Cloud of Daggers 5e Spell Questions

Cloud of daggers 5e Wikipedia

Cloud of Daggars is a spell published in Player's Handbook (5e).

Cloud of daggers was a simple spell learned by some wizards. Upon casting the wizards cloud of daggers conjured a cloud of small, flying daggers of force within an area of roughly five feet in diameter, within fifty feet of the caster. These daggers cut to shreds anything in their path, though they were weak enough that more powerful foes may be lightly harmed. The cloud remained in place for only a short while, a brief moment at best, but since the wizard could cast it at-will it could be reformed at any time. If a wizard grew to exceptional power, the dangerous of wading into a cloud of daggers become twice fold.

The post sundering version of the spell was much the same except if used as a higher spell level it would have been even more powerful. This version also was not restricted too the wizard and could be cast at a range of 90 feet.

Verbal and somatic components and a silver of glass.

Question 1

What space does the spell Cloud of Daggers fill?

I am trying to workout what template cloud of daggers (PHB, p. 222) would be on a grid. The spell states:

You fill the air with spinning daggers in a cube 5 feet on each side, centered on a point you choose within range.

From what I've read online, there seems to be some suggestion that it is a single square (tile) though this does stack with the spell description of "a cube 5 feet on each side".

Clearing this up for my group would be great, and I am sure our DM will be pleased as his monster were nicely diced by this spell. Thanks.

Answer 1

Cloud of daggers fills one 5-foot square.

Neither of the options that you show are correct. The spell description states that it takes up:

a cube 5 feet on each side

Since one square is five feet by five feet, you can fill one square with the cloud. If you target the center of a grid cell, then the spell fills that entire grid cell.

Note that the spell does not have a 5 foot radius. "5-foot radius" and "a cube 5 feet on each side" are very different measurements. A spell with a 5 foot radius fills a circle 10 feet wide. A spell that fills a cube 5 feet on a side fills a square, and that square is only 5 feet wide.

Answer 2

Cloud of Daggers only effects one tile if we assume everything "snaps to grid."

What is "a cube 5 feet on each side?"

Looking at the section of the PHB "Areas Of Effect" we see:


You select a cube’s point of origin, which lies anywhere on a face of the cubic effect. The cube’s size is expressed as the length of each side. A cube’s point of origin is not included in the cube’s area of effect, unless you decide otherwise. - PHB pg.204

In a comment you said:

The other way to look at it is if a point can have a side then it - spell has a 5ft radius. This is why I have asked this question.

Which suggests you are thinking of spheres and cubes as being similar areas of effect. When we're dealing with a 5 foot cube, there is a sphere that could be considered to be almost identical in effect, but it would have a 2.5ft radius, or a 5ft diameter. Of course, when the areas we're dealing with get bigger, the similarities decrease.

The point is at the center of both the cube and the sphere, and the length of one side of the cube is equal to the length of the diameter of the sphere (but the radius is only half that). While the sphere fits entirely inside the cube, there is plenty of space taken up by the cube that lies outside of the sphere's bounds. When using a 5ft grid, as the sphere/cube get larger, more and more spaces are effected by this difference, which is why I said "the similarities decrease."

If we were to say that the cube is 5 feet on each side, it would fit nicely inside one 5ftx5ft tile on a map. The area of effect of the sphere and the cube would be effectively the same if we consider that everything snaps to a grid: either one would completely effect one creature, and only one, as creatures can move through eachother's space, but not stay there.

How does this effect Cloud of Daggers?

As you said, the spell states:

You fill the air with spinning daggers in a cube 5 feet on each side, centered on a point you choose within range. - PHB pg.222

Usually you select the point of origin, which can be included in the effect or not, but in this case we select the center point, which must be within the area of effect. From this, we can see that a cube 5ft on each side could fit perfectly within one tile of a 5ft grid.

Again, in a comment you said:

we play with the notion that when you select a point you are select a square rather than a location on the grid which could cross into another square or in the middle of two.

Which sounds like snap-to-grid, so you couldn't place the cube on the intersection of two tiles as addressed by this question.

In conclusion:

Cloud of Daggers only effects one tile if we assume everything "snaps to grid."

Question 2

5E cloud of daggers?

How do you guys do Cloud of daggers? We got into a drawn out discussion about how it works. I almost felt bad for casting it because it took a while to sort out and I just conceded to the DM that it didn't damage immediately, only when the creature started their turn. To complicate it, it was cast in a space occupied by a Bug Bear with a wolf on a chain, the BB passed an AC check but the wolf didn't, so he allowed it to be cast.

When you roll the d20 to cast does that go against the targets armor class that is in the selected 5x5, or is it a hi/lo pass/fail? If you don't hit the targets AC does it just completely fail?

Is damage done when it is successfully cast, and then again when the targeted creature starts its turn in that square? It's written as when the creature first enters the space or when it starts its turn in that space. My DM interpreted it as one or the other, I thought it meant both.

Also I assume damage isn't static and is rolled each time it hits.

Answer 1

Sounds like you're been doing that spell 7 kinds of wrong.

1- You cast the spell on a point. Nothing happens at that moment.

2- Afterwards, whenever someone begins their turn in the area of daggers, they take the spell's damage. There is no Saving Throw against it, there is no attack roll needed. You are in there, you will take damage.

3- At any moment if someone enters, or is pushed-pulled-dragged into the area of daggers, they also take damage.

