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Our DM is super strict so I wanted to know if I could talk to something on the inside side of a wall of force spell if you use the sphere option.

An Invisible wall of force springs into existence at a point you choose within range. [...] Nothing can physically pass through the wall. [...]

Because it says nothing physical can pass through the wall, I wasn’t sure if he'd consider sound 'physical'.

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It is dangerous to try and approach D&D magic with a physics interpretation. There is nothing in the spell that specifically prohibits communication, which would be a fairly common activity. It is so common that it would almost certainly be called out in the rules.

A DM is always free of course, to interpret the rules for their table (that is a large and expected part of their job), but trying to adjudicate the magic posited within the game with physics will almost certainly end in failure. Half Orcs and Half-Elves would be very unlikely given a knowledge of modern biology, for instance. Dragons would not be able to fly given their weight and surface area. And so forth.

It is magic, and it does what it does.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah that makes a lot of sense, when there aren’t rules for certain things that could relate to a existential crisis like can something be born evil, how much your brain is truly warped under the effects of a charm etc (lol both of which have came up) it’s just up to the gm at that point I guess. So maybe we should just play where if the spell doesn’t say it does something it just doesn’t. Thanks for the information! \$\endgroup\$ – Daf Feb 19 '18 at 15:31
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In D&D 5th edition, two principles which apply when adjudicating rules:

  1. The rules mean exactly what they say and no more.
  2. Anything not covered in the rules is decided by the DM.

Since there is no rule specifying otherwise, then, officially, adjudicating whether sound is "physical" for the purposes of a wall of force is entirely up to the DM.

However, if you want to be able to talk to someone you trap within a hemispherical wall of force, simply create the wall one inch off the ground. The spell allows the wall to be free-floating, and the gap would allow speech.

Additionally, unless the dungeon floor is also a wall of force, it's not perfect; it's going to have gaps and cracks that would allow sound. It may also be possible to hear someone through the connecting stone floor if you shout loud enough (imagine listening to someone through a wall).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Okay okay I get that that’s a good point about the floor not being perfect thank you for the information! :D \$\endgroup\$ – Daf Feb 19 '18 at 16:02
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If your DM considers vibration to be blocked by a Wall of Force, then it will naturally block sound. However, unless the listener is completely enclosed by the spell, you may be able to communicate by relying on surfaces/spaces (stone walls, wooden floor, an air gap above or below them, etc). If the DM rules that the other surfaces dampen the sound too much, you may be able to establish communication by loudly knocking on those surfaces, if you share some sort of pre-existing code (Morse, a thieves cant, ...).

I'm assuming whatever is on the other side of the Wall of Force cannot see you. If they can, then you can use pantomime or writing to establish a tap-code for them to use (or sidestep the issue entirely if they have the means to write back).

If they are completely enclosed (i.e. the Wall is a sphere) then I'd say there is no way to communicate with them via sound without additional magic.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Well it says you can completely enclose it in the wall of force but it doesn’t say it can’t see out it’s like an invisible wall which is how I read it, is that wrong? So if they’re completely encased that is when They wouldn’t be able to hear sound? \$\endgroup\$ – Daf Feb 19 '18 at 15:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've always read and described wall of force as transparent/invisible, but I didn't want to assume that the 'something' you want to communicate with is capable of sight in the situation (they may be blind, asleep, blindfolded, ...). If they are completely encased (the Wall is a sphere) then I don't think they'd be able to hear sound from outside, since their air supply is completely closed off, and the Wall presumably stops all vibration from going through it. \$\endgroup\$ – mech Feb 19 '18 at 15:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you very much for the information :D the wall is so customizable that I should be able to figure how out to do it without there being a problem I was just wondering about that thank you again! \$\endgroup\$ – Daf Feb 19 '18 at 15:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Glad to be of help! \$\endgroup\$ – mech Feb 19 '18 at 15:21

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