D&D 5E Stone shape


Could you cast stone shape and surround a creature in a 5’ block do stone? If the creature is less than 5’ tall would it have to use the “hold your breath” rules?

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Oh this is where the title goes?
As I read it, stone shape lets you reshape the stone but not cause it to move in arbitrary ways. So you could shape a large rock to have a person sized hole in it, but getting the person into the hole is a different matter.

One way I could see it is to shape a pit beneath a creature and perhaps they fall in. Then you might cast the spell again to seal them up.


As always, it's up to your DM. I would rule no, for several reasons. You have to be touching the stone, you have to shape a piece of clay in a crude approximation, it turns a utility spell into a go-to-attack spell. In addition, saying that medium creatures occupy a 5 ft square just an approximation, many (if not most) medium creatures are taller than 5 ft.

Last, I don't see any way you could form it completely around a creature; potentially over a creature but then they'd just have to move it.


it turns a utility spell into a go-to-attack spell.


I would rule no as well. I do not believe that Stone Shape was ever intended to be a tactical attack spell. It was designed to make simple things like doorways, close up openings, and the such. Now I have yet to dive into 5e as a DM, but in my Pathfinder game I changed the casting time to 1 minute (removing the tactical use) and ruled it could not duplicate the effect of another spell (i.e. Wall of Stone).

I would allow it, though I'd give the target a saving throw. If a PC wants to spend a 4th level spell to asphyxiate a single goblin or kobold, that’s on them. Looking at the description, I’d rule that anything Medium or Large size would only be grappled, being unable to be fully covered. I might also give the target a saving throw at the end of each of their turns to escape.


Rotten DM
"Waa waaaa". cried the spell caster. " Ralif Redhammer allows me to kill goblins and kobolds with this spell! You are icky nasty dm Jasper!"
Jasper " In the pass month you kill 232 goblins, 37 goblins, and sleeping stone giant because since it is 'stone' stone shape should work on it. The evil wizard just got tired of your spell casting!"
Spell caster, " No one knew of my tactic. "
Jasper, " Hey some of the kobolds escaped. You failed your perception roll. And rolled a 1 on your saving throw. You as you have always said Stone Cold dead."
I learned long long long okay 1980 or 1981 never to let an utility spell be used as damage spell."

Heh, I’m all for creative uses of utility spells, but yeah, it’s all fun and games for some folks until the DM does it right back to you. Then that, that’s suddenly “cheating.”

I do think there’s a difference between someone trying to be creative, though, and someone trying to cheese their way through the game.

And rolled a 1 on your saving throw. You as you have always said Stone Cold dead."
I learned long long long okay 1980 or 1981 never to let an utility spell be used as damage spell."


You didn't specify an edition, so I'll give you the 3.5 answer: If the person was standing against a stone wall, it might be possible. Might be.

Every other spell that imprisons someone like that allows a Save, so that use should as well.

If you're talking about a "body cast" form, you'd need to be able to sculpt the component clay into that cast, including the shape of the person on the inside. Make me a Skill Check against Craft - Sculpture and we'll talk. And that talk will probably end in a "No" anyway.

The alternative would be a stone box, and the volume for the spell is relatively small in 3.5: Up to 10 cubic feet + 1 cubic foot per caster level.

At 5th level (minimum to cast a 3th level spell), that's 15 cubic feet. If you want to box someone in you have to figure on their height (5'10" seems a good number), so you need to go six feet in most cases. 2.5 to 3 feet across and 2 feet front to back totals to about 10 linear feet, and that presumes that they're standing at attention. Weapons or other poses may call for more.

So, 10 linear feet x 6 feet in height is 60 square feet. 15 (cubic feet) goes into 60 (square feet) four times, so the thickness will be 1/4 of a foot. Your stone wall would be 3" thick, at most, and that's in a best-case scenario.

If you simply want to encase the entire square they're in then the math is easier: Square footage is 5x5x4, or 100 square feet (five feet high, five feet wide for all four sides.) Fifteen (cubic feet) goes into 100 (square feet) 6.66666 times, so your barrier will be less than two inches thick.

No skill check to make a simple box, but it's easily escapible, since it hasn't a top. Want to add the top and close the box? Add at least a foot to the height, and add the fifth face. So 5 x 5 x 6, or 150 square feet. Walls are now 1.2 inches thick, and it's even easier to break out of. And if they have a weapon that reaches outside of their immediate square (which is really what most melee weapons are supposed to do), it fails outright.

So that was the long answer (though I skipped the long division :) ).

The short answer? No.

You can try to present all the math for scrutiny and approval, but if I were your DM I'd have to ask, "So, what are you really ding this round?"

Epic Threats

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