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So what happens here? Clearly Twinned Phantasmal Force can be cast, but what does it do? Does it create one phantasm that both of them can see, or does it create two phantasms, one for each target? I highlighted every instance of "target" in Phantasmal Force's description since my initial reading is that it simply replaces those with "targets", at which point it would create one phantasm. Is this reading correct?

An additional question, if the spell only creates one phantasm, is there any possible phantasm that could e.g. deny both targets vision even if they're further apart? It's not that hard to imagine something like a monster with ranged attacks doing the psychic to both, but the big money option is somehow restricting an opponent's field of vision, and I cannot come up with a single phantasm that would do that to both.

For reference, the spell and the ability in question:

Phantasmal Force

You craft an illusion that takes root in the mind of a creature that you can see within range. The target must make an Intelligence saving throw. On a failed save, you create a phantasmal object, creature, or other visible phenomenon of your choice that is no larger than a 10-foot cube and that is perceivable only to the target for the duration. This spell has no effect on undead or constructs.

The phantasm includes sound, temperature, and other stimuli, also evident only to the creature.

The target can use its action to examine the phantasm with an Intelligence (Investigation) check against your spell save DC. If the check succeeds, the target realizes that the phantasm is an illusion, and the spell ends.

While a target is affected by the spell, the target treats the phantasm as if it were real. The target rationalizes any illogical outcomes from interacting with the phantasm. For example, a target attempting to walk across a phantasmal bridge that spans a chasm falls once it steps onto the bridge. If the target survives the fall, it still believes that the bridge exists and comes up with some other explanation for its fall; it was pushed, it slipped, or a strong wind might have knocked it off.

An affected target is so convinced of the phantasm’s reality that it can even take damage from the illusion. A phantasm created to appear as a creature can attack the target. Similarly, a phantasm created to appear as fire, a pool of acid, or lava can burn the target Each round on your turn, the phantasm can deal 1d6 psychic damage to the target if it is in the phantasm’s area or within 5 feet of the phantasm, provided that the illusion is of a creature or hazard that could logically deal damage, such as by attacking. The target perceives the damage as a type appropriate to the illusion.

Twinned Spell

When you cast a spell that targets only one creature and doesn’t have a range of self, you can spend a number of sorcery points equal to the spell’s level to target a second creature in range with the same spell (1 sorcery point if the spell is a cantrip).

To be eligible, a spell must be incapable of targeting more than one creature at the spell’s current level. For example, magic missile and scorching ray aren’t eligible, but ray of frost and chromatic orb are.

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    \$\begingroup\$ You don't seem to be confused about the mechanical crunch of the matter, are you wondering how to describe / narrate the effects? Are you asking if the narration matters? \$\endgroup\$
    – Jason_c_o
    Jun 9, 2023 at 15:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ Is there a difference for you if they have differing or shared hallucinations? \$\endgroup\$
    – Jason_c_o
    Jun 9, 2023 at 15:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ Well, a personal hallucination can e.g. be a bucket on your head denying you vision outside it. It's much harder to make up something that would effectively deny two creatures vision. However, if you get one for both, just putting a bucket on both of their heads ought to do it just fine. It's worth noting that illusions are a category where the exact nature of the illusion has tremendous amounts of significance over what the spell can actually accomplish, so there are very real mechanical implications for the nature of the hallucination. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 9, 2023 at 16:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ "Well, a personal hallucination can e.g. be a bucket on your head denying you vision outside it." That would cause an immediate physical interaction with the bucket and dispel the illusion. Phantasmal Force also does not cause the Blinded condition. I still find it unclear what you are asking for. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jason_c_o
    Jun 9, 2023 at 17:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Jason_c_o for this illusion spell, physical interaction doesn't dispel it. As much as I dislike it because of how much it relies of DM fiat, the target will rationalize (somehow) why they can't feel the bucket on their head, or touch it... \$\endgroup\$ Jun 9, 2023 at 18:13

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DM's choice

You can twin phantasmal force, as it is a spell that targets a single creature and does not have a range of self. But what does the twinning actually do when you "target a second creature in range with the same spell"?

The feature does not actually say that, so the hardline reading here means "This is up the DM, the rules do not say what happens".

I think the most straightforward way to resolve this is:

You create two phantasms, one for each target.

If you look at the other examples like ray of frost, or chromatic orb, and if you assume that the targets stand in different spaces, the logical conclusion is that you recreate the effect for each target: each of them gets hit by its own ray of frost or orb. Here, each of them gets hit by its own phantasm.

All the alternatives are problematic. What about other explanations like a shared phantasm? For the spell to work, the phantasm must be able to cause damage to the target, making it belief it is attacking them. If you create the illusion of a wolf, how could the same wolf attack both targets if they stand far apart from each other? Likewise, in the case of the ray, would the ray split? Would it hit first one creature, freezing them, then magically rejuvenate, continue on and hit another? All these complications are unnecessary.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Being complicated does not make a choice correct or incorrect \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    Jun 9, 2023 at 18:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ @JoakimM.H., in their original version, they were more emphatic about being two phantoms, but ultimately down to DM choice. Now it's more emphasis on DM choice, and how they would rule making two phantoms due to complications. But I still stand by complications doesn't make two phantoms correct, or even better. The spell even states, "The target rationalizes any illogical outcomes from interacting with the phantasm." So yes, the wolf really can teleport between two targets, because it can. \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    Jun 9, 2023 at 19:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ I still don't know what difference it would make either way. You can create separate phantasms that appear like a wolf that teleports here and there for both, or you can create a shared phantasm that would appear to be a wolf when looked at by one of the targets and a very angry pigeon by the other. There seems to be no way for anyone to tell the two apart. \$\endgroup\$
    – biziclop
    Jun 9, 2023 at 20:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MivaScott I get that but even in its description there's no observable difference. As the targets can rationalise away anything, you can make them believe they had experienced the same thing when they didn't or vice versa. \$\endgroup\$
    – biziclop
    Jun 9, 2023 at 23:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @biziclop, there are two reasons (just two) that knowing this information would be important. 1) DM narration, so they can describe how each target reacts. If one has a bucket and one is attacked by a goose, they would act and move differently. No mechanical change, but just flavor. And 2) If the twinned spells were directed at the PCs. Really, this is just another case of narration. If the phantasms can be different, then one character standing in lava is going to act very differently than a character being attacked by a swarm of bees. \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    Jun 12, 2023 at 0:54

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