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When pressing the second face of a cube of force, the effect is:

Nonliving matter can't pass through the barrier. Walls, floors, and ceilings can pass through at your discretion.

Does that mean that creatures wearing clothing also cannot pass, since their clothing is considered nonliving matter? In that case, isn't 2 a stronger setting than 3, despite costing less charges?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Note that for some spells & effects, carried objects aren't valid targets, suggesting they're considered part of the creature. While this isn't stated for the Cube of Force, it does set a precedent that could be relied on. \$\endgroup\$
    – outis
    Jan 7 at 20:32

2 Answers 2

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Does that mean that creatures wearing clothing also cannot pass, since their clothing is considered nonliving matter?

Yes

In that case, isn't 2 a stronger setting than 3, despite costing less charges?

No, because owlbears and dragons don't wear clothes.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The second question is situation dependent, and really cannot be answered with a simple Yes or No. dragons might not wear cloths, but then setting three will not block many creatures that setting 2 does. It's a tradeoff, Magical Beasts vs Constructs and Undead. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jonathon
    Jan 29, 2017 at 14:28
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Yes and no.

Yes if you apply scientific theory to magic which is iffy at best.

Here's an alternative approach leading up to a "No" answer:

The item is not meant to be "gamed" using real life physics. There is no rule in the game that discusses the property of clothing. The cube's rules never discuss physical effects such as heat exchange or lack of air. Setting the cube to "block non-living" doesn't mean you eventually burn up since heat can't diffuse out, or that you suffocate since new air can't get in. If those results were intended, the item would say so.

Blocking the non-living clearly are meant to be in opposition to blocking living material (the next effect). This means that blocking non-living blocks arrows, zombies and thrown boulders. Blocking living blocks town guards, goblins and umber hulks.

So the answer is "no". If only naked living beings could pass through, the text would say so.

The fact a living human wears clothing changes nothing and is entirely inconsequential. Why? Because any other answer would make the game fall into a rabbit trap of evermore complicated interactions that only end up making the game impossible to play.

At some level we all need to accept that magic doesn't work like physics.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This question seems to debunk your assertation that the rules don't address clothing. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 25, 2020 at 16:55

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