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

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'".
Misty Step, a 2nd level spell, allows you to teleport up to 30'
Thunderstep, a 3rd level spell, allows you and one other ally, to teleport up to 90'... and leave a damaging blast in your wake

I'd say the scaling works well here.

Also, point of order: as you can't cast two 2nd level spells on the same turn, I don't follow your argument that casting, say, Misty Step then Shatter over two turns is better than casting the single 3rd level spell Thunderstep in one turn.



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.

Shield admittedly is a bit of an oddball but spells out the very specific requirements to bypass the instantaneous effects of certain spell attacks: it can be cast as a reaction: "when you are hit by an attack or targeted by the magic missile spell".

Counterspell is specifically used when you see someone casting a spell, not when the spell takes effect. It doesn't matter if the duration of the spell is instantaneous, the Counterspell is trying to interrupt it while it is being cast (so during the action, bonus action, or reaction time needed to cast the spell).
 

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Lyxen

Great Old One
If I take a reaction after someone uses Dimension Door, are they now at their target location or temporarily removed from play?

First, readied action occur after the trigger has completed, so if you specify "after a dimension door", it will be after the complete spell, so he obviously back.

Second, there are multiple cases there, he might be at the target location, but not completely rematerialised yet, or he might indeed be simply nowhere in transit. How are any of these cases a problem ?

But "removed from play" isn't a condition in 5e.

And "hopping on one foot" is not a condition either. Nor is "surprised". Do we need conditions for everything ?

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).

Line 2: Disappear
Line 3: Deal damage X zeptoseconds later
Line 4: Appear Y zeptoseconds later (or finish rematerialising if you prefer).

Works too.

There is no guidance to suggest such a gap does or does not exist, but again, you can't definitively prove it either way.

And that's my point, the game is open to many interpretations, and it's good.

"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.

100% agreed there. It's all open to make a nice narration making sense of events, whether some are sequential or paralle.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Counterspell is specifically used when you see someone casting a spell, not when the spell takes effect. It doesn't matter if the duration of the spell is instantaneous, the Counterspell is trying to interrupt it while it is being cast (so during the action, bonus action, or reaction time needed to cast the spell).

Don't confuse the casting time and the effect. You are counterspelling during the casting, so even if you are counterspelling an instantaneous spell, it's not a proof.

However, since you can counterspell a counterspell (and as many levels down as you have casters with reactions), when counterspell is a reaction even on instantaneous spells, it clearly goes to show that instantaneous-ness is not 0-time. It's time that can be stretched as much as needed for narrative purposes.
 

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.

Quoted for truth.

Anyone concerned about cruel, cruel DMs who would have a caster's own AoE spell affect themselves should be doubly concerned about the ability to insert location blocking shenanigans between the disappearance and reappearance of a teleporting caster.
 

Don't confuse the casting time and the effect. You are counterspelling during the casting, so even if you are counterspelling an instantaneous spell, it's not a proof.
I think you may want to heed your own advice about confusing the casting time and duration of a spell.

Counterspell happens during the Casting Time: "You attempt to interrupt a creature in the process of casting a spell." You are not interrupting the spell that has already been cast. You are interrupting the action, bonus action, or reaction being used to cast the spell.
Counterspell is too late when you start talking about the duration of the spell as now the spell has already been cast. "A spell's duration is the length of time the spell persists. " That's after casting it.

However, since you can counterspell a counterspell (and as many levels down as you have casters with reactions), when counterspell is a reaction even on instantaneous spells, it clearly goes to show that instantaneous-ness is not 0-time. It's time that can be stretched as much as needed for narrative purposes.

ETA: Being able to Counterspell a spell with an instantaneous duration has no bearing on the conversation in this thread. The caster can Counterspell any spell of any duration if they see it being cast within 60' of them. Full stop. There is no "Instantaneous" casting time.
 
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Irlo

Hero
Anyone concerned about cruel, cruel DMs who would have a caster's own AoE spell affect themselves should be doubly concerned about the ability to insert location blocking shenanigans between the disappearance and reappearance of a teleporting caster.
Speaking as a DM, I would say:

If my players somehow managed to predict what space the enemy demon was planning to teleport to, and then readied actions to block the intended destination, I would allow the shenanigans.
 

Irlo

Hero
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.

I'll step that back and say instead that I think D&D is intended to work generally with readied reactions that interrupt the normal initiative-based sequential resolution, without explicit rules for corner-cases and with the expectation that the DMs will make rulings to suit their games.
 

plisnithus8

Adventurer
It explicitly says "after the disappearance". It does not say "after the teleport", it does not say "after the appearance". These are not synomyms.
You said, "since the spell explicitly inserts a boom in the sequence." That's not what the spell says. It says you teleport. Then in the space you left, there is a boom. Suggesting that the boom is inserted between the disappearance and reappearance is not explicit. The only mention of reappearance is in the explanation of what the caster can take with them and then only in regard to the fellow traveler not the caster (disappear and reappear separated not by sequence but by topic).

