dnd 5e – Can players choose specific points in space, down to the inch, to cast a spell so as to avoid hitting a prone character?

Say there is a character that is prone, such as if they were unconscious, and they are surrounded on all 8 square grids (assuming that a grid is being used) by other creatures. Can a player cast a spell that has a sphere effect such as fireball or shatter such that only the 8 creatures surrounding the one that is prone be hit?

Would this potentially have any adverse effects with potentially breaking or having any unintended consequences for any other spells/effects down the line if this were allowed?

Obviously when it comes to casting some spells, the caster has the option to “choose a point in space”, but when playing with the understanding of a grid system that works in chunks of a given dimension does is it feasible to have spells cast in such a way so that a body lying prone won’t be affected by a spell cast just overhead?

dnd 5e – How many creatures can go to the Ethereal Plane via Etherealness cast at 8th level?

Etherealness cast at 8th level can target three creatures.

The use of parentheses in English is to add information in the middle of a sentence without changing the meaning of the sentence or its grammatical structure. Acording to this article:

Round brackets (also called parentheses, especially in American English) are mainly used to separate off information that isn’t essential to the meaning of the rest of the sentence. If you removed the bracketed material the sentence would still make perfectly good sense.

Thus, our spell description means the same thing without the parenthetical “including you”:

When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 8th level or higher, you can target up to three willing creatures for each slot level above 7th.

So at eighth level, etherealness may target three creatures. So why the parenthetical “including you”? It is just a reminder that the spell still has a range of self, so you are naturally going to be one of the three targeted creatures.

If an 8th level etherealness was intended to target Self + 3 creatures, the spell text would mirror similar target scaling effects, such as charm person which reads:

When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, you can target one additional creature for each slot level above 1st. The creatures must be within 30 feet of each other when you target them.

dnd 5e – What ways are there to cast life restoring magic without paying monetary or valuable material costs?

There are a number of options…

Wish

Let’s go ahead and get this one out of the way. I’m not talking about using Wish to just Wish someone back from the dead, because that’s a “strenuous use of the spell” which would (per your opinion on Reincarnate, count as a Cost), simply use Wish’s ability to

duplicate any other spell of 8th level or lower. You don’t need to meet any requirements in that spell, including costly components. The spell simply takes effect.

So, Wish for the 7th level spell Resurrection, and they’re alive at no cost beyond a 9th level Spell Slot. Alternatively, you may pre-empt the risk of death by Wishing for Clone spells for the whole party.

True Polymorph

You covered this in your question, Turn into a creature with component-free access to resurrection magic, such as a Planetar.

Divine Intervention

Like wish, this ability can do basically anything as long as your DM goes for it. Until you are 20th level, the odds of it actually working are fairly slim–but it offers a cost-free (apart from the cooldown) way to raise the dead.

Be Zealot Barbarians

If everybody in the party takes a 3 level multiclass Dip into barbarian and takes the Path of the Zealot subclass, they can acquire the following Class Feature

Warrior of the Gods
At 3rd level, your soul is marked for endless battle. If a spell, such as raise dead, has the sole effect of restoring you to life (but not undeath), the caster doesn’t need material components to cast the spell on you.

Acquire a Rod of Resurrection

This grants the following option:

The rod has 5 charges. While you hold it, you can use an action to cast one of the following spells from it: heal (expends 1 charge) or resurrection (expends 5 charges).

Spells cast through magic items do not consume material components (see here) This is, however, an edge case because…

The rod regains 1 expended charge daily at dawn. If the rod is reduced to 0 charges, roll a d20. On a 1, the rod disappears in a burst of radiance.

It can only be used to Resurrect once every 5 days, and has a 1/20 chance to vanish.

Scroll of (Rez Spell)

Scrolls require the expenditure of their costly material components when they are created. As long as someone else created the resurrection spell and the party acquired it for “free” in the course of adventuring, it’s a Free Resurrection. The same applies to Spell Gems.

dnd 5e – Can Darkness be cast on a part of an object?

