As a DM, I want to know if more than one creature can fit inside Otiluke’s Resilient Sphere, Rules as Written.
Here is the scenario:
A party of four Medium creatures are walking through the old sewers of a city. Suddenly, the sound of gallons of rushing water echos down the tunnel, the party has only moments to react before the chamber floods with water. Thinking quickly, the party groups together and the wizard casts Resilient Sphere on them to protect them from the water.
Rules as Written, this wouldn’t work. The spell states that:
“The sphere is weightless and just large enough to contain the creature or object inside”.
This quote, and the continued use of singular rather than plural language, heavily implies that it is only intended to affect one creature at a time.
Using the Rule of Cool however I allow this, as the spell description also states it is:
“A sphere of shimmering force [that] encloses a creature or object of Large size or smaller within range”.
This means that if all four Medium sized creatures got into a Large box and cast Resilient Sphere on the box, this would have worked. That is because even though the creatures are in the box, the spell is being cast on the box, not on the creatures. (It is a strange technicality but it is well within the rules, so I as DM allow it to be done without the box.)
It would seem silly to disallow the contents of a container to be affected by the spell when the container itself is affected. That sets a precedent that, if you cast the spell on a chest, all the contents would fall out as the spell can only contain a single object, that being the chest. Casting it on a bottle would cause the liquid to spill out, as you only cast the spell on the container. Casting the spell on a cage could free a creature within it, as the spell was cast on the cage not the creature.
So, with this in mind, can multiple creatures can be contained within Resilient Sphere within the rules?
Here are some rhetorical questions as food for thought:
If the spell was cast on a swarm, what would happen? Would the entire Medium swarm be affected, or would only one Tiny beast in that swarm be affected?
What if the spell was cast the very moment one creature entered the space of another creature? Or when one creature was grappling or riding another creature?
If the spell was cast on an Ochre Jelly which then split whilst inside the Resilient Sphere, would the spell end as it can only contain a singular creature?
Could the spell be cast on a Large box which had a Huge creature squeezed inside of it, as creatures can squeeze into a space one size smaller than them? Or would the spell fail as it can only affect creatures or objects of Large size or smaller?
Disclaimer for any potential VTC-ers. These rhetorical questions are not a part of my question and do not need to be answered, they are simply meant to make potential answerer’s consider multiple possibilities before giving their answer. These do not make my question more broad, as I am not looking for them to be answered, and thusly any answer that focuses on only answering these rhetorical questions should be flagged as “not an answer”.