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The Oath of Redemption paladin's 20th-level Emissary of Redemption feature (XGtE, p. 39) gives you resistance to all damage dealt by other creatures and automatically does radiant damage to creatures that attack you. However, it states:

If you attack a creature, cast a spell on it, or deal damage to it by any means but this feature, neither benefit works against that creature until you finish a long rest.

Does attempting to grapple, shove, or disarm a creature without actually damaging it count as attacking it, and therefore cancel the effect of Emissary of Redemption where that creature is concerned?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree with @PeterCooperJr. and have voted to reopen; I think the disarm bit makes this distinct. But I'm always open to the possibility of error: ping me if you feel like there's something I'm missing. \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Nov 9 '18 at 3:07
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When you want to grab a creature or wrestle with it, you can use the Attack action to make a special melee attack, a grapple. (PHB p.195, "Grappling"


Using the Attack action, you can make a special melee attack to shove a creature.... (PHB p.195, "Shoving a Creature")

From these we see that both grapple and shove are a lowercase-a-attack, matching the wording of the Paladin's feature. (And they require the Attack action, in particular.)

The disarm's a different beast: either you're a battlemaster, your GM's using a houserule for disarming or they're using the DMG's optional rule.

  • If it's the houserule, you need the GM to rule for you.

  • If you're a battlemaster, the maneuver specifies that this occurs as part of any weapon attack.

  • If it's the DMG option, consider its wording: "A creature can use a weapon attack to knock a weapon or another item from a target's grasp. (DMG p.271, "Disarm")"

So the battlemaster or the DMG disarm again requires an attack, suppressing the Paladin feature. (Note, though, these do not require the Attack action. The battlemaster's disarm might come as a bonus action attack (Flurry of Blows or off-hand attack, for instance); the DMG disarm is listed as an "action option" and purportedly must be an action taken in and of itself.)

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