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The spell immovable object from Explorer's Guide to Wildemount (pg. 187) says:

You touch an object that weighs no more than 10 pounds and cause it to become magically fixed in place. You and the creatures you designate when you cast this spell can move the object normally. [...]

[...] a creature can use an action to make a Strength check against your spell save DC. On a success, the creature can move the object up to 10 feet.

At Higher Levels. If you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th or 5th level, the DC to move the object increases by 5, it can carry up to 8,000 pounds of weight, and the duration increases to 24 hours. If you cast this spell using a spell slot of 6th level or higher, the DC to move the object increases by 10, it can carry up to 20,000 pounds of weight, and the effect is permanent until dispelled.

The two phrases I am interested in here are:

You ... can move the object normally

and,

it can carry up to 20,000 pounds of weight.

Suppose I cast immovable object at 6th level on a thin sheet of plywood. I then proceed to stack 19,999 pounds of gold ingots on top of the sheet of plywood. I then attempt to move the sheet of plywood normally.

Can an object under the effect of a 6th level immovable object spell still be moved normally while it is carrying up to 20,000 pounds?

Note, 20,000 pounds of gold is not very big in terms of volume. The density of gold is 1206 lb/ft3, so 20,000 lbs of gold would only be about 16 ft3, or a cube about 2.55 ft on each side.

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    \$\begingroup\$ For accuracy a 1 lbs sheet of plywood could not support 19999 lbs of gold. So you'd have to work out a better ratio. \$\endgroup\$ – Sam Lacrumb Aug 14 '20 at 14:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SamLacrumb It not just a 10 lb sheet of plywood. It’s magic plywood. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Aug 14 '20 at 14:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah but if you look up the rules on magic objects and sundering, all that means is that they have added resistance. It still couldn't bare that amount of weight. \$\endgroup\$ – Sam Lacrumb Aug 14 '20 at 15:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ Specific beats general, friend. Generally, you re correct. But the spell specifically states that it can carry up to 20000 pounds. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Aug 14 '20 at 15:26
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Sure, as long as you have the strength to move whatever is being carried by the object.

The spell only gives you the ability to move the targeted object normally. Anything else that rests upon the object still has its normal weight, so you need to be able to move that in addition to the targeted object.

Normally, when you try to move a thin sheet of plywood that also has ~10 tons of gold on it, you also need the ability to move those 10 tons of gold. Therefore, since you can move the object normally, you need a strength score of about 1,334 to carry it (carry capacity is 15 x STR so 1334 x 15 = 2010), or half that (667) to push, drag, or lift it.

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    \$\begingroup\$ All of the difficulty in moving heavy objects is gravity and friction. Without those two factors, any pushing on it would provide some acceleration. You would just have to keep pushing and eventually it would get up to walking speed. Now, stopping this freight train once it gets up to speed is a problem, mind you.... \$\endgroup\$ – Shane Aug 14 '20 at 22:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Shane Yeah, something with that much mass is going to have a lot of momentum. \$\endgroup\$ – RevanantBacon Aug 15 '20 at 14:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ My point was about needing a high STR score. You don't. If I have STR 10 that means I can lift up 150lbs against gravity. IOW, I am continually accelerating the 150lbs object by ~10m/s. Which means -- at 10 STR -- I can accelerate the 20000lbs at 0.0075m/s^2. (if my math is right) Combat walking speed is 0.3m/s. Which means a STR 10 character can get it up to walking speed in about a minute. \$\endgroup\$ – Shane Aug 18 '20 at 19:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Shane Except that gravity and friction still apply, nothing about the spell says that they don't. Also, from a standstill to 1.524 m/s (5'/s or 30'/round/6s, or normal D&D walking speed) at an acceleration of .0075 m/s^2, it would take more along the lines of 3.4 minutes to get up to normal walking speed. Assuming nothing interrupted you. \$\endgroup\$ – RevanantBacon Aug 18 '20 at 21:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Shane Well, it would fall until it hit the ground, or until it was out of your grasp, or (theoretically, if your reaction speed is good enough) until you stop choosing to move it normally, whichever happens first. Whether or not it hits the ground is dependent on how good of a grasp you have on it. \$\endgroup\$ – RevanantBacon Aug 19 '20 at 12:09
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My interpretation is no.

The way I read that is when you move the object, you effectively ignore the spell's immovability effect and must deal with the object's normal weight, including the normal weight of anything sitting on or attached to it. You can move a loaded immovable object, but you'd be dealing with the full weight of the stuff loaded on it, so it might be merely heavy, or it could be a crushingly bad idea.

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My interpretation of the spell would be that "Move the object normally" would mean that you can move it around as if there is no magic affecting it.

I think it is reasonable that once you try to move it, it acts normally. What would happen if you were holding a sheet with several tons? You'd drop it (probably). Which is interesting as when you lose contact with the object, it would revert to suspended in air.

I believe for it to allow what you desired, the wording would have to be more along the lines of "You ... can move the object freely. " Or maybe ".. move the object without regard to the weight it supports."

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think it would definitely have to be the second one as that's the only one that umambiguously states that the weight resting on it doesn't apply. \$\endgroup\$ – RevanantBacon Aug 14 '20 at 14:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ Consider "Speak with Plants" "they can freely move branches, tendrils, and stalks." when magic specifies something can happen freely, that is meaning truly freely, and beyond the limits of normally. Because plants cannot normally move branches. \$\endgroup\$ – Daveman Aug 14 '20 at 14:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Daveman Speak with plants says "freely move". Immovable object says "move the object normally" Those aren't synonyms in this context. \$\endgroup\$ – Shane Aug 14 '20 at 22:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @shane I was responding to the previous comment. In the bottom of my answer I suggested that to allow what the original question wanted the wording would need to be different, such as freely move, like you mentioned. \$\endgroup\$ – Daveman Aug 15 '20 at 6:19
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Only if you weren't designated

If you are the caster or were designated, you can only move the plywood normally, which involves considering your total encumbrance and its weight.

If, instead, you are the undesignated ally of the caster (or any other undesignated person), you may move the object up to 10' regardless of its weight by making a simple strength check at a much lower DC than a character with sufficient strength to move the material would passively achieve. In essence, then, the spell is absolutely useful for carrying heavy objects provided you have a very strong ally and you are okay with a 10' per round movement speed.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ With the "simple strength check" do you mean the one made a caster's save DC + 10? Because that doesn't sound simple to me. Barely even achievable for even very strong characters. \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Aug 16 '20 at 8:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Erik To be fair, he said simple not easy \$\endgroup\$ – RevanantBacon Aug 19 '20 at 21:25

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