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In an unsurprising turn of events the wording of the Echo Knight's Echo continues to cause confusion.

The description of the Echo states the following:

If [the Echo] has to make a saving throw, it uses your saving throw bonus for the roll.

The overwhelming consensus is that the Echo Knight's Echo is not a creature, as it is simply "an image". Every spell or ability that requires a saving throw, as far as I know, targets creatures. Take for example, the spell Fireball.

Each creature in a 20-foot radius Sphere centered on that point must make a Dexterity saving throw. A target takes 8d6 fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

The Echo is not a creature, therefore it can never take damage from Fireball. Are there any saving throws that the Echo can actually fail?

After reviewing the wording on several monster abilities and spells I'm left scratching my head as to whether a character set on destroying an Echo really has any options besides simply hitting it via the attack action.

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    \$\begingroup\$ You might want to check those votes again before declaring "overwhelming consensus" both for the split and the total sample size. \$\endgroup\$ – raithyn Dec 10 '20 at 17:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you need further confirmation of this consensus here are some resources that might help you:1, 2, 3 \$\endgroup\$ – Andrendire Dec 10 '20 at 17:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ My point is that 14 people (maximum) is not a large enough sample to be statistically meaningful. So yes, those help in proving my point. \$\endgroup\$ – raithyn Dec 10 '20 at 17:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @raithyn If you want to dispute this I'd encourage you to ask it in your own question. The simple fact of the matter, which which you can verify with a quick search of questions mentioning Echo Knight, is that the larger RPG.SE community, as well as Jeremy Crawford agree that the Echo isn't a creature. \$\endgroup\$ – Andrendire Dec 11 '20 at 0:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ I found further rulings from Crawford regarding Fireballs and the Echo. \$\endgroup\$ – T. Sar Dec 14 '20 at 13:16
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Of course it can fail savings throws

If it couldn't fail a saving throw, it wouldn't have specified the text you quoted:

If [the Echo] has to make a saving throw, it uses your saving throw bonus for the roll.

The fact that a situation is envisaged where a saving throw needs to be made, means it can make, and fail, savings throws.

Ok...but that doesn't answer my question

Your question's premise is that the Echo is not a creature. This is a frame challenge to that premise in your question. As argued in my answer to the linked question, the Echo Knight is a creature:

To start with, creature is not a strictly defined term in the game. Since D&D 5e uses natural language as opposed to strictly defined language, we need to figure out whether or not it "walks like a duck" so to speak.

But we have some clues it should be counted as a creature:

  1. It has an AC and Hit Point(s), so it can be hit and interacted with
  2. It has explicit immunity to all conditions

The second point is important, as conditions are described as (emphasis mine):

Conditions alter a creature's capabilities in a variety of ways [...].

If it's not counted as a creature, then it doesn't need to have the immunity specified, but it does, so it must be capable of being targeted by conditions. Ergo it is a creature, and is affected by all things that creatures are.

Since, it's a creature for the purposes of the rules, it can make and fail all the same saving throws a creature can.


But what if I don't agree that it's a creature?

Mechanically, for the purposes of fireball, it doesn't matter. The text of the spell also has this paragraph:

The fire spreads around corners. It ignites flammable objects in the area that aren't being worn or carried.

If it's not a creature, it is most certainly an object (since it has hitpoints). It is not being worn or carried. So, is it flammable?

It doesn't say it isn't flammable, and most objects are flammable, so being non-flammable is an exceptional thing, and thus would need to be specified in the rules as an exception, which it isn't.

Therefore, the Echo is flammable, and is automatically set on fire by fireball. Being on fire, causes fire damage, and the minimum amount of damage possible from being on fire is 1 hp of damage. Coincidentally, this is exactly the amount of HP an Echo has, and therefore fireball destroys any Echos that are in it's area.

But it says it's an "image"?!

Just because something is an image, doesn't mean it's not flammable. Nitrite film holds images and is most certainly flammable. A picture in a picture frame is an image, and is most certainly also flammable.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Btw I love that last paragraph it made me chuckle in delight :D \$\endgroup\$ – Akixkisu Dec 10 '20 at 11:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ "flammable" relies on the DM's interpretation of what is flammable. I think most people would agree that a magical ghost from another timeline probably doesn't follow the rules of physics, and, in all likelihood, isn't flammable. \$\endgroup\$ – Andrendire Dec 10 '20 at 15:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Andrendire Why? Ghosts themselves can catch on fire just fine. \$\endgroup\$ – raithyn Dec 10 '20 at 16:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Andrendire it doesn't say ghost anywhere in the description. It says translucent. \$\endgroup\$ – illustro Dec 10 '20 at 16:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @raithyn You're applying logic for creatures. A ghost is a creature and would be subject to the standard rules for fireball--i.e. it would take the fire damage and would not be set aflame. Seeing as the Echo is not a creature, the uncertainty remains, unless you know of a source that defines a "ghost object"? \$\endgroup\$ – Andrendire Dec 11 '20 at 17:29
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It probably takes damage from fireball.

Here's a sentence that does not appear in the fireball spell:

Things that are not creatures take no damage.

An Echo clearly acts like a creature in some ways. For example, it can be attacked, take damage, and make saving throws. Fireball interacts with creatures in its area of effect by blowing them up, which forces them to attempt a saving throw and deals damage to them. The Echo can be interacted with in those ways.

Contrary to what seems to be a popular opinion on this site, the D&D rules do not break the world down into precisely defined and labeled categories and then specify strongly typed interactions between them. Whether something "is a creature" depends on why we're asking.

Fireball doesn't specify that it affects Echoes because (1) they didn't exist when it was written, and (2) 5e aims for straightforward, readable spell descriptions rather than trying to exhaustively cover edge cases. It doesn't actually say whether it affects them or not, but come on, they have hit points and Dex saves. Make a reasonable ruling.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Spells have always been clear enough for at the very least what they target: a creature, an object, a point in space. While it is true that fireball does not have such a statement as you quoted, only creatures in the area take damage, whilst uncarried objects take fire (but not the fireball damage). Everything in the game that makes a creature appear / creates a creature specifically states whether those effects creates a creature or something else. By proxy, your reasoning would imply that other non-creature effects would be destroyed just because they may act similarly to creatures. \$\endgroup\$ – Kogarashi Kaito Dec 10 '20 at 11:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also for reference, see how the spell simulacrum creates an "illusory duplicate" that is defined as a creature. \$\endgroup\$ – Kogarashi Kaito Dec 10 '20 at 11:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KogarashiKaito First, fireball certainly targets a point in space, not a creature--the Spellcasting rules use it as the example of a spell that targets a point in space. Second, Manifest Echo doesn't say whether the Echo is a creature or not a creature. It says it's an "image", then describes its other properties in terms of game mechanics that do not strictly identify it as a creature or not. \$\endgroup\$ – Mark Wells Dec 10 '20 at 17:50

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