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Can wall of force have multiple disconnected segments as long as each section is connected to one other segment?

The rules say "Each panel must be contiguous with another panel." Each panel connected to one other segment satisfies that requirement if all panels are placed simultaneously. If they are placed in sequence then you couldn't have an island as the first section placed wouldn't be connected to anything else. Also the wording seems to indicate that they intend there to be only one wall.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I am somewhat confused by the use of words like "segments" and "sections" in some sentences and "panels" in others. Pulling from the spell's terminology: "Can wall of force create more than one surface as long as each surface is composed of more than one contiguous panel?" is this what you mean? \$\endgroup\$ – Ruse Sep 9 '18 at 23:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related answer on a closed question: Valid configurations for Wall spells \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Sep 10 '18 at 13:04
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No, the panels must form a single contiguous surface.

The full description of the flat wall form is:

... you can shape a flat surface made up of ten 10-foot-by-10-foot panels. Each panel must be contiguous with another panel.

Because it says "a flat surface", I interpret that to mean that all 10 panels must be connected into a single contiguous surface, and they must all be coplanar. You could not create, for example, 5 separate pairs of connected panels, because that would be 5 flat surfaces, not "a flat surface".

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    \$\begingroup\$ "flat surface" simply means they must be coplanar, it doesn't preclude multiple chunks. The key word here is a--singular. You can only create one surface. \$\endgroup\$ – Loren Pechtel Sep 10 '18 at 4:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ One flat surface made from up to 10 panels. I would still consider a flat surface with a hole in the middle "flat". \$\endgroup\$ – Shadow Sep 10 '18 at 6:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ I never said there couldn't be holes, just that all panels needed to be connected. \$\endgroup\$ – Ryan Thompson Sep 10 '18 at 12:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why would they specify segmenting the wall into 10x10 foot panels if they all have to be coplanar? (My understanding of coplanar means they all make a single flat wall with no "bends" in it between panels, if this is wrong then please correct me.) If the rules wanted it to be a single flat wall then it should just read you have a 100x10 foot panel to place. \$\endgroup\$ – Ian Graven Sep 12 '18 at 20:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @IanGraven The wall can be any single, connected, 2-dimensional shape composed of up to 10 panels, each of which is a square 10 feet on a side. For instance, you could create a 30x30 wall with a 10x10 hole in the middle using 8 panels. \$\endgroup\$ – Ryan Thompson Sep 12 '18 at 20:41
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No, they must form a flat surface

The definition of contiguous is helpful for understanding what you can do. I took this one from an online source:

sharing a common border; touching. "the 48 contiguous states"

When creating multiple segments with Wall of Force, the only requirement is that each section touch another segment AND that they form a flat surface. In other words, every panel must touch at least one other panel and the surface must flat (so no tilting or turning panels out of a 2-D plane).

So you could have ten 10x10 panels in a checkerboard diagonal pattern if you chose as this is flat and each panel is connected to another panel, however minimally, at a corner.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure that I agree that a checkerboard pattern counts as contiguous. Contiguous generally means that things touch at more than a single point. Even your definition says "sharing a common border". This would likely be a DM call, but it doesn't fit my intuition at all. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Sep 10 '18 at 4:30

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