Would the spell gate summon the physical body of someone (either the caster or a party member) using astral projection, or would it summon their projection? (Or both).
To add on to that, would someone know that their physical body had been summoned if they were astrally projected?


3 Answers 3


Both, Neither, or Physical Body are all possible outcomes

Astral Projection states:

Your astral form is a separate incarnation. Any damage or other effects that apply to it have no effect on your physical body, nor do they persist when you return to it.

Gate states:

When you cast this spell, you can speak the name of a specific creature (a pseudonym, title, or nickname doesn't work). If that creature is on a plane other than the one you are on, the portal opens in the named creature's immediate vicinity and draws the creature through it to the nearest unoccupied space on your side of the portal.

Because of Astral Projection creating a "separate incarnation", there are two specific creatures which could have the same name: your soul and your body. A DM should be free to rule which form is affected, that both are affected, OR that since there's not a single specific creature with that name, that the spell fails (which isn't very fun), or that the forms have different names ("The physical body of Mordoc Salanmere" and "The Astral form of Mordoc Salanmere").

If the soul is the target, however, both the soul and body are returned because Gate pulls the creature's Astral Form from the Astral Plane, and when the creature leaves the Astral Plane, it's body and possessions are returned to it as stated in Astral Projection

If you enter a new plane or return to the plane you were on when casting this spell, your body and possessions are transported along the silver cord, allowing you to re-enter your body as you enter the new plane.

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    \$\begingroup\$ That's true if the gate sucks in your astral projection when you name the creature, but if the gate instead appears by your helpless body and sucks that in, it would be a fair ruling that your projection doesn't follow your body. \$\endgroup\$
    – Adam
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 19:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Adam - I hope my edits help explain that a bit better. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 19:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think you're right... but I'm not sure if an astral projection is a creature or not. Which is a ruling that would have effects on other things as well. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 19:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Okay so it looks like no one really has a definitive answer, but I did learn that Astral Projection does not work how I thought it did, you return to your body when you enter a new plane. This does present a new more general question that I've opened now, because I also realized that gate can only target creatures on other planes of existence. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rob Rose
    Commented Oct 21, 2017 at 15:42

You Get the Physical Body (probably)

Astral Projection states the following relevant things:

The cord is a tether to your material body...If the cord is cut - something that can happen only when an effect specifically states that it does - your soul and body are separated, killing you instantly.

This seems to imply that your astral projection is really your soul.

Gate states the following relevant things:

When you cast this spell, you can speak the name of a specific creature. If that creature is on a plane other than the one you are, the portal opens in the named creature's immediate vicinity and draws the creature through it tot he nearest unoccupied space on your side of the portal.

To my knowledge, the specific definition of 'creature' in 5e doesn't clearly state whether that is applicable to the physical body of the creature or the soul of the creature, but there are a few spots that provide some guidance:

  • Raise dead says the following:

You return a dead creature you touch to life...If the creature's soul is both willing and at liberty to rejoin the body, the creature returns to life with 1 hit point.

  • Resurrection says:

You touch a dead creature...If the soul is free and willing, the target returns to life with all its hit points.

  • True Resurrection says:

You touch a creature that has been dead...If the creature's soul is free and willing...

  • Reincarnate says:

You touch a dead humanoid...provided that the creature has been dead no longer than 10 days, the spell forms a new adult body for it and then calls the soul to enter that body. If the target's soul isn't free or willing to do so, the spell fails.

I am inferencing a bit, but it seems that whenever the rules specifically discuss matters relating to life and death they make a distinction between the soul being the soul and the physical body being the creature. As such, for your specific case, if I were DM, I would rule that your Gate brings you the unconscious physical body of the creature stated without the soul, which is still in the Astral Plane.

This is subject to some opinion, though, so a DM could rule either way. If the ruling were to receive the astral form, then you also get the creature's conscious physical body (and soul) by virtue of the body being pulled by the silver tether.

Regarding your question about whether the target knows if their physical body was moved. I would say no. The Astral Projection spell says only that their body doesn't need to eat or drink and doesn't age. Nothing about whether it's location can be perceived.

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    \$\begingroup\$ No. There have been tweets about a corpse being an object not a creature... Which makes this issue as clear as mud. Like: twitter.com/JeremyECrawford/status/597077875049635840 But the body of a creature that is asleep is creature... So, Astral Projection is really problematic. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 22:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @J.A.Streich like I said, I'm inferencing a bit, hence why I've opened the door to DM discretion. It would seem that RAW contradict Crawford on this matter. Of the answers provided thus far, I think any and all of them are equally correct. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 12:37

DM Decision would be needed.

In RAW, there is no concrete ruling one way or another(That I found).

As a DM, I would require a player to declare if they desired the Astral form or Physical form pulled through by the Gate spell. Other than that, I would rule either form to be an acceptable target.


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