We had a situation that arose in-game that the rules were non-specific on.

My players were forced to duel each other in an arena, and the Ranger hit the Sorcerer with ensnaring strike. Afterwards, the sorcerer used his sorcery points to cast mirror image as a subtle spell.

The problem was, does he make three copies of himself that look ensnared? Or do they simply stand there, stuck mimicking his non-movement, but without the entangling vines? The concern was that he makes three copies without snares, and the ranger could find the real sorcerer.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Does the spell require that your mirror images take up spaces outside your 5 foot square? \$\endgroup\$
    – GMNoob
    Commented May 7, 2015 at 6:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GMNoob RAW state that they are in your space. I don't know if you can send them nearby you. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMScherz
    Commented May 14, 2015 at 19:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ So how would they be seen outside the vines? \$\endgroup\$
    – GMNoob
    Commented May 14, 2015 at 20:22

3 Answers 3


Mirror Image says:

Until the spell ends, the duplicates move with you and mimic your actions, shifting position so it’s impossible to track which image is real.

Ensnaring Strike says:

... or be restrained by the magical vines until the spell ends.

Restrained says:

  • A restrained creature’s speed becomes 0, and it can’t benefit from any bonus to its speed.
  • Attack rolls against the creature have advantage, and the creature’s attack rolls have disadvantage.
  • The creature has disadvantage on Dexterity saving throws.

And Movement and Position says:

On your turn, you can move a distance up to your speed.


  1. Nothing in Ensnaring Strike stops you from moving around — it just stops you from moving away from where you are. You can thrash around to break free, cast spells with somatic components, roll out of the way of a fireball (with disadvantage), attack, use a bow and your mirror images will do the same — you just can't move any significant distance from where you are.
  2. Notwithstanding, it’s impossible to track which image is real. So even if you had the far more onerous conditions of paralysed, petrified, unconscious or even dead — the illusion means that it is impossible to target you rather than an image. That is the mechanical effect of the illusion, as to what it looks like, clearly it needs to incorporate whatever necessary to perpetuate the illusion. If you are wrapped in vines, they are wrapped in vines; if you are wounded, they are wounded, if you are wearing pink pyjamas with blue spots, etc., etc.
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think the question is, do the duplicates also appear to be ensnared in vines just as you are -- does the illusion duplicate the vines? And I think your key point of "impossible to track which one is real" suggests that the answer must be yes, but I think you should say so explicitly. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 7, 2015 at 2:45
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Isn't this as obvious as "are the duplicates wearing your clothes? \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Commented May 7, 2015 at 3:30
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ no, I don't think so. Because you're the vines are part of a different spell, anchored to the ground in a particular place which won't be exactly where your duplicates are, etc. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 7, 2015 at 3:39

It is an illusion, so you can make the mirror images any way you want, as long as it does not extend beyond you.
You could do a complete makeover, give yourself bigger biceps, remove wrinkles or cover that bald spot. It is not a good idea, the enemy could just attack the only old and ugly version, but it can be done. A vine coming from you is not much different.

Ensnaring Strike:

a writhing mass of thorny vines appears at the point of impact,

Mirror Image:

Three illusory duplicates of yourself appear in your space

The Ensnaring Strike creates and effect that is basically part of the target, so Mirror Image should copy it.
It would not copy Bigby's Grasping Hand, as it is a quasi-creature, created in an unoccupied space.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ That first sentence seems a little strong... I mean, you could argue that if the sorcerer is standing next to a castle, then all the mirror images come complete with illusory castles of their own, and many DMs I know would consider that a long bow to draw. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Commented May 6, 2015 at 0:57
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think the edit fixed that problem. The spell says what kind of image is produced; you don't get to choose or alter it just because it's an illusion. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 6, 2015 at 15:22

Mirror Image says that it creates "three illusory duplicates of yourself". Given that it doesn't indicate what "yourself" includes, I think it's a fair assumption that anything on your person (clothing, weapons, etc.) gets duplicated as well. Therefore it's up to the DM to decide whether the magical vines restraining the Sorcerer are included as part of "yourself".
Mirror Image is intended to make it "impossible to track which image is real" so I'd say it's a fair call to allow the vines to be copied.

If you decide to rule that the vines aren't copied than that would effectively negate Mirror Image. The last sentence of Mirror Image states:

A creature is unaffected by this spell [...] if it can perceive illusions as false, as with truesight.

Seeing three duplicates of the Sorcerer without the restricting vines would definitely make it easier to tell which 'image' is real (the one that is restrained by vines) and would be a good cause to allow the Ranger to perceive the duplicates as illusions and therefore "false".

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @RayB That's not the point I was trying to make. The point of the last sentence is that the illusions are created without the magical, restricting vines. Meaning that it would be easy to tell which one is real (the one that is restrained by vines). \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 7, 2015 at 2:36

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