Does the light from Branding Smite persist after the target dies? [duplicate]

The players were exploring Castle Ravenloft. A trap separated the human paladin from the rest of the party and placed him in a deep pit with no light source. In looking for a way out, he accidently released and then began to fight a wight. This was initially quite bad as he was attacking with disadvantage, while the wight (with darkvision) was attacking twice with advantage. The paladin remedied this by casting Branding Smite, hitting the wight, and making it glow.

Branding Smite, emphasis mine:

The next time you hit a creature with a weapon attack before this spell ends, the weapon gleams with astral radiance as you strike. The attack deals an extra 2d6 radiant damage to the target, which becomes visible if it is invisible, and the target sheds dim light in a 5-foot radius and can’t become invisible until the spell ends.

After two more hits and some Divine Smite, the wight was dead. The paladin wanted to hack off a piece of the glowing wight corpse and use it as a light source to help him climb out of the pit (spell duration is Concentration – 1 minute, the paladin needed three rounds to climb out of the pit). I hesitated, because when the wight ceased to be undead and became just dead, it was transformed from a creature into an object and was thus no longer a valid target of the spell.

Ultimately I ruled that one thing is a valid target for casting the spell itself, another is the persistent effects of the spell, and that the corpse would go on glowing for the duration. However, I would like to know RAW for this and whether all the effects of the spell would cease when the wight was killed.

Related: Is a target suppressed or removed when the target becomes invalid?. Superficially this might appear like a duplicate of my question. However, the question there is about the dominate person spell when the target is no longer a Humanoid because of polymorph. Obviously dominate person cannot continue to work if the target is no longer a Humanoid to dominate, but a dead wight could still continue to be a source of light. I feel like that question is a different situation than Branding Smite where the 2d6 radiant damage is the spell itself and the light produced is a persistent effect of the spell. Maybe the answer is not different, but I believe the question is different enough that it stands on its own.

Also, although not a reason to say that this is not a duplicate, I am unsatisfied with the accepted answer to that question being based on a Crawford tweet.

How does Channel Smite work?

At level 4, Berric the cleric takes Channel Smite. He then attacks someone, expending a Harm spell. From the text:

Make a melee Strike and add the spell’s damage to the Strike’s damage.

Does this mean that the basic Fortitude save mentioned in the text for Harm simply isn’t used? If Berric used a first level spell slot, which of the two possibilities below is the case when he strikes and hits?

  1. He strikes, dealing his normal weapon damage and then simply adding another 1d8.
  2. He strikes, dealing his normal weapon damage. The enemy takes 1d8 damage, but rolls a basic Fortitude save: it takes none of that 1d8 damage on a critical success, half damage on a success, full damage on a failure and double damage on a critical failure.

I think it’s the first, because the text for Channel Smite doesn’t mention any saving throw, but I’d just like to confirm…

Does Rage Prevent Divine Smite?

I was reading both of them, and if you had a hypothetical Barbarian Paladin multiclass, would the use of divine smite be prevented by raging? Unlike other smites, it says that it expends a spell slot, but isn’t listed necessarily as a spell. It reads more like a special ability that just happens to cost a spell slot.

Divine Smite:

Starting at 2nd level, when you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you can expend one spell slot to deal radiant damage to the target, in addition to the weapon’s damage. The extra damage is 2d8 for a 1st-level spell slot, plus 1d8 for each spell level higher than 1st, to a maximum of 5d8. The damage increases by 1d8 if the target is an undead or a fiend.

Rage: (Relevant portion)

…If you are able to cast spells, you can’t cast them or concentrate on them while raging.

Eldritch Smite: Can you decide whether the enemy goes prone or do they always go prone?


Once per turn when you hit a creature with your pact weapon, you can expend a warlock spell slot to deal an extra 1d8 force damage to the target, plus another 1d8 per level of the spell slot, and you can knock the target prone if it is Huge or smaller.

Since it says "can knock the target prone." I assumed it was optional, (though you wouldn’t have much reason not to if in melee, within 5 ft.)

Can a paladin use the Divine Smite feature with a thrown weapon?

A paladin’s divine smite says (PHB. 85), “…when you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack…”, which I’m seeing two ways to interpret.

