The Hex spell reads (PHB, p. 251):

You place a curse on a creature that you can see within range. [...]

If the target drops to 0 hit points before this spell ends, you can use a bonus action on a subsequent turn of yours to curse a new creature.

Hex still requires range and sight requirements to be satisfied when re-applying because of the first line of its description but I am uncertain whether the targeting limitations apply when the spell is not being cast?

The precise situation I am thinking of is moving Hex to a target that is visible through a transparent window. I suspect the answer is no but would appreciate a deeper understanding.

A related component of this question is whether moving Hex is considered to be moving the effect or having multiple targets.



It depends on whether your GM thinks you target somebody when you move hex

In Chapter 10: Spellcasting there is the "A Clear Path to the Target" section, which states:

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

This applies to all instances of a spell targeting somebody - but does moving hex to a new creature actually target them?

Furthermore the section on "Total Cover" states:

A target with total cover can't be targeted directly by an attack or a spell, although some spells can reach such a target by including it in an area of effect. A target has total cover if it is completely concealed by an obstacle.

If somebody is behind a window, and thus has total cover, they cannot be targeted by a spell. We run into the same question, does hex target somebody when you move it to a new creature?

The follow Q/A discusses this in relation to the Sorcerer's Twinned Spell Metamagic:

And this Q/A discusses what count as spell targets in general:

There is plenty of debate as to what counts as a target. There's a reason Twinned Spell is asked about so frequently here and it's because what counts as a target for a spell is not particularly clear. Plenty of people disagree so you're going to have to ask your GM whether hex targets somebody when you move it. If it does, then a window will stop it.

What this GM would rule

I would say that hex targets somebody when you move it. You are actively choosing to affect a creature with the spell and for me that it sufficient to conclude that you are targeting them.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Rules designer Jeremy Crawford concurs with your ruling in a series of (unofficial) tweets from November 2016 about hunter's mark, a very similar spell: "The intent is that any creature you target with any spell—including hunter's mark—must be within the spell's range. [...] In a spell, targeting is bound by the spell's range. The effects aren't bound by it." \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    May 2 '20 at 2:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast Yeah there's actually a large number of Crawford quotes supporting this. This is one of those much-debated things for 5e and I've seen so many arguments about what counts as a target. I haven't seen Crawford's tweets sway most people yet so I chose not to include them. \$\endgroup\$ May 2 '20 at 3:51

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