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In the minor illusion spell it defines it's image object must be

[...] no larger than a 5-foot cube.

This can potentially be interpreted in two ways:

  1. 125 cubed feet of object (must have a volume strictly less or equal to 5ft x 5ft x 5ft)
  2. No larger than 5ft in any dimension (must fit in a 5ft cube without any transformation)

Which is correct?

As a potential counter example to #2 being the relevant definition, the Teleport spell has the specific restriction that

[...] If you target an object, it must be able to fit enlirely inside a 10 foot cube [...]

which is a very different phrasing to

[...] is no larger than a 5-foot cube [...]

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose I'm effectivly asking for the definition of "larger" in the spell... \$\endgroup\$
    – illustro
    Apr 5, 2018 at 20:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ From the other question: "But does no larger than a 20 foot cube mean no measurement can be larger than 20 feet? Or does it mean the area or volume cannot exceed that of a 20 foot cube?" \$\endgroup\$ Apr 5, 2018 at 20:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose and the accepted answer on that question talks about the area of effect rules, which ignores the word typically from the "which typically has one of five different shapes" definition. Typically implies non-exhaustive. \$\endgroup\$
    – illustro
    Apr 5, 2018 at 20:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sounds like a basis for a competing answer to that question :) \$\endgroup\$ Apr 5, 2018 at 20:04

1 Answer 1

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It has to fit in a 5-foot cube.

Idiomatic reading of the spells limitation means, that it has to fit in a 5-foot-cube, which results in 2. being the correct answer.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ For example Teleport speficially says "If you target an object, it must be able to fit enlirely inside a l0 foot cube ...". This a different phrasing to that laid out in the various illusion spells. \$\endgroup\$
    – illustro
    Apr 5, 2018 at 19:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am not a native speaker, so I only refer to the idiomatic meaning of "larger". Referring mostly to dimensions than to volume. A board which is larger than a car, can be flat but very long. Someone who is larger than another guy, can be really thin while the other one is obese and has more volume. \$\endgroup\$
    – Thyzer
    Apr 5, 2018 at 20:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ Since an illusion can be hollow, and have no inner workings required, an illusion of any size could be an infinitely thin opaque shell, which would still be smaller than 125 cubic feet of volume (since a 2 dimensional object has 0 volume). Interpretation #1 would make the size restriction essentially meaningless. Thus, interpretation #1 is likely incorrect. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 5, 2018 at 20:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ @illustro Argument #1 is a common misconception in the difference between 5' cube which references a geometric shape and is also defined in the spellcasting section of the PHB versus 5 cubic feet which is reference to volume... can't tell you how many times I have seen this confused over my many years. \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Apr 5, 2018 at 23:39

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