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If Wizard A is casting simulacrum (12 hour casting time) and Wizard B casts etherealness on Wizard A (at a higher level, so it can target others too), does that prevent Wizard A from completing simulacrum?

Wizard A is a willing target of the etherealness spell.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Please explain, as you did in the comment to my answer (now deleted) about the higher level spell functioning on etherealness. That is a core detail in the situation you are talking about. Your question is unclear by your not including that. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Feb 20 '18 at 23:23
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Scenario 1: Wizard A casts etherealness on Wizard B who is casting simulacrum (does not interrupt casting)

Longer Casting Times Certain spells (including spells cast as rituals) require more time to cast: minutes or even hours. When you cast a spell with a casting time longer than a single action or reaction, you must spend your action each turn casting the spell, and you must maintain your concentration while you do so. If your concentration is broken, the spell fails, but you don't expend a spell slot. If you want to try casting the spell again, you must start over. (D&DB)

So, having a spell on you doesn't cost you any actions so that is not a problem.

There is also no issue here with concentration. You can be under the effects of multiple spells at once even if you cast them yourself (as long as they don't require concentration).

The only conditions for breaking concentration are:

  • Casting another spell that requires concentration.
  • Taking damage.
  • Being incapacitated or killed.

Since having etherealness cast on you results in none of those things, your concentration is intact.

However, a potential problem comes up when it comes to the targeting of simulacrum. Simulacrum has a range of touch, so, to complete the casting, you must have the creature you are copying at touch range for the full duration.

You shape an illusory duplicate of one beast or humanoid that is within range for the entire casting time of the spell.

This means that whoever you are copying must travel with you into the ethereal plane. If you are duplicating yourself, then this should not be an issue.

As long as you keep targeting correctly, there is no reason why this should not work.


I know you didn't ask this, but for completeness

Scenario 2: Wizard A casts etherealness on themself while casting simulacrum (interrupts casting)

The PHB says that you must concentrate when casting a spell with a duration longer than one action.

Longer Casting Times Certain spells (including spells cast as rituals) require more time to cast: minutes or even hours. When you cast a spell with a casting time longer than a single action or reaction, you must spend your action each turn casting the spell, and you must maintain your concentration while you do so. If your concentration is broken, the spell fails, but you don't expend a spell slot. If you want to try casting the spell again, you must start over. (D&DB)

Thus, Wizard A must spend their action each round for 12 hours only for the casting of simulacrum. However, casting etherealness takes an action. So, taking that action to cast etherealness would interrupt and cancel Wizard A's casting of simulacrum.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, but when do you need to touch them? At the start, the end or throughout? \$\endgroup\$ – Dale M Feb 20 '18 at 21:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DaleM: apparently throughout: "one beast or humanoid that is within range for the entire casting time of the spell". It's kind of gross now that I think about it: touching a person for 12 full hours. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Feb 20 '18 at 21:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for doing this answer, I was in the process of updating my answer when internet connection went down hard. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Feb 20 '18 at 23:20
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Etherealness would not necessarily interrupt the casting of Simulacrum by itself. Nothing about becoming ethereal involves (a) casting another spell that requires concentration, (b) taking damage, or (c) being incapacitated or killed, which are the events that can interrupt concentration and therefore casting of a long spell.

However, the casting of Simulacrum does require having the creature being copied within range (touch) throughout the casting, and requires working with the snow copy as a material component during the entire casting, so if the Etherealness separates Wizard A from either of those, he will be interrupted.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This is straight up RAW, without even any opinions or controversial elements. Why the downvote? \$\endgroup\$ – Phil Boncer Feb 20 '18 at 21:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't know, Phil, it seems well organized. The down vote may be the result of a lack of supporting citations. The SE format prefers supported answers. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Feb 20 '18 at 23:21

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