A dao (MM, p. 143) is described as having the following ability:

Earth Glide. The dao can burrow through nonmagical, unworked earth and stone. While doing so, the dao doesn't disturb the material it moves through.

Dao’s are also described as having innate spellcasting.

Can a Dao cast spells from within the earth (i.e. such as if encountering other burrowing beasts)? Also, can a Dao cast spells from within the earth out into an open chamber?


1 Answer 1


He can, but not every spell

Since dao only has darkvision, it doesn't actually see through the material it's gliding through, so it doesn't see much and it doesn't have a "clear path" to many points in space.

So it is pretty much limited to spells with range of touch or self. Fortunately for the dao, about half of its spells are like that.

  • \$\begingroup\$ note that spells such as Conjure Elemental would also work, since it doesn't require you to see the point (of origin of the cube) within range. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 10, 2018 at 7:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PixelMaster Can you support this point with anything? Is this sage advice, or something? I would read it in the way that you are targeting that area, so you would need a clear path to it. In other words, it's hard to choose an area when you can't see it. (But that just may be my opinion.) \$\endgroup\$
    – J.E
    Commented Aug 10, 2018 at 7:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, not every spell needs line of sight, but they do require a clear path to the target (i.e. "line of effect"): "To target something, you must have a clear path to it, so it can't be behind total cover. If you place an area of effect at a point that you can't see and an obstruction, such as a wall, is between you and that point, the point of origin comes into being on the near side of that obstruction." \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Aug 10, 2018 at 7:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ although the Earth Elemental can move through the earth as well. Could you conjure him already in the ground? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 10, 2018 at 7:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PixelMaster read that a bit further, you just need a bunch of rocks to act as a "portal" of sorts, from which the elemental emerges; it doesn't necessarily mean that you summon in in the middle of it. Notice how the elemental then appears within 10 feet of that cube, not within the cube. \$\endgroup\$
    – J.E
    Commented Aug 10, 2018 at 8:22

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