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The class feature Enhanced Bond contains this:

[provision that grants a bonus on casting fire or healing spells]

In addition, when you cast a spell with a range other than self, the spell can originate from you or your wildfire spirit.

Scenario

I am standing 20 ft from an enemy target and I cast Thorn Whip (or through multi-classing, say Eldritch Blast with Grasp of Hadar) through my wildfire spirit is positioned 20 ft directly above the target.

Question

On a hit is the target

  • A) pulled 10 ft towards me as the caster of the spell (and thus dragged along the ground) or
  • B) pulled 10 ft towards the wildfire spirit (and thus ends 10 ft in the air, dropping for d6 damage and prone condition).

Background

I assumed it would be B, not even expecting to have to defend the assumption, but the GM staff of my Westmarches game ruled that it was A due to the wording of the spell effect says “You”. “Enemy is pulled towards you.”
“Enemy is pushed away from you.”
The GM staff ruled that “you is you” even if the spell comes from a different direction because you refers to the caster, not the origin.

Any sense or evidence of what the intent was here?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I would suggest in the future specifying that you are looking to see if there is a RAW (Rules as Written) clear answer here, as you acknowledged your purpose in your comment to @Trish's answer. Note I say in the future, because the community standards here are against editing questions once they have an answer \$\endgroup\$
    – Alan
    Feb 21, 2023 at 16:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Alan I'm pretty sure OP was simply asking how the spell worked. The ruling was what created the question, but they aren't questioning the ruling - they just want to know how it works. THere's no need to specify RAW here. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Feb 21, 2023 at 16:47

1 Answer 1

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A straightforward reading of the rules tells that the target is pulled towards the caster.

The description of Thorn Whip reads as (emphases mine):

You create a long, vine-like whip covered in thorns that lashes out at your command toward a creature in range. Make a melee spell attack against the target. If the attack hits, the creature takes 1d6 piercing damage, and if the creature is Large or smaller, you pull the creature up to 10 feet closer to you.

Per the description, with a normal casting the whip originates from the caster and then the target is pulled towards them. The Wildfire spirit rules tell us that (emphasis mine):

when you cast a spell with a range other than self, the spell can originate from you or your wildfire spirit.

and in particular it does not say that the spell takes place as the spirit had cast it. See the Find Familiar spell for comparison:

your familiar can deliver the spell as if it had cast the spell.

Hence, since it is you that had cast the spell and not the Wildfire spirit, the target is pulled towards you per spell description, since the sole modification of the casting is the origin point. From a physics point of view, this has little sense (imho), but a possible explanation could be that the whip captures the target and instead of pulling them it launches them towards the caster.

Given the particular case, the DM may decide to rule otherwise.

The Thorn Whip cantrip is peculiar: its origin fixes the point the target is pulled towards to, it is not just a point in space from which the spell erupts (e.g., a Fireball or a Cone of Cold). In this case it would not be completely unreasonable that the target was pulled towards the Wildfire, since the whip originated from the spirit.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I would rule that as the spell is defined in terms of "you = spellcaster", we can replace the words. Hence when the Wildfire spirit acts as the proxy for the spellcaster, the origin point changes. Essentially, I'd argue the most reasonable reading of the description would be that it's equivalent to "you may cast the spell as if you were in the place of the Wildfire spirit." This seems to be generalizable and would make future rulings easier; as self-range spells are barred, I can't think of any reason this reading wouldn't be sensible. But I might well be missing something. \$\endgroup\$
    – Aos Sidhe
    Feb 21, 2023 at 21:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AosSidhe changing the description into "you may cast the spell as if you were in the place of the Wildfire spirit." falls in DM fiat, who can change/adapt any rules as better fits their table. Actually, it corresponds to the last paragraph of my answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Feb 21, 2023 at 22:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ True, and I wasn't intending to imply it wasn't a fiat. But I do think that A) the general interpretation is cohesive with the rules as a whole, and B) it makes the most sense in this instance as well. Thorn Whip says "you" create a whip and it pulls the enemy towards "you". Who's the "you"? In this case, it's the spirit: the spirit is the one that creates the whip/from whom it originates, and therefore the one to pull the enemy in. Changing who the "you" refers to halfway through the description seems odd to me, especially as both are describing a location (where "you" are). \$\endgroup\$
    – Aos Sidhe
    Feb 21, 2023 at 22:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ As there don’t seem to be any canon rules that explicitly say you means anything other than the caster, RAW should be the default interpretation. It may well be that this is an instance where the intent may have been different and the rules were simply written inattentively. Every instance ive seen regarding thorn whip and forced movement from the spirit that I’ve found on this topic online always has interpreted the interaction as towards the origination point without even stopping to consider the “you = you” issue. \$\endgroup\$
    – Corax
    Feb 22, 2023 at 4:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Corax I believe too that the intent was to make the spell pull the target towards its origin, and subsequent game features (such as the wildfire spirit) are poorly written and do not take into account everything in the game. For what it's worth, as a DM I would rule as in B), since it is a cool combo of character's features. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Feb 22, 2023 at 8:59

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