Which types of spells can damage vehicles?

When considering spells that require a target, and spells with area affect, which types of spells can also damage vehicles?

Player’s Handbook (Chapter 9):

Choose a target. Pick a target within your attack’s range: a creature, an object, or a location.

Player’s Handbook (Chapter 10):

A spell’s description tells you whether the spell targets creatures, objects, or a point of origin for an area of effect …

Spells that require a creature to be a target

Where a spell calls for the target to be a creature, can a vehicle also be a target?

Examples which specify a creature is the target

Chill Touch

You create a ghostly, skeletal hand in the space of a creature within range. Make a ranged spell attack against the creature to assail it with the chill of the grave.

Magic Missile

Each dart hits a creature of your choice that you can see within range.

Chromatic Orb

You hurl a 4-inch-diameter sphere of energy at a creature that you can see within range.

Spells that don’t require targetting

These spells may have a clarification that specifies that objects other than the target creatures may be damaged. Would vehicles take full damage from the effects of these spells?

Examples where a target is not specified

Fireball

A bright streak flashes from your pointing finger to a point you choose within range and then blossoms with a low roar into an explosion of flame.

It ignites flammable objects in the area that aren’t being worn or carried.

Shatter

A sudden loud ringing noise, painfully intense, erupts from a point of your choice within range.

A nonmagical object that isn’t being worn or carried also takes the damage if it’s in the spell’s area.

Lightning Bolt

A stroke of lightning forming a line 100 feet long and 5 feet wide blasts out from you in a direction you choose.

The lightning ignites flammable objects in the area that aren’t being worn or carried.

Can firbolgs use both spells from Firbolg Magic in the same day, or just one?

Firbolgs have the Firbolg Magic trait (VGtM, p. 107):

You can cast detect magic and disguise self with this trait, using Wisdom as your spell casting ability for them. Once you cast either spell, you can’t cast it again with this trait until you finish a short or long rest.

Does Firbolg Magic have one use that’s expended when either spell is cast? Or does it have two uses, where each spell can be cast once?

What’s up with shapeable Wall spells?

Wall of Brine says it creates a wall 10 ft/level long, 5 ft/level high, and 5 ft thick. It also says this wall is shapeable, using the ‘(S)’ denotation. Shapeable, in this case, means:

If an area or effect entry ends with “(S),” you can shape the spell. A shaped effect or area can have no dimension smaller than 10 feet. Many effects or areas are given as cubes to make it easy to model irregular shapes. Three-dimensional volumes are most often needed to define aerial or underwat1er effects and areas.

(emphasis added)

Wall of Stone is also shapeable, and states:

A wall of stone is 1 inch thick per four caster levels

Which, unless you’re CL 480, also doesn’t meet that 10′ minimum.

Wall of Thorns is a little less bad, labelled ‘(S)’, but also saying:

You can make the wall as thin as 5 feet thick, which allows you to shape the wall as a number of 10-by-10-by-5-foot blocks equal to twice your caster level. This has no effect on the damage dealt by the thorns, but any creature attempting to break through takes that much less time to force its way through the barrier.

Which seems like a pretty clear ‘specific-exception-to-a-general-rule’ thing.

Wall of Lava is also shapeable, and is as thin as a wall of stone.

I’m a little bit confused about these spells. Which of them are actual exceptions to that ‘you can’t make it thinner than 10’ ‘ rule? If any of them aren’t, what are you supposed to do about that ‘(S)’ in the description?

Are there any sorcerer spells that can snuff torches?

Points of interest

  • I have dark-vision
  • I’m an 11th level sorcerer
  • We are preparing to split up while taking on a keep for in game reasons.
  • I’ve saved up enough to buy a page of spell knowledge of 5th level or lower, but i’d rather not spend that much if i’m able.
  • We have 66 days to prepare, have things crafted etc before we miss our chance.
  • There shouldn’t be any spellcasters in the area i’m to take care of. (i.e no light spells)

Okay my party and i are about to head into a keep that we have scouted out the inside of before.There are not going to be any windows on the level i need to take care of but there are allot of torches. The people in the keep don’t have any form of darkvision to my knowledge.

