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The SRD gives us a helpful list of possible ranges for spells: Personal, Touch, Close, Medium, Long, Unlimited, and Range Expressed in Feet. However, this is clearly not a comprehensive list of all of the possible range categories in the game. For example, Persistent Spell's text claims that "Spells with a fixed or personal range can have their duration increased to 24 hours". This is despite, to my knowledge, "fixed range" not being a term that is defined in game or obviously understandable in plain English (e.g. this question shows one potential source of confusion).

This leads me to my question: What range categories does the game acknowledge, what are their definitions, and where are these definitions found or derived from?

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is a good question, and should be one we can handle... but I strongly suspect we cannot. Individual spells make up new range and area descriptions all the time, and going through all of them is a monumental task—and may result in an answer too large for Stack Exchange. I wish you luck, though. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Mar 25 at 18:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan I'm not asking for a comprehensive list of ranges, I'm asking for categories of ranges. Hopefully that narrows things down. For example, I don't care if there's only one spell in the game with a range of exactly 1337 feet because that would presumably fall in to a category containing many other very long range spells with exact ranges. \$\endgroup\$ – J. Mini Mar 25 at 18:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ I understood what you meant, and maintain my concern. Maybe the result wouldn’t be too much, but I for one could not even begin to imagine trying to collect it. That’s way more effort than I have ever put into a Stack Exchange answer, and I have put an enormous amount of effort into a fair number of answers around here. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Mar 25 at 18:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think an itemized and annotated 50-entry-or-more list strains the site's guidelines. An answer could, however, summarize some categories then provide a link to where specific information's available. Would that be acceptable? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Mar 25 at 19:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan It sounds like a step in the right direction, particularly if it covers why the original question is so difficult. \$\endgroup\$ – J. Mini Mar 25 at 20:20
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OK, here goes nothing. There are over 20 already in the PHB alone. Any ranges that have a particularly small number of spells that use it, I'll list the spells with.

  • Personal
  • Touch
  • Short
  • Medium
  • Long
  • Unlimited
  • 0'
  • 10'
  • 10'/CL Repulsion
  • 15' Burning Hands and Color Spray
  • 20'
  • 30'
  • 40'
  • 40'/CL Control Winds
  • 50' Bane/Bless
  • 60'
  • 120' Lightning Bolt
  • 1/2 Mile Diminish Plants and Plant Growth
  • 1 Mile Prying Eyes/Greater
  • 1 Mile/CL Whispering Wind
  • 2 Miles Control Weather
  • 5 Miles Helping Hand
  • Special
  • Varies (this category exclusively contains spells that can replicate multiple other spells i.e. Wish, Miracle, Shades, etc.)
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  • \$\begingroup\$ Range says, "A spell’s range is the maximum distance from you that the spell’s effect can occur, as well as the maximum distance at which you can designate the spell’s point of origin" (emphasis mine). However, for some spells that have range entries this is nonsense—for example, a burning hands or lightning bolt spell typically can't have as its point of origin a grid intersection that isn't adjacent to the caster's space! In other words, by the PH definition, some spells' listed ranges are not actually their ranges. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Mar 25 at 20:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Yes, technically, all of the Cone shape spells are wrong. The issue arises that the "range" is these instances are actually describing the range of the spells effect not the range of the spell itself. All of the Cone spells should have a range of Personal instead, with the effect as an "X foot long cone", but I went with the official ranges rather than the "real" ranges. Line spells like Lightning Bolt have the same issue. \$\endgroup\$ – RevenantBacon Mar 25 at 20:44

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