How should Duergars enlarge power and Squeezing into cramped spaces interact?

The actual RAW rule for the Duergar’s enlarge is:

Enlarge (Recharges after a Short or Long Rest). For 1 minute, the duergar magically increases in size, along with anything it is wearing or carrying. While enlarged, the duergar is Large, doubles its damage dice on Strength-based weapon attacks (included in the attacks), and makes Strength checks and Strength saving throws with advantage. If the duergar lacks the room to become Large, it attains the maximum size possible in the space available.

So, in abbreviated form, I see these effects while enlarged:

  • Status Change: Size is Large.
  • Benefit: For Strength based attacks, double the base weapon damage dice.
  • Benefit: Advantage on Strength checks and Strength save.
  • Special Condition: If not enough room to become Large, becomes maximum possible size instead.

It is this last point, and especially how it interact which with the 3 others, that we are confused about.

Also, here is the rule for cramped spaces:


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.

Given the situation as detailed in my question above (i.e. duergar decides to enlarge while in a 1 square wide corridor i.e. a 5 feet wide corridor), what should actually happpens, as per RAW?

[A] There is not enough space for the Duergar to actually enlarge to Large size, so the Duergar remains Medium size. Thus, as a Medium creature, it is not Squeezing into a Smaller space. Also, given that it is not Large, it doesn’t get it’s other Duergar enlargement’s damage and Strength benefits.


[B] The duergar enlarges somewhat to the maximum possible for Medium creatures, becoming noticeably larger but still "barely under" the limit for actually becoming squeezed (kinda like how a Goliath is still a Medium creature but still has a much bigger "build" anyway). But, as there is not enough space for the Duergar to actually truly enlarge to Large size, thus the Duergar remains a Medium size creature. Thus, as a Medium creature, it is not Squeezing into a Smaller space. However, the Duergar still gets all of his other bonuses from his enlargement (weapon damage and strength advantage), because those benefits are dependent upon the activation of the enlargement power, not on the duergar effectivey really becoming Large size.


[C] The duergar enlarges to Large size because it is possible for him to do so anyway: "it attains the maximum size possible in the space available" meaning that it is indeed posssible for a Large creature to exist in a 5-feet wide tunnel, despite the cramped conditions. Thus, the "maximum possible" to exist there is not "Medium", but it is instead "Large + squeezing". Not only does the duergar gets all of his bonuses from being enlarged, but it is also now Squeezing into a smaller space.

So, which is it? DM + players each have their own ideas on how to resolve this, seemingly on opposite ends of the spectrum. We argue the duergar should become squeezed as in [C], thus getting the penalties. Aka "This is really a bad dungeon design for them, all the rooms and corridors where there could be any battle should instead be made to take advantage of their Large size in combat instead". DM is the complete other way as you will see below.

Of course the DM ultimately decides, but we wanted to know what the actually RAW ruling is because a lot more duergars are going to be fought over the next few sessions, we have just entered into a huge dungeon and that dungeon is really seeminggly going to be a big dungeon crawl full of tiny tunnels and tiny rooms, full of duergars all the way to the bottom level.

But it actuallly goes further than even that.

The party is actually good at being fast & sneaky, so the PCs can relatively easily surprise the duergar while they are in a tiny room, to immediately enter the room and position ourselves so that the duergars simply do not have any free 10×10 feet area for them to easily become fully Large size. So, what happens then, when the duergar go into enlargement?

[D] Exactly the same thing as in the 5-feet wide tunnel above (either [A] or [B] or [C]). The PCs are treated as much as "solid obstacles" as the walls are. That is the players’ opinion on things.


[E] As the duergar enlarges, it also automatically pushes away any PCs into nearby empty spaces. The player decides which way he is pushed back (this is not a Shove Action made on purpose, after all), with a Strength Save to try to resist the push (duergar ability DC being 8 + 2 Proficiency + 2 STR = DC 12). If pushed and the only way to be pushed back is right into a hole, the PC falls, with a DC 12 Dex Save allowed to hang onto the ledge. This is a "middle ground" approach we tried to negotiate.


[F] Same as E, however since the enlargement is "magical" in nature, it pushes back so strongly that it is the duergar’s space that always takes priority, forcing PCs to be the ones pushed not only backways but even sideways too. Basically it works EXACTLY like a free multi-target Shove that is always automatically succesfull, without any opposing resisting check. So in other words it is the duergar who chooses which way we get pushed, even to the point of being forced to end up with 2 or more PCs forced into the same space. Thus, not only does the duergar end up with zero penalty for cramped space, but it is the PCs that end up being the ones that are all squeezed up! And if 3 or more PCs are forced into the same space, they get squeezed so much so that they automatically fall Prone, can’t attack at all, and have to Crawl to get out of the "body pile", provoking an Attack of Opportunity in the process. That is the DM’s stance.

The DM retroactively said that that dungeon has lots of small tunnels and rooms on purpose: he actually built that duergar-built "fortress dungeon" fully with "Interpretation F" in mind.

Also, the DM made the duergar enlarge power "free" to use and not an "Action" to use. Basically, duergar can grow enlarged and immediately attack on their same turn. Monster Manual however seems to say otherwise? Anyway, that dungeon is full of very deadly traps that the perma-invisible duergars (they constantly short rest all day long to keep invisible, because you can somehow maintain your Concentration fulll time during a short rest?) just enlarge at exactly the right moment in order to auto-shove us into ridiculous damage traps (up to acid and lava pits and non-lootable vorpal wall blades and also "mordenkainen disjunction" traps), with of course being allowwed to make an attack too (making falling into a pit trap, or taking the trap’s weapon damage a second time "as you get whacked all around inside the swift moving blades of the trap even more", becoming a neear certainty (DM makes the save DC based on the total damage they deal). Basically: Big Ouchie.

While a DM is allowed to run his campaign as he sees fit, he also insists that he is applying the rules "by the book", so… as per RAW, is he really in any way in the right here? Please help?


What minimal space can a creature go through when squeezing?

A creature "squeezes" when going through a smaller space. PHB p. 193 "Creature size":

A creature can squeeze through a space that is large enough for a creature one size smaller than it.

Presumably, that means a creature can go through a space small enough for it to squeeze in, but not smaller. But how small this space can be? "A space that is large enough for a creature one size smaller" is unclear. How large is "large enough"? The same chapter says

A creature’s space is <…> not an expression of its physical dimensions. A typical Medium creature isn’t 5 feet wide, for example.

So if not 5 feet wide, how small that space can be? The answer to Can Medium creatures squeeze into smaller spaces? partially answers this by saying

While the small creature would be able to do it easily, the medium creature would need to squeeze.

But this is basically redefining what "squeezing" means for Medium creature through what it does for Small ones.

What happens when a large creature stops squeezing in a space that they had to use squeeze to enter?

This is a follow up question relating to What are the advantages and disadvantages of allowing a player to play a large creature?

So far, everything for the player playing the large Minotaur has been balanced. If anything, not being able to move between enemies that had a one square gap between them has shown that the character is actually weaker than a medium sized Defender.

So here’s what happened:

The party’s rogue ran into a room by himself, jump on a 10×25 foot table, and hit an enemy that was eating. Enemies that had been hiding rushed him from all corners (The players had been very noisy in the previous room). He was surrounded and in one enemy round he was unconscious.

The Minotaur fighter decided to Squeeze to move into the same square as the prone rogue.

After fighting (at a -5 penalty to hit because of the Squeeze) he decided to stop squeezing and push the enemies off the table.

Fortunately, he hadn’t only decided to stop using Squeeze, but he had also decided to Jump and smash the table with malicious intent.

