dnd 5e – When sharing the Eyes of Night darkvision, does a creature needs to always be 10 feet close to the cleric to be granted the benefits?

The Eyes of Night feature from the Twilight Domain Cleric, introduced in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything pg. 34, grants darkvision to the cleric:

You can see through the deepest gloom. You have darkvision out to a range of 300 feet.

It also allows the cleric to share this darkvision with willing creatures:

As an action, you can magically share the darkvision of this feature with willing creatures you can see within 10 feet of you, up to a number of creatures equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum of one creature). The shared darkvision lasts for 1 hour. (…)

It’s clear that the creature needs to be within 10 feet of the cleric for him to use an action to share the darkvision. But once shared, does that creature needs to be within 10 feet of the cleric to be granted the benefits of the darkvision from Eyes of Night? Since the sharing has a duration 1 hour I’m wondering what if a creature that wandered far away from the cleric would still be granted this benefit.

dnd 5e – Are creature environmental effects a bubble or column?

I am planning out my campaigns first BBE and am going with an aboleth.

In the rules an aboleth has a number of regional effects that reach up to a mile. This aboleth is currently in an underground pool in a mine about a mile underground. So would the characters see any evidence of the aboleth effects at ground level away from the mine, or would the effects only exist in a bubble the top of which is level with the top of the mine?

To my mind the effects will be a bubble, so widening out from the aboleth, if the approached underground they would meet them far sooner?

dnd 5e – if you use Enhance Ability: Cat’s Grace on a creature that rolls initiative, does that creature lose the better roll when the spell ends?

You already made the Dexterity check; its result does not change

The enhance ability spell states:

(…) The target has advantage on Dexterity checks. (…)

And the section on Initiative states (emphasis mine):

(…) When combat starts, every participant makes a Dexterity check to determine their place in the initiative order. (…)

(…) The DM ranks the combatants in order from the one with the highest Dexterity check total to the one with the lowest. This is the order (called the initiative order) in which they act during each round. The initiative order remains the same from round to round. (…)

Outside of initiative explicitly remaining the same, this also just makes sense. The game does not tell you to record the rolls you make when rolling with (dis)advantage so it should not expect you to remember a result from quite possibly hours ago (real-time). The result of a roll you already made does not change by new modifiers being added. Similarly, casting enhance ability on somebody during combat does not suddenly allow them to reroll their initiative with advantage.

dnd 5e – How do I decide how many hit dice a custom creature has?

For example if I create something similar to a Goblin I am able to tell it should have 7 hit points but I don’t know how 2d6 is determined.

7 (2d6) is just a form of shorthand.

As you probably know, “2d6” means “two six-sided dice”. The “7” is just the average of the rolls. There’s a simple equation you can use to determine the average of dice rolls:
$$Dice_{ValueAverage} = frac{Dice_{Quantity}+(Dice_{Sides}*Dice_{Quantity})}2.$$
Does it seem complicated? Try this, then:
$$x = frac{y+zy}2.$$

“x” is the average you are looking for. “y” is how many dice you are rolling. “z” is how many sides are on the dice.

In the case of 2d6, the equation looks like this:
$$7 = frac{2+(6*2)}2$$
$$7 = frac{2+12}2$$
$$7 = frac{14}2$$

So, that’s the explanation of how the hit points are determined. 7 is the average value of 2d6. This means that a goblin cursed by the gods will have as few as 2 hp and one that was blessed by the gods will have as much as 12 hp. (Not much of a blessing, if you ask me…)

If you want to retroactively determine hit dice from a preferred average hit points, you just work backwards. Let’s say you want a monster with an average of 27 hit points. Generally, the way to do it is by working with a size chart. If you’d rather determine the size later, though, you’ll be left with 3 dice choices: d4, d8, and d10. Any other dice value will result in an average value different than 27.
Here’s the way of finding out the dice values, though:
$$27 = frac{27*2}2$$
$$27 = frac{54}2$$
Because 27 is the average value, you need to multiply it by 2 in order to get the middle value. This means “(y+zy)” should equal 54. Because we usually round down half-values in D&D, “27.5” is considered the same as “27” for our purposes, expanding the final value of “(y+zy)” to ultimately include either 54 OR 55, but no value higher or lower than these two. (If you wish to see the math for the result of 55, I can add it at your request, but it really is just a matter of following these same steps with “27.5” instead of “27”.)
$$27 = frac{y+zy}2$$
Here, we reach variables. Because we know “y” has to be the number of faces on a dice, we don’t have to worry about y being greater than 20 or less than 4. Because we know “x” is the number of dice being rolled, we don’t have to worry about x being a negative number. This makes our large list of possible outcomes very much more contained. The number of Dice Sides (z) we have for our creature’s hit dice can only be 4 (d4), 6 (d6), 8 (d8), 10 (d10), 12 (d12), and 20 (d20). This gives us 12 equations to test. (Because we need a final value of 27 OR 27.5.)

