How does *Steel Wind Strike* interact with *Heated Body* special trait?

Eddy the mage is facing 3 Azors, which are 15, 25 and 10 ft far away from him. Azors have the special trait Heated Body (emphasis mine):

Heated Body. A creature that touches the azer or hits it with a melee attack while within 5 feet of it takes 5 (1d10) fire damage.

Eddy casts Steel Wind Strike (emphasis mine):

You flourish the weapon used in the casting and then vanish to strike like the wind. Choose up to five creatures you can see within range. Make a melee spell attack against each target. On a hit, a target takes 6d10 force damage.

You can then teleport to an unoccupied space you can see within 5 feet of one of the targets you hit or missed.

hits all of them, and he does not teleport from his current position.

Since a melee spell attack is a melee attack, does Eddy take the fire damage given by the Heated Body trait? Is he considered to be within 5 feet during each attack?

Can a hasted steel defender benefit from its extra actions?

Haste provides an extra action that can be used to Attack (one weapon Attack only), Dash, Disengage, Hide, or Use an Object.

In combat, the defender shares your initiative count, but it takes its turn immediately after yours. 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. If you are incapacitated, the defender can take any action of its choice, not just Dodge.

Can a hasted steel defender benefit from its extra actions? Or is limited to one action total?

  • For example can a steel defender be commanded to attack twice using its normal attack and the extra attack provided by haste?

Installing modifications on Battle Smith’s Steel Defender (5e)

I’m currently playing an artificer in a homebrew campaign and looking at the SD’s stat block, as well as other people’s opinions, it’s pretty much just a tank with its damage being negligible at best, so I was wondering if there are any balanced homebrew rules someone has made to install modifications on the SD, because that just seems to be the natural thing to do for a class called the Battle Smith. I’m not talking about putting infusions or magic items on the SD, but adding/swapping on its abilities and stats.

Of course my aim isn’t to make it OP, but more on to customize how I want it to be as well as make it scale better. I could just talk this out with my DM but I don’t want to have her make an entire ruleset on Steel Defender modification from scratch.

At what distance can an Artificer Battle Smith command his Steel Defender?

The Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything brings the most recent version of the Artificer and the Battle Smith subclass, who gains a companion called Steel Defender at level 3. In the description of the Steel Defender ability, there is a part of the text that states:

[…] In combat, the defender shares your initiative coutn, but it takes its turn immediately after yours. 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 an action. […]

Altought it states that you have to take an bonus action on your turn to command it to take an action, there is no limitation regarding the distance between the two. Since nothing restricts regarding this condition, by RAW you could command it whenever you are by taking a bonus action. But this sounds off in some cases, like when they are really far apart from each other (miles away for example).

Is there any other official rules that could be used to support a maximum distance between then for the artificer be able to command it?

Can magic tattoos be used by warforged, or other constructs such as the battle smith artificer’s steel defender?

Magic tattoos all say things akin to the following:

To attune to this item, you hold the needle to your skin where you want the tattoo to appear, pressing the needle there throughout the attunement process. When the attunement is complete, the needle turns into the ink that becomes the tattoo, which appears on the skin.

They each appear on the skin, they are applied by being held to the skin. Can the metal body of a warforged use it? If so, the only other item I am aware of that has race specific requirements is the dwarven thrower.

It dawned on me that warforged aren’t considered constructs in 5e (at least I don’t think there is a distinction made for what player characters are). However, I think it should be considered that what would bar constructs from being able to use the tattoos is that the tattoos specifically say how you apply it to the skin, or how it appears on the skin. I think this would be the same disqualifying factor for warforged, or for other ‘constructs.’

Do you get advantage on Steel Wind Strike’s attacks because you “vanish”?

The spell steel wind strike says that you

vanish to strike like the wind.

(Emphasis added)

At first glance you might read this as an inconsequential part of the description. But strictly speaking there is no flavour text in spell descriptions. Vanishing implies being unseen, which (if we carry on the logic) grants advantage on attacks due to being unseen.

I’ve seen this argument appear in a couple of answers recently and thought it deserved a question of its own.

However, steel wind strike looks like a pretty strong spell without advantage, and granting advantage on all the attacks seems like something too important to leave to a bit of rules lawyering, which makes be doubt this interpretation.

Do you intrinsically gain advantage on all of steel wind strike‘s attacks?

Can a Steel Defender or a Alchemical Homunculus use a Spell Storing Item?

I have seen from many different sources the thought process that you can have your Alchemical Homunculus or your Steel Defender use your spell storing item. This would let them take up concentration for an additional spell.

However the more I look into it the less I think you can. I wanted to get clarification from you folks.

Spell Storing item:

While holding the object, a creature can take an action to produce the spell’s effect from it, using your spellcasting ability modifier. If the spell requires concentration, the creature must concentrate.

Alchemical Homunculus:

In combat, the homunculus shares your initiative count, but it takes its turn immediately after yours. 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 the action in its stat block or the Dash, Disengage, Help, Hide, or Search action.

Steel Defender:

In combat, the steel defender shares your initiative count, but it takes its turn immediately after yours. 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 one of the actions in its stat block or the Dash, Disengage, Help, Hide, or Search action.

I added emphasis on only. This completely negates the ability to use the Spell Storing Item in combat doesn’t it?

Does the Artificer’s Steel Defender get a Full turn?

I know the Steel Defender uses your initiative and goes immediately after you. What I’m not sure about is what is can actually do on its turn.

Does a Steel Defender get a full turn?

  1. Action
  2. Free Action (Item interaction)
  3. Bonus Action
  4. Move

I know it has the stat block that tells you what action it can take but it does not say anything about having or not having a bonus action and what it can do with that.
It also does not specify interactions

Example 1

SD uses bonus action to activate boots of speed and now has the ability to move 80′ around the battlefield potentially using up AoO of enemies and positioning itself at a choke point Then takes the Dodge Action

Now we have a speedy Gonzales that can get up next to people and provide Cover, Help or be a damage sponge before zipping over the the other side to block a charging enemy that appeared from around that corner you never checked

Example 2

Party member about to die SD pulls out HP potion out of bag (item interaction) and Dashes (action) to party member Party members turn take potion and drink it.

Basically a mobile Vending machine that can run in hand out potions and use its reaction to impose disadvantage.

How would a steel devil act on its own?

Fiendish Codex II says that “[s]teel devils are consummate soldiers. They have no purpose or drive to do anything other than to march in step to battle” (138).

However, steel devils aren’t mindless—they’re described as intelligent and clever. So how would a steel devil act if it were on its own—without a devilish commander—if were to, for example, stumble accidentally through a portal?

I know there’s not a lot of information about steel devils. This means that answers can draw from, for example, experience in playing or running a campaign with a rogue steel devil or other super-lawful creature that is used to following orders and now can’t. Or, for example, an answer can draw on an expert’s knowledge of how devils and similar creatures behave generally when undirected.

What’s the point/advantage of a steel mirror?

5e D&D lists a number of mostly mundane items in the PHB on page 150. One of them is a “Mirror, steel” (5gp, 1/2lb). Initially I thought it to be a steel framed mirror, but I think this is actually meant to be a polished (to the point of a reflection) piece of steel.

My question is two-fold:

  • Is this a steel framed mirror or a single piece of polished steel?
  • What’s the idea behind a steel mirror, instead of a glass mirror?

Is it that glass is more expensive and/or too fragile? But 5gp for just a piece of steel feels (relatively) expensive as well. I am aware of the possible idea that it might reflect vampires, but I feel like that may not be the RAI.