How can I create encounters that encourage players to use non-Attack actions?

In D&D 5e, the players have lots of actions they can take within combat encounters besides attacking. I’m trying to figure out how to encourage them to use a greater variety of actions, especially Disengage, Dodge, and Help.

They’ve seen NPCs use these actions, so they know they are available, and my rogue is good at taking Disengage as a bonus action. However, it seems like these options are too weak mechanically to compete with attacking for the PCs actions.

Are there specific tactical situations that will make these options more appealing?

Would a Sorcerer roll damage once or twice when Twinning a damaging (non-attack) spell? [duplicate]

This question already has an answer here:

  • How many attack/damage rolls does a sorcerer make when using the Twinned Spell metamagic option? 4 answers

There is a useful rule in the PHB concerning multiple creatures being damaged simultaneously (PHB, p. 196):

If a spell or other effect deals damage to more than one target at the same time, roll the damage once for all of them.

That’s a handy rule that stops us from needing to roll damage dozens of times for a single fireball. But it got me thinking about the Sorcerer’s twinned-spell metamagic (PHB, p. 102).

When you cast a spell that targets only one creature and doesn’t have a range of self, you can spend a number of sorcery points equal to the spell’s level to target a second creature in range with the same spell (1 sorcery point if the spell is a cantrip).

It has been clarified elsewhere that you aren’t casting a second spell, but rather including an additional target in the effect of the original spell. And while it’s been established that the attacks from a twinned spell with attack rolls don’t happen simultaneously (specifically in the case of Booming Blade), it seems less clear to me that this would be the case for spells with no attack roll.

So if a spell like Blight were twinned, would you only roll once for the damage and use that total for both targets (modified by their respective saving throws), or would you roll damage twice (once for each target) because the original version of the spell only targeted one creature?

Does using a non-spell, non-attack action negate the Invisibility spell? Both the spell and the effects of the spell?

An interesting combo came up in gameplay: An invisible party member chose to defend another party member using their non-spell, non-attack reaction (arrow catching shield.)

This led to two questions:

In the description for the invisibility spell (PH pg. 254), it says:

The spell ends for a target that attacks or casts a spell.

So this led to the question – does this reaction end invisibility?

In the description for the arrow-catching shield, it says

In addition, whenever an attacker makes a ranged attack against a target within 5 feet of you, you can use your reaction to become the target of the attack instead.

In fact, there’s a long list of non-spell, non-attack reactions you can take (Bardic Inspiration, Misdirection, etc.) that can affect an attack.

Question 1: Does this sort of reaction cause the invisibility spell to end?

The consensus at the table was “No. It’s neither a spell nor an attack.

But wait, there’s more!

According to the rules of the invisible condition (PHB, pg. 291):

Attack rolls against you have disadvantage.

In theory the attack should now be with disadvantage, even though it’s already been made.

This one left us all scratching our heads (and the normal attack missed anyway, so we moved on)

Question 2: Does redirecting an attack to an invisible target now cause the attack to be made with disadvantage?

Reach for non-attack triggers

I know errata adds opportunity attacks to what reach works for.

I still don’t understand the insistence on qualifying reach only for attacks!?

Why not say you have reach all the time?

For instance, DMG page 206, Swords of Answering: “In addition, while you hold the sword, you can use your reaction to make one melee attack with it against any creature in your reach that deals damage to you.”

So a hypothetical question:

Assuming a “Halberd of Answering”, would it allow me to use my reaction (as per above) against a foe 10 ft away?

Do I have “reach” when the enemy damages me (so my reaction triggers)? Or only later (when the reaction is triggered and it’s time for my attack)?