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Can I shoot or use spells from one room to another? I can see my opponents through an open door that is between the rooms. My DM told me I could not do that.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hi. I don't understand where this question comes from. What gave you the impression there may be some limitations like that? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Commented May 7, 2023 at 18:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ Maybe a picture would help. Are you shooting through a closed window? What spell are you trying to use? We need some more details so we can understand what you are asking. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 7, 2023 at 19:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't understand the close votes, even before the clarification. The 5e rules on spell targeting are pretty clear, and are enough to answer this question with minimal supporting text. \$\endgroup\$
    – Novak
    Commented May 7, 2023 at 22:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ Can you give a specific example? Like target creature, spell you wanted to cast, range, and any special circumstances that might have an effect (like only being able to see a small fraction of the creature)? Have you asked your DM why not, and did their reason involve any specific 5e rules? "Room" isn't a game-mechanics term for spell targeting. (A battle map might have multiple walls, some with doors in them, some with glass windows, some with open windows.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 8, 2023 at 2:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ A "room" is not a D&D gaming/rules concept. It is a concept in many dungeon crawler board games. Your DM might confuse the rules of multiple games here. For D&D, stick to the answer you got. Keep that in mind when you DM cites "rules". If they sounds strange to you, look them up. \$\endgroup\$
    – nvoigt
    Commented May 8, 2023 at 5:24

1 Answer 1

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Yes, if you have a clear path to the target

The rule for targeting spells on page 204 of the PHB demands only that you have a clear path to the target:

To target something, you must have a clear path to it, so it can’t be behind total cover. If you place an area of effect at a point that you can’t see and an obstruction, such as a wall, is between you and that point, the point of origin comes into being on the near side of that obstruction.

There is not even an requirement that you can see the target.1

One unexpected result of this rule is that if there is an obstacle such as a clear pane of glass in the way, like when you are trying to cast through a closed glass window, the glass blocks line of effect. Even though you can see the target, as you lack line of effect you cannot target it with your spell.

There is nothing in the rules that says you cannot target a creature that is in another room through an open door. If your spells range allows it, and you can see the creature through an open door in the other room, unless there is some transparent obstacle in the way you should have line of effect and be able to target it.


1 Some spells in addition demand that you can see your target. If this is a requirement, the spell will tell you so. For example, hold person says "Choose a humanoid that you can see within range.", so in that case you also need to be able to see the target.

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    \$\begingroup\$ ... I wonder if "shoot" meant arrows or meant "shoot...spells". In any case your answer would answer both - as you can shoot arrows into a next room through an open door. Can you tell I played a ranger? :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Senmurv
    Commented May 8, 2023 at 7:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ If this were my DM I'd disassemble this magic door that nothing can attack through and turn it into a shield. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 9, 2023 at 14:52

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