A wizard casts Arcane Eye and sends it to another room to get vision of an enemy. The wizard then casts Crown of Madness on the enemy since he is in range. The Arcane Eye ends because he now concentrating on Crown of Madness. Does this work or does the wizard need to be in the same room as the enemy?

The ruling that a wizard needs line of effect makes sense for spells like Fireball but for enchantment spells it seems unreasonable.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The [rules-as-written] tag is for questions that involve interpreting the rules as literally as possible, even when it leads to an absurd outcome. This just seems like a regular rules question, so I've removed the tag. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 22:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast Ah thank you. Sorry I thought it was applicable to my question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Espe
    Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 22:57

1 Answer 1


All spells need a clear path to the target unless they state otherwise

5e has eschewed the term "line of effect" in favor of a stipulation that there must be a "clear path to the target" as outlined in the spell targeting rules:

To target something, you must have a clear path to it, so it can't be behind total cover. (PHB 204)

Enchantment spells are no exception to this and crown of madness has no text that specifically excludes it from the rule, and therefore the restriction applies.

Being in another room almost certainly qualifies as full cover here unless there is a window or passage leading to the room from where you are in the other room.

A target has total cover if it is completely concealed by an obstacle.

However, if there was an opening or some other path in between the rooms you could certainly target the wizard then. However...

This plan would not work anyways because of line of sight

Your plan has another issue: once you start casting another concentration spell any concentration spells end instantly.

As soon as you start casting a spell or using a special ability that requires concentration, your concentration on another effect ends instantly. (XGE)

The reason this matters is because crown of madness requires line of sight as well as line of effect. However, if the wizard is in another room, the only way you can see them is with an ability or spell (in your example arcane eye). However, as soon as you start casting crown of madness, arcane eye will stop working which means you then no longer have line of sight to the wizard. No line of sight means you can't target the wizard with crown of madness.

Also note that range refers to the distance between you (the caster) and your target and arcane eye isn't going to help close that range.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What defines 'clear path' other than "not behind total cover". Some spells, like dissonant whispers only require that the target hear you, do those still get blocked if they are behind total cover? \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 19:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch generally that is the only solid definition we get from the rules. See here for the question on DW and clear path. I would argue yes, it does need a clear path. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 19:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related on DW and clear path. I think as long as there is a clear path but not necessarily a straight line, it should be good. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 19:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch but if you can't draw a straight line between you and the target then that means that the target must have total cover! And if they have total cover then by the game's definition you don't have a clear path. So the clear path is necessarily straight. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ruse
    Commented Feb 1, 2019 at 0:33

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