From the description of the darkness spell:

Magical darkness spreads from a point you choose within range to fill a 15-foot-radius sphere for the duration. The darkness spreads around corners. A creature with darkvision can’t see through this darkness, and nonmagical light can’t illuminate it.

If the point you choose is on an object you are holding or one that isn’t being worn or carried, the darkness emanates from the object and moves with it. Completely covering the source of the darkness with an opaque object, such as a bowl or a helm, blocks the darkness.

As you can see, darkness does not target the object itself; it targets a point you choose within range, which can be on an object. If you covered the entire object except for that one point, the darkness would still emanate and would not be blocked. On the other hand, if you block that one point on the object, then the darkness is blocked even if you don’t block the rest of the object.

In your example: you could cast darkness on a point on the blade of your dagger and then sheathe it, which would block the darkness from emanating from that point until uncovered.

Note that for the second paragraph of the spell description to apply, it has to be a point on either an object you are holding, or an object that isn’t being worn or carried. Technically, those parts of the spell would not apply if you cast the spell on any other point.

(To clarify why I say darkness originates from a point on the object rather than the object as a whole: The entire object can’t be “a point” that the darkness emanates from. The point of origin of the spell is a single point. If that point is on an object you’re holding or an object that’s not worn/held, then the point of origin “sticks” to that point on the object – but the entire object can’t serve as the spell’s single point of origin.)

dnd 5e – Can a wereraven shadow monk cast darkness while in raven form?

In my ongoing Curse of Strahd game,

one of the PC’s, a Monk following the Way of the Shadow, has won the favor of the Order of the Feather and has asked them to be made a wereraven. I haven’t decided on that yet but the player and I are talking scenarios.

The question has arisen about what spells a wood elf Way of the Shadow Monk would have access to in the various wereraven forms.

In the humanoid (wood elf) form, all spell casting would be available as normal.

In the hybrid form, most spell casting would still be available, as the hybrid has hands (S), voice (V), and Ki (M). She would just need to remember to bring her fleece after all her gear drops to the ground when changing forms in order to cast minor illusion.

In the raven form, however, most spellcasting would be lost, as the bird does not have hands (S). However, one possible spell retained is darkness, which does not have a Somatic component and which instead is just V, M. The Material components are replaced with Ki, as described in the subclass’ abilities. But can the wereraven’s ability to Mimic serve as the Verbal component?

Mimicry. The wereraven can mimic simple sounds it has heard, such as a person whispering, a baby crying, or an animal chittering. A creature that hears the sounds can tell they are imitations with a successful DC 10 Wisdom (Insight) check.

Is this mimicry close enough to actual sounds that it could serve as the verbal component of the spell? Or is it just imitation sound, not actual ‘sounds of power, and insufficient?

Note that the ‘verbal’ component of spells derives its power not from the words themselves but because the words sound like powerful magical sounds

Most spells require the chanting of mystic words. The words themselves aren’t the source of the spell’s power; rather, the particular combination of sounds, with specific pitch and resonance, sets the threads of magic in motion.

This related question asks whether a wild shaped druid can speak in raven form. On the one hand, actual speaking would require far more verbal repertoire than casting a single action spell. On the other hand, perhaps the ‘sounds of power’ in a spell need to actually really spoken rather than just imitation sounds.

This related question concludes that Kenku can cast spells with verbal components, but it is primarily supported by a Crawford tweet that says “Kenku speak” and ravens seem more limited to me. At the level of mechanics, raven mimicry is detected by a DC-limited Insight check, while Kenku mimicry is detected by a contested Insight vs. Deception check, hinting that the Kenku is more personally in control of their ‘speech’ and some are better than others. In any event, the kenku is in their actual humanoid form, not an intelligent being in anadopted form.

dnd 5e – Could a creature, made by the Simulacrum spell, cast the Create Magen spell?

Could a creature, made by the 7th level Simulacrum spell, cast the Create Magen spell (from Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden) as a means of bypassing the hit point maximum reduction?

