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Some spells (Eldritch Blast, Scorching Ray) involve making multiple attacks, in that they require multiple attack rolls. Under the movement section of the PHB, the "Moving Between Attacks" reads (PHB 190):

If you take an action that includes more than one weapon attack, you can break up your movement even further by moving between those attacks. For example, a fighter who can make two attacks with the Extra Attack feature and who has a speed of 25 feet could move 10 feet, make an attack, move 15 feet, and then attack again.

However, Eldritch Blast and Scorching Ray are not weapon attacks, so unlike a Twinned Booming Blade, they would not satisfy the wording of that particular rule.

The introduction to the "Movement and Position" section, however, reads (PHB, 190):

On your turn, you can move a distance up to your speed. You can use as much or as little of your speed as you like on your turn, following the rules here.

This provides the general notion of movement and does not give any restrictions on timing except that it must be on your turn. "Following the rules here" only explicitly applies to the amount of speed used.

"On your turn, you can move a distance up to your speed." could be considered parallel to the description of bonus actions (PHB, 189) "You choose when to take a bonus action during your turn, unless the bonus action’s timing is specified" in which case, barring a more specific restriction, movement can be used at any time on your turn.

Is movement between a spell's attacks not allowed because it was not expressly permitted under "Breaking Up Your Move"? Or is it allowed because movement was not said to be restricted while taking an action?


A related question of mine is similar, but asks whether a bonus action can be taken between the attacks of a spell.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Minorly related: Can you Eldritch Blast as a Readied action even though it's multiple attacks? \$\endgroup\$ – L0neGamer May 19 at 7:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ What makes you think that "'Following the rules here' only explicitly applies to the amount of speed used"? It seems self-evident that each rule applies to what it says it applies to... \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast May 19 at 9:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ "Following the rules here" is part of a sentence and strictly only modifies "You can use as much or as little of your speed as you like on your turn". The sentence could be re-phrased as "If the rules here are followed and it is your turn then you can use as much or as little of your speed as you like" This logically requires "If the rules here are not followed then you cannot use as much or as little of your speed as you like". I can only see using "as much or as little of your speed as you like" as referring to quantity rather than timing. \$\endgroup\$ – Odo May 19 at 9:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ To my question, however, I don't think the interpretation of "Following the rules here" makes a difference because moving between spell attacks does not break the allowance for moving between weapon attacks so the outcome still depends on whether "On your turn, you can move a distance up to your speed." generally allows movement at any time on your turn and whether "Moving Between Attacks" restricts movement between non-weapon attacks by omission. \$\endgroup\$ – Odo May 19 at 10:12
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You cannot move between the attacks of an action unless those attacks are weapon attacks

What we can see from looking at the rules is that there exists a section on "Moving Between Attacks" which states:

[...] If you take an action that includes more than one weapon attack, you can break up your movement even further by moving between those attacks. [...]

There is no similar section allowing you to move between attacks of an action involving multiple attacks in general. Thus, you cannot use movement between the attacks of the a spell such as eldritch blast.

If the general rules on movement allowed you to insert it between literally anything you wanted then there would be no reason for the rule on Moving Between Attacks to be stated in the way it is. It is explicitly allowing you to move between the attacks of actions that involve multiple weapon attacks (which does include unarmed strikes).


Lead Rules Designer Jeremy Crawford also agrees with this interpretation:

Q. Can a warlock 5th level cast Eldritch Blast aim one beam at a target, move 20 feet then aim the 2nd beem at a different target?

A. No general rule allows you to move between the attacks of a spell.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The section on moving between weapon attacks explicitly allows movement in that scenario but only implies by omission that movement is not allowed during other actions. Normally that implication would be enough for me but it seems paradoxical that a rogue could find time to hide between eldritch blasts but not to move. Are there any other reasons to believe movement between a spell's attacks is not allowed aside from omission? \$\endgroup\$ – Odo May 19 at 8:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Odo In the rules text itself? I'll have to do some digging for that and will leave a comment if I find nothing \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 May 19 at 8:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would accept a non-rules justification, considering part of my confusion is from an in-game perspective, so long as it made sense in-game with whether bonus actions were allowed between a spell's attacks \$\endgroup\$ – Odo May 19 at 10:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ @odo It's only a paradox if you operate under the assumption that a character can somehow interrupt their own action with their own bonus action. This DM does not allow such a thing. Only reactions interrupt, because they have explicit triggers allowing exactly that. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. May 19 at 17:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Odo There's a lot of rather illogical circumstances throughout the rules: The fact that one could, with their hands full, cast a spell with SM components but not one with merely S components. Or the fact that casting a reaction spell on your turn prevents you from casting a bonus action spell on that same turn. That said, besides the omission mentioned I haven't found anything particularly strong pointing towards my conclusion \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 May 19 at 17:14
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Probably not.