I’m looking for a magic item or a spell with a duration i’m able to cast that will keep snuffing out the light sources at a range where normal vision won’t be able to pick me up. I’ll admit i’m looking for something that will snuff the fire instead of just using darkness for two reasons, 1 so they are not re illuminating after i pass them and 2 i use some fear based spells and my GM encourages me to “set the mood” for the fear magic and I think fires literally ether slowly dying or getting blown out quickly will have such effect… So in short RP reasons. I’ve been looking at wind based magic but haven’t found any wind based one that actually put out flames.

I’ve been and will be busy until a day before our session so it may be a bit lazy of me to ask here for ideas but google didn’t pull up anything but a 3rd party cantrip called “Snuff”, but i don’t like using 3rd party stuff and the cantrip isn’t a “Cast once and just let it work for awhile” I’d have to cast it on each light source. and honestly i don’t have the time to do any deeper diving so i came here.

Is it possible to cast two 9th level spells without taking a long rest in 5e?

The 9th level spell “foresight” says that the spell immediately ends if you cast it on another target before the duration is up. However, the duration is 8 hours, and while I get that you could cast it before the duration was up using the elven 4 hour rest or something like that, is there any way to cast any official 9th level spell without taking a long rest?

How do Arcanists prepare and cast spells?

I tend to main spontaneous casters like Sorcerers and Oracles, occasionally dabbling in prepared casters with Magus or spontanous martials like Eldritch Scion Magus and Bloodrager. So, I like to think that I’m fairly well-versed in how casting spells works. Generally, for spontaneous casters, it works like this:

  1. Select the spell from the list of spells you know.
  2. Cross out one of your spell slots until you regain your spells.
  3. Cast the spell, using spell components and foci as necessary.

For prepared casters, it generally works like this:

  1. Fill your spell slots with spells from the list of spells you know.
  2. Select the spell from your slots that you wish to cast.
  3. Cross out the spell slot until you regain your spell slots for memorization.
  4. Cast the spell, using spell components and foci as necessary.

However, looking over Arcanist, I am having a hard time comprehending the process by which they cast their spells. Are they spontanous casters or prepared casters, or are they something else entirely?

How does combined spells work?

Some time ago I had asked a question about how some special abilities of classes interacted with other classes and recently updated the accepted answer due to a linked FAQ.

I find myself having to get further clarification on this. The FAQ mentions that an ability such as combined spells will allow these interactions to exist. I plan on playing a cleric/wizard/mystic Theuge spell caster who specializes in raising the dead, so a necromancer. One of the Oracle revelations under Juju called spirit vessals increases the amount of undead you can control per CL by 2. Which when combined with MT is sweet. However, I do not plan on being an Oracle/Wizard, but would be happy to just level dip for the ability.

So the question is, does the MT combined spells ability work on a class which it is not leveling up? Aka, if I have MT progressing cleric and wizard, would I benefit from the oracle ability to those two classes?

How do the Faerie Fire and Mirror Image spells interact?

During a discussion on how mirror image interacts with area of effect spells, and particularly with magic missile, the question arose about how faerie fire interacts with mirror image. This is related to the general question of how mirror image interacts with spells that don’t have an attack roll but is more specific.

The faerie fire spell description states:

Each object in a 20-foot cube within range is outlined in blue, green, or violet light (your choice). Any creature in the area when the spell is cast is also outlined in light if it fails a Dexterity saving throw. For the duration, objects and affected creatures shed dim light in a 10-foot radius.

Any attack roll against an affected creature or object has advantage if the attacker can see it, and the affected creature or object can’t benefit from being invisible.

