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What happens if a Sphere of Annihilation touches another Sphere of Annihilation? I see a few possibilities:

  • They destroy one another
  • The universe turns inside out
  • The effect of hitting one with Gate or a Rod of Cancellation occurs
  • They merge together into a possibly larger sphere
  • One or both silently vanishes
  • They ignore each other and phase through one another like nothing happened

Which of the above (if any) is most correct?

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This answer comes with the caveat that generally, the behavior of artifacts is pretty much entirely up to the GM. Since the GM has to put two Spheres in the game in the first place, presumably your GM might have a specific interaction rules that they want to use.

Generally, I would think that they would destroy each other. The item description says:

Any matter that comes in contact with a sphere is instantly sucked into the void, gone, and utterly destroyed.

Since the Sphere is, presumably, made of matter, it is destroyed when it touches another Sphere. Then again, your GM may decide that the Sphere is actually a hole in the world, and isn't actually made of matter at all. In that case, they would probably just pass through each other without effect. Since there aren't any defined rules for how the Sphere interacts with non-matter, it seems like it would have no effect.

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This must be explored during the campaign and is ultimately the DM's call. Artifacts are a fickle and unpredictable lot, and their successful use will depend greatly on if the DM is trying to Gygax the PCs into hilarious, sooner-than-instant deaths.1 That said, were it my campaign, based on the Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 description of the item, the effect of one spheres of annihilation touching another is that

Nothing Happens

In Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 the sphere of annihilation (DMG 279) (minor artifact; 0 lbs.) says

A sphere of annihilation is a globe of absolute blackness, a ball of nothingness 2 feet in diameter. The object is actually a hole in the continuity of the multiverse. Any matter that comes in contact with a sphere is instantly sucked into the void, gone, and utterly destroyed. Only the direct intervention of a deity can restore an annihilated character.

A sphere of annihilation is static, resting in some spot as if it were a normal hole....

I'm neither physicist nor wizard, but, despite the initial reference to the sphere as an object, I believe that a "hole in the continuity of the multiverse" is not composed of what either profession would classify as matter even in D&D 3.5 terms. Thus by its own definition two spheres touching does nothing.2 I'd even argue that two spheres can't occupy the same place at the same time, that when attempting to move one sphere through another stationary sphere the moving sphere stops at the stationary sphere. This non-artificer-and-non-physicist would then continue arguing from ignorance that one simply can't put one continuity hole inside another continuity hole.3 I can, however, understand a competing theory wherein two (or more!) spheres would remain distinct while harmlessly overlapping, and, if true, the mind boggles at the potential for humor and danger.

This assessment jibes with the given--and apparently exhaustive--list of ways to interact with a sphere that don't result in annihilation as that list makes no mention of one sphere's impact on another sphere.

However...

Any DM whose campaign contains madness sufficient to warrant his PCs attempting to weaponize multiple spheres of annihilation, therefore forcing them to worry about crossing the spheres--so to speak--, is likely to have something more... significant happen when spheres meet, if only because, well, it sounds like that kind of campaign.


Notes

  1. A la the classic Tomb of Horrors.
  2. The Example Negative Plane Site: Voidstone Field (DMG 157) gives one possible source for a sphere of annihilation, although this seems unlikely given the sphere's description later in the text.
  3. Cf. the portable hole (DMG 264) (20,000 gp; 0 lbs.), which is perfectly comfortable nesting inside another portable hole, but this item isn't so much a hole as a method of transportation to a specific (and--barring a Bag World-style scenario--distinct) demiplane.
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Since a true answer doesn't exist everyone here is forced to speculate. So, while I like @HeyICanChan's reasoning I think he followed it to the wrong conclusion.

If I may "get my science in your fantasy" then allow me to compare the Spheres to Black Holes.

Scientists theorize that (2 colliding black holes) "Such an event would be extremely violent. Even when simulating this event on powerful computers, we cannot fully understand it. However, we do know that a black hole merger would produce tremendous energy and send massive ripples through the space-time fabric of the Universe." #1

The good/bad news is that if we accept this comparison to be accurate nature will answer your question for you as scientists say that there are 2 black holes set to collide in a distant galaxy. While that is a fair distance away, "Such a powerful release of energy could bend the very fabric of space-time" #2 meaning we'll probably feel the effects here too. However, you will have to wait at least 1 million years for the collision to validate this theory. #2


In Summary: If you allowed 2 Spheres of Annihilation to come in contact with each other you would destroy the entire world! Probably the entire Material Plane, and possibly the entire "wheel" of planes!

HubbleSite #1

UPI.com #2

*Sorry, it's been awhile since I've been here and I forgot the formatting styles on this board. I'll try to clean it up later tonight.

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