What does it mean for a cone’s point of origin to be included or excluded in the cone’s area of effect?

As part of the definition of a cone spell in the handbook:

A cone’s point of origin is not included in the cone’s area of effect, unless you decide otherwise.

As an example, what would either case be for a casting of Burning Hands?

Could the caster include themselves? or does this mean that they can exclude the first square of the cone?

Does a rogue’s Evasion work against spells that don’t target an area?

At 7th level, rogues gain the Evasion feature:

Beginning at 7th level, you can nimbly dodge out of the way of certain area effects, such as an ancient red dragon’s fiery breath or an ice storm spell. When you are subjected to an effect that allows you to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, you instead take no damage if you succeed on the saving throw, and only half damage if you fail.

The Immolation spell certainly allows a Dexterity save for half damage, but it is not an “area effect”:

Flames wreathe one creature you can see within range. The target must make a Dexterity saving throw. It takes 8d6 fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. […]

Given that Evasion mentions dodging “certain area effects”, does that prevent it from working spells that do not target an area, such as immolation? Or does evasion apply to all Dexterity saves for half damage?

(Other example spells include enervation and flaming sphere.)

What area does the Hallow spell actually cover?

When discussing ways to take down Count Strahd von Zarovich in my CoS campaign, my players considered casting the Hallow spell and covering literally all of Barovia in hallowed ground. They figured they can do this because of the text of the spell (PHB Page 249):


You touch a point and infuse an area around it with holy (or unholy) power. The area can have a radius up to 60 feet, and the spell fails if the radius includes an area already under the effect of the hallow spell.

(Emphasis Mine, 6th Printing of PHB)

So because of how the spell is written, there is no shape defined. Maybe sphere is implied by the use of a radius, but they also figured they could simply opt for a smaller cube shape that would fit within that sphere, because it is not explicitly defined. With that in mind, they will not have any overlapping because you can fit cubes together perfectly. Looking at the Areas of Effect on pages 204 and 205 we can see that Sphere says this:


You select a sphere’s point of origin, and the sphere extends outward from that point. The sphere’s size is expressed as a radius in feet that extends from the point.

As far as I (and one of my players helping me research this) have found, every spell that expresses that it is a sphere whether or not it gives you a specific radius or says “up to [some] radius.” It could simply be a circle, but there needs to be a three-dimensional area that it affects, so that is the same as making it a limitless cylinder.

So is it actually a Sphere or is it just some shape that fits within the boundaries?

Can Passwall be used to enter an area protected by Forbiddance?

Let’s say the BBEG has their Tower of Doom protected by a Forbiddance spell and rather than kick down the front door, the party wants to sneak in all ninja-like. The relevant wording in the Forbiddance spell description says:

You create a ward against magical travel…For the duration, creatures can’t teleport into the area or use portals…to enter the area.

I’m assuming Dimension Door wouldn’t work as the description starts off with

You teleport yourself…

But, what about Passwall?

A passage appears at a point of your choice that you can see on a…surface within range…

Does the magical travel wording of the Forbiddance spell prevent Passwall from working, or can Passwall be used to enter an area protected by Forbiddance?

Can you use a Glyph of Warding and Plant Growth to set up a semi-permanent effect in an area?

Can you use a Glyph of Warding and Plant Growth to set up a semi-permanent effect in an area?


I am a Cleric/Druid in one of the campaigns I play in and the setting is an area with very little vegetation, bar some oases. Even then, the plants here have been suffering. So, I want to help the small settlements that are dotted about the area by using the permanent effect of Plant Growth.

This got me thinking about using the spell in conjunction with Glyph of Warding, to create a semi-permanent effect to really help these areas flourish and help the local villages in this region.

I want to cast Glyph of Warding in conjunction with the eight-hour version of Plant Growth, where I set a trigger of time, e.g. that one, or two, or three years have elapsed, and so forth. Would it be possible to set them up so that they trigger over a sequence of many years? Ideally, I want to be able to enrich the land of an area for 100 years. I could get other spell-casters to join me with this.

Is it possible to use Glyph of Warding and Plant Growth to set this up?

Thanks for your help with this.

Plant Growth

If you cast this spell over 8 hours, you enrich the land. All plants in a half-mile radius centered on a point within range become enriched for 1 year. The plants yield twice the normal amount of food when harvested.