I'm not sure why you have the idea that I don't know the difference between the words teleport, disappear, and reappear. Nevertheless, they don't have to have the same meaning in order to happen at the same time; disappear and reappear are understood to be parts of teleport.
And, once more, the definition of instantaneous in 5e is ? Yes, that's right "in an instant". Nothing new here.
That is not a definition on its own. That's like saying the definition of cowardly is acting like a coward.
In then PHB under spell duration, it says "A spell's duration is the length of time the spell persists. A duration can be expressed in rounds, minutes, hours, or even years." It lists measurable time mechanics of the game. Then it goes on to explain that "Many spells are instantaneous...exists only for an instant." This is an explanation of when something happens that isn't "rounds, minutes, hours, or even years." Those spells happen in an instant, happen instantaneously, instantly, immediately. The rules make a clarification for this 0-time by adding a section about Instantaneous under Duration. There is no need to have a section on the others individually, but Instantaneous is different. Instantaneous is the word the rules use when the length of time is zero, when duration is not mechanically measurable. If the game meant for rounds to be broken up into smaller units, it would have done so and created terms for this. Instead -- to simplify things, it decided to use Instantaneous as the smallest unit, effectively 0; if an instant could be broken into parts, the game would have given us other terms for those. Zero is indivisible, has no parts, cannot be interrupted; geometrically it is a point that cannot be bisected. In the real world, people use" immediately" to mean as fast as possible. But this is a game of magic where the meaning of immediately/instantaneously doesn't have to be distorted. What happens when you divide 1 round or an action or even a bonus action into parts (whenever you divide a number in the game, round down if you end up with a fraction, even if the fraction is one-half or greater)?
Where do they do this ? Is there an overarching section on "teleportation spells" that I've missed ?
And neither does it refer to other spells. Nor do these spells refer to each other in any way.
OK, so they don't put "teleport" as a prototype, they speak about "teleportation effects", so basically what you were saying above is wrong.
Why would the quote not mentioning the Teleport spell (that does use teleportation effects) make me wrong?
The response I quoted from the compendium was in regard to Misty Step. The compendium's answer then lumped Misty Step and other spells (this quote is from the Spells section) with teleportation effects into a group to explain that spell descriptions are not meant to repeat themselves needlessly.
 
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Speaking as a DM, I would say:

If my players somehow managed to predict what space the enemy demon was planning to teleport to, and then readied actions to block the intended destination, I would allow the shenanigans.
That does honestly sound like fun. What would the trigger be for said readied blocking action, though?
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
"If the enemy disappears, I want to move to this space." You'd have to guess where they would go. Which is improbable, but no worse than what I've seen players do when someone becomes invisible and hidden- they run around the room like turkeys until they have entered every available space in order to try and find the person.

EDIT: I usually play "Yakety Sax" when this happens.
 
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"If the enemy disappears, I want to move to this space." You'd have to guess where they would go.
Assuming the enemy is teleporting, they have already reappeared before you even start to move. You just can't move faster than a teleport. I mean, you can rule that it works like that but... not happening at our table.

Which is improbable, but no worse than what I've seen players do when someone becomes invisible and hidden- they run around the room like turkeys until they have entered every available space in order to try and find the person.
I love this visual... and the audio now too!
 



Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
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.
It actually does say if they are the exception and not the rule. DMG page 252.

"For example, the opportunity attack and the shield spell are clear about the fact that they can interrupt their triggers. If a reaction has no timing specified, or the timing is unclear, the reaction occurs after its trigger finishes, as in the Ready action."

So Shield specifically states that it can interrupt its trigger(instantaneous things like damage and magic missile), but ready does not. Some folks want to treat what is clearly not allowed to interrupt the trigger before it completes and treat the ready action like the Shield spell.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
It actually does say if they are the exception and not the rule. DMG page 252.

"For example, the opportunity attack and the shield spell are clear about the fact that they can interrupt their triggers. If a reaction has no timing specified, or the timing is unclear, the reaction occurs after its trigger finishes, as in the Ready action."

So Shield specifically states that it can interrupt its trigger(instantaneous things like damage and magic missile), but ready does not. Some folks want to treat what is clearly not allowed to interrupt the trigger before it completes and treat the ready action like the Shield spell.

I don't think anyone has ever said that, honestly. it was only you insisting (without any support) that it the trigger could not interrupt an action, that an action started hat to complete, but I am pretty sure that everyone, starting by myself, always argued that the trigger had to complete (but the trigger, not the action). No one argued that the trigger itself had to be interrupted.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
I'm a little annoyed about that rule being in the DMG, but I guess knowing is half the battle, thanks Maxperson. I'm so used to the DMG being terrible, I never check it for rulings on anything, lol.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
You said, "since the spell explicitly inserts a boom in the sequence."

I did not say where it was inserted, it might be in the end or it might be in the middle, that's all.
That's not what the spell says. It says you teleport. Then in the space you left, there is a boom.