$$27 = frac{y+(4*y)}2$$
$$27.5 = frac{y+(4*y)}2$$
$$27 = frac{y+(6*y)}2$$
$$27.5 = frac{y+(6*y)}2$$
$$27 = frac{y+(8*y)}2$$
$$27.5 = frac{y+(8*y)}2$$
$$27 = frac{y+(10*y)}2$$
$$27.5 = frac{y+(10*y)}2$$
$$27 = frac{y+(12*y)}2$$
$$27.5 = frac{y+(12*y)}2$$
$$27 = frac{y+(20*y)}2$$
$$27.5 = frac{y+(20*y)}2$$

While I admit this looks intimidating, it’s really not that difficult to work through. Just take it one step at a time through each equation. After all, at this point, you just need to find “y”.

Equation 1:
$$27 = frac{y+(4*y)}2$$

You need to get rid of the “2” that it is being divided by, so multiply both sides by 2.

$$27*2 = (frac{y+(4*y)}2)*2$$
$$54 = y+(4*y)$$
$$54 = y+4y$$

“4y” is just another way of saying “y+y+y+y”, so let’s simplify this together.
$$54 = y+y+y+y+y$$
$$54 = 5y$$

Now, just divide 5 from both sides.
$$54/5 = 5y/5$$
$$10.8 = y$$
Well, it looks like that wasn’t quite right. Let’s try the steps again, but this time let’s work with 27.5.

Equation 2:
$$27.5 = frac{y+(4*y)}2$$

Multiply both sides by 2.
$$27.5*2 = (frac{y+(4*y)}2)*2$$
$$55 = y+(4*y)$$
$$55 = y+4y$$

Simplify.
$$55 = y+y+y+y+y$$
$$55 = 5y$$

Divide 5 from both sides.
$$55/5 = 5y/5$$
$$11 = y$$

As you can see, we got “11” as our result. If we replace “y” in the original equation with “11”, we get the following:

$$27.5 = frac{11+4(11)}2$$
$$27.5 = frac{11+44}2$$
$$27.5 = frac{55}2$$
$$27.5 = 27.5$$

With this, we find that by using “x=27.5” (which rounds down to 27), “y=11”, and “z=4” (to represent a 4-sided dice), it takes 11d4 to get the average of 27.5. I’m going to continue the other equations for examples.

Equation 3:
$$27 = frac{y+(6*y)}2$$
$$27*2 = (frac{y+(6*y)}2)*2$$
$$54 = y+(6*y)$$
$$54 = y+6y$$
$$54 = y+y+y+y+y+y+y$$
$$54 = 7y$$
$$54/7 = 7y/7$$
$$7.7 = y$$

Equation 4:
$$27.5 = frac{y+(6*y)}2$$
$$27.5*2 = (frac{y+(6*y)}2)*2$$
$$55 = y+(6*y)$$
$$55 = y+6y$$
$$55 = y+y+y+y+y+y+y$$
$$55 = 7y$$
$$55/7 = 7y/7$$
$$7.85 = y$$
Result: You cannot get an average of 27 or 27.5 by using only 6-sided dice.

Equation 5:
$$27 = frac{y+(8*y)}2$$
$$27*2 = (frac{y+(8*y)}2)*2$$
$$54 = y+(8*y)$$
$$54 = y+8y$$
$$54 = y+y+y+y+y+y+y+y+y$$
$$54 = 9y$$
$$54/9 = 9y/9$$
$$6 = y$$
Result: You only need 6d8 in order to get an average of 27. Equation 6 is unnecessary.

Equation 7:
$$27 = frac{y+(10*y)}2$$
$$27*2 = (frac{y+(10*y)}2)*2$$
$$54 = y+(10*y)$$
$$54 = y+10y$$
$$54 = y+y+y+y+y+y+y+y+y+y+y$$
$$54 = 11y$$
$$54/11 = 11y/11$$
$$4.9 = y$$

Equation 7:
$$27.5 = frac{y+(10*y)}2$$
$$27.5*2 = (frac{y+(10*y)}2)*2$$
$$55 = y+(10*y)$$
$$55 = y+10y$$
$$55 = y+y+y+y+y+y+y+y+y+y+y$$
$$55 = 11y$$
$$55/11 = 11y/11$$
$$5 = y$$
Result: You only need 5d10 in order to get an average of 27.5.

