I'm a wizard and I like everything to go my way. Recently we ran into a situation on a boat in which we were attacked by a trio of Water Elementals.

I thought this was a fine time to test out the new Bigby's Hand. I put it between myself and a water elemental after it attacked me, using the Interposing effect. The relevant text of the spell is:

The target can’t move through the hand’s space if its Strength score is less than or equal to the hand’s Strength score.

Water Elementals have a strength of 18 while Bigby's Hand has a strength score of 26.

However, my DM argued that since a Water Elemental can flow through spaces an inch wide, it was not restricted by my Hand at all.

Is my DM right? Can a Water Elemental move through Bigby's Interposing Hand?

What say ye?

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ This is an interesting example of a situation in which two interacting game elements each have RAW which interacts with the setting fiction of the other element in an undefined way: Unstoppable force meets immovable object. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Feb 17 '15 at 6:20

No, a Water Elemental can't move through Bigby's Interposing Hand. The key point that clinches it is in the general description of Bigby's Hand:

The hand doesn't fill its space.

So if getting past the hand were a simple matter of getting through the available space, any creature could get through without a Strength check, not just the Water Elemental. Over half of the text of Bigby's Interposing Hand would then be rendered completely invalid, so no, the Water Elemental can't just squeeze through the gaps.

As for why this makes sense, check out the general Bigby's Hand description again (emphasis mine):

You create a Large hand of shimmering, translucent force in an unoccupied space that you can see within range.

This isn't a solid object that the Water Elemental can just squeeze through.

If your DM still resists, you can also point out that

The hand moves to stay between you and the target[...]

It doesn't just sit there waiting for people to squeeze through/past it, it moves to make sure they don't.


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