Assuming you enter the spells area of effect and end your turn inside this area on the same turn. Does it trigger twice?

A creature must also make this saving throw when it enters the spell’s area for the first time on a turn or ends its turn there.

Not a native speaker, so I am not sure whether this means you make a saving throw when entering and when ending your turn in the area, or that you have to make one saving throw when one of this happens and only once.

It seems a bit overpowered when it triggers twice, dealing 8d10 damage is ok for a 5th level one-target spell, not a lasting multi-target AoE spell (DMG p.284)


4 Answers 4


Jeremy Crawford says yes

I asked Jeremy Crawford about this on Twitter, and his answer was


This confirms the RAW reading of the triggers not being mutually exclusive, as argued in another answer.


Yes, it can trigger twice in a turn: the triggers are not mutually exclusive

This approach is supported by Jeremy Crawford's interpretation of moonbeam in this rules answer on the Wizards of the Coast website. Moonbeam takes effect 'when a creature enters the spell's area for the first time on a turn or starts its turn there'. This wording is identical to that for insect plague, except that insect plague takes effect when when a creature ends its turn in the area, rather than starts its turn there.

Crawford's answer provides that a given creature can be affected twice in the same turn by fufilling one criterion at one point on its turn, and the other at a different point on its turn.

In the absence of any ruling to the contrary, it seems logical to assume that effects that trigger at the end of a creature's turn behave in an analogous way. So if a creature enters the area of insect plague on its turn and doesn't get out by the end of its turn, the spell affects it twice.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Crawford's answer says you can't move a creature in and out of the AoE to damage it multiple times. He doesn't say anything about triggering more than once a turn. \$\endgroup\$
    – yinzanat
    Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 13:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ My reading of Sage Advice is that you can't affect a creature twice on the same turn. You can do it on different turns (e.g. on your turn, thunderwave the creature into the area so it takes damage, on its turn it takes damage becauzse it starts its turn in the area). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 20:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ If that where the Case, the spell would say that, as it already mentions not Working when entering the area multiple times in a turn. \$\endgroup\$
    – Patta
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 6:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GreenstoneWalker , just so I'm clear, what's your take on the following. If you thunderwave a creature into insect plague's area of effect, it must make a save immediately, on your turn (the 'entering the spell's area for the first time on a turn' clause). Then, when its turn comes around, if doesn't leave the area, it must save again at the end of its turn (the 'ends its turn there' clause). If during its turn it leaves the area and re-enters it, and doesn't come out again, it must save twice: once for re-entering, and again for ending its turn in the area. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 15:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @yinzanat I concede that I may be extracting more meaning from Crawford's answer than is warranted. I'm reading his use of and in the sentence, 'a spell like moonbeam affects a creature when the creature passes into the spell’s area of effect and when the creature starts its turn there' to be deliberate, meaning that a creature can be affected twice on its turn. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 17:17

Yes. The way you can parse it is:

A creature must also make this saving throw when [(it enters the spell’s area for the first time on a turn) or (ends its turn there)].

I interpret the 'or' as joining the two conditions with the saving throw requirement (as if there were an 'either' in front of the two conditions), so the phrase means:

  • If the creature enters the area for the first time on a turn, it must make a saving throw


  • If the creature ends its turn in the spell, it must make a saving throw

are both valid conditions for the spell to force a creature to make a saving throw.

Note that this spell functions slightly differently than something like Cloud of Daggers which says:

when it enters the spell’s area for the first time on a turn or starts its turn there.

Which makes it much harder to trigger both of the saving throws yourself (but still possible).

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    \$\begingroup\$ Um... no...it is markedly NOT different wording? If you put them both side by side every single word is precise except 'Start' and 'End' . The important word here is OR, always meaning one or the other never both. Have I missed something? \$\endgroup\$
    – Airatome
    Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 1:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Agreed. I downvoted specifically because it says OR, not AND/OR. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 2:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Airatome Usually "or" is not interperted as "x or y but not both", usually it has the meaning of "either x or y or both", which is how I would interpret it. I'll add a clarification about that. Also, by different I meant that it was simply different; that you wouldn't normally be able to active both of the clauses of Cloud of Daggers like with Insect Plauge. Will also clarify that. \$\endgroup\$
    – firedraco
    Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 4:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't agree that, because a spell like cloud of daggers triggers at the start of a creature's turn, rather than at the end, such a spell is 'much harder to trigger'. From a given creature's perspective, there is no difference between the end of one of its turns and the start of its next turn. The difference comes from how other creatures act: an ally might try to remove the creature from the area, or help it some other way; whereas an enemy might attack it or fail a concentration check and so lose the spell. This difference does make effects harder to trigger, but not much harder. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 12:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you do it at exactly (!) The same time, then yes. If there is even a slight delay, you trigger the "I owe you 50 bucks" twice. \$\endgroup\$
    – Patta
    Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 17:20

The simple message of the books and Sage Advice is, "you only take damage once per turn". From the SA on moonbeam, "You can’t move a creature in and out of it to damage it over and over again on the same turn."

If someone uses thunderwave to move your character into the area of insect plague, then you take damage for entering the area. You are taking this damage on their turn. The spell says "…enters the spell’s area for the first time on a turn…", not "on your turn".

When it is your turn, if you don't leave the area, then you take damage at the end of your turn (the second time you've taken damage, but the first time on this turn).

If on your turn, you leave the area then enter it again, you take damage a second time, for entering the area on your turn. Again, this is the first time you've taken the damage on this turn.

If you leave the area, then enter it (taking damage), then end your turn in the area, you do not take damage for ending your turn in the area of effect. You've already taken the damage once this turn.

I believe that this rule is for the sake of not being mean. Imaging someone grappling a character and moving them in and out and in and out, damaging them each time. It also makes the game run quicker, by not rolling dice multiple times each turn.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you have a source for your first sentence? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 6:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, to prevent your grappling scenario, the spell explicitly says that the Damage for moving into the area only works the First Time on a turn. \$\endgroup\$
    – Patta
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 7:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ I would like to have a source for the first sentence, too. \$\endgroup\$
    – Thyzer
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 20:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ Twice and "over and over again" are far cries from each other. I think you're extrapolating erroneously. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 0:07

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