The Solar can use an action to release its sword, causing it to hover within 5 feet of it:

Flying Sword. The solar releases its greatsword to hover magically in an unoccupied space within 5 feet of it. If the solar can see the sword, the solar can mentally command it as a bonus action to fly up to 50 feet and either make one attack against a target or return to the solar's hands. If the hovering sword is targeted by any effect, the solar is considered to be holding it. The hovering sword falls if the solar dies.

I could not find any size / space requirement for the sword in this description, and if it takes up actual space (like a creature would, e.g. being large and therefore occupying a 10ft. by 10ft. space). Are there rules / information that can answer these questions?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you ask about "size" in term of occupying a space (like "medium" means controlling 5x5 space), or about physical dimensions of the sword (like "it is 3 feet long")? Please clarify the scenario when this difference would matter. \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Aug 19, 2021 at 19:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor I mean "how much space does it control on a grid". \$\endgroup\$
    – Tobias F.
    Aug 19, 2021 at 20:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ The rules only say the sword can "make one attack" and that's it. I'm not sure if it actually controls any space at all. Could you please change the title to "does a solar's sword control space like a creature", if it's the actual question you want to ask? \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Aug 20, 2021 at 8:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ Related(?): What size category are animated objects? \$\endgroup\$
    – Jason_c_o
    Aug 20, 2021 at 19:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor Then VTC as unclear. I think it's clear to anyone that plays the game. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jason_c_o
    Aug 20, 2021 at 20:14

3 Answers 3


It's not specified, but there are some guidelines.

The Solar's ability reveals that the sword must indeed occupy an empty space (just like a creature would):

The solar releases its greatsword to hover magically in an unoccupied space within 5 feet of it.

From this answer, a standard greatsword counts as a medium-sized object. The Solar is a Large creature, so your DM could rule its greatsword was also large, but that's something for you to discuss at your table.

Bottom line, it's not clear by RaW, but you could draw some conclusions from the way the ability is worded and how Animate Objects works. Personally, when playing on a grid, I'd have it occupy a 5-by-5 ft square, just like a medium creature. However, the sword won't trigger or make Opportunity Attacks, since it's still just an object.

Now, simply occupying a space doesn't mean it's impassable. Your DM can describe how the space is occupied, and how the characters can handle it.

You were barely within moving distance of the fallen angel, but as he commands his golden greatsword to strike at you, he also positions it in such a way that it blocks your path! You can try to jump over it or duck under it, but if you can't, you won't be able to reach him, and are forced to attack at a range!


Objects do not Control a space

Space: A creature's space is the area in feet that it effectively controls in combat, not an expression of its physical dimensions. A typical Medium creature isn't 5 feet wide, for example, but it does control a space that wide. If a Medium hobgoblin stands in a 5‐foot-wide doorway, other creatures can't get through unless the hobgoblin lets them.

This rule is for creatures, not objects. Other rules say how much space differently-sized creatures control. The Solar's Flying Sword ability says it can only be released to an unoccupied space but that doesn't mean the sword now occupies it. Compare to Animate Objects, which specifies that the objects become creatures. Further, compare to an unofficial Jeremy Crawford ruling on whether a Spiritual Weapon occupies its space:

A spiritual weapon doesn't pass through walls. It also doesn't occupy its space; it's not a creature, and it's not described as being large enough to fill its space.[emphasis mine]

Solar Greatswords are also not creatures and also do not have a description that they would occupy a space.

The rules don't give size categories for weapons other than heavy, plus rules for monsters wielding over-sized weapons. It's probably safe to say that a Solar, being a large creature, would wield a large greatsword. But there's nothing to do with this information except calculate damage for a large greatsword (the Solar's radiant greatsword attack is significantly higher). Weapon sizes are not creature sizes.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I do wonder if it makes a difference that spiritual weapon is non-tangible and summoned by magic while the sword is of quite the physical nature, a piece of metal. One would expect it to have some effect. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tobias F.
    Aug 20, 2021 at 10:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TobiasF., no it's because the spiritual weapon isn't a creature. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tiger Guy
    Aug 20, 2021 at 13:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ The DMG assumes that objects have a size category on the Object Hit Points table. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 19, 2022 at 12:55

Medium is a good estimation of size (if you are equating it with creature sizes on a grid)

The game doesn't really list sizes in terms of dimensions of objects (beyond things like tables etc), and it is assumed that you would use the normal dimensions of such an object. So we need to work out whether or not this sword is an oversized sample, or a regular sized sample of this object type.

We can work the swords dimensionality from the damage of the sword in the stat block.

In the Dungeon Master's Guide there are rules for oversized weapons which state

Big monsters typically wield oversized weapons that deal extra damage on a hit. Double the weapon dice if the creature is Large, triple the weapon dice if it's Huge and quadruple the weapon dice if it's Gargantuan. For example, a Huge giant wielding an appropriately sized greataxe deals 3d12 slashing damage (plus it's Strength bonus), instead of the normal 1d12.

A creature has disadvantage on attack rolls with a weapon that is sized for a larger attacker. You can rule that a weapon sized for an attacker two or more sizes larger is too big for the creature to use at all.

The Solar is a Large creature, with a strength bonus of +8, and has this text in it's stat block:

Angelic Weapons. The solar's weapon attacks are magical. When the solar hits with any weapon, the weapon deals an extra 6d8 radiant damage (included in the attack).

In it's greatsword attack it has this text:

Hit: 22 (4d6 + 8) slashing damage plus 27 (6d8) radiant damage

A regular greatsword (from the PHB) deals

2d6 slashing + Strength bonus

So the damage dice of the greatsword are doubled in comparison to a greatsword sized for a medium creature (before the Solar's innate 6d8 radiant dice are included).

Taking all of this information together, we can see that the weapon is sized for a Large creature, and thus is a large greatsword, with damage output of 4d6 + Strength bonus, however a medium creature wielding this oversized greatsword will have disadvantage on all attacks with it (making the chance of critting with it significantly less likely).

But why does this matter?

In terms of how much space it controls on a grid, it's an object, and thus doesn't actually control any space on a grid, however it does take up space (since it's not an insubstantial thing). So an oversized sword should take up more space than a regular item.

Let's say, for ease at the table, we wanted to treat this object as if it were a creature (because reasons). Taking that into account, we do have an example from monster stat blocks on how big such a thing might be, it's called Flying Sword!

In the Flying Sword stat block, it is sized as a:

Small construct

and is described as a magically animated flying sword (from which we should assume it's sized for a medium creature).

Thus, if we were to oversize the greatsword, this DM would expect it would be a medium construct if it were to be treated as an oversized Flying Sword monster.


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