The premises:

  • A prismatic wall is between the party and the world salvation
  • There is a barbarian that can reasonably survive being inside the wall for 3 rounds.

Assuming the character survives all those 10d6 damages, is not banished and makes the indigo save 3 times, does it means the whole wall is removed?

Indigo: (...) must make a Con save at the end of each of its turns. If it successfully saves three times, the spell ends. (...)

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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, I know I asked- this one question about the same time as this one, but even though the question relates, they are two different issues. 1 question = 1 post \$\endgroup\$ Jul 15, 2017 at 21:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ Asking if you can end a Prismatic Wall by "just enduring it" is like asking if you can defeat a Balor by "just strangling it". It sounds almost insulting :P \$\endgroup\$
    – Erik
    Jul 15, 2017 at 22:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Erik Part of a series awesome stuff barbarians can do with their bodies - previous one: Break door with my armpit powaaaa!!! \$\endgroup\$ Jul 16, 2017 at 1:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Erik but no, seriously, the prismatic wall is not edned. It just vanishes into a corner of the astral plane to cry about its poorly worded design and to daydream its days of 2nd edition glory. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 16, 2017 at 2:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is purely a hypothetical question I hope. Citing this kind of thing at an actual table is pretty much the D&D equivalent of "the card says Moops". \$\endgroup\$
    – r256
    Feb 15, 2019 at 17:31

2 Answers 2


Yes, but maybe it's an error.

The description of the spell as written does indeed say that if the indigo layer starts to, but does not succeed in, petrifying a creature, then prismatic wall ends.

But given that the other language in the spell description strongly implies that that the only way to end the spell is by successively bringing down each of the seven layers, that seems really incongruous.

So, here's a theory. Suppose that in an earlier draft of the spell, the indigo layer's effects read something like this:

6. Indigo. The creature is subjected to the effects of the flesh to stone spell.

At some point, someone realizes that flesh to stone requires a Constitution save, which is inconsistent with the other Dexterity saves that the wall requires. So the indigo layer's effects are spelled out by copy-pasting in text from flesh to stone:

A creature restrained by this spell must make another Constitution saving throw at the end of each of its turns. If it successfully saves against this spell three times, the spell ends. If it fails its saves three times, it is turned to stone and subjected to the petrified condition for the duration. The successes and failures don’t need to be consecutive; keep track of both until the target collects three of a kind.

This is nearly identical to the printed effects of the indigo layer of prismatic wall, in particular the contentious the spell ends wording.

I suspect that instead of the the spell ends, what is meant here is the creature is no longer restrained. Because there actually isn't any phrase the description of prismatic wall that specifies how long the affected creature is restrained for. Compare to other spells which impose the restrained condition:


The target is restrained until the spell ends,


On a failed save, the creature is restrained as long as it remains in the webs or until it breaks free.

And, indeed, prismatic wall already imposes another condition, and it specifies a duration for that:

If another creature that can see the wall moves to within 20 feet of it or starts its turn there, the creature must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or become blinded for 1 minute.

But the most compelling reason to think that the spell ends is a copy/paste error is the text for the related spell prismatic spray. The effects for the indigo ray of that spell use the same language:

6. Indigo. On a failed save, the target is restrained. It must then make a Constitution saving throw at the end of each of its turns. If it successfully saves three times, the spell ends.

But prismatic spray has a duration of Instantaneous; it's already ended by the time the target is making a third saving throw. The phrase the spell ends has no real meaning in the context of an instantaneous spell.

So, my contention is that the intent of the effects for prismatic wall is that saving three times against the effects of the indigo layer means that the restrained condition on the creature is ended, but the prismatic wall is not dispelled.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, something is amiss. Quoting myself in another comment, "The wall doesn't end there. It just vanishes into a corner of the astral plane to cry about its poorly worded design and to daydream about its days of 2nd edition glory. " +1 for pointing that out. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 16, 2017 at 11:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mindwin 2nd? What about the terse glory of the original wording : prevents location/detection and psionics — save vs. petrification or turned to stone. \$\endgroup\$
    – Marq
    Jul 16, 2017 at 12:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Touché! I'm renaming the 5e version to Crayon Rainbow Wall \$\endgroup\$ Jul 16, 2017 at 12:49

"The spell ends" means that the spell ends.

When a spell mentions, that under certain circumstances the spell ends, like for example that some charm spells end, when the target takes damage, the whole effect stops.

The indigo layer says, that the spell ends when the target saves three times. So, the wall would disappear as if the duration of the spell expired.

Certain conditions must be met:

  • The target creature must have survived all the other (non-destroyed) layers of the wall
  • The target must have failed the initial dexterity saving throw against the indigo layer
  • The target must succeed three times on the constitution saving throw from the indigo layer before failing three times.

Additional information:

The target is only restrained while in the indigo layer, thus the target could use spells or other creatures could help the target to leave the prismatic wall. (this does not stop the ongoing effect, but you don't have to actually stay inside of the prismatic wall and 'endure inside it', you can try to succeed three times on the savingthrow anywhere you want.)


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