Can I combine Martial Arts and Horde Breaker?

Can I use the martial arts feature on the second attack granted by horde breaker?

I.e., hit the first target with a weapon, use martial arts to unarmed strike, then use hoard breaker to jump to the second target and repeat?

I know I can’t use Horde Breaker multiple times, perhaps I was unclear in that. My question is, does Horde Breaker give me another full attack round thus allowing me to use Martial Arts again in that attack’s bonus round?

Ki-Fueled Attack Optional Feature Versus Martial Arts Feature

The Martial Arts feature allows for a bonus action unarmed strike after a main attack of an unarmed strike or a monk weapon attack. The Ki Fueled Attack feature allows for either an unarmed strike or a monk weapon attack after spending a ki point (such as on a stunning strike) as part of the action. Am I right in saying that the differences between the two are limited to the following?:

  1. Martial arts has to be an attack, Ki Fueled can provide for something else, such as a subclass feature.
  2. Martial arts only has an unarmed bonus attack, Ki Fueled attack can be a weapon attack.
  3. Both and/or either in any way only allow for 1 additional attack as a bonus action.

Can I use a maneuver to meet the prerequisites for a martial stance, then swap out that maneuver later?

I’m a Warblade in the process of reaching level 6. I have one level 1 Diamond Mind maneuver. Is the following possible:

For my level six feat, I want to take Martial Stance to attain the Diamond Mind stance Pearl of Black Doubt. It needs one Diamond Mind maneuver as a pre-req.

Can I take that feat and add that maneuver, the swap out that maneuver for one of a different school as per the Warblade leveling rules?

Does having natural weapons prevent a wild-shaped monk from using Martial Arts?

The monk’s Martial Arts feature’s benefits all require a monk to be “unarmed or only wielding monk weapons”. Even if you’re a Way of the Kensei monk, that only lets you add a couple of new simple or martial weapons to your monk weapon list.

The druid’s Wild Shape forms all come wielding natural weapon attacks. Natural attacks are not unarmed attacks, nor are they monk weapons, nor are they simple or martial weapons that can possibly be chosen by a kensei.

Therefore, a beast is never “unarmed”, and thus can never use a druid/monk’s martial arts benefits even if it wanted to choose to use unarmed strikes instead of its natural attacks.

Is this accurate? Or, can a beast choose not to “wield” it’s teeth and claws?

This blanket prohibition on Martial Arts when one has natural weapons seems overly-restrictive; it would mean, for example, that a Minotaur can never be a monk, since they are “never unarmed.”

I am explicitly not answering the (already answered and very obvious) question of whether animals can make unarmed attacks. I am asking whether they can ever choose not to “wield” their own natural weapons, so as to be able to use martial arts in the first place.

Does Martial Arts Damage Apply to Ranged Attacks with Monk Weapons?

Inspired by an answer to What is the Attack Roll for Deflect Missile?.

The Monk’s Martial Arts feature states that monk weapons are, “…short swords and any simple melee weapons that don’t have the two-handed or heavy property.” (emphasis mine)

For the purposes of my question, I am assuming a 17th level Monk, so that the Martial Arts damage die is 1d10.

My question is that when making a damage roll with a weapon that can be either melee or ranged, like a dagger, which damage die do I roll on a hit for a ranged attack? I am assuming this uses 1d4 because this isn’t a simple melee weapon anymore, but a simple ranged weapon based on the definitions for melee and ranged weapons as defined on page 146 of the PHB:

“A melee weapon is used to attack a target within 5 feet of you, whereas a ranged weapon is used to attack a target at a distance.” (emphasis from the PHB)

Does a monk get martial arts die damage on improvised thrown monk weapons?

The monk’s martial arts ability states:

Your practice of Martial Arts gives you mastery of Combat styles that use unarmed strikes and monk Weapons, which are shortswords and any simple Melee Weapons that don’t have the Two-Handed or heavy property.

I am specifically asking about a shortsword, which is a monk weapon by definition, but this question could apply to any monk weapon that does not have the thrown property.

The monk’s martial arts ability also states:

You gain the following benefits while you are unarmed or wielding only monk Weapons and you aren’t wearing armor or wielding a Shield… • You can roll a d4 in place of the normal damage of your Unarmed Strike or monk weapon.

I would be more comfortable if this said "You can roll the Martial Arts Damage Die shown in the Monk Level / Ability Progression Table" rather than "you can roll a d4", but the other questions I looked at in researching this took that as an assumption and no one challenged them, so…

The rules for using an improvised weapon state…

If a character uses a ranged weapon to make a melee Attack, or throws a melee weapon that does not have the thrown property, it also deals 1d4 damage.

Consider a monk wielding a shortsword and fitting all other requirements for using the martial arts ability.

The shortsword is a melee weapon that does not have the thrown property and has a base damage of d6.

If the monk throws the shortsword it would become an improvised weapon, and thus normally would deal d4 damage. However, in this case does specific beat general and allow the monk to replace the "normal damage" of an improvised weapon with the martial arts die damage, which would be d6 at 5th level?

