The victims of an Entangle spell are Restrained and cannot move themselves; but can be moved by others. I had always assumed that moving them out of the Area of Effect of the spell would free them; but a close reading of the spell now has me questioning this.

Grasping weeds and vines sprout from the ground in a 20-foot square starting from a point within range...A creature in the area when you cast the spell must succeed on a Strength saving throw or be restrained by the entangling plants until the spell ends. A creature restrained by the plants can use its action to make a Strength check against your spell save DC. On a success, it frees itself.

As written, there are only two things which explicitly end the restrained condition; the end of the spell and a successful strength check by the victim.

Contrast this with the Web spell.

On a failed save, the creature is restrained as long as it remains in the webs or until it breaks free.

There, a creature that leaves "the webs" (=VoE?) is explicitly free of restraint.

However, note that with Entangle, the "entangling plants" themselves are limited to the initial 20 foot square (not cube), and while there they "sprout from the ground". Under the 5e principle that there is no flavor text in spells, it could be that the vines can only Restrain one while they are connected to the ground, and leaving the area does not take the plants along.

Note that if the vines wrap around anything, it is only the feet and legs - a Restrained character cannot move themselves, but they can still attack and cast spells. Restrained does not mean Incapacitated.

So, do these plant restraints remain tightly coiled around one's legs, keeping one restrained even if moved away from the original ground, or do the restraints fall away once the plants are ripped from the ground?

Related: If you are pushed out of Evard's black tentacles while restrained, are you still restrained?


Ask your GM

This answer is a mostly a copy-paste of my answer to the following related question:

The entangle spell states (emphasis mine):

A creature in the area when you cast the spell must succeed on a Strength saving throw or be restrained by the entangling plants until the spell ends.

A creature restrained by the plants can use its action to make a Strength check against your spell save DC. On a success, it frees itself.

The last bit explains one way to for the restrained condition to end, another is that the spell ends. Additionally, the spell never explicitly states that leaving the area ends the condition; these both, to some small extent, point toward the condition not ending when leaving the area. Further justification for this stance can be found by looking at the web spell which does explicitly state that leaving the area ends the restrained condition. We even have a question on this:

That all said, the following question also exists:

It results from a similar problem where the hunger of Hadar spell never actually says the condition ends when leaving the area. A quite well-received answer there states:

But we can give more context here—our familiarity and expectations of the game. One of those is that things shouldn’t be “seriously overpowered,” as we just determined hunger of Hadar is, as written. It seems likely that the authors and editors of hunger of Hadar forgot that conditions basically default to permanent, or missed its implications, and considered their wording as “obviously” meaning the condition only applies as long as creatures are within. It seems they almost-certainly meant that the creatures are blinded for a duration equal to however long they stay fully within the area of hunger of Hadar, or that (partially) leaving the area of hunger of Hadarcounters the blindness. That would make for a reasonable spell. That is how the majority of people, it seems, assume the spell works, because they assume the spell isn’t “seriously overpowered” and read it within that context without checking the actual technical definitions.

Though there isn't the same sort of overpowered end-state (the condition will always end after the spell's duration) we can apply some similar ideas. Mistakes happen in writing and this could certainly be a similar case where a condition would logically end upon leaving the area, though the rules did not state as much. After all, you are no longer in range of the grasping vines, though perhaps they somehow extend or break off and keep holding you?

It also makes sense that the game developers and rules designers would have forget this; you wouldn't expect a restrained creature to move.

There are ways to support either interpretation and at the end of the day your GM will have the final say so ask them.


Spells do what they say they do. In this case, a creature affected by entangle is

restrained by the entangling plants until the spell ends. A creature restrained by the plants can use its action to make a Strength check against your spell save DC. On a success, it frees itself.

Entangle only cares that the creature was in its area of effect when it was cast, not where the creature is afterward.

If entangle ended by moving the affected creature out of the area of effect, it would say so just as the web spell does.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Jun 22 '21 at 21:41

It breaks the restrainment

Of course, your GM has the last word on this. But if you are a GM looking for guidance, I'd strongly suggest to rule that the restrained condition (which was caused by a spell like Entangle, Maximilian’s Earthen Grasp, Evard’s Black Tentacles or Web) ends if the target somehow leaves the area that caused restrainment, may it be through forced movement or by teleporting, and here's why:

It counters the restrainment

In Appendix A: Conditions of the PHB we read (emphasis mine):

A condition lasts either until it is countered (the prone condition is countered by standing up, for example) or for a duration specified by the effect that imposed the condition.

Of course, it remains vague what might "counter" a restrainment, so it's still up to the GM to decide, but this gives the GM the RAW-part to justify their ruling. Moreover, the example shows that a counter to a condition isn't necessarily a spell like lesser restoration - it can be as simple as standing up.

It's realistic if restrainment was caused by an external effect

Almost all spells that apply the restrained condition use some form of external effect (entangling vines, a medium sized hand, tentacles, the magical trap from Snare, a Watery Sphere, etc.) that has the potential to hold a target in place. But if the target leaves the affected area/volume (maybe by teleporting far away but without the effect following along), it's unplausible that the restrainment remains. After all, "because: magic" is a very unsatisfying answer in a quite realistic and immersive game like D&D.

In contrast, the spell Flesh to Stone specifies that the target becomes

restrained as its flesh begins to harden

so in this exceptional case, teleportation or forced movement wouldn't realistically end the restrainment as it is due to an interior effect. Note that interior effects usually apply conditions like stunned, paralyzed or incapacitated instead of restrained.

It was treated this way in previous editions

In 4e, teleporting away from a effect located in a specific space would end the restrainment. Of course, that does not imply anything about 5e, but it hints at what is a reasonable ruling.

Don't rely on inversion

Some answers hinting that the restrained condition remains argue that spells do what they say they do. While this is true, it does not mean that spells don't do what they don't say (as this would be the non-equivalent inversion of the previous statement). In other words: spells still might work in a way that the spell's description does not specify: In this game of infinite possibilities, these descriptions cannot consider every circumstance. Even if some spells (like Web) explicitly describe that leaving its area ends restrainment, the same may apply to spells like Entangle that do not explicitly state this behaviour. As an analogy, Misty Step (of course) teleports your worn equipment with you even though the spell text does not state this explicitly - such a specification would be "needlessly fastidious".

Does the removal itself succeed?

Above, we argued why removing a creature from an external restrainment effect would end the restrained condition on it. However, it may be difficult for the removing effect to work in the first place:

  • the casting of a teleportation spell might be hindered by vines wraping around the creature's jaw or hands,
  • Maximilian's grasping hand might be able to hold its target in place and negate forced movement,
  • Evard's Tentacles might be stronger than the ally trying to pull you out of their reach.

To resolve these questions, by the GM's discretion, an appropriate ability check could be deployed to see if this way of countering the restrained condition succeeds.


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