3
\$\begingroup\$

The Symbol spell says:

Once triggered, the glyph glows, filling a 60-foot-radius sphere with dim light for 10 minutes, after which time the spell ends. Each creature in the sphere when the glyph activates is targeted by its effect, as is a creature that enters the sphere for the first time on a turn or ends its turn there.

Many of the options for what effect the symbol has when triggered have durations much shorter than 10 minutes (e.g. Stunning), or are instantaneous effects (e.g. Death). If I choose one of these effects, does that mean that it can affect the same creature multiple times? For instance, if I choose Stunning and a creature is stunned for one minute, then, assuming no one else moves them, they will still be within range of the spell at the end of that minute, and the spell will still be active for 9 more minutes. Does this mean that as soon as they recover from being stunned, they have to make the saving throw again? For that matter, does a stunned creature have to continue making saving throws every turn to see if the duration of the stun gets reset to 1 minute? Also, if they make the first save but cannot leave the area on that turn, do they have to make another saving throw on the following turn, or does the first save mean that they resist the effect of the spell entirely?

Similarly, if I choose the Death effect, do creatures in the area take the 10d10 necrotic damage every single turn until they leave the area?

Obviously, the answer to this question has a significant bearing on how powerful the spell is, especially if combined with other traps that limit creatures' mobility.

\$\endgroup\$
4
\$\begingroup\$

Yes

You are targeted by the effect if you:

  • are in the area when it activates
  • enter the area for the first time on any turn
  • are in the area at the end of your turn.

It doesn't matter if you have previously passed or failed a saving throw or are already under the effect: you are targeted - if you fail the saving throw you suffer the effects (possibly again).

I'll go through each of the effects to explain what it means for each of them:

  • Death: 10d10 necrotic damage on a failed save, halved on a successful one each time you are targeted. This effect alone (damage) does not stop it moving out on its turn and not being targeted further.
  • Discord: If the creature fails a save it suffers the effect for 1 minute. If it fails a latter save it suffers the effect for 1 minute from that save. This effect alone (special) does not stop it moving out on its turn and not being targeted further.
  • Fear: If the creature fails a save it suffers the effect for 1 minute. If it fails a latter save it suffers the effect for 1 minute from that save. This effect (fear plus special) actually forces it to flee the effect so it would only make further saves if, after it recovered, it reentered while the symbol was still active.
  • Hopelessness: If the creature fails a save it suffers the effect for 1 minute. If it fails a latter save it suffers the effect for 1 minute from that save. This effect alone (special) does not stop it moving out on its your turn and not being targeted further.
  • Insanity: If the creature fails a save it suffers the effect for 1 minute. If it fails a latter save it suffers the effect for 1 minute from that save. Its movement is "erratic" so it may wander in and out of the area several times, if it enters on its turn it must save, if its still there at the end of its turn it must make another save.
  • Pain: If the creature fails a save it suffers the effect for 1 minute. If it fails a latter save it suffers the effect for 1 minute from that save. This effect alone (incapacitated) does not stop it moving out on its turn and not being targeted further.
  • Sleep: If the creature fails a save it suffers the effect for 10 minutes. If it fails a latter save it suffers the effect for 10 minutes from that save. This effect (unconscious) prevents movement so, unless helped by someone else it is going to be in there for a long time: it will sleep for 10 minutes after the effect ends less 6 seconds for each sequential save it made working backwards from the end of the effect.
  • Stunning: If the creature fails a save it suffers the effect for 1 minute. If it fails a latter save it suffers the effect for 1 minute from that save. This effect (stunned) prevents movement so, unless helped by someone else it is going to be in there for a long time: either until it makes 10 saves in a row (unlikely) or until up to a minute after the symbol stops functioning.

A Symbol (Death) combined with two Symbol (Stunning) is quite likely to kill anything that triggers them.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Minor correction: the Sleep effect has a duration of 10 minutes, so presumably an affected creature could be asleep for up to 20 minutes total. \$\endgroup\$ – Ryan Thompson Feb 2 '18 at 5:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.