Can a (2019 UA) artificer’s alchemical homunculus take actions not listed in its description?

The 2019 UA artificer’s alchemical homunculus is described with a list of actions it can perform, most of which require the artificer to use a bonus action to issue the order. The actions listed are Dodge (the default when no order is issued), Dash, Disengage, Help, Acidic Spitle, and Alchemical Salve. In particular, the description makes it sound kind of like these are the only actions the homunculus can be ordered to perform:

In combat, the homunculus shares your initiative count, but it takes its turn immediately after yours. 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 to take the Dash, Disengage, or Help action.

The description never explicitly says that the homunculus cannot perform other actions, but if we take the wording literally, it seems that ordering it to perform any other action is not possible, at least not in combat – doing so will just cause it to take the Dodge action.

To add another complication, the homunculus may not be physically capable of performing certain actions. The examples given for the homunculus’ appearance do not include hands, for example (emphasis added):

You determine the homunculus’s appearance, which includes wings and bits of alchemical equipment. Some alchemists prefer mechanical-looking birds, whereas others like winged vials or miniature cauldrons.

In addition, the languages section of its stat block says “understands the languages you speak”, which implies that it can’t speak.

So, considering both its physical capabilities and the mechanics of issuing orders to it, what other actions, if any, can the alchemical homunculus be made to perform? The “normal” actions listed in the basic rules that don’t appear in the alchemical homunculus’ description include: Attack (presumably an unarmed strike), Hide, Ready, Search, Use an Object, and of course improvising an action. In addition, some magic items require an action to activate (which is separate from the normal Use an Object action), or a command word. If the homunculus can perform any or all of these actions (and can be ordered to perform them), does it matter whether or not it is in combat? Are there any actions that the homunculus can take without needing an order, such as feeding a potion of healing to its master when they are knocked out (and therefore unable to give the order)?

Also, while the homunculus on its own has no bonus actions it can perform, it could conceivably be given a magic item that is activated with a bonus action. In this case, would the homunculus be able to activate the item (and again, can it be ordered to do so)?


Note: Another similar question has previously addressed the issue of the mental capabilities of the homunculus, but the answers there do not address its physical abilities or the possible limitations of the order-issuing mechanics.

How much water can a ship take in before sinking?

My players are currently in a naval battle, the wizard used Disintegrate on the enemy Ship’s hull and now water is getting inside the ship. I tried looking for a rule on the Ghost of Saltmarsh book because I remember reading something about that, but I just couldn’t find it again. Is there any rule about how much Water gets inside a ship/round and how much water can the ship take in before starting to sink?

Do I have to take the Ready action to make an opportunity attack?

So, a friend and I are in a debate right now about how an opportunity attack works.

From what I understand after reading the handbook, you can only perform an opportunity attack if you use an action to ready a reaction first.

So, for example, I can’t use an opportunity attack without using an action to ready a reaction before simply by the fact that an enemy got out of my melee range, meaning that if I want to make an opportunity attack at one point, I should spend my action not attacking any enemy, and then readying a reaction, which in this case is an opportunity attack.

Am I thinking too far? Can I use an opportunity attack just by seeing an enemy getting out of my melee range?

Is there a “Take 20” mechanic?

Most d20 systems have a “take 20” mechanic as per the d20 SRD

When you have plenty of time (generally 2 minutes for a skill that can normally be checked in 1 round, one full-round action, or one standard action), you are faced with no threats or distractions, and the skill being attempted carries no penalties for failure, you can take 20. In other words, eventually you will get a 20 on 1d20 if you roll enough times. Instead of rolling 1d20 for the skill check, just calculate your result as if you had rolled a 20.

Taking 20 means you are trying until you get it right, and it assumes that you fail many times before succeeding. Taking 20 takes twenty times as long as making a single check would take.

Since taking 20 assumes that the character will fail many times before succeeding, if you did attempt to take 20 on a skill that carries penalties for failure, your character would automatically incur those penalties before he or she could complete the task. Common “take 20” skills include Escape Artist, Open Lock, and Search.

I haven’t found anything in the M&M 3e SRD, but the 2e rules had it, and maybe I was looking on the wrong place.

What action does it take to activate a paladin’s bonded weapon’s special abilities?

Paladin’s Divine Bond special ability has the following text under the first option:

These bonuses can be added to the weapon, stacking with existing weapon bonuses to a maximum of +5, or they can be used to add any of the following weapon properties: axiomatic, brilliant energy, defending, disruption, flaming, flaming burst, holy, keen, merciful, and speed.

The Flaming weapon special ability has the following text:

Upon command, a flaming weapon is sheathed in fire that deals an extra 1d6 points of fire damage on a successful hit. The fire does not harm the wielder. The effect remains until another command is given.

Flaming Burst weapons also act according to the above text. What additional type of action does the Paladin need to spend to activate the Flaming or Flaming Burst weapon special property, or is it included in the Swift action to activate the ability?

Does the effect of the Command spell take place immediately if cast on the target’s turn?


The target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or follow the command on its next turn.

If you were to cast Command as a reaction (e.g. readied action or war caster opportunity) on the turn of the spell’s target, does the effect of the spell take place immediately or on the next round?

e.g. If I held the command spell and triggered it once an orc ran around the corner into view and told it to “grovel”, would that end the orc’s turn there, or would the orc complete it’s turn unaffected, only being forced to grovel next round?

Grovel: The target falls prone and then ends its turn.

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Which security vulnerabilities does Sails take care of compared to Express together with middlewares like Helmet, Lusca and Kraken?

As I can understand, Sails is built upon Express and has some security features included and a easy implementation of Socket.io. I’ve also read that it is quite unique and could contain a lot of ‘magic’ for beginners. I am planning to make a RESTful application with high securety and realtime and with some workers aside. My question is: Why should I choose Sails in front of Express together with packages like: Mongoose, Helmet, a good file structure, express-sanitizer, and some Redis based module to take care of some background processes? I have never made anything at this large scale with high security in my mind, and I am wondering if there is a lot of security holes(not the classicones like XSS, and database injection), which you might not think about, which Sails takes care of and which could be hard to avoid using Express? I have a little bit of experience with the full framework Django. The inbuilt security features is okay, but it was quite annoying to dive into the source code after one day of coding to rewrite a bunch of functions just to customize the application a bit. Sails is a very large framework, and don’t you lose one of the goals with Node: The ability to pick which ever packages you want for your needs? And if I went for Express, is there any recommendation for the structure? Some things you definitely should avoid? I don’t have a large skilled team. I am thinking about learning at the same time. Please correct me if it is a very bad idea to begin from scratch and if the question of even thinking about using Express for something like this would be exclusively.

I really appreciate any thoughts based on experience or any advices?