D&D 5E Wall of Force and spells

ECMO3

Hero
So Wall of Force has generated a lot of controversy in one of my games and it is rather difficult to logic through. For the purposes of this discussion assume there is a wall of force hemisphere around an enemy who is occupying the entire space under/behind the wall. With that in mind, here is my logic on each of these examples:

I can see the enemy so can I target the enemy with a spell that requires me to see the target - NO because he has full cover

Send an AOE into the sphere - No the space you are targeting is behind full cover - If you try this the effect is centered on your side of the wall (per PHB)

Say his name and target him with Psychic Lance by saying his name - YES This is iffy, but the cover is irrelevant in this case I think do to the specifics involving this spell. Certainly you can target other individuals with full cover so I think you could here as well.

Can I misty Step or Teleport or Dimension Door or Plane Shift or Vortex Warp someone or myself into the Wall of Force - Yes, reading the rules this might be iffy, but normally Teleport and Plane Shift are used to target areas with full cover so it seems an exclusion would apply here or these spells are seriously nerfed.

I cast Vortex Warp to move the creature inside the wall of force out - No you can't target the creature inside because he has full cover

I cast plane shift on myself and then cast Gate to bring the guy out of the Wall of Force - Yes

I cast fireball just outside the wall of force does the enemy burn - No physical effects can't penetrate the wall

I cast lightning bolt, does it get him - No it hits the wall and stops.

I cast silent image or minor illusion or major image on my side of the wall, does the creature can see the illusion - Yes the wall is invisible and the creature will view the illusion as if the wall wasn't there.

I cast Fear or Hypnotic Pattern outside the wall but its AOE extends into the wall, is he frightened/charmed - Yes the Wall is invisible so the creature on the other side sees either the phantasmal image (Fear) or the twisting pattern of colors (Hypnotic Pattern) on the other side of the wall and is affected by them.

Have I got these right?
 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
So Wall of Force has generated a lot of controversy in one of my games and it is rather difficult to logic through. For the purposes of this discussion assume there is a wall of force hemisphere around an enemy who is occupying the entire space under/behind the wall. With that in mind, here is my logic on each of these examples:

I can see the enemy so can I target the enemy with a spell that requires me to see the target - NO because he has full cover

Send an AOE into the sphere - No the space you are targeting is behind full cover - If you try this the effect is centered on your side of the wall (per PHB)

Say his name and target him with Psychic Lance by saying his name - YES This is iffy, but the cover is irrelevant in this case I think do to the specifics involving this spell. Certainly you can target other individuals with full cover so I think you could here as well.

Can I misty Step or Teleport or Dimension Door or Plane Shift or Vortex Warp someone or myself into the Wall of Force - Yes, reading the rules this might be iffy, but normally Teleport and Plane Shift are used to target areas with full cover so it seems an exclusion would apply here or these spells are seriously nerfed.

I cast Vortex Warp to move the creature inside the wall of force out - No you can't target the creature inside because he has full cover

I cast plane shift on myself and then cast Gate to bring the guy out of the Wall of Force - Yes

I cast fireball just outside the wall of force does the enemy burn - No physical effects can't penetrate the wall

I cast lightning bolt, does it get him - No it hits the wall and stops.

I cast Fear or Hypnotic Pattern outside the wall but its AOE extends into the wall, is he frightened/charmed - Yes this effect is not physical, so it does penetrate the wall

Have I got these right?
Except for psychic lance, the effect of which originates at the caster's forehead and then travels to the target. Whether you can see the creature or not, the lance still can't get through the barrier and would be stopped. This would apply even if you say the name, since all that does is target things you can't see. It doesn't allow it to go through walls. Think of the naming portion like Magic Missile. It strikes unerringly, so long as it can possibly strike.
 

They are all DM's call. For example, how high is the wall? If it doesn't reach the ceiling I could target a point above and behind the wall with a fireball. Since it's effect originates from the target point, not the caster, it will affect someone who is behind the wall.

Since the core rules about cover apply to ALL spells, and a Wall of Force explicitly blocks magic, I would not allow any spell effect that makes a direct line between the caster and the target to pass through the wall, including teleportation effects and healing spells. But you might teleport over the top of a wall and drop down behind.
 


I cast Fear or Hypnotic Pattern outside the wall but its AOE extends into the wall, is he frightened/charmed - Yes the Wall is invisible so the creature on the other side sees either the phantasmal image (Fear) or the twisting pattern of colors (Hypnotic Pattern) on the other side of the wall and is affected by them.

