An Unseen Servant has an AC of 10 and 1 hit point, which means that it can be targeted by actions and effects that use attack rolls, and that it can be destroyed by taking damage.

However, the spell text doesn't have any information about its saving throws. What happens if it is targeted by a area spell or effect that requires a saving throw, such as Fireball?

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ It asks for a d20. (Unseen servants don't have pockets). \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Apr 11 '17 at 21:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fireball only does damage to creatures, so the unseen servant wouldn't be hurt either way. \$\endgroup\$ – Merudo May 3 '19 at 8:05

Firstly, an unseen servant isn't a creature

This spell creates an invisible, mindless, shapeless force that performs simple tasks at your command until the spell ends.

The presence of an AC and HP value does not make it a creature, even objects (such as Bigby's Hand, Barrels, and Walls) have AC and HP (and a strength score, in the case of Bigby's Hand). As for the Servant having a Strength score, I suspect it's for determining how much it can lift, drag or carry.

Because the Unseen Servant isn't a creature, most spells that can target a single creature (if the caster can see invisibility), can't legally target it, neither can Area of Effect spells that hits creatures, such as Hypnotic Pattern, affect it.

It can, however, take damage from Area spells that deal at least 1 damage- then it is destroyed.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I understand that it's not a creature, but it doesn't quite seem like an object either. Does that mean that it automatically fails its saving throws against spells like Fireball, Lightning Bolt, and Meteor Swarm? Or, if it's an object, does it somehow catch fire? \$\endgroup\$ – Icyfire Apr 11 '17 at 6:14
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ It doesn't matter if it saves, I think? The 1 HP means it's gonna die even if it does save. Unless, I can't really exhaustively search, but is there a spell that is an area of effect and doesn't do damage on a save? \$\endgroup\$ – daze413 Apr 11 '17 at 6:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ As your main argument is that it's not a creature, wouldn't the phrase "is destroyed" be more appropriate than "dies?" \$\endgroup\$ – Derek Stucki Apr 11 '17 at 14:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @daze413, ah, I forgot about that. I think this is the right answer then. \$\endgroup\$ – Icyfire Apr 11 '17 at 15:27
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ While the 5e version of the spell doesn't say what happens when an unseen servant would make a saving throw, both 3.5e and Pathfinder do - an unseen servant doesn't get a save against any form of attack (i.e., it automatically fails the save). \$\endgroup\$ – Ben S. May 10 '17 at 4:47

An unseen servant is an object. It automatically fails it's save.


There are only three classes of target in the D&D rules: creatures, objects and locations.

AN unseen servant is a target; otherwise its AC and HP would not have been specified.

From the Making an Attack section:

  1. Choose a target. Pick a target within your attack’s range: a creature, an object, or a location.

From the Casting a Spell section:

A spell’s description tells you whether the spell targets creatures, objects, or a point of origin for an area of effect (described below).

An unseen servant is not a creature (it is mindless). It is not a location (it moves around). Therefore it is an object.

Objects always fail Strength and Dexterity saving throws, and they are immune to effects that require other saves.

If the unseen servant is in the area of effect of a fireball then it fails its save and is destroyed (since fireball always does more than 1 HP damage).

Additionally, an unseen servant is invisible so cannot be targeted by any feature that specifies "that you can see". If you attack it, you roll at disadvantage because you can't see it - but you can still attempt the attack. If you hit AC 10 and do at least 1 HP of damage then it is destroyed.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Since "specific beats general", those 3 categories of targets aren't exhaustive. Case in point: an illusion is neither a creature nor an object and neither is Spiritual Weapon. You can target both with Dispel Magic, because Dispel Magic says it can target spell effects. The DMG defines an object as "a discrete, inanimate item". \$\endgroup\$ – Doval Apr 12 '17 at 2:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Doval, Magical effects cannot be targeted with any attacks or with anything that requires saving throws. As far as I know, the only thing that can target a magical effect is dispel magic, which does not involve an attack roll or a saving throw. \$\endgroup\$ – Greenstone Walker Apr 12 '17 at 2:29
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ My point is that you can't automatically assume something is an object just because it's not a creature or location. \$\endgroup\$ – Doval Apr 12 '17 at 2:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.