Say you use Major Image. You tightly wrap your opponents with illusory adamantium chains (or another material strong enough your opponent cannot reasonably destroy), then make it real with Illusory Reality.

Note that Major Image can create 20 cubic feet of material. Doing some quick research, a G40 chain in real life — that is an anchor chain with a 400 MPa tensile strength made of galvanized steel — will be around 15,000 feet long. That means its tensile strength, just made of steel, can withstand someone struggling against it up to 4000 atmospheres, and it is long enough to wrap all your enemies twenty times over. Now imagine it was adamantium.

You have instantly restrained all your enemies with no hope of breaking free, unless via magical means — that sounds unbelievably powerful. Is that right?

From a strict reading of rules, is this allowed?


The single object made real by Illusory Reality has this restriction (PHB, p. 118):

The object can’t deal damage or otherwise directly harm anyone.

Imposing conditions on your enemies, such as Grappled or Restrained, is a non-damaging harm, and therefore not permitted by a strict reading. No, a wizard can't use Illusory Reality to make an illusion restrain their enemies.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I disagree with SevenSidedDie, Grapple or Restrain is not a direct non-damaging harm, is a non-damaging disadvantage. The harm comes form the actions of outsiders, if no one attack or damage the restrained victim no harm is done, therefore is not direct harm. Another example would be using illusory reality to create a wall to protect the team from the fire of a dragon. This put a disadvantage to the dragon, making it easier to kill, therefore "harming" him indirectly. \$\endgroup\$ – Chepelink Jul 19 '16 at 13:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Chepelink That's cool. You might want to write your answer in an answer post though, because these comments are going to be deleted in the near future. (Remember that comments are temporary post-it notes, so anything important should go in a question or answer post.) It would be good for this Q&A to have an opposing answer, so voters had more choice. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jul 19 '16 at 13:58

Yes, you can bind or restrain an enemy with illusory reality, but you have to follows the rules of the skills.

The object can’t deal damage

This is easy, the binding material cannot do harm to the enemy. E.g. a chain with thorns cannot deal damage to the bind creature due to the thorns. Another example would be bind it so tightly that does damage.

or otherwise directly harm anyone.

This part is a little trickier. First, it is safe to assume that this refers mainly to causing non-direct damage as a direct consequence of the illusion. E.g. asphyxiation due to lack of air because the illusion blocks it. The problems comes when the interpretation of "harm" comes to play. As stated in the answers, binding an enemy is harming it, since it puts the creature into an extremely vulnerable situation. But is not direct harm since the "damage" does not come because of the bind, it comes from an external factor.

To elaborate it. When someone binds or restrain a creature could it be for different reasons: to facilitate an escape, to restrain a creature from doing something stupid, to ease the capture without using lethal force, disarm an enemy, etc. It can be used offensively or defensively, e.g. Odysseus and the sirens. Therefore, the harm, if any, does not come from the binding itself, but from the actions of creatures outside the illusion "control".


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