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I'm making a Hexblade warlock with Polearm Master, and I'm thinking about getting a level of fighter for the Dueling Fighting Style.

I have some questions about how these interact with the Eldritch Smite warlock invocation:

  • Does the Dueling fighting style boost Eldritch Smite damage?
  • Does Eldritch Smite get bonus damage from the 1st-level Hex spell?
  • Does Eldritch Smite get bonus damage from the Hexblade's Curse feature?
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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to rpg.se! Take the tour and visit the help center for additional guidance. This isn't a bad first question though is does border on asking multiple questions. I'll let you know we have a 1 question per post policy which you should keep in mind for future questions. No need to change this one as it's only borderline, just thought I'd tell you since you're new. Thanks for participating and happy gaming! \$\endgroup\$ – linksassin Apr 30 at 23:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ Related: Hexblade’s Curse, Hex and Bestow Curse stacking \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast May 1 at 1:27
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Ultimately yes, with some caveats that I think may not be what you are intending.

The Eldritch Smite warlock invocation (XGtE, p. 56) reads:

Once per turn when you hit a creature with your pact weapon, you can expend a warlock spell slot to deal an extra 1d8 force damage to the target, plus another 1d8 per level of the spell slot, and you can knock the target prone if it is Huge or smaller.

This is an extra die or dice that is/are added to your damage roll, the same with Hex:

Until the spell ends, you deal an extra 1d6 necrotic damage... PHB pg. 251

"Damage rolls" are specified on pg. 196 of the PHB:

Each weapon, spell, and harmful monster ability specifies the damage it deals. You roll the damage die or dice, add any modifiers, and apply the damage to your target.

Since each ability specifically states that your "damage roll" and not "damage die/dice" are getting the boost, this indicates the following:

It does not add an extra +2 to each die that is rolled, just to the overall result of all dice rolled for damage. This also applies to Hexblade's Curse:

You gain a bonus to damage rolls against the cursed target. The bonus equals your proficiency bonus. -XGtE pg. 55

They can stack though, with both being applied at the end of all damage rolled.

Dueling in the PHB on pg. 72 reads as such (emphasis mine):

When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon.

Also of note is that if you are wielding the Polearm two-handed, it does not add the extra damage, as it is explicitly stated it must be in one hand.

It should also be kept in mind that the Eldritch Smite invocation is boosting the damage of an attack you are already making, so it is not Eldritch Smite that is getting an additional damage die by Hex but the damage roll while using Eldritch Smite.

The end result of all of the above being used at once, assuming you are using a Quarterstaff as your pact weapon since that is one of only two polearms (the other being a spear with the same damage die and different damage type) that can be used one handed, would be on a hit your damage roll consists of the following: 1d6 bludgeoning (Quarterstaff), 1d6 necrotic (Hex), 2d8 force (Eldritch Smite [assuming level 1 slot]), +2 (dueling style), +2 (Hexblade's Curse adding proficiency bonus assuming low level in both classes), +3 (an assumed value for your Strength modifier)

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    \$\begingroup\$ The D&D Beyond link in your answer seems to point to a homebrew "spell" someone made that copies the text of the Eldritch Smite invocation from Xanathar's. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast May 1 at 1:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast So it did, thank you for the catch \$\endgroup\$ – Seidr May 1 at 1:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ You might want to clarify that none of these other bonuses to damage are interacting directly with Eldritch Smite. In fact, Eldritch Smite itself is extra damage on the original attack with the pact weapon that hit; all the other specified features are also capable of modifying the same damage roll. (In other words, there's only one damage roll, which all the other features modify by adding more dice or flat damage to it.) \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast May 1 at 1:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ The 2018 PHB errata modified Polearm Master to apply to spears as well, so quarterstaffs aren't the only one-handed weapon usable with it. (Spears also have the thrown and versatile property.) \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast May 1 at 1:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ Actually, the Eldritch Smite would be 2d8. Per the description is does a base 1d8 plus 1d8 per spell slot. So a 1st level spell slot means only one additional 1d8. \$\endgroup\$ – MivaScott May 1 at 4:13

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