Or, does the fact that the monk is throwing the shortsword as an improvised weapon disqualify it from being considered a monk weapon, in the same way that one cannot use proficiency for an improvised weapon attack because throwing a melee weapon without the thrown property is no longer a weapon with which one is proficient?

This question: Does Martial Arts Damage Apply to Ranged Attacks with Monk Weapons? affirms that monks get their martial arts die damage on ranged weapons, but the question only considers melee weapons that already possess the ranged property, not improvised weapons.

This question: Does using versatile weapons with 2 hands disqualify them as Monk weapons? affirms that monks get to use their martial arts feature on all monk weapons, even when they use them in ways that would disqualify them from being monk weapons (in this case, using a versatile weapon two-handed).

Somewhat related: Does a Monk's Martial Arts die replace all of a magic weapon's damage, or only the die portion of it?

Can you apply Decisive Strike to martial maneuvers?

Most strikes in the Tome of Battle state

As part of this maneuver, make a single melee attack…

Does this mean that you can make that single attack a Decisive Strike by spending a full-round action instead of the usual standard action that the strikes require? If it doesn’t, is there a specific wording that let’s Stunning Fist be used as a Decisive Strike while the maneuvers aren’t?

In 5E World of Warcraft, does the Monk’s Superior Martial Arts allow one attack vs every enemy in the area of effect?

The Windwalker Monk’s ‘Superior Martial Arts’ states:

“As an action, you may spend 2 Ki and deal your unarmed damage as an area of effect (expending any number of attacks). You may choose to make it a 5-foot-burst around you (Hurricane Kick), a 10-foot cone (Fists of Fury), or a 15-foot line (Flying Serpent Kick).”

Does this mean the Monk makes a separate attack roll vs every target in the area of effect?

It also goes on to say:

“This action counts as if you made an unarmed attack strike for the purposes of your Martial Arts feature and Flurry of Blows ability.”

Does that mean no matter how many attack rolls you make during the Superior Martial Arts attack, it still counts as having made one attack (out of however many you might be entitled to as part of an Attack action) and you still get to make an Extra Attack (if you have it) plus the bonus unarmed strike from Martial Arts?

In what ways are high level martial characters better than a high level spellcaster with True Polymorph?

I am a DM running a high-level campaign. My group has recently leveled up to 17, and one of the casters has taken True Polymorph. They have stated their intent to turn into the most powerful kind of dragon allowed by the spell, and use it in combat.

I am worried that the martial classes (Paladin & Rogue) in the party will feel overshadowed by this – after all, with a prep time of 1 action, this caster can turn into an Adult Gold Dragon that almost certainly possesses better mobility, greater or equal damage output, and a health pool twice or more the size of theirs. When that health pool is depleted, they return to “only” a 17th level caster down their 9th level spell slot.

So, I am asking this question to identify the ways in which high level martial characters can excel in their niches in ways that this caster cannot just by turning into a dragon/other high CR creature.

My intent with the answers I get is to implement them: i.e. structure the game such that it is one that supplies a set of challenges that make the martial characters feel useful and powerful, rather than a set that make them feel outclassed by the shapeshifted caster, regret their class choices, and feel like “transitional characters” whose only purpose was to get the casters to level 17.

Can I use a spiked shield in my primary hand as a weapon? If so, does it count as a simple or martial weapon?

Can any humanoid PC use a Spiked Shield in their ‘primary hand’ as a Weapon?

and

Is it a Simple or Martial Weapon?

The Lizardfolk entry in the MM (p. 204) has a statblock that includes the following elements:

  • STR 15 (+2)
  • Armor Class 15 (natural armor, shield)
  • Multiattack. The lizardfolk makes two melee attacks, each one with a different weapon.
  • Spiked Shield. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6+2) piercing damage.

It also includes 3 other (Bite, Heavy Club, and Javelin) melee attack options, presumably for use with Multiattack.

I would like to use a Spiked Shield (1d6 + Str mod) in my ‘primary’ hand and leave my other hand empty. Is there anything in RAW that indicates the Spiked Shield is a weapon that is prohibited from PC usage in 5e?

The PHB (p. 147) has a section about improvised weapons:

An improvised weapon includes any object you can wield in one or two hands, such as broken glass, a table leg, a frying pan, a wagon wheel, or a dead goblin. Often, an improvised weapon is similar to an actual weapon and can be treated as such.

If you look at the graphic of the lizardfolk in the MM you can clearly see a shield on its left arm made out of some kind of tortoise shell with two rather large spikes extruding forwards:

Monster Manual - Lizardfolk

It certainly looks like a weapon… so is it DM fiat as to whether it “is similar to an actual weapon?

The PHB (p. 146) has this to say about weapon proficiency:

Your race, class, and feats can grant you proficiency with certain weapons or categories of weapons. The two categories are simple and martial. Most people can use simple weapons with proficiency. These weapons include clubs, maces, and other weapons often found in the hands of commoners. Martial weapons, including swords, axes, and polearms, require more specialized training to use effectively.

This says that there are two categories – Simple and Martial. The question then is, would this spiked shield “require more specialized training to [be] use[d] effectively“?

When it comes to using the shield as an improvised weapon, it seems you retain the +2 to AC when you use it as an improvised weapon, according to this November 2014 tweet by Jeremy Crawford.