It seems like a character could resonably create a simulacrum of themselves then ask them to cast Create Magen. Upon finishing the Create Magen spell the simulacrum could order the magen to listen to and obey the character as if they had created the magen. Thereby allowing the caster to avoid the hit point reduction.
Is this the case? or is something missing here?
one of my concerns is that, if this is the case, a player character could conceivably make an army of magens with few repercussions. Obviously a DM will have the final say, but what do you guys think?

unity – Why does ‘InvalidCastException: Specified cast is not valid.’ occur for ARKitFaceSubsystem?

Why does ‘InvalidCastException: Specified cast is not valid.’ occur for ARKitFaceSubsystem in the snippet below?

    var faceManager = FindObjectOfType<ARFaceManager>();
    if (faceManager != null)
    {
        m_ARKitFaceSubsystem = (ARKitFaceSubsystem)faceManager.subsystem;
    }

dnd 5e – Can I cast Aid to heal creatures already under the effect of Aid?

Suppose I have cast Aid on 3 of my allies, and those allies have all dropped to 0 hit points and fallen unconscious. I would like to get all of them back on their feet as quickly as possible. Can I cast Aid again to restore 5 hits points to each of my 3 allies who are already under the effect of another Aid spell? I know that spells of the same name don’t stack, so my 2nd casting of Aid won’t increase their maximum hit points any further. However, it’s not clear to me whether the hit point increase from Aid is any different from the healing provided by spells like Cure Wounds, so it’s not clear to me whether there is a stacking issue that would prevent this from working.

dnd 5e – Does a spell cast from a Glyph of Warding with a range of Self have infinite effective range?

This is highly related to this old answer of mine regarding dead men’s switches. That one addresses pre-errata glyph of warding, when surface glyphs weren’t subjected to the spell’s movement limitations, but in games using the errata the same principles apply here. Quoting from there:

A Glyph wards an area or an object. While the trigger can be refined to be conditionally dependent on (almost) anything you want it still probably necessarily needs to interact with the area or object you’ve warded:

You decide what triggers the glyph when you cast the spell. For glyphs inscribed on a surface, the most typical triggers include touching or standing on the glyph, removing another object covering the glyph, approaching within a certain distance of the glyph, or manipulating the object on which the glyph is inscribed. For glyphs inscribed within an object, the most common triggers include opening that object, approaching within a certain distance of the object, or seeing or reading the glyph. Once a glyph is triggered, this spell ends.

The above quote, preceeding the section on refining the trigger, does not indicate that the trigger can be anything but rather that it can be lots of things and also lists several things it definitely can be. If you go outside that list for the basic trigger, you need to confirm with your GM that the new trigger is possible. Unlike the open-ended section on refining triggers, it is not the case that the basic trigger can accomplish what you want.

Furthermore, there is historical precedence for it not doing so; Glyph of Warding in earlier editions of the game, while always very open ended, specified some version of the following clause (taken from AD&D 2.0):

A Glyph of Warding is a powerful inscription magically drawn to prevent unauthorized or hostile creatures from passing, entering, or opening.

which indicates the general scope of potential triggers– they must in some way relate to the warded object or area. Refinement, however, is not nearly so limited.

So, you can get the glyph to cast fire shield on you from any distance, but only if you can interact with the object/area it is warding from that distance.

You could instead get it to cast the spell on someone interacting with it contingent upon you taking some distant action (like, e.g., dying or having at any point since the glyph‘s creation said “flame on”), but it will then go off on the next person who meets the rest of the trigger (e.g. touching it), not you.

You may nevertheless be able to do this– several spells let you interact with objects at a distance– but it is much more expensive to activate (probably takes an action and spell slots) and much more vulnerable to failure (could be prevented via counterspell or otherwise stopping whatever you are using to interact with it) than you seem to be supposing.

It’s also unlikely to work across a 100-mile gap– the only spell that would work at such a distance that I can think of off the top of my head is Gate and at that point Wish to duplicate whatever the Glyph of Warding is holding is cheaper.

That said, this is absolutely a potent and legal use of Glyph of Warding, and one which will likely become significantly better as more material is published for 5e and more theoretical optimization is developed.

Really the only missing piece for free action spellcasting is a reliable player-generatable free-action remote-activation system, and frequent improvements are made on that front regularly at this time.