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If character is grappled but able to activate dimension door, what happens:

  1. Grappling creature find its lap empty and character flees.

  2. Grappling creature is teleported with character and is still grappling (possible fail of the spell if load is illegal).

  3. Teleportation fails.

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1 Answer 1

The creature who used the spell dimension door [conj] (PH 221) is free of the grapple. The spell's Target entry reads, "You and touched objects or other willing creatures," but the spell's text clarifies that the caster "may also bring one additional willing Medium or smaller creature... per three caster levels."

That may in there means he doesn't have to, so the creature can totally leave that grapple-lap behind.

Note that casting a spell in a grapple requires a Concentration skill check (DC 20 according to PH 70, or DC 20 + spell level according to PH 156 and 170), and even then the spell can't have somatic components and material components the spell requires must be in hand when the grapple's started. Fortunately, the spell dimension door only requires verbal components.

Corner Case
If the creature using dimension door wants to take the grappling foe with it, it must touch the foe (this is part of casting the spell if the foe is willing--PH 174), and the foe must be willing to go. If the foe chooses, the foe makes a Willpower saving throw to negate the effect. If the foe succeeds on that saving throw, the foe doesn't go, the creature does, and the grapple ends. If the foe goes with the creature, it's up to the DM whether the grapple ends or continues (I'd argue the latter).

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The saving throw for dimension door controls whether or not you are teleported, not the entire effect. Also, I’m not sure it’s possible to be Willing, but also attempt a saving throw. I’d probably only allow that in weird corner cases where some compulsion or something forces the creature to save against an effect it would otherwise want. – KRyan Dec 31 '13 at 20:02
Isn't the save for objects? My reading of it is that there is never a save for a creature, but that creature must be willing. The only way to really have a willing target is to use a free action to ask the opposing grappler if he wants to go for a ride. Otherwise he isn't even aware to be willing. Perhaps if it's a magic item he recognizes or if he can recognize the spell (Spellcraft). – Wyrmwood Nov 5 at 18:03
@Wyrmwood Sometimes spell descriptions are weird. Saving throw (object) says, "This notation does not mean that a spell can be cast only on objects. Some spells of this sort can be cast on creatures or objects." And dimension door is a spell that certainly can be cast on both. There's a reason it says Corner Case in bold. :-) – Hey I Can Chan Nov 5 at 18:13
yeah, but the wording None or Will (object) certainly seems to imply it's None for creatures, and Will for objects. – Wyrmwood Nov 5 at 18:31
@Wyrmwood I totally agree that the text implies that, but it also literally says what it says. I don't think the situation described in the Corner Case has ever arisen in the history of D&D, so this is really academic, and I don't think giving a willing creature the option of making a saving throw does any harm and exists only as a system quirk (of which there are many). Is there something about this that turns a ripple here into a tidal wave elsewhere? – Hey I Can Chan Nov 5 at 18:41

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