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Scenario:

I know that Alarm has been cast on an area.

I become invisible and wait for another creature to approach the affected area.

At the exact moment this creature enters the affected area, I also enter (still invisible).

Would the caster of Alarm know that the Alarm had been triggered by two creatures, or would they only be aware that the Alarm had been triggered generally?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You know that an alarm spell has been cast on an area. How do you know the exact boundaries of the area so as to time your entry to when the other creature crosses the threshold? \$\endgroup\$ – Kirt Oct 17 '20 at 16:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's convulted, I know. I was imagining a sort of heist scenario where an area has been protected by specific spells and a group as to devise ways of bypassing these spells without detection. So the group may have an inside man who knows exactly how the spells are put in place, but has no means of preventing them. \$\endgroup\$ – kaykayman Oct 17 '20 at 18:31
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It won't work, you'll be detected

The appropriate part of the Alarm spell says:

Until the spell ends, an alarm alerts you whenever a tiny or larger creature touches or enters the warded area.

Nothing in the spell mentions anything to do with timing. Two creatures have entered and so the alarm spell alerts the caster twice.

You might be thinking that the two sounds would overlap, hiding one alarm under the other but the simple rule is: Spells do what they say they do and this spell alerts the caster whenever a creature enters the zone.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree the spell would alert the caster twice. However, I don't think its implied either way whether the caster can distinguish a single alert from two simultaneous alerts. The means of the alert is detailed as either a "ping" or "the sound of a hand bell". I think it could be argued that two handbells ringing in perfect sync might be indistingishable from a single hand bell. And a "ping" is a sort of abstract concept that has no real world equivalent. \$\endgroup\$ – kaykayman Oct 17 '20 at 7:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @kaykayman And what are the chances that two creatures entirely unaware of the alarm boundary would cross it at exactly the same time? \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Oct 17 '20 at 15:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @kaykayman: Ultimately, it's up to the table (DM & players). The basic contract is that Alarm allows the spellcaster to know how many creatures entered. You may agree with your table that a perfectly synced entry bypasses this -- however such a decision has consequences, it undermines the worth of the spell from here on. \$\endgroup\$ – Matthieu M. Oct 17 '20 at 15:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov The scenario I presented was that one creature is aware of the other creatures approach and is deliberatley trying to have this effect. I get that its unlikely and requires perfect timing, but my question isn't about how likely it is, but about what would happen in that scenario. Are there any sources that detail such a thing? \$\endgroup\$ – kaykayman Oct 17 '20 at 18:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MatthieuM I'm not sure what you mean by basic contract. The spell description doesn't mention the caster knowing how many creatures have entered. \$\endgroup\$ – kaykayman Oct 17 '20 at 18:29

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