What happens if you don’t sleep?

The description of a long rest says:

A long rest is a period of extended downtime, at least 8 hours long, during which a character sleeps or performs light activity: reading, talking, eating, or standing watch for no more than 2 hours.

A recent Sage Advice, while discussing whether elves need 8 hours for a long rest, also clarifies that a long rest need not necessarily include sleep, and that the only activity limited to 2 hours is the standing watch:

A long rest is a period of relaxation that is at least 8 hours long. It can contain sleep, reading, talking, eating, and other restful activity. Standing watch is even possible during it, but for no more than 2 hours; maintaining heightened vigilance any longer than that isn’t restful. In short, a long rest and sleep aren’t the same thing; you can sleep when you’re not taking a long rest, and you can take a long rest and not sleep.

Presumably, though, most humanoids need to sleep (and elves need to trance) to avoid exhaustion. Yet I cannot find any rules relating to applying levels of exhaustion to characters who neglect (or are unable) to sleep. I don’t think the forced march rules apply here, as long as the characters limit travel/adventuring to 8 hours/day and spend the rest of the day doing downtime activities and resting.

I am thinking primarily of a situation where hallucinations, nightmares, or a noisy environment prevent a character from sleeping when he or she attempts to do so.

What/where are the rules that require a character to eventually sleep or trance? And what are the penalties for not doing so. The sage advice says sleep is independent of rest, so what is the penalty for not sleeping if the character has taken a full long rest consisting of only light activity.

What happens to a Devil when its alignment is forcibly changed?

According to PHB 122, in the section entitled Alignment in the Multiverse, for most creatures, “alignment is a moral choice.” Myth says good-aligned gods created the races that are free to choose to be evil (they have free will), while evil-aligned gods created the races that are very inclined towards evil, since they were born to serve the evil god in the first place.

However, there are some types of creatures — like devils — which embody an alignment in its essence:

Alignment in the Multiverse, PHB 122

A devil does not choose to be lawful evil, and it doesn’t tend toward lawful evil, but rather it is lawful evil in its essence. If it somehow ceased to be lawful evil, it would cease to be a devil.

My first thought was to not take this reading literally. The text could have meant that a neutral evil devil “isn’t really a devil,” but really, it’s still a devil. It’s a bit like imagining a guitarist who loses both hands. The loss of some part of a person’s essence makes them not the same person anymore.

However, keeping my attention on it, I’m finding this text more and more difficult to interpret. If a devil “is lawful evil in its essence” then what does it mean when “it would cease to be a devil”? What happens to a devil when its alignment is forcibly changed?

There are ways to forcibly change someone’s alignment, and a devil can be subject to some of them.

What happens when you have a creature grappled and use the Bait and Switch to move 5 feet away from the creature?

Does it just break your grapple since the creature is outside your reach? Does this count as "Moving a Grappled Target" and the creature you’re grappling moves 5 feet with you?

Or does this count as the latter, but since your speed is halved, and the maneuver only allows you to move 5 feet, your speed is 2.5 feet, and if playing on a grid, actually cannot move?

What happens if DM wouldn’t count Grapple and Shove as “an attack”?

This is how Player’s Handbook (p. 194) describes what counts as an attack:

If there’s ever any question whether something you’re doing counts as an attack, the rule is simple: if you’re making an attack roll, you’re making an attack

There are ambiguous exceptions from this rule though — so-called "special attacks", Grapple and Shove in particular.

This raises additional questions, like Does grappling count as a hit? As a DM, for the sake of clarity and consistency I want to call Grapple just "an action" or "a contest", not "special melee attack". So instead of

you can use the Attack action to make a special melee attack, a grapple

the text of the house rule will be

you can use the Attack action to make an action in combat, a grapple

So does for Shove. This is also consistent with the PHB "Contests in Combat" (emphasis mine):

Battle often involves pitting your prowess against that of your foe. Such a challenge is represented by a contest. This section includes the most common contests that require an action in combat: grappling and shoving a creature. The DM can use these contests as models for improvising others.

So the lowercase "attack" is changed to "action" or "contest". For instance, the next passage in the Grappling description will be "If you’re able to make multiple attacks with the Attack action, this contest replaces one of them". The rest of the rules remains unchanged.

In terms of game mechanics, what consequenses/repercussions this change will have?

What happens to a Summoned Demon when it hasn’t been given new commands?

This assumes that you use summon greater demon (Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, p. 166), and command it to attack your enemies. This summoned Balgura succeeds in killing all enemies you ordered it to, but during this time you were drawn away from the demon, and haven’t been able to issue it a new verbal command. Keep in mind, it hasn’t succeeded in breaking the spell via it’s CHA saves.

Would a Demon be able to act on it’s own accord if it hasn’t been given any new commands, and has no creatures to attack that "attacked it during the last turn."?

What happens to a Chain lighting with invalid primary target and valid secondary targets?

This question asks what happens when a single-target spell has an invalid target. (A target that is not legitimately permissible, not a target that is weak from illness or injury).

The answer appears to be: that depends on whether one wishes to implement an older Sage Advice segment of a Dragon Talk podcast, or the more recent but optional written rules in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything.

Assume for this question that I prefer XGtE.

The rule for resolving invalid spell targets states (XGtE 85-86):

If you cast a spell on someone or something that can’t be affected by the spell, nothing happens to that target, but if you used a spell slot to cast the spell, the slot is still expended.

Now consider the chain lightning spell, in which

You create a bolt of lightning that arcs toward a target of your choice that you can see within range. Three bolts then leap from that target to as many as three other targets, each of which must be within 30 feet of the first target. A target can be a creature or an object and can be targeted by only one of the bolts.

Suppose my primary target for the spell is invalid, because it is not a creature or an object. If an example must be given, suppose it is an illusion. However, each of the three secondary targets of the spell are valid, being either creatures or objects.

Do I spend the spell slot with nothing happening at all, or does the slot get spent, the chain lightning impact the illusion but do nothing to it and then leap to the three valid targets with the full effects given in the spell description?

Note: I am assuming that an illusion is not an object, based largely on my interpretation that an illusion is not an "item" and on the text of the 14th-level School of Illusion wizard feature, Illusory Reality. I am open to frame challenges that demonstrate that illusions are, in fact, objects, but such answers will be better if they then either provide a more appropriate example of something that is not a creature or an object, or demonstrate that the question is moot since everything is at least either a creature or an object.

What happens if a Sibriex targets the same creature with Warp Creature repeatedly?

The Sibriex monster, found in page 137 of Mordekainen’s Tome of Foes has an ability called "Warp Creature". For convenience, here’s the entire text of it: (emphasis mine)

The sibriex targets up to three creatures it can see within 120 feet of it. Each target must make a DC 20 Constitution saving throw. On a successful save, a creature becomes immune to this sibriex’s Warp Creature. On a failed save, the target is poisoned, which causes it to also gain 1 level of exhaustion. While poisoned in this way, the target must repeat the saving throw at the start of each of its turns. Three successful saves against the poison end it , and ending the poison removes any levels of exhaustion caused by it. Each failed save causes the target to suffer another level of exhaustion. Once the target reaches 6 levels of exhaustion, it dies and instantly transforms into a living abyssal wretch under the sibriex’s control. The transformation of the body can be undone only by a wish spell.

I’m aware that normally a creature can’t be "double-poisoned". If it is poisoned and gets hit with the condition again, the duration is simply reset. However, Exhaustion is a special condition in that it comes with 6 levels of severity.

I’m at loss as of how to interpret the wording of the Sibriex ability. If it has hit a creature with Warp Flesh, can it speed up the death process by using the ability again? Or can it only wait for six failed saves and hope the creature does not rid itself of the effect?

  • Does the sentence "Each failed save causes the target to suffer another level of exhaustion" apply only to end-of-turn saves or to saves caused directly by the sibriex using the ability again too?
  • If not, is there any benefit for it to try Warping the same creature twice?

What happens when you use the Telekinetic shove from Tasha’s when flying directly above your target?

The feat says that "the target must succeed on a Strength saving throw (DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + the ability modifier of the score increased by this feat) or be moved 5 feet toward or away from you."

Case 1: The Push

"But they can’t move 5 feet downward from you if they are standing on the ground," you say.

"Ah," I say. "But they can move 5 feet downward from you if they become Prone."

I would contend that this actually fits the RAW as a satisfaction of the requirement "the target must…be moved 5 feet…away from you" as going Prone is a valid form of 5 feet of movement (albeit one that doesn’t usually consume any of your Speed). But I can see someone arguing against this reading. Either way, it’s a niche enough usage that I think many DMs might choose to allow it.

Extra benefit: If you have the movement available, you could fly down and attack with advantage.

Case 2: The Pull

This is just funny. Let’s say you’re flying 15 feet off the ground (10 feet above your target). You pull the target 5 feet up with your bonus action, then hit them with an attack. I can’t think of a RAW reason this would confer advantage, unless maybe through flanking (if you have an ally who is in one of the 9 squares below your target). But I might rule it granted advantage regardless, because the target would have a hard time defending in midair.

Extra benefit: When the target falls back down, they might re-trigger certain persistent AoE spells or environmental hazards.

Thoughts? Particularly on the application of RAW to force going Prone in Case 1, or to create flanking conditions (or some other form of advantage, if you can think of one) in Case 2?

What happens with lethargy when Haste is cast again on a creature before first cast runs out?

Haste states

When the spell ends, the target can’t move or take actions until after its next turn, as a wave of lethargy sweeps over it.

However, let’s say Character A cast Haste on Character B. In the 10th round (final round of haste if concentration not broken), Character B casts Haste on himself.

What happens during the next round?

  1. Do they lose a round of the “new” haste while they are lethargic and lose movement and actions?
  2. Does the new haste override the lethargy until it ends?
  3. Is it some combination? Retain AC/Dex modifications but lose actions/movement?
  4. None of the above?

What happens if I let my conjuration wizard be able to target unwilling creatures with Benign Transposition?

The 6th level conjuration wizard feature Benign Transportation says:

Starting at 6th level, you can use your action to teleport up to 30 feet to an unoccupied space that you can see. Alternatively, you can choose a space within range that is occupied by a Small or Medium creature. If that creature is willing, you both teleport, swapping places.

Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest or you cast a conjuration spell of 1st level or higher.

My plan is to make this able to work on unwilling creatures as well. They get to do a Charisma saving throw and if they succeed, they are unaffected.

Would this be game-breaking or abusable?