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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGirl

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    Default Spiritual Weapon and Hiding

    On one hand, casting spiritual weapon with a bonus action and then hiding with your action seems like a decent idea. You don't need to clearly see the target you want to attack nor do you need to make sounds or leave cover, so repeatedly suckerpunching someone with the weapon in a game of hide and seek seems smart.

    The trouble is that by RAW, making an attack reveals your position. Even if you're on the other side of a wall, attacking with a disjointed weapon, you're made. To an extent, that's fair, but it doesn't make a lot of sense.

    How would youse guyses handle this? Does RAW win because bonus action spiritual weapon attacks still require a grunt of effort like a real attack? Will the opposite hold true because there really isn't any traceable indicator of where the attacker is? Is there a balance here in that a bonus action attack still allows an action to hide? What say you?
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    Griffon

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    Default Re: Spiritual Weapon and Hiding

    The issue with stealth never really came up, but in our game we ruled that you have disadvantage when you attack someone with the spiritual weapon you can't see (to discourage people just going behind total cover while attacking). Which is kinda RAW depending on the interpretation anyway.

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    Toofey's Avatar

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    Default Re: Spiritual Weapon and Hiding

    You're not making the attack the spiritual weapon is.
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    NecromancerGirl

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    Default Re: Spiritual Weapon and Hiding

    Quote Originally Posted by Toofey View Post
    You're not making the attack the spiritual weapon is.
    I'm not hurting you, my sword is.

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    OrcBarbarianGirl

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    Default Re: Spiritual Weapon and Hiding

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFryingPen View Post
    The issue with stealth never really came up, but in our game we ruled that you have disadvantage when you attack someone with the spiritual weapon you can't see (to discourage people just going behind total cover while attacking). Which is kinda RAW depending on the interpretation anyway.
    Totally fair. The caster does not need to see the target, but it sure as heck helps.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toofey View Post
    You're not making the attack the spiritual weapon is.
    A slight aside, would that mean Spiritual Weapon attacks also don't break Sanctuary? Things get weird when something conjured by a spell a person casts makes an attack using their action and their modifiers.
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    Greywander's Avatar

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    Default Re: Spiritual Weapon and Hiding

    Quote Originally Posted by Toofey View Post
    You're not making the attack the spiritual weapon is.
    Does the weapon have disadvantage on its attacks since it doesn't have eyes?

    This would actually make for a pretty hilarious ability. You summon a [thing] that fights for you. The problem is, it can't see, so it just swings around wildly, and is just as likely to hit an ally, or nothing at all, as it is to hit an enemy. And the players would still be able to find a creative way to make this ability useful (such as summoning it in an area with no friendlies that is dense with enemies, or using it to create a distraction).

    After reading the description of the spell, it seems that it is indeed you that is making the attack. Therefore, (a) you have disadvantage on the attack if you can't see the target, (b) you have advantage on the attack roll if the target can't see you, and (c) attacking while hidden gives away your position.

    Therefore, if you're behind a wall or something, unable to see or be seen, then you have both advantage and disadvantage, canceling out. If you are hidden, you give away your position. Considering the spell has vocal components, perhaps it requires you to shout a command to the weapon to attack. Thus, the cheesiest way to use this spell is to cast, attack, then hide. Get somewhere where you can see the target, but are still hidden from them. Attack, then hide again, moving around so you don't get caught. Remember, hiding is an action, while attacking with the weapon is a bonus action.

    Alternatively, take the Dodge action and just attack with the spiritual weapon while they fail to hit you. Bonus points if you put Shield of Faith on yourself first, to make yourself even harder to hit.

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    Daemon

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    Default Re: Spiritual Weapon and Hiding

    Summoning inanimate objects to do your fighting for you is as old as D&D. Wizards had those swords they could summon. They just kind of know where everything is by magic. Technically yes it's a summon spell and acts like your Mordenkainen's Faithful Hound would. The fact that you can summon it 60 feet away and move it 20 feet per round means you don't even necessarily need to be able to see the target. Send your sword around the corner and start swinging. I know that's what I did in Baldur's Gate.

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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Spiritual Weapon and Hiding

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerrykhor View Post
    I'm not hurting you, my sword is.
    I'm not biting you, my dog is.
    I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Spiritual Weapon and Hiding

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightgaun7 View Post
    I'm not biting you, my dog is.
    As funny as this comment chain is, Spiritual Weapon does label "you" (the caster) as the one making the attack.

    The dog analogy fails, as the dog (lets just assume its a beast master companion) doesn't count as your attack. It can be commanded by you to take the attack action, meaning that it makes the attack.

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    Default Re: Spiritual Weapon and Hiding

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightgaun7 View Post
    I'm not biting you, my dog is.
    An owl, you say? Sorry, officer, no owls here. This man is clearly deranged, and his injuries are self-inflicted. You should take him away to get help before he hurts anyone else.

