Can a character with the Extra Attack feature and the Crossbow Expert feat shoot a hand crossbow 4 times in the same turn?

In D&D 5e, can a 5th-level fighter shoot a hand crossbow 4 times per turn using the Crossbow Expert feat?

The fighter’s Extra Attack feature says (PHB, p. 72):

Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

The Crossbow Expert feat says (PHB, p. 165):

  • You ignore the loading quality of crossbows with which you are proficient.

  • […]

  • When you use the Attack action and attack with a one-handed weapon, you can use a bonus action to attack with a loaded hand crossbow you are holding.

Is the following statement valid?

The fighter is holding a hand crossbow. He begins his turn. He takes an Attack action; using his Extra Attack feature along with the first benefit of Crossbow Expert, he shoots twice during this action. Then he takes a bonus action. Using the last benefit of Crossbow Expert, he makes this an Attack action. He is limited to using a hand crossbow during this action. He shoots twice using his Extra Attack feature. (Assume he can do this with the same hand crossbow.)

It is ambiguous whether "you can use a bonus action to attack" means "you can use a bonus action to take exactly one shot" or "you can use your bonus action for the round as an Attack action". Or even if it does mean "you can use a bonus action to take one shot", it is ambiguous whether it means "an Attack action in which you use a one-handed weapon gives you an opportunity to shoot during your bonus action" or "a one-handed weapon attack made during an Attack action gives you an opportunity to shoot during your bonus action". (One bonus shot per Attack action, or one bonus shot per attack within the Attack action?)

Does the “Step of the Wind” ability allows you to take the extra jump without using Dash or Disengage Bonus Action

I was playing a game of 5e DnD the other day and got into a disagreement with the DM. I have a monk character that made a long jump off a wall using Step of the Wind. The plan was to do Flurry of Blows after landing, but the DM said that I couldn’t use Flurry of Blows because I had burned my Bonus Action on Step of the Wind. This is the ability:

Flurry of Blows: After you take the Attack action on your turn, you can spend 1 ki point to make two unarmed strikes as a bonus action.

My DM said that I have to take a Bonus Action before getting the jump bonus. I believe that taking a Bonus Action is optional and you can get double-jump without using a Bonus Action. It does not explicitly say you have to take the bonus action like Flurry of Blows and Shadow Step do:

Shadow Step: When you are in dim light or darkness, as a bonus action you can teleport up to 60 feet to an unoccupied space you can see that is also in dim light or darkness. You then have advantage on the first melee attack you make before the end of the turn.

Flurry of Blows: After you take the Attack action on your turn, you can spend 1 ki point to make two unarmed strikes as a bonus action.

You can see that Shadow Step says that "You then" (after teleporting), and Flurry of Blows says that "After you take the Attack action". If you go back to "Step of the Wind" you can see that it doesn’t say anything about after the Bonus Action you get the jump bonus.

I would like your response because we both think differently!

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Effects of awarding extra skill proficiency for high intelligence score

After a discussion in my Pathfinder group about D&D 5e, someone threw the (often heard) complaint that intelligence was mostly a useless stat outside of the classes for whom it is a primary stat. Seeing as the knowledge skills heavily depends on the GM’s style, investigation is, in my experience, usually replaced with perception (again partially the DM’s fault) and added to the fact that there seem to be only a few classes that uses Int for their ability.

We eventually came up with a house-rule suggestion :

  • An Int score of 14 grants an additional skill/tool proficiency.
  • An Int score of 16 grants another proficiency.
  • An Int score of 18 grants double proficiency for a single skill (similar to Expertise)
  • An Int score of 20 grants another double proficiency.

Since none of us have extensive experience with the D&D 5e system, we’re not sure if this rule would break the system at some point. Has anyone used a similar rule or sees a reason this might imbalance the party?

Can a Tentacle Rod be used with Extra Attack?

In a recent game our Monk used a Tentacle Rod to attack three times (per its normal use), then used his Extra Attack to attack three more times, then used his Bonus Action to deliver an unarmed strike. For a total of 7 attacks every turn.

Is this, as I believe, an incorrect reading of the rules?

