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If I cast imprisonment on myself with the Minimus Containment option, can I just never be attacked and spam Sacred Flame from my levitating diamond (via Spell Mastery Levitate)?

Or for a more exact question, are there any ways barring Dispel Magic to kill a creature in Minimus Containment?


Related questions (which I'm not re-asking about here):

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You Would be Almost Unkillable

First, you'd have to fail the Wisdom saving throw, which RAW you can't just choose to do. If you manage to fail the save, barring the spell being dispelled. You are almost unkillable from anything that tries to pass through the cage.

The target shrinks to a height of 1 inch and is imprisoned inside a gemstone or similar object. Light can pass through the gemstone normally (allowing the target to see out and other creatures to see in), but nothing else can pass through, even by means of teleportation or planar travel. The gemstone can’t be cut or broken while the spell remains in effect.

Sacred Flame From Inside

Jeremy Crawford ruled that Sacred Flame doesn't require a clear path to the target on Dragon Talk from 1/19/17 at 36:20. Not because of the line of sight, but because it states in the spell that it ignores cover. So, by an official ruling, you could be Sacred Flamed from inside the gemstone.

Even with the ruling, I'm not convinced many DMs would allow sacred flame to be cast through the gemstone. The specifics of the spell imply an intent that magic of any kind can't pass through the prison. So, I'm not sure if it would still rain fire from heaven.

Loophole Works Both Ways

If your DM does allow you to sacred flame from inside, then they should allow the spell both ways. Moreover, any spell that allows you to ignore cover would also be allowed to pass into the gemstone using the same loophole you're attempting to use. Moreover, a DM might rule that you are restrained by the spell, which would mean:

  • A restrained creature’s speed becomes 0, and it can’t benefit from any bonus to its speed.
  • Attack rolls against the creature have advantage, and the creature’s Attack rolls have disadvantage.
  • The creature has disadvantage on Dexterity saving throws.

Which would also mean you'd be unable to dodge very well.

Levitate

I think the RAW might allow you to levitate the Gem, but I'm not sure most DM would let make the Gem levitate, either.

Achilles Heal

The plan comes with one quick easy foil:

  • throw a blanket over the gem, no more sacred flame

    A creature you can see

  • simply bat the floating gem... which would then begin floating away and not cause any problems. Levitate isn't flight, you'd be hit out of the fight like a baseball, with no means to stop or turn around.

    The target can move only by pushing or pulling against a fixed object or surface within reach (such as a wall or a ceiling)

No risk of death, but you're out of the fight until you get dispelled.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The beam of Sacred Flame doesn’t pass from the caster to the target, but descends on the target from above. It’s not an airtight case, but there’s an argument to be made that Sacred Flame moreso than other spells should be able to affect people outside the gem but not the guy on the inside. \$\endgroup\$ – Ryan Veeder Feb 18 '18 at 17:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ Whereas I can't argue this with RAW, the RAI seems to be that you shouldn't be able to do this. Also, by this argument a caster with 9th level slots and Dispel Magic can just end the spell on himself which, again, I think goes against RAI. \$\endgroup\$ – Slagmoth Feb 18 '18 at 17:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ Spells that say “a target that you can see” don't ignore the spellcasting targeting rule that they require “a clear path to the target” (PHB p. 204). That aligns your sense of RAI with RAW. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Feb 18 '18 at 20:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DavidCoffron Telepathy's wording explicitly overrides the need for a path to the target with its allowing the target to be anywhere on the same plane. Teleport has similar wording. Meanwhile there are tonnes of spells that specify targets near you that don't explicitly eliminate the need for a clear path to the target. (If they were somehow interpreted to override that rule, then no spell would follow the clear path targeting rule.) \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Feb 19 '18 at 0:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie Sacred Flame does not require a clear path as explained starting at 36:20 in the Jan 19, 2017 Podcast. I am just pointing this out... although in my games I would not allow the imprisoned to cast in all honesty, sort of defeats the idea of the spell in my opinion. \$\endgroup\$ – Slagmoth Feb 19 '18 at 3:00
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If you can cast Sacred Flame out of your containment, anyone else can cast it in.

Nothing about the Minimus Containment effect suggests the barrier is one-way, or in fact behaves any differently for effects originating from within it than effects originating from without. Consequently, any spell the caster can use to affect the world outside the gem can be used on its inhabitant.

Crawford's logic for allowing Sacred Flame to avoid path-of-effect targeting restrictions appears to be that...

  1. The point of origin of the spell's described effect isn't the caster, but another point in space relative to the target, and
  2. The target of the spell gains no benefit from cover to their saving throw.

In point of fact, these are the same condition; the text for Sacred Flame merely serves as an explicit reminder of this portion of the cover rules:

A target can benefit from cover only when an attack or other effect originates on the opposite side of the cover.

The following spells satisfy this condition as well:

Holding the logic that allows the casting of Sacred Flame, any of these could be used to kill you within the gem (or used by you on targets outside of it). In addition, most effects reliant on Wisdom save that specify they target "any creature you see within range" also seem to fit.

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You become damn hard to kill ...

... and you can use Sacred Flame

And the reasons for both are related.

From the PHB p.204 under Targets: "To target something, you must have a clear path to it, ...". Because "... nothing else can pass through ..." you do not have a clear path and so most spells cannot be targeted from inside to outside or vice-versa.

However, Sacred Flame has a specific rule that overrides the general one, it targets "a creature that you can see". This mechanic is not that unusual: it includes a number of class features and quite a few spells. You would be susceptible to any and all of these.

However, spells like Sunburst will affect you if you are in its area of effect. It says "Brilliant sunlight flashes in a 60-foot radius centered on a point you choose within range. Each creature in that light must ..." Since the gem does not stop the light, you are in it and will suffer its affects.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Golf clap. Nice catch on Sunburst. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Feb 19 '18 at 2:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ Sacred Flame does not require a clear path as explained starting at 36:20 in the Jan 19, 2017 Podcast. \$\endgroup\$ – Slagmoth Feb 19 '18 at 2:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ Nothing in the definition of radiant damage says that it is light. "Radiant damage, dealt by a cleric’s flame strike spell or an angel’s smiting weapon, sears the flesh like fire and overloads the spirit with power." Light passes through, but nothing in the description allows radiant damage to pass through. \$\endgroup\$ – keithcurtis Feb 19 '18 at 3:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sacred Flame should be able to be cast. See: rpg.stackexchange.com/a/115821/28591 \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Feb 20 '18 at 4:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @keithcurtis My bad - Sunburst works but not because it does radiant damage - fixed answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Dale M Feb 20 '18 at 5:21

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