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I'm trying to determine how to get the 5e Darkness spell to move with a monster. It says

Magical darkness spreads from a point you choose within range to fill a 15-foot-radius sphere for the duration. The darkness spreads around corners. A creature with darkvision can’t see through this darkness, and nonmagical light can’t illuminate it. If the point you choose is on an object you are holding or one that isn’t being worn or carried, the darkness emanates from the object and moves with it. Completely covering the source of the darkness with an opaque object, such as a bowl or a helm, blocks the darkness. If any of this spell’s area overlaps with an area of light created by a spell of 2nd level or lower, the spell that created the light is dispelled.

It looks like it will move if it's an object I'm holding, and it won't move if it's being worn or carried by someone else. But what about casting it directly on a monster. Would that make it move with the monster? If not, is there some other way I can make the darkness stay around the monster?

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Cast it on a dart or javelin and throw the missile into the foe and hope it sticks. Cast it on a lasso or net and entangle the foe. Cast it on something tacky, like an unlit pitch torch, and throw it on the floor where the monster will tread in it.

Working out how to target your foe while you are in the middle of magical darkness is, of course, your problem. :-)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Could you have a familiar and use your bow that way? (i.e. your familiar would be outside of the darkness and you look through its eyes.) \$\endgroup\$ – Alexis Wilke Feb 4 '15 at 9:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Now... I think that if the darkness is put on part of the object that enters the body (the arrow head) it won't work once inside the monster (it will be hidden and thus not effective.) If it is on the other side of the object (the arrow tail), it works but the monster can easily break the arrow and throw it far enough and be done with it. \$\endgroup\$ – Alexis Wilke Feb 4 '15 at 9:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AlexisWilke It seems to me that if you see a giant orb of darkness approaching you, followed by being hit by a javelin, you may not really connect the two occurrences unless you happen to be skilled in the arcane arts... As such, you may not think to attempt to remove the weapon. Alternatively, if you are a mage, it may be difficult to extract / break the weapon. In other words, I think this is a sound strategy most of the time... \$\endgroup\$ – Joshu's Mu Apr 3 '18 at 15:19
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The Darkness has two ways to operate: you hold the object (1) or it is not worn/carried (2).

  1. As the casting time is only 1 action I consider holding is touching the object. So to deliver the spell you could use your familiar - you use 1 action to cast darkness and the familiar uses his reaction to touch the clothes of the person you are targeting. But as I do not consider a monster as an object it would still need a carried object -- maybe an arrow sticking in the monster.
  2. You prepare some stones/darts with glue that fit into your hands (complettly covered) to block darkness. After that you throw the small object to stick on the back of the monster. As your not in darkness while throwing the stone you should have a good chance to hit the monster.
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    \$\begingroup\$ The clothes are worn and as such cannot be affected. It is clearly stated in the spell. Also if you put it on an arrow, just like you did, the monster can hide the part with the darkness and be just fine. \$\endgroup\$ – Alexis Wilke Feb 4 '15 at 9:41

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