The level 9 spell imprisonment states that

the creature doesn't need to breathe, eat, or drink, and it doesn't age.

But the spell does not state if this creature can be injured or killed during this state.

Does this mean if a wizard decides to imprison a creature, another creature can kill or whittle away at the imprisoned creature?


1 Answer 1


By RAW - yes, but it depends on the form of imprisonment

Firstly, rules-as-written describe the spell Imprisonment fundamentally as a restraint, not something that grants immunity to damage or death:

You create a magical restraint to hold a creature that you can see within range.

Given the context of the forms of imprisonment (burial, chaining, hedge prison, etc.) it's clear that the purpose of removing the requirement to eat, breathe and age is to keep the prisoner alive in the context of the prison itself. This doesn't necessarily mean the prisoner can't be harmed by other means. (Just like a "regular" prisoner, who is sustained by the infrastructure of the prison, can still be beaten up or killed by the wardens or fellow inmates).

Form of Imprisonment

That being said, the ability to actually access the prisoner in order to do them harm depends heavily on which form of the Imprisonment spell you choose to use:

Slumber and Chaining keep the prisoner easily accessible, and within the reach of a convenient beating/smackdown. These are essentially souped up versions of Sleep and Hold Person.

Burial, Hedged Prison and Minimus Containment specify quite explicitly that it is near-impossible to physically access the prisoner (perhaps not without a Wish spell and some generous DM-ruling).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Could the hedged prison in & of itself be damaging to the creature(s) so imprisoned? (a water creature being imprisoned in a demiplane of fire, lacking an air supply, drains the level of those contained therein, etc). In terms of the minimus containment, would the gem be able to be used for another purpose (casting a spell, which would consume the gem in the process). Also, the terms of the imprisonment breaking could be creative, such that the moment it ended, it would spell death for the creature so contained (lava, deep underwater, far above the clouds & have them drop to their death!) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 7, 2016 at 18:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JesseCohoon That is a different question (possibly two or three different questions) from the question here, which is about whether others can physically attack an imprisoned creatures. Since those are different questions, the answer shouldn't be expected to or prodded to answer them. You should ask them as a separate question(s). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 16:37

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