D&D 5E Wall of Force and spells


Psychic Lance would not work, as the target still has full cover between the cater and itself.

Why does this matter though? This would mostly make the say a name portion irrelevant. Most of the people I have played with assume the say a name is designed to target enemies who are around the corner or inside a room and have full cover.

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Specific trumps general.

Same as scry or even detect thought or dimension door.
But it does not specifically the spell ignores the rules on targets.

If I apply the actual rules rigorously, this is a specific restriction only on the types of creatures I can target - I can cast Dream only on a creature I know (specific requirement for Dream) and the creature can't be behind total cover (general requirement for all spells).

Any specifics that waive the cover requirement are implicit, not explicit and the same "specific vs general" rule that applies for Dream would equally apply for Hypnotic Pattern, Fear and Psychic Lance (assuming you named the creature).

The only spell I know of that actually has wording that explicitly specifically overides the general cover requirement is Detect Magic.


More crap wording.

Why not have it say: "Choose a single creature that is both known to you and on the same plane of existence as you". There. Out comes the confusing word "target", and it's just as easy to parse otherwise.
Because hypothetically the target would need to be on the same plane of existance and not behind total cover if it were worded this way.


So if you can't cast spells on people without a clear path, which is obstructed by total cover, how does something like Dream work?

Relevant text: "Choose a creature known to you as the target of this spell. The target must be on the same plane of existence as you"

Look at the range/area of the spell. It's "self". The descriptive text is not relevant to the range.


As per the rules, you cannot target someone with a spell if they have total cover - full stop - whether you can see them perfectly fine or not.

The question then becomes 'what counts as cover'.
So then for the most part you can never target someone with Scrying or Dream unless you can see them. Full Stop.


Uttering the creature's name is just a work-around for if you cannot see them but they are not otherwise behind total cover.
If you can not see them they are usually going to be behind total cover unless you are blind or they are invisible.

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Look at the range/area of the spell. It's "self". The descriptive text is not relevant to the range.

Special, not Self.


Morkus from Orkus
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.
Transportation works because you are not passing through the wall. You disappear from one space and reappear in another.

Voidrunner's Codex

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