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Suppose I'm playing a kobold sorcerer with find familiar by way of ritual caster or a dip into lore bard. It's a lovely overcast day and I decide that what I'd really like to do with my turn is to cast shocking grasp on some poor bastard. Since I am a tiny, delicate and a bit cowardly kobold, I send my familiar to deliver the good news and bad vibes. This of course requires an attack roll, specifically my attack roll (as per find familiar):

Finally, when you cast a spell with a range of touch, your familiar can deliver the spell as if it had cast the spell. Your familiar must be within 100 feet of you, and it must use its reaction to deliver the spell when you cast it. If the spell requires an attack roll, you use your attack modifier for the roll.

...Except, as a kobold (Volo's Guide to Monsters, p. 119), I have the Pack Tactics racial trait:

You have advantage on an attack roll against a creature if at least one of your allies is within 5 feet of the creature and the ally isn’t incapacitated.

My attack roll is made with advantage if I have an ally within 5 feet of the target, and my familiar is pretty allied. But since it's my familiar attacking, did it just get advantage from its own presence?

(also thank you to whoever cleaned this up and added the quotes and made it look all nice and pretty)

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Unfortunately, I don't think this would work

Kobolds from Volo's Guide to Monsters have Pack Tactics (pg. 119), which means they get to make melee attack rolls with advantage if an ally is within 5' of their target. Unfortunately, since the familiar is delivering the spell attack, you are not actually the one attacking, since "your familiar can deliver the spell as if it had cast the spell" (PHB, pg. 240), so it doesn't count.

As for your familiar, unless the familiar itself has Pack Tactics (and I don't think any of those listed as RAW options for the find familiar spell do), then they won't be able to get advantage (for that reason) either.

Hence in this situation, I don't think Pack Tactics would apply.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you elaborate on why you think the familiar delivering the spell is equivalent to it making the attack (rather than you making the attack, and your familiar merely delivering its effect)? \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jul 11 '18 at 8:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast Ah, good point. I'll update my answer's wording. \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Jul 11 '18 at 8:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ Glancing at pg 119 Volo's, I don't see Pack Tactics specifying melee - just attack rolls. \$\endgroup\$ – vonBoomslang Jul 11 '18 at 8:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @vonBoomslang I meant it as applying to this melee attack roll, since the example in the question is shocking grasp; however, it does also look like I'm implying that the trait only counts for melee attacks. Should I remove the word "melee" from my first sentence? \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Jul 11 '18 at 8:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ Of course... If your familiar is there already, why wouldn't the Kobold cast the spell and make the touch themselves? That would give Pack Tactics. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Jan 7 at 21:22
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No advantage from pack tactics

Let's look at the exact wording of the spell:

your familiar can deliver the spell as if it had cast the spell [..] If the spell requires an attack roll, you use your attack modifier for the roll. (PHB 240)

From this we can see, that it is not you that is attacking, but the familiar, "as if it had cast the spell". The only thing dependent on your character sheet is the attack bonus. Because it is not your attack, your pack tactics feature does not apply.

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No, you don't apply pack tactics in this case

The rules on delivering a spell with a familiar are (emphasis mine):

Finally, when you cast a spell with a range of touch, your familiar can deliver the spell as if it had cast the spell. Your familiar must be within 100 feet of you, and it must use its reaction to deliver the spell when you cast it. If the spell requires an attack roll, you use your attack modifier for the roll.

This means that it is still the familiar that is delivering the spell, the familiar is making the attack except it's using your modifier for the roll. Pack tactics works when you make the attack yourself. The important distinction is that using your attack modifier is not the same thing as you making the attack.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, for all effects (for example, a Battlemaster's riposte maneuver) the familiar is the one making the attack. \$\endgroup\$ – Mindwin Jul 11 '18 at 13:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Does this different answer conflict with this one? rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/126063 \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Jul 11 '18 at 14:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 I don't think so. The familiar is not casting a spell but it is making an attack as part of the effect of the spell. That is my reading. \$\endgroup\$ – Sdjz Jul 11 '18 at 14:40

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