I could be a completionist, but I think you get the point. It’s just basic algebra after this point. As long as you understand the math, it’s pretty easy to retro-engineer any average HP value you want.

dnd 5e – What happens when a caster targets an object that looks like a creature with a spell that targets only creatures?

There are 2 ways to resolve this that have been discussed by WOTC designers in an official capacity: An older option on a Sage Advice segment of one of their Dragon Talk podcasts from January 2017 (specifically at about 13:12 for ~7.5 minutes), and a newer optional rule provided by Xanathar’s Guide to Everything‘s Dungeon Master’s Tools chapter.

Sage Advice: Intent is that spell effect doesn’t happen, action cost applies, and DM judges whether spell slot is used

To summarize Jeremy Crawford’s statements in the January 2017 podcast, “illegal targeting” is a gap in the written rules (as of the date of the podcast) and it’s mostly open to DMs to choose how to handle it. That said, Crawford says the intent for how it should be handled is that the spell should still take up the casting time but the spell effect will not occur and not consume a spell slot (I.E., option 2 listed in the question).

There are enough corner cases with this solution at the time of the podcast that Crawford still recommends that a DM adjudicate each individual occurrence on a case-by-case basis until there is eventually an official printed rule. As an example of why, he says spells such as those which require a spell attack probably should still consume their spell slot since there’d be some dissonance with the fact that those spells can miss, unlike saving throw spells which always “hit” but the target can resist their effects.

(He does not clarify what should happen if something like Eldritch Blast, which targets only creatures, actually hits a non-creature in this case.)

The flavor reason for this is that he views spells as essentially trying to make a magical connection between the caster and target. When that connection is established, the energy of the spell is consumed in producing the spell’s effect – but if the target isn’t one the spell can make a connection to, nothing happens and that energy isn’t expended.

He views spell attack spells as a different category; if I had to guess why, it’s likely because they mainly produce some effect that then follows standard attack rules in trying to reach the target.

Xanathar’s Guide to Everything (optional): No spell effect, action cost applies, and spell slot is expended

As of Xanathar’s Guide to Everything‘s release in November 2017, the (optional) rule for resolving invalid spell targets states (p. 85-86):

If you cast a spell on someone or something that can’t be affected by the spell, nothing happens to that target, but if you used a spell slot to cast the spell, the slot is still expended. If the spell normally has no effect on a target that succeeds on a saving throw, the invalid target appears to have succeeded on its saving throw, even though it didn’t attempt one (giving no hint that the creature is in fact an invalid target). Otherwise, you perceive that the spell did nothing to the target.

This is in slight contrast to Crawford’s earlier statements on the topic above, in that the spell still occurs and consumes a spell slot with no apparent effect.

dnd 5e – What happens when you have a creature grappled and use the Bait and Switch Maneuver to move 5 feet away from the creature?

The Bait and Switch Maneuver (Battlemaster Fighter feature):

Bait and Switch. When you’re within 5 feet of a creature on your turn, you can expend one superiority die and switch places with that creature, provided you spend at least 5 feet of movement and the creature is willing and isn’t incapacitated. This movement doesn’t provoke opportunity attacks.

Roll the superiority die. Until the start of your next turn, you or the other creature (your choice) gains a bonus to AC equal to the number rolled.

Does it just break your grapple since the creature is outside your reach? Does this count as “Moving a Grappled Target” and the creature you’re grappling moves 5 feet with you?

Or does this count as the latter, but since your speed is halved, and the maneuver only allows you to move 5 feet, your speed is 2.5 feet, and if playing on a grid, actually cannot move?

dnd 5e – What happens when you have a creature grappled and use the Bait and Switch to move 5 feet away from the creature?

You can choose to bring the grappled creature with you, but it takes 10 feet of movement.

Bait and Switch says:

When you’re within 5 feet of a creature on your turn, you can expend one superiority die and switch places with that creature, provided you spend at least 5 feet of movement

When you use Bait and Switch, you are using your available movement, so the rules for using it apply, that is, bringing a creature with you costs twice as much movement.

