D&D 5E If you use thunderstep but teleport less than 10 feet do you take damage?

Horwath

Hero
@Lyxen
in spell description, it states duration instantaneous.


that means that there is no time delay.

only time you have to interrupt the spell is the duration of Action or Bonus action, so some fraction of 6 seconds that it takes for incantation to finish.
 

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Lyxen

Great Old One
It's not constant teleportation by the runners. It's constant sequential actions per initiative. Nobody is moving at instantaneous(teleportation) speeds.

Yeah, right and people are frozen in time for minutes at a time waiting for others to complete their own turn. This is OBVIOUSLY the only explanation that makes sense, only you yourself say that it does not make sense.

Personally, I am much more comfortable with the other explanation that makes sense to millions of people.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
I mean, Teleport itself says "this spell instantly transports you..." and Dimension Door, Misty Step, and Thunder Step all use "teleport" as a shorthand to describe their movement.

Teleport as the word, not teleport as the spell, otherwise they would make a specific reference to the spell as they do in all cases where spells are referenced in other spells. As for teleport (the spell), it's instantaneous, and therefore happens instantly, in an instant (as per its definition), which is a narrative amount of time, not a fixed one that equals 0.

And even if you say that the transfer itself happens in 0-time (which, once more, the RAW does not explicitly say), meaning that there is no time in which you are not present in the dimension, it does not preclude a fading out phase of fading in where you are truly neither here nor there either.

So it's not outright stated, but it can be inferred.

Just as the other can clearly be inferred from Thunder Step, in which there is an intervening boom that is more than clearly suggested by the disappear (and the subsequent "appear") later.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
@Lyxen
in spell description, it states duration instantaneous.


It's one of the rare instances where 5e does have its own definition, which has been produced many times here, which in turn refers to an instant, which is not that precise. For example, an instant is all the time Conan needs to pounce 15 feet and separate your head from your body, from a narrative perspective.

only time you have to interrupt the spell is the duration of Action or Bonus action, so some fraction of 6 seconds that it takes for incantation to finish.

And that is not, again, 0-time.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
I mean, I agree, saying "teleport" when that's not a defined term is problematic- if they mean like the spell Teleport, they should say so. But it's not like this is the first or last time that WotC kind of leaves us to infer things. Because then we have to ask "how long does it take to Dimension Door?"

Well obviously, when you cast Dimension Door, it's still your turn afterwards- you can still move or take a bonus action. You could ready an action for someone using Dimension Door to "teleport" away. So it really comes down to the crux of the argument.

If I take a reaction after someone uses Dimension Door, are they now at their target location or temporarily removed from play? What's making me come around on this, despite the fact I still disagree that Thunder Step is balanced if it includes you in it's area of effect is that the rules don't say you are "nowhere".

They don't say you are "somewhere" either, but if you are meant to be "nowhere" for a brief span of time, the rules probably need to say so. Because it could come up.

But "removed from play" isn't a condition in 5e. There is no zone you can be exiled to. Even with things like Banishment, you are "somewhere"- and the only defined location you can be, is the target location.

So let's look at it this way.

Line 1: Cast Thunder Step, targeting an unoccupied space you can see within 30 ft.
Line 2: Teleport to the target space.
Line 3: 3d10 Thunder damage (Con save 1/2) dealt to each creature within 10' of the space you left.

There's not much wiggle room here, since we have no guidance for when you arrive at the destination. What we can infer is that there is no reason for travel to not be in the smallest available unit of time. We also have no guidance for how long it takes the blast to deal it's damage. If we infer this also takes the smallest available unit of time, then it occurs immediately after you teleport. Thus-

Line 2: "Teleport" (leave play and arrive at destination in X zeptoseconds).
Line 3: Deal damage to creatures within 10' of the space you left in X zeptoseconds).

If we assume that there is an x zeptosecond gap between Line 2 and Line 3, you can find yourself in the area of effect of the spell. Only if we assume there is not an x zeptosecond gap between the first and second effect can the target arrive safely.

There is no guidance to suggest such a gap does or does not exist, but again, you can't definitively prove it either way. This is why, against my feelings, I am fairly certain that any official guidance given will say that the effects of the spell occur sequentially with no time elapsed because 5e is not designed to be this precise.

"Time" is a hazily defined, nebulous concept. We can roughly estimate how long a round is, because there are effects with durations that need to be tracked. But how long individual events within that round take is left completely undefined, and left up to the DM to rule on if it becomes necessary to do so.

Thus while we can demonstrate there could and even should be a gap in time, no such gap is stated. Anywhere. So nobody can be right or wrong here, but again, since 5e is not built to require this level of precision, all we can do is state our hypothesis, and if it is rejected, accept that we cannot convince someone to believe in something they cannot observe in action.
 

