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D&D 5E Silence Spell

Snoring Rock

Explorer
I ran into this last session with my players. Up until now, no one had cast silence. To read the PHB on the surface it appears the spell can be cast on a person. That is powerful to say the least and breaks a lich in a hurry. What is the ruling on this? If it is a point in space, the one could move out of the effected area.
 

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Saarith

First Post
The wording of the spell says that it is centered on a point you choose. That does not mean that the point moves with an object or person.

So you could center the spell up a Lich's nostril, but he only needs to move 20 feet away to leave the influence of the spell.

However, a clever use of this spell would be to lure a lich, or any magic user for that matter, into a room that has no point further away from the center than 20 feet. Cast the spell at the center and have the muscle do it's work.
 

S

Sunseeker

Guest
[MENTION=6849514]Saarith[/MENTION] is correct. Casting it "on a person" just means it is "centered on that person" the bubble of silence does not move with them.
 



DEFCON 1

Legend
I don't see anything in the spell description that mentions being cast on a person, and the area of effect is stationary after the spell is cast.

It doesn't have to say the area of effect is stationary. It says the 20-radius zone is centered on a point you choose within range. A point in space you choose. If the point was then allowed to move it would have to then say in the description "If this point is a person or object capable of moving, the point and the zone of silence moves with it."

"It doesn't say it can't move" isn't a legal justification for thinking it does, because there are millions of other things it doesn't say it can't do.
 

Creamsteak

First Post
It doesn't have to say the area of effect is stationary. It says the 20-radius zone is centered on a point you choose within range. A point in space you choose. If the point was then allowed to move it would have to then say in the description "If this point is a person or object capable of moving, the point and the zone of silence moves with it."

"It doesn't say it can't move" isn't a legal justification for thinking it does, because there are millions of other things it doesn't say it can't do.

The rules as intended are kinda easy to see when you note it doesn't target a creature or object, it's just intended to be a sphere in space someone can move in or out of.

That said, wait till the rules lawyers start actually considering physics and your spell centered on a point in space moves based on the current rotation of the planet, movement of the planet around the star, movement of the star within the galaxy, and movement of the galaxy within the universe.

I prefer to keep things simple.
 

Saarith

First Post
That said, wait till the rules lawyers start actually considering physics and your spell centered on a point in space moves based on the current rotation of the planet, movement of the planet around the star, movement of the star within the galaxy, and movement of the galaxy within the universe.

D&D 6th edition version.

The spell effect is centered at a point of your choosing within the same reference frame you reside in.
 


DEFCON 1

Legend
I don't quite understand your comment. My post had two separate thoughts separated by a comma. The part about the spell description not mentioning being cast on a person is one thought, and the fact that the spell is stationary (because it's cast on a point in space) is another. So my point was that it IS stationary because it's cast on a point in space, not a person.

My apologies, I misunderstood. When I read it, I took it as you saying that there was nothing in the spell description about casting the spell on a person and that the area of effect was stationary. I thought you were arguing that since the spell didn't mention either of those things, they were thus allowed to be done. My bad.
 

redkobold

First Post
OP, off the top of my head, I would have assumed you were correct that the silence was locked on an object and you could in effect make a Silence Grenade if you wanted. Take a look at the Light spell and notice the difference in the description from the Silence spell however and you will see that is not the case. Now however, is an idea for a new spell called "Silenced", where you can do something closer to your original assumption.
 

Prakriti

Hi, I'm a Mindflayer, but don't let that worry you
I have yet to see anyone attempt the Silence/grapple combo, but my oh my, that will be sweet when/if it ever happens.
 

Snoring Rock

Explorer
Thanks for the clarifications. When we did a quick read in-game, we misunderstood it. Later we looked it up and reread and then compared it to older revisions of the game.
 


Hawk Diesel

Adventurer
OP, off the top of my head, I would have assumed you were correct that the silence was locked on an object and you could in effect make a Silence Grenade if you wanted. Take a look at the Light spell and notice the difference in the description from the Silence spell however and you will see that is not the case. Now however, is an idea for a new spell called "Silenced", where you can do something closer to your original assumption.

That's kind of a cool idea. I like it.
 

Saarith

First Post
If you cast silence into a moving wagon, does the silence move with the wagon? Obviously yes.

Since you opened this can of worms.

Lets place a spellcaster outside a moving wagon and have him cast the Silence spell into the wagon. If we assume the center of the spell follows the wagon it would move the center of the spell from the perspective of the caster. In this case however the observer in the wagon would experience the spell being stationary. On the other hand if the center of the spell remains at the point originally chosen, the spellcaster will observe the center being stationary but the observer in the wagon will experience it moving away from him. So who is right, the spellcaster or observer?

Now if a spellcaster is inside a wagon and centers the spell in the wagon the spellcaster and an observer in the wagon would agree that it was stationary, but an observer outside the moving wagon would say that the spell was moving.

And what if the magic user casts the spell out of a moving wagon? Will the spell remain stationery at the point he chose, meaning that the magic user will experience it moving ? Or will the spell center be at a specific cartesian coordinate in relation from the spellcaster, resulting in it being stationary for the spellcaster but moving for everyone outside the wagon?

What one observes may not be the same as another if they do not share the same speed and direction. This is the essence of the concept of frames of references and is used for simple stuff like Einstein's theory of relativity and from this day to determine where that sneaky silence spell goes.
 

Since you opened this can of worms.

Lets place a spellcaster outside a moving wagon and have him cast the Silence spell into the wagon. If we assume the center of the spell follows the wagon it would move the center of the spell from the perspective of the caster. In this case however the observer in the wagon would experience the spell being stationary. On the other hand if the center of the spell remains at the point originally chosen, the spellcaster will observe the center being stationary but the observer in the wagon will experience it moving away from him. So who is right, the spellcaster or observer?

Now if a spellcaster is inside a wagon and centers the spell in the wagon the spellcaster and an observer in the wagon would agree that it was stationary, but an observer outside the moving wagon would say that the spell was moving.

And what if the magic user casts the spell out of a moving wagon? Will the spell remain stationery at the point he chose, meaning that the magic user will experience it moving ? Or will the spell center be at a specific cartesian coordinate in relation from the spellcaster, resulting in it being stationary for the spellcaster but moving for everyone outside the wagon?

What one observes may not be the same as another if they do not share the same speed and direction. This is the essence of the concept of frames of references and is used for simple stuff like Einstein's theory of relativity and from this day to determine where that sneaky silence spell goes.

Certified organic worm!
We can also consider earth rotation on itself and around the sun, unless you play in a flat stationary world!
 


Dausuul

Legend
What one observes may not be the same as another if they do not share the same speed and direction. This is the essence of the concept of frames of references and is used for simple stuff like Einstein's theory of relativity and from this day to determine where that sneaky silence spell goes.
The real question is, if you cast silence while moving close to the speed of light, will an observer in the Earth's reference frame see its duration increase?
 

The wording of the spell says that it is centered on a point you choose. That does not mean that the point moves with an object or person.

So you could center the spell up a Lich's nostril, but he only needs to move 20 feet away to leave the influence of the spell.

However, a clever use of this spell would be to lure a lich, or any magic user for that matter, into a room that has no point further away from the center than 20 feet. Cast the spell at the center and have the muscle do it's work.

This is exactly what happened in my game a few sessions back in Curse of Strahd. The cleric had a well placed silence spell in a certain windmill to help make a hard encounter easier. Also let me as the DM have a fun roleplaying moment with a hag "sniffing" out the magics source from the cleric (making an arcana check). Quite fun. :)
 

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