D&D 5E spiritual weapon against prone enemy advantage or disadvantage?

ECMO3

Hero
No, this is not what the prone condition says, it's not a question of melee or ranged or spell or anything of the kind, it's purely a question of distance of the attacker to the target: "An attack roll against the creature has advantage if the attacker is within 5 feet of the creature. Otherwise, the attack roll has disadvantage."

As the attacker is clearly the caster, it's HIS location compared to the target that matters, nothing more.
Agree.

As a matter of fact if you are a bowman and your target drops prone your best course of action is to close to 5 feet and shoot him with your longbow from 5 feet away. Then the disadvantage for using a bow in melee is countered by being within 5 feet.

FWIW my Rogues regularly go prone against enemies with missile weapons or ranged spells.
 

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ECMO3

Hero
Then I agree with you, the prone condition is simple, but honestly, why should a creature with reach change from advantage to disadvantage (a huge change) when it just moves slightly back from 5 feet to 10 feet away ?

I think this makes total sense, the target is on the ground and harder to hit from that range.

Also IRL it is not easy to swing a polearm and hit something that is 10 feet away to start with unless it is a pike. Being on the ground and just holding your shield over your head will likely prevent any possibility of hitting anything except the shield itself. This is compared to using the shiled to cover your entire body if standing. Same logic would apply with a swird or staff that you could cross and put above your head.
 




No, this is not what the prone condition says, it's not a question of melee or ranged or spell or anything of the kind, it's purely a question of distance of the attacker to the target:.

And what does that advantage/ disadvantage represent? The prone defender being unable to properly defend themselves vs a melee attack (A), or (for ranged attacks) the difficulty in hitting a prone target from a ranged attack originating from your space (D).

Spiritual weapon is much more likely to have A (the prone defender being unable to defend itself properly vs the melee attack) than B (you having a hard time hitting something due to being far away).

Ergo A trumps D.

I bet you London to a Brick this is what the Devs would tell you as well.
 

tomBitonti

Adventurer
How literally should “you can make a melee spell attack against a creature within 5 feet of the weapon” be taken? Can the weapon attack a creature that is within 5’ but is behind a thick glass pane? What happens if the caster can barely see the creature, but has positioned the weapon such that the attack is unobstructed? What happens if the caster can hear the creature but can’t see it?

TomB
 

Another vote for Disadvantage. Prone doesn't care if the attack is melee or ranged, only how far away the attacker is. An archer would likewise have their disadvantage cancelled out if they were firing at a prone target within 5' of them.
 

Redwizard007

Adventurer
How literally should “you can make a melee spell attack against a creature within 5 feet of the weapon” be taken? Can the weapon attack a creature that is within 5’ but is behind a thick glass pane? What happens if the caster can barely see the creature, but has positioned the weapon such that the attack is unobstructed? What happens if the caster can hear the creature but can’t see it?

TomB
If you really want to crack someone over the head with RAW, lack of sight or a thin wall doesn't obstruct the attack. I guess that's the "spiritual" part of SW.

In the more common prone debate. I'm in favor of disadvantage for SW if the caster is beyond 5' away, but as long as the ruling is consistent then who cares?

The less common SW debate is, and this is mostly for tables that rule SW counts as the origin for the attack so it has advantage, does it also count as an ally for purposes of flanking, pack tactics, sneak attack, etc.
 

It is clearly neither advantage nor disadvantage, because disadvantage and advantage cancel out. Very oviously... I mean... Just the way I would handle it, not objective truth.

I mean I don't buy the explanation that your exact position has any effect on your ability tonhit with this weapon, but I could perfectly see the weapon always swinging in a certain way, so lying prone might give youba better chance to dodge. But then being within 5ft granting advantage makes no sense anymore.
 

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