# D&D 5EHow Many Spaces on a Grid Does Cloud of Daggers Effect?

## How Much Space on a Grid Does Cloud of Daggers Take Up?

• ### 4

#### Hexmage-EN

##### Legend

I was thinking of taking Cloud of Daggers for my Wizard but I can't seem to find a clear answer on what the AoE for the spell is intended to be.

PHB said:
You fill the air with spinning daggers in a cube 5 feet on each side, centered on a point you choose within range

DMG said:
Choose an intersection of squares or hexes as the point of origin of an area of effect, then follow its rules as normal.

Based on these, I'm imagining this as the spell's AoE:

However, the spell's description states that it is a cube, an AoE mentioned in the PHB.

PHB said:
You select a cube’s point of origin, which lies anywhere on a face of the cubic effect. The cube’s size is expressed as the length of each side. A cube’s point of origin is not included in the cube’s area of effect, unless you decide otherwise.

This leads to interpretations that Cloud of Daggers only occupies a single space on a grid. However, this text states that a cube's point of origin is on the face of a cube, whereas the text for Cloud of Daggers states that cube produced by that spell has an origin in its center rather on a face.

Jeremy Crawford, when asked, basically said that the AoE is either one space or four spaces, whichever your DM prefers.

Crawford has also said that, save for AoEs that are circular, any space that an AoE covers to any degree is considered to be effected.

Compare to the cantrip Create Bonfire:

You create a bonfire on ground that you can see within range. Until the spell ends, the magic bonfire fills a 5-foot cube.

The wording here omits the game concept of a point as its origin, so it's clearer to me that only a single grid space would be affected. Plus it's a cantrip and not a 2nd-level spell, so a single space feels much more appropriate for an AOE.

I'm curious to see what the general consensus here is. Personally, I feel that the spell description for Cloud of Daggers contradicts the rules for cubic AoEs so much that it would be better written as a spherical AoE.

EDIT: I'm fairly confident now that Cloud of Daggers is supposed to be an AoE that can affect four squares but also does not fill them, so creatures can squeeze past unharmed but are hurt if they walk into it normally or are pushed in. No other AoE spell is like this, but no other AoE spell is described as a cube centered on a point (as far as I'm aware).

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#### Oofta

##### Legend
Spacing is just a game mechanic for position and movement. A person doesn't take up the entire 5 foot area, you just need that much room to maneuver in combat without interfering with anyone else. The dagger spell takes up 1 5 foot cube, you can't "split" it between multiple squares because the squares don't really exist. Try to target more than 1 and everyone will just move a foot or so and be unaffected.

#### Hexmage-EN

##### Legend
I changed the title of the thread to better get across my question. Unfortunately it doesn't seem I can change the wording of the poll.

#### Benjamin Olson

##### Hero
I rarely agree so whole heartedly with Jeremy Crawford, but basically what he is saying is that normally a player could place an effect like this to exactly fit in a single square, cross into two, or cross four, but that (presumably in a very grid combat focused group, a DM may choose to make effects center in squares and conform exactly to grid lines. That's exactly how I've always interpreted these things.

I don't know what more there is to say. Grid combat is optional, and hence 5e isn't built around it so thoroughly that there is a rigid rule for how every spell conforms to grid combat unless your table wants to create and enforce such rigidity.

Technically the answer is one, two, three, four, or, five squares (three and five are possible by angling the 5 foot square). In the case of 5 I wouldn't allow it because the points are only occupying a tiny portion of four squares, and it doesn't seem reasonable that characters (who, unless they are gelatenous cubes, do not occupy the entire space of a 5ft cube) would be effected by having such a slight invasion of their space.

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#### J.Quondam

##### CR 1/8
I read it as one five foot cube; or one square, if a grid is used.
Imo, the words in the spell description, "centered on a point you choose within range," are redundant and needlessly confusing. I interpret Crawford's typically handwave-y "snap to grid" comment here as an attempt to reconcile theater-of-mind play with tactical grid play.

#### ninjayeti

##### Hero
The whole point of using a grid is clarity and simplicity. So everything needs to "snap to grid" or it just becomes pointless. If a 5x5 AOE can span multiple squares, then can't characters just stand half in one square and half in another to avoid the part of square that is covered by the effect? At which point your not really using a grid at all.

#### darjr

##### I crit!
I’d allow the occasional chance to get more than one person. Mostly I’d ask the player to choose a person or a space/grid square if we were using it.

I otherwise agree with Jeremy Crawford.

#### Benjamin Olson

##### Hero
The whole point of using a grid is clarity and simplicity. So everything needs to "snap to grid" or it just becomes pointless. If a 5x5 AOE can span multiple squares, then can't characters just stand half in one square and half in another to avoid the part of square that is covered by the effect? At which point your not really using a grid at all.
Not exactly conforming to a grid at all times in no way renders the grid pointless. It still clarifies positioning, even if it is not allowed to dictate it. Many of us use the grid (and find it useful) without feeling particularly bound by it when something possible gridless would be impossible with strict grid adhearance. Certainly any approach to grid rules that makes effects work radically different on squares than hexes seems to me like it's taking grid conformity too seriously.