My reasoning for attacks 4-6 are that the Tentacle Rod states (it’s long because I’m trying to be thorough):

While holding the rod, you can use an action to direct each tentacle to attack a creature you can see within 15 feet of you.

(Emphasis mine.) It doesn’t say Attack action, it says an action, and I would say that, since it specify an Attack action, and the Rod is a magic item that isn’t a weapon, that the action would be "use an object"

By the same token, the Monk rules state:

When you use the Attack action with an unarmed strike or a monk weapon on your turn, you can make one unarmed strike as a bonus action

If the action isn’t an Attack action, then the Bonus Action cannot be used for an unarmed strike.

This would mean that the Monk can get either 3 attacks with the Rod, or take his standard Attack, Extra Attack, and unarmed strike, which is still 3 attacks.

This is how I read the rules. Also, getting 7 attacks at 5th level seems to break action economy, but that’s more of a "sniff test" that a rule I can actually point to.

I found this question from a year and half ago asking basically the same thing, but about Multiattack. However, Multiattack and Extra Attack aren’t exactly equivalent, neither are PC actions and monster actions, so I’m inclined to think it doesn’t apply.

Thank you.

P.S. I’ve seen this player make similar mistakes to his detriment, so I’m pretty sure any mistakes here are 100% accidental.

What are the consequences of removing the potential for critical hit extra damage on spell attacks?

Current table has a house rule that spells attacks can not deal extra damage through critical hits. They have the rule that you can critically succeed or fail on a natural 20 or 1 on saving throws.

I brought up how I was worried about how this would affect the balance of the game, fairly certain this would impair characters who are primarily casters in the long run. (Most of the PCs are half casters or not at all, save for mine and a couple others.)

I was told they are going with this ruling because it is more balanced, but I’m not convinced. Could someone with a more thorough understanding of the rules elaborate on how this could unbalance the game? Or am I just worried over nothing?

This is a pay to play table that I’ve already paid a subscription for so I’d like to not be told to just walk away as an answer. The DM has told me if there really is a balancing issue he’d see to fixing it.

2nd half of this question.

Is the “Way of the Astral Self” Monk’s extra punch useless?

Martial arts for monks states that when you take the attack action you can make 1 unarmed strike as a bonus action. However Astral monks at third level says the same thing: “you can make 1 unarmed strike as a bonus action.”

I know at higher levels that increases but I’m asking about only level 3. Because you only get 1 bonus action does that make that extra attack feature from one or the other useless?

Also, flurry of blows makes 2 strikes as a bonus action so if you use that are both these abilities rendered pointless. Finally, at level 11 of astral monk you can make 2 strikes as a bonus action. Would this make flurry of blows a pointless ability? Have I understood this correctly or would all these abilities stack on top of each other?

My players want extra effects from their attacks. What should I do?

I’m DMing for a group of 4 players. Two of them have played a fair bit of 5e before, and two of them are new. I’m also new to DMing, though generally familiar with the rules of 5e.

One of the new players is trying to get creative in combat, which I think is great! The problem is I’m not exactly sure how I should adjudicate some of her requests in a way that won’t break the game. Some examples of what I mean:

Can I make an unarmed strike and use my talons to scratch the enemy’s eyes and blind them?

I attack them in their Achilles’ heel and cripple them so they can’t walk?

Now I know that the RAW answer is "No, you can’t try that." But that’s such a boring answer and I really hate to feel like I’m shutting down anything that isn’t just plain and simple attacks. In general, any time I say "No, you can’t do this", I feel like I’m shutting down my players fun.

Like I said, I like that she’s trying to be creative in combat, but if an unarmed strike can potentially blind an enemy, that’s incredibly strong. And if the PCs can do this to enemies, it’s fair game for enemies to do this to PCs as well. I can think of some house rules to balance it off the top of my head (Higher AC to hit a small target, enemy can make a constitution saving throw to avoid the effect, etc.) but I don’t want to worry about proper balance while we’re in the middle of a combat.

What’s a good way for me to empower my players and make them feel like they actually have these choices in combat rather than shutting them down, but without breaking the game?