Can a character escape the Iron Bands of Bilarro (DMG p. 177, listed in the SRD as the Iron Bands of Binding) with the misty step spell?

To clarify, I am not asking if the bands prevent teleportation. I am asking whether the bands are teleported with the character as he teleports using misty step.


3 Answers 3


The Bands do not prevent teleportation

The limitations of Misty Step are clear:

you teleport up to 30 feet to an unoccupied space that you can see

The only way the Iron Bands could interfere with any of these if they obstructed the target's vision. There is no trace of this in the description.

The Bands might teleport with you

Rules designer Jeremy Crawford unofficially answered a similar question on Twitter in 2015:

In your opinion, could a wizard that's tied up (but not gagged) cast Misty Step to free himself?

It's up to the DM. I'd say you could teleport out of bonds that are fixed to a wall or the like.

My opinion

Misty Step is magic, and you pay the price, spend a spell slot and an action. You can clearly get out of a grapple with Misty Step, and shackles seem even simpler things. Once the Bands caught you, they are no different from shackles.
So I would let Misty Step get you out of it.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Let me clarify. I'm not asking if the bands prevent teleportation. I am wondering if the bands are teleported with the character. \$\endgroup\$
    – user28536
    Commented Aug 19, 2017 at 17:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ How are shackles simpler than grappling? Especially the Bands, which apply not the grappled, but the restrained condition. \$\endgroup\$
    – Szega
    Commented Jun 22, 2018 at 9:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Szega the shackles are passive, a grappler can adapt to your movement and actions \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Commented Jun 22, 2018 at 9:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ The spell grants you nothing to take advantage of that difference. Also, the Bands are a magic item that restrict you much more than a grappler normally can. Getting out of a grapple is easier than getting out of the Bands and thus I do not think the argument holds up that because you can escape one, you should be able to escape the other too. \$\endgroup\$
    – Szega
    Commented Jun 22, 2018 at 9:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ It should be worthy of note that your Twitter quote contains a prerequisite for bonds needing be "fixed to a wall or the like" to not teleport with you. From my understanding these Iron Bands are exclusively attached to you, like being forced to wear a metal straight jacket. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 26, 2018 at 8:52

No; the Bands are "worn" and thus come with


The misty step spell says only:

Briefly surrounded by silvery mist, you teleport up to 30 feet to an unoccupied space that you can see.

It does not, in fact, say that your clothes or other gear teleport with you, let alone anything magical that is restraining you - just you. This is odd, in that dimension door, for example, does say explicitly that you can bring what you are carrying. Spells do only what they say they do, so it is possible that dimension door allows you to bring gear (but you would remain bound by the iron bands) and misty step would free you of the bands but you would also be gearless and naked. Or, it could be that the gear provision is explicit but redundant in dimension door and implicit in misty step (and in teleport, for that matter). Fortunately there is an official ruling that clarifies this.

RAI, official

Sage Advice Compendium explains:

Misty step doesn’t say the caster can bring worn or carried equipment with them. Are they intended to leave everything, including their clothes, behind? No, the caster’s worn and carried equipment are intended to go with them.
Some teleportation effects do specify that you teleport with your gear; such specification is an example of a rule being needlessly fastidious, since no teleportation effect in the game assumes that you teleport without your clothes, just as the general movement rules don’t assume that you drop everything when you walk.

Here we have an explicit statement - the caster's worn and carried equipment are intended to go with them. So now the question becomes whether we should consider the iron bands to be "worn and carried equipment". This distinction is vague, but it is also key to adjudicating other spell effects.

Consider the part of the SAC ruling that says the "rules don’t assume that you drop everything when you walk." When a character moves, their gear remains with them. A creature restrained by the iron bands can't move, by definition - but it can be moved, for example by allies. If a character restrained by the iron bands was lifted up by a party member and carried away, would we expect the bands to fall off? Of course not. By the SAC definition, the bands appear to be "worn or carried". And while there is no in-game definition for what is "worn", certainly the English usage of the word includes a prisoner 'wearing' handcuffs, manacles, or other restraints. In fact, the Storm King's Thunder adventure (p. 181) includes precisely this use:

The non-ore prisoners wear manacles on their ankles that reduce their speed by 20 feet.

Thus, it seems clear that a discrete object that is retraining you, personally, fits the game sense of being "worn and carried". As such, misty step (like all teleport spells) is assumed to bring it with you.


The range for Misty Step is "Self" which is defined as in the spellcasting section of the rules stating "Other spells, such as the shield spell, affect only you. These spells have a range of self." The "affect only you" would seem to say that anything not you is excluded from this spell. Note that this is a range, not a target. The range of the spell ends where the character ends and the Iron Bands begin.

If the Iron Bands specifically said "if the character is moved, the Iron Bands move with them" then it would be different, but as stated in the item all it does is apply the condition of restrained. This is no different than a net, a grapple, or any condition that allows you to still see and speak the verbal component of the spell.

I admit that this is somewhat open to GM interpretation, but I'd argue that the character casting the spell (and the items listed on their character sheet) get teleported. To do anything else opens up spells with a range of "self" to be extended to other items carried or items that surround the caster.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the stack and please take our tour to learn more about how operate. Answers here do need to be backed up either by rules citations or by experience you've seen or participated in (or can link to.) Can you add some support to your interpretation which seems to suggest that misty step would teleport your nude self without any of your equipment? \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 17:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ Strictly speaking, "spells that affect only you have a range of self" doesn't mean that the opposite is true — "spells that have a range of self affect only you". Wish have range of "self" too. \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 18:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor The spell description for Wish goes into great detail of what it can do, even detailing what a GM should do for situations outside of what is mentioned. Still, each effect seems to be centered on the caster, changing reality around the caster, which may be why this effect is self. This is not the same case with Misty Step because it is simply not that complicated. Misty Step teleport the caster to a space you can see within 30 feet. It doesn't say that it brings anything else along, and as that seems like an intentional omission it seems to be a stretch to allow it to do so. \$\endgroup\$
    – JSC
    Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 18:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Still, "A therefore B" doesn't mean "B therefore A". Wish might be a stretch indeed... okay, Eyebite has a range of self too, but it affects other creatures according to its description \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 18:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you support your argument at the end? That's the bit we really look for here :) Stating your opinion is easy, back it up is where we thrive! \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 18:53

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