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The portent ability says, in part,

You can replace any attack roll, saving throw, or ability check made by you or a creature that you can see with one of these foretelling rolls. You must choose to do so before the roll, and you can replace a roll in this way only once per turn.

D&D Player's Handbook, page 116

The "Advantage and Disadvantage" section states,

When you have advantage or disadvantage and something in the game, such as the halfling’s Lucky trait, lets you reroll the d20, you can reroll only one of the dice.

D&D Player's Handbook, page 173

  • Does the portent ability fall under this section of the "Advantage and Disadvantage" rules?
  • When using the portent ability with advantage or disadvantage, do you replace the entire "attack roll, saving throw, or ability check", or just one of the dice?
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Lucky deals with the die roll, and so does Advantage/Disadvantage since it refers to the Lucky trait:

Lucky, PHB 28: When you roll a 1 on an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll.

Advantage, PHB 173: if a halfling has advantage on an ability check and rolls a 1 and a 13, the halfling could use the Lucky trait to reroll the 1

Portent, on the other hand deals with the check as a whole:

You can replace any attack roll, saving throw, or ability check ... with one of these foretelling rolls.

And here comes the interesting part, the three emphasized terms are only mentioned in rules as actions, not numbers:

Attack roll, PHB 194: To make an attack roll, roll a d20 and add the appropriate modifiers. If the total of the roll plus modifiers equals or exceeds the target’s Armor Class (AC), the attack hits.

Saving throw, PHB 179: To make a saving throw, roll a d20 and add the appropriate ability modifier ... A saving throw can be modified by a situational bonus or penalty ... proficiency in a saving throw lets a character add his or her proficiency bonus

Ability check, PHB 171: To make an ability check, roll a d20 and add the relevant ability modifier. As with other d20 rolls, apply bonuses and penalties, and compare the total to the DC.

All three go the standard way:

  1. Roll a d20, get a number
  2. In case of (dis-)advantage: roll another d20, get a new number (or keep the old)
  3. Add bonuses/penalties, get the final number
  4. Compare the final number with the AC/DC and get the final success/failure answer

From the strict RAW reading of Portent we have to replace steps 1–4 (the whole check) with a number (foretelling roll), which makes no sense, as the result has to be boolean – success/failure.

If we loosen the restrictions, the logical thing to say would be "In the context of Portent, attack roll/saving throw/ability check is the number to be compared with the AC/DC" (i.e. the result of Step 3 above). In this interpretation "You must choose to do so before the roll" means that the decision is made before Step 1 and therefore no actual die roll happens. The modifiers are applied to the foretold roll as normal (proof).

The portent die is intended to replace a d20 roll only, not any modifiers applied to it.

This result is RAI as well, the whole point is that the character knows in advance what is going to happen.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Portent replaces the number roll of a dice, it does not replace the modifiers, which still take effect with the portent number in place of the rolled check. This is confirmed by Jeremy Crawford, here sageadvice.eu/2016/04/23/… \$\endgroup\$ – jprepo1 Feb 12 '18 at 11:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @jprepo1 technically, he confirms the exact opposite; he says that the intention was not for the ability to replace the modifiers, which implies that replacing the modifiers is what happened and they wish that it wasn't the case. \$\endgroup\$ – the dark wanderer Apr 15 '18 at 21:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ That is not at all what he says, the verbatim ruling is "A Portent roll replaces a d20 roll, not modifiers. #DnD" Therefore, the modifiers are added to the roll the portent replaces. \$\endgroup\$ – jprepo1 Aug 14 '18 at 15:17
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You've quoted the applicable rules, but I'm going to include one here with some custom emphasis:

You can replace any attack roll, saving throw, or ability check made by you or a creature that you can see with one of these foretelling rolls. You must choose to do so before the roll, and you can replace a roll in this way only once per turn.

An attack roll with advantage or disadvantage is still an attack roll, not two attack rolls. Likewise for saving throws and ability checks. You're not replacing the roll of a die, you're replacing the result of an attack roll, saving throw, or ability check.

As for the second rule you quote:

When you have advantage or disadvantage and something in the game, such as the halfling’s Lucky trait, lets you reroll the d20, you can reroll only one of the dice.

The Portent ability clearly doesn't come under this rule, since its effect is not a reroll of any kind.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The 2018 PHB errata changes both mentions of "reroll" in the Advantage rule to "reroll or replace". Since Portent says it replaces the roll, it clearly now falls under the rule. You may want to update your answer accordingly. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jun 27 at 10:35
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New Answer - 2018 Errata

The 2018 PHB Errata changes the wording of Advantage and Disadvantage to

When you have advantage or disadvantage and something in the game, such as the halfling’s Lucky trait, lets you reroll or replace the d20, you can reroll or replace only one of the dice. You choose which one. For example, if a halfling has advantage on an ability check and rolls a 1 and a 13, the halfling could use the Lucky trait to reroll the 1.