#### Asisreo

The whole point of using a grid is clarity and simplicity. So everything needs to "snap to grid" or it just becomes pointless. If a 5x5 AOE can span multiple squares, then can't characters just stand half in one square and half in another to avoid the part of square that is covered by the effect? At which point your not really using a grid at all.
The PHB specifically says that when you move while using a grid in combat, you move square-by-square. It doesn't make those same concessions about where you can target, except how a DM might decide AoE's might choose a point of intersection.

#### Asisreo

I read it as one five foot cube; or one square, if a grid is used.
Imo, the words in the spell description, "centered on a point you choose within range," are redundant and needlessly confusing. I interpret Crawford's typically handwave-y "snap to grid" comment here as an attempt to reconcile theater-of-mind play with tactical grid play.
Well, remember that you choose the outward face as the point of origin on a regular cubic AoE. But this spell's specific beats the general of a the point of origin needing to be on the cube face.

So it isn't redundant since it changes the way the spell can be chosen on a grid-based combat.

#### darjr

##### I crit!
Anywhere along the cube face though, including right up to a corner.

My preferred mode is minis without a grid. I mostly defer to what my players think as to distances and areas.

But I run a lot of public games and I often snap to a grid there. And usually snap things like this to the grid. Or go completely totm.

#### fluffybunbunkittens

It does say 'centered however you please', so clearly 4 squares it is now.

And no game that obsessively tracks stuff in 5ft increments was ever actually meant to be played without a grid...

#### Tales and Chronicles

##### Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
It's such a weak spell, I've changed it to a 10 ft square so it can cover a few squares without wasting time trying so place it so maybe it affect an extra creature if it stands just right.

#### Hexmage-EN

##### Legend
It's such a weak spell, I've changed it to a 10 ft square so it can cover a few squares without wasting time trying so place it so maybe it affect an extra creature if it stands just right.
Going by page 251 of the DMG I would say this is less of a "change" and more a valid interpretation of the spell's mechanics.

The area of effect of a spell, monster ability, or other feature must be translated onto squares or hexes to determine which potential targets are in the area and which aren't.
Choose an intersection of squares or hexes as the point of origin of an area of effect, then follow its rules as normal. If an area of effect is circular and covers at least half a square, it affects that square.

The text of Cloud of Daggers says it is centered on a point of origin, which by the DMG would be an intersection of squares when playing on a grid. In other places a cube's point of origin is said to be along one of its faces, so this is an instance of a cube AoE not following the normal rules for cube AoEs, for whatever reason.

In any case I think the spell could benefit from a revision to make it clearer what the designers intended. It it's supposed to be centered on a point than maybe it shouldn't be a cube, and if it's supposed to be a cube then it shouldn't be centered on a point.

#### Benjamin Olson

##### Hero
And no game that obsessively tracks stuff in 5ft increments was ever actually meant to be played without a grid...
A fair point. But this one at least seems to have been made to not get hung up on grid rules. Clearly that handwavy "maybe you'll use a grid, do that how you like" approach is frustrating to some people who want a more precise grid-based combat system, but it's more or less exactly my speed.

#### DND_Reborn

##### The High Aldwin
My answer, depending on how you rule all the above info contributed, is up to 6 (the maximum):

Cloud of Daggers (yellow) affecting 6 targets. The blue circles show how targets 2, 3, and 5 are included since part of the AoE for CoD overlaps their spaces.

Even if you insist the PoO (point of origin) must be on an intersection, just shift the CoE slightly to the intersection between 1-4-5-6. Since you get to choose if the PoO is in the AoE or not, 5 can be affected either way.

This also makes it easy to do for ToM. You roll a d6 and affect that number of targets.

It is a 2nd-level spell averaging just 10 damage. I think allowing it to affect several targets (if they are grouped) is appropriate. YMMV, of course.

EDIT: If the OP updates the poll to include 6, I'll vote.

#### Quickleaf

##### Legend
We've always understood 5e's cloud of daggers to cover a human-sized doorway (including a double door) but not the entire area of a larger portcullis.

#### Hexmage-EN

##### Legend
Even if you insist the PoO (point of origin) must be on an intersection, just shift the CoE slightly to the intersection between 1-4-5-6. Since you get to choose if the PoO is in the AoE or not, 5 can be affected either way.
My issue with this is that Cloud of Daggers states it is centered on its point of origin, which contradicts the normal rules for cubes that say a cube's point of origin is not inside of its area of affect unless one chooses otherwise. In the case of Cloud of Daggers the cube's point of origin must be in the area of effect, at its center.

Basically, Cloud of Daggers is a "cube" that violates the rules for cubic areas of effect.

#### Shiroiken

##### Legend
I generally do not require a "snap to grid" for effects, using a template to determine where the effect occurs. If a character is not in at least 50% of the space, it has advantage on the save for being on the edge of the effect. This means that Cloud of Daggers could affect multiple creatures, but they're all going to have advantage on the save.

#### Tales and Chronicles

##### Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
Maybe a sphere would be a better format for this spell, like all other ''cloud'' spells.

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