My paladin just cast Create Food and Water to create 45 pounds of bland-but-nourishing food. However, he cast it in front of the door, and now we can't get out of the room. We thought we could just move it, but as we learn from the highly-upvoted and accepted answer to How can magical vines conjured by a spell be destroyed?,

All spells that conjure things that can be destroyed or interacted with will also list their hardness and HP.

This spell does not list the hardness and HP of the food, so we're stuck. The spell says the food will spoil in 24 hours, but it's not clear if this just makes it non-edible or if it will actually be reduced in a way which will clear the door. What can we possibly do?


closed as off-topic by mxyzplk, Sdjz, NautArch, GreySage, Theik Jul 4 at 18:15

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    \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. mattdm, if there are any clarifications you've made in the comments, you should edit them into the post itself. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jul 4 at 19:14

It can be destroyed in any way that other food-stuff can be destroyed.

There is a big difference between Create Food and Water and the spells mentioned in the link about magical vines. The vines etc of the latter spells are all magical effects created as part of an ongoing spell, that vanish as soon as the spell ends.

However, Create Food and Water has a duration of "instantaneous". This means that it does its job, creates the food and water, and that's it - the spell is done. The food and water obviously persist, and so there is nothing to indicate that the water is anything other than water or that the food is anything other than (rather non-described) food. At this point it is real physical 'stuff'.

Due to being real physical 'stuff', it behaves like any other normal food-stuff and water. The water will drain, evaporate or whatever and the food will eventually rot (the spell even says that it spoils after 24 hours, although this doesn't mean it disappears).

The most obvious way of getting through your door would be to...well...move the food out of the way (assuming you don't want to eat it)!

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    \$\begingroup\$ @mattdm: There can never be explicit rules for every single law of physics (and the rules don't attempt to be a physics-simulator as is mentioned often). So its a case of using basic common sense and considering that spell effects are written with balance in mind. If a spell says its creates a wooden chair then there is no reason to believe it behaves differently to any other wooden chair - except if the spell says that it restrains a creature for the duration then that's what it does, and its up to your imagination as to how it does that in the case of a PC trying to set it on fire! \$\endgroup\$ – PJRZ Jul 4 at 12:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ Can you put some of this in your answer, please? Thanks! \$\endgroup\$ – mattdm Jul 4 at 12:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jul 4 at 19:16

The food created by this spell can be eaten at the very least and probably and interacted with in other ways.

The description of the spell says

You create 45 pounds of food and 30 gallons of water on the ground or in containers within range, enough to sustain up to fifteen humanoids or five steeds for 24 hours. The food is bland but nourishing, and spoils if uneaten after 24 hours. The water is clean and doesn't go bad.

Emphasis mine. The bolded section implies at the very least that the food can be eaten, which indicates that it can be interacted with and moved.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jul 4 at 19:15

Either you can destroy it or it can't block the door

If we're just sticking to only what the spell says you can do, then just as created food can't be destroyed because it doesn't say it can, it can't block doors because it also doesn't say it can do that. If you put it on a pressure plate you'd be in trouble, because the food does have weight, but you could still just pick it up because your ability to pick things up is also based off their weight.

Since "spells only do what they say they do" is a terrible house rule to use for actual games instead of internet discussions, you can also just break it like any other object, but because there are no rules for this the DM will make up how that works using the 'damaging objects' general rules as guidelines (DMG p. 246-247). The DM will also decide the volume of the food when you summon it, which is different than but related to its specified weight, and the rest of how this spell works in their game.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you. Can you elaborate on what the actual rules say about this, if "spells only do what they say they do" seems to be quite popularly accepted? What's terrible about it and what do the books actually say instead? \$\endgroup\$ – mattdm Jul 4 at 18:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mattdm it's not commonly accepted and it's kinda off-topic for this question. As a separate question my answer would basically be rpg.stackexchange.com/a/104170 \$\endgroup\$ – the dark wanderer Jul 4 at 20:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think the key is to interpret it as "spells are only guaranteed to do what they say they do; anything else is up to DM discretion". \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jul 4 at 21:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast this is actually what JC said when he said this and it is very unfortunate that people ignore that second half because it is essential. "A spell's text details the spell's effects—the only thing the spell does. Any additional effects are up to the DM." \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Jul 5 at 1:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast The corollary to that is that spells are only forbidden to do anything they say they don't do. The RAW-correct answer to "Does (spell) do (thing mentioned nowhere in its description)?" is almost always "Mu." \$\endgroup\$ – Mark Wells Jul 5 at 3:52

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