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The 3rd level spell Sleet Storm has the following effect:

The ground in the area is covered with slick ice, making it difficult terrain. When a creature enters the spell’s area for the first time on a turn or starts its turn there, it must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, it falls prone.

Crampons (price: 2 gp) provide the following benefit:

A crampon is a metal plate with spikes that is strapped to the sole of a boot. A creature wearing crampons can’t fall prone while moving across slippery ice.

Does wearing crampons mean the Sleet Storm spell can't knock you prone?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Out of curiosity, from what book are crampons from? \$\endgroup\$
    – BBeast
    Mar 7 at 9:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ @BBeast Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden \$\endgroup\$
    – MrLemon
    Mar 7 at 9:26
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Strict RAW answer, sorry in advance for being slightly facetious:

The spell description says

The ground in the area is covered with slick ice,

The item description says

A creature wearing crampons can’t fall prone while moving across slippery ice.

"Slippery" and "slick" aren't well defined game terms, and in plain English they are synonyms. Therefore, as long as you are moving, have crampons, and the surface is slick/slippery ice, you are unable to fall prone. Other spell effects don't really matter here.

Just don't stop.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Wouldn't you have to stop at the end of your turn, such that you would then be knocked prone when your next turn started in the AoE? \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Mar 8 at 6:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Kirt Play how you want, but I personally don't picture it like freeze tag, where everyone moves then waits for everyone else to move while standing still, but instead continuous action broken up into six-second slices as an abstraction. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jack
    Mar 8 at 12:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jack So you rule that evasive footwork still gives you an AC bonus when it is not your turn? \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Mar 8 at 14:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kirt The apparent contradiction you bring up bothers me a lot less than the visual image of every creature and object freezing in mid-step, mid-flight, mid-action, waiting for the next turn to come. The turn system it is a sequential simulator of simultaneous events. It's not optimized as a reality simulator. If you like to play it that everything stops while waiting for the next turn, fine. Not everyone pictures it that way, though. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jack
    Mar 8 at 17:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jack Like you, I actually visualize the combat round as being continuous and turns as being only approximations. The question is whether you then say that visualization overrules all the other interactions that key off the conceit that a character is stationary when it is not their turn. Not for the purpose of what is 'actually' happening, but for applying other rules as they were intended. For example, the intent of the sleet storm spell is that one makes a save each round to avoid falling prone. You can avoid that by saying 'my character never stopped moving', but that is not the intent. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Mar 9 at 1:11
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Regular ice can cause you to fall prone when you try to move on it—crampons protect against this.

Sleet storm’s magic ice can cause you to fall prone immediately, before you even try to move—crampons, as written, do not protect against this.

Walking across the ice created by sleet storm can cause you to fall prone the same as moving across any other ice, and crampons do protect against that—it’s only the chance of falling prone when sleet storm is first cast, or when you start your turn within it, that is separate and different and not covered by crampons.

It’s reasonable to houserule crampons to expand them a little bit in this case, to provide protection against all of sleet storm. Sleet storm is, in my estimation, a fantastic spell, and it’s good to allow someone prepared for icy conditions to be able to mitigate it somewhat. But this is not an official rule, nor do I believe it can legitimately be considered an “interpretation” of the official rules. What crampons officially protect against is quite clear, and the risk of falling prone when sleet storm is cast or you start your turn in it isn’t part of that.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I have used sleet storm (as a tempest cleric) and I find this answer to fit best to how it plays at the table. +1 \$\endgroup\$ Mar 8 at 14:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ This answer would benefit from a title that leads with the answer or tl;dr \$\endgroup\$
    – GcL
    Mar 8 at 17:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree with this answer, and also think that the way crampons work is poorly written. I also agree with GcL that a header preceding the answer would be of at least some benefit. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 21 at 21:08
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Up to DM interpretation.

Taking into account the rest of the spells effects, this could be understood in two ways (I’ve changed how the spell is written to make each way more clear):

The ground in the area is covered with slick ice, making it difficult terrain. When a creature enters the slick ice's area for the first time on a turn or starts its turn on the ice, it must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, it falls prone.

This would mean that yes, the crampons are enough to counteract the prone effect of the spell. Alternatively:

The ground in the area is covered with slick ice, making it difficult terrain. Due to the various effects of the spell (including the slick ice, battering hail, etc.), when a creature enters the spell’s area for the first time on a turn or starts its turn there, it must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, it falls prone.

This would mean protection from the slick ice alone would not be enough, and the creature would still have to save to not fall prone.


Personally, as a DM I would rule that the crampons are not enough. Having a major portion of a level 3 spell thwarted by a 2gp purchase that likely any humanoid can access seems to nullify the use of the spell. The only reason a person would have crampons already strapped to their feet is if they were expecting slippery terrain, and the value of the spell is taken away if all it does is add more slippery terrain.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think the hail would be enough to knock you over, it's the combination with the ground turning slick. That being said, allowing crampons to resist the spell isn't that big a deal to me. While I have only used their lesser cousins you can't walk normally while wearing them--I would apply penalties to speed and combat for anyone trying to do so. And donning them in the spell? By the time you lay there dragging them out and putting them on the spell is probably over. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 7 at 22:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ I am confused by the "clarity changes". It took me a minute, and I had to go look at the actual spell, to determine that your second block quote isn't actually a quote, but your rewrite of the text of the spell. I think the answer would be improved if you didn't use your own text in a block quote. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jack
    Mar 8 at 11:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ Maybe give an advantage on the roll when wearing the crampons? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 9 at 20:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ This is the perfect time for advantage on the save. The character has a slightly unusual piece of gear equipped that seems like it ought to be useful against this spell's effects, but there are more effects (battering, etc) that aren't impacted. The crampons shouldn't negate the spell effect entirely, but they ought to help -- which is practically the definition of advantage. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 19 at 21:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't really see a reason to not have the crampons work against the spell. The spell isn't commonly used, and the crampons are an uncommonly used piece of gear. Besides, if the crampons work in a normal blizzard, why shouldn't they work in a magical blizzard? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 21 at 13:38

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