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Some wall spells, like wind wall and wall of fire, can be shaped into a circle (ring).

Part of the Spell Glyph portion of the glyph of warding spell states:

If the spell affects an area, the area is centered on that creature.

Can one store a wall spell in a glyph of warding so that the triggering creature will have the Wall appear around it (in a circle) but not directly on it?

Example: an evil Archdruid scribing a wind wall Glyph in its lair so that if he says "I don't wanna be shot!" (when he sees an archer about to shoot him), the Wall would appear around him and provide him ranged weapon attack protection.

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You answer your question in the quote in the question.

If the spell affects an area, the area is centered on that creature.

Centered doesn't have a special meaning in 5e. If a term isn't defined by the game, then words have the common English meaning. This would imply that a circle around a point would be "centered" on that point, which would be the person who triggered the glyph.

Note that it doesn't say "the point of origin is that of the person...". It does not say that the "spells origin is the location of the person triggering". Both of which would be "the point chosen" in the wind wall spell. It says that the "area [of effect] is centered" on the person.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Most (all?) wall spells include a sentence similar to "A wall of strong wind rises from the ground at a point you choose within range." Does that mean that the chosen point, rather than the entire effect, would be centered on the person triggering the glyph? \$\endgroup\$ – Ryan Thompson Oct 24 '18 at 0:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ It doesn't say "the point of origin is that of the person...". It does not say that the "spells origin is the location of the person triggering". Which would point chosen. It says that the "area [of effect] is centered" on the person. \$\endgroup\$ – J. A. Streich Oct 24 '18 at 15:33
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Yes and no... A lot of DM fiat

First the spell needs to be 3rd level or lower which mean you can only use: Wall of Sand, Wall of Water, and Wind Wall. [1]

  • Wind wall says is can be any shape so long as it is one continuous path on the ground, so circling the target is possible.
  • Wall of Water specifically calls out "you can make a ringed wall up to 20 feet in diameter"
  • Wall of Sand doesn't mention any shaping so it could only be a flat wall.

So per your request, a Wind Wall could create a circular wall around the caster with them in the center.

However, here is the description of Glyph of Warding regarding spells with a different part highlighted:

When the glyph is triggered, the stored spell is cast. If the spell has a target, it targets the creature that triggered the glyph. If the spell affects an area, the area is centered on that creature. If the spell summons hostile creatures or creates harmful objects or traps, they appear as close as possible to the intruder and attack it. If the spell requires concentration, it lasts until the end of its full duration.

Wind Wall could be called a "harmful object" as a creature in its area takes 3d8 damage. So the DM would have to decide which applies; centered on the creature or as close as possible to the creature.

The other thing to consider it that Glyph of Warding is very limited to vocal triggers.

For glyphs inscribed on a surface, the most typical triggers include touching or standing on the glyph, removing another object covering the glyph, approaching within a certain distance of the glyph, or manipulating the object on which the glyph is inscribed. For glyphs inscribed within an object, the most common triggers include opening that object, approaching within a certain distance of the object, or seeing or reading the glyph.

Generally, the glyph needs to be interacted with. And just yelling wouldn't really qualify. You could make an argument that the caster is standing on the glyph and looks down to read it out loud. But once again, that's more DM choice. A more acceptable solution might be stomping down on the glyph.

The Contingency spell doesn't have that criteria, but it's also a lot higher level and has a pricey component cost.

[1]: Technically you can cast Glyph of Warding at a higher level to get a higher level wall, but I wanted to point out the limitation since the question specifically called out the Wall of Fire.

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