D&D 5E Force Cage (casting spells through..)

Hey All,

I haven't had to worry about this spell until now where my player's characters are now in the 'teens for levels.

Reading the text of the spell says that you can create either a cage or a solid box. I noticed that the text for the spell is very specific about the effects caused by this choice.

The box version has the following text: ".. in the shape of a box ...creating a solid barrier that prevents any matter from passing through it and blocking any spells cast into or out from the area." There is no such description in the cage variant except a physical description of the cage's construction. Does this mean that a creature trapped within the cage variant is free to cast or be affected by spells to/from the cage? I noticed that the proviso about blocking spells is only in the box variant.

Is there any erratta or clarification about this?

M
 

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You're correct. The box prevents spells from coming in or going out while the cage does not. The cage variant combined with spells like sickening radiance can be very deadly to those trapped inside.
 


Oofta

Legend
The solid box version can be just as deadly, since air can't pass through the barrier.
According to a quick google search, a 5 foot cube of air gives you air to breath for about 20 minutes. Since the spell lasts for 1 hour, in most cases it will get quite stuffy but not kill you unless the cube is exceptionally crowded or perhaps with a large creature. :)

On the other hand, it's magic. I wouldn't have anything trapped suffocate because the spell is already overpowered.
 

MarkB

Legend
According to a quick google search, a 5 foot cube of air gives you air to breath for about 20 minutes. Since the spell lasts for 1 hour, in most cases it will get quite stuffy but not kill you unless the cube is exceptionally crowded or perhaps with a large creature. :)
Its volume is maybe four times that of a portable hole, and creatures in those suffocate after ten minutes.
On the other hand, it's magic. I wouldn't have anything trapped suffocate because the spell is already overpowered.
This feels like part of that power to me. The box being impermeable is a feature.
 

Oofta

Legend
Its volume is maybe four times that of a portable hole, and creatures in those suffocate after ten minutes.

This feels like part of that power to me. The box being impermeable is a feature.

I'm going by the actual science of how much air you need to breath, not some designer that has no clue. Or perhaps a portable hole doesn't retain air in it's pocket dimension according to it's magic.

Do what you want, forcecage is already an overpowered spell, I'm not going to have it also be a death sentence to anyone trapped inside.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
Its volume is maybe four times that of a portable hole, and creatures in those suffocate after ten minutes.

This feels like part of that power to me. The box being impermeable is a feature.
The impermeability may be a feature, but no explicit mention of suffocation is made - unlike for a portable hole. Reading suffocation into the force cage effect seems to me to be adding a whole lot of unintended consequences into an already powerful spell.
 

Gadget

Adventurer
The suffocation argument is in the 'bag of rats' category in my book. I don't think any sane DM would allow that. As for spells passing through the 'cage' version, I would at least rule that persons on the other side of the cage benefit from 3/4 cover. That would put a crimp in some things, but most higher level spells do not require an attack role. I would be tempted to rule that most spells that require a line of effect might have trouble with passing through the 1/2 inch space between the bars. For example, the bead from a fireball might prematurely impact on the pars and detonate early. This more into house rules territory and still wouldn't help much with things like Sickening Radiance though.

I wonder if disallowing the cage version of the spell would make the spell less obnoxious? Not only would you not be able to pester the victim while trapped, it has a smaller area and would not accommodate huge sized creatures.
 


MarkB

Legend
The suffocation argument is in the 'bag of rats' category in my book. I don't think any sane DM would allow that.
I'm honestly a bit surprised at the amount of pushback on that. It always seemed inherent to the concept to me.
As for spells passing through the 'cage' version, I would at least rule that persons on the other side of the cage benefit from 3/4 cover. That would put a crimp in some things, but most higher level spells do not require an attack role. I would be tempted to rule that most spells that require a line of effect might have trouble with passing through the 1/2 inch space between the bars. For example, the bead from a fireball might prematurely impact on the pars and detonate early.
That wouldn't exactly matter though, since fireball's radius is equal to the cage's diameter, and its effect spreads around corners. If it detonates on the bars, it toasts the occupants.
 

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