Does Sword of Sharpness’s maximize damage rule apply to a Rogue’s Sneak Attack damage? [duplicate]

If a rogue hits someone with a scimitar of sharpness and the preconditions for sneak attack are in place, does the rogue also get to maximize the damage of sneak attacks?

For reference the Sword of Sharpness states:

When you attack an object with this magic sword and hit, maximize your weapon damage dice against the target. […]

How should one interpret the word “identical” in the initiative rule?

The rule for initiative in PHB read (emphasis mine)

Initiative determines the order of turns during combat. When combat starts, every participant makes a Dexterity check to determine their place in the initiative order. The DM makes one roll for an entire group of identical creatures, so each member of the group acts at the same time.

I usually thought that identical creature stands for creatures of the same type and with the same name: for example, in a situation where a party is fighting 3 trolls and 2 ogres I read the above rule as rolling one d20 for the trolls’ group and one d20 for the ogres’.

Other DMs would extend identical to a wider meaning (see enkryptor’s answer to "Is this house-rule that has each monster/NPC roll initiative separately (even when there are multiple creatures of the same kind) game-breaking?"): for example, a dragon and their kobolds army fighting the party may be considered identical creatures in the sense that they are allies, as belonging to the same group of enemies.

Is there any RAW interpretation of the word identical in this context of initiative roll?

How do I rule on Spells without Casters?

The players in my Curse of Strahd game have reached the Amber Temple. While there, they recently breached a certain door, for which the module indicates

One of the PC’s is a wizard, and he had a counterspell prepared and a slot available. Initially I thought he might be able to counter this effect, but reading the description of counterspell it states (emphasis mine)

You attempt to interrupt a creature in the process of casting a spell. If the creature is casting a spell of 3rd level or lower, its spell fails and has no effect. If it is casting a spell of 4th level or higher, make an ability check using your spellcasting ability. The DC equals 10 + the spell’s level. On a success, the creature’s spell fails and has no effect.

Clearly countersepll targets only spells cast by creatures, and this effect doesn’t appear to have a caster. The use of the passive voice, "a…spell is cast" seems to imply that there is not a caster, and the statement that the spell will last for one minute perhaps is underscoring that point, since if the spell had a caster, that caster would need to maintain Concentration.

It does not even appear to be the case that a specific magic item is casting the spell or granting a spell-like effect, for which there is some guidance in the DMG (and see this question on spells cast by magic items).

Thus as a DM I feel at a loss for how to adjudicate interactions with this spell, both with counterspell and anything else the players might attempt.

After the session I tried to explore whether there was guidance or precedent for spells without casters. I checked the DMG section on creating spells (starts on 283) but didn’t find anything.

Drawing on my experience from earlier editions, I figured if something produced a spell like that it would likely be from a contingency, limited wish, or wish. Checking the 5e descriptions, contingency makes it clear that it can only trigger spells cast on oneself, and furthermore has a duration of just 10 days. It appears that limited wish does not exist in 5e. And wish, the "mightiest spell a mortal creature can cast", does not explicitly permit any effects with a duration beyond instantaneous except for the duplication of existing spells.

Is there any guidance or precedent for adjudicating a spell without a caster? Is there any indication of how such an effect is produced? Or is this just part of "The GM describes the environment" and I should rule by context-informed fiat?

Can a Homunculus freely take a bonus action granted to it by a specific rule such as a spell?

After the errata / Tasha’s, we know that you can use your character’s bonus action to command a Homunculus to use a Spell Storing Item. I think we also know that a Homunculus can freely maintain Concentration on a spell cast from the Item, as Concentration requires no action.

Let’s say the Item contains Heat Metal. The Heat Metal spell lets the caster take a bonus action on subsequent turns to re-inflict damage (and disadvantage) on the target.

Can the Homunculus take this bonus action without being commanded by the character?

The Homunculus description in Tasha’s states that

it can move and use its reaction on its own, but the only action it takes on its turn is the Dodge action, unless you take a bonus action on your turn to command it to take another action. That action can be one in its stat block or some other action.

Note that nothing is said about its ability to take a bonus action, probably because the ability to take a bonus action is granted by specific circumstances (e.g., dual wielding light weapons), class features (e.g., Defensive Field), feats (e.g., Crossbow Expert), and spells (e.g., Heat Metal).

Absent anything more specific in the Homunculus description, one could argue that the specific language from Heat Metal lets the Homunculus take a bonus action at will. On the other hand, one could also argue that a "bonus action" is a subcategory of "action" — however, I don’t think such an argument holds water, because while some bonus actions replicate actions (like weapon attacks), others do not (like Defensive Field), suggesting that "bonus action" is a separate category of game mechanic.

How does rule 3. Advantage and Disadvantage from Ten Rules to Remeber function?

Ten Rules to Remember in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything reminds us via rule 3. Advantage and Disadvantage:

Even if more than one factor gives you advantage or disadvantage on a roll, you have it only once, and if you have advantage and disadvantage on the same roll, they cancel each other.

Now that leads to the natural question of in what order these things happen. When you gain "advantage" from multiple sources and "disadvantage" from one source, do you only gain "advantage" once that then is cancelled out by "disadvantage" thus resulting in neither or do you get "advantage" once from one source, that then is cancelled out by "disadvantage" from one other source thus allowing for "advantage" from another source to take place – as there are neither "advantage" nor "disadvantage", at that point, in the chain?

Does the Artificer’s Spell-Storing Item effectively bypass the bonus action spellcasting rule?

The rule on Bonus Action Casting Time states:

A spell cast with a bonus action is especially swift. You must use a bonus action on your turn to cast the spell, provided that you haven’t already taken a bonus action this turn. You can’t cast another spell during the same turn, except for a cantrip with a casting time of 1 action.

This would ordinarily prevent you from casting a levelled spell and a bonus action spell on the same turn; however, the Artificer’s Spell-Storing Item states:

[…] While holding the object, a creature can take an action to produce the spell’s effect from it, using your spellcasting ability modifier. […]

Furthermore, the following question’s highest-scoring answer states:

  • Do class or subclass features that relate to spellcasting apply when producing a spell's effect from an Artificer's Spell-Storing Item?

[…] The user never casts the spell either. They merely use a (special, unnamed) action to produce the spell’s effects. They don’t cast it and don’t get to modify it with their features which care about them casting a spell. […]

And the Sage Advice Compendium even states (page 3):

Q. Which action is used to activate a Spell-Storing Item?

A. Activating a Spell-Storing Item uses the Use an Object action.

Does this mean that a caster could use a Spell-Storing Item, creating the effects of any 1st or 2nd level Artificer spell with a casting time of 1 action, and then use their bonus action to cast any (bonus action) spell?

I want to use the output of Solve and/or Reduce in next steps. But the output comes in the form of a rule [duplicate]

In a program I want to use the output of Solve and/or Reduce in next steps. But the output comes in the form of a rule, where what I want is the numerical solution. Here is an example. Say I write s=Solve[x+2==5,x]. In the next step I want to use this solution, so I write: y=2 s +3. This returns {{3+2(x->3)}}. This is a very basic need, but hours combing through the documentation leads nowhere.