In Xanathar's Guide to Everything (p. 30), the Cavalier Fighter's Unwavering Mark feature says:

In addition, if a creature marked by you deals damage to anyone other than you, you can make a special melee weapon attack against the marked creature as a bonus action on your next turn. You have advantage on the attack roll, and if it hits, the attack's weapon deals extra damage to the target equal to half your fighter level.

What is the meaning of "the attack's weapon deals extra damage"?

Does it mean the same as "you deal extra damage" clauses (so just add damage to that attack's damage roll)? Or does it mean it is a separate instance of damage (roll twice for concentration saves)? Or is it maybe just a typo, and it should read "the weapon attack deals extra damage"? Or does the weapon suddenly start doing more damage to that target?

It seems like very strange wording to me, and I don't recall seeing anything similar.


The reason it says your attack deals weapon extra damage is to try to drive home that it is the same damage as the weapon. Just like adding your strength to the damage of an attack is.

On PHB p. 196, the Damage Rolls section states: "Each weapon, spell, and harmful ability specifies the damage it deals. You roll the damage die or dice, add any modifiers, and apply the damage to your target."

The above shows that your weapon deals a specific damage. You add your fighter level to this damage.

Note that this is only important for resistances, vulnerabilities, and immunities.

Xanathar's attempted to be clearer on effects like this and on the Gloom Stalker rangers additional dice to weapon damage to attempt to avoid the scenarios of confusion that the rogue's Sneak Attack and the Hunter ranger's Colossus Slayer have.

| improve this answer | |

This is only relevant for resistances

Some creatures are immune or resistant to damage from nonmagical weapons.

Damage Immunities Bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons

In the case of Unwavering Mark, the extra damage is keyed to the weapon meaning the damage is modified by such resistance.

Contrast this to other sources of extra damage which are not keyed to the weapon:

Kensei Shot: ... any target you hit with a ranged attack using a kensei weapon takes an extra 1d4 damage of the weapon’s type

One interpretation as a result of this difference in wording is that the extra damage of Kensei Shot may bypass this damage resistance and immunity (those which are specific to weapons) as it is not specifically keyed to the weapon. The Unwavering Mark is likely absent from this interpretation as it specifies the weapon is dealing the damage.

| improve this answer | |
  • \$\begingroup\$ Interesting distinction, which for Kensei after level 6 is moot in any case. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jan 28 '19 at 16:49
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ This is a pretty strong claim and I think needs more support than it’s given right now. For example, this would mean sneak attack damage ignores (e.g.) a werewolf’s resistance to non-magical weapons, which would be a Big Deal. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jan 28 '19 at 16:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie Sneak Attack is weird because it doesn't specify a damage type (or source) at all. See how this answer has the same minimal support. \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Jan 28 '19 at 17:00
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The argument there contradicts the one made here, as it associates damage from the weapon with the type matching the weapon, while this answer asserts that Kensei Shot is not from the weapon despite damage type being weapon type. That’s why I say this is a strong claim: it goes out on a limb in ways contrary to common answers on this subject. Hence, a strong claim needs to be backed by strong support, rather than (as that other answer does) relying on being uncontroversial to reduce its support needs. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jan 28 '19 at 17:16
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Ah. I think the null claim is that it’s an inconsequential wording difference. That would explain the difference in how we’re seeing this. So I don’t think more support is forthcoming and we can just disagree. :) \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jan 28 '19 at 18:34

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.