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Are there any class abilities I'm not aware of that allow a character to negate/disable the Disengage action?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I meant more like shutting it down, but Carcosa and LizWeir both provided answers to this question. You can't shut it down, but you can benefit with a free hit, with Sentinel feat, and arguably with Booming Blade. \$\endgroup\$ – NoodleKeeper May 2 at 7:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ What does it mean to "shut [the Disengage action] down", though? Disengage grants a benefit: letting you move without provoking opportunity attacks. Are you talking about preventing characters from taking the Disengage action at all in the first place? \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast May 2 at 7:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, I didn't expect the answer to be yes, but I figured it couldn't hurt to ask, and I learned some very useful stuff in the process. \$\endgroup\$ – NoodleKeeper May 2 at 7:08
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The Sentinel feat

A quick search for the keyword "Disengage" across all published classes returns no class features that allow a player to make an opportunity attack against an opponent that has taken the Disengage action, or otherwise specifically cancel a Disengage.

However, there is the Sentinel feat (PHB, p. 169-170), which grants the following benefit (among a few others):

Creatures provoke opportunity attacks from you even if they take the Disengage action before leaving your reach.

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    \$\begingroup\$ For comparison, this is a DDB search of character options for the word "Disengage"; the Sentinel feat is the only result. (There is also a cursed magic item from Dead in Thay whose curse is activated by the Disengage action: the loadstone.) \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast May 2 at 0:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ The DDB search does not actually seem particularly complete, as there are definitely class features it has failed to pick up (with the Rogue's Cunning Action being the first to come to mind.) \$\endgroup\$ – Carcosa May 2 at 1:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Carcosa: Yeah, you're right. I tested with a search for "invisible" with the "Characters" filter selected, but the Gloom Stalker ranger's Umbral Sight didn't show up (which I figured should appear there). I'm guessing it has something to do with how racial traits/class features are programmed in - the search results seem to include hits from flavor text for races/classes/subclasses, but not from feature names or descriptions themselves. (There seems to be no such distinction for other result types.) \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast May 2 at 1:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ ...That said, I just opened every single class page on DDB - I own everything in the current Legendary Bundle on DDB, so I have every subclass/character option - and searched the page with Ctrl+F for "disengage", and there were no results relating to negating it. So I can confirm that Carcosa's claim about class (and subclass) features is correct. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast May 2 at 1:30
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The booming blade cantrip discourages movement, and is unaffected by Disengage.

As well as the Sentinel feat, which allows a character to make opportunity attacks even if the enemy disengaged, the booming blade cantrip published in the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide (p. 142) performs a similar role.

When you cast booming blade, you make a single melee attack against the target. If you hit, it deals your normal attack damage, and if the target willingly moves before your next turn, it takes an additional die of damage.

This fills a similar, though slightly broader, role: the target is discouraged from taking any movement because they'll take damage if they do. Since this isn't an opportunity attack, the Disengage action doesn't help.

The cantrip is available to Sorcerers, Warlocks and Wizards.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I've erred on the side of vagueness about the exact mechanics of the cantrip - I've found sources for the full text online but my understanding was that it's not covered by the SRD so reproduction isn't actually allowed by Wizards of the Coast policy. If site standards allow I can tweak this to be a little more specific about how the spell works. \$\endgroup\$ – LizWeir May 1 at 7:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ Correct, Booming Blade is not in the SRD. (It's from SCAG; the SRD only includes a subset of content from the 3 core books: PHB, DMG, and MM.) That said, it's fine to quote only as much as necessary from a book to make your point; if you can express the point perfectly without quoting the exact wording, that's even better. The gist of our policy is that we don't necessarily stringently enforce copyright just for copyright's sake; we just want to provide an answer that will stand the test of time and avoid getting taken down, so it's best to quote only what is necessary. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast May 2 at 1:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ Perfect, thanks - I'll leave the answer in the current form, as I don't think this question is particularly concerned with the details of how the spell works beyond "damages the target if they move" so a quote isn't necessary. \$\endgroup\$ – LizWeir May 2 at 8:55
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Tunnel Fighter (UA that was never published)

Unearthed Arcana: Light, Dark, Underdark! presented a pair of new fighting styles that were never officially published in a book (though versions of all 3 subclasses from the same UA were later published). These 2 fighting styles would have been available to Fighters, Paladins, and Rangers. One of these fighting styles was Tunnel Fighter:

You excel at defending narrow passages, doorways, and other tight spaces. As a bonus action, you can enter a defensive stance that lasts until the start of your next turn. While in your defensive stance, you can make opportunity attacks without using your reaction, and you can use your reaction to make a melee attack against a creature that moves more than 5 feet while within your reach.

This fighting style wasn't made official, and it's unclear how this feature would react with the Disengage feature, which states that a character's movement doesn't provoke opportunity attacks. But given that Disengage's rules are a general rule and apply only to opportunity attacks, whereas Tunnel Fighter is specific and includes a clause that permits them to make a melee attack (not an opportunity attack) against creatures moving within their reach, this DM would rule that the design intent for Tunnel Fighter is to keep enemies from blitzing past the character and thus a character with Tunnel Fighter can use their Reaction to make a melee attack (not an opportunity attack) even against an enemy who takes the Disengage action.

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Class ability: Spellcasting

Classes: Bard, Warlock, Wizard

Spell: True Polymorph

Chosen Form: Ogre Battering Ram

Form Grants: Block the Path

"Also, each enemy that tries to move out of the ogre's reach without teleporting must succeed on a DC 14 Strength saving throw or have its speed reduced to 0 until the start of the ogre's next turn."

I expect there are other monsters that interfere with the Disengage action, but this is the first one that came to mind.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I’m confident the number of steps it took to get there disqualifies this from being a class ability. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Jul 20 at 3:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ I am equally confident that the currently accepted answer and most-upvoted is not a class ability in any number of steps. {shrug} \$\endgroup\$ – Kirt Jul 20 at 4:22

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