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?

Does Ocular spell make every eligible damage spells have a critical chance since it becomes a ranged touch attack (ray)?

Ocular spell states:

(…)When you release an ocular spell, its effect changes to a ray with a range of up to 60 feet. If the spell previously would have affected multiple creatures, it now affects only the creature struck by the ray. You must succeed on a ranged touch attack to strike your target with an ocular spell, and the target is still permitted any saving throw allowed by the spell.(…)

Every spell that has a touch attack (melee/range) Do have a critical hit chance (20X2)

So If I was to release an Ocular Fireball (only affects 1 creature now and it still gets the Reflex Half saving throw though). It could indeed be a critical hit.

Correct?

Sidenote:

I know fireball might not be the best spell for this combination, it was just for the sake of the question.

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)

How does the Oathbow’s benefit to ranged attacks interact with the Arcane Archer fighter’s Arcane Shot options Piercing/Seeking Arrow?

Part of the description of the oathbow magic item says:

When you make a ranged attack roll with this weapon against your sworn enemy, you have advantage on the roll. In addition, your target gains no benefit from cover, other than total cover, and you suffer no disadvantage due to long range. If the attack hits, your sworn enemy takes an extra 3d6 piercing damage.

However, the Arcane Archer fighter archetype from Xanathar’s Guide to Everything (previously appearing in UA: Revised Subclasses) has the ability to imbue their arrows with magic. Two of the Arcane Shot options seem like they might conflict with the oathbow‘s trigger condition.

The description of Piercing Arrow says, in part (XGtE, p. 29; identical to the version from UA:RS):

[…] When you use this option, you don’t make an attack roll for the attack. Instead, the arrow shoots forward in a line, which is 1 foot wide and 30 feet long, before disappearing. […] Each creature in that line must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes damage as if it were hit by the arrow, plus an extra 1d6 piercing damage. On a successful save, a target takes half as much damage.

The description of Seeking Arrow similarly says (XGtE, p. 30; also identical to the UA:RS version):

[…] When you use this option, you don’t make an attack roll for the attack. Instead, choose one creature you have seen in the past minute. The arrow flies toward that creature, moving around corners if necessary and ignoring three-quarters cover and half cover. If the target is within the weapon’s range and there is a path large enough for the arrow to travel to the target, the target must make a Dexterity saving throw. […] On a failed save, the target takes damage as if it were hit by the arrow, plus an extra 1d6 force damage, and you learn the target’s current location. On a successful save, the target takes half as much damage, and you don’t learn its location.

So how does the oathbow interact with these 2 Arcane Shot options by RAW?

I know some situations override things going both ways in favor of exploitation and prevention.

Does the class skill let you bypass the attack roll while getting the oathbow‘s power buff? Or do you not get the buff?

Do Black Tentacles “protect” you from ranged attacks as creatures grappling you do?

If you are trying to shoot some creature, and your target is grappling, rules say: "roll randomly to see which grappling combatant you strike".

Does Black Tentacles spell’s effect count as a combatant? Or should you just roll high enough attack to strike a creature, grappled by Tentacles, as there is no actual target other then the creature you are aiming at?

Is the ranged attack bonus +27 for a maxed out 20th level archery-styled Hunter with applicable RAW magic items?

Background: I’m DM’ing a quintet of players whom I let accumulate a bit too much AC-boosting stuff and so are very hard to hit with weapon attacks (at 12th level they’re all near AC 25, and one has a Cloak of Displacement). For narrative reasons in the campaign, I need to send an elite solo NPC at them who can land several arrows in a surprise ambush attack despite their being invisible as they enter a large hall.

Constraints: I want to do this “fair and square” with a RAW-built NPC whose attack rolls can be out in the open on the table. A Ranger’s Conjure Volley spell isn’t good enough because a couple of the PC’s are very good at Dex saves, and I want a very strong chance of them all getting hit.

Proposal: If am correct, a 20th level Ranger (Hunter) with the Archery fighting style is the ticket, if she has Oil of Sharpness applied to five +3 arrows and a +3 bow, and Wis 20 and Dex 20 (realistic with the 5 ASI’s a 20th level Ranger has). If I add this up correctly it is:

+5 (Dex)

+6 (Proficiency)

+2 (Archery Fighting Style)

+3 (Oil of Sharpness)

+3 (Magic Ammo)

+3 (Magic Longbow)

+5 (Foe Slayer feature, one shot per turn only, but can be chosen after the roll)

= +27 with Foe Slayer; else +22.

Using her Volley feature for her action, she can attack all five of them in her initial ambush (surprise round), with one shot of her (post-roll) choice getting a +27, and the rest +22.

This will use up five magical (and oiled up) arrows, and the players’ invisibility is ignored for purposes of these attacks due to her Feral Senses feature. At the end of all this, it’s fairly likely that she hits on all five shots, or darned near so.

Am I getting all of these calculations (and rules interpretations) correct according to RAW?

How does Spell Sniper effect spells that allow ranged spell attacks on subsequent rounds? [duplicate]

The spells Crown of Stars, Storm Sphere, and Wall of Light all allow you to make ranged attacks on subsequent rounds.

Wall of Light

Until the spell ends, you can use an action to launch a beam of radiance from the wall at one creature you can see within 60 feet of it. Make a ranged spell attack. On a hit, the target takes 4d8 radiant damage.

Storm Sphere

Until the spell ends, you can use a bonus action on each of your turns to cause a bolt of lightning to leap from the center of the sphere toward one creature you choose within 60 feet of the center. Make a ranged spell attack. You have advantage on the attack roll if the target is in the sphere. On a hit, the target takes 4d6 lightning damage.

Crown of Stars

You can use a bonus action to send one of the motes streaking toward one creature or object within 120 feet of you. When you do so, make a ranged spell attack. On a hit, the target takes 4d12 radiant damage.

The spell sniper feat says:

When you cast a spell that requires you to make an attack roll, the spell’s range is doubled.

To use all of the spells effects, you are required to make an attack roll. That is, they have functions that don’t work without a attack roll.

Is that reading correct, and if so which of the ranges in each spell are effected?