Does the Elemental Gem require Concentration?

Does an elemental summoned from an Elemental Gem require Concentration? I am getting hung up on the "as if you had cast" part. Other items say, "you can use an action to cast the [spell]".

Elemental Gem

This gem contains a mote of elemental energy. When you use an action to break the gem, an elemental is summoned as if you had cast the conjure elemental spell, and the gem’s magic is lost. The type of gem determines the elemental summoned by the spell.


Related question: Do magic item spells require concentration?

The distinction I’m asking then is if the Elemental Gem is a spell or a spell-like effect.

With Blind Fighting style from Tasha’s Cauldron Of Everything, can you cast spells that require a target you can see?

Blind Fighting, as phrased in Tasha’s Cauldron Of Everything, contains additional wording beyond the description of mere Blindsight. The entry for Blind Fighting reads:

You have blindsight with a range of 10 feet. Within that range, you can effectively see anything that isn’t behind total cover, even if you’re blinded or in darkness. Moreover, you can see an invisible creature within that range, unless the creature successfully hides from you.

Using the optional Class Features for the Fighter class which are presented in TCoE, this Blind Fighting fighting style offers not only 10ft of Blindsight, but the wording above, which by my reading at least heavily implies that you should be able to cast spells which target a space, object, or creature "you can see", within the 10ft range of this ability.

You can explicitly "see an invisible creature", but does "you can effectively see anything that isn’t behind total cover" mean that you can cast sighted spells on targets within that 10ft range?

Method for playing an online text-based RPG that doesn’t require everyone to be online at once?

I am contemplating starting up a web-based text game for my D&D group to be played alongside our weekly sessions. The idea would be to play through events related to the main storyline, but not so involved that the outcomes would directly affect our current adventure.

I don’t want to require everyone to be online at once (or else this is just another session), so IRC and chatrooms are out. I am looking for a method that allows us to play at a slow pace but gives everyone a chance to respond to what the GM says before moving onward with the story or the combat.

The only idea that comes to mind is a forum-based game with heavy restrictions (e.g. each player must post a response or opt out of responding before the GM posts again). For combats I would post maps with the position of all the monsters and characters between each turn.

Does anyone have any experience running a game like this?

What’s the best way to run a web-based text RPG in such a way that not all players need to be online at the same time?

What does ‘does not require’ mean?

In this recent question, I asked about Flameskulls and how their Undead Nature interacted with long rests to recover their spells.

In the course of reading an answer, I realized that the poster and I had very different interpretations of what "doesn’t require" means.

Undead Nature. A [specific undead] doesn’t require air, food, drink, or sleep.

(and similar statements for Constructed Nature, Immortal Nature, Shadowy Nature, Elemental Nature, and Ooze Nature)

One interpretation of ‘doesn’t require x’ is suffers no ill effects from the lack of x.

So, for example, since a flameskull doesn’t require air, it is immune to the effects of suffocation (PHB183). Since it doesn’t require food and drink, it is immune to the effects of exhaustion caused by the lack of food and drink (PHB 185). And since it doesn’t require sleep, it would not need to make a Constitution check to go without sleep (PHB177).

Under this interpretation, A flameskull suffers no ill effects from not sleeping, but it still would need to sleep in order to complete a long rest and thus regain spell slots.

A different interpretation of ‘doesn’t require x’ is can accomplish a process without having to use x. Under this interpretation, since a flameskull doesn’t require sleep, it can take a long rest without having to sleep, even though sleep is normally a requirement for a long rest. This would be similar to an elf with the feature of "Trance: Elves do not need to sleep." Even though the general rules for a long rest require sleep, elves specifically do not require sleep to make a long rest.

A similar phrase is used in the description of the flameskull, when it says (emphasis mine)

Spellcasting. The flameskull is a 5th-level spell caster. Its spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 13, +5 to hit with spell attacks). It requires no somatic or material components to cast its spells.

Here the ‘requires no’ clearly means that it can perform spellcasting without needing components, not that if it goes without components, it will suffer some ill effects.

