D&D 5E Spiritual Weapon vs. Fire Shield

Hriston

Dungeon Master of Middle-earth
While I've pointed out why I disagree. There are exceptions to every rule, I think this is one of them.

In every case that I know of other than spiritual weapon the attacker or an object, which is typically a weapon but could be an implement or a hand, needs to physically touch the creature with fire shield.

Since the spiritual weapon is not physically attached to the caster I rule that they are unaffected. Feel free to rule differently.
Okay, you can create exceptions to fire shield by adding the requirement that there must be a physical connection between the caster and the attacker for the spell to work. This would also except Mordenkainen's sword from triggering damage from fire shield.

What about thorn whip? Would you consider the magically created whip to constitute a physical connection between the attacker and the target?
 

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DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
That’s in dispute. The cleric makes an attack roll which resolves whether the spiritual wrapon’s attack hits the creature.
Not at all. The cleric makes the attack roll with the spiritual weapon.

If I am remote controlling a toy car and run over my friend's foot, who would he blame? The car or me? Obviously me, because I am controlling the car. The cleric is using his bonus action to attack with the spiritual weapon, which is why the cleric is making the attack roll.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Okay, you can create exceptions to fire shield by adding the requirement that there must be a physical connection between the caster and the attacker for the spell to work. This would also except Mordenkainen's sword from triggering damage from fire shield.

What about thorn whip? Would you consider the magically created whip to constitute a physical connection between the attacker and the target?
FWIW I would rule thorn whip the same as spiritual weapon.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Not at all. The cleric makes the attack roll with the spiritual weapon.
I just said that in the very quote you replied to… why on earth did you just say it again as if I disagree with that?

If I am remote controlling a toy car and run over my friend's foot, who would he blame? The car or me? Obviously me, because I am controlling the car. The cleric is using his bonus action to attack with the spiritual weapon, which is why the cleric is making the attack roll.
Causal chains to find who to blame are irrelevant to whether spiritual weapon attacks or the cleric does. I agree the cleric is to ‘blame’ as the spiritual weapon follows his will. That doesn’t necessitate the cleric made the attack.
 

aco175

Legend
Is there a difference between a melee attack and a melee spell attack? Fire shield says that it reacts to a melee attack and the SW says you make a melee spell attack.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
I just said that in the very quote you replied to… why on earth did you just say it again as if I disagree with that?
No, that is not what you said:
The cleric makes an attack roll which resolves whether the spiritual wrapon’s attack hits the creature.
The spiritual weapon is not making an attack (your statement), the cleric is using the spiritual weapon for the cleric's attack. Again, this is why the roll uses the cleric's spell attack modifier. If the cleric doesn't use his bonus action to make the attack, the spiritual weapon does nothing.

The cleric makes the attack roll with the spiritual weapon.
My statement (very different from yours) is the cleric makes the attack using the weapon, yours was that the spiritual weapon attacks.

That doesn’t necessitate the cleric made the attack.
It does. As I have said, if the cleric doesn't use his bonus action to make the attack, the spiritual weapon does nothing.

1669394160918.png

Very clearly, you (the cleric) are making a melee spell attack. The spiritual weapon isn't making the attack, you (the cleric) are.

Is there a difference between a melee attack and a melee spell attack? Fire shield says that it reacts to a melee attack and the SW says you make a melee spell attack.
A melee attack is any melee weapon attack or melee spell attack, it includes both types of melee attack (weapon and spell).

A melee spell attack is just a subset of all melee attacks.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
ATTACK ROLLS
"Some spells require the caster to make an attack roll to determine whether the spell effect hits the intended target. Your attack bonus with a spell attack equals your spellcasting ability modifier + your proficiency bonus..."
What is the spell effect of spiritual weapon?

I say it’s the spiritual weapon hitting the enemy for 1d8+mod force damage.
 


DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
ATTACK ROLLS
"Some spells require the caster to make an attack roll to determine whether the spell effect hits the intended target. Your attack bonus with a spell attack equals your spellcasting ability modifier + your proficiency bonus..."
Thanks for bringing that up again. ;)

The caster (cleric within 5 feet of target) makes the attack roll, and hits with the spell effect (his spell), which is a melee spell attack.

I say it’s the spiritual weapon hitting the enemy for 1d8+mod force damage.
Sure, that is the spell's effect, the spiritual weapon the cleric attacked with.

That all satisfies the requirement for fire shield:

1669395954161.png


1. Cleric within 5 feet of target? CHECK!
2. hits with a melee attack? CHECK!

The cleric is (yet again...) hitting with his spiritual weapon spell. It is the same as if a berserker barbarian uses frenzy to make a bonus action melee attack with a hammer. What you are attacking with doesn't matter (as long as it is a melee attack), and then you hit with that attack.

You seem to keep thinking that because the hit is done by the spiritual weapon, fire shield isn't satisfied, but it is.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Okay, you can create exceptions to fire shield by adding the requirement that there must be a physical connection between the caster and the attacker for the spell to work. This would also except Mordenkainen's sword from triggering damage from fire shield.

What about thorn whip? Would you consider the magically created whip to constitute a physical connection between the attacker and the target?

If the druid is within 5 feet of the target, they would take fireshield damage, because the whip emanates from the druid. The druid is where the spell lashes out.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Thanks for bringing that up again. ;)

The caster (cleric within 5 feet of target) makes the attack roll, and hits with the spell effect (his spell), which is a melee spell attack.


Sure, that is the spell's effect, the spiritual weapon the cleric attacked with.

That all satisfies the requirement for fire shield:

View attachment 267883

1. Cleric within 5 feet of target? CHECK!
2. hits with a melee attack? CHECK!

The cleric is (yet again...) hitting with his spiritual weapon spell. It is the same as if a berserker barbarian uses frenzy to make a bonus action melee attack with a hammer. What you are attacking with doesn't matter (as long as it is a melee attack), and then you hit with that attack.

You seem to keep thinking that because the hit is done by the spiritual weapon, fire shield isn't satisfied, but it is.
hmmmmm

"determine whether the spell effect hits"

So it's not the cleric that hits, it's the spell effects
 



FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
By that logic my barbarian attacking with his sword isn't hitting the creature either, the sword is... sigh.
There is no language like that in the rules for weapon attacks. There is for spells.

Flame shield requires the creature to hit. The spell attack rules say the spell effect hits - not the creature.

IMO RAW supports either ruling.
 



DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Flame shield requires the creature to hit. The spell attack rules say the spell effect hits - not the creature.
The cleric is hitting, with the spiritual weapon spell. Which is why the cleric makes a melee spell attack roll to determine if he hits with the spell effect.

There is no language like that in the rules for weapon attacks. There is for spells.
Precisely, because you are reading it wrong. ;)

When you make an attack (even with a spell, as in the section you quoted), you roll the attack to determine if the attack hits. In the case of a weapon, it is the weapon hitting. In the case of a spell, it is the spell effect hitting.

1669406829835.png

1669406882595.png


Regardless, you are making the attack and hitting with either the weapon or the spell effect. The spell effect isn't hitting independently, nor is a weapon.

Exactly. That’s the basis for my RAW reading.
Which is still incorrect. 🤷‍♂️
 

Hriston

Dungeon Master of Middle-earth
This applies to all attack rolls whether they are for weapon attacks or spell attacks (some bolding added):

Rolling 1 or 20​

Sometimes fate blesses or curses a combatant, causing the novice to hit and the veteran to miss.​
Surely we aren't supposed to imagine they are talking about novice spell effects.
 

I agree that would be a reasonable change to how the spell works.
That's kind of insulting. It assumes your intepretation of the rule is the one true way, and you ok with people changing it, but your reading in the one one that's "right". Others are saying that the rule can be interpreted either way, and both are acceptable.
 

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