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We just finished the latest session and one of my characters gain access to the spell Create & Destroy Water. The Create and Destroy Water spell says:

You create up to 10 gallons of clean water within range in an open container.

Is an open mouth considered an open container or are there other rules that take place here?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Well, it's impolite. \$\endgroup\$ – goodguy5 Sep 5 at 14:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ [Related] Can destroy water completely dehydrate a person? \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Sep 5 at 14:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ You may not intend it as such, but this question is the lead up to one of the most famous tricks in use by - to put it as nicely as I can - obnoxiously extreme powergamers. We need to know what the intended outcome is here before an answer will make sense in your scenario. (If there is no "your scenario", and thus no intended outcome, that's an issue in its own right.) \$\endgroup\$ – 40355 says Reinstate Monica Sep 5 at 16:16
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No

An open container is an object, not a creature. Creatures are not objects, so the targeting the creature's mouth (which you also can't target because there aren't rules around targeting specific body parts) isn't an option.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Sep 5 at 18:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ As commented by himitsu_no_yami, this Reddit story provides a rather entertaining anecdote about what kind of thing can happen if creatures count as containers. Tl;Dr destroying 10 gallons of water in a tarrasque's neck to kill it. I'm not sure if you'd be interested in adding that as a bit of real world example (or talk about the exploit) or not. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Sep 5 at 18:20
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Not by RAW, but...

I agree with NautArch's answer in that a container is an object and not a creature. However, if I was the DM and the player wasn't trying to pull some clever meta powergaming trick, I would most definitely allow it.

Stuck in the elemental plane of fire and any water in a container evaporates before you can drink it? Sure, create water inside someones mouth so they can drink.

Arguing that creating water inside the lich's mouth would interrupt any casting with verbal components? No sir.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I would allow the latter, but call for a saving throw \$\endgroup\$ – Marco Bolis Sep 6 at 7:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Or just knock the bottom out of the container and hold it over your mouth. \$\endgroup\$ – John Sep 6 at 13:17
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A container is definitely an object. See Container Capacity Table PHB page 153. And there aren't any creatures in that list.

A creature is not an object, unless it's dead. Then the body of the creature is an object, sure, but then, it does not count as a creature anymore. It is one or the other.

In general, a DM should be careful when a player tries to use a spell in an "inventive" fashion. More often than not, there is a risk of allowing too much versatility or power to a spell that was not intended for that, or even of breaking game balance.

1 example: Just like a player should not get to have his Fighter PC suddenly gain the right to add the "Vorpal" property to his sword attack simply by describing his special way to strike "at the back of the neck of his foe to lob his head off", in a very similar way another player should not get to have his spellcaster PC suddenly gain more power and/or versatility with his spells than what the mundane and straight interpretation of what the intent of the spell is.

Spells that can do several things, they list all of those things.

In the case of Create Water, it is a utility spell, not an attack spell.

So as per RAW, no.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Please note that we're a Q&A site, not a discussion forum. As with your last few answers, this is a massive wall of text that, at a very brief read through, is only about 2% actual answer, the rest seems to be tangential story telling. Please keep your answers to only what is needed to actually answer the question. Writing an essay like this all the time muddies the water and makes it very difficult to discern what your answer actually is and, in many cases, might just be completely skipped over as it is way too long. \$\endgroup\$ – Purple Monkey Sep 6 at 9:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ Trimmed it. Thanks for the comment Purple Monkey. Still learning the ropes. \$\endgroup\$ – Pat Sep 6 at 9:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not sure if you want to reference, but here's a question on creative use of spells. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Sep 6 at 15:27
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No insta-drowning by create water

"Container" is not a technical term in D&D 5e, or at least I could not find any suitable definition in PHB; only examples: capacities of some containers, opening contains with mage hand, specific use in magic jar, etc. Thus, it has the commonsense meaning of the word. Going with a dictionary, we get

a hollow object, such as a box or a bottle, that can be used for holding something, especially to carry or store it

I would not place mouth in this category of things, though maybe native language users would. (And, just to state the obvious, the "object" in the dictionary definition is not the "object" in the specific technical sense of D&D 5.)

However, there is nothing stopping a fantasy creature from being clearly a container: Animated objects and mimics are the most obvious candidates, but certainly an inventive fantasist can come up with more such creatures.

Clear path

You need a clear path to the target. Unless the person is just standing there mouth open, this is not quite obvious. Furthermore, the container needs to be open, which at least means the mouth needs to be open.

How to allow the idea anyway

What happens if you get your mouth full of water? On a good day (with a successful save), you spit it out. The bad case is that you happen to try to breathe some of it in before you body figures out what is happening, and you'll get nasty uncontrolled coughs. Probably a disadvantage on most stuff for one turn. A nasty blunder in a high-stakes social situation, anyway.

Target who is not keeping its mouth open most of the time might get advantage on the save to represent that the spell might fail due to the "container" not being open - asking for a separate attack roll is also possible, but more cumbersome, and probably only worth it if even a successful saving throw has a definite effect on events, such as if trying to impress someone in court.

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