Considering the D&D 5e ruleset with some changes. One of these changes would be a stone tablet that allows someone to extend the duration of a spell to forever. Let's assume one wizard could cast an infinite duration Blink, that could have a lot of consequences like:

  1. The Wizard would be expending much more time in the Ethereal Plane.

  2. He would be more susceptible to encounter with Ethereal Beings and Ether Cyclones.

  3. Most enemies would have a harder time hitting him.

  4. Fighting should be easier, but some tasks could be a nightmare like riding a horse.


Are there side effects from popping in and out into the Ethereal Plane for an extended time period?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Is this asking specifically about effects of staying in the Ethereal via Blink? Because the Etherealness spell allows you to stay in the Ethereal plane for hours on end, so people spending considerable time there is already an option, it's not new to your tablet. \$\endgroup\$
    – Erik
    Jun 3, 2019 at 6:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Basically this, the only significant difference would be that he keeps popping in and out from the Ethereal Plane. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 3, 2019 at 10:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ Indeed, I've edited the question with your suggestion, thank you. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 4, 2019 at 21:43

1 Answer 1


There are no side effects of long-term exposure listed anywhere by the books.

The spell Blink on page 219 of the PHB covers the effects of such for the duration of the spell, be that 1 round or forever. There are additional rules stating any side effects of the spell lasting longer by the book.

Certainly, a GM is free to design their own side effects, however.

Additionally, the Etherealness spell on page 236 of the PHB talks a little more about being on the Ethereal Plane for extended periods of time.

There might be interactions to keep in mind, such as wall of force effects on ethereal creatures. Also, see invisibility, truesight and other similar spells/effects are able to perceive creatures on the Ethereal Plane.

PHB page 301 also has this to say about the Ethereal Plane:

The Ethereal Plane is a misty, fog-bound dimension that is sometimes described as a great ocean. Its shores, called the Border Ethereal, overlap the Material Plane and the Inner Planes, so that every location on those planes has a corresponding location on the Ethereal Plane. Certain creatures can see into the Border Ethereal, and the see invisibility and true seeing spell grant that ability. Some magical effects also extend from the Material Plane into the Border Ethereal, particularly effects that use force energy such as forcecage and wall of force. The depths of the plane, the Deep Ethereal, are a region of swirling mists and colorful fogs.

Further indicating the effects of being on the plane itself. As far as the transition between the planes, there is no specific text in any of the books that mentions this. Largely this is not possible by written materials and since the situation was created by a GM created effect all side effects of the situation would also be left up to common since the the GM ruling on such.

References to the ethereal plane: DMG pages: 43, 46, 48, 49 (encounters),
PHB Pages: 301, 219 (Blink spell), 238 (Etherealness spell)

I might also make reference to the multitude of creatures who are capable or actively enter and exit the ethereal plane all the time without ill effect as a supporting argument for no ill effect. Though, I strongly follow with "it is up to the GM" he may well rule that the effects on a person who is not designed for such might have some other effect not stated in any book.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the stack! Please take our tour and note that all answers need to be backed up. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Jun 3, 2019 at 16:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ While I don't think you're wrong here, you are put in the difficult situation of having to prove the negative. Take a look at this comment for a possible way to do that. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Jun 3, 2019 at 16:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ In addition to what NautArch said, for "proving the negative", it helps to cite the sources you checked and explain what is said about the Ethereal Plane in the official books/lore, in order to show that those places do not say anything about side effects of spending a long time there. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Jun 3, 2019 at 20:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think this helps a little, but there is the addition of keep popping in and out, although I'm not sure if this would change the situation. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 4, 2019 at 21:46

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