Can the Clockwork Amulet be used for all actions that require an attack? Can it be used for melee, ranged attacks, spells that cause damage, any monster attack?

Because for me it is not obvious, for example, (from the lore side) that the Mechanus will affect attacking spells that cause damage.


3 Answers 3


Mechanically, it works on any of your attack rolls.

The description poses no restrictions except that the attack must be yours. Melee, ranged, and spell attacks are affected. Other creatures are not affected, i.e. a monster's attack roll can never be affected unless the monster is the amulet's wearer for some reason. Also, not all damaging spells let you make an attack roll. Those that do, say so.

Lorewise, Mechanus's laws are all-encompassing.

The lore on Mechanus (DMG p. 66, and description of Modrons MM p. 224) state multiple times that it is a plane of absolute law and order. There is also no specific reason why spell attacks would be unaffected and the descriptions suggest that the rules of Mechanus do not include arbitrary exceptions. As as aside, the amulet's effect is an adaptation of the Law of Averages (DMG p. 66) which now applies to attack rolls instead of damage rolls. The description of the Law of Averages also specifically includes spell damage.


The Clockwork Amulet works for any attack roll that its wearer makes

The Clockwork Amulet states (emphasis mine):

[...] When you make an attack roll while wearing the amulet, you can forgo rolling the d20 to get a 10 on the die. [...]

The amulet works whenever you make an attack roll. There are no further restrictions on this so it can apply to any of your attack rolls no matter whether they are for melee, ranged, weapon, or spell attacks rolls.

Note that this item also only works for attack rolls that you (the wielder) make, so you cannot allow your ally to forgo a roll or force an enemy monster to roll a 10 on their die. This magic item only benefits the wearer's attack rolls.

Note also that this it must be activated before you actually roll the d20 for an attack roll because it involve you forgoing rolling the d20 meaning that you choose to not roll it in the first place.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Don't bury the lede. The bit about "there are no further restrictions" is the part that really answers this question. \$\endgroup\$
    – GcL
    Jun 8, 2020 at 17:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's better than not being bold. The first paragraph and third paragraph both answer related yet unasked questions. While interesting, they're tangents to answering the actual question. \$\endgroup\$
    – GcL
    Jun 8, 2020 at 17:27
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @ben Is there a reason Mechanus, the plane of absolute paw and order, would have no effect on spells? That said, I think anagkai's answer does a good job of addressing some of the lore \$\endgroup\$ Jun 8, 2020 at 18:23

As always, go back to the description, read it carefully, considering the meaning of each word. Often this alone can clear up confusion, or rules/mechanics that seem on their face unclear.

"When you make an attack roll while wearing the amulet, you can forgo rolling the d20 to get a 10 on the die. Once used, this property can't be used again until the next dawn."

So, when you (the player) make an attack roll (thus, any type of attack role - to-hit, melee/ranged spell-attack, etc - but not a grapple check (that is an attack (or part of and attack) that does not use an attack roll) you may choose to use this item. It does not say it requires use of an action/bonus action/reaction, so it is free to use, and need not be on your turn (so it could be used with an AoO that you are attempting to do).

Note it says "the d20" and "the die", not "the d20s", or "the dice", or "all d20s used for that attack roll", or some-such. "...the d20 to get a 10 on the die." is is singular - it applies to a single d20. So, if you are rolling with disadvantage - using two dice - two d20s, you can use a clockwork amulet to get a 10 on one of the two d20s that you are rolling. Then you take the lowest of those two. If you have two clockwork amulets then you could use them both, one per roll, to auto-get a 10 on both of the d20s. But, if you have only one clockwork amulet, it still helps - its use yields a 45% chance of getting a 1-9, and 55% of a 10, instead of the usual 69.75% chance of getting a 1-9. Without advantage/disadvantage or use of the amulet you normally have a 45% of getting a 1-9 - so the amulet does help. However, the mean roll with disadvantage and amulet use will be 7.75 instead of 10.5 (normal roll and no amulet use). So, comparing disadvantaged roll with single amulet use: same chance of 1-9, but reduced mean value.

Verdict: Use of a single clockwork amulet on a disadvantaged attack roll will reduce, but not completely eliminate the effect of the disadvantaged - which makes sense to me.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to rpg.se. Please note that meta commentary doesn't belong into an answer. You can use the comment section for that. Please take the tour and consider using the help center if anything is unclear. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Jan 24 at 4:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ To the down-voter: Yeah, you can vote this explanation down, but you can not change the meaning of the words that are written in the item description. Go ahead and try to contradict the linguistics, logic and mathematics that what I wrote above is based on. \$\endgroup\$
    – Greg
    Jan 24 at 4:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ This seems like a fairly solid answer, the rules to say that if you have adv you roll "a second" d20, so technically you have "the" d20 and "a second d20". Grammatically your argument makes sense. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 24 at 7:13

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