On a 5 foot grid, since you cannot move only 2.5 feet, you must move 5 feet, which costs 10 feet of movement when bringing a grappled creature along.

dnd 5e – Must a creature with less than 30 feet of movement dash when affected by Symbol’s Fear effect?

Assume the wording of the spell said

You must use all of your movement to move away from the symbol on each turn

A clever player could then drop prone, and then crawl half as far as otherwise.

Or,

You must move your base speed away from the symbol on each turn

In that case, what about those whose movement is slowed by heavy armor? They are now the ones forced to dash. What about the dwarf in my campaign how has Boots of Striding and Springing? They will just have to move 25 feet, even though they could move 30 feet.

My point is that the wording of the rule may seem poor, but it actually prevents abuse by players and avoids unclear instructions in special situations. It says move 30 feet, so you move 30 feet.

Gnome:

Gnome Cunning: You have advantage on all Intelligence, Wisdom, and
Charisma Saving Throws against magic.

Halfling:

Brave: You have advantage on Saving Throws against being Frightened.

Each has advantage to avoid the effects of this. If they fail, too bad for them. They have to struggle to keep up with the rest of the group, because the terror from the symbol is just as strong.

Dwarves, however, have no such ability (although lore-wise, most settings seem like they should have advantage against fear, but I digress.) So, I can see a valid complaint from dwarves.

So, a couple of the races with a 25 foot or less base movement speed already have means to help them resist the effect.

Beyond that, Symbol is a very powerful spell, being 7th level. Looking at the effects of the other options the caster could use, it doesn’t seem unreasonable at all to have this hard 30 feet movement, and so require some characters to have to Dash.

After all, if your hands are empty, you are already pretty much limited to screaming in terror and casting spells with only a verbal component. With not being able to keep anything in your hands, you aren’t going to be able to do much with your action anyway. (Unless you want to litter the floor with all your equipment as you draw it use it once, before dropping it next turn.)

dnd 5e – Must a creature with less than 30 feet of movement dash when effected by Symbol’s Fear effect?

The effect states:

Fear: Each target must make a Wisdom saving throw and becomes Frightened for 1 minute on a failed save. While Frightened, the target drops whatever it is holding and must move at least 30 feet away from the glyph on each of its turns, if able.

The “if able” is where I’m getting hung up. Yes, the creature is able to move 30 feet by dashing, however I’m not sure if that is intended, as it would severely limit certain PCs. If a creature only has 25 feet of movement, such as a gnome or halfling, are they forced to use there dash every turn to make that 30 feet minimum?
This was ruled in my game as no, since it meant 3 members of the party were still functional while the fourth would have been completely useless with having to dash every turn.

dnd 5e – Is an unsuccessful attack on a creature under the effect of Charm Person “harmful” for purposes of ending the spell?

Consider the following elaborate scenario, which nevertheless actually occurred at our table.

Two PCs, Sophie Sorcerer and Roger Rogue, sneak into the hideout of hapless villain Tarley Target. While hidden, Sophie uses her Subtle Casting metamagic to silently cast sleep, rendering Tarley unconscious without ever alerting him to the intrusion. Sophie and Roger swiftly exfiltrate the sleeping Tarley from the hideout to their camp nearby, where Sophie successfully casts charm person on him. When the sleep spell ends and Tarley awakes, Sophie takes advantage of Tarley’s charmed condition: she dupes him into believing that someone else actually assaulted him, and that the PCs are in fact his saviors. Tarley, overcome with gratitude and having little cause to believe the PCs are really hostile, proceeds to spill his secrets. Once satisfied that she has squeezed every bit of useful information from Tarley, Sophie signals to Roger — who has been quietly, nonchalantly moving into striking position — to kill him. Initiative is rolled. Tarley is ruled surprised. Roger goes first, attacks, and misses.

Does Tarley’s charmed condition end?

The description of charm person says a target that fails its save “is charmed by you until the spell ends or until you or your companions do anything harmful to it.” Does an unsuccessful attack count as “harmful” for purposes of charm person? Would it make a difference if Tarley remained unaware of the attack — e.g., because (as happened here) the DM ruled him distracted by Sophie’s riveting conversation?

Related questions:

  • This question asked what “harmful” means vis-à-vis charm person, but only in the context that the charmed condition restricts the charmed creature’s ability to “target the charmer with harmful abilities or magical effects.”
  • This question asked whether the target of charm person has to know who damaged them in order for the spell to end, but that presumes damage was actually dealt.