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When the spell Banishment is cast:

If the target is native to a different plane of existence that the one you're on, the target is banished with a faint popping noise, returning to its home plane. If the spell ends before 1 minute has passed, the target reappears in the space it left or in the nearest unoccupied space if that space is occupied. Otherwise, the target doesn't return.

Unlike the case where the target is native to the plane, they are not incapacitated for the duration of the Banishment. That means the target could cast a spell, like Plane Shift, to return to the plane they were banished from.

If they do this, and return to the plane they were banished from before the end of the Banishment's duration, do either of the effects at the end of Banishment ("reappears" if the spell ends early, or "doesn't return" if it doesn't) have any actual effect, given that the target has already extracted themself from the plane they were banished to?

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2 Answers 2

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If the spell ends, the effects still occur.

There is no evidence that the spell operates any differently if the creature affected moves to a new plane.

If the spell ends before one minute is over, the creature will return to the space it left (or the nearest unoccupied space). It would essentially teleport to where it started on the caster's plane.

If the spell goes the whole minute, the creature doesn't return to the space it left. I.e. it stays wherever it is on the plane it plane shifted to.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I understood this question differently; I thought the OP meant "if the target of the banishment spell (i.e. say, a genie) casts plane shift to get back to where it was when you banished it, does that work or does the banishment spell somehow block their plane shift spell?" \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    Mar 8, 2019 at 13:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NathanS it seems like they just want to know what happens when the spell ends. Nowhere do they ask whether the creature can plane shift back \$\endgroup\$ Mar 8, 2019 at 13:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ I thought that it was unambiguous that plane shift would work for the target of banishment (although obviously if that foundational assumption is wrong then a good answer would address it). So David is correct in his interpretation of my question. The "potentially" in Nathan's quote is only intended to point out that they don't have to do this, but I can see how it might confuse so will try to reword. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vigil
    Mar 8, 2019 at 14:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Vigil I see, so this is more about "are there any unexpected results of those clauses of banishment if the target somehow made it back to their original space on their own (such as via plane shift), or does banishment simply do nothing at that point (i.e. when it ends) because it no longer makes sense"? If that's the case, I still feel as though David's answer could do more to address that, since as it stands it appears just to describe the normal function of banishment under normal circumstances, whereas this is an extraordinary circumstance... \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    Mar 8, 2019 at 15:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NathanS or, what if the target of Banishment used Plane Shift to teleport to a third plane (neither their home plane nor the plane they were banished from)? If the Banishment spell then failed before a minute was up, it might seem that there would be cause to let the target stay on the third plane, as perhaps Banishment's wouldn't even be expected to extend there. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 8, 2019 at 16:18
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They can't plane shift back.

The effect of the spell is not merely to send the creature to its plane of origin, but to "banish" it. "Banished" very specifically means forbidden to come back.

Ongoing spell effects generally end when the spell's duration is up, and banishment doesn't say otherwise, so presumably the creature could plane shift back afterward.

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    \$\begingroup\$ If it couldn't come back, it would say so. All banishing does is send something away. Could you support in the rules where anything prevents it from returning on its own? \$\endgroup\$
    – user47897
    Mar 8, 2019 at 22:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes: "the target is banished". \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Wells
    Mar 8, 2019 at 22:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ the first and second parts contradict each other \$\endgroup\$
    – user50904
    Mar 9, 2019 at 6:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ If I'm banished from a house and the guards are preventing me from coming back in the door, I can use a window to get in. Banishment does not prevent re-entry through alternative methods or it would say so via the spell description. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 9, 2019 at 18:43

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