In a fairly high stakes scenario, I (DM) put a Prismatic Wall in a party's way.
It goes off, does Prismatic Wall things, one person is hit by the Indigo and Violet layers and here we develop a problem.
"I have Freedom of Movement", PC X says, "So I am immune to the Indigo layer. Look at this random YouTube comment!"
The comment in question:
'My level 15 druid of the spore tanked a prismatic wall cast by an arch wizard almost completely unharmed. being immune to the blinded condition let him ignore the violet layer, he had freedom of movement on him as a standard start of combat buff spell so he ignored indigo, shield master absorbed blue, poison immunity ignored green, absorb elements reduced yellow and the 60 temporary hp from symbiotic entity soaked up orange and red. The look on my DM's face when I just walked through his 9th level spell with less than 10 damage to my actual hit points was fantastic.' [sic]
I mentally sigh, decide not to be shitty and automatically rule out 'YouTube comment' as a secondary source, and go to the RAW.
- Firstly, the Green layer of Prismatic Wall just does a bunch of Poison-type damage: "The creature takes 10d6 poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one." I am pretty sure – from things like Dwarven Resilience which confer resistance to being poisoned AND to poison damage – that immunity to the condition does not confer immunity to the damage. (Wasn't relevant in my session, but being completest.) Am I correct?
- Secondly, the Indigo layer of Prismatic Wall says: "On a failed save, the creature is Restrained. It must then make a Constitution saving throw at the end of each of its turns. If it successfully saves three times, the spell ends. If it fails its save three times, it permanently turns to stone and is subjected to the Petrified condition. The successes and failures don't need to be consecutive, keep track of both until the creature collects three of a kind." This is way less clear in its interaction with:
- Freedom of Movement says that "the target's Movement is unaffected by Difficult Terrain, and Spells and other Magical Effects can neither reduce the target's speed nor cause the target to be Paralyzed or Restrained."
Now here's where I get hung up: it doesn't say 'As long as the creature is Restrained, it must make saves' – it says to my eyes that
- a) The creature is restrained.
- b) The creature must then make 3 successes or 3 fails on a save; 3 successes you win, 3 fails you stone.
- c) Freedom of Movement does not say bupkis about the Petrified condition.
- d) I don't see why Freedom of Movement interrupting a) means it then interrupts b).
In summation, it really looks to my eyes like the above means that you get to run around un-Restrained, good for you, but 3 fails and you are OUTTA there, a statue, I say to you GOOD DAY sir. This will make it much easier to keep going through the layers and kill the caster or get to a place where you can Dispel Magic on the condition affecting you I guess, but it's not a concentration spell so I feel like you are just making your saves.
I went with this call and it was immediate war on the part of the PC who wanted a "DM Gotcha" moment I guess – I kept returning to my logic here and that, y'know, it's a 9th level spell and the purported pinnacle of defensive spells (ahem – Forcecage – but I digress) while they lean hard on "But it says they get restrained, THEN save – it's a progression! there's no Restrained, so no THEN something happens!" I disagree and have to nuclear option version Rule 0 –
"Ok, ultimately, I am the DM and it's 10:45 PM so move on."
Am I in the wrong here? Should the condition being imposed be a 'condition precedent' for further save or suck riders?
We ended up calling it to cool tempers before we even got to whether someone immune to Blindness might escape the forced Banishment of the next Violet layer, which has a similar structure to Indigo.
Any advice would be appreciated. I'm inclined to stick to my ruling as reasonable anyway, but if I'm way off base I might consider some kind of walk-back.