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The Guardian of Faith spell states something like...

A Large spectral guardian appears and hovers for the duration in an unoccupied space of your choice that you can see within range. The guardian occupies that space and is indistinct except for a gleaming sword and shield emblazoned with the symbol of your deity.

Any creature hostile to you that moves to a space within 10 feet of the guardian must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw. The creature takes 20 radiant damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. The guardian vanishes when it has dealt a total of 60 damage.

Is this assumed that as soon as a creature stops in one of the squares around the guardian, it instantly takes the damage (less the saving throw)? E.g. in some combat situations...

  • Creature ends its movement within range, will take damage.
  • Creature moves through the Guardian's range but does not stop, no damage

Am I understanding this spell properly? Seems like it would only really be useful to place in difficult terrain, or at some sort of objective point where the party actually has to stop for a moment (e.g. to unlock a door, climb, etc).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ A note for @SevenSidedDie, although my post was correct (e.g. the use of player instead of creature, since my specific use was for player vs player), the term creature I assume is probably much more appropriate for the majority of situations. I also assume they will equate to the same answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Sh4d0wsPlyr Mar 7 '16 at 18:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ Terms for things inside the game would be “player characters” (PCs), “NPCs”, “creatures”, “opponents”, etc. “Player” always means your friends around the table, who don't move around grids or in the game world. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Mar 7 '16 at 18:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ You are missing SSDs point. A "player" is a real live person sitting at your table. A "character" or "player character" or "PC" is that person's avatar in the game, to which movement rules apply. It is incorrect to use "player" for in game use. So "character" or "PC" would have been correct (even if "creature" is probably better as it's more generic in this case) but "player" cannot be correct when talking about in-game activity. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Mar 7 '16 at 18:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ It is worth noting that the spell description says "moves to a space within 10 feet for the first time on its turn". So while i like the idea of 5 saving throws, I think it only applies if the combatant moves one space per turn. Even still, the guardian vanishes after dealing 60 damage. \$\endgroup\$ – BardicThinspiration Feb 14 '17 at 13:38
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The spell doesn't specify that a hostile creature must stop in the space, only that if they move to (meaning moving to or through, because moving through a space requires first moving to it) a space within 10 feet, it is affected.

This can be simplified to

Any creature moving within 10 feet of the guardian must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw. The creature takes 20 radiant damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

This would be useful in many situations where you wouldn't want the enemy to advance on the party, and certainly much more useful than if it only applied to a creature that stops within 10'.

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