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The Spider Climb spell does the following:

Until the spell ends, one willing creature you touch gains the ability to move up, down, and across vertical surfaces and upside down along ceilings, while leaving its hands free.

If the creature goes prone while under the effect of Spider Climb, do they fall off the surface or do they hang on to it?

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The same three things that always happen when a creature goes prone

As described in the basic rules on conditions

  • A prone creature’s only Movement option is to crawl, unless it stands up and thereby ends the condition.
  • The creature has disadvantage on Attack Rolls.
  • An Attack roll against the creature has advantage if the attacker is within 5 feet of the creature. Otherwise, the Attack roll has disadvantage.

Going prone does not interact with the effects of Spider Climb in any unique way. Hence, the creature does not fall.

Falling unconscious would end the effect of the spell (provided the caster was the target) as it's a concentration spell - but that's not the same as going prone.

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    \$\begingroup\$ But does the creature fall? \$\endgroup\$
    – Axoren
    Jun 17 at 13:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ It would be good to establish whether "it's only movement option is to crawl" interacts with spider climbing in any way. Also of note, flying specifically says you fall when you fall prone while spider climb has no such rule. \$\endgroup\$
    – Medix2
    Jun 17 at 13:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Lovell That was one of the questions within the question. It would be good to answer that explicitly in the answer text. \$\endgroup\$
    – Axoren
    Jun 17 at 14:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Lovell The target of the Spider Climb is definitely climbing. The spell gives the target a climbing speed and also they don't need to use their hands to do so. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 17 at 14:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MooingDuck Yes. There is one more sentence in the spell description: "The target also gains a climbing speed equal to its walking speed." \$\endgroup\$
    – Upper_Case
    Jun 17 at 16:48
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Spider climb allows the player to move along walls and ceilings without the use of hands at walking speed.

Going prone provides the characters attacker to take a disadvantage on attack rolls greater than 5ft away.

If a character under the effects of spiderclimb wishes to go prone against the wall, they would grant themselves the benefits of going prone against range attacks while losing the advantages of walking speed (returning to crawl speed) and also accepting advantage attacks of enemies within 5ft.

Going prone implies the character is flat against a surface. In this case the surface is the wall (or ceiling if on the ceiling). It has nothing to do with falling.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Which is funny because I imagine holding yourself flat against a wall would actually make you a broader target for archers. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jason_c_o
    Jun 19 at 21:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jason_c_o people think too narrowly. Imagine you are scaling a wall and archers are aiming down from the ramparts. Going prone against range shots is intended to minimize surface area. Imagine tilting the viewpoint so that the player under the effects of spiderclimb appears to be standing straight up, that player treats the wall as the ground now. \$\endgroup\$
    – DanceSC
    Jun 20 at 8:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Right. In that circumstance it would help. In the one I mentioned, it wouldn't. I just imagined archers aiming at the wall. It was funny to me. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jason_c_o
    Jun 20 at 14:13

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