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Normal Two-Weapon Fighting lets you use your bonus action when you've used your action to attack. It says:

You don't add your ability modifier to the damage of the bonus attack, unless that modifier is negative.

The new Tasha's Cauldron subclass Soulknife has a feature where you can create a blade of energy and attack with it, and that says:

After you attack with the blade, you can make a melee or ranged weapon attack with a second psychic blade as a bonus action on the same turn, provided your other hand is free to create it. The damage die of this bonus attack is 1d4, instead of 1d6.

It looks to me that, while this is similar to Two-Weapon Fighting, it is not that same, and the normal bonus to damage would apply. Am I right?

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Not adding the modifier is a special feature of TWF.

The rules for damage say:

When attacking with a weapon, you add your ability modifier — the same modifier used for the attack roll — to the damage.

Notice there is no mention of this being an attack action or attack with a bonus action. This is the general rule for making an attack.

In contrast, two weapon fighting has a specific rule:

You don't add your ability modifier to the damage of the bonus attack, unless that modifier is negative.

This rule is specific to two weapon fighting - it creates an exception to the general rule for damage rolls.

So you add your modifier to the damage of Soul knife’s bonus action attack since nothing in the ability contradicts the general rule of adding your ability modifier to the damage.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I like this answer because it also highlights that the reason TWF doesn't get it is because specific overrides general. \$\endgroup\$ – Jase Nov 23 '20 at 14:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for confirming! \$\endgroup\$ – mattdm Nov 23 '20 at 15:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @mattdm Note that the same logic applies to other TWF-like sources of a secondary attack, such as the Polearm Master feat or the double-bladed scimitar in Eberron. \$\endgroup\$ – Darth Pseudonym Nov 23 '20 at 16:33

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