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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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Counterspell

Regardless of whether or not you think the rules allow it, you may want to disallow it simply because of the work that counterspell adds to the table.

Image a high-level warlock Wallis. Wallis casts eldritch blast and attacks a foe with the first beam. This happens to kill the foe. Wallis then moves and happens to enter counterspell range of another caster, who successfully counterspells the eldritch blast. Now you have to walk back the damage and death done to the first target (which might include walking back features like hexblade's curse and might involve retroactively doing opportunity attacks).

Counterspell can be used to counter a spell at any time during its casting (When can you counterspell a spell with long casting time?). If Wallis still has beams to shoot then the spell hasn't finished yet.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't believe counterspell works like that. Counterspell can only occur at the time the other spell is cast. Wallis already cast eldritch blast so even if Wallis were to walk into counterspell range and use part of the effect of eldritch blast Counterspell would not be triggered. \$\endgroup\$ – Odo Jun 29 at 4:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ To demonstrate this we can consider a similar situation without Wallis moving. Wendal is a wizard concentrating on Fog Cloud that covers her current location. Because she cannot see Wallis she cannot counterspell Wallis's casting of eldritch blast. Wallis hits her with EB and she loses concentration causing the fog to lift. Even though Wendal can now see Wallis she is unable to prevent the second EB bolt from being fired \$\endgroup\$ – Odo Jun 29 at 4:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ "If Wallis still has beams to shoot then the spell hasn't finished yet." do you have a source for this belief? My understanding was that a spell could only produce an effect after it had finished being cast. So Alarm only creates an alarm after the casting has completed and Eldritch Blast only fires a bolt immediately after the spell has been cast. This understanding is supported by Counterspell not working against readied spells (rpg.stackexchange.com/q/80960/60913) \$\endgroup\$ – Odo Jun 29 at 6:16

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