What does the Swarmkeeper mean by “horizontal”?

The Ranger Swarmkeeper Gathered Swarm has 2 ability’s that can force horizontal movement. But how do they work?

The attack’s target must succeed on a Strength saving throw against your spell save DC or be moved by the swarm up to 15 feet horizontally in a direction of your choice

Is this horizontal from the direction I am facing, and if so what is stoping me from turning myself to aim freely, or is it horizontal from where the monster is facing? And second we have…

You are moved by the swarm 5 feet horizontally in a direction of your choice.

What’s stopping me again from changing my direction to move freely here too?

What does this the DH 2e’s Mountain Warrior’s ‘each advance’ mean?


Mounted Warrior

Requirements: Rank 2 (Trained) in any Operate skill or Rank> 2(Trained) in Survival skill, BS 30 or WS 30

Apptitude 1 Weapon Skill / Ballistic Skill

Aptitude 2 Offence

Reduces any penalty for making attacks (Melee or Ranged) from a moving vehicle or mount by 10 for each advance.

I’ve not been able to other sources use similar wordings. Does this mean each rank in all operate and survivor skills gives a +10? Is it just the highest ranked of the 4 skills? Or is it something else?

Pact of the Chain, Sprite Familiar. What does it mean that a “saving throw result is 5 or lower”?

I’ve been looking into the warlocks Pact of the Chain, which states that your allowed to pick from the normal familiars as well as a select few Warlock-Only familiars, including the Sprite.

When you cast the spell, you can choose one of the normal forms for your familiar or one of the following special forms: imp, pseudodragon, quasit, or sprite.

Then invocation Investment of the Chain Master states that:

If the familiar forces a creature to make a saving throw, it uses your spell save DC.

And the Sprite has a Shortbow attack that forces a creature to make a saving throw:

Shortbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 40/160 ft., one target. Hit: 1 piercing damage, and the target must succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw or become poisoned for 1 minute. If its saving throw result is 5 or lower, the poisoned target falls unconscious for the same duration, or until it takes damage or another creature takes an action to shake it awake.

From what I gather that means that the initial save for the poison should use the players save DC? So for a lvl 7 character with 20 charisma, that would be a save of 16?

Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Spellcasting modifier

However the second part of the Shortbow attack states that:

If its saving throw result is 5 or lower, the poisoned target falls unconscious for the same duration

What does "saving throw result is 5 or lower" mean? Would that be the rolled number for the save + the save modifier?

saving throw result = save dice roll + save score modifier

Or would it be the resulting rest from removing the spell save DC from the rolled total?

saving throw result = Spell save DC – (save dice roll + save score modifier)

I haven’t seen the phrase "saving throw result" referring to a number before, usually it just refers to "did the creature roll over or under the spell save DC? Yes or No."

What does svirfnebli mean, and how is it different to svirfneblin?

A recent answer to a question has led me to obtain an e-book for The Dark Elf Trilogy, and the section I am reading uses the word svirfnebli as well as svirfneblin, but I am unsure if it is a printing issue (or possibly a scanning issue) or an actual word, and I can’t really tell why is it different from svirfneblin.

Examples:

When the svirfneblin guards ushered him in

Scores of svirfnebli rushed about their posts

Both seem to be referring to multiple deep gnomes, so I am unsure, but this is the first time I have read the word svirfnebli, and it is used multiple times in the short part of the book I have read so far. Does anyone know what it means and how it should be used?

If possible, I would like to know if the use of the words have changed through the editions, maybe in 3rd edition they both had a use and it was simplified for more recent editions?

What does the entry 3/day mean if several spell-like/psi-like abilities are listed?

I am preparing an encounter involving a psionic Yuan-Ti Abomination. The entry in the XPH lists under the section psi-like abilities:

3/day—body purification (6 points*), psionic charm (all targets, 1 day/level, DC 19*), concealing amorpha, deeper darkness, mind thrust (ML 7th, 7d10, DC 18*), psionic suggestion (four targets, DC 16*); (XPH, p. 218)

Does that mean the Yuan-Ti can manifest

a) each psi-like ability listed here 3/day,

b) a total of three manifestations of abilities in this list, including using the possibility to use one ability three times

c) three abilites out of this list once each

A similar issue arises with the spell-like abilities in the gnome entry in PHB, where it says:

1/day—dancing lights, ghost sound, prestidigitation.

Does this mean gnomes can use each of these abilities once, or only one of these?

What does ‘does not require’ mean?

In this recent question, I asked about Flameskulls and how their Undead Nature interacted with long rests to recover their spells.

In the course of reading an answer, I realized that the poster and I had very different interpretations of what "doesn’t require" means.

Undead Nature. A [specific undead] doesn’t require air, food, drink, or sleep.

(and similar statements for Constructed Nature, Immortal Nature, Shadowy Nature, Elemental Nature, and Ooze Nature)

One interpretation of ‘doesn’t require x’ is suffers no ill effects from the lack of x.

So, for example, since a flameskull doesn’t require air, it is immune to the effects of suffocation (PHB183). Since it doesn’t require food and drink, it is immune to the effects of exhaustion caused by the lack of food and drink (PHB 185). And since it doesn’t require sleep, it would not need to make a Constitution check to go without sleep (PHB177).

Under this interpretation, A flameskull suffers no ill effects from not sleeping, but it still would need to sleep in order to complete a long rest and thus regain spell slots.

A different interpretation of ‘doesn’t require x’ is can accomplish a process without having to use x. Under this interpretation, since a flameskull doesn’t require sleep, it can take a long rest without having to sleep, even though sleep is normally a requirement for a long rest. This would be similar to an elf with the feature of "Trance: Elves do not need to sleep." Even though the general rules for a long rest require sleep, elves specifically do not require sleep to make a long rest.

A similar phrase is used in the description of the flameskull, when it says (emphasis mine)

Spellcasting. The flameskull is a 5th-level spell caster. Its spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 13, +5 to hit with spell attacks). It requires no somatic or material components to cast its spells.

Here the ‘requires no’ clearly means that it can perform spellcasting without needing components, not that if it goes without components, it will suffer some ill effects.

While I am sympathetic to this view, I’m not sure it always makes sense. A monk with Timeless Body, for example, "no longer need[s] food or water." If such a monk was multiclassed with druid, could said monk cast Animal Friendship or Animal Messenger without the "morsel of food" that serves as the material component, because they "no longer need" the component of food?

Unfortunately, as far as I know, the meaning of "doesn’t require" is not explicitly defined, at least in the three core source books. As an undefined term, it falls to a natural language interpretation, and both these uses of ‘doesn’t require’ are natural language in different contexts.

To complicate the matter, in the Monster Manual we have

Sleepless. Thri-kreen don’t require sleep and can rest while remaining alert and performing light tasks. Their inability to sleep is thought to be the reason why thrikreen have such short lifespans, the average thri-kreen life expectancy being only thirty years.

Here it seems to equate not requiring something with the inability to do it. Thri-kreen can’t sleep because thri-kreen don’t require sleep. Is this a general principle of what ‘doesn’t require’ means? Not only do elves and flameskulls not require sleep, but that means that they can’t sleep, either?

How are we to understand what a reference to ‘does not require’ or ‘does not need’, means?

What does “+6 to hit, Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4)” mean in a creature’s stat block?

My friends and I are very new to D&D, played like 3 times. In a monster’s stats next to weapon damage it says stuff like “+11 to hit” and “Hit: 5 (1d8+1)”. For the premade characters it just says things like “+4, 2d6 + 2 slashing”, though. Why are there two “hit” numbers for monsters? Which do I use for the d20 roll to hit against a target’s AC?

I mean for example like in the Ogre entry in the “Starter Set: Excerpt 7” article on monsters.

Does the now updated Integrated Protection feature of the Warforged mean they are counted as “wearing” armor?

The new and updated Warforged’s Integrated Protection feature, detailed in Ebberon Rising from the Last War, now states:

Integrated Protection

Your body has built-in defensive layers, which can be enhanced with armor.

[…]

  • You can don only armor with which you have proficiency. To don armor […]. To doff armor […]. You can rest while donning or doffing armor in this way.
  • While you live, your armor can’t be removed from your body against your will.

With this revised wording, does the warforged now count as wearing armor?

This is important in the context of how something like integrating a set of Plate Mail would interact with Monk features like Martial Arts.