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After asking this question for clarifications on how the acid damage dealt by the toad's Swallow works, I realised I need another explanation about this attack. A Giant Toad can make a Swallow attack on a creature it has grappled, as follows:

Swallow. The toad makes a bite attack against a Medium or smaller target it is grappling. If the attack hits, the target is swallowed, and the grapple ends. The swallowed target is blinded and restrained [...]

Specifying what happens if said attack hits, the text doesn't mention damage at all. Does this mean Bite is referenced only for its range and attack roll bonus? If yes, then Swallow doesn't deal damage at all, aside from the acid damage starting from the next turn (according to the conclusions drawn from my previous question). If no, then the damage of Bite is rolled and applied, followed by the effects of Swallow. Is this correct?

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2 Answers 2

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Yes

Swallow. The toad makes a bite attack

The toad makes its bite attack with normal resolution. If the attack hits, it deals damage. Additionally, it allows the Toad to use Swallow.

This is the general rule — when a creature has the "makes X attack(s)" phrase in its action description, that means it makes this attack and deals its damage, if the attack hits. The most obvious example is the Multiattack action:

Multiattack. The bear makes two attacks: one with its bite and one with its claws.

See the corresponding attack description to figure out the damage total.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "the toad can't bite another target" - so the toad can't Attack at all. It can't bite and has already swallowed a target. Quite disappointing. Or can it perform an unarmed strike? \$\endgroup\$
    – StackLloyd
    Sep 5, 2019 at 12:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @StackLloyd the toad can hit (and swallow) only the target it is already grappling with its mouth \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Sep 5, 2019 at 12:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @enkrypotr Yes, that was clear, I meant: once it has swallowed someone, it can't attack anymore, right? \$\endgroup\$
    – StackLloyd
    Sep 5, 2019 at 12:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @StackLloyd it can because the grapple ends when swallowing. the bite restriction only functions while grappling (this is extending the scope of comments and a new question might've been better here) \$\endgroup\$
    – Sdjz
    Sep 5, 2019 at 12:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @StackLloyd Oh no worries, there is no penalty in making a few questions in a row on a related subject as long as each individual question is good \$\endgroup\$
    – Sdjz
    Sep 5, 2019 at 13:01
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It is ambiguous, but other creatures specify they do, while the giant frog does not

While the other answer gives a good reason why it might do the bite damage, I'd like to pose a reason why it might not.

Consider a few other creature's swallow attack descriptions, like the Tarrasque and Remorhaz:

Swallow. The tarrasque makes one bite attack against a Large or smaller creature it is grappling. If the attack hits, the target takes the bite's damage, the target is swallowed, and the grapple ends.

Swallow. The remorhaz makes one bite attack against a Medium or smaller creature it is grappling. If the attack hits, that creature takes the bite's damage and is swallowed, and the grapple ends.

Meanwhile, the Giant Frog's swallow attack description does not include the part about the bite attack dealing damage:

Swallow. The toad makes a bite attack against a Medium or smaller target it is grappling. If the attack hits, the target is swallowed, and the grapple ends.

Considering the tarrasque and remorhaz both specifiy that it does the bite damage and the giant frog does not, it leads me to believe the giant frog does not do the bite damage when making a swallow attack.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The existence of unnecessary helper text elsewhere does not mean we can infer the opposite of the helper text when it is absent. -1. \$\endgroup\$ May 23, 2023 at 15:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ This seems to me like a valid use of the "exception that proves the rule" argument. It's certainly ambiguous (just like GEONE said), but text used to spell out that an effect occurs in some situations can lend credence to the idea that this effect does not occur by default (i.e. in the absence of similar text). \$\endgroup\$ May 23, 2023 at 15:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ NOTE: I've also upvoted enkryptor's answer: I consider both well reasoned. \$\endgroup\$ May 23, 2023 at 15:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov True enough if we knew it was helper text. However, since the text in question does not label itself as 'unnecessary helper text' I don't see a prima facie way to distinguish it from the alternative, the exception that has to be spelled out because it differs from the default. Why do you assume one and not the other? \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    May 24, 2023 at 3:02

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