# Does the target of Lightning Arrow take the secondary damage too?

Lightning Arrow:

The target takes 4d8 lightning damage on a hit, or half as much damage on a miss, instead of the weapon’s normal damage.

Whether you hit or miss, each creature within 10 feet of the target must make a Dexterity saving throw. Each of these creatures takes 2d8 lightning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Does the target of the attack have to roll a save? Would he also take the secondary damage?

• Is your question "will the initial target of lightning damage also take the secondary damage?"?
– Erik
Jul 12, 2017 at 19:50
• @Erik yes, this is exactly what he is asking. It seems a minor XY problem: instead of asking directly that, he is sidelining. I'll edit the question title. The current one is too much "quantum physics". Jul 12, 2017 at 20:24
• I wanted to emphasize how ridiculous it would be if the answer were no. Jul 13, 2017 at 14:19

# No.

The splash damage of lightning arrow affects each creature within 10 ft. of the target, not the target.

• Another reason why Rangers are not competitive Jul 12, 2017 at 20:06
• Apparently a creature is not within 10 feet of itself. Jul 12, 2017 at 21:25
• Jul 13, 2017 at 1:45
• Apparently ranges like that are open on the inner end, and people are modelled as zero-width points. Makes complete sense. That said, if I had the power to give cupcakes to people around me, I'd be damn sure to have one for myself, too! Jul 13, 2017 at 11:36
• Since Crawford's tweets are no longer official rulings, you may want to update your answer accordingly, and perhaps cite the relevant rules to indicate whether it matches Crawford's unofficial tweet. (Also, the tweets were never "Sage Advice"; that's just the name of a third-party site that compiles tweets by designers.) Oct 5, 2019 at 4:08

About sphere shaped spell effects the PHB says on page 205:

A sphere's point of origin is included in the sphere's area of effect.

So yes, the original target has to make the save too.

• this would imply that the target takes damage twice, right? Once from the "on a hit and half on a miss" and once from the dex save Jul 12, 2017 at 19:52
• A lightning arrow isn't a sphere though, it hits the target (either directly or indirectly) then effectively explodes to hit everyone within 10 feet of the target. Jul 12, 2017 at 19:57
• @onewho All the points within r distance of a point form a sphere by definition. Jul 12, 2017 at 20:08
• Logic and balance does not apply to Rangers :( Jul 12, 2017 at 20:08
• @András why is that the only redeeming quality? It's an AoE spell. Why is it so bad that you think it needs to "double dip" on damage?
– Jay
Jul 12, 2017 at 20:44

I think I understand your question.

The target does not make a dexterity save, the caster of the spell makes a "to-hit" roll (adding all the various modifiers to the roll), if the caster hits the target, the arrow does full damage (4d8 lightning damage), if it misses the target the target still takes half damage.

Everyone within 10 feet of the target then makes a dexterity save (against the spell-casters spell DC); failed saves take 2d8 lightning damage, while successful saves take half that.

According to the rules, the target only takes damage once.