What if you use your readied action to walk over into the teleport destination square?
Does it end up like The Fly?
You jest, but teleporting taking time during which events can occur leads to these sort of issue. A person could vanish, aiming for legit teleport location, and whilst they're nowhere, their destination could be blocked. Now what?

Dimension door says "If you would arrive in a place already occupied by an object or a creature, you and any creature traveling with you each take 4d6 force damage, and the spell fails to teleport you." But wait, you already disappeared, so what does 'fails to teleport you' then mean? You just never appear and vanish forever? It teleports you back where you started?? That location could now be blocked too, and I'd also argue that you didn't fail to teleport, you just teleported in place. And of course this is a rule from completely another spell to begin with, as the writer doesn't assume that such blocking could actually happen with Thunder Step, Misty Step and such.

I think it is pretty damn clear that teleporting taking time and the teleportee being briefly nowhere is not how it is intended to work.
 

There are several spells that have provisions for "each creature of your choice" or similar when determining who can be affected in a particular area. Thunderstep is not one of them.

One such thematically related spell is Thunderclap, which states: "Each creature within range, other than you, must make a Constitution saving throw".

Further evidence that casters are not immune to their own AoE spell damage unless the spell says they are (or they have some feature like Careful Spell Metamagic or the Evoker's Sculpt Spells). Or, it should go without saying, if the DM wishes to rule otherwise.
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
See how you are inventing words that don't even exist in the rules, like "instant teleport" ? Again, proof that you don't know the RAW and are just inventing things to support your views of the game, which are way narrower than the possibilities of the RAW.
This is you from post #493 stating what instantaneous means. 🤦‍♂️

"Yes, it's used in spells, as per the definition that I posted, meaning "in an instant". This is the RAW."
 


Except that in order to move out of the way of teleportation and the thunder, you must be able to walk or even crawl at instantaneous teleportation speed, so my examples are different from yours.
I can also craw in the time between two persons who run simultaneously in the same direction arrive at the same position.

Playing out simulataneous action sequentially leads to all kind of weird interactions.
This is because all actions happen at a certain point in time. The instant when you take your turn, not continuously.

If you want to start there, you need a different kind of resolution system:
Every action you take takes a certain amount of initiative steps.

You start your move at initiative 17, it takes 1 initiative step per 5 feet of walking. So if you want to move 30ft, you don't arrive before initiative 11.

Otherwise, any move is resolved at the speed of light. So your premise is wrong and thus your conclusion about thunderstep is wrong.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I can also craw in the time between two persons who run simultaneously in the same direction arrive at the same position.

Playing out simulataneous action sequentially leads to all kind of weird interactions.
This is because all actions happen at a certain point in time. The instant when you take your turn, not continuously.

If you want to start there, you need a different kind of resolution system:
Every action you take takes a certain amount of initiative steps.

You start your move at initiative 17, it takes 1 initiative step per 5 feet of walking. So if you want to move 30ft, you don't arrive before initiative 11.

Otherwise, any move is resolved at the speed of light. So your premise is wrong and thus your conclusion about thunderstep is wrong.
Not really. You're trying to apply sense to a system not intended for that. D&D is just intended to work sequentially, with instantaneous effects being faster than those that aren't, like moving. It's a necessary evil for combat to work in any reasonable amount of time. If you try and look too closely and apply the things you are applying, you break out of combat as it was written and intended and into the weirdness you describe.

It's not my premise and conclusion that are wrong, it's that what you are trying to apply something to combat simply does not apply to it.
 

Not really. You're trying to apply sense to a system not intended for that. D&D is just intended to work sequentially, with instantaneous effects being faster than those that aren't, like moving. It's a necessary evil for combat to work in any reasonable amount of time. If you try and look too closely and apply the things you are applying, you break out of combat as it was written and intended and into the weirdness you describe.

It's not my premise and conclusion that are wrong, it's that what you are trying to apply something to combat simply does not apply to it.

Ok, so you may arbitrarily decide when applying sequential resolution makes sense and when not... if that is the foundation of your argumentation, there is no point in arguing with you.
 

plisnithus8

Adventurer
And yet it does, to people reading it in its entirety and with an open mind. Yes, it hints at it, and once more, you have zero support for a 0-time teleportation with disappearance and reappearance intrinsically linked since the spell explicitly inserts a boom in the sequence.
It doesn't seem like the insertion of a boom in the middle of the Teleport portion of the Thunderstep spell is described in a clear and detailed manner, leaving no room for confusion or doubt, which would mean there is nothing "explicit" about it.
There have been many points of support listed in this thread for "0-time teleportation;" maybe the 0-support theory has the gap.

"Teleportation is instantaneous in D&D, moving you from one spot to another. You don't move through the intervening space." -- JC

As they are lumping the mechanics of teleportation spells together, no teleportation spell assumes a gap. Spells are written without needless attention to detail so the mention of teleport without attentive detail in the Thunderstep description doesn't rule out that it works the way teleport works in other spells.
"Some teleportation effects do specify that you teleport with your gear; such specification is an example of a rule being needlessly fastidious, since no teleportation effect in the game assumes that you teleport without your clothes, just as the general movement rules don’t assume that you drop everything when you walk." -- Sage Advice Compendium 2021
Only, once more, you are modifying the way the rules are written. They don't say "each creature in range" (and honestly, the fact that you modify the very simple words is a proof that even you are not comfortable with the original wording), they say: "Immediately after you disappear, a thunderous boom sounds, and each creature within 10 feet of the space you left". So clearly, it also hints at a disappearance with a space that you left, and possibly have not come back to YET.
It seems you use "clearly" to mean there can be no question, but many questions and support against it have been mentioned.
A caster cannot teleport using Thunderstep to the space they are located in when the spell is cast -- it has to be "an unoccupied space." Therefore they have to disappear from the space the spell was cast from -- there is not teleport "YET" back to that space as part of the spell. If you didn't understand that "in range" might have meant "within 10 feet of the space you left," perhaps you could go back and read it with that interpretation.
And that is your personal interpretation, you are absolute allowed to explain this in your campaign and modify the RAW so that teleport happens always in zero time, and even that fireball backwashes like in 1e, but it does not make your claims according to the RAW as you are adding constraints of your own.

It sounds like you are saying that the caster would be immune to a fireball they cast within 5 feet of themselves.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Rulings not Rules in action!

Swarmkeeper, my reservation about Thunder Step isn't that I think casters should be immune to their own spells- there are specific spells and abilities to allow for that. It comes down to the fact that if you can use Thunder Step in a manner where you would be caught in the blast yourself, the spell becomes hilariously bad compared to more efficient, lower level spells. You're basically trading a 3rd level slot to do something you can do with 2 2nd level slots. There are times when that's advantageous, to be sure, but imagine how less useful Misty Step would be if it said "you can teleport up to 30', but no less than 15'".
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Whereas I think D&D is intended to work with readied reactions that interrupt the normal initiative-based sequential resolution.
I don't think instantaneous actions are intended to be interrupted at all. I think that the trigger is the entire instantaneous effect. You can ready an action for a teleport, but not the disappearance. By the time you perceive the disappearance, everything else has already happened.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
It's a valid interpretation, but it would have been trivial for WotC to say "oh btw, instantaneous effects cannot be reacted to unless otherwise stated". Instead, they printed things like Shield and Counterspell, which do interact with instantaneous effects, and never bothered to say if they are the exception or the rule.
 

I don't think instantaneous actions are intended to be interrupted at all. I think that the trigger is the entire instantaneous effect. You can ready an action for a teleport, but not the disappearance. By the time you perceive the disappearance, everything else has already happened.
You are probably right, that it is no good Idea to rule otherwise. Or better said: you can try to react to the disappearance, but I won't resolve your crawl before the boom and the reappearance happens.

Which does not change the fact, that the rules allow to react to the disappearance. Actually the perceiving person may never see the wizard reappear.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
It doesn't seem like the insertion of a boom in the middle of the Teleport portion of the Thunderstep spell is described in a clear and detailed manner, leaving no room for confusion or doubt, which would mean there is nothing "explicit" about it.

It explicitly says "after the disappearance". It does not say "after the teleport", it does not say "after the appearance". These are not synomyms.

"Teleportation is instantaneous in D&D, moving you from one spot to another. You don't move through the intervening space." -- JC

And, once more, the definition of instantaneous in 5e is ? Yes, that's right "in an instant". Nothing new here.

As they are lumping the mechanics of teleportation spells together

Where do they do this ? Is there an overarching section on "teleportation spells" that I've missed ?

, no teleportation spell assumes a gap. Spells are written without needless attention to detail so the mention of teleport without attentive detail in the Thunderstep description doesn't rule out that it works the way teleport works in other spells.

And neither does it refer to other spells. Nor do these spells refer to each other in any way.

"Some teleportation effects do specify that you teleport with your gear; such specification is an example of a rule being needlessly fastidious, since no teleportation effect in the game assumes that you teleport without your clothes, just as the general movement rules don’t assume that you drop everything when you walk." -- Sage Advice Compendium 2021

OK, so they don't put "teleport" as a prototype, they speak about "teleportation effects", so basically what you were saying above is wrong.

It seems you use "clearly" to mean there can be no question, but many questions and support against it have been mentioned.
A caster cannot teleport using Thunderstep to the space they are located in when the spell is cast -- it has to be "an unoccupied space." Therefore they have to disappear from the space the spell was cast from -- there is not teleport "YET" back to that space as part of the spell. If you didn't understand that "in range" might have meant "within 10 feet of the space you left," perhaps you could go back and read it with that interpretation.

I have no idea what you are trying to say by that paragraph.

It sounds like you are saying that the caster would be immune to a fireball they cast within 5 feet of themselves.

Where in hell would I have been saying this ?
 

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