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I'm a PC in a D&D 5e campaign being run by a friend. During an encounter with some mephits, I used Gust of Wind to try and keep them from swamping the group as we have no one in a tank role. The DM claimed that the pushback effect is only active on the first turn of the spell's activation. As I read the spell description, I would think if that were true there would be a qualifier in the text, but I don't see one.

Gust of Wind

2nd-level evocation
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self (60-foot line)
Components: V, S, M (a legume seed)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

A line of strong wind 60 feet long and 10 feet wide blasts from you in a direction you choose for the spell’s duration. Each creature that starts its turn in the line must succeed on a Strength saving throw or be pushed 15 feet away from you in a direction following the line.
Any creature in the line must spend 2 feet of movement for every 1 foot it moves when moving closer to you.
The gust disperses gas or vapor, and it extinguishes candles, torches, and similar unprotected flames in the area. It causes protected flames, such as those of lanterns, to dance wildly and has a 50 percent chance to extinguish them.
As a bonus action on each of your turns before the spell ends, you can change the direction in which the line blasts from you.

I don't see a qualifier that constrains the pushback effect to just the first turn, and I feel the spell's usefulness is severely affected by this condition. Especially for a level 2 spell slot.

Am I wrong about the spells effect? If I'm not, how best could I convince the DM not to nerf my spell? I'm a Circle of Land druid and feeling very weak in a direct damage sort of way. I was close to feeling useful to the group when I pulled this trick out and I feel like I was undermined arbitrarily.

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    \$\begingroup\$ We're not very close friends and have had some contentions in the past, they're a friend of my girlfriend. I feel like we moved past all that so I want to give them the benefit of the doubt, but i do have a nagging feeling that it was somewhat pointed. He also made no real attempt to defend his position, jsut stated it as if it were RAW. \$\endgroup\$ – Tenderbelly Jan 11 '18 at 18:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ this question may help with your predicament \$\endgroup\$ – Sdjz Jan 11 '18 at 18:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ Something to consider: this may have just been a panic ruling because the spell was so strong in the specific situation. From the DM's perspective, he/she may have felt like the encounter had been trivialized and didn't want to "ruin" the game \$\endgroup\$ – Vlad274 Jan 11 '18 at 19:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ I had thought of that, it's very likely the mobs would never have even touched us if the pushback continued. It didn't seem like a very important encounter to the narrative though, just some dirty mephits in the way of progress. \$\endgroup\$ – Tenderbelly Jan 11 '18 at 19:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ Something that may have been a factor in the DM's ruling: In at least some editions, the spell only lasted one round. Was he aware that the version you were using lasted for concentration, until it was pointed out? I could see someone whose historical knowledge of the spell had just been overturned getting confused. \$\endgroup\$ – John Dallman Jan 11 '18 at 20:05
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The pushback lasts 1 minute or until your concentration is broken

The rules

A line of strong wind... blasts from you in a direction you choose for the spell’s duration.

When it says that the wind is blowing for the spell's duration it means that the wind is blowing for 1 minute (or until you stop concentrating on it).

The next line says:

Each creature that starts its turn in the line must succeed on a Strength saving throw or be pushed 15 feet away from you in a direction following the line.

So the line of wind is present for up to one minute, and, as long as that line is present, creatures that start their turn in it must save against its effect or be pushed back. The applies to every turn that a creature starts its turn in it for the record.

I'm afraid your DM is not following the rules as written. I think it is pretty clear that the spell works, and is intended to work, as I have described above.

Common sense

The fact that this is a concentration spell should be a giveaway that some continuing effect should be present. If not, what reason would there be to concentrate on it? What lasting benefit does it provide if not the titular wind?

Does it makes sense to have "strong wind" constantly blowing against people and not have them make saves or have any effect at all? It really doesn't.

Talking to your DM

Whatever you do, you must respect the DM's right and ability to modify the campaign as they see fit. However, you should bring up to them (privately if at all possible) and respectfully ask them to look it over again and see if they might have misread or misunderstood the spell.

If they are still insistent in the previous interpretation, explain to them how badly this nerfs the spell (especially compared to other 2nd level spells). Ask them if they would mind interpreting it your way for a session or two and see if they think it is overpowered (because it is not) or anything wrong becomes apparent to them.

If none of the above works, you may just have to live with it and might consider just not preparing it again if you think it is not worth it. You may also want to ask the DM if you should expect any other changes to rules/spells/abilities to head off any future misunderstandings (thanks @MC).

If there are other serious issues that are seriously affecting your enjoyment of the game you may want to consider starting to look for another group. However, do remember that this is only one spell and probably not worth ruining an otherwise stellar gaming experience for.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The bonus action verbiage would also be totally redundant if this only worked on turn 1. \$\endgroup\$ – Kevin Jan 12 '18 at 0:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kevin - not exactly true, since the spell also has a second effect - "disperses gas or vapor, extinguishes candles, torches, and similar unprotected flames in the area". \$\endgroup\$ – enkryptor Jan 12 '18 at 10:47
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You are correct about the spell's effect. The spell clearly states:

Gust of Wind 2nd-level evocation Casting Time: 1 action Range: Self (60-foot line) Components: V, S, M (a legume seed) Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

A line of strong wind 60 feet long and 10 feet wide blasts from you in a direction you choose for the spell’s duration. Each creature that starts its turn in the line must succeed on a Strength saving throw or be pushed 15 feet away from you in a direction following the line. Any creature in the line must spend 2 feet of movement for every 1 foot it moves when moving closer to you. The gust disperses gas or vapor, and it extinguishes candles, torches, and similar unprotected flames in the area. It causes protected flames, such as those of lanterns, to dance wildly and has a 50 percent chance to extinguish them. As a bonus action on each of your turns before the spell ends, you can change the direction in which the line blasts from you.

This is stating that the spell's effects do go the entire 60 seconds or so that it's maintained.

As for how to get your DM to not nerf your character, as I do not pretend to know your DM, I can not offer advice that would require knowledge of them, but you may want to speak with them. Tell them that the spell's pushback effect lasts the whole minute. Tell them how it made you feel when you thought up a solution to a problem the party was having, and were made to feel useless because of a mistake on their part. If this doesn't help, and the DM keeps the fact that it only pushes on the first turn, you may just have to accept this as a homebrew rule of the DM. If this kind of spell nerfing happens routinely, and you're the only one affected, you may want to consider that your DM may have an issue with your character and you should go speak to them about it.

TLDR: Speak with your DM about it.

If you're still having a problem, you may want to search for a new DM

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I don't have major knowledge of the subject, but it would appear to me as though as long as the spell is active, any creature that starts its turn in the spells area, even if it has before, must succeed the check or suffer the affects.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hello Jarvis ! While what you say is correct, I would encourage you to edit your answer to provide details, like rules quotes, for instance. You can inspire yourself from the other answers on this question. \$\endgroup\$ – Gael L Jan 11 '18 at 18:33

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