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The spell Thunderwave has the rather unusual target area of a 15-foot cube, the point of origin for which is the caster, which is generally understood to mean you can either position the cube anywhere adjacent to yourself, or (for whichever reason) include yourself in the area, but not if it's the middle of it.

However, for homebrew reasons, the character trying to cast Thunderwave has the following limitation to their spellcasting:

[I]f the spell requires a somatic component, it must target you or a point in your space.

Thunderwave, with its components being V S, fits that description, but that results in a rather unclear interaction - since I have to choose a "point in [my] own space" for the spell's origin, where can the cube be placed?

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My own interpretation of the rules is as such: Since you must target a point within your space, there is no way to cast Thunderwave in a way that does not include at least part of your space intersecting with it, IE you must damage yourself with it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The "Cube" area of effect, as described in the Spellcasting chapter of the PHB, addresses this specifically: "You select a cube's point of origin, which lies anywhere on a face of the cubic effect. [...] A cube's point of origin is not included in the cube's area of effect, unless you decide otherwise." You can put the origin point on the edge of your space, along the line between your square and the next one over, and the origin is not in the area of effect, so you're clear. That's how thunderwave always works. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 14, 2020 at 15:13
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The rules aren't clear on exactly what would happen.

Thunderwave damages each creature in the area, so will clearly damage the caster; but as well as damage, on a failed save it also pushes the target 10 feet away from the caster. It's unclear what happens when a character is pushed away from themself.

As a DM I would rule this as simply not moving the caster, as the simplest solution to an ambiguous part of the rules; it would also be reasonable to allow them to be pushed in a direction of their choice (a ruling that benefits the caster) or in a random direction (which is likely to make the spell worse, as it risks putting the caster in a dangerous position).

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    \$\begingroup\$ While an interesting observation, I feel "what happens if I target myself with Thunderwave" deserves to be a separate question! Likewise for Gust. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 13, 2020 at 13:16

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