We ruled that he broke the table in half and sent one of the enemies flying into the wall after they failed their acrobatics check. This gave the Minotaur space to land at full size to continue fighting the enemies.

Had he not had a table to break, how would a large creature that is being flanked by four enemies that stops using Squeeze work?

We talked about it after, and because he’s 10 feet tall and weighs 850 pounds we decided that if he did it again they would all get an attack of opportunity on a successful acrobatics check or be moved one square.

How should this actually go?

If a creature is squeezing in a space does that affect other characters’ ability to move past it?

So if a large creature is halfway down a 20ft long 5ft wide hallway and a friendly, medium creature wants to move past him, does the large creature impede the medium creature’s movement? Also, can two large creatures squeeze past each other in that same hallway?

I know normally you can move through a friendly creature’s square without being impeded, you just can’t stop in it. Also, the squeezing rule says, "A creature can squeeze past a creature while moving but it can’t end its movement in an occupied square." This could be interpreted to say that "while squeezing, a creature may move past another creature, but some at my table say that is intended to be a rule about, for instance, a large creature moving past an unfriendly medium creature in a 10ft wide hall, meaning that sometimes to move past an unfriendly creature you need to squeeze and you can do that as long as you don’t stop that way.

I guess it just seems logical to me that if a creature is already having to squeeze to fit it should be a greater than normal effort to move past it, but I see no rule to this effect. Am I missing it or would this just be a houserule if we wanted to play that way?

D&D 5e – Dominate person recognition, and Squeezing question

Had an interesting session with a DM I generally quite like playing with where he made 2 decisions I disagreed with. Unfortunately a bit of research hasn’t clarified if I’m misunderstanding the rules, so I thought I’d ask:

Scenario: We encountered a frost giant and a few stone giants who weren’t yet hostile to us, but not friendly and refused to cooperate. I cast dominate monster on the frost giant (the leader), making him listen to us in the first instant, while another party member tried to convince them to help us. I then took full control of him, and got him to tell the other giants that we were friends (all of this happening telepathically, as per the spell). At this point the DM said one of the stone giant (a dreamwalker) recognised him as being charmed (apparently because he looked dazed and said that we were friends randomly), and immediately attacked the frost giant, forcing another save and releasing him. The justification here was the stone giant dreamwalker is familiar with charms (it has a passive charm power that does not allow a save on damage, so works quite differently to dominate monsnter). I left it when he made the call but then after the game finished argued that because the spells are quite different I doubt she’d have recognised it, and even if she did, she’d be more inclined to attack me than her leader the frost giant.

So question 1, how easy is it for another NPC to recognise that a creature has been put under the dominate monster spell, after the spell has been cast and the verbal/somatic components not noticed? And would they think that directly attacking that creature would be the most reasonable course of action, barring metagame knowledge of saving throws. A dreamwalker has an intelligence score of 10 and a wisdom of 8.

Question 2, the squeezing rules are quite clear, a large creature can squeeze through a 5 foot space. I have a Pegasus through find greater steed, and he ruled it couldn’t enter mordenkainen’s magnificent mansion despite the rules as written, because "there has to be some disadvantage to having a flying mount, and practically its wings wouldn’t fit". From everything I’ve read it looks like my reading of the rules is correct both as written and intended, other than it being his world and him getting to make up the rules at the table, am I missing anything? List item

Squeezing in the middle of a room

As per the rule on squeezing :

A creature can squeeze through or into a space that is at least half as wide as its space. Movement while squeezing is hampered, and the squeezing creature suffers a -4 penalty on attack rolls and a -4 penalty to Armor Class

Let’s presume the following layout enter image description here

Where O is an ogre, A are pc characters and XX, YY, ZZ are a ‘squeezed’ ogre moving to avoid Attack of opportunity to move past the PC and arrive in the back of the room after spending 60 feet of movement (10 ft per square cost because of squeezing)

Is that movement allowed as per RAW ruling ?