D&D 5E Can an unseen servant fly?


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Gadget

Adventurer
Unseen Servant creates an 'invisible, mindless, shapeless, medium force' that 'springs into existence' in 'an unoccupied space on the ground' within range. it does not have a body and its manner of locomotion is not specified, but is unlikely to be walking or crawling as we would think of it, since it is a 'shapeless' force. I do not see a movement speed associated with the Servant, just that the caster can 'mentally command' the Servant to move up to 15 feet and interact with an object. The caveat about doing things a human servant could do is in the next paragraph and refers to the kind of tasks it can preform, not its manner of locomotion. If it wasn't for the requirement of being summoned on the ground, one could easily assume that it just 'floats' (for lack of a better term) in the space summoned and thus hovers over to where the caster commands.

I could easily see a DM ruling that it does indeed 'fly.' I would also state that it does not set off trip wires or pressure plates automatically, as it is a shapeless force and has no weight to set such things off. It could, however, set them off as part of a commanded object interaction, if such was within the strength limitations of the Servant. A pressure plate may require a force (or weight) greater than the Servant's strength score of 2 could achieve.
 
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Incenjucar

Legend
D&D magic does as D&D magic does. Perhaps it conforms to logic and/or physics, perhaps not. But I see no reason why, say, a magical fire might not share various properties with a natural physical fire. In their games, GMs and players can extrapolate to the extent that gives them satisfaction.
D&D magical fire does not at all conform to how actual fire works.

A real fireball in an enclosed space would suffocate everyone and cause a huge pressure wave.
 


Vaalingrade

Legend
It does what it's told.

Unseen servant is an example of something that, "... can perform simple tasks that a human servant could do, such as fetching things, cleaning, mending, folding clothes, lighting fires, serving food, and pouring wine."
Yeah. That's the issue.

The spell is word salad because it's trying to do too many things and not do many things at all.

The intention seems to be something like an automated mage hand, but can't seem to turn the corner from the word 'servant' in its name, so we get this treatment like a proto-summon with language to prevent a 'whale drop' and the word 'command' for a thing that can't possibly understand or comprehend commands. Plus using 'human servant' as a way to enumerate what this magic robot does has got a LOT of people hung up on that when it's largely irrelevant to its operation.

And all this plus the range and time limits and a slot cost ends up creating a spell that is inferior to having a human servant.

Scrub it all, Mr Osbourne. Back to formula.
 

greg kaye

Explorer
The spell is ... trying to do too many things.
The spell is telling us that "The servant can perform simple tasks that a human servant could do, such as fetching things, cleaning, mending, folding clothes, lighting fires, serving food, and pouring wine," and that, "Once you give the command, the servant performs the task to the best of its ability until it completes the task, then waits for your next command." By "mindless" I just take it that it can't decide to initiate action of it's own volition. It can do all the rest. How does it do it? Who knows. It does.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Then say it doesn't take initiative on its own. Don't use a term used elsewhere with an actual definition.

I agree; it's trying to tell us something. Trying to desperately. But it is bad at communicating.
 


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