3
\$\begingroup\$

The spell Aid states (emphasis mine):

Your spell bolsters your allies with toughness and resolve.

and then

Choose up to three creatures within range.

Is the first sentence in the spell description stating your allies as a requirement for the targets? Or need they only be three creatures?

Note: for the sake of your answers assume that the target is not an ally. I am not reasking this question on what an ally is


Possible use case: answer to "What is the greatest amount of temporary hit points you can have at once?"

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Assuming your plan is to use Aid to clear out an enemy's Temporary Hit Points, your potential use case is invalid, because the modifications to current and maximum HP granted by Aid are very specifically not Temporary Hit Points. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Oct 2 '18 at 17:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @T.J.L. did you read the link? The answer I linked involves boosting a Tarrasque (which is usually not an ally) to gain more temporsry hit points from Blackrazer \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Oct 2 '18 at 17:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @T.J.L. sorry. I linked the question instead of the answer. My bad \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Oct 2 '18 at 17:16
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Related on Is there flavor text in D&D 5e spells? \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Oct 2 '18 at 17:52
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Possible duplicate of Is there “flavor text” in D&D 5e spells? \$\endgroup\$ – Columbia says Reinstate Monica Oct 2 '18 at 23:34
12
\$\begingroup\$

RAW It can only affect allies

When the spell says that it affects allies it means just that. There is no fluff/flavor text in 5e spells so everything is considered an elaboration of the rules. Thus, the allies restriction in the first sentence is as much a rule as the proceeding text. However, the "allies" part need not be repeated in the targeting section since it was already stated.

As Jeremy Crawford has said in a Tweet:

Q: So the first line is flavor text, then? There are people who insist every word in the rules have mechanical impact while others state that some, like the first line of Divine Sense, are just flavor with the "crunch" following after.

Crawford: In any piece of writing, context matters. If a rule has multiple sentences, they're meant to be read together. For example, the first sentence of Divine Sense is meant to be read with the rest of the feature's sentences, which explain that first sentence.

So, when the spell says:

Your spell bolsters your allies with toughness and resolve.

and then later says:

Choose up to three creatures within range.

These statements are meant to be read together and in context as "three allied creatures within range".

DM can allow it to affect enemies without hurting anything

Now, as always a DM can interpret differently. In this case, this would have very little impact to rule that it affects enemies because the use of such a thing would be very, very niche.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Agreed that it's little impact, but also not sure I'd allow someone to use this in order to game the Blackrazor. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Oct 2 '18 at 18:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch: I personally don't see anything that wrong with it honestly. It seems silly and very meta which would be my objections to it. But mechanically they still spend potentially a lot of resource to make it happen so I'm not sure I would care in the end. Luckily the rules are on your side saying no to the strategy :) \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Oct 2 '18 at 19:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Good points across the board :) \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Oct 2 '18 at 19:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.