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Can Thaumaturgy be used as a kind of taunt? I understand D&D doesn't have taunts but it's the only way I know how to describe what I do with Thaumaturgy in this scenario.

So, in theory, let's say a creature is engaging the party's rogue and my character is a cleric. On my turn, I cast Thaumaturgy to make my character's voice originate from behind the creature and as a bonus action, I use a persuasion or an intimidation check to trick the creature into disengaging the rogue. Making the creature turn around believing it's facing a new threat.

If that is the case could then the rogue's attack be at advantage if the rogue's turn is right after mine?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you looking for mechanical evidence that it could be used in such a way, or peoples' opinion of if that should be allowed? We can answer the first here, but you'd be better off at a forum if you're asking about opinions. \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Nov 14 '18 at 17:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ifusaso Yes, I'm looking for mechanical evidence. \$\endgroup\$ – caoshunter22 Nov 14 '18 at 17:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ Bonus actions aren't meant to be arbitrary - they have specific sources, something grants them. What feat, class, spell, etc gives your character the ability to make a Persuasion or Intimidation check as a bonus action? \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Nov 14 '18 at 18:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @T.J.L my character is a cleric and the DM I play with had allowed Persuasion checks during combat. For example when I used charm person on a creature who was the leader of the group that was attacking us. Which allowed me to roll advantage on a Persuasion check for the rest of the enemy group since the leader viewed me as friendly. Which defused the situation and ended combat. Now this may not be the right way to play but our DM allowed it. \$\endgroup\$ – caoshunter22 Nov 14 '18 at 19:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ There's no such thing as "action points" in 5E, and your DM does not seem to understand how the action economy is meant to work. Consider it more evidence that your DM may be heavily house-ruling things, so any advice you get here may not be applicable. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Nov 14 '18 at 20:31
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Up to the DM

By default, spells do only what they say the do in 5e. Since thaumaturgy does not say anything about granting advantage (though it certainly can allow some sort of sound to occur behind an enemy), by the rules it does not.

However, it is well within the DM's purview to take an individual clever use like you have given here and grant advantage based on it. You will have to talk to them to see if they will accept this kind of ruling however. I also wouldn't expect them to allow it to work every single time you try necessarily.

The DMG does describe cases where granting advantage is worth considering (note not required) with a couple of them being:

Circumstances not related to a creature's inherent capabilities provide it with an edge.

and

Previous actions (whether taken by the character making the attempt or some other creature) improve the chances of success.

Either one could be applied to the scenario of a distracted enemy, but it would be up to the DM to decide that individually.

It should not be allowed consistently because it impinges on some other features

While the DM is within their right to allow or disallow anything at their table, I suggest not letting this work more than one or two special times. This is because giving advantage is a powerful tool and there are other game features which are made to do this. Allowing things like a cantrip to do it when it is not in their normal ability makes those other features less important. More specifically, granting advantage at range is really good.

There is an action you can take in combat called Help that allows you to give advantage, but only a mastermind rogue can do it at range. This shows you how powerful of a feature it is that it is built into a class. Mage Hand Ledgerdemain, another rogue class feature also allows this.

So, as a DM just watch out when allowing things like this so that you don't cheapen the power of other features.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I like that answer, but I cannot edit the "amd" to "and" in between the blockquotes; not enough other edits to make for the site to allow me to publish the correction. \$\endgroup\$ – Token Nov 14 '18 at 18:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ May be worth noting that there isn't really a way to use a Help action remotely unless you have Mage Hand Ledgerdemain. This provides a similar mechanic (albeit with an action rather than a bonus action.) And that's a huge boon for that class. GIving it to someone else with that cantrip is minimizing it. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Nov 14 '18 at 18:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose Thank you for answering my question! \$\endgroup\$ – caoshunter22 Nov 14 '18 at 18:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch It's worth adding that the Mastermind Rogue has a ranged Bonus Action Help. \$\endgroup\$ – inthemanual Nov 14 '18 at 20:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ ...and both of them on Rogues. Maybe that's a hint for what kind of characters the designers think should be able to do things like this. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Nov 14 '18 at 20:35
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My thought is that Thaumaturgy, cast as a help action to distract the enemy, would give the next ally advantage to their attack roll, if taken before the targets action, but would not give a rogue the sneak attack.

Sneak attack requires the target already be in combat with another ally, and the spell would not qualify as an ally.

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Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to rpg.se! Take the tour and visit the help center for more information. We prefer answers that are supported by rules or evidence and your answer has a few errors in it. 1) You can't "cast as a help action", if you cast a spell, you are using the "Cast a spell" action. 2) Thaumaturgy says nothing about granting advantage. 3) Sneak attack does not require the target to be in combat. It requires advantage on the attack roll or an ally within 5 feat of the target. If this did grant advantage it would activate sneak attack. If you can edit your post to match RAW it would be an improvement. \$\endgroup\$ – linksassin Aug 21 at 3:43

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