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Because the Breath Weapon is not an "attack", maybe I can attack with a net on the same turn?

When you use an action, bonus action, or reaction to attack with a net, you can make only one attack regardless of the number of attacks you can normally make.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour and visit the help center for any guidance about posting Q&As here. Happy gaming! \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Commented Feb 27, 2023 at 8:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you interested in knowing if you can attack with a net and with the Breath Weapon with one attack Action or in your turn? \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Commented Feb 27, 2023 at 16:05

3 Answers 3

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Using a net grants one and only one attack.

The quoted rules for the net explicitly say that when you attack with a net, you can make only one attack, regardless of the action type (Action, Bonus Action, Reaction) you employ for doing so.

The rules1 for the Breath Weapon from Fizban's Treasury of Dragons are

Breath Weapon. When you take the Attack action on your turn, you can replace one of your attacks with an exhalation of magical energy in a 30-foot line that is 5 feet wide.

Hence, you can use your Breath Weapon if and only if you use your Attack Action. If you're taking the Attack Action and you use a net, the special rules for such weapon specify that you have only one attack: you do not have further attacks to be substituted with your Breath Weapon.


1 I quoted the rules for chromatic dragonborns: a similar text is given for the other two dragonborn types.

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No, but maybe yes

For the record, the Breath Weapon ability in question says:

When you take the Attack action on your turn, you can replace one of your attacks with an exhalation of magical energy...

First the "No" part

Based on the wording of your question, you were hoping to throw the net and then use your breath weapon in the same Attack action, using the fact that the breath weapon doesn't make an attack roll to ignore the net's limitation on making more than one attack. The answer to this is no.

Your breath weapon replaces an attack, so you need to have an attack that you could have used in order to replace it, regardless of the fact that the breath weapon itself doesn't use a weapon or make an attack roll. Assuming you have Extra Attack and are using the Attack action, if you attack with a net, then you don't get any additional attacks, so you don't have an attack left that you could replace with your breath weapon.

But maybe "Yes"

However, note that the net special rule says you can only make one attack "as an action, bonus action, or reaction". It doesn't say "one attack during your whole turn".

If you have a way to gain another Attack action (such as a Fighter's Action Surge, the haste spell, or some similar thing) or a way to throw the net as a bonus action (such as the Battlemaster's "Quick Toss" maneuver from Tasha's), then you can throw the net and then make an Attack action that doesn't include the net, and with that you can fire off your breath weapon along with any other attacks you get the same as usual.

Haste is probably the best way to pull off this combo attack if you aren't a Battlemaster. Since you can only make one attack with the additional action anyway, and nothing says your haste-action has to come after your normal one, you can first use the extra action to throw your net without losing out on any attacks, then follow up with your normal action to make your usual attack routine, potentially replacing one with attack with your breath weapon.

And of course it's probably best if you happen to be able to do this right before the caster in initiative order, so that they can throw their big Dex-save spell and the target doesn't get a chance to escape from the net in between.

I'm not sure throwing a net is actually worth the effort other than these few situations, but that's perhaps a different discussion.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "or if you can throw the net with a bonus action somehow" - Quick Toss maneuver will let you do this. \$\endgroup\$
    – Adeptus
    Commented Mar 2, 2023 at 4:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Good point. I'll mention that specifically. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 2, 2023 at 20:13
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Probably not

The net action is designed to remove any Extra Attack type features.

If you bend the rules

So you take the attack action. You then substitute for one of your attacks a breath weapon use. At this point you have not made any attacks, and you have 1 attack remaining.

You then try to use a net. Is states you can only make one attack in the action if you use it; but you haven't made any attacks in this attack action.

Your DM won't let you

Unless your DM is a great fan of someone bending rules to the point of breaking, they won't let you get away with this degree of bending the rules.

Regardless, you should definitely check with your DM long before you spring this in the middle of a combat.

This could apply to Bladesingers as well

They have a similar substitution ability. If they subsituted an attack for a cantrip that doesn't have an attack, then used a net, the same logic (or lack thereof) applies.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I am not sure that Breath Weapon is not an attack. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Commented Feb 28, 2023 at 6:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Eddymage Attacks in 5e are a specific kind of d20 roll against AC and then damage. Breath Weapons aren't that. It is, as I said, a serious bending of the rules. \$\endgroup\$
    – Yakk
    Commented Feb 28, 2023 at 14:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's not true: Shove and Grapple are attacks but do not involve any attacks rolls and damage. If you're making an attack roll then you're making an attack, but the viceversa is not true. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Commented Feb 28, 2023 at 14:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Eddymage True; it is a "special melee attack". My error. My point is that Dragon Breath has no such clear exception carved out. \$\endgroup\$
    – Yakk
    Commented Feb 28, 2023 at 14:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ You're right that is not specified, but you are substituting one of your attacks with something that is called Breath Weapon... there some room for interpreting it in both ways, even if in 5e names do not completely refers to what the game feature is actually doing (e.g., Chill touch). \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Commented Feb 28, 2023 at 14:57

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