Is spell range affected by difficult terrain?

Rules Questions

As the title says..... I had a GM(4 Star) insist ranges of spells were affected the same as movement while measured difficult terrain(broken ground). I can't find anything to support that claim. Can I get a solid answer?

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What spell are you talking about?

Generally spells require line of effect. Meaning a straight line from caster to target. Since this is going right over the top of the terrain. The terrain would not matter.

Magic Missle specifically.

I could see this being an issue if the DM was confusing encounter distances / maximum perception ranges for various terrain types. I could understand a DM making the rule that a dense grove of trees gives cover against a ray attack, or something along those lines.

That, or being [bounced around on horseback or on a wagon through difficult terrain could force a concentration check or two.

However, there is basically no situation that I could think of where the actual surface of the terrain would have an impact on the range of the spell.

No basis of that I know of.
Only thing you could possibly claim it for might be something like Flaming Sphere,
only for the 30' of movement for the sphere, not the spell range per se.
Even if there was 5' tall grass filling the entire squares/cubes between you and target, being difficult terrain,
the spell range (of Magic Missile, of Fireball, etc) would still be unaffected,
other than how actual Full Cover might affect the propagation of Emanation effects (not range per se).

John Theodoropoulos wrote:
Magic Missle specifically.

Your DM is way off.

You need line of effect for magic missile.

I think it is pretty simple that spells would not be bothered by terrain, but here is the section for difficult terrain.

Obstacles: Like difficult terrain, obstacles can hamper movement. If an obstacle hampers movement but doesn't completely block it, each obstructed square or obstacle between squares counts as 2 squares of movement. You must pay this cost to cross the obstacle, in addition to the cost to move into the square on the other side. If you don't have sufficient movement to cross the obstacle and move into the square on the other side, you can't cross it. Some obstacles may also require a skill check to cross.

On the other hand, some obstacles block movement entirely. A character can't move through a blocking obstacle.

Flying and incorporeal creatures are able to avoid most obstacles.

Sine MM will be flying over it, it will not matter. I am more curious where your DM came up with this crack pot idea.

If the only possible route of travel between leaving your hand and lodging itself in your target's backside was for it to travel through a network of termite tunnels in a nearby building... then maybe.

Otherwise, can't see that as a valid call. Also, no real basis for that anywhere in the spellcasting rules.

Sovereign Court

Maybe it was the terrain blocking line of effect?? Like a forest or going underwater. While both affect movement they can block line of sight and effect. Let him know.

Sovereign Court

Broken ground cannot affect spell distance, maybe block line of sight, effect, etc. so magic missile should work just fine.

As others have noted if the spell has a move speed it could possibly be affected by terrain. Though in the spell descriptions they touch on this.

but regardless they still have max distances and lines of effect. Only a temporal affect could effect distance and movement and those are very rare being either from a powerful artifact or traveling the planes :D

No the range of a spell is not affected by difficult terrain such as ice on the ground or uneven ground.

The range of a spell is not movement speed.

Thanks for clearing that up for me every buddy :)

Dark Archive

As long as you can see your target and they are in range, magic missile will always hit what you aim at.

Lord Laird Bates wrote:
As long as you can see your target and they are in range, magic missile will always hit what you aim at.

Unless what you aim at is actually an object. Or a body part. Or benefiting from a shield spell. Or a hostile juxtaposition spell. Or wearing a ring of forcefangs. Or the missile is counterspelled. Or there's an invisible barrier in the way, like a wall of force, resilient sphere, or emergency force sphere. Or just an ordinary glass window.

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