Therefore, the new answer is that the portent dice only can replace one of the dice that were rolled. For example, consider the sequence of events

  1. The wizard declares he is using Portent before the roll. For example, he declares an attack and uses his 18 roll.
  2. The wizard rolls 2 die due to advantage or disadvantage. E.g. rolls 2 and 10 with disadvantage.
  3. The 2 is replaced by the 18.
  4. Disadvantage resolves. The resulting dice is 10.

Old Answer

This section is maintained for historical purpose. This answer is no longer correct due to the 2018 Errata.

black_fm answered the question, but since then, we've actually gotten an official response from Crawford on Twitter. Also note: Crawford's tweets are no longer official rulings.

The way it works, as written by Crawford (or at least how I understand his tweet), is:

  1. The wizard declares he is using Portent before the roll. For example, he declares an attack and uses his 18 roll.
  2. The wizard rolls 2 die due to advantage or disadvantage. E.g. rolls 2 and 19 with disadvantage.
  3. The advantage/disadvantage resolves. The result is a roll of 2.
  4. The 2 is replaced by the 18.

Note that steps 2 and 3 are "useless" since they are being replaced by the 18 anyway. But it might help to understand what an "attack roll" means in the Portent writing sense - it's the resulting roll (in the example, 2) from the action.

As mentioned by black_fm, this makes sense when you read the Portent as "the Wizard knows exactly what is going to happen" - it means he knows he is going to hit his spell even when the enemy is hidden (i.e. even with disadvantage).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The 2018 PHB errata changes both mentions of "reroll" in the Advantage rule to "reroll or replace". Since Portent says it replaces the roll, it clearly now falls under the rule. You may want to update your answer accordingly. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jun 27 at 10:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ The wording is still different. The errata of Adv/Dis says to re-roll or replace one of the dice, portent still says to replace the roll. To my mind there is still sufficient ambiguity here to support multiple interpretations. \$\endgroup\$ – keithcurtis Jun 28 at 16:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @keithcurtis From the Lucky wording ("When you roll a 1 on an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll."), it seems "roll" and "die" are used interchangeably (or, specifically, "a roll" is the numerical result of rolling a die). As it is currently worded, I agree with V2Blast that Portent falls under the new rules. \$\endgroup\$ – HellSaint Jun 28 at 16:57
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I think the best thing to do here is to compare the wording on Lucky and Portent:

Halflings, PHB 28 (emphasis mine):

Lucky. When you roll a 1 on an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll.

Portent, PHB 116 (emphasis mine):

You can replace any attack roll, saving throw, or ability check made by you or a creature that you can see with one of these foretelling rolls. You must choose to do so before the roll, and you can replace a roll in this way only once per turn.

As you can see, both use the same wording (aside from a difference in ordering), so it should be assumed that they work in the same way and that each replaces the same things.

Advantage and Disadvantage, PHB 173 (emphasis mine):

When you have advantage or disadvantage and something in the game, such as the halfling’s Lucky trait, lets you reroll the d20, you can reroll only one of the dice. You choose which one.

The way this is worded, it is meant as a general rule, with Lucky as an example, rather than the only case. Since Lucky and Portent both replace the same thing, we can then surmise that this means that Portent interacts with Advantage and Disadvantage in the same way.

Thus, using Portent allows you to replace one of the rolls you make when you have advantage or disadvantage, before you roll them.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This answer seems to match Crawford's recent tweet in that a die roll is replaced, but any bonuses still apply to the replacement roll. Is that how you read it? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Aug 18 '16 at 18:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ Not quite. Portent replaces what would be the resultant roll of Advantage or Disadvantage. See here. sageadvice.eu/2016/03/24/diviner-wizard-portent \$\endgroup\$ – jprepo1 Feb 12 '18 at 11:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ Portent doesn't let you reroll, it replaces the roll, before it is rolled. So it doesn't fit that clause of Adv/Dis. \$\endgroup\$ – Adeptus May 17 '18 at 3:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ The 2018 PHB errata changes both mentions of "reroll" in the Advantage rule to "reroll or replace". Since Portent says it replaces the roll, it clearly now falls under the rule. You may want to update your answer accordingly. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jun 27 at 10:36
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There are two logical conclusions here, and neither one of them is particularly satisfying.

  • The first and most obvious is that advantage/disadvantage is ignored, and you replace the entire roll with the chosen die.

  • The second is that you extend the ruling on pg 173 to include straight up die replacement in addition to rerolls and then roll a second die to see if you do better/worse than you replacement die.

