What happens when Catapult is cast on something that is under the effects of Levitate?

According to Catapult’s description, the spell is limited by the weight of the object with some variance based on the level in which the spell was cast. With the spell Levitate, could you interpret this to mean that an object under the effects of Levitate weighs effective 0 and then be subjected to the effects of Catapult?

Is Levitate supposed to basically disable a melee based enemy?

We are a group of new players and I feel that I miss some important properties of the levitate spell as it proved extremely powerful in the last encounter in Cragmaw Castle in The Lost Mine of Phandelver.

The party caused a alarm to ring which caused the entire final group, with bodyguards, to prepare an ambush when they stormed the last room.

managed to immediately down a player in the surprise round and after the rest of the enemies chucked away quite a bit of health as well it almost looked like it would become a full party wipe.

The wizard cast levitate on

(and it failed the saving throw) which effectively disabled it. Thanks to the 10 minute duration and the wizard carefully saying that it “should float riiiiiight in the middle of the room” (so it couldn’t grab any wall object to pull itself down) it wasn’t able to do anything during the entire rest of the fight. From my understanding it was not allowed to re-try the saving throw on its next turn. The other enemies were not able to break the wizards concentration either as she was hiding behind the rest of the party in a small doorway which blocked the enemies from reaching her.

I’m happy the party managed to survive the encounter, but feel that casting levitate on any melee-based enemy could quickly become a effective, but boring, strategy. Is there anything in the rules I missed?

Can a PC use the Levitate spell to avoid movement speed reduction from exhaustion?


Context

A warlock in the game that I run suffers from two levels of exhaustion:

Level 1: Disadvantage on ability checks

Level 2: Speed halved

This warlock knows the spell levitate. He is so tired—it’s a hangover from a very potent homebrew drug, named Flashberries—that he levitates himself slightly to alleviate his body by hovering instead of walking. Yesterday, instead of walking/floating around by himself, he held onto the shoulders of his ranger ally and let the ranger “pull” him forward (as the ranger walked at normal speed).

Ruling

When the players came up with this idea, I ruled that this method of movement is possible. Because the warlock is afloat, the spell doesn’t burden the ranger with extra carrying capacity while the warlock is not using his own movement, so both the ranger and warlock could now move at normal speed. The ranger effectively pulls forward a seemingly weightless person.

I thought it was quite the clever plan to avoid this part of his exhaustion, and I didn’t want to slow down gameplay by looking up the rules, so I ruled in favor of the party.

Research & Question

Now that I’m reading up on both the spell description and What form of movement is granted by Levitate cast on yourself?, I realize we might’ve misunderstood how levitate works. Zooming in on the relevant parts (emphasis mine):

The target can move only by pushing or pulling against a fixed object or surface within reach (such as a wall or a ceiling), which allows it to move as if it were climbing.

and

If you are the target, you can move up or down as part of your move. 

So this makes me think that the answer to my question would be No, because the ranger is not a fixed object or surface. And since spells only do what they say they do, I’m more inclined to think that, by RAW, the ranger is unable to move the warlock at all. It also looks like the warlock is also not able to actually hover horizontally by using this spell (oops).

Could anyone give a clear yes or no to my question? And if either of my interpretations are incorrect, please explain why that is.

Is 20 feet the maximum altitude for the Levitate spell?

So in my current game, I am playing as an Air Genasi, which gives me access to the Levitate spell (emphasis mine):

One creature or object of your choice that you can see within range rises vertically, up to 20 feet, and remains suspended there for the Duration. The spell can levitate a target that weighs up to 500 pounds. An unwilling creature that succeeds on a Constitution saving throw is unaffected.

The target can move only by pushing or pulling against a fixed object or surface within reach (such as a wall or a ceiling), which allows it to move as if it were climbing. You can change the target’s altitude by up to 20 feet in either direction on Your Turn. If you are the target, you can move up or down as part of your move. Otherwise, you can use your action to move the target, which must remain within the spell’s range.

However when I used it, we came to a bit of a clash in interpreting the rule. The way I read it, it says that I can move them 20 feet up or down on my turn. The way the GM read it however, was that it was to a maximum altitude of 20 feet.

Is there any official errata to clarify this?

Can levitate be used as a weapon?

One of my players suggested using the levitate spell as a weapon in our last session.

Following his logic, he’ll levitate an enemy 20 feet up and then slam it into a wall or the ground or keep pushing him up and then slam it for a “falling” damage of X feet.

I’m uncertain whether the spell can be used that way as the speed you move a target is not specified. If the levitate move action imprints an acceleration equal to gravity then the action can be considered an attack.

Can levitate be used on this way?

Can you “hand off” from Fly to Levitate?

Suppose a character has cast fly on themselves, and wishes to switch to levitate to prevent themselves from taking fall damage if they lose concentration.

What happens if they cast levitate while in midair? Do they

  1. Stay at the same height
  2. Fall immediately to 20 feet
  3. Fall immediately to the ground

…or something else?

Can you lasso down a wizard who is using the Levitate spell?

My character is a Level 3 wizard who used the levitate spell on herself to avoid some ground enemies. Since she is able to use non-concentration spells during its duration, the DM began to think up ways to try and counter this. As of right now, they are aware that any damage done to the wizard can cause her to lose her concentration. However, they then began to wonder if it was possible for the wizard to be lassoed down. I am, too, so here are my questions concerning the idea:

  1. If the wizard is successfully lassoed, do they need to make a concentration saving throw?
  2. Does it become a contest of the enemies Str check and the Wizards Con save?
  3. In the event the wizard succeeds in maintaining their concentration, does the wizard become like a helium balloon (you can pull the balloon down, drag it along, but if you lose your grip it will float back up)?
  4. Also, in the event that the wizard succeeds and the NPC grabs onto the wizard in an attempt to keep them down, does the NPC float up with the wizard instead?