Author Topic: Spell fluff vs. RAW  (Read 522 times)

Offline NunoM

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Spell fluff vs. RAW
« on: January 29, 2019, 06:49:05 PM »
Hi all, it's been a while since I last posted in this forum, so i'm not exactly sure if this is the place to post this question, but here goes...

Straight to the point, does the spell "Shadow of Moil" somehow protect the caster from the effects of "Sickening Radiance"?

Both are 4th level spells from "Xanathar's Guide to Everything", and here's the text for them (emphasis mine).

Quote
Shadow of Moil

Flame-like shadows wreathe your body until the spell ends, causing you to become heavily obscured to others.
The shadows turn dim light within 10 feet of you into darkness, and bright light in the same area to dim light.
Until the spell ends, you have resistance to radiant damage. In addition, whenever a creature within 10 feet of you hits you with an attack, the shadows lash out at that creature, dealing it 2d8 necrotic damage.

Quote
Sickening Radiance

Dim, greenish light spreads within a 30-foot-radius sphere centered on a point you choose within range.
The light spreads around corners, and it lasts until the spell ends.
When a creature moves into the spell’s area for the first time on a turn or starts its turn there, that creature must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or take 4d10 radiant damage, and it suffers one level of exhaustion and emits a dim, greenish light in a 5-foot radius.
This light makes it impossible for the creature to benefit from being invisible. The light and any levels of exhaustion caused by this spell go away when the spell ends.

Now, I realize that some protection is granted, given that "Shadow of Moil" provides resistance to radiant damage (the same dealt by "Sickening Radiance"), but the fluff seems to indicate that the light created by the spell is causing the damage. Given it's dim light, and "Shadow of Moil" turns that light into darkness near the caster... how does that work?

Is the fluff mightier than the RAW in this case?

Thank you in advance for the input.

Offline ketaro

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Re: Spell fluff vs. RAW
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2019, 07:53:37 PM »
Regardless of that's not how spell interactions work, turning the dim light into darkness doesn't magically end the latter spell and so it still lasts it's full duration and continues its regular effects on any creatures entering into the area.

This is akin to asking if being blind makes you immune to any spells that use light.

When working with mechanics, the flavor text does not exist. It's there explicitly to paint a mental picture, not to tell you how the spell functions within the rules.

Offline NunoM

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Re: Spell fluff vs. RAW
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2019, 08:12:33 PM »
This is akin to asking if being blind makes you immune to any spells that use light.

Actually, I'd say it's more akin to Darkness making you immune to light-based spells, but I see your point.

Drawing a picture, can we say that even if Darkness is covering you, you still feel the heat of the "sun" (i.e. the point of origin for "Sickening Radiance")?

Offline awaken_D_M_golem

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Re: Spell fluff vs. RAW
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2019, 04:52:31 PM »
I don't have an explicit rules cite sitting in front of me ... but

Let's say you sub in Fireball for Sickening Radiance.
The ambient light situation (light, dim, dark) is separate from the spell side effect of the bright firey flash.

It should be / ought-to-be clearer, when wotc is talking rules vs. descriptive.
Your codpiece is a mimic.

Offline NunoM

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Re: Spell fluff vs. RAW
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2019, 03:04:53 PM »
Okay, thank you for the input.

*Closing topic*