While I am sympathetic to this view, I’m not sure it always makes sense. A monk with Timeless Body, for example, "no longer need[s] food or water." If such a monk was multiclassed with druid, could said monk cast Animal Friendship or Animal Messenger without the "morsel of food" that serves as the material component, because they "no longer need" the component of food?

Unfortunately, as far as I know, the meaning of "doesn’t require" is not explicitly defined, at least in the three core source books. As an undefined term, it falls to a natural language interpretation, and both these uses of ‘doesn’t require’ are natural language in different contexts.

To complicate the matter, in the Monster Manual we have

Sleepless. Thri-kreen don’t require sleep and can rest while remaining alert and performing light tasks. Their inability to sleep is thought to be the reason why thrikreen have such short lifespans, the average thri-kreen life expectancy being only thirty years.

Here it seems to equate not requiring something with the inability to do it. Thri-kreen can’t sleep because thri-kreen don’t require sleep. Is this a general principle of what ‘doesn’t require’ means? Not only do elves and flameskulls not require sleep, but that means that they can’t sleep, either?

How are we to understand what a reference to ‘does not require’ or ‘does not need’, means?

What does the Exotic Weapon Master’s Uncanny Blow require?

The Exotic Weapon Master (Complete Warrior, p. 30) has, as one of its optional class abilities, the Weapon Stunt Uncanny Blow.

Uncanny Blow gives a benefit to the Exotic Weapon Master "[w]hen wielding a one-handed exotic melee weapon in two hands[.]"

To trigger this benefit, must a creature wield a one-handed exotic weapon that does not offer a two-handed martial option?

Would an Exotic Weapon Master without Exotic Weapon Proficiency: bastard sword still be able to benefit from this weapon stunt? The weapon stunts themselves only require Weapon Focus – and since the Bastard Sword is also a two-handed martial weapon, a character proficient with martial weapons could presumably take Weapon Focus in the bastard sword, always intending to use it in two hands. That character still has Exotic Weapon Proficiency with the Spiked Chain, and so the character does fulfill all the requirements for the class and the stunts.

But, if the character always plans on using it as a martial weapon in two hands, then it is never being used as an exotic weapon (ignoring that putting two hands on such a one-handed exotic might make it non-exotic anyway) . . . So can the Exotic Weapon Master ever benefit from Uncanny Blow with a bastard sword?

Can a kraken cast wizard spells which require verbal and somatic components?

The Kraken, according to the monster manual, can "Understand Abyssal, Celestial, Infernal, And Primordial But Can’t Speak, Telepathy 120 Ft." The Kraken also does not have hands. It seems as if the Kraken can barely cast any spells at all. Can these factors be somehow overcome or explained away, ideally whilst staying within the basic 5e rules?

Can a character move a creature into an empty space that would require it to squeeze?

Page 192 of the Player’s Handbook has rules for squeezing:

A creature can squeeze through a space that is large enough for a creature one size smaller than it. Thus, a Large creature can squeeze through a passage that’s only 5 feet wide. While squeezing through a space, a creature must spend 1 extra foot for every foot it moves there, and it has disadvantage on attack rolls and Dexterity saving throws. Attack rolls against the creature have advantage while it’s in the smaller space.

The Crusher feat from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything allows a character to move a creature it hits with an attack that deals bludgeoning damage 5 feet to an unoccupied space:

[…] Once per turn, when you hit a creature with an attack that deals bludgeoning damage, you can move it 5 feet to an unoccupied space, provided the target is no more than one size larger than you. […]

Could a character move a creature it hits 5 feet to a space that the creature could otherwise only occupy by squeezing, and thus inflict upon that creature all the disadvantages that entails?

Does an artificer require two hands to cast spells with a costly material component?

An artificer must use an appropriate spellcasting focus when casting artificer spells. And they must use costly material components when applicable. Neither can replace the other.

But can they handle their focus and costly material components with the same hand? I know of spells that contain more than one material component, such as Simulacrum involving both snow and powdered rubies. I am not sure whether that applies when there is both a focus and a material component in use.

Does an artificer require two hands to cast spells with a costly material component?

In D&D 5e, do most wands no longer require command words?

