When does a Summon spell take effect

!st ed: The Summon Monster and Summon Nature’s ally spells all have a casting time of 1 round. My regular group have always taken that to mean that the summoned creature begins to act in the following round. My new group (I’m GM for the first time) is claiming that it should appear and start to act in the round in which the spell is cast. Who is right? Does it make any difference if the caster is actually a Preservationist Alchemist invoking Bottled Ally?

Making aging relevant: How can I translate premature aging into a mechanical effect?

My group is about to come across a haunted sunken keep with an adversarial Ghost mini-boss. Being mostly composed of Humans (because who doesn’t want a free feat?), I expect them to be particularly vulnerable to Horrifying Visage’s aging effect.

The problem is, based on this question and my own reading of the PHB, it would seem to be that age is simply fluff. You can roleplay being any age you want and not have consequences mechanically.

The tone of the campaign is serious and leans toward deadly (though no one has died. Yet), and considering that you can only be prematurely aged by a Ghost by failing a save by 5 or more (a total roll of 8) the effect of aging should be a nuisance, at least.

I understand that 5th edition has done away with giving bonuses and penalties for old age as previous editions used to, trusting the GM to keep the tone of the game intact. For example, it would be up to the GM whether he would allow a Venerable Fighter to still function 100% normally, if that’s the kind of game you’re playing.

However, it doesn’t work for me. The venerable fighter has had years to perfect his swing in order to avoid that ache in his elbow, let alone avoid throwing his back. A magically aged character (or any aged character, if you’re running a realist game) who has prematurely aged as a result of effects such as Horrifying Visage has not had the years he needs to get used to the effects of aging and neither has he grown wiser or more intelligent.

How can I translate premature aging into a mechanical effect?

I am open to house-rules, but please back it up with experience of use in-game. Wild speculation and spit-balling are not good answers.

Are creatures aware of the effect of Mirror of Life Trapping?

The Mirror of Life Trapping can trap creatures in it.

Any creature other than you that sees its reflection in the activated mirror while within 30 feet of it must succeed on a DC 15 Charisma saving throw or be trapped, along with anything it is wearing or carrying, in one of the mirror’s twelve extradimensional cells.

Does the creature even know it’s making a save for something? If it doesn’t, then it’s likely my players will stand around for a while and I’ll call for multiple saves. Otherwise, they’ll probably look away very quickly.

How does combining eldritch essence and shape with metamagic feats effect the spell level?

In the Complete Arcane, page 9, it indicates:

When a warlock uses both kinds of invocations to alter an eldritch blast, the spell level equivalent is equal to the spell level of the eldritch blast, the level of the eldritch essence invocation, or the level of the blast shape invocation, whichever is higher.

Therefore if a warlock combines Eldritch Chain (Shape – 4th level) as well as Brimstone Blast (Essence – 3rd level), it will be as if casting a 4th level spell if I am understanding correctly since shape and essence levels don’t stack together, and just take the whichever is higher.

Using Maximize spell-like ability on Eldritch blast requires CL to be at least 6 since, Eldritch blast is a 1st level spell and the formula is [(CL/2) – 2].

By that, can a 6th level warlock cast Eldritch Chain with Brimstone essence combined with Maximize spell like ability? Or do I need to re-calculate the spell according to maximize-spell like abilities formula, which would require level 12?

Does the shrink effect caused by the Wand of Wonder last the full minute?

One player in my campaign just used the Wand of Wonder and got the effect:

66-69 — You shrink yourself as if you had cast enlarge/reduce on yourself.

Enlarge/reduce has a duration of:

Concentration, up to 1 minute

Does the effect last the full minute, or can you end the effect early?

We ruled that it’s the full minute because the wand is the one that cast the effect so it’s “concentrating”. Is this correct?

Engulfed while Gust of Wind is in effect

Recently my party was exploring a dungeon when we were attacked. My druid cast Gust of Wind to drive some of the enemies back, but shortly afterwards was engulfed by a gelantinous cube.

What should happen in a situation like this?

I started to argue that I should still be able to control the wind blast from inside the cube, imagining that the wind emanates from a point nearby. But I checked the spell description and it says the wind "blasts from you," so that interpretation was out. (Presumably the wind emanates from at least a short distance beyond one’s body, or else one’s clothes would be blown off, but that doesn’t really help my case.)

The DM ruled that the spell was effectively nullified, which made me sad. I suppose the ruling was superficially reasonable, although it runs counter to the advice I often see here that effects do only what they say they do and no more, and it seems wrong to give the cube the extra benefit of a selective Dispel Magic or Antimagic Field when it engulfs someone.

I can think of a number of possible ways to approach the situation:

  • the victim has advantage on the check to avoid being engulfed
  • as above, and/or the victim can make additional checks on succeeding rounds to escape the cube
  • the cube must make an ad-hoc strength check to continue to restrain the victim
  • the victim is engulfed and suffers the effects as normal, but the wind keeps a hole open in front of the cube, continuing to affect those outside
  • the cube blows up like a soap bubble–perhaps one of those cubical bubbles that can be made with a special bubble wand

I rather doubt there are any rules-as-written to handle this situation, but then again I only own the Player’s Handbook, not the DMG. Is there a technically correct solution? If not, what might be the closest there is to one?

Can you wear a Mithral Chain over Snakeskin Tunic and have their effect stack?

Can you wear a Mithral Chain over Snakeskin Tunic and have their effect stack?

Snakeskin Tunic: A snakeskin tunic is a tight, form-fitting shirt crafted from the scales of a giant snake. When worn, it grants a +1 armor bonus to AC, a +2 enhancement bonus to Dexterity, and a +2 resistance bonus on saving throws against poison.

Mithral Shirt: This extremely light chain shirt is made of very fine mithral links. The armor has an arcane spell failure chance of 10%, a maximum Dexterity bonus of +6, and no armor check penalty. It is considered light armor.

Can a creature under the effect of a Discord Symbol perform verbal spell components?

Symbol allows you to create a magical glyph that triggers on a condition you determine. One of the glyphs you can create is called Discord:

Each target must make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, a target bickers and argues with other creatures for 1 minute. During this time, it is incapable of meaningful communication and has disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks.

Is a creature who fails the save against this effect capable of performing verbal spell components?

Is there a minimum requirement for a character to have line of effect with Shadow Jaunt/Stride/Blink?

I’m pretty sure this has been asked already but I can’t find the question in question, so I hope I don’t break any rules by asking again.

The Shadow X maneuvers from Shadow Hand have a line of effect and line of sight requirement to work. Let’s say I want to teleport through a hole in a wall. According to both line rules, as long as I can see though the hole and there is nothing obstructing the path though the hole, I should be able to teleport though it.

Is there a minimum size the hole has to be for my character to be able to traverse the hole?

Can I cast Aid to heal creatures already under the effect of Aid?

Suppose I have cast Aid on 3 of my allies, and those allies have all dropped to 0 hit points and fallen unconscious. I would like to get all of them back on their feet as quickly as possible. Can I cast Aid again to restore 5 hits points to each of my 3 allies who are already under the effect of another Aid spell? I know that spells of the same name don’t stack, so my 2nd casting of Aid won’t increase their maximum hit points any further. However, it’s not clear to me whether the hit point increase from Aid is any different from the healing provided by spells like Cure Wounds, so it’s not clear to me whether there is a stacking issue that would prevent this from working.