Rouse Skeleton is a spell with 60 feet range:

On subsequent rounds, the first time you Sustain the Spell each round, you can move the area of skeletons up to 20 feet within the range of the spell and deal 2d6 slashing damage (basic Reflex save) to each creature in their new area.

Imagine you cast it last round, at full range to the West. On your turn you go 30 feet to the East, and Sustain the spell.

  • If it moves "up to 20 feet", it will not be in range
  • If it moves to the range, it will have moved 30 feet

I do not believe it works like a tether, so obvioulsy you can move more than 20 feet.
But how does it work then?

(there are other spells like this, Rouse Skeleton is just an example)


1 Answer 1


You cannot move the area if it is out of range

If you create the burst at maximum range, and then move away from it, you cannot move it any more, because you can only move it "up to 20 feet within the range of the spell", and the center is not within the range of the spell any more.

If it were still within range, you could move it to another position within range (i.e. within 60 feet from where you are), as long as you do not move it more than 20 feet.

Background on burst spells: range is measured to the center

Rouse Skeletons has a range of 60 feet, and creates a 10-foot burst area. The rules for burst areas are:

A burst effect issues forth in all directions from a single corner of a square within the range of the effect, spreading in all directions to a specified radius. For instance, when you cast fireball, it detonates at the corner of a square within 500 feet of you and creates a 20-foot burst, meaning it extends out 20 feet in every direction from the corner of the square you chose, affecting each creature whose space (or even one square of its space) is within the burst.

This is more specific than the general spell range and area rules which would otherwise limit the effects of a burst to be all within the range:

Spells with a range can affect targets, create areas, or make things appear only within that range.

So the only thing that needs to be within range for a burst spell and determines the range is the corner of the square from which the burst emanates. This makes things simpler.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This is unexpected, but makes sense \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Dec 5, 2023 at 10:25

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