D&D 5E Wall of Force and spells


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Clint_L

Hero
Pretty much, yeah. Also remember, spells do what they say they do; even if a Wall of Force was microns thick doesn't automatically turn it into a blade. That'd be a DM ruling if anything.

That's why it confused me, I mean, look at the Shield spell; "An invisible barrier of magical force appears and protects you". Nothing is said about it's thickness or appearance beyond "you get a force field". It can't be destroyed by an means short Dispel Magic; in theory a 100 goblins could shoot at you and if they fail to hit, the shield deflects them all.

I don't mind attempts to add some verisimilitude to spells, but I often see arguments in other threads that adding anything to a spell, even if it makes sense (like say, making people take damage for walking through a Flaming Sphere on their turns), is making spells more powerful than they were intended to be.

So a ruling like "running into a Wall of Force edge-on will do damage instead of merely halting movement" seems a bit inconsistent when people are so adamant about the spell doing precisely what it says it does and nothing more in other respects.
Oh, I would definitely rule that a large ship running edge-on to a Wall of Force at speed would suffer catastrophic damage. I think it's a genius idea!

Or a dragon...now I'm just hoping my players never think of it...
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
Oh, I would definitely rule that a large ship running edge-on to a Wall of Force at speed would suffer catastrophic damage. I think it's a genius idea!

Or a dragon...now I'm just hoping my players never think of it...
I don't see anything wrong with it, I once used an Immovable Rod to produce a similar effect (damn those things are useful!). But again, it's just a common thing I've seen on forum posts- don't give casters extra power by extrapolating the effects of spells!

In the last 3.5 game I played, I had this magic item that could create a small Wall of Force and I was always using it to get cover from enemies or block movement, and the DM absolutely hated it, lol.

This can sometimes work the other way too, where even attempts to nerf spells run into "no, that's not what the rules say", lol. The other Wall of Force thread we had recently ran into a lot of this, people would be like "well, I think the WoF shouldn't block X" and the same few posters were like "no, the rules are clear, it doesn't work!".
 

Hussar

Legend
Me personally, I’m all for any interpretation which reduces the effectiveness of spells. Particularly interpretations which allow spells to instantly kill dragons or the like.

I’m not sure though that a box isn’t flat. But that is a pretty good interpretation.
 

I’m not sure though that a box isn’t flat. But that is a pretty good interpretation.
Trust me, I'm a mathematician (in so much as I had to study maths as part of my Astrophysics degree).

A box is made of several flat surfaces, typically six, although you can do it with four. Not a flat surface.

Ever flattened a cardboard box to dispose of it? You can't flatten something that is already flat.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Pretty much, yeah. Also remember, spells do what they say they do; even if a Wall of Force was microns thick doesn't automatically turn it into a blade.
Well, yes it does; something that's immovable and impervious to anything and yet only microns thick sounds to me like a better cutting tool than any blade ever built; never mind you can't see it coming as you approach. Thus, in 5e they gave it a specific thickness while in other editions people (including me) have ruled on it whichever way made sense to them at the time.
I don't mind attempts to add some verisimilitude to spells, but I often see arguments in other threads that adding anything to a spell, even if it makes sense (like say, making people take damage for walking through a Flaming Sphere on their turns), is making spells more powerful than they were intended to be.
Flaming Sphere doesn't damage someone who walks through it?

Now whose dumb idea was that?
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Oh, I would definitely rule that a large ship running edge-on to a Wall of Force at speed would suffer catastrophic damage. I think it's a genius idea!
My #1 character recently cast one such that a large ship moving at speed hit the flat side. I didn't think of trying it edge-on.

That said large ship was flying at the time made it even better... :)
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
Well, yes it does; something that's immovable and impervious to anything and yet only microns thick sounds to me like a better cutting tool than any blade ever built; never mind you can't see it coming as you approach. Thus, in 5e they gave it a specific thickness while in other editions people (including me) have ruled on it whichever way made sense to them at the time.

Flaming Sphere doesn't damage someone who walks through it?

Now whose dumb idea was that?
I'm not arguing that a Wall of Force couldn't be a blade, just saying that unless the spell made that claim, it's adding functionality to it. And as was pointed out, even at 1/4" inch thick, the spell could be employed as an effective weapon (if your DM doesn't balk at the idea).

As for Flaming Sphere, it's an oversight that dates back to 3e, where nothing in the text says that the spell does damage to people off-turn. I found this out the hard way; I tried to use a Flaming Sphere to block a choke point, and after carefully reading the spell, the DM just had his enemies move through it without effect.

I was decidedly unimpressed, lol.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
Light on someone's eyes to blind them is, I think, RAW legal in 1e and thus not a strengthing of the spell at all beyond what was intended.
That's really debatable; the spell can be cast on creatures (who get a save), but it never says anything about them being blinded, nor does it say you can target eyes, just creatures.
Light.jpg

Casting the reversed spell, on the other hand, sounds like a much better idea.
 

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