I'm hashing out a collective of NPC Rock Gnomes who live in a small stone castle shaped like a Huge person, about 15 x 15 x 22 feet, which is the maximum size for a creature of Huge size. This collective of gnomes will have two basic talents that they excel at one of which will be:

  • They can animate their castle and enlarge it both to travel short distances and as a defensive measure against creatures of ill intent.

Animate Object states (PHB 213):

You can’t animate any object larger than Huge.

Enlarge/Reduce states (PHB 237):

The target’s size doubles in all dimensions, and its weight is multiplied by eight. This growth increases its size by one category—from Medium to Large, for example.

My question is this: If the castle is currently a Huge object and it is animated as a huge object and then it is enlarged and becomes a Gargantuan object, does the Animate Object spell continue to function?

I know I can bend the rules for NPCs and I'm o.k. doing that if I need to, but I'd like to know RAW on this.

It deanimates

This tweet by official 5e rules designer Jeremy Crawford has clarified that:

No longer being a valid target trumps condition carryover.

The subject has changed in a way that makes it an invalid target for animate object and thus that spell ends on it.

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    Is it worth clarifying that usually spells with a duration of 'instantaneous' would carry over, but anything such as this with a longer duration (Such as 1 minute for animate object) indicates continual magic which is why it can become invalid after the initial cast? – SeriousBri Oct 10 at 10:56
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    @SeriousBri Could you point out a specific case where this would be of concern? Obviously you do not reverse all damage you have received if you are turned into an object and thus couldn't be targeted by the spells that hurt you. – Szega Oct 10 at 11:29
  • Not off the top of my head actually, if it doesn't sound obvious to you then maybe it isn't as much of an issue as I thought. – SeriousBri Oct 10 at 11:44
  • I de-accepted your answer only because I rushed into doing that initially and I probably should have been more patient. I still like what you wrote, but, especially considering someone has posted a counterpoint, I want to take time to consider which answer makes the most sense. And also wait to see if any other opinions present themselves. I hope that sounds fair to you. Thanks. – lightcat Oct 11 at 5:37

The gargantuan animated object continues to be animated.

Despite its name, an animated object is not an object, it is a creature. The spell animate objects targets objects and:

Each target animates and becomes a creature under your control until the spell ends or until reduced to 0 hit points.

As Slagmoth explains in this answer:

Nothing is considered an object and a creature simultaneously.

When a huge animated object is enlarged into a gargantuan animated object, the size of the creature changes, whereas the size of the object does not change because there no longer is an object. Moreover, the animate objects spell only places restrictions on object size, not creature size:

You can't animate any object larger than Huge.

Hence that size restriction becomes irrelevant as soon as the object becomes an animated object.

Crawford's tweet about condition carryover does not apply in the case of animated object, because you are not changing the size of the target object, but the size of a creature.
In fact, if you try to apply Crawford's tweet to animate objects, the spell itself stops functioning: you target an object, which becomes a creature, which is not a valid target, which means the animation does not carryover and the creature reverts to an object.

  • This hinges on whether you interpret "animate" as a one time action or a continuous one. If you "animate" the object when you cast the spell and then you stop (it is just animated), then that condition of the spell will no longer bind you. But it can be read that you continuously "animate" the target, in which case the restriction stays for the duration of the spell. – Szega Oct 11 at 8:46
  • @Szega my argument hinges on the facts that the animated object is a creature, and that restrictions on objects do not apply to creatures. Whether the animation is continuous is irrelevant to my argument. – Ruse Oct 11 at 9:32
  • As you also state, in regards to the spell the target is still an animated object, otherwise it would be an invalid target and end the spell. Thus the restriction can stay in effect. – Szega Oct 11 at 9:39

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