After succeeding in the DC 25 Arcana check, how long does a character control a Sphere of Annihilation? I see two different ways that the Sphere's control is decided.

  1. A character controls the Sphere for only a single movement of the sphere of 5 × Intelligence
  2. A character in control of a Sphere can move it with an action as long as no one else attempts an Arcana check to wrest control of the Sphere from the original controller.

I ask because the rules are not clear regarding how long you control a Sphere after the original successful Arcana check, and the mention that a creature can 'control' a Sphere per this relevant text:

If you attempt to control a sphere that is under another creature's control, you make an Intelligence (Arcana) check contested by the other creature's Intelligence (Arcana) check. The winner of the contest gains control of the Sphere and can Levitate it as normal.


1 Answer 1


According to the rules, there is no set time period for how long the sphere of annihilation (DMG, p. 201) is controlled for, or really even what being "controlled" means. It simply states that:

On a success, the sphere levitates in one direction of your choice, up to a number of feet equal to 5 × your Intelligence modifier (minimum 5 feet).

It, however, can be destroyed via a planar portal.

If the sphere comes into contact with a planar portal, such as that created by the gate spell, or an extradimensional space, such as that within a portable hole, the DM determines randomly what happens, using the following table.

d100 — Result:

01-50 — The sphere is destroyed.

51-85 — The sphere moves through the portal or into the extradimensional space.

86-00 — A spatial rift sends each creature and object within 180 feet of the sphere, including the sphere, to a random plane of existence.

  • 13
    \$\begingroup\$ What does the destruction via a planar portal have to do with the question? (I'm genuinely asking, because I may be missing something) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 29, 2018 at 21:39
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @DavidCoffron the sphere being destroyed would seem to naturally mean that it is no longer under anyone's control. \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    Commented Oct 29, 2018 at 21:49
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I mention the 'control' of the Sphere because it is brought up in the DMG entry for a Sphere of Annihilation. The question is mainly on clarification of what 'control' of the Sphere means. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nathan
    Commented Oct 30, 2018 at 20:38

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