As a DM, I want to know if more than one creature can fit inside The resilient sphere of Otiluke, Rules as written.
Here is the scenario:
A group of four medium-sized creatures walks through the old sewers of a city. Suddenly, the sound of gallons of water gushing sounds in the tunnel. The part has only a few moments to react before the room overflows with water. Reflecting quickly, the group meets and the assistant launches Resilient Sphere on them to protect them from the water.
Rules as written, it would not work. The spell indicates that:
"The sphere is weightless and just big enough to hold the creature or object within. "
This quote, as well as the continued use of a singular rather than plural language, strongly imply that it is only intended to affect one creature at a time.
Using the rule of freshness, I allow it, as the description of the spell says:
"A sphere of shimmering force (which) contains a creature or object of large size or smaller in range".
This means that if the four medium-sized creatures have entered a large box and have been thrown. Resilient Sphere on the box, it would have worked. This is because even if the creatures are in the box, the spell is cast on the box, not on the creatures. (This is a strange technique but it's completely in the rules, so I allow this to be done without the box.)
It would seem silly to refuse that the contents of a container be affected by the spell when the container itself is affected. This sets a precedent: if you cast the spell on a chest, all its contents would fall, the spell being able to contain only one object, the chest. Throwing it on a bottle would make the liquid flow, because you only cast the spell on the container. Casting the spell on a cage could release a creature within it, because the spell was cast on the cage and not on the creature.
So, in this spirit, can multiple creatures be contained in Resilient Sphere in the rules?
Here are some rhetorical questions that can fuel reflection:
If the spell were cast on a swarm, what would happen? Would all the medium swarms be affected or would only one small beast of this swarm be affected?
What if the spell was cast just as a creature entered another creature's space? Or when a creature struggled or mounted another creature?
If the spell was cast on an ocher jelly that cracked while she was inside the Resilient Spherewould the spell end because it can only contain a singular creature?
Could the spell be cast on a large box in which a huge creature is stuck inside, because creatures can sneak into a space of a size smaller than them? Or would the spell fail because it can only affect creatures or objects of large or smaller size?
Disclaimer for potential VTC users. These rhetorical questions are not part of my question and do not need an answer. They are simply intended to ensure that potential respondents consider multiple possibilities before giving their response. These do not make my question broader because I do not try to answer it, so any answer that focuses solely on the answers to these rhetorical questions should be flagged as "not an answer".