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I'm wondering what happens when casting time stop during time stop - especially given that the rule on combining magical effects exists:

The effects of different spells add together while the durations of those spells overlap. The effects of the same spell cast multiple times don't combine, however. Instead, the most potent effect--such as the highest bonus--from those castings applies while their durations overlap, or the most recent effect applies if the castings are equally potent and their durations overlap.

My current idea would be the following:

  • Turn 1 of normal time (cast time stop #1)
    • Turn 1 of time stop #1
    • Turn 2 of time stop #1 (cast time stop #2)
      • Turn 1 of time stop #2
      • Turn 2 of time stop #2
    • The rest of turn 1 of time stop #1
  • The rest of turn 1 of normal time.

However, I'm unsure what happens with the rule on combining magical effects, especially since the spell doesn't have a duration besides "Instantaneous", making me unsure whether the rule applies at all.

How would this scenario play out? What happens if you cast time stop mid-time stop?


There are a few ways one might cast two 9th-level spells, such as the Boon of High Magic, the Boon of Spell Recall, or even just a spell scroll.

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Casting Time Stop #2 whilst Time stop #1 is already in effect will cancel Time Stop #1.

So first of all, Time Stop (TS) #1 is cast. Casting TS #2 will cancel TS #1 based on its spell description:

You briefly stop the flow of time for everyone but yourself. No time passes for other creatures, while you take 1d4 + 1 turns in a row, during which you can use actions and move as normal.

[...]

This spell ends if one of the actions you use during this period, or any effects that you create during this period, affects a creature other than you or an object being worn or carried by someone other than you.

The effects of time stop clearly affect other creatures (as it prevents them from taking actions) so, because you have created an effect that affects another creature, TS #1 ends. TS #2 then comes into play, allowing you to take 1d4 + 1 turns in a row.

Neither the effects nor the durations of the two spells overlap, as casting one whilst the other is active ends the first one.

So a sequence would look like this:

  • Normal time
  • 1d4 + 1 turns of TS #1
  • Cast TS #2
  • 1d4 +1 turns of TS #2
  • Normal time
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    \$\begingroup\$ Time Stop has a range of Self, so I'm not sure it would qualify for that clause \$\endgroup\$ – Jorn Dec 30 '19 at 9:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Jorn I don't think the "range" line is the only part that matters. Produce Flame has a range of self, but throwing it clearly involves "affecting another creature". The language is explicitly vague ("any effect you create affects a creature") about what does and does not count. \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Dec 30 '19 at 9:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Jorn As Erik says, the text is very vague about what does and doesn’t count. I think this was intentional so as to ensure literally anything that might affect another creature. (Although, because of this, its not clear at all what does or doesn’t count. Does snuffing out a candle count as that action has affected a creature’s vision?). The way i rule it is based on if the action directly affects the creature. So TS preventing creatures from taking actions directly affects them, ending TS. Snuffing out a candle affects the environment which indirectly affects the creature - this doesnt end TS. \$\endgroup\$ – Liam Morris Dec 30 '19 at 9:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ @LiamMorris-ReinstateMonica It might be an interpretation problem, but I don't see time stop affecting the other creatures at all. Their actions are not affected in any way, as with or without timestop they get to act on their next turn as normal. And their next turn literally isn't moved, it happens at the same time as it would without TS, there is just some other stuff unrelated to them happening in between. The interpretation would of course be different if time-stop said "every one else skips their next 1d4+1 turns". \$\endgroup\$ – mlk Dec 30 '19 at 12:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ Does time itself stop? It does not. We know this from the spell description "... no time passes for other creatures . . ." as well as the fact that interactions such as Delayed Blast Fireball + Time Stop are legal from this related question on Cloudkill. Time does stop for the creatures though, which is an immediate effect that directly affects all creatures upon casting. It is for this reason that this answer holds up with RAW. \$\endgroup\$ – Zigmata Dec 30 '19 at 19:53

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