2
\$\begingroup\$

As written, the whirlpool usage of the control water spell says:

Whirlpool. This effect requires a body of water at least 50 feet square and 25 feet deep. You cause a whirlpool to form in the center of the area. The whirlpool forms a vortex that is 5 feet wide at the base, up to 50 feet wide at the top, and 25 feet tall. Any creature or object in the water and within 25 feet of the vortex is pulled 10 feet toward it. A creature can swim away from the vortex by making a Strength (Athletics) check against your spell save DC.

When a creature enters the vortex for the first time on a turn or starts its turn there, it must make a Strength saving throw. On a failed save, the creature takes 2d8 bludgeoning damage and is caught in the vortex until the spell ends. On a successful save, the creature takes half damage, and isn't caught in the vortex. A creature caught in the vortex can use its action to try to swim away from the vortex as described above, but has disadvantage on the Strength (Athletics) check to do so.

The first time each turn that an object enters the vortex, the object takes 2d8 bludgeoning damage; this damage occurs each round it remains in the vortex.

Are creatures or objects in the water and within 25' of the vortex automatically pulled 10' toward it? Do they continue to be pulled 10' further toward the center of the vortex every round they are in it? Is a creature or object caught in the vortex also pulled down toward the bottom? On a failed save, are they caught for the entire duration of the spell, with no more chance at saves, or until they can swim free of it? On a failed save, does a creature continue to take 2d8 bludgeoning damage every round they are in the vortex? Can the whirlpool be cast so that it is completely underwater? Also, can the whirlpool be cast 'upside down' so the widest part is at the bottom?

\$\endgroup\$
1
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think the two last questions should be separated into their own post. \$\endgroup\$ – Szega Sep 13 '20 at 13:53
2
\$\begingroup\$

Are creatures or objects in the water and within 25' of the vortex automatically pulled 10' toward it?

Yes, when the whirlpool forms.

Do they continue to be pulled 10' further toward the center of the vortex every round they are in it?

You've pointed out that control water allows the caster to spend an action to "repeat the same effect or choose a different one" -- so the caster should be able to spend an action on their turn to re-form the whirlpool and pull creatures ten feet toward it again. This seems like not the best use of an action but it appears to be a valid use of the spell.

If the caster does not choose to use their action in this way, then the pull does not repeat.

Is a creature or object caught in the vortex also pulled down toward the bottom?

It only pulls "toward" the vortex. We don't have a clear definition of what it means to be pulled "toward" something that is larger than five feet, so your DM will have to fill in the details of how this works. This DM would rule that you stay on the surface of the water, but the surface of the water is sloped downward towards the center, so if you reach the center then you are still on the surface of the water but you are twenty-five feet lower than the normal water level.

On a failed save, are they caught for the entire duration of the spell, with no more chance at saves, or until they can swim free of it?

Every time they start their turn in the vortex, they make a new save, and the result of the new save determines whether they're "caught" during that round. The fact that they're "caught" seems to only affect whether they get disadvantage on a check to swim away.

This is a bit confusing because failing a save causes a creature to be "caught in the vortex until the spell ends", but then making a save on the next turn overrides that by saying that the creature "isn't caught in the vortex".

On a failed save, does a creature continue to take 2d8 bludgeoning damage every round they are in the vortex?

The creature makes a new save every round they are in the vortex, and takes full damage or half damage depending on the result of that save.

Can the whirlpool be cast so that it is completely underwater?

The rules don't technically say that you can't do this, but your DM might veto it.

Also, can the whirlpool be cast 'upside down' so the widest part is at the bottom?

No. The rules say "the widest part is at the top".

\$\endgroup\$
5
  • \$\begingroup\$ Re-reading the spell, the section in the very first paragraph, before any of the possible effects of the spell, includes the crucial sentence "As an action on your turn, you can repeat the same effect or choose a different one." \$\endgroup\$ – K.L.R. Sep 15 '20 at 17:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ This to me means that, each round, the caster must decide what application of the spell to use (whirlpool, flood, etc)...then that particular application takes effect and lasts exactly one round, with all the consequences thereof, including stated effects, saving throws, damage, etc. In other words, if the caster decides to keep using whirlpool round after round, you need to go back and re-apply the entire entry for whirlpool, top to bottom, as if starting all over, correct? \$\endgroup\$ – K.L.R. Sep 15 '20 at 17:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ This would seem to indicate that everything under whirlpool, including the pulling 10' toward the vortex, any appropriate saving throws, damage, and attempts to escape all start from scratch as if the whirlpool was just formed, each round, so long as the caster wills it. \$\endgroup\$ – K.L.R. Sep 15 '20 at 17:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Okay, fair enough. I've edited the parts of my answer that relate to pulling. \$\endgroup\$ – Dan B Sep 15 '20 at 20:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ The rest of the whirlpool action, including saving throws and damage, already start from scratch every round, so it doesn't look like that needs editing. \$\endgroup\$ – Dan B Sep 15 '20 at 20:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.