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If my multi-classed Rogue(4)/Warlock(5) casts Spiritual Weapon, and then Hides...

Can he continue to control the Spiritual Weapon on his subsequent turns and remain Hidden? Or does attacking the enemy with the Spiritual Weapon remove him from being Hidden?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hello and welcome! This is a very interesting question. Quoting the whole text of the spell was probably not needed and that is why it has been replaced with a link. Thank you for participating and have fun! \$\endgroup\$ – Sdjz Jun 27 '18 at 18:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi there, sorry about that. Being my first post I wasn't familiar with how to link it. However I do appreciate that you did, it makes it a lot cleaner. \$\endgroup\$ – Narston Jun 27 '18 at 18:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ No worries at all! It's a great question! I used the DNDbeyond links as they are official and that spell is found in the open Basic Rules. For future citations that DNDbeyond doesn't have available free, citing source and page works well :) \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jun 27 '18 at 18:17
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RAW Revealed, but that doesn't make a lot of sense.

This should work! Spiritual weapon only requires that

As a bonus action on your turn, you can move the weapon up to 20 feet and repeat the attack against a creature within 5 feet of it.

Hiding rules suggest that the way to become visible is:

you give away your position if you make noise, such as shouting a warning or knocking over a vase.

There is no verbal command or anything that suggests that moving/directing to attack does anything physical that would result in losing your Hidden state.

A DM could decide that such a command does make you visible

Hiding in 5e is very much dependent upon DM rulings, with the Basic Rules even stating:

The DM decides when circumstances are appropriate for hiding.

However, given my statement above, it seems that the Bonus Action control for Spiritual Weapon shouldn't do anything that would prevent you from maintaining your Hidden status.

Who is actually attacking?

As SDJZ says in their answer, the RAW does state that the caster is actually the attacker, and that would make one visible.

However, a DM ruling that while the caster is 'attacking' it is the Spiritual Weapon that is interacting at the hidden bequest of the caster and thus remain hidden.

But RAW is definitely losing Hidden status and then DM would then have to rule whether or not you could Hide again after revealing your position.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Are the appropriate circumstances for starting to hide or continuing to be hidden? \$\endgroup\$ – GcL Jun 27 '18 at 18:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Grosscol I assumed that those circumstances were in place as this question isn't about when can I hide, but if Hidden, can I use my bonus action to control. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jun 27 '18 at 18:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ You can take the bonus action to attack, and then take action to hide. I am not sure if you spelled it out that way, but I think that sequence might make this read more easily. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jun 27 '18 at 19:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast I'm not sure I need to. The sequence of events and actions isn't under question here. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jun 27 '18 at 19:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ It seems to be; it appears that the action economy goes "attack" and then "hide" on your turn so that it breaks up each hiding to last until your next turn if you are the MC rogue in this case. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jun 27 '18 at 19:39
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By strict RAW, the attacked enemy would know the rogue's position

When a character uses spiritual weapon to attack it is actually the caster that is making a melee attack:

you can make a melee spell attack against a creature within 5 feet of the weapon

On subsequent turns you repeat the same attack:

you can move the weapon up to 20 feet and repeat the attack

A melee spell attack counts as an attack so the caster is indeed making an attack.

The rules for Unseen Attackers (SRD p. 94) state that (emphasis mine)

When a creature can’t see you, you have advantage on attack rolls against it. If you are hidden—both unseen and unheard—when you make an attack, you give away your location when the attack hits or misses.

This means that, as strange as it might sound, making an attack with Spiritual Weapon would indeed give away the Rogue's position.

Of course, since the spiritual weapon only requires a bonus action the Rogue can continue to hide using an action each turn after attacking.

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Using the action economy, the rogue would need to hide each turn

To make this work, since both the cunning action 'hide' and the spell damage consume a bonus action, and you only get one bonus action per turn, the rogue needs to use his/her action to hide. But that also means that, as Sdjz points out, when the attack is made the location of the attacker will usually become evident. (See below for more on that).

Sequence
Round 1: Cast spell using bonus action, hit/miss, hide. (Rogue now hidden)
Round 2: attack using bonus action, hit/miss, hide. (Rogue now hidden)
Rounds 3-10: rinse and repeat.

But are you 'hidden' for purposes of getting advantage on the attack per the rules on unseen attackers, PHB p. 94? The attack itself reveals the PC who then needs to hide again.

But what if I am behind total cover?

The question that this situation has raised to me is: does the "that you can see" criteria apply to this spell? It's not in the spell text.

Basic Rules, page 102.

When you cast the spell, you can make a melee spell attack against a creature within 5 feet of the weapon. On a hit, the target takes force damage equal to 1d8 + your spellcasting ability modifier. As a bonus action on your turn, you can move the weapon up to 20 feet and repeat the attack against a creature within 5 feet of it.

The rogue might be able to remain hidden by using total cover, and never be seen. Given the lack of "that you can see" in the spell text, the rogue could conceivably make the attack from total cover since that text's absence (so common in other spells) implies that the rogue need not see the target.

  • That makes no sense to me (as either player or DM) since how does the PC know where the target is to attack, or if the target is in range (60' away or less)? Use of some spells or magic items might allow for this -- spells such as wizard eye when your warlock class goes up higher -- since spiritual weapon does not use concentration.
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  • \$\begingroup\$ To be clear, are you confirming that that the attack reveals them, but that they can (if able) spend an action to Hide again? \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jun 27 '18 at 19:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch That's how the action economy parses itself to me. In answering this, I tripped over the issue of total cover and "that you can see" as a spell issue, which is absent. I am now scratching my head. You don't need a ruling, since you use bonus action to attack, and action to hide. But your answer makes sense to me as well. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jun 27 '18 at 19:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast The warlock would have a Raven familiar able to have sight on the enemy (Otherworldly Patron - Raven Queen). \$\endgroup\$ – Narston Jun 27 '18 at 23:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Narston If one is using that UA, sure. Or a familiar with pact of the chain? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jun 28 '18 at 2:54

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