4- Then if they start their turn in it after having been pushed-pulled-dragged, they take damage again, then they can opt to walk out of it.

For the rest of this answer please visit:

Question 3

Can two Cloud of Daggers be cast in the same area by different spell casters?

Quick overview of the situation, the party is 3rd level and the warlock and the bard can now both cast cloud of daggers. We were in a lizardfolk den and they saw us and came running down a 5-foot corridor. The bard was first in initiative and threw out the cloud of daggers right on them. The warlock went next and wanted to do the same. Is there any ruling against this? The lizardfolk were next and would take the 4d4 from the bard at the start of their turn. Would they also take the warlock's 4d4 (A grand total of 8d4), or do these effects need to be staggered?

Answer 1

Personally, only one instance of damage

It depends on whether you believe damage to be an effect of a spell, and whether you believe the cloud of daggers castings have any sort of overlapping "duration".

There is the following rule from the "Combining Magical Effects" section:

The effects of the same spell cast multiple times don't combine, however. Instead, the most potent effect - such as the highest bonus - from those castings applies while their durations overlap.

- Player's Handbook (page 205)

There is also the following optional (as every rule there is optional) rule from the "Simultaneous Effects" section of Xanathar's Guide to Everything:

If two or more things happen at the same time on a character or monster’s turn, the person at the game table — whether player or DM — who controls that creature decides the order in which those things happen. For example, if two effects occur at the end of a player character’s turn, the player decides which of the two effects happens first.

- Xanathar's Guide to Everything (page 77)

There are a few things that need to be determined here; firstly, whether or not damage is even an effect of a spell. One could argue that it is not ( and people have done so here ), in which case it does not apply to the above rule and the creature will take both instances of damage. That said, I personally believe that the spell causes the damage and therefore the damage is an effect of the spell.

There is also the question of whether the spells actually have an overlapping duration at all. The castings do have their own durations and those are counting down at the same time (overlapping). Thus the spells are overlapping and any effects they might cause must all come from only one of the castings; the creature only takes damage once.

Alternatively, you could say that the rule on overlapping effects applies to each effect separately and not to the spells as a whole; thus the damages never overlap (using Xanathar's) and both would apply fully. But this would likely be incorrect and goes against the current answer to the question " How do you choose active effects when two instances of the same spell/feature overlap? ".

I personally believe that damage is an effect of a spell and that the castings are overlapping, thus the creature will only take 4d4 damage, but there is space and reasoning to argue otherwise.

An oddity from having only one instance of damage apply

Spacing apart the castings by a mere 5 feet causes radically different behavior; the creature would take damage when starting its turn and also when entering the second AoE.

If a medium creature walked into one AoE and then the other they would take the damage twice, not just once. However, a large (or larger) creature could potentially walk into both AoEs simultaneously, resulting in them only taking damage once.

Answer 2

The lizardfolk would only take 4d4

Borrowing heavily from this answer , multiple of the same spell never stack. From the Player's Handbook, “Combining Magical Effects”:

The effects of different spells add together while the durations of those spells overlap. The effects of the same spell cast multiple times don't combine, however. Instead, the most potent effect — such as the highest bonus — from those castings applies while their durations overlap.

RAW, the bard and the warlock would not get more damage out of their cloud of dagger spells by overlapping them.

To narratively justify this RAW, think of it as the damage coming from the fact that the area is filled with daggers, and adding more daggers doesn't change the fact that the area is filled with daggers.

Of course, if as a DM, this seems unrealistic, you could always overrule RAW and claim that both spells do take effect, since there are now twice as many daggers filling that area.

Question 4

How many enemies can I hit with a Cloud of Daggers?

Cloud of Daggers has an area of a 5' cube. If I cast it on a group of enemies standing together (in adjacent "squares" if you use a battle map), can I affect more than one enemy with the spell? For example I cast the cloud between two enemies, and both are half in the cube, so the cloud deals damage to both at the start of their turn?

Answer 1

If you're not using a grid, a 5' cube will usually have a single target.

DMG249 has a table giving recommendations on the number of targets in an area of effect; for a 5' cube, this value works out to be one target. If enemies are standing shoulder-to-shoulder, it falls under the "add or subtract targets based on how bunched up [they] are." Regardless, it's a judgment call by the GM.

If you're using a grid, the answer is unclear; probably one or two targets.

DMG251 says you pick an intersection of squares/hexes as an origin, which means that you can overlap a maximum of four 5' squares with a 5' cube (with 1/4 of the cube in each square). It also says that in the case of a circular effect, it affects a square if it covers at least half of it. Cubes aren't circular, but the implication I see is that a 5' cube can, at maximum, affect two adjacent 5' squares.

Answer 2

First thing I would do is ask your DM whether or not it would be possible. Some more generous DMs might allow you to do it whereas others may not.

If I was the DM I might split up the damage between the two. Instead of it being 4d4 on each it would be 2d4 and so on.

It would also depend on the movement of battle. (E.g moving down a corridor or moving into position, two enemies might overlap on space.)

Space: A creature's space is the area in feet that it effectively controls in combat, not an expression of its physical dimensions. A typical Medium creature isn't 5 feet wide, for example, but it does control a space that wide.

As far as casting on a group of enemies who are stationary goes, unless they were overlapping due to some other mechanic (such as a tiny creature and a medium creature sharing a space) I doubt it would work (unless the DM allows the sharing of the damage amongst the two.)

Add a Comment