"?

What is considered an enemy for an Orc's Aggressive trait?

As the DM, how do I handle enemy NPC Perception when the party approaches them without being stealthy?

I have a little question. My players are following a group of bandits, but the players are not hiding, they are even riding horses. They reach a beach where the 5 bandits are preparing a boat to retreat; 2 of the bandits are paying attention to see if someone comes, and the other 3 are just talking. My questions are:

  • The 3 Bandits talking use their passive perception to try to see the players, right?
  • The 2 Bandits that are paying attention roll for perception to see the players?
  • If my players doesn’t go in Hide, just riding the horses to the beach, whats the DC the bandits must roll?

Can a Thief rogue disarm an enemy in combat using Sleight of Hand as a bonus action?

One of my players rolled a Thief rogue. At level three they get the Fast Hands feature:

You can use the extra action granted by your Cunning Action to make Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) checks, use your thieves’ tools to disarm a trap or open a lock, or use an object in the environment.

The player asked mid-fight to use a Sleight of Hand check to disarm a foe. Since this isn’t clear in the PHB, the discussion slowed down the fight considerably. To end this discussion, I ruled that the player could make a Sleight of Hand check contested by the enemy’s Strength (Athletics) check.

I still find it hard to see how a Sleight of Hand check could work to disarm mid-combat, since there’s no way you’d be able to "sneakily" take someone’s weapon out of their hands while fighting.

There is an optional "Disarm" rule as listed in the DMG, which uses a weapon attack against an adversary’s Dexterity (Acrobatics) or Strength (Athletics) check to determine whether or not a disarm action succeeds.

Could a Thief rogue disarm an enemy in combat using Sleight of Hand as a bonus action?