If I’m proficient with a bastard sword, does that qualify as being proficient with a martial weapon?

My character is a Kensai, which means he is only proficient with simple weapons, and one martial or exotic weapon of his choice. He has chosen proficiency with the bastard sword.

A bastard sword is about 4 feet in length, making it too large to use in one hand without special training; thus, it is an exotic weapon. A character can use a bastard sword two-handed as a martial weapon.

Upon reaching 8th level, he would like to enter the Student of War prestige class, but that prestige class requires the character to be proficient with two martial weapons.

I can get longsword proficiency with the Arodenite Sword Training combat trait (technically I can get klar and earth breaker proficiencies with the Shoanti Tattoo trait but for the sake of the question let’s say I’m not a Shoanti), but would I have to take a Martial Weapon Proficiency feat to qualify for Student of War?

What level would you give the players a dancing sword?

I am currently DMing a campaign for level 5 players and one of them wants a dancing sword. I know the weapon is labelled as "very rare" but it doesn’t seem all that more powerful than a cleric with spiritual weapon. My question is when would you give the players an item like that and would you add any +1/+2/+3 modifiers? Note: I know about the recommendations regarding awarding magic items in the books. I just want to know if anyone can justify why it has the "very rare" rating and when you might give it out instead?

Which Sword Coast port has bugbears loading and unloading ships?

I remember reading in some published book (most probably from the 3e era but I’m not sure; surely not from 5e) that in a certain port in the Sword Coast (I’d say Waterdeep, but Neverwinter and Luskan are also possible given where our characters were located at that time) bugbears sometimes look for employment as load workers at the docks, but they often get into trouble because other people around there treat them as stupid just because of their looks.

Bugbears have average intelligence and wisdom, so they’re rightfully enraged by the accusation, but they have a bad temper and fights ensue.

Where did I read this piece of lore, and which was the town?

Defender Sword: do I use its property before or after the 1st attack?

In dnd 5e, the description for the Defender sword is (emphasis mine):

You gain a +3 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon.

The first time you attack with the sword on each of your turns, you can transfer some or all of the sword’s bonus to your Armor Class, instead of using the bonus on any attacks that turn. For example, you could reduce the bonus to your attack and damage rolls to +1 and gain a +2 bonus to AC. The adjusted bonuses remain in effect until the start of your next turn, although you must hold the sword to gain a bonus to AC from it.

I have 1 question:

  1. The description states that I can transfer a portion of the attack roll modifier to my AC the first time I attack. So if I’m a character that can hit twice in 1 round, does that mean I can choose to transfer a portion of the attack modifier just after my first attack? Or is it just before my first attack? It sounds to me like I get the attack bonus for the first attack of my turn, and then if I want to do the transfer, I can activate it just after that first attack, but the transfer is not allowed any other time.

Are extra effects considered weapon damage on a sword of sharpness?

The Sword of Sharpness says:

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

Do some other effects (language use is intentional) add on to this, or is it only the weapon’s damage based on the weapon chart in the Player’s Handbook?

Examples:

  • Are the rogue’s Sneak Attack damage dice maximized?
  • Is the Bugbear’s extra damage die from its Brute trait maximized?
  • If I customize the sword to do extra cold or fire damage (based on a die roll), are those damage dice maximized?

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. […]

As a sword and board Eldritch Knight do I need to put away my sword on my turn if I want to use Shield as a reaction?

Without Warcaster, I can’t cast spells with somatic components if I have both a shield and a sword in my hands. Putting my sword away or dropping it is a free action, however you can’t do free actions outside your turn. So if I want to be able to cast Shield on myself as a reaction, do I need to always put my sword away at the end of my turn? (This also means I won’t be able to capitalize on opportunity of attacks).

What are the repercussions of the Sword Coast Adventurers Guide errata to the cantrips Green-Flame Blade and Booming Blade?

In the most recent update to the Sage Advice article, Green-Flame Blade and Booming Blade have received errata to their range and spell text, being altered from

Range: 5 feet

to

Range: Self (5 foot radius)

Furthermore, the text of GFB and BB have been altered from

As part of the action used to cast this spell, you must make a melee attack with a weapon against one creature within the spell’s range, otherwise the spell fails.

to the phrase

You brandish the weapon used in the spell’s casting and make a melee attack with it against one creature within 5 feet of you.

How do these changes alter the way that these spells are used, and how they interact with features or feats, such as Spell Snipers effect of doubling a spells range.

Can a sword of life stealing steal more hp than the target has?

The entry for Sword of Life Stealing says: "When you attack a creature with this magic weapon and roll a 20 on the attack roll, that target takes an extra 10 necrotic damage if it isn’t a construct or an undead. You also gain 10 temporary hit points.

Note: According to the SRD, it is an extra 3d6 necrotic damage."

However, my DM says that a Sword of Life Stealing inflicts its damage in a certain order on a natural 20: first the regular damage, then crit damage, THEN the necrotic damage…so if by that point the target has no more hp left to lose, I receive no temporary hp. Basically he said that the target "has no more life to steal".

I thought this was a bit of a strange interpretation. Is there an official ruling somewhere?

What deities are common knowledge along the northern parts of the Sword Coast? (post-1480 DR)

Specifically between Neverwinter and Icewind Dale, which religions are common knowledge in the years following 1480 DR?

Common knowledge being that if a player character grew up in this area, they would realistically already know that that deity is a deity and maybe something about their religion.

Example: When asked, the average person in the region may say "Mystra is the deity of Magic" if Mystra and her religion are common knowledge.