Is there any reason to concentrate on the Thunderous Smite spell after using its effects?

There are some spells which you can concentrate on even after they will not provide any benefits, for example the thunderous smite spell states:

The first time you hit with a melee weapon attack during this spell’s duration, your weapon rings with thunder that is audible within 300 feet of you, and the attack deals an extra 2d6 thunder damage to the target. Additionally, if the target is a creature, it must succeed on a Strength saving throw or be pushed 10 feet away from you and knocked prone.

Nothing in the spell’s description would benefit you should you choose to maintain concentration after having made an attack.

Are there other things outside of the spell’s description where this would be helpful? Perhaps there is a feature which grants a buff when concentrating, or one that grants a buff when making a concentration check (Constitution saving throw), or even when making a saving throw in general?

Are there any features or reasons throughout the rules to maintain concentration even after you’ve hit a creature with thunderous smite?


If this question is off-topic as it’s a list, or too broad, I’ll probably delete it as I can’t think of any other way to ask this question.

Wrathful Smite, and the term ‘Creature’

I’ve been playing D&D 5e for about a year, and as I’ve understood, every living being falls under the “creature” category: humanoids, beasts, monstrosities, monsters, constructs, undead, celestials, fiends, etc.

However, the Paladin spell Wrathful Smite reads as follows:

Additionally, if the target is a creature, it must make a Wisdom saving throw or be frightened of you until the spell ends

This made me question the meaning of “creature”.

Does it imply that there are other living beings, aside from “creatures”?

Changing Divine Smite to Necrotic Smite?

I have a True Neutral Paladin that is also a Fallen Aasimar. He has fully embraced darkness, letting it into his heart and spurned his celestial heritage. He hasn’t gone fully evil purely because he still wishes to help and cannot bring himself to kill/hurt innocent people. He came to me with an interesting question however, wishing to re-flavor his Divine Smite.

So, could Divine Smite (Radiant Damage) be re-flavored to call it Necrotic Smite and have it dealing Necrotic Damage instead?

Would you let him have access to both Divine and Necrotic strikes since he still is capable of casting divine as a Fallen Aasimar?

Does Improved Divine Smite work in an Antimagic Field?

At 11th level, a paladin gains Improved Divine Smite. This means (PHB p85):

you are so suffused with righteous might that all your melee weapon strikes carry divine power with them.

Given that the normal Divine Smite requires a spell slot to be expended, I took it to be considered as a spell and therefore unusable within an Antimagic Field (PHB, p213):

This area is divorced from the magical energy that suffuses the multiverse. Within the sphere, spells can’t be cast, summoned creatures disappear, and even magic items become mundane. […] Spells and other magical effects, except those created by an artifact or a deity, are suppressed in the sphere and can’t protrude into it.

Improved Divine Smite, however, appears to be a quality innate to a paladin of 11th level or higher. Is it affected by an Antimagic Field?

Can you wait to add optional damage dice that apply on a hit (such as Divine Smite) until after seeing if the roll is a critical?

Certain damage kickers are put into effect at the attacker’s option after it is determined that an attack is a hit. Examples include:

  • The Divine Smite of paladins and of several cleric domains
  • The Battle Master’s Trip Attack
  • The Combat Inspiration feature of the College of Valor bard
  • Expending charges from several magic staves, including the Staff of Power, Staff of Striking, and Staff of Withering

The rules on a critical hit seem pretty clear (PHB. 196):

Roll all of the attack’s damage dice twice and add them together.…

… If the attack involves other damage dice, such as from the rogue’s Sneak Attack feature, you roll those dice twice as well.

It seems clear that (a) the player decides to apply the kicker after seeing the die roll, and (b) “all of the attack’s damage dice” includes the kicker. But this gives the player quite an advantage to choose to apply a damage kicker on a known critical hit, so I am seeking to confirm (or correct) my understanding.

Can the attacker wait to add optional damage dice until after seeing if the roll is a critical, knowing that the additional damage dice will be doubled?

Does Eldritch Smite gets bonus from Hexblade’s Curse, Hex or Fighting Style: Dueling?

I’m making a Polearm master hexblade warlock and thinking about getting a level of fighter for Dueling Fighting Style. Does it boost Eldritch Smite damage?

While I was thinking about this question I also thought Eldritch Smite should get bonus from first level spell Hex and Hexblade’s Curse, is that right?

Do you need a weapon for Thunderous Smite, and the other ‘Smite’ spells?

Since unarmed strikes are considered melee weapon attacks, and the smite spells don’t have the same restriction as booming blade or green flame blade (the part where it requires “a weapon” in material components)

Would you be able to cast and trigger the ‘smite’ spells (like thunderous smite, searing smite, etc.) with unarmed strikes as they are melee weapon attacks?

Do natural melee weapons (from racial traits) trigger Improved Divine Smite?

Following up on Does Improved Divine Smite trigger when a paladin makes an unarmed strike?

Improved Divine Smite will not trigger on an unarmed strike.

Context

The paladin in my campaign – covered in my previous question – is a minotaur. This means he could attack with his horns, to potentially trigger Improved Divine Smite.

Minotaur, Unearthed Arcana: Centaurs and Minotaurs:

Horns. Your horns are natural melee weapons, with which you’re proficient. When you hit with them, the target takes piercing damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier.

Paladin, PHB page 85:

Improved Divine Smite. By 11th level, whenever you hit a creature with a melee weapon, the creature takes an extra 1d8 radiant damage.

Question

Do natural melee weapons from racial traits trigger Improved Divine Smite?

In other words, do natural weapons count as melee weapons? Or is there some other rule that categorizes/treats natural melee weapons differently from other melee weapons?

For my campaign I’m mostly interested in the natural melee weapon from minotaurs. I’m assuming, however, the same rules would apply for other natural melee weapons gained through racial traits – e.g. a lizardfolk’s Bite, tabaxi’s Claw, centaur’s Hoove, etc. If this assumption is wrong, please enlighten me.