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For a creature to be affected by Color Spray, their hit points must be equal to or less than the remaining total of points accumulated from the Color Spray dice rolls. However, if the creature's hit points are equal to or less than the remaining total, that creature would be immediately killed.

Color Spray's description states, in part (emphasis mine):

Starting with the creature that has the lowest current hit points, each creature affected by this spell is blinded until the end of your next turn. Subtract each creature's hit points from the total before moving on to the creature with the next lowest hit points. A creature's hit points must be equal to or less than the remaining total for that creature to be affected.

Therefore, there would be no purpose to the creature being blinded "until the end of your next turn" because the creature would be dead.

Am I missing something here? It seems like it's impossible for a creature to be dead AND blinded simultaneously because their death would take precedence. So, what's the point of the blinding effect if every creature that would have been blinded is killed first?

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marked as duplicate by sevenbrokenbricks, linksassin, Szega dnd-5e Jul 26 at 6:48

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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Color spray does not deal any damage at all

The color spray spell description states (emphasis mine):

Roll 6d10; the total is how many hit points of creatures this spell can affect. Creatures ... are affected in ascending order of their current hit points (ignoring unconscious creatures and creatures that can't see).

Starting with the creature that has the lowest current hit points, each creature affected by this spell is blinded until the spell ends. Subtract each creature's hit points from the total before moving on to the creature with the next lowest hit points. A creature's hit points must be equal to or less than the remaining total for the creature to be affected.

"The total" that you are subtracting from is the result of the 6d10 roll, which is the number of hit points you can affect with this spell.

An example of how the spell works:

  • You roll 6d10, and this gets you the total number of hit points the spell can affect (let's use 30).
  • Then you find the creature that has the lowest current hit points, (let's use 12).
  • You subtract its number of hit points from whatever you rolled (so 30 - 12 = 18).
  • There are now 18 hit points left in our pool.
  • However, the creature we affected has not actually lost any hit points; our hit point pool simply decreased. The creature is actually now blinded, but has the same amount of HP as it did before.
  • Then we find the next lowest HP creature (let's say 15).
  • We subtract this from our pool (18 - 15 = 3), so we have 3 points left.
  • The creature is blinded because we have points left over.
  • The next creature, however, has 16 HP.
  • Its hit points are not "equal to or less than our remaining total" (3), so this creature cannot be affected and is not blinded.
  • The spell is now over.

Color spray does not deal any damage, but blinds creatures based on their remaining health which is deducted from a pool (6d10).

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  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for this response. I had the same question as devinbost and I'm glad I got an answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Orisa is your shield Jul 26 at 13:35
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Color Spray Does No Damage

It's understandable that you'd think that a number rolled on dice would represent damage, especially when you're told that it represents "hit points." Specifically:

Roll 6d10; the total is how many hit points of creatures this spell can affect.

But notice that nowhere in the spell's description does it say that it actually does damage.

There are a couple of spells like this, most notably Sleep. Where the total you roll in dice represents hit points, but doesn't do that much damage. In this case, the hit point total represents how many hit points worth of enemies you can blind: not kill.

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