Ball bearings cover a square area that is 10 feet on a side. A creature moving across the covered area must succeed on a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw or fall prone. But is this for every square they move across?

And if it is once per ball bearings, what happens if they enter a 2nd patch of ball bearings that is connected to the 1st?


The save is made once per movement, per application of ball bearings.

The description of ball bearings says:

A creature moving across the covered area must succeed on a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw or fall prone.

"A creature moving across the covered area" refers to the event of a creature moving across the area - the entire event. Passing the saving throw means that the rest of my movement across the area is unimpeded.

If I stop in the middle of the area, then start my movement again, this is an entirely new instance of "a creature moving across the covered area", and I must make the saving throw again.

Now, if there is a second patch of ball bearings immediately adjacent to the first, then I'd say it requires a new saving throw. It is a second instance of the item's feature coming into effect, so it must be obeyed a second time. The idea here is that one dex save is good enough to navigate one application of ball bearings. Navigating twice as many ball bearings takes twice as much dexterity, or at least, twice as many attempts to not fall over.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Not that the OP asked, but I think it's a natural follow up: what happens if two instances of ball bearings are in an overlapping area/space? Would this be an instance of combining game effects or would a creature in the area/space be required to make multiple saves at once (or have disadvantage on one save)? \$\endgroup\$
    – Rykara
    Sep 9 '20 at 18:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ I just use my ball bearings for casting animate objects... I'd probably rule that for an overlap, you don't trigger a second save until you leave the area of the first one you entered. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 9 '20 at 18:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Does your interpretation imply that splitting a move into two portions (to attack in the middle, for example) means a second save is required? \$\endgroup\$
    – Cireo
    Sep 10 '20 at 0:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, that is correct. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 10 '20 at 0:10

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