On casting ‘Imprisonment / Chaining’, on changing &/or non-stable surfaces – where, where do the chains go?

The 9th level spell Imprisonment can be cast a few different ways. One possible cast-version creates ‘chains’ that keep the target restrained:

You create a magical restraint to hold a creature that you can see within range. The target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be bound by the spell; if it succeeds, it is immune to this spell if you cast it again. While affected by this spell, the creature doesn’t need to breathe, eat, or drink, and it doesn’t age. Divination spells can’t locate or perceive the target.

Chaining. Heavy chains, firmly rooted in the ground, hold the target in place. The target is restrained until the spell ends, and it can’t move or be moved by any means until then. The special component for this version of the spell is a fine chain of precious metal.

Note that these special Imprisonment-Chains are firmly rooted in the ground (R.A.W. / above). Here are my variants on one concern, below:

  • what if the target is 60′ to 120′ up… on a wooden floor? Do the chains reach all the way to ground level as the spell takes effect?

  • what if the imprisoned is standing on any firm yet non-stable surface when this spell is cast? Examples abound: on a ship, in the air due to a kite or hot air balloon. Or even on an otherwise quasi-stable surface such as sand or ice or swamp or lava or glass – the chains would have to take root somewhere ‘in the ground’.

I admit that this question isn’t deeply serious. Still, i am darn curious where these crazy chains would end up going.

What degree of autonomy is allowed to a target-victim of the spell Imprisonment / Chains?

Theme / Plot-Premise: a great mage has been bound to the uppermost level of a wizard’s tower. Research suggests use of Imprisonment-Chains works best for this long-term restraint story-idea // condition // plot device.

A restrained creature’s speed becomes 0, and it can’t benefit from any bonus to its speed. Attack Rolls against the creature have advantage, and the creature’s Attack Rolls have disadvantage. The creature has disadvantage on Dexterity Saving Throws.

That said, given both a Handy Cantrip of The Mages and someone to do the shopping, a wizard’s lifestyle may not suffer that much. It is not clear what a person could do bound in such chains. Apparently casting spells is on the list, but what else?


Question: How much freedom does any target-victim have whilst under Imprisonment / Chains?

Possibilities, Concerns & Examples // Can the target-subject:

  • eat &/or drink? – ‘does not need it’, yes… but can they?

  • soil themselves (‘pee & poop’)? / able to clean up thereafter?

  • need sleep / able to sleep (i.e. gets tired, takes ‘short &/or long rests’)

  • study, research, write, design &/or make-follow plans?

  • do exercises? Possibly making use of those chains?

  • cast concentration-type spells – such as scrying &/or even ritual spells?

  • can they attempt &/or succeed at procreation – either individually or with a partner?

It is just hard to imagine a person comfortably chained up for a few thousand years. I will be thankful for any answer that can clear this situation up a bit.


Possibly Related Questions / answered here maybe? / no idea, so sorry:

  • Do Imprisonment-Chains (‘grappled condition’) remove all dex-based modifiers? Is an armour class modifier is a ‘bonus of speed’? Do hand-cuffed creatures parry worse? Do they throw badly in a game of darts? Would a bad-negative modifier still apply to someone chained up – meaning they sort of ‘dance into’ attacks even whilst so chained?

  • Would an Imprisoned dragon (any version) gain age categories over time? Specifically: dragons do NOT age via ghost scare. Do they age via the accumulation of experience, magic, wisdom and experience? Or is all their aging a biological process? If it were biological, the aging from a ghost should work.

  • These Imprisonment-Chains are firmly rooted in the ground (RAW) – what if the target is 60′ to 120′ up… on a wooden floor? How are they so chained on a ship? Or in the air due to a kite or hot air balloon?

  • Can the caster modify-choose how much spare chain the recipient-target gets? Obviously ‘zero movement speed’ means ‘not going anywhere’. Would / could casters give zone-areas for targets so they are tethered like dogs?

  • Could an arch-mage or any creature with 9th lvl version of dispel be able to remove their own binding – or MUST this be externally outsourced? Could two mages impriso-chained nearish to one another also free one another… but not themselves?

I have many more questions. If any of these ‘fit’ into the question above, please include them. If not, i shall add them to my ‘barrage of future queries’ for my fellow Stackies / Stackers / Boys o’ Stack. My thanks in advance.

Stone Shape, body surface area, and imprisonment [closed]

While examining various uses for stone shape and trying to double check the math on them all (such as cages, jamming doors, making poles, etc) it occurred to me that a use potentially far better than ‘encasing them in a box of rock’ would be instead to do a skin tight encasing of the individual (making it, practically speaking, impossible to move). Granted, for high (18-20) strength characters and creatures I suspect it’d be a full round action to simply break out of it, but I’m curious how the math exactly checks out, and what the exact numbers are. Surface area of a person (or a ‘medium’ creature) would need to be determined, and for small or large creatures there’d be other determinations one would have to make.

Still, it seems to me that it would be using significantly less stone than encasing someone in a box or cage.

It wouldn’t be my go to use, but I can imagine that against say some sort of goblin spell caster, or an evil elf wizard it could have some practical use.

How can a group find out how to break Imprisonment?

Mario the Magic Plumber was captured by a big dragon named Bowser one thousand years ago. He used Imprisonment on him and made him sleep for one thousand years. Only the kiss of a real princess could break the curse. How can my group learn about the condition (kiss of a real princess)? I am more familiar with “Das schwarze Auge” and there is a spell called “Analysis” which tells you what kind of spell is laying on a person and how to break it. Is there something like this in D&D? Would detect magic be enough?

During the casting of the spell, in any of its versions, you can specify a condition that will cause the spell to end and release the target. The condition can be as specific or as elaborate as you choose, but the DM must agree that the condition is reasonable and has a likelihood of coming to pass. The conditions can be based on a creature’s name, identity, or deity but otherwise must be based on observable actions or qualities and not based on intangibles such as level, class, or hit points.

Can Wish revive a creature consumed by Lich imprisonment?

Lich can imprison a soul in its philactery:

A creature imprisoned in the phylactery for 24 hours is consumed and destroyed utterly, whereupon nothing short of divine intervention can restore it to life. Monster Manual pg. 203

The phrase ‘nothing short of divine intervention’ intrigues me because wish spell usually regarded as in par and interchangeable with divine intervention.

Can wish revive the poor creature’s destroyed soul?

Can a gem used as the material component for the Magic Jar spell also be used for the Imprisonment spell?

I want to cast Magic Jar to transfer my soul into a gem, then possess someone, then cast Imprisonment (using the Minimus Containment option) on my now-soulless body to store it safely into the same gem, making it indestructible at the same time.

Can the gem used as a material component for Magic Jar also be used for Imprisonment?