I've been looking at combat maneuvers recently, and I'm a bit confused about when superiority dice are added to the roll. It says the following under the class feature of the Battle Master archetype, Superiority Dice:

A superiority die is expended when you use it.

I understand it in the case of some maneuvers, like Bait and Switch, where there are no checks or saves. But what about attacks like Precision Attack? Or skill boosts like Ambush? More pertinently to my curiosity, can you add the dice once you've learned of the outcome, potentially turning a failure into a success?


1 Answer 1


Depends on the manoeuvre

Each manoeuvre is very clear on when the superiority dice are expended.

For Ambush it is “When you make a Dexterity (Stealth) check or an initiative roll”.

For Precision Attack it is “When you make a weapon attack roll against a creature, you can expend one superiority die to add it to the roll. You can use this maneuver before or after making the attack roll, but before any effects of the attack are applied.”

  • \$\begingroup\$ I think I see your point. Just to clarify, you are saying that any superiority dice rolled for Ambush have to be rolled before you roll for Stealth or Initiative, whereas those rolled for Precision Attack can be rolled before or after because it says so? \$\endgroup\$
    – J Thompson
    Commented Jan 8 at 19:44

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