D&D 5E Wall of Force options

Edit: though thinking more about it, I don't think you can summon inside a Wall of Force once it is up. It counts as "total cover," and the rules on total cover are clear: unless the spell description specifically stipulates otherwise, you cannot cast a spell targeting something behind total cover. In this case, they would be trying to target a summoning spell behind total cover. It would be like trying to cast it into a closed building from outside.
If you look at the wording for Moonbeam, it says "A silvery beam of pale light shines down in a 5-foot-radius, 40-foot-high cylinder centered on a point within range." It doesn't say anything about having to "target" the point, you certainly don't have to see the point, and the effect does not originate from the caster.
 

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Clint_L

Hero
According to Crawford's sacred flame ruling the spell has to specifically "ignore cover," which moonbeam does not do, according to the wording of the spell. I don't think moonbeam would work with RAW; to me, it also seems intuitively like it shouldn't work because it would be going right through the wall of force, which is against the clear intent of the spell. This is assuming the dome or globe version of the spell.

DMs can rule however they want, but I think the design intent of wall of force is clearly that it is supposed to be all but impenetrable, so as a DM I would be very hesitant to let players get around it as I think it could then become very easy to cheese the spell. I don't even like the sacred flame ruling very much. YVMV.
 
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it shouldn't work because it would be going right through the wall of force, which is against the clear intent of the spell.
It doesn't go through the wall - the spell description says the effect comes down, same as Sacred Flame.

And if you place the effect at point in mid air over the top of the wall and above the target, the effect extends downwards 20 feet.

You can also move the beam as a bonus action, and there is nothing to indicate this movement is impeded by any sort of barrier.

But the rest the rules are open to interpretation. It doesn't need to ignore cover since it doesn't need to be targeted.
 
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Hussar

Legend
I guess my issue is with spells that don't really need a line of effect from the caster to the target. You can see the target and presumably sound can penetrate - there's nothing stating you can't hear inside a wall of force. So, if I drop a wall of force around the target and then Banishment, would that work? After all, I just need to see the baddy. What about Phantasmal Killer? Again, I just need to see it.

The problem I have with Wall of Force, isn't that it ties up one of the party's casters. It's that if you have a few casters in the group - then you can get around the negatives of the Wall pretty easily and more or less autokill anything that cannot teleport.

I watched the party Vicious Mockery the baddy to death and there was nothing that could be done about it.
 

I guess my issue is with spells that don't really need a line of effect from the caster to the target. You can see the target and presumably sound can penetrate - there's nothing stating you can't hear inside a wall of force. So, if I drop a wall of force around the target and then Banishment, would that work? After all, I just need to see the baddy. What about Phantasmal Killer? Again, I just need to see it.

The problem I have with Wall of Force, isn't that it ties up one of the party's casters. It's that if you have a few casters in the group - then you can get around the negatives of the Wall pretty easily and more or less autokill anything that cannot teleport.

I watched the party Vicious Mockery the baddy to death and there was nothing that could be done about it.
Vicious Mockery is targeted, and thus, RAW, it can't be used through a wall of force. "Is psionic" isn't a rule in 5e.
 



Samloyal23

Adventurer
It seems like instead of a defense for the caster the Wall of Force is more like a prison that protects the BBEG from the wizard in the party. What good is it?
 

Hussar

Legend
It seems like instead of a defense for the caster the Wall of Force is more like a prison that protects the BBEG from the wizard in the party. What good is it?

Well it lets the other three or four PCs freely murderize the baddy. Basically it’s an I win spell.
 

But the target is simply, someone you can see. The wall doesn’t block sight. Why would it block the effect?
Because rulz. It's described above. "To target something, you must have a clear path to it, so it can't be behind total cover." The wall of force counts as total cover, as per sage advice.
 

Hussar

Legend
Because rulz. It's described above. "To target something, you must have a clear path to it, so it can't be behind total cover." The wall of force counts as total cover, as per sage advice.
Thank you. That's exactly the thing I was looking for. Excellent. As always, RTFM. Two big thumbs up.
 

cwallach

Explorer
Lets say that Moonbeam is cast (by another PC) prior to Wall of Force. Can the Moonbeam then be moved if the Wall of Force is between the Moonbeam and its caster?
 

Stalker0

Legend
So if you use the “can’t target” criteria as what wall of force blocks or doesn’t, unfortunately that includes most Simmons as well.

Conjure animals for example targets a square. Well that targeting would be blocked by WoF just as much as a creature target would, so you can’t conjure the animal past the wall
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
It is a high risk tool. The fighter in one of the games I run is using it and using it well. They often make it so that creatures can't pass through it, but spells and objects can ... and that proved to be a problem when they were knocked unconcious and the only healer nearby could only heal with a touch. Even unconcious, the cube stayed up and forced him to roll the dice on death saves.

It is a powerful tool, and as such will be iconic for the user. It will make them feel powerful - but that power comes with a risk.
For me, like a lot of oh-crud-what-have-I-gotten-myself-into moments in 5e is that I play with a very skilled group of veteran players. When I started playing with this group, I hadn't run any TTRPG for a couple decades. There is this great blog and series of books that came out of that blog called "The Monsters Know What They Are Doing" that gives tips for running monsters. It would love a similar series that did deep dives in to magic items and spells.
 

Clint_L

Hero
It doesn't go through the wall - the spell description says the effect comes down, same as Sacred Flame.

And if you place the effect at point in mid air over the top of the wall and above the target, the effect extends downwards 20 feet.

You can also move the beam as a bonus action, and there is nothing to indicate this movement is impeded by any sort of barrier.

But the rest the rules are open to interpretation. It doesn't need to ignore cover since it doesn't need to be targeted.
It does need to be targeted: "centered on a point within range." The words "ignore cover" have a very specific meaning in D&D; they are specifically added to very few spells. Sacred flame is one of those spells, moonbeam is not. I think your ruling on moonbeam would open the door to a lot of other spells and create exactly the situation that wall of force seems intended to prevent. Your campaign, though, so if that is comfortable for you, then there's no problem.
 

Stalker0

Legend
It does need to be targeted: "centered on a point within range." The words "ignore cover" have a very specific meaning in D&D; they are specifically added to very few spells. Sacred flame is one of those spells, moonbeam is not. I think your ruling on moonbeam would open the door to a lot of other spells and create exactly the situation that wall of force seems intended to prevent. Your campaign, though, so if that is comfortable for you, then there's no problem.
Yeah moonbeams target is blocked as easily as any other by wall of force.
 

Lets say that Moonbeam is cast (by another PC) prior to Wall of Force. Can the Moonbeam then be moved if the Wall of Force is between the Moonbeam and its caster?
There is nothing in the rules to prevent it. Wouldn't need to be prior, either. RAW, after it's cast the Moonbeam can be moved through anything.
 


Clint_L

Hero
I'm not sure what you think is so special about moonbeam. It still can't target something that has total cover, which is what you are trying to do - you are trying to summon it here and then move it there, to a new target. There's still nothing allowing that particular spell to ignore cover.

Is it that wall of force is transparent? This was specifically addressed by Crawford, and it doesn't make a difference; it still counts as full cover. If it makes it easier to understand, imagine wall of force as an adamantium dome in this situation. You can move moonbeam on top of it all you want; it ain't getting through. According to RAW, anyway. Your campaign, your rules - if I was a player and you told me it was transparent so moonbeam could go right through, I would be fine with it.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
I was about to ask if a hemispherical wall of force had a floor, wondering if something could go under it, but then I remembered Crawford's "ruling" about tiny hut.
 

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