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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Spiritual Weapon and Hiding

    Quote Originally Posted by No brains View Post
    bonus action spiritual weapon attacks still require a grunt of effort like a real attack
    The spell does have a verbal component, so this is how I would rule it. I would not have it reveal position on the account of you "making an attack" but rather on the account of "casting a spell", which many tables allow being done with varying degrees of subtlety. Think of when Snape and Quirrell were fighting over Harry's broom, with verbally cast magic. Only by looking could you find Snape casting a spell, while the people around him were none the wiser.

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    Daemon

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    Default Re: Spiritual Weapon and Hiding

    Quote Originally Posted by ProsecutorGodot View Post
    As funny as this comment chain is, Spiritual Weapon does label "you" (the caster) as the one making the attack.
    I mean so does any sort of rolling Flame Sphere thing. "You" can move the sphere. "You" can ram the sphere into creatures to deal damage on a failed saving throw. Druids and Wizards both have these.

    I think "You" is just something they use for any sort of magically controlled object. Because "You" are the caster and it is just a ball of energy with no sentient thought process.

    Sorry, but the fact that your Mordenkainen's Sword, the wizard equivalent to Spiritual Weapon, attacks something 100 feet away without you having to shout at it does not suddenly alert enemies to your wizard's hiding spot. I swear there's an animated movie involving a wizard who hides behind a rock and ensorcels objects to distract and fight his enemies.

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Spiritual Weapon and Hiding

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyutaru View Post
    I mean so does any sort of rolling Flame Sphere thing. "You" can move the sphere. "You" can ram the sphere into creatures to deal damage on a failed saving throw. Druids and Wizards both have these.

    I think "You" is just something they use for any sort of magically controlled object. Because "You" are the caster and it is just a ball of energy with no sentient thought process.

    Sorry, but the fact that your Mordenkainen's Sword, the wizard equivalent to Spiritual Weapon, attacks something 100 feet away without you having to shout at it does not suddenly alert enemies to your wizard's hiding spot. I swear there's an animated movie involving a wizard who hides behind a rock and ensorcels objects to distract and fight his enemies.
    The rules don't really care about it making sense. I agree with you that it shouldn't necessarily reveal the hidden caster, but the fact that "you" are making the attack means that it does by RAW.

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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Spiritual Weapon and Hiding

    Casting the spell definitely breaks Sanctuary, and makes noise, and reveals you if you're hiding. We're not asking about that. We're asking about using it after it's cast.
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    Segev's Avatar

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    Default Re: Spiritual Weapon and Hiding

    To be fair, this edition’s mantra of “rulings, not rules” is specifically meant for cases like this where the RAW have quirky interactions that don’t make sense. So if your DM thinks it makes no sense that the targets of your spiritual weapon would suddenly know your hiding spot, he can rule - without even invoking rule 0 - that the reason for the position revelation doesn’t apply without a connection between the attack and the attacker.

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Spiritual Weapon and Hiding

    I would say that making an attack with spiritual weapon from hiding does not reveal your location. You are basically ordering it to attack, and it does on its own.

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Spiritual Weapon and Hiding

    If you want to get really weird, Cover has to be applied between the sword and the target, but Obscuration has to be applied between the target and the caster. Physical obstructions apply between the Sword and target, and visual obstructions apply between the caster and target.

    For example, the caster can be hidden, make their attack with the sword while unseen, and the very obvious sword attacks the target with Advantage from the Unseen bonus.

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Spiritual Weapon and Hiding

    Quote Originally Posted by Demonslayer666 View Post
    I would say that making an attack with spiritual weapon from hiding does not reveal your location. You are basically ordering it to attack, and it does on its own.
    If this were the case then Spiritual Weapon would be worded like the Beast Masters companion, or for a spell comparison, Animate Objects.

    Animate Objects specifies that you command the animated object (lets just say its a warhammer) to take the attack action. This animated object is now considered a creature and has an attack action separate from yours.

    Spiritual Weapon says that you make the spell attack roll. A Spiritual Weapon can't take actions. Any attack made using a spiritual weapon us made by you, the caster.

    Would I rule that it reveals the caster to use Spiritual Weapon in this way? It depends on the context. If there wasn't a reasonable chance of the caster being found to begin with (IE a particularly high stealth roll or strong/creative planning) I would be inclined to let it slide. If this because a regularly used strategy I would start looking for opportunities for NPC's to be more clever about dealing with it.

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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Spiritual Weapon and Hiding

    Maybe the caster needs to call the spiritual weapon's attacks? So for each strike you hear someone chanting "Extra... virgin... oil!" from the bushes.

    I might rule that:

    * The spiritual weapon is treated much like any random animated weapon for visibility concerns, e.g. it doesn't get advantage if the caster is not seen, but it only reveals its own location when attacking, and

    * The caster needs to see a target (or pinpoint its location with some other sense) to direct the spiritual weapon to attack it.
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