How would Colossus Slayer interact with a frag grenade or thrown bomb? As it is a single ranged attack, would you inflict additional damage to every enemy in the AoE?

Here's the rule:

Colossus Slayer: Your tenacity can wear down the most potent foes. When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, the creature takes an extra 1d8 damage if it's below its hit point maximum. You can deal this extra damage only once per turn.


closed as unclear what you're asking by Miniman, nitsua60, daze413, SevenSidedDie Aug 23 '16 at 1:36

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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you talking about the grenades featured in the Modern Weapons section in the DMG, or a homebrew alternative? \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Aug 23 '16 at 0:41

If you are talking about the bombs and grenades on page 267 of the DMG then Colossus Slayer does not apply, because the Ranger is not making an attack. No Attack Roll will be made - those in the area of effect will make a Saving Throw to avoid damage.

In general, AoE attacks always involve Saving Throws not Attack Rolls, so Colossus Slayer is never going to come into play with AoE damage. This includes thrown flasks (oil, holy water, acid), caltrops, etc. (Hat-tip SirTechSpec.)

It might come up with an arrow of fireballs or bolt of detonation type item - a piece of missile ammo which hits a target and then explodes. Usually with these items, an Attack Roll determines whether or not the primary target is hit and then a Saving Throw determines whether a nearby target is damaged. In this case, Colossus Slayer would only apply to the initial target, not to the nearby targets since no Attack Roll was made against them. I don't see any such items in the 5E DMG, however.

  • \$\begingroup\$ +1. I was going to say this answer seems like a cop-out - taking it in the spirit it's asked, what if it's some other ranged weapon that did use an attack roll? - but then it occurred to me that in general, AoE effects are resolved with saving throws in 5e, and only single-target moves are resolved with attack rolls against the target's AC. So I can't think of a situation where it would actually come up. \$\endgroup\$ – SirTechSpec Aug 23 '16 at 1:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SirTechSpec Problem is, if they're using some homebrew grenade, there's no telling what kind of crazy rules it has. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Aug 23 '16 at 1:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Miniman I guess I was assuming, on reflection, that if the OP had homebrewed something that worked that differently from everything we know (i.e. requiring attack rolls against multiple targets for a single attack) they would have said so. Hopefully we'll get some clarification. \$\endgroup\$ – SirTechSpec Aug 23 '16 at 1:42

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