The sanctuary spell description says:

You ward a creature within range against attack. Until the spell ends, any creature who targets the warded creature with an attack or a harmful spell must first make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature must choose a new target or lose the attack or spell. This spell doesn't protect the warded creature from area effects, such as the explosion of a fireball.

If the warded creature makes an attack, casts a spell that affects an enemy, or deals damage to another creature, this spell ends.

My question is whether I ruled the above spell correctly based on the scenario below:

  • Character A casts sanctuary on Character B
  • Creature 1 tries to attack Character B, and fails its Wisdom save against sanctuary.
  • Creature 1 sees that it has enough remaining movement available to reach Character C, and thus moves to Character C and attacks (regardless of whether it has multi-attack or not).

The player who controls Character A (the one who cast sanctuary) feels that since Creature 1 failed the Wisdom saving throw, the attack was wasted and Creature 1 should not have been able to attack Character C. They concede that Creature 1 can move to Character C, but disagree that it should have been able to attack them.

However, based on the wording of:

On a failed save, the creature must choose a new target or lose the attack or spell.

...I feel that a creature can move and make an attack as it does not specify anything about movement speeds, and clearly states that another target must be sought.

Was my ruling correct? If not, please explain why.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Xirema, I feel I have just clarified further. Naut Character A cast on Character B, the creature attacked Character B, failed its save so targeted Character C by moving to it and attacking. I have tried to distinguish between Creature, and Character. That may be confusing matters. \$\endgroup\$ – Matthew Perryman Dec 10 '18 at 21:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just read the other question, it is a duplicate......unfortunately I still don't understand whether my ruling is correct. I am confused as to whether the creature can move and make an attack on another opponent if it fails the Wisdom save. \$\endgroup\$ – Matthew Perryman Dec 10 '18 at 21:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Did you see the last sentence of Purple Monkeys answer? If there's something specific that you're still unclear about that is different from what is explained there, you can definitely post another question or you can join us in Role-playing Games Chat to help focus your question or you can post a request for help in meta. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Dec 10 '18 at 21:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think I will join you in chat. I did see the last line however the answer that has just been posted below contradicts that. \$\endgroup\$ – Matthew Perryman Dec 10 '18 at 21:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ Note that that wiki is not an official rules source, and frequently misquotes things in a futile attempt to avoid getting taken down by WotC. I've replaced the inaccurate quote of the spell description with the proper one. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Dec 11 '18 at 1:51

Yes, the creature can move to reach a non-Sanctuary target

Sanctuary does not inhibit the creature’s normal options except for requiring it to find a different target or lose the spell/attack.

As an aside, if the creature had multiple attacks and enough movement it could try to target the Sanctuary, fail, move, attack someone else, come back, try again, fail etc. until it ran out of attacks or movement.

Also, you’re the DM so your ruling is correct whatever the rules say.

  • \$\begingroup\$ See this is the confusing point about the spell in my opinion, if you go to a creature and fail a saving throw, you haven't actually attacked it, you have just decided not to attack it for some reason so moving to another creature and attacking that creature instead makes sense. \$\endgroup\$ – Matthew Perryman Dec 10 '18 at 21:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ You may want to move this answer to the question linked as a dupe since it offers an opposing viewpoint. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Dec 10 '18 at 21:38

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