I have observed a tactic that may have a slippery slope: a creature (rat) swarm moved into a player space that was already occupied by a rat swarm. There is no upward limit stated for the swarm trait in the glossary.

So, can a creature swarm join another swarm that's already on a player/creature?


1 Answer 1



From the Compendium (emphasis mine):

Swarm: A swarm is composed of multiple creatures but functions as a single creature. A swarm can occupy the same space as another creature, and an enemy can enter a swarm’s space, which is difficult terrain. ...

The issue is the interpretation of the word "another".

If you think that it implies the singular, then a swarm can occupy the same space as one other creature. A second swarm would not be able to enter the square because it can't be in the same square as two or more other creatures, only one other creature.

On the other hand, English being the imprecise language that it is, "another" might be used more generally to mean "one or more". For example, if I were to say, "There isn't another person around for miles," I don't mean that there isn't exactly one other person in the area, I mean that there aren't one or more people around.

Ultimately this is going to have to be up to the DM (unless you're really desperate for a RAW ruling, in which case I suppose you could ask the English Language & Usage StackEx).

  • \$\begingroup\$ I would argue that the Compendium means "another creature", since it's already talking about a type of creature. And as the Compendium has just stated, a swarm functions as a single creature. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ravn
    Aug 7, 2013 at 5:45
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Also, the DDI trumphs the MM as it's newer. The changed wording from "can move through an enemy's space" to "can occupy the same space as another creature" suggets a clarification in intention from WotC. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ravn
    Aug 7, 2013 at 5:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ravn I think that change was to make it clear that swarms can enter an occupied square and stay there where the old wording could be interpreted as only allowing them to move through occupied squares. \$\endgroup\$
    – Oblivious Sage
    Aug 7, 2013 at 17:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ English.SE is unlikely to be helpful in interpreting the word "another" in this case—the ambiguity is structural and can't be resolved by looking at the semantics of one word inside an ambiguous structure. WotC is who to ask for a definite answer. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 7, 2013 at 17:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie True, I was mostly being sarcastic with my English.SE suggestion. The drawback to asking WotC is that you have to ask CustServ, who are notoriously inconsistent; there's a fair amount of evidence that all you're really getting from CustServ is the snap judgement of whoever happens to be assigned your question, with little or no input from the devs. \$\endgroup\$
    – Oblivious Sage
    Aug 7, 2013 at 17:31

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