Ring of Water Walking:

While wearing this ring, you can stand on and move across any liquid surface as if it were solid ground.

Water Walk (Spell, emphasis mine):

This spell grants the ability to move across any liquid surface -such as water, acid, mud, snow, quicksand, or lava- as if it were harmless solid ground (creatures crossing molten lava can still take damage from the heat).

Since the Water Walk spell states that it renders acid as a harmless solid surface and the ring does not, can I deduce that I will take acid damage if I walk on an acid pool with the ring?


4 Answers 4


RAW - You might still take damage

First thing to understand is that the Ring of Water Walking does not, RAW, cast the Water Walking spell because it does not say that it does. So, based on the rule that things do what they say and nothing more, Ring of Water Walking would not render the surfaces you walk explicitly harmless.

However, a DM would have to adjudicate how solid acid would actually behave. A DM could rule that it would reduce or eliminate the damaging effects just because it has solidified.

Also a super strict reading of the effect might conclude that "ground" means normal earthen walking surface. In this case, normal earthen walking surfaces do not usually cause acid damage. (thank you @Nick Brown for the suggestion)

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    \$\begingroup\$ If you were being super strict RAW, it says as if it were solid ground, and last I checked you don't take any damage walking on solid ground, regardless of what solid acid might be like.... So I think with a super literal DM or with a reasonable DM you'd be fine. It's only with the kind of DM that is mostly literal that you should have to worry. I think the lava example in the spell text is there to indicate that the lava is so hot as to create an environmental danger above its surface as well as below. You could rule that there are acid fumes roiling above the acidic surface. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nick Brown
    Dec 6, 2017 at 15:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ I might say they have to spend a few silvers at the cobbler to resole their shoes. \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Dec 6, 2017 at 17:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't know how much this applies but typically solid acids are harmless until dissolved. \$\endgroup\$
    – tox123
    Dec 6, 2017 at 23:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NickBrown: You obviously never walked bare foot across a metal surface on hot sunny days. Walking on solid ground can cause damage even in real life. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 7, 2017 at 12:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sure, if the players don't wear boots, they should be taking damage on many types of ground: forest, cave, rocky beach. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nick Brown
    Dec 7, 2017 at 14:55

(creatures crossing molten lava can still take damage from the heat).

Maybe I'm parsing this in an unusual way, but I feel like the text is pretty obvious what it's telling you here: the Ring of Water Walking prevents any effect from being in contact with a substance, but does absolutely nothing to protect you from effects of being very close to a substance. There are no effects of "being really near acid but not actually touching it" in D&D, so you're off damage-free here.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I agree but would point out that many acids would still give off acid fumes, so a DM could rule that there is still a danger. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nick Brown
    Dec 7, 2017 at 14:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you might've mixed up the text of the ring with the text of the spell. The spell specifically calls out that it prevents damage from contact with otherwise dangerous substances, but the ring doesn't. The ring just says you don't fall in. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 8, 2017 at 21:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DarthPseudonym Interesting, so your position is that the fact that "harmless" being used in one, but omitted in the other, is an intentional design choice? Definitely a valid position. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael W.
    Dec 8, 2017 at 23:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelW. Sure. If they meant 'you are constantly under the effect of the water walk spell', they'd have said that. One thing I've picked up from the Sage Advice segments on the DragonTalk podcast is that they're very specific about when they say to duplicate a spell versus when they repeat the function of the spell (in part or in full). \$\endgroup\$ Dec 12, 2017 at 16:58

If the pool was still, then yes you should be able to walk across it safely (although if it was fuming nitric acid or some such, you might need to hold your breath). If, OTOH, you trip and fall, or splash or are splashed, or engage in combat on said surface, damages may accrue.

Note that the ring does not make the pool of acid solid; it allows you to walk on it as if it were solid, so determining how "solid acid" would behave, or what its corrosive effects might be, is missing the point. The acid isn't solid; you are just allowed to walk on it.


Don't forget, DnD is about telling a story, and sometimes the rules get in the way of that story. If it doesn't serve any plot purpose to damage the player and takes away from the "cool-factor" of the game, then I don't think the player should take any damage from being clever/lucky enough to have and use the ring. At worst, their shoes could be ruined by the time they get across, but it's important to remember that the rules are guidelines, not laws.

And personally, I don't think they should take damage regardless. Would your shoes get wet if you walked across water with the RAW? Does solid acid have the same corrosive effects as aqueous acid? Granted, they might wanna hold their breath when they run across, but it doesn't make sense from my point of view for them to take damage (or at least enough damage to lose health points).

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hi SaintFace. A moderator will probably step in with some better words, but StackExchange isn't really a discussion or opinion sharing site. Can you rephrase this to include either a rule citation, or some authoritative mention from the publisher? Or if you've only subjective opinion, can you back it up with experience in play? \$\endgroup\$
    – Longspeak
    Dec 6, 2017 at 22:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Other support options would include citations from published GMing advice or works of RPG theory, thorough argumentation from clear and reasonable first principles, or anything else that you can justify as Backing It Up. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 7, 2017 at 2:50

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