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A PC in one of my games has been cursed with a [Long]Sword of Vengeance. During a recent combat he took damage and failed his DC 15 Wisdom saving throw, therefore "swearing vengeance" towards Creature A.

However, he was blocked from entering the room containing Creature A by Creature B (blocking the door).

The sword's description states:

On a failed save, you must attack the creature that damaged you until you drop to 0 hit points or it does, or until you can’t reach the creature to make a melee attack against it.

The question that arose was since the PC has Misty Step via a racial trait, on his turn would he be required to cast Misty Step (if available) since that would enable him to reach Creature A, or would lack of normal movement suffice to satisfy the wording of the curse?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Interestingly, "until you can't reach the creature to make a melee attack against it" could be read literally as "until the creature leaves your reach", meaning that the effect ends as soon as soon as the creature steps away from you. I have no idea if that's the intended reading, though. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 5 at 0:36

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Forced movement does not imply forced actions

As I've argued previously in a question about Compulsion (a spell that forces the target to use all its movement), being forced to spend your movement in a certain way doesn't extend beyond that. Let's assume that the sword of vengeance's curse forces you to spend your movement on your turn moving as close as possible toward the target of your vengeance.1 I would argue that this doesn't even force you to dash if your regular movement is insufficient. As I said in that answer:

A compulsion to use all your movement does not imply a compulsion to also gain movement so that it can also be used. If it did, would you force a wizard to spend their action casting haste or fly on themselves so that they can better obey the compulsion? Would a monk be required to spend a ki point on Step of the Wind to dash? Must a druid wild shape into an eagle?

Unlike the spells and abilities I mentioned, Misty Step doesn't even give you extra movement. If you start arguing that the sword's curse can force you to cast spells for the sake of mobility, how far does that go? What if you only have a 5th level spell slot left? Do you have to use that slot to cast the 2nd level Misty Step? If you have a scroll of Misty Step, are you forced to use it? The bottom line is, if you rule that that forced movement can also force the casting of spells in this way, you're opening up a huge can of worms as you have to answer a dozen more questions about exactly what circumstances do or don't force the casting of mobility aid spells. And you probably don't want to do that, so I would recommend ruling that forced movement does not force a character to take specific actions (including bonus actions).


1 As I noted in a comment, the wording of the curse isn't actually clear about this, but for argument's sake, let's just assume it's true.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ What if you can fireball yourself (and Creature B), allowing you to get closer to the enemy... \$\endgroup\$
    – User 23415
    Apr 5 at 3:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't see anything about forced movement in the Sword of Vengeance description. Why do you think it's applicable? It doesn't say that you have to move to attack. It says you have to attack unless you can't reach. That's not the same thing and arguments about forced movement make little sense in the context of an item that says nothing about moving. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Apr 5 at 11:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mołot That's what the footnote is about. If there's no forced movement, then the entire question is moot. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 5 at 17:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Very good points. Answered. It brings to mind how creatures do not need to use the Dash action to move further away, unless specifically mentioned (like Turn Undead). Thank you for your answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Crash-713
    Apr 6 at 17:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Crash-713 I would take Mołot's comment into account as well, and decide whether this item even involves forced movement in the first place. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 7 at 11:47

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