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My party had the idea of using Transport via Plants to bring people to the druid, but I'm a bit unsure if that's possible.

This spell creates a magical link between a Large or larger inanimate plant within range and another plant, at any distance, on the same plane of existence. You must have seen or touched the destination plant at least once before. For the duration, any creature can step into the target plant and exit from the destination plant by using 5 feet of movement.

The spell specifies that one Plant becomes the target and one becomes the destination. Does the "target" tree have to be the one in range of the casting, or can you make that one the destination, and set the entrance to a tree somewhere else?

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The entrance is the plant that's in range.

The spell states that a creature can step into the "target plant" and exit through the "destination plant". The "target" of a spell usually* refers to the creature, object, or location that's chosen at the time of casting, as described in the Spellcasting rules:

A typical spell requires you to pick one or more targets to be affected by the spell's magic. A spell's description tells you whether the spell targets creatures, objects, or a point of origin for an area of effect (described below).

There are two important restrictions on targets elsewhere in this chapter: Range:

The target of a spell must be within the spell's range. For a spell like magic missile, the target is a creature. For a spell like fireball, the target is the point in space where the ball of fire erupts.

and a Clear Path to the Target:

To target something, you must have a clear path to it, so it can't be behind total cover.

The "destination tree" for this spell is chosen according to a different set of rules: it can be at any distance so long as it's on the same plane and you've seen it before. It isn't the target.

*Some sources, including on occasion the published rules, irresponsibly use "target" to refer to anyone or anything that's affected by a spell, such as creatures within an area of effect. This usage is confusing and I would recommend against it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It's not just some people either, pretty sure JC does and whilst he no longer sets rules with his tweets there was a rule reflecting anyone affected counting as a target for a while, which caused confusion, and to my knowledge still hasn't been cleared up fully. \$\endgroup\$ – SeriousBri Mar 16 at 20:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think SAC p. 12 supports this argument, you might want to cite/quote it. \$\endgroup\$ – Akixkisu Mar 16 at 20:49
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No.

Unfortunately, the spells states that a creature can only step into the target plant. That implies that the start plant must be the one targeted by the spell, within its range.

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