Lightning Lure says (among other things):

The target must succeed on a Strength saving throw or be pulled up to 10 feet in a straight line toward you...

"In a straight line" here leads to an interesting question. If there's a hole in the floor between you and the pulled creature, will the creature be pulled over it as though Lightning Lure had created a tiny Star Trek tractor beam? That is a straight line, after all. Or will the creature fall through?

One situation when this might be relevant is if you want to immediately pull an ally (who doesn't mind a little friendly fire) over a small gap instead of waiting for them to jump on their turn.

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    \$\begingroup\$ A small aside, since Lightning Lure has a range of 15 feet, pulls "up to" 10 feet, and only deals damage if the target lands within 5 feet, you could in theory pull someone across a gap of just under 10 feet without dealing any friendly fire damage. \$\endgroup\$
    – zach
    Jun 4, 2021 at 21:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @zach True, although there isn't really space for that if you're playing on a 5-foot-grid (15 = ally starting spot, 10 = hole, 5 = ending spot = damage spot, 0 = caster). \$\endgroup\$
    – gto
    Jun 5, 2021 at 1:26

4 Answers 4


Ask your DM

This is not explicitly specified in the description of the spell, or the rules. It will depend on how your DM interpret the spell description if you do a 10-ft pull and a hole is between the caster and target.

What I would do: resolve the spell as up to 10-ft pull, regardless of terrain. If after resolving the target ends up on a tile with a hole, it will fall.

This interpretation is more based on simplicity and intuitive interpretation by my group.

If your player wants to tactically pull a target into the hole, instead of pulling it 10-ft, just pull it 5-ft, then it will fall into the hole and we don't need to question what would happen.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1. Allowing lightning lure to pull a target such that it clears a pit under the circumstances you suggest is more likely to reward both creative play and tactical thinking. \$\endgroup\$
    – screamline
    Jun 4, 2021 at 17:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ "regardless of terrain" That would apply to the opposite of holes? Small hills or pillars or what have you? "I cast pull on you and pull you through the wall... and laugh as you then fall into a hole" \$\endgroup\$
    – WernerCD
    Jun 5, 2021 at 3:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ @WernerCD 'gotchas' are usually not pleasant for the players. If it's something the players didn't expect, I offer a retcon, or allow what they expect to happen, if it's not unreasonable. I believe they won't try to pull something into a wall or object. At most, they would try to ask for extra damage as they slam the enemy into a wall. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vylix
    Jun 5, 2021 at 10:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @wernerCD "pull you through the wall" ... line of sight to make the spell possible? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 5, 2021 at 15:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PatrickArtner Lightning lure: "You create a lash of lightning energy that strikes at one creature of your choice that you can see within 15 feet of you." ... "I can see you through a window in a brick wall... I cast lure on you and pull you too me" Or I can see you through metal bars. Or a crack in stone. Straight line doesn't mean clear line - just like there could be a hole... there could be plenty of options for seeing you with obstacles in the way. \$\endgroup\$
    – WernerCD
    Jun 5, 2021 at 23:37

Probably not

The spell description says only that target is being "pulled", without further clarifications of the process.

However, Lightning Lure asks for a Strength saving throw. This implies the target can use its pure muscular strength to resist being pulled, so it probably stays on foot during the spell effect. If the target was afloat during the spell, this wasn't the case.

You can treat the spell effect as a lightning lasso which disappears right after being used. This also goes well with the description:

You create a lash of lightning energy that strikes at one creature

  • \$\begingroup\$ I also picture it as a sort of lasso/whip. It's basically identical to Thorn Whip except for the range and damage type. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 4, 2021 at 15:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ adding what happens, whether they fall through or not, will improve this answer \$\endgroup\$
    – Vylix
    Jun 5, 2021 at 10:32

Yes you can pull the creature

Lightning Lure says:

The target must succeed on a Strength saving throw or be pulled up to 10 feet in a straight line toward you

As opposed to this spell, we can consider the 1st level spell Dissonant Whispers. The spell's description says the following:

The creature doesn’t move into obviously dangerous ground, such as a fire or a pit. On a successful save, the target takes half as much damage and doesn’t have to move away.

We can also consider the next nuance, the usual knockback, in which we simply roll the Athletics check - it simply knocks back 5 feet in a straight line. Nothing prevents us from pushing the creature into the hole.

Next, consider the Eldritch Blast cantrip and one of the upgrades for it, Repelling Blast.

When you hit a creature with Eldritch Blast, you can push the creature up to 10 feet away from you in a straight line.

The creature should also fly 10 feet in a straight line away from you.

There is also the Thunderwave spell.

On a failed save, a creature takes 2d8 thunder damage and is pushed 10 feet away from you.

Now let's draw a conclusion based on our introduction to spells. If you pull the creature, this is a different version of pushed - this means the following, if one end of the pit, like the other, is at the same height and the distance allows, then yes, you can do it. Because the description of the spell does not prevent you from doing that. There is no indication of safe areas or that it breaks. The only problem with these spells is the height difference and distance.

  • \$\begingroup\$ typically as soon as someone goes over a cliff or pit they fall though \$\endgroup\$ Jun 4, 2021 at 23:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Your logic here is somewhat difficult for me to follow. Please consider editing it for clarity. \$\endgroup\$
    – gto
    Jun 8, 2021 at 3:57

Usually No

Spells do what they say they do; lightning lure does not say that it grants any sort of flying or hovering ability to the targeted creature. It is a lash of lightning energy, so it is physically pulling them(the strength save). It is not a tractor beam so much as a whip.

If using basic falling rules it is up to interpretation...

... but most GMs will say that falls are instantaneous

There are no rules in the core books that mention when falling occurs.
Common sense says it happens as soon as you step off the edge of a cliff (or are pushed or pulled off), but some GMs will allow you to not fall until your turn. In the case where you are letting people not fall until their turn, you can pull them over the cliff - otherwise you can't.

If following Xanthar's optional falling rule 500ft/round

According to Xanathar's Guide falling is instantaneous. That means (mechanically) that even reactions can't save you except for feather fall as it specifically says that it can. If you are using Xanathar's then it is RAW that falling happens instantaneously and therefore as soon as a 'push or pull' pulls them into the pit space they fall.

Flavor wise, still NO

The spell description says a lash of lightning, so this can be pictured as basically a whip made out of lightning. If you hit someone with a whip and pull them, and there is a pit between you and the pit, they are going to fall down that pit.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think the question is if the pulling will successfully pull the target from one side of a pit to the other without the target falling in. It isnt clear that this answer rules on that particular scenario. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 4, 2021 at 12:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ So what happens if I hit you with lightning lure and you are below me? You go nowhere? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 4, 2021 at 12:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ You could improve this answer by quoting rules that support the claims made (you've said "By RAW" but did not provide the rules). Also, that answer you linked isn't actually about moving up, it's about moving when something significant would prevent movement, and it doesn't specifically address whether gravity is a significant force for that. There is however this related answer about pulling creatures into the air, that says such maneuvers do work \$\endgroup\$ Jun 4, 2021 at 13:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ A) pits don't block movement in the sense that you're implying. You can still move into/over a pits space with any movement you have (unlike say, a wall, which physically excludes you from entering its space) B) the 500ft/round is an optional rule from XGtE, not a core rule. Core, you fall the entire distance instantly. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 4, 2021 at 14:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you get a chance, I suggest you review @nitsua60 homebrew for falling. Best homebrew mod I've seen for this edition. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 5, 2021 at 16:42

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