The spell states :

You call forth an elemental servant. Choose an area of air, earth, fire, or water that fills a 10-foot cube within range. Blockquote

So lets say a party is standing in front of a closed/barred door and there is a group on the other side getting ready and waiting for them. Could a wizard cast Conjure Elemental spell and choose an area where the elemental will appear in the other side of that closed door (Thus in the midst of the enemies preparing themselves for combat) ?


2 Answers 2


Summoning spells target a location so you need an unobstructed path

I have previously provided an answer to my own question below, and will quote a portion of that answer:

Under the Targets section it states:

A spell's description tells you whether the spell targets creatures, objects, or a point of origin for an area of effect...

Technically, one could argue that the quote implies only area of effect spells can target points of origin, and thus summoning spells such as spiritual weapon and find familiar perhaps do not have points of origin; however, the summoned thing fills the space in which it is summoned, and thus, I believe, is likely still an area of effect or at the very least, should be treated similarly. For more evidence that these should count as areas of effect we can look at a spell like cloud of daggers which also fills only a 5-by-5 area but is considered to be an area of effect.
There is also this Q/A asking about whether bigby's hand can be twinned, the second answer there says that bigby's hand targets an unoccupied space and the answer currently has 18 upvotes and nobody disagreed with this idea so it seems quite well agreed upon that summoning/conjuring spells do indeed target spaces.

I've bolded the last sentence since it is particularly relevant, stating that spells such as conjure elemental do indeed target the area where the elemental appears. Thus the section on "A Clear Path to the Target" applies:

To target something, you must have a clear path to it, so it can't be behind total cover. If you place an area of effect at a point that you can't see and an obstruction, such as a wall, is between you and that point, the point of origin comes into being on the near side of that obstruction.

There is a door in the way, which would provide total cover and thus you cannot summon an elemental onto the other side of the door and an attempt to do so would have them appearing on your side.


I believe you need at least line of sight to where your summoning something to summon it there. If there is perhaps a crack at the bottom of the door your wizard could look through I'd probably say that is enough.


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