12
\$\begingroup\$

Forcecage states:

A creature inside the cage can't leave it by nonmagical means. If the creature tries to use teleportation or interplanar travel to leave the cage, it must first make a Charisma saving throw.

Despite external opinions about how the spell should work, is it correct to read the RAW interpretation that magical effects such as Tree Stride or Transport via Plants are capable of bypassing the saving throw as they don't specify they are teleportation?

\$\endgroup\$
4
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ On this stack it usually works best to ask one very focused question at a time, so I would recommend you separate the two questions of (a) whether a forcecage is destructible in certain ways and (b) whether a forcecage is bypassable by any spells. In other words, edit this question down to just one of those, then start a whole new question for the other. \$\endgroup\$
    – Valley Lad
    Jul 20 '20 at 4:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Okay, I didn't want to spam since I asked a completely separate question not too long ago but I'll separate them. \$\endgroup\$
    – Asisreo
    Jul 20 '20 at 4:37
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Hi @Asisreo I edited you question to focus on the two spells spells you are asking about as that seems to be the real core to this question. If this is no longer what you wanted to ask you can rollback the edits or edit it further. \$\endgroup\$
    – linksassin
    Jul 20 '20 at 4:49
  • 1
6
\$\begingroup\$

Yes. Tree stride and transport via plants do not incur the charisma save to escape from a force cage

Both tree stride and transport via plants provide a location shifting effect, but do not state they are teleporting the caster. Spells that teleport the caster state they do so in the effect text.

The drawback is the plant spells are dependent on the presence of a tree or large inanimate plant inside the force cage's area. Clever use of a tree or mass of plants if they are available.

Teleporting spells

In contrast, spells that teleport the caster state this, e.g. " you teleport..." "You and up to five willing creatures within 5 feet of you instantly teleport..." The following spells all indicate they are teleporting the caster and are subject to the charisma saving throw effect:

Availability

An import difference here is that the spells that afford magical movement that isn't teleportation are dependent on the presence of a suitable trees or plants whereas the direct teleportation spells are always available to the caster.

\$\endgroup\$
4
  • \$\begingroup\$ Forcecage doesn't specify what happens with objects that are inside it when it is cast. I can't think how a tree could be inside a Forcecage without the cage cutting off the roots and killing it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nick
    Jul 20 '20 at 15:04
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Nick The spell casting rules for aoe indicate that the obstructions that grant total cover a space, exclude the space from the aoe. For a tree that doesn't grant total cover, it and the space around it, could be in the cage. Nothing in the spell description indicates it cuts through objects, plants, or creatures. \$\endgroup\$
    – GcL
    Jul 20 '20 at 15:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ I suppose you can get a force-not-quite-cage if there are total cover granting objects within in! \$\endgroup\$
    – Nick
    Jul 21 '20 at 10:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Nick in the event of the cage abutting a ragged wall or massive tree, the area of effect would go up to the blocking object producing a slightly peculiarly shaped force cage. As there are lines of sight on the non-covered side, the area of the spell includes those, so you wouldn't have the force cage open on any end. It would just have a different footprint. \$\endgroup\$
    – GcL
    Jul 21 '20 at 15:47
8
\$\begingroup\$

Not in the general case

While a parallel could be made between 'teleportation' and 'magic' such that only those things specifically called out as teleportation count as teleportation just like only those things called out as magic are magic, no such parallelism exists in the rules at present. Instead, 'teleportation', having no special meaning, is supposed to default to the "natural language" sense of the word, even though that is not generally a linguistically coherent course of action.

Since we are also supposed to do this because we are pretending that the rules themselves are written such that each word uses its single idiomatic meaning, it would follow that all things explicitly labeled teleportation are certainly teleportation, but other stuff might be teleportation as well.

Consequently, although we cannot say that you definitely make the Charisma save with spells like tree stride, we also cannot say that you can definitely bypass it. Instead, it depends on whether your DM decides the effect counts as teleportation or not, based on what they think the single universal meaning of the word in idiomatic English is.

\$\endgroup\$

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .