I thought I understood the sleep spell, but now I'm confused about the order of creatures affected. I always thought it was from lowest current HP to highest.

However, near the end of the spell description, it says (emphasis mine):

Subtract each creature’s hit points from the total before moving on to the creature with the next lowest hit points.

Which to me would indicate that we are going from highest to lowest.

Is this a typo? In which order are creatures suppose to be affected by the sleep spell?


There is no typo in the order of affected creatures. The order is from the creature with lowest current HP to the highest. You start by subtracting the lowest current HP creature then move to the next lowest (i.e., lowest to second lowest to third lowest, etc.) until the spell does not have enough HP to affect an entire creature.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It might have been more clear to say: "...before moving on to the next creature with the lowest hit points." \$\endgroup\$ – JasonSmith Dec 31 '14 at 5:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ @JasonSmith I disagree: your wording would seem sensible in the case when multiple creatures have the same, lowest (current) HP, but doesn't then indicate that one should "continue up the chain" of HP values. \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Feb 11 '16 at 14:21

The answer is in the text for Sleep:

Creatures within 20 feet of a point you choose within range are affected in ascending order of their current hit points (ignoring unconscious creatures).

Ascending order means lowest to highest.


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