The description of mirror image says:

Three illusory duplicates of yourself appear in your space. Until the spell ends, the duplicates move with you and mimic your actions, shifting position so it’s impossible to track which image is real. You can use your action to dismiss the illusory duplicates.

Each time a creature targets you with an attack during the spell’s duration, roll a d20 to determine whether the attack instead targets one of your duplicates.

If you have three duplicates, you must roll a 6 or higher to change the attack’s target to a duplicate. With two duplicates, you must roll an 8 or higher. With one duplicate, you must roll an 11 or higher.

A duplicate’s AC equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier. If an attack hits a duplicate, the duplicate is destroyed. A duplicate can be destroyed only by an attack that hits it. It ignores all other damage and effects. The spell ends when all three duplicates are destroyed.

Does faerie fire only light up the creature who cast mirror image, or do all of the illusory duplicates also get outlined/lit up by faerie fire?

Our guess was that faerie fire lights up all of the images, but since faerie fire is working like an AoE spell, and AoE spells aren’t fooled by the images (fireball, etc), perhaps we misunderstood how these two spells interact.

Improving terrible spells: Mordenkainen’s sword


The problem

In my answer to “Is the Mordenkainen’s Sword spell underpowered?”, I concluded that the spell is terrible. Critiquing a spell is one thing; improving it is another. So, can the sword be fixed, or is it doomed to rot in spellbooks forever, never to be copied?

First, the original:

Mordenkainen’s Sword

7th-level evocation

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 60 feet
Components: V, S, M (a miniature platinum sword with a grip and pommel of copper and zinc, worth 250 gp)
Duration: Concentration, 1 minute

You create a sword-shaped plane of force that hovers within range. It lasts for the duration.

When the sword appears, you make a melee spell attack against a target of your choice within 5 feet of the sword. On a hit, the target takes 3d10 force damage. Until the spell ends, you can use a bonus action on each of your turns to move the sword up to 20 feet to a spot you can see and repeat this attack against the same target or a different one.

Mordenkainen’s sword has several notable problems:

  • The sword’s damage is bad for a concentration spell. Over three rounds (assuming all attacks hit), the sword deals 66 damage, while Bigby’s hand deals 108 damage (when upcast to 7th level).
  • The sword’s damage is bad for a non-concentration spell. Crown of stars from Xanathar’s has an hour duration and requires no concentration, but still deals 78 damage over 3 rounds.
  • The sword is inferior to non-damaging options. Why waste a 7th-level slot dealing (terrible) damage to a single target, when you could put most creatures in a forcecage with no save? The sword’s 20 feet of movement each turn also means that it can’t reach mobile high-level enemies, like dragons.

Mordenkainen’s sword also has several features that make it unique:

  • The sword is the highest-level spell that targets a single creature, requires concentration, and purely deals damage. Even if we relax the concentration requirement, only crown of stars (also 7th-level) meets the remaining requirements.
  • The sword allows two attacks on the first turn, but only one thereafter. Getting damage out early is usually better than spreading it across multiple turns, but this may complicate attempts to rebalance the sword.
  • The sword is one of only four leveled wizard spells that only require a melee spell attack. The others are vampiric touch, Mordenkainen’s faithful hound, and steel wind strike.

A solution?

My goal is to keep what makes the spell unique, while fixing its glaring balance issues. With that in mind, the spell remains the same, except for the second paragraph and the new “at higher levels”, which now read:

When the sword appears, you make a melee spell attack against a target of your choice within 5 feet of the sword. On a hit, the target takes 7d10 force damage. Until the spell ends, you can use a bonus action on each of your turns to move the sword up to 60 feet to a spot you can see and repeat this attack against the same target or a different one.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 8th level or higher, the damage increases by 2d10 for each slot level above 7th.

Do these changes make Mordenkainen’s sword a reasonable, balanced choice for bards and wizards? Would a controller ever consider taking it? Would a blaster ever use anything else?