  1. “A melee attack with a weapon”, so as long as it’s a melee attack and you’re using a weapon smite away.

  2. “An attack with a melee weapon”, is where things get odd. Under (PHB. 149), “Simple Melee Weapons”, includes spears which have the Thrown property. Thrown states (PHB. 147), “…you can throw the weapon to make a ranged attack. If the weapon is a melee weapon…”, so even while being thrown it is still a, “melee weapon”

Since it would be easy to house rule this (Rule of Cool: Smiting with a spear sounds neat) I’d like an answer that either references word of god or provides a convincing argument that this type of reading applied to other parts of the rules results in absurdities.

Improved Divine Smite Differentiation

Improved Divine Smite (PHB, p. 85) says in part:

… Whenever you hit a creature with a melee weapon, the creature takes an extra 1d8 radiant damage. If you also use your Divine Smite with an attack, you add this damage to the extra damage of your Divine Smite

Emphasis to show the part I’m focusing on.

So it was my understanding that Improved Divine Smite deals an extra 1d8 Radiant damage whenever I swing on a creature with a Melee weapon and hit them, no matter what else I’m adding to the weapon attack (such as Searing Smite, Divine Smite, poison I put on my sword before combat, etc). This definition makes a purpose of differentiating what happens if I also use Divine Smite with my attack.

I am more than likely confused or reading too far into the definition but I’d like to know why the book is making such a differentiation. What is it saying? That if I make a weapon attack without Divine Smite, the extra (non magical?) 1d8 radiant is added to the weapon damage, but if I do include a Divine Smite on the end, then the extra (now magical?) 1d8 radiant is added to the smite damage instead?

Does that change anything at all? Is this differentiation important to some sort of tactic or resistance I’m not considering?

Could a Paladin use the Divine Smite ability on a disarm attack?

The Oath of Redemption Paladin that I DM for has asked me for clarification on disarming rules. I’ve decided to use the optional rules from page 271 of the DMG, which state:

Disarm
A creature can use a weapon attack to knock a weapon or another item from a target’s grasp. The attacker makes an attack roll contested by the target’s Athletics or Acrobatics check. If the attacker wins the contest the attack causes no damage or other ill effect, but the defender drops the item.

However, I am wondering if he would be able to activate his Divine Smite on that disarm.

Divine Smite
When you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you can expend one spell slot to deal radiant damage to the target, in addition to the weapon’s damage.

Technically the Paladin has hit the target with a melee weapon attack which leads me to want to rule yes. The disarm rules do state that the attack causes no damage or other ill effects, but the Divine Smite wouldn’t be strictly part of that attack. I feel like I am leaning towards allowing Divine Smite to work after a successful Disarm, but wanted to see if there is any precedent for something like this as I have found no specific rulings to this question anywhere.

Can multiple castings of Glyph of Warding be used to activate multiple “Smite” spells on the same triggering attack?

Suppose a character has cast multiple Glyph of Warding spells, each with a different "Smite" spell (such as Searing Smite and Thunderous Smite). Assume the character somehow has access to all these spells and the necessary material resources. Each glyph is set to trigger at the character’s next successful melee weapon attack.

When the glyph is triggered, the stored spell is cast.

Each "Smite" spell requires concentration, and has a target of "self", so the character specifies their self as the target when they create the glyphs. Each "Smite" spell also has an on-hit effect that can occur during the spell’s duration, triggered by a successful melee weapon attack.

For example, the character has one glyph set to activate Searing Smite, and another glyph set to activate Wrathful Smite.

Searing Smite:

The next time you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack during the spell’s duration… the attack deals an extra 1d6 fire damage to the target…

Wrathful Smite:

The next time you hit with a melee weapon attack during this spell’s duration, your attack deals an extra 1d6 psychic damage…

Upon the character’s next successful weapon attack, all the glyphs activate. Since the duration of each "Smite" spell begins on this weapon attack, can the character use this same attack to activate the on-hit effects of each spell? (In the above example, that would mean adding +1d6 fire and +1d6 psychic damage to the weapon’s damage roll.)

Or does only one spell effect occur, because they all require concentration and their durations would overlap?

Or do none of the on-hit effects occur, because the spell’s duration began after the weapon attack?