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In our current game, we are contemplating to cast a wall of force into a canal that is set into a dungeon corridor, to block the flow of water (which is powering some turbine-like contrivances we want to turn off), by shutting off the entire corridor.

Can you cast the wall so it extends into the body of water? I‘m not sure if it can extend into water, due to line of effect, and other answers that state if there are objects in the way, those are causing holes in the wall. Water is not an object, but its also not empty space.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It isn’t clear to me which part of the spell description is causing confusion here. It targets “a point you choose within range” and doesn’t mention anything about terrain, can you add some details about what is making you think terrain might interfere with the spell? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 22 at 23:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ I‘m not sure if it can extend into water, due to line of effect, and other answers that state if there are objects in the way, those are causing holes in the wall. Water is not an object, but its also not empty space. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 22 at 23:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ Air is also not an empty space. Just like the square underwater, it's full of a (less viscous) fluid \$\endgroup\$ Feb 23 at 15:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related: Can you cast spells through water? \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Feb 24 at 0:18

1 Answer 1

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Can your target point be within the water?

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.

Cover

Walls, trees, creatures, and other obstacles can provide cover during combat, making a target more difficult to harm. A target can benefit from cover only when an attack or other effect originates on the opposite side of the cover.

The cover is an "obstacle", and all the examples given are solid obstacles. Gases certainly don't provide cover, but what about liquids?

Underwater Combat

A ranged weapon attack automatically misses a target beyond the weapon's normal range. Even against a target within normal range, the attack roll has disadvantage unless the weapon is a crossbow, a net, or a weapon that is thrown like a javelin (including a spear, trident, or dart).

So, since you can use ranged weapon attacks underwater, water does not provide cover. Therefore, you can cast target your Wall of Force spell on any underwater point as it is not limited to only points that you can see like some other spells.

Notwithstanding, you could cast in on the surface and have the Wall extend into the water, or vice-versa.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ regardless of the underwater combat rules: if the water is super murky and you can't see through it, you could then not cast the spell inside the water. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 23 at 8:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PixelMaster of course you can. The general rule is that you need a clear path to the target, not that you can see the target. Some spells have this as a specific rule but Wall of Force isn’t one of those. In fact, there are rules for what happens if you choose a target you can’t see but there is an unknown obstacle in the way. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Feb 23 at 8:28

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