Duration of both of those spells is instantaneous. To me that means that all of it happens in an instant, i. e. the three scorching rays are hurled simultaneously, which would not leave you much time to move.

Compare it with booming blade, which has a duration of one round, giving you plenty time to move around.

There is also this (this) discussion on whether the spell attacks are simultaneous or sequential. Crawford says sequential, Mearls seems to say simultaneous. But even with the Crawford interpretation, it does not necessarily mean you can move between attacks.

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RAW you cannot move between a spell's attacks

but this requires a specific interpretation of the text

Medix2's answer has provided decent justification for disallowing movement between a spell's attacks based on implications from a common reading of RAW and from evidence that it would be RAI. On looking at the rules more and questioning my initial interpretation of "following the rules here" as asked about by V2Blast I think I have found a way to directly support RAW disallowing movement between a spell's attacks.

The issue with using "Moving Between Attacks"

There is the problem that a strict reading of

If you take an action that includes more than one weapon attack, you can break up your movement even further by moving between those attacks

does not logically imply

If you have not taken an action that includes more than one weapon attack, you cannot break up your movement even further by moving between those attacks.

nor does it imply

If you have taken an action that includes more than one attacks that are not weapon attacks, you cannot break up your movement by moving between those attacks.

This is because an antecedent being false does not imply that the consequent is false. Since the antecedent of that rule (you take an action that includes more than one weapon attack) is false when considering moving between a spell's attacks, any consequent still satisfies the rule. The situation described by the rule is not relevant to the situation under question.

There is a general rule that allows movement during your turn

On your turn, you can move a distance up to your speed

This line provides general support for being able to move at any time during your turn because it does not qualify the ability to move with any time restrictions. Since there is a line providing general support for movement a more specific rule1 precluding movement is required to disallow movement at any time during a turn.

There is a specific rule that disallows movement

but only if you accept a particular interpretation

You can use as much or as little of your speed as you like on your turn, following the rules here.

has the issue that, if interpreted as "If you follow the rules here and it is your turn then you can use as much or as little of your speed as you like on your turn", it does not imply an inability to move (for the same reasons as "Moving Between Attacks").

Even if we were to read the line as "If and only if you follow the rules here and it is your turn then you can use as much or as little of your speed as you like on your turn" movement is not necessarily disallowed because there isn't a different rule that is violated by moving between a spell's attacks.

The line might be understood to preclude moving except when in accordance with "the rules here" if two specific interpretations of the text are accepted. The first is that "following the rules here" doesn't simply mean that the use of movement doesn't violate the rules of the PHB but that it must be allowed by "the rules here". The second is that "You can use as much or as little of your speed as you like" being false means you cannot move. This interpretation is necessary because otherwise even failing to "follow the rules here" would not logically preclude movement, just choice over the quantity of movement.

In addition "the rules here" must be interpreted as "the rules below" because otherwise the general rule mentioned above2 would allow movement at any time during your turn.

Under those interpretations movement is disallowed between attacks

We can look at "the rules below" to see if any rule specifically allows movement in between a spell's attacks.

I cannot find a rule in "the rules below" allowing movement between a spell's attacks. Moving between a spell's attacks does not then seem to satisfy "following the rules here" and so "You can use as much or as little of your speed as you like on your turn" must be false which we have decided means you cannot move.

But there must be a general rule allowing regular movement as well

We also need to check that regular movement during one's turn is allowed by the rules below the line "following the rules here" because otherwise all movement would be impossible under the accepted interpretations because it wouldn't "follow the rules here".

The rule that allows regular movement during one's turn is (PHB, 190):

You can break up your movement on your turn, using some of your speed before and after your action. For example, if you have a speed o f 30 feet, you can move 10 feet, take your action, and then move 20 feet.

Interestingly if you have accepted the interpretations I have offered then the line "On your turn, you can move a distance up to your speed" is redundant because movement is allowed in a later section and there is a rule that makes the later section more specific than the previous line.
Alternatively if you reject the interpretations that I have offered then the section "Moving Between Attacks" is redundant because you are already allowed to move at any point during your turn.

This might be more analysis than is needed and Medix2's answer remains solid and helpful but I wanted to include a more rigorous justification because it helped me better understand the answer and the structure of the text.

1 see "Specific Beats General" (PHB, 7)
2 "On your turn, you can move a distance up to your speed" (PHB, 190)

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