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The Battle Master fighter's Commander's Strike maneuver (PHB, p. 74) states:

When you take the Attack action on your turn, you can forgo one of your attacks and use a bonus action to direct one of your companions to strike. When you do so, choose a friendly creature who can see or hear you and expend one superiority die. That creature can immediately use its reaction to make one weapon attack, adding the superiority die to the attack's damage roll.

However it is currently the only maneuver that actually requires you to take the Attack action. I found this odd, and the rare times that this fact came up, I simply ignored it, allowing it to be used with any sort of attack. I have thus made the following changes as a house rule:

When you make an attack on your turn, you can forgo the attack and use a bonus action to direct one of your companions to strike [...]

It would still be limited to one use per turn, as you only have one bonus action on any given turn, but perhaps there is some issue that results from this which I haven't noticed. What are the ramifications of this change?

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    \$\begingroup\$ When, in your experience, has your house-rule actually caused a difference compared to the original rule? (That is, why did you implement the house-rule in the first place?) \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Nov 7 at 7:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast primarily opportunity attacks being provoked \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Nov 7 at 8:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ Ah, okay. Was curious since it also requires a bonus action, which can only be taken on your turn (hence the nicheness of point #3 in atlowell's answer). \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Nov 7 at 8:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Even if your bonus action could be saved and used on someone else's turn, one of the unchanged clauses still says 'on your turn'. And since it still requires a bonus action you can't use Commander's Strike to replace an off-hand attack when two-weapon fighting. I'm currently not seeing what this actually changes. Is there an Action that results in an attack that isn't the Attack Action, like maybe a charge or grapple, that you want to allow Commander's Strike for? \$\endgroup\$ – aherocalledFrog Nov 7 at 16:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @aherocalledfrog any time an opportunity attack is provoked during your own turn \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Nov 7 at 16:19
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I can think of a couple of scenarios where it could theoretically be more powerful:

  1. If this ability were used by a creature with the Multiattack feature, it could be argued that it would only have to give up one of its attacks. So for instance if you somehow had an animal companion with multiattack gain enough levels in fighter to do this, it could theoretically be more powerful than originally intended. I'm not sure if there are any ways to do this RAW, however, and if so, it doesn't seem like that much of a power increase.

  2. The Attack action generally involves weapon attacks, not spell attacks.1 Under your wording, any attack is able to be given up, including spell attacks. While this wouldn't be a concern for single-attack spells, you could argue that being able to give up one of the bolts of eldritch blast (for example) to allow your companion to attack could be too powerful. This would be for you as the DM to decide.

  3. If an enemy has the ability to move on your turn and provokes an opportunity attack, you could use your reaction, make an attack, and then follow up by directing an ally to attack as a bonus action while still being free to use your action. This is a very niche scenario, however.

Overall, it doesn't seem to be game breaking, especially since it still requires giving up an attack. It also doesn't seem to make much difference in most situations other than allowing a PC fighter who has obtained spell attacks to use them in conjunction with this.


1 The wording in the book makes reference to spell attacks under the "Making an Attack" section, which is directly referenced by the "Attack" action section. However, this is ambiguous in wording, and as far as I know this is always overshadowed by the fact that casting a spell is considered part of the Cast a Spell action, not the Attack action, and thus isn't subject to Extra Attack.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. Good first answer! \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Nov 7 at 7:36
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One strange edge case would be giving the Battle Master the ability to force an enemy to provoke an Opportunity Attack - one example is some readings of the Dissonant Whispers spell. The use cases for this seem limited, though you could make a case for passing on your own attack to let the rogue over there shoot the guy instead of you.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Your "niche use case" is impossible: Commander's Strike requires the Fighter's bonus action as well. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Nov 7 at 15:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Instead of striking out an incorrect portion of your answer, you should simply edit it out if you find that it's inaccurate. There's no need to signal edits in text. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Nov 8 at 9:30

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