In the section on magic items in the DMG, under Activating a Magic Item, it states:

Activating some magic items requires a user to do something in particular, such as holding the item and uttering a command word, reading the item if it is a scroll, or drinking it if it is a potion. The description of each item category or individual item details how an item is activated.

Further down, under Spells in the same section, it states:

Some magic items allow the user to cast a spell from the item, often by expending charges from it. The spell is cast at the lowest possible spell and caster level, doesn’t expend any of the user’s spell slots, and requires no components [emphasis mine] unless the item’s description says otherwise.

Note this emphasized text does not say material components, just components. That would suggest verbal and somatic components as well as material.

The general description of wands says nothing about command words, either:

A magic wand is about 15 inches long and crafted of metal, bone, or wood. It is tipped with metal, crystal, stone, or some other material.

Further, some wand descriptions specifically mention a command word. For example, the wand of enemy detection says:

This wand has 7 charges. While holding it, you can use an action and expend 1 charge to speak its command word [emphasis mine]. For the next minute, you know the direction of the nearest creature hostile to you . . .

So going by the tenet that in 5e, the specific overrides the general, all this would suggest wands no longer need a command word to function, unless otherwise stated. But this seems like a really strange change to make from previous editions, and I’ve scoured both the rest of the rules and the web to see if I missed something.

Does mounted combat require a willing rider as well as mount?

A party is traveling on a path through a woods when they are simultaneously attacked by a group of orcs and a single, overly-clever ogre. The ogre grabs the party’s fighter (successful grapple attack) and announces his intention to move 20 feet (speed halved) among the orcs, subjecting the fighter to multiple opportunity attacks as she leaves their reaches.

"Wait!" protests the fighter. "The opportunity attacks rule says…

You can make an opportunity Attack when a Hostile creature that you can see moves out of your reach…[but you] don’t provoke an opportunity Attack when you Teleport or when someone or something moves you without using your Movement, action, or Reaction.

"Since you are moving me, the orcs cannot attack me as you drag me past them."

"Hmmm…" considers the ogre. Knowing full well that specific beats general, he tries to think of a case in which something can explicitly provoke opportunity attacks even if it is being moved. "Aha!" he says brightly. "The grapple rules say…

When you move, you can drag or carry the Grappled creature with you

The ogre easily flips the fighter across his shoulders. "Now I am carrying you."

"That doesn’t matter."

"If I am carrying you, I can be your mount. And the mounted combat rules say…"

if the mount provokes an opportunity attack while you’re on it, the attacker can target you or the mount.

"That’s ridiculous," says the fighter indignantly. "First of all, you can’t provoke an attack of opportunity from the orcs unless you and they are Hostile, and clearly you are allies."

"You don’t know that," says the ogre. "We are actually from different tribes, and it was a coincidence that we both ambushed your party at the same time. If we win, I expect we will fall to fighting one another over your loot." The orcs nod in agreement. "Besides, the DMG definition of Hostile is…

A hostile creature opposes the adventurers and their goals but doesn’t necessarily attack them on sight.

"Setting aside the adventurer-centric language, as NPC’s these orcs and I oppose one another’s goals. As I move around, they could certainly choose to attack me rather than you."

"Point taken – but you still can’t be my mount."

"Why not? The Mounted Combat rules say…

A willing creature that is at least one size larger than you and that has an appropriate anatomy can serve as a mount, using the following rules…"

"I am a willing creature," says the ogre, "I am at least one size larger than you, and, as you will note from your position atop my shoulders, I have appropriate anatomy. It is still my combat turn, and I say that I am your mount."

"That’s not for you to decide! I mean, you can’t be my mount against my will! It says a creature can serve as a mount, and you are most definitely not serving me."

"There’s no game definition of serve."

"Right, so we go with the common English meaning of ‘being in service to’, ‘following commands’."

"I rather prefer the English meaning of ‘able to be used as’; like after the orcs kill you, your helmet will serve as my chamber pot."

The rules make it clear that to be a mount, the creature has to be willing. But does the rider have to be willing as well?

And if the rider does have to be willing, does that mean a rider that has been rendered unconscious no longer counts as a rider for the purposes of mounted combat? (an unconscious person on a moving horse could not receive opportunity attacks because they could no longer consent to be a rider?)