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Prompted by Does Grim Harvest trigger when my minions kill something?

I Teleport a large, flat rock into the air some dozens of feet above an enemy. My DM rules that the rock falling does damage, and thereby kills one of my enemies. Does Grim Harvest trigger?

Or the reverse: I Teleport myself and a target 50' above a large, flat rock. I survive* but the other dies. Does Grim Harvest trigger?

* - if you like, I've got Feather Fall prepared and cast it on myself as a reaction.

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No. Grim Harvest gives you the ability to reap life energy from the enemies you kill with your spells (PHB 118). The full text is:

At 2nd level, you gain the ability to reap life energy from creatures you kill with your spells. Once per turn when you kill one or more creatures with a spell of 1st level or higher, you regain hit points equal to twice the spells level, or three times its level if the spell belongs to the School of Necromancy. You don't gain this benefits for killing constructs or undead.

The triggering component is the direct effect of your spell killing the enemy. It also must be a spell of 1st level or higher to gain the life.

The magical effect of Teleporting the rock to a height above the enemy is just that. Everything past there is the mundane effect of a falling rock and gravity. Similarly, teleporting the target X feet above the ground doesn't kill the target; instead, it is the resultant fall from a great height, and the associated damage from the fall, that kills them.

Expanding beyond the initial focus of the spell Teleport, Grim Harvest will trigger in response to a spell the player casts that kills one or more opponents, but not constructs or undead. The base requirement is that the text for the spell states damage will be dealt by the spell or it kills the target out right (Power Word Kill). Lacking any mechanics stated by the spell, or in the case where the lethal blow is determined by another rule, such as falling debris, falling damage, drowning, or even dismemberment through Flesh into Stone, Grim Harvest won't trigger.

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  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Conjure Volley is a conjuration spell; the act of firing the arrow and expending the spell slot summons a cylinder of falling 'magical arrows' as the affect. If this killed a thing, it would trigger Grim Harvest. The larger concern would be how a Wizard managed to cast Conjure Volley; doesn't exist on Wizard Spell Lists, and multiclassing into Ranger would be statistically difficult. \$\endgroup\$ – Drunk Cynic Dec 29 '15 at 23:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why ranger? Become a bard, get 10 levels in it, fetch conjure volley through magical secrets. \$\endgroup\$ – Mindwin Aug 27 '17 at 4:23

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