15
\$\begingroup\$

Does Fury of the Small apply the extra damage to each hit/attack, or only once per turn?

The goblin playable race (Volo's Guide to Monsters, p. 119) has the "Fury of the Small" trait:

Fury of the Small. When you damage a creature with an attack or a spell and the creature's size is larger than yours, you can cause the attack or spell to deal extra damage to the creature. The extra damage equals your level. Once you use this trait, you can't use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Say there's a Goblin Fighter with Extra Attack; does the extra damage apply for every single attack, as each hit is dealing damage and they are all part of a single Attack action? Or is it only applied to one of the attacks during that action?

Likewise, a Goblin Warlock with max level eldritch blast; does the extra damage apply to each beam since the blasts are technically considered one spell cast? Or is it because you are making multiple spell attack rolls that they are each considered separate, and the damage only applies once?

Also, when casting an AOE spell, do all of the enemies hit by the attack suffer the extra damage added on by this trait, or must you simply pick one? Or, because it says when you damage a (meaning a single creature), you can't activate it when you hit "multiple" targets?

\$\endgroup\$
12
\$\begingroup\$

It activates only once

The trait reads (emphasis mine):

When you damage a creature with an attack or a spell [...]

Notice how "attack" is written in lowercase. This indicates a single attack. Not an Attack Action. When you have extra attacks, you attack multiple times with one Attack Action. But when you activate Fury of the Small for example on your first attack of your multiple-attack Attack-Action:

you can't use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

This means you can only use this effect on one of your attacks. The same applies to spells.

Except when you use AoE spells

In the comments Erik raised a very interesting point for this discussion:

Can you elaborate the difference (if any) between a multi-attack spell like Eldritch Blast vs an area spell like Fireball? (The former makes multiple attack rolls, the latter only has one damage roll which is used against every target) ?

The difference is that an area spell is still one single spell and that you don't make a spell attack. The trait does not limit the effect to spell attacks, but instead to spells that cause damage. Instead the targets make saving throws. That means that if you use this trait with an area spell like Fireball you should be able to add the extra damage to every single target that takes damage from your spell. Note that some AoE spells also have a clause that mentions a target taking damage even if they make their saving throws. These targets would still be valid targets for the additional damage.

If you instead use the Eldritch Blast you have the same situation as I already described in the case of multiple-attack Attack-Actions: you attack multiple times with a spell attack. This means you can only add the damage to one of these attacks.

Personal Addendum

I feel like the described AoE damage increase is not really the intended use of the trait, but according to the Rules as Written you would be able to add the extra damage to any target that takes damage because of your AoE spell. As a DM I might rule that the trait should read:

When you damage a creature with a [weapon] attack or a spell [attack] [...]

This would disallow AoE spells and other spells that use saving throws. It would only apply to real attacks against single targets and could only be used once.

Another way of changing the trait might be:

When you damage a [single] creature with an attack or a spell [...]

This would make it clear that the damage has to be focused on a single creature. In general this would disallow AoE spells, but then again it may be the case that it just so happens that only one enemy was caught in your Fireball, which would allow this again. While the second version might be interesting for some people as a way of changing the trait to deal with the problem of applying the damage to multiple enemies, I would recommend to use the first "fix" to simply disallow AoE spells.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Jul 23 '18 at 10:42
0
\$\begingroup\$

Rules as written: You can only apply Fury of the Small to one creature, and only once per short/long rest.

Emphasis mine:

Fury of the Small. When you damage a creature with an attack or a spell and the creature's size is larger than yours, you can cause the attack or spell to deal extra damage to the creature. The extra damage equals your level. Once you use this trait, you can't use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

You damage a creature with an attack or a spell. Not multiple attacks, not multiple spells, not for a duration. This applies once and would not be affected by extra attack or scorching ray's extra beams or two-weapon fighting.

So we've determined that it only applies to one attack roll. What about saving throws?

You deal extra damage to the creature. Features do what they say, and nothing more. Both semantically and linguistically, a use of "the" implies one target. This is further held up by rules text for other area-affecting spells and feature specifying "each" creature.

Fury of the Small can only apply its extra damage to a single creature once per short/long rest - no matter how you choose to apply it.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I agree with this interpretation, and it seems Jeremy Crawford does too: "Fury of the Small benefits attacks or spells that damage a creature larger than you. Magic missile is a spell. [...] Fury of the Small deals its extra damage once. Then you can't use it again until you finish a short or long rest." That's in response to a question of whether it'd add the damage to each missile of Magic Missile, suggesting it doesn't do more for AoE spells either. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jul 22 '18 at 21:51
0
\$\begingroup\$

When you damage a creature with an attack or a spell

There are 2 triggers:

  1. Damage with an attack
  2. Damage with a spell

If you use an attack as the trigger it can only affect the single creature attacked. If you use the spell as the trigger it can affect as many creatures as the spell damages - it doesn't matter if the spell makes attacks to do damage or not, the trigger is the spell. Not the attack(s) made by the spell.

\$\endgroup\$
0
\$\begingroup\$

It only applies once, to one creature you damaged

Jeremy Crawford, official rules designer for 5e, originally answered this question here:

How would the Goblin's Fury of the Small feature work with magic missile?

Fury of the Small benefits attacks or spells that damage a creature larger than you. Magic missile is a spell.

But would it add to each missile if you only target one creature?

Fury of the Small deals its extra damage once. Then you can't use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

He reiterated this ruling in a more recent tweet:

if you're supposed to roll one d4 for damage on Magic Missile how does that work with the goblin ability Fury of the Small each Missile or just one? Also with an AoE spell does FotS add damage to the spell for all effected ceatures?

The goblin's Fury of the Small trait affects only one creature, and the trait deals a flat amount of damage to that creature, an amount equal to your level.

In short, the requirements to activate the ability are:

  • you damage a creature with an attack or spell
  • the creature is larger than you

And the effects are:

  • you cause the attack/spell to deal extra damage to that one creature once (if multiple creatures qualify, pick one)
  • that damage equals your character level

Once you do this, you can't do it again until you finish a short rest.

\$\endgroup\$
-1
\$\begingroup\$

"Once you use this trait, you can't use it again until you finish a short or long rest."

I think this last sentence in the trait description already covers AoE spells. Without that sentence, the trait would affect every creature you damage with an attack or a spell -- but with that sentence, the trait only works once and then you have to rest for at least an hour to "reset" it. So it can only ever affect one target even of an AoE spell. Once you declare "I'm doing extra damage to THAT guy," the trait goes inactive and you don't have it to use on the rest of them.

\$\endgroup\$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.