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Ordinarily a concentration spell would end the moment you are incapacitated.

However, Gaseous Form, while being a concentration spell, has the text "The target can't fall and remains hovering in the air even when stunned or otherwise incapacitated." which - by the rule of specific beats general - would seem to suggest that if you cast the spell on yourself, being incapacitated does not end the spell, since it clearly says you remain hovering (indeed, how can that happen if no spell is in effect?).

Is it the case that
(a) if you cast it on yourself, being incapacitated actually does end the spell in spite of that specific wording, or
(b) the spell simply continues in spite of being a concentration spell, by specific beats general?

If the spell does continue working when you don't concentrate on it, how do you stop it? Just ending concentration doesn't appear to be sufficient. Do you have to specifically choose to end it?

I have seen this question Can Gaseous Form be cast on and maintained by the caster?, but it doesn't seem to directly address the seeming contradiction.

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1 Answer 1

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That sentence is there in case the spell wasn't cast on the caster; if the caster of a spell becomes incapacitated, the spell ends

The target can't fall and remains hovering in the air even when stunned or otherwise incapacitated.

This applies in the case where you cast the spell on somebody else who then becomes incapacitated. They would remain hovering in the air. However, if the spell is cast on yourself, then becoming incapacitated ends your concentration on the spell and thus ends the spell and all of its effects.

If the spell were meant to prevent you from losing concentration or to make some sort of exception to the "Incapacitated --> Losing Concentration --> Spell Ending" process, it would be stated much more explicitly.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I appreciate your answer. I imagine the conclusion is correct, RAI. However, as an explanation for that conclusion, this form of argument has a problem. The line of argument is: "If they had intended <X> they would have said so. This is a good line of argument - in fewer words: 'don't insert words that aren't there'. However, you didn't apply that argument to the text of the spell. You're arguing as follows: Imagine the spell text said 'a target, other than the caster', then goes 'if they intended that to contradict the rule on incapacitation, they'd have said so'. (...ctd) \$\endgroup\$
    – Glen_b
    Apr 25, 2022 at 3:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Applying it to text with an exception inserted is contradictory to the 'don't insert words' argument you are applying. The text just says "the target", and applying your line of argument to the text of the spell, we would have "If they intended it to say 'a target, other than the caster', they would have said so". Every previous use of 'the target' in the spell text clearly does apply to the caster. The sentence we have explicitly contradicts the rules about incapacitation, just as spell text is supposed to do: it lays out a specific instance that beats the general rule. \$\endgroup\$
    – Glen_b
    Apr 25, 2022 at 3:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Glen_b: The sentence in question can be interpreted as per this answer with no need to extend it to all cases. It could/should be worded to clarify what happens when the caster is also the target, because two separate rules about incapacitated are triggered: Flying creatures may fall, and spellcasters lose concentration. I would agree with this answer because concentration is not called out in the text, whilst your interpretation requires extending logic to force the statement to be true in all cases. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 25, 2022 at 13:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ This is correct, the spell itself specifies the words "The target." This means as long as the spell continues, the target does not fall. The spell cannot continue if the caster is incapacitated, thus the spell ends and the target will fall. If the caster is the target, the spell ends, and the caster falls if incapacitated. This text: "you remain hovering" is not present in the spell description. It states "The target remains hovering." \$\endgroup\$
    – Carson
    Apr 25, 2022 at 20:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Okay, that argument definitely covers it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Glen_b
    Apr 26, 2022 at 4:15

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