[RPG] Can a creature made with Phantasmal Force move


The spell "Phantasmal Force" (p.264 PHB) is an illusion that takes root in the mind of the target creature. One of the options is to create the illusion of a creature, and this creature can attack the target (the target rationalises this and takes 1d6 psychic damage, perceived as a type appropriate for the attack) as long as it is within 5ft.

The target of the spell is the creature, not a point in space. There is no text in the spell's description that describes how to move the illusion (or that it is possible to).

It makes sense that if the target believes it is being attacked by a creature, so much so that it takes damage from the illusion, it would also rationalise the creature moving to get in range to attack.

To clarify, I have seen JC's tweet confirming that the illusion could be moved by the target creