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Maximilian's Earthen Grasp requires a Strength saving throw to resist its effects:

Choose an unoccupied space on the ground that you can see. A hand rises there and reaches for one creature you can see within 5 feet of it. The target must make a Strength save. On a failed save, the target takes 2d6 bludgeoning damage and is restrained for the spell's duration.

And you can later retarget the hand:

As an action, you can cause the hand to reach for a different creature or to move to a different unoccupied space within range. The hand releases a restrained target if you do either.

If a creature succeeds on the initial save against the spell, does the hand persist and remain able to target another creature?

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The hand does persist

A successful save only changes whether/how the target is affected by the spell

The target must make a Strength save. On a failed save, the target takes 2d6 bludgeoning damage and is restrained for the spell's duration.

In fact, every spell persists for the duration even after a successful save unless there is specific mention of the spell ending.

A spell's duration is the length of time the spell persists... Some spells specify that their effects last until the spells are dispelled or destroyed.

[emphasis mine, note it only says some spells]

This is because the saving throws only allow targets to avoid effects of the spell rather than cancel the spell as a whole.

Many spells specify that a target can make a saving throw to avoid some or all of a spell's effects


How this works with other spells

For example, charm person will last the whole hour unless it is dispelled, even if the target succeeds on the save (although the spell then has no effect) since there is no mention of the spell ending otherwise.

You attempt to charm a humanoid you can see within range. It must make a Wisdom saving throw, and does so with advantage if you or your companions are fighting it. If it fails the saving throw, it is charmed by you until the spell ends or until you or your companions do anything harmful to it. The charmed creature regards you as a friendly acquaintance. When the spell ends, the creature knows it was charmed by you.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ What about trying to target other creatures? The spell's text only really supports the situation where you have a creature gripped and want to target another - I'm not sure it explicitly allows retargeting if a creature isn't gripped. Your view? \$\endgroup\$ – Vigil Jun 19 '18 at 10:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Vigil nothing says it must be gripping a creature to move or grab another target. If it did that would mean you couldn't continue using the spell if you killed the creature which would decrease it's functionality by quite a bit (since the biggest benefit of restrained is that you have advantage on attacks) \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Jun 19 '18 at 13:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ (Might be worth another question, but in case it's not) Ok - and can you retarget the initially-targeted creature with the hand in subsequent turns if they make the initial save, even though the text says "a different creature"? \$\endgroup\$ – Vigil Jun 19 '18 at 13:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Vigil I don't know. The term "different creature" is used in weird ways throughout different spells. Should probably reask in case someone has found better guidance. I'd rule yes but I'm unsure if that's RAW. \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Jun 19 '18 at 13:57

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