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When using the manifest echo feature, can you grapple a creature and then, since the movement says it can go in 'any direction,' can you just start going vertically with half movement?

A player in a one shot I was in did that and took a creature upwards until they were about 60ft high, and the creature just popped out of existence at the end of the turn.

I thought it was funny, but it seems quite unusual if that is normally allowed r.a.w.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov I think the linked answer covers only half of this question, namely can you move the echo upward. It does not address if the Echo could grapple. I don't think either of them by themselves is a suitable duplicate target. It however, including your answer is useful for this, and I linked to it in my answer now. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 9, 2023 at 16:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkovisonStrike OK, I‘ll reopen it then and you can VTC for focus if you think so. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 9, 2023 at 16:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've voted to close again as a duplicate of the question about moving vertically. If you're question is more about can an echo knight grapple, then we can adjust your question (or ask a new one) about that specific mechanic. I have also included a question about echo knight's grappling, but if yours is distinct, then please let us know and we can help you. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Aug 9, 2023 at 16:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Let us continue this discussion in chat. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Aug 9, 2023 at 17:10

1 Answer 1

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Your DM needs to decide, likely this does not work

Here is the text of the Manifest Echo feature that defines the properties of the echo:

This echo is a magical, translucent, gray image of you that lasts until it is destroyed, until you dismiss it as a bonus action, until you manifest another echo, or until you're incapacitated.
Your echo has AC 14 + your proficiency bonus, 1 hit point, and immunity to all conditions. If it has to make a saving throw, it uses your saving throw bonus for the roll. It is the same size as you, and it occupies its space. On your turn, you can mentally command the echo to move up to 30 feet in any direction (no action required). If your echo is ever more than 30 feet from you at the end of your turn, it is destroyed.

The Manifest Echo ability does not say the echo has a speed or that is shares your speeds. All it says is that you can command it to move it in any direction. I'm not sure it is intended like that, but as up is a direction, as written this would mean that you could move it upward, too. The language however is different from spiritual weapon, or arcane hand, which says "you can move". Here you cannot move the image, you command it to move. It is not clear how it can move without a speed.

See also this question, on whether the echo can move vertically, with split takes on the issue. The majority answer claims yes, the accepted answer, no.

If you decide the image has its own speed of 30 feet you also need to decide if that is a walking speed, or a fly speed. In that case, grappling would affect speed. If you decide you just command the image to move and it will move without a speed, then grappling would not affect its speed, and it could move in any direction.

It also is not clear cut if you can grapple using your echo and hold on to the creature. As that answer explains, Echo Knight is unfortunately written rather sloppy, and your DM must do some work here to define how it will work in their game.

I personally think that Cubic's answer is correct: you can grapple through the echo, but the grapple ends immediately, as the echo is not doing the grappling, you are doing the grappling through the echo. Unless the grappled creature also happens to be in your own reach, the grapple would end immediately, as the rules for the grappled condition say that The condition also ends if an effect removes the grappled creature from the reach of the grappler. You could not move a grappled creature around with the echo, whether upwards or sideways. I would run it that way in my games.

If you allowed both vertical movement and the echo maintaining a grapple, then you could move the target up one round to 30 feet with the grappled creature without it having moved more than 30 feet away from you, and then move it up another 30 feet to 60 feet, at the end of which turn it will be destroyed, and the grappled creature will fall.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ What is the point in ruling that it can grapple but then immediately not be grappling? When an answer is this odd it is usually wrong. Just say yes or no and be done with it. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Commented Aug 13, 2023 at 17:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm concerned by: "It is not clear how it can move without a speed." It appears you are ruling that the Echo simply can never move at all? I don't think this was the writer's intent, nor is it how the class is used in practice. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dan B
    Commented Jan 22 at 20:58

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