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Wall of Force vs. (Border) Etherealness

 
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Lanthorn
GreySage


Joined: Sep 09, 2009
Posts: 2430
Location: SW WA state (Highvale)

PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:50 pm    Post subject: Wall of Force vs. (Border) Etherealness Reply with quote

Question: Can a Wall of Force prevent a traveler in the Border Ethereal from crossing through?

This recently came up during a game.

I looked through Manual of the Planes and it said nothing at all. A Glyph of Warding CAN be triggered by someone crossing through the Border Ethereal (never mentioned in the spell description), and a Mordenkainen's Faithful Hound CAN detect somebody in the Border Ethereal.

Living things (including plants) create a type of barrier preventing crossing, as do very dense metals like lead and gold.

Thusly, I had to make a DM call on the spot and determined, given the power of the spell and everything it prevents, that a Wall of Force DOES work against somebody passing through the Border Ethereal.

Wondering how many of you agree (and why) or disagree (and why).

thank you,

Lanthorn
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Cebrion
Black Hand of Oblivion
Black Hand of Oblivion


Joined: Feb 16, 2003
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Location: So. Cal

PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If a ghost can't pass through it, neither should an ethereal traveler. Haven't found any references on any situation like this, but I assume the area the traveler was trying to get into was otherwise sealed off, such that the only way to get in was through the wall of force covered entry. Maybe an arcane gateway to the ethereal that had a wall of force put over it like a plug, or a *floating* ethereal creature had a force globe put around it? Hard to say without knowing the exact situation.
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Lanthorn
GreySage


Joined: Sep 09, 2009
Posts: 2430
Location: SW WA state (Highvale)

PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the situation:

A Wall of Force was erected across an area, thereby preventing anyone from entering or crossing over. Could a spell-caster enter the Border Ethereal and pass through the magical barrier?

-Lanthorn
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Cebrion
Black Hand of Oblivion
Black Hand of Oblivion


Joined: Feb 16, 2003
Posts: 3733
Location: So. Cal

PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would say no. Force attacks (like magic missile) affect ethereal creatures (like a ghost), so a wall of force should stop an ethereal creature from passing through it, it likewise being a force effect (this is dealt with very clearly in later game editions, but we can make reasonable assumptions about things in 1e/2e based on how similar effects work in the either system). However, unless that wall of force is a globe, there is nothing to prevent the ethereal spell caster from simply passing through any nearby barrier, such as a wall, ceiling, or the ground, however they wish to. Reading the spell entry literally, the only way to encapsulate a target in a globe of force is if they are floating, as any other situation fails to fulfill the requirement of the spell that its continuous surface must not be broken by any object, such as the ground, a foot, etc., when the spell is cast.
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Lanthorn
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Joined: Sep 09, 2009
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Location: SW WA state (Highvale)

PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your response.

As for how to circumnavigate the wall, that's exactly what the character did (passed through another point of entry)!

great minds...

-Lanthorn
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