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Thorn Whip, for example, states:

you pull the creature up to 10 feet closer to you.

What happens when this pull would run into something and in order to get 'closer' to you it would need to slide along the wall?

For example

  | X | M |  
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  | X | a | b
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  | X |   |
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  | C |   |

I am at location M ... the Creature is at location C. X are wall tiles.

I hit it with thorn whip. Can I pull the creature to square 'a'... or does it the creature get 'stuck' on the corner of the wall and I can't pull it at all?

Further, what is the locus of 'me' - is it the center of my square? It is one of the vertexes? Can I pull the creature to location 'b'?

Or a push example:

  | X |   | M 
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  | X | C | 
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  | X | a |
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  |   |   |

Again, 'M' is me, 'C' is the creature, and 'X' is a wall. If I use the telekinetic feat, which states:

As a bonus action, you can try to telekinetically shove one creature you can see within 30 feet of you. When you do so, the target must succeed on a Strength saving throw (DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + the ability modifier of the score increased by this feat) or be moved 5 feet toward or away from you. A creature can willingly fail this save.

... can I push the creature to location 'a' (either by pushing them into the wall and along the wall... or by pushing them from my southwest vertex) or does the push need to be in a straight line directly away from the center of my square through the center of their square and and any obstacle ceases all movement?

I've never seen any of this really defined anywhere and am seeing differing things at different tables. Other spells/feats also have these 'push away / pull towards' mechanisms such as the telekinetic, thunder wave, lightening lure, etc, etc....

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2 Answers 2

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Both your examples work for space "a"

You have two different situations and the wording of these abilities also differs, so let us look at them separately

Thorn Whip

The spell allows you to pull the creature closer to you. So, as long as you can move it by pulling, and it ends up closer to you, it works. It does not state that you must move the creatures in a straight line, so you don't. A corner like you describe would not block this, as you can pull them around it.

Any corner in your square can serve as the originating point for the effect. The DMG says on page 251:

To precisely determine whether there is line of sight between two spaces, pick a corner of one space and trace an imaginary line from that corner to any part of another space. If at least one such line doesn't pass through or touch an object or effect that blocks vision- such as a stone wall, a thick curtain, or a dense cloud of fog-then there is line of sight.

Both space a and b fulfill the requirement that they are closer to you. I however do not see how you could move a creature from its space into space b only by "pulling", even from the corner of your space. You would need to use some sideways or pushing force. So that will not work (unless your DM rules otherwise, for example allowing you to whip them around using their impulse).

It is unclear what happens if you target the creature for example through an arrow-slit, that it cannot fit through physically. I think that will be an area of DM adjudication: does the effect fail, do you pull the creature through killing and maiming it in the process, or does it get stopped and take some damage? The DM decides.

Telekinetic

The full text of the feat states that

As a bonus action, you can try to telekinetically shove one creature

and it will

be moved 5 feet toward or away from you

So here there is no sustained effect, only a single impulse from "shoving", in any one direction, to move "toward or away" from you. The text does not say it must be in a straight line originating from you, so it does not. As written you could not shove them in a direction that leaves it at the same distance to you (which does not make a lot of sense if you consider that the ability just mimics shoving the creature), but for your example that does not matter: it ends up further away from you, so it works.

Shoving around a corner that is in the way would not work, because shoving causes movement in a single direction.

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In most cases, in 5e rules, you move through unoccupied squares.

So point B is as you describe. I think that's simple enough.

For point A, you could look closer at the rules about cover. Is the creature C covered 1/4, 1/2, 3/4? Can the spell ignore that aspect of the game? I think so because in most cases spells/abilities say: "A creature you can see". So whether they are trying to hide or not, I would rule that since you see the creature, the spell works.

The important point to keep in mind is that if the characters can do it, so can monsters.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think you mean "cover" not "hiding"? You can have 3/4 cover, but you are either hidden, or you are not \$\endgroup\$ Sep 18, 2022 at 5:38

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