(PHB p.266)


Glyph of Warding

Spell Glyph. You can store a prepared spell of 3rd level or lower in the glyph by casting it as part o f creating the glyph. The spell must target a single creature or an area. The spell being stored has no immediate effect when cast in this way. When the glyph is triggered, the stored spell is cast. If the spell has a target, it targets the creature that triggered the glyph. If the spell affects an area, the area is centered on that creature. If the spell summons hostile creatures or creates harmful objects or traps, they appear as close as possible to the intruder and attack it. If the spell requires concentration, it lasts until the end o f its full duration.

(PHB pp. 245-246)

Affects Others, Area and Personal Range power combination is possible?

I’m trying to build a hero with telekinesis capable of creating a force field in an area for protection, like a wall or even a dome.

My first thought was to use Protection effect with Area (Burst), but, as described in the rules:

The Area modifier interacts with different ranges as follows:

Close: An effect must be at least close range in order to apply Area (personal range effects work only on the user by definition).

Protection has Personal Range, so apply Area to Protection would not be possible. I would need to increase the range to be able to use Area, but as described in Increased Range Extra, it would be needed to use Affects Others or Attack Extras:

Increasing the range of an effect from personal to close requires either the Affects Others or Attack extras (see their descriptions)

Since this is a defense effect, Attack does not apply. But, Affects Others has issues in its statement for the purpose of creating the force field as I required because:

  1. it requires that the user touches the others to work (but I think is possible to just assume that, if I combine Area with Affects Others, the Area “touches” everyone in the affected area)
  2. the affected individuals can control the power, which does not fit in the concept


This extra allows you to give someone else use of a personal effect. You must touch the subject as a standard action, and they have control over their use of the effect, although you can withdraw it when you wish as a free action.

I saw that some people do combine Affects Others with Area. In addition to that, in DC Adventures Hero Handbook, Green Lantern has an effect called Force Bubble that was built in the same way (but using Immunity instead of Protection, although Immunity has Personal range also).

Considering that this is an official book from the same designers from M&M and that others have applied the same thing, I would like to understand if my reading of the rules is correct. The rules do not seem to work in a way that Personal range powers can be combined with Affects Others and Area Extras. Affects Others seems to me that is directed to build powers that you can “lend” to others.

Am I misunderstanding something here?

Is this random area of effect spell deviation house rule broken?

Whenever an AOE spell is cast, the actual target center (for circles) or target angle (for cones) differs from the intended target by a factor of 5 feet/degrees * spell level / caster level. Direction of deviation is determined by throwing 1d8 with 1 representing “north or up” and the clockwise each subsequent number representing a quarter change (1d2 for cones left or right)


My players and I use Fantasy Grounds for our online role playing.

Up until now, whenever there’s an area of effect spell (spike growth, fireball, etc) I simply draw a circle or whatever center at the point they indicate and we use that to track the AOE of the spell. That’s all fine but due to the mechanics, it produces a couple of undesirable consequences:

  1. They get laser like precision, being able to cast spells that affect the maximum number of enemies and never hit an ally.
  2. They are aware of where effects start so they can avoid the affected areas while enemies don’t.

For the second point we’ve agreed to simply not show them where the exact area of effect is, I will see it but they won’t. That improves it but they can arguably still keep it in mind with precision by simply counting squares on the map.

We have, therefore, agreed to introduce some randomness in the “aiming” of the spell. You intent to put the center somewhere but, since you’re just human after all, you don’t get it perfect.

Current line of thought is to make it small but noticeable, maybe up to 2.5 to 5 feet away from your intended target. That’s easy to make it random but there have been chats for making it rely on spell caster level vs target ability or vs spell level (I.e. distance from intended target is 5 feet * spell level / caster level).


You are a level 5 wizard casting a fireball spell. You select a target center, and roll 1d8 getting 5. The fireball impacts at a point roughly 3 feet below your intended location.


After seeing the linked question, I still prefer this to a check against an AC. Isn’t this system no matter how good you are you’ll never get it exactly right (which is how good aim works in real life). The better you are, the closer you get, but a level 15 wizard will still get it wrong by a feet.

Can a spell cast outside a primal magic area affect its interior?

The question divides in two possibilities:

  1. A spell is cast outside a primal magic area but the target/place is inside of it. Does it work?

  2. A spell is cast outside a primal magic area but the target/place is outside of it, but the spell’s area of effect still affects part of the area. Does it work?

The example that came to my mind: a fireball cast to explode inside a primal magic area or outside of it, but the explosion still reaches people inside the area.