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Recently my party was exploring a dungeon when we were attacked. My druid cast Gust of Wind to drive some of the enemies back, but shortly afterwards was engulfed by a gelantinous cube.

What should happen in a situation like this?

I started to argue that I should still be able to control the wind blast from inside the cube, imagining that the wind emanates from a point nearby. But I checked the spell description and it says the wind "blasts from you," so that interpretation was out. (Presumably the wind emanates from at least a short distance beyond one's body, or else one's clothes would be blown off, but that doesn't really help my case.)

The DM ruled that the spell was effectively nullified, which made me sad. I suppose the ruling was superficially reasonable, although it runs counter to the advice I often see here that effects do only what they say they do and no more, and it seems wrong to give the cube the extra benefit of a selective Dispel Magic or Antimagic Field when it engulfs someone.

I can think of a number of possible ways to approach the situation:

  • the victim has advantage on the check to avoid being engulfed
  • as above, and/or the victim can make additional checks on succeeding rounds to escape the cube
  • the cube must make an ad-hoc strength check to continue to restrain the victim
  • the victim is engulfed and suffers the effects as normal, but the wind keeps a hole open in front of the cube, continuing to affect those outside
  • the cube blows up like a soap bubble--perhaps one of those cubical bubbles that can be made with a special bubble wand

I rather doubt there are any rules-as-written to handle this situation, but then again I only own the Player's Handbook, not the DMG. Is there a technically correct solution? If not, what might be the closest there is to one?

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The spell stays, but only the cube is affected by it while you are engulfed

Why?

The key parts from the spell are:

A line of strong wind 60 feet long and 10 feet wide blasts from you in a direction you choose for the spell's duration. Each creature that starts its turn in the line must succeed on a Strength saving throw or be pushed 15 feet away from you in a direction following the line.

So we know the spell comes from you, rather than some point in the distance. The duration is also 1 minute, but it does require concentration.

Assuming you pass your concentration save from the damage you took while being engulfed, there is nothing written to say that the spell stops, so it doesn't. None of the conditions engulf imposes would stop you concentrating either (for example if you were incapacitated that prevents concentration, but this is just restrained and not being able to breath has no specific effect on concentration).

Then we look at the effects of the spell, but the important part is that spells need line of sight to their target, and line of sight in D&D needs to be unobstructed, so even a window counts as an obstruction. The cube is as clear as a window, but also 'solid' so would count as an obstruction preventing the spell from targeting anything beyond it. Effectively the cube counts as a wall for these purposes.

The spell is still active however, so the cube still has to succeed on a Strength saving throw or be pushed away from you.

But engulf doesn't mention that as a method to escape!

Well this is a case of specific beats general. The general rule for engulf is:

An engulfed creature can try to escape by taking an action to make a DC 12 Strength check.

But your spell has a more specific effect, and if the cube took you with it then that would not count as being pushed away from you.

Addendum

The spell is a single gust which you can repeat as a bonus action, and the targets are decided at the instant the bonus action is used. This means that even if the cube is pushed away from you the targets behind that might also be in range would be unaffected, because the could not be targeted at the start of the turn. The narrative would be that the cube takes the full force of the blast.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Apologies if I missed this, would you move with the cube if it failed the save to be pushed? \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Oct 3 '20 at 19:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov Just above the addendum section. I say no; because that wouldn't be "pushed away from you" \$\endgroup\$ – SeriousBri Oct 3 '20 at 20:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ It seems that "pushed away from you" is just prescribing the direction of the pushing, and then the Cube's ability would just take you along with it. That's how I would rule it anyway. I think both interpretations are probably valid, but if you don't think so, obviously you don't have to mention it. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Oct 3 '20 at 20:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ The direction is already established earlier in the spell description, so if "away from you" was the direction it would be redundant. \$\endgroup\$ – SeriousBri Oct 3 '20 at 20:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fair enough, I disagree on that point but it’s insignificant. Very good answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Oct 3 '20 at 20:53

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