And then again, no, it does not say "after the teleport", once more. It does not say "then" either. You are inventing things.

Suggesting that the boom is inserted between the disappearance and reappearance is not explicit. The only mention of reappearance is in the explanation of what the caster can take with them and then only in regard to the fellow traveler not the caster (disappear and reappear separated not by sequence but by topic).

And still, it mentions SPECIFICALLY the reappearance, not a teleportation as a whole.

I'm not sure why you have the idea that I don't know the difference between the words teleport, disappear, and reappear.

Because you seem to insist that they are synonyms. They simply are not.

Nevertheless, they don't have to have the same meaning in order to happen at the same time; disappear and reappear are understood to be parts of teleport.

Good, as they are parts, they can be split apart, that's all that I'm arguing for. They do not have to be, but they can.

That is not a definition on its own. That's like saying the definition of cowardly is acting like a coward.

Are you kidding me ? It's exactly what most dictionaries do, look at "instantaneous" in most dictionaries, and you will find "instant" in there.

In then PHB under spell duration, it says "A spell's duration is the length of time the spell persists. A duration can be expressed in rounds, minutes, hours, or even years." It lists measurable time mechanics of the game. Then it goes on to explain that "Many spells are instantaneous...exists only for an instant." This is an explanation of when something happens that isn't "rounds, minutes, hours, or even years." Those spells happen in an instant, happen instantaneously, instantly, immediately.

Again, do not change the words for the authors. "In an instant" is as clear as "about six seconds", which means not really clear at all. It's an open game.

The rules make a clarification for this 0-time by adding a section about Instantaneous under Duration.

And again, you have not proven at all that is is zero time. Whereas the proof exist that it is NOT zero time, because the boom occurs AFTER the disappearance. So there is a sequence, it's not all simultaneous in zero time.

There is no need to have a section on the others individually, but Instantaneous is different. Instantaneous is the word the rules use when the length of time is zero, when duration is not mechanically measurable.

I would argue that zero is much more measurable that "an instant" or "about six seconds".

If the game meant for rounds to be broken up into smaller units, it would have done so and created terms for this. Instead -- to simplify things, it decided to use Instantaneous as the smallest unit, effectively 0; if an instant could be broken into parts, the game would have given us other terms for those.

That's the advantage of "an instant" for open rules. It can be cut into as many other instants as required for narration.

Zero is indivisible

Mathematically, this is false, by the way. 0 is a multiple of 0 by any number.

, has no parts, cannot be interrupted; geometrically it is a point that cannot be bisected.

Which proves you immediately wrong, as Thunder step is an instantaneous spell that has, RAW, two parts in sequence. Hence your hypothesis is immediately shown to be wrong.

In the real world, people use" immediately" to mean as fast as possible.

And this is not the word used. Nor is it the definition given for instantaneous in the rules.

But this is a game of magic where the meaning of immediately/instantaneously doesn't have to be distorted.

FIne, but once more, you are not using the definition of the rules.

What happens when you divide 1 round or an action or even a bonus action into parts (whenever you divide a number in the game, round down if you end up with a fraction, even if the fraction is one-half or greater)?


Oh, yes, does it make the "teleport" spell a reference ? No, they don't, they refer to "teleportation effects", that's all...

Why would the quote not mentioning the Teleport spell (that does use teleportation effects) make me wrong?

Because it just goes to show exactly what I said, that you can't use a spell as a reference in another spell unless made explicit.

The response I quoted from the compendium was in regard to Misty Step. The compendium's answer then lumped Misty Step and other spells (this quote is from the Spells section) with teleportation effects into a group to explain that spell descriptions are not meant to repeat themselves needlessly.

Which still does not put any one particular spell as a reference.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
ETA: Being able to Counterspell a spell with an instantaneous duration has no bearing on the conversation in this thread. The caster can Counterspell any spell of any duration if they see it being cast within 60' of them. Full stop. There is no "Instantaneous" casting time.

Actually I think there might be, even if I did not make it clear, you can counterspell a shield cast to counter a magic missile. But I agree that even this is debatable, I am not sure that the game is clear as to when you choose targets.

For example, the SAC has this:
1648799067770.png


So clearly, you choose your target when you release the spell's energy, not when you ready it, which is the full casting.

It also has this:

1648799306088.png


So it goes to show multiple things:
  • Instantaneous is NOT zero time, you are doing things consecutively there and watching for result before choosing the next target
  • I think it also means that the spell is completely cast before you choose the targets, since you seem to pick them during the instantaneous duration.
Since shield is cast "when you are targeted by a magic missile" and magic missile has an instantaneous duration, both shield and counterspell can have an instantaneous casting time.

Do you agree?
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
One more point about the last extract, it shows that the game has a tendancy to be generous towards the players in its interpretation, because it's not fun to waste a ray or a missile on an enemy which would already be dead without it. I know some people will again say that "5e is easy mode", but it's also "5e recognises that the intention of a game is for players to have fun playing it".
 

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