Have I got these right?
I will say No to these. The Wall provides total cover so the inside of the dome is not included in the spell's area of effect. The creature inside the dome can see the effect, but is no more affected than someone watching it from a safe distance.
 

cbwjm

Seb-wejem
I think my general rule of thumb is that you can target someone with mental effects but not physical effects. So charm person and phantasmal force, yes; magic missile and fireball, no.

Also, I keep forgetting that the ethereal plane is still a thing in 5e, kind of thought it was done.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
So Wall of Force has generated a lot of controversy in one of my games and it is rather difficult to logic through. For the purposes of this discussion assume there is a wall of force hemisphere around an enemy who is occupying the entire space under/behind the wall. With that in mind, here is my logic on each of these examples:

Can I misty Step or Teleport or Dimension Door or Plane Shift or Vortex Warp someone or myself into the Wall of Force - Yes, reading the rules this might be iffy, but normally Teleport and Plane Shift are used to target areas with full cover so it seems an exclusion would apply here or these spells are seriously nerfed.
One slight problem: if the enemy is occupying all the space within the hemisphere you won't be able to fit in there with it...though the attempt might prove entertaining. :)
I cast silent image or minor illusion or major image on my side of the wall, does the creature can see the illusion - Yes the wall is invisible and the creature will view the illusion as if the wall wasn't there.

I cast Fear or Hypnotic Pattern outside the wall but its AOE extends into the wall, is he frightened/charmed - Yes the Wall is invisible so the creature on the other side sees either the phantasmal image (Fear) or the twisting pattern of colors (Hypnotic Pattern) on the other side of the wall and is affected by them.
Doesn't the target have to be right inside the twisting colours for HP to work? If yes, then by RAW the Wall will block it (but don't get me started on why 5e won't allow spells like that to not be cast through invisible barriers - one thread arguing that question is enough :) ).

But if your silent image etc. outside the Wall is good enough to freak out the creature inside it, you're fine.
 

Stalker0

Legend
Misty step works because the target is you, and the effect is to go to a space “you can see”, though there does have to be an unoccupied space inside the hemisphere for that to work.

Probably the most classic one is summoning creatures inside the wall. Though this has long been a staple of the game, by the book the total cover rule would block them.
 

Oofta

Legend
There's another thread on this, but the rules are simple. Things like Misty Step work because the target is the caster, not the point in space they are teleporting to. Anything else? You can't have an obstacle between you and the point in space or the creature you are targeting.

The rule is quite simple and does not have exceptions (emphasis mine)

A Clear Path to the Target​

To target something, you must have a clear path to it, so it can’t be behind total cover.​
If you place an area of effect at a point that you can’t see and an obstruction, such as a wall, is between you and that point, the point of origin comes into being on the near side of that obstruction.​
 

ECMO3

Hero
Since the core rules about cover apply to ALL spells, and a Wall of Force explicitly blocks magic, I would not allow any spell effect that makes a direct line between the caster and the target to pass through the wall, including teleportation effects and healing spells. But you might teleport over the top of a wall and drop down behind.

Nothing in wall of force explicitly says it blocks magic. Here is the spell description:

"An invisible wall of force springs into existence at a point you choose within range. The wall appears in any orientation you choose, as a horizontal or vertical barrier or at an angle. It can be free floating or resting on a solid surface. You can form it into a hemispherical dome or a sphere with a radius of up to 10 feet, or you can shape a flat surface made up of ten 10-foot-by-10-foot panels. Each panel must be contiguous with another panel. In any form, the wall is 1/4 inch thick. It lasts for the duration. If the wall cuts through a creature's space when it appears, the creature is pushed to one side of the wall (your choice which side).

Nothing can physically pass through the wall. It is immune to all damage and can't be dispelled by dispel magic. A disintegrate spell destroys the wall instantly, however. The wall also extends into the Ethereal Pland, blocking ethereal travel through the wall."



It doesn't say it blocks magic at all, only that "nothing can physically pass through the wall". That they even thought to include the word physically implies an intent that teleportation would work.

The reason most spells don't work is because it provides total cover and you can't target a spell at area or object that has total cover. The spells I noted are presumably exceptions to this and some like Dimension Door and Plane Shift are excplicitly exceptions to this.

The cover rules about spells apply specifically to the target of the spell.
 
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