Neither of these rulings is particularly satisfactory to me. The first removes disadvantage/advantage from play entirely. This can be good (replacing disadvantage) or largely unnecessary (replacing advantage). The second means that it's almost never a good idea to use this power at all when you have advantage/disadvantage, and relies on an extension of a rule that I find a tenuous though plausible leap.

The second interpretation basically relies on redefining this as a pre-reroll, which you could definitely make the case that it is. But at the same time, I find the idea a bit of a stretch.

Both of these are pretty unsatisfactory though. However, all is not lost. Most rolls in the game are not subject to advantage/disadvantage, and thus, this ability is super useful without needing to delve into this complication.

So pick an interpretation that works for your table, and go with that. However, more importantly, don't get too hung up on this because it's not super likely to come up, and even if it is, it's one roll.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The 2018 PHB errata changes both mentions of "reroll" in the Advantage rule to "reroll or replace". Since Portent says it replaces the roll, it clearly now falls under the rule. You may want to update your answer accordingly. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jun 27 at 10:37
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On Twitter, Jeremy Crawford replies to a tweet:

"The portent die is intended to replace a d20 roll only, not any modifiers applied to it."

As much as I agree with black_fm's textual analysis...

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We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is almost just a comment, not an answer, but if you expand it to contain your full position (so your answer will remain valid even if the others are deleted), it'd be great. \$\endgroup\$ – user17995 Aug 11 '15 at 2:11
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When you use Portent to replace a roll with advantage or disadvantage, you replace one of the two d20s.

This has been clearly addressed by the 2018 PHB errata:

[New] Advantage and Disadvantage (p. 173). In the first sentence of the fourth paragraph, both instances of “reroll” have been changed to “reroll or replace.”

The relevant portion of the rule on Advantage and Disadvantage in the PHB and Basic Rules now reads (emphasis mine):

When you have advantage or disadvantage and something in the game, such as the halfling's Lucky trait, lets you reroll or replace the d20, you can reroll or replace only one of the dice. You choose which one. For example, if a halfling has advantage or disadvantage on an ability check and rolls a 1 and a 13, the halfling could use the Lucky trait to reroll the 1.

Previously, that portion of the rule only applied to features that let you reroll a d20 after the initial roll, but now that has been expanded to features - like the School of Divination wizard's Portent feature (PHB, p. 116) - that let you replace the die instead of rerolling it:

You can replace any attack roll, saving throw, or ability check made by you or a creature that you can see with one of these foretelling rolls. You must choose to do so before the roll, and you can replace a roll in this way only once per turn.

As of the 2018 PHB errata, it is clear that when you use Portent to replace an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw that you have advantage or disadvantage on, you replace one of the two die rolls (before you make it), and then roll the other die.


For reference, the Portent feature replaces only the d20, not the entire roll; modifiers are still added to it. This is supported by this unofficial tweet from 2015 by rules designer Jeremy Crawford:

When using a Diviner's portent die, are modifiers added to the portent die, or is the portent die used as is?

The portent die is intended to replace a d20 roll only, not any modifiers applied to it.

And again in this 2016 tweet:

Sorry, follow up: and does diviner's portent replace roll only or roll plus modifiers? Thanks again.

A Portent roll replaces a d20 roll, not modifiers.

As such, it is clear that, post-errata, Portent replaces only one of the dice when rolling at advantage or disadvantage.

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The 2018 Errata, while confusing the issue, does not touch upon the official Sage Advice ruling's logic.

Portent replaces the ROLL, not the die. And The Sage Advice even ceded that this was Rules-As-Intended. There was no mention of the "reroll" wording at all.

So absent another official ruling otherwise I believe the original 2016 ruling stands.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome! Please take the tour and check the help center for further guidance. Keep in mind that the format of this site is not the same as in a forum. This was posted as an answer but it seems to be actually responding to another answer instead of the original question and as such should probably be a comment instead. Alternatively, you can edit this answer to have it answer the question, make it complete and stand on its own by including references to what you are saying. Thank you and happy gaming! \$\endgroup\$ – Sdjz May 24 at 11:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ In addition to what Sdjz said, Portent does indeed replace the d20, not the modifiers added to it. Jeremy Crawford reiterates this here and here. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast May 24 at 20:04
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Thematically Speaking, I would say that it completely ignores advantage/disadvantage rules. Remember that the ability is based on seeing the future and knowing specifically what will happen. This is not a case of luck (rolling of the dice), it is essentially setting the event to occurring as predicted. Therefore it would ignore any circumstances as such.

In addition, being told that portent doesn't replace both dice in such a situation makes numerous players far more reluctant to ever play the divination school in comparison to the many others.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The question is specifically tagged rules as written, which means answers MUST refer to official rules in order to qualify \$\endgroup\$ – Wibbs Mar 19 '15 at 9:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ For more information, see What, exactly, is the RAW tag for? \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Mar 19 '15 at 9:48

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