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Would there be anything in the rules stopping someone from using this spell with bolts instead of arrows?

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The 4th-level Sor/Wiz spell Melf's slumber arrows [ench] (Complete Mage 110-1) has as one of its entries Target: 1 arrow/3 levels, and that's an in-game specific thing, an arrow (PH 114, 117) (5 cp; 0.15 lbs.). The Player's Handbook on Aiming a Spell on Target or Targets says, "Some spells… have a target or targets. You cast these spells on creatures or objects, as defined by the spell itself" (175), but that doesn't mean the spell can also be cast on other things, no matter how closely associated they may be. So, yes, sadly, because the spell only targets arrows, the rules actually prevent the spell Melf's slumber arrows from being cast on a bolt (PH 115, 117) (1 sp; 0.1 lb. or, for repeating crossbow bolts, 2 sp; 0.2 lbs.).

However, the DM need not let that entry prevent him from making a house rule that permits in his campaigns the casting of the spell Melf's slumber arrows on crossbow bolts—such a minor change (and, frankly, nearly any change to the rules) is within the DM's purview. This DM finds it highly unlikely that the game would collapse were a such a house rule implemented. Further, a less generous but still lenient DM may instead allow researching an original spell (Dungeon Master's Guide 198) to yield an achingly similar spell like Melf's slumber bolts.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I like the idea of a custom slumber bolts spell, but I wouldn't give that layabout Melf any credit, They'd be Gaynorvader's slumber bolts! \$\endgroup\$ Jan 4, 2017 at 11:19

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