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The conjure barrage spell requires the caster to use a thrown piece of ammunition or a thrown weapon. The spell then delivers damage in a cone if the targets fail a Dexterity saving throw.

If the caster chooses a net for the weapon, would the targets be subjected to the net's special restraining effects?
And, if so, would the spell still deliver the 3d8 damage (since the net delivers no damage normally)?

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Sorry, No.

Jeremy Crawford ruled about the use of nets as illegal for the conjure barrage spell. So, not allowed under the Rules as the Designers intended for a character to be allowed to do so.

Conjure volley is meant to work with ammunition or a weapon that deals damage.

Damage Type

This follows logically with the text of the spell in regards to the type of damage dealt. Nets don't deal damage, so they have no damage type, and the spell clearly reads:

The damage type is the same as that of the weapon or ammunition used as a component.

And, before you ask, Jeremy Crawford already ruled, all damage has a type:

All damage has a type. #DnD

So there could be no damage done, as there would be no source of the extra damage.

No Restraint

The spell also says that the copies don't remain.

cone of identical weapons that shoot forward and then disappear

So, even if it worked, the second it hit the whole point of using nets would be lost, as they would immediately vanish.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Great answer. And for completeness, the damage from the spell couldn't be untyped either because all damage has a type. \$\endgroup\$ – Doval Mar 29 '17 at 17:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ What part of this answer is RAW and what part is RAI? Could you edit to make that clearer? \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Dec 12 '18 at 15:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Rulings by Jeremy Crawford are considered by WotC to be Official Rulings and thus "Rules as Written". That said, by the common definition of offical released material, that would make the first part would be "RAI" and the latter two would be RAW. \$\endgroup\$ – J. A. Streich Dec 13 '18 at 21:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ Nothing Crawford says is RAW, as the RAW is strictly what the book says, while Crawford's tweets are his interpretation of what the rules are supposed to say. \$\endgroup\$ – xanderh Feb 6 at 14:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ We can argue a decade about what it means that WotC considers his tweets official rulings, or I can remove two words. I've chosen the later and rewrote a sentence a tiny bit. I believe the books to be clear on the issue, but that isn't important. \$\endgroup\$ – J. A. Streich Feb 6 at 22:12
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There is no special effect from the nets

As a baseline D&D 5e spells do exactly what is written. In this case nothing in Conjure Barrage says that creatures are affected by special properties of the weapon or ammunition used so they aren't. At the moment there aren't any other examples of thrown weapons with apparently relevant special abilities but this could come up with poisoned weapons/ammunition. Additionally since the spell says the copies disappear any entangling would be rather temporary.

The damage type is more complicated as nets don't normally do damage. Generally 5e damage is typed; however, this seems to be a special case where the damage becomes untyped as it is the same as the untyped/undamaging net.

But this cries out for flavorful DMing

Part of the D&D tradition that 5e gets back to is empowering/expecting the DM to make good rulings where the rules don't seem to work. Here a valid (and apparently official) ruling would be that the spell simply doesn't work but it's a boring result that doesn't advance the scene. Alternatively a barrage of nets flying out and entangling a horde is pretty cool and as a 3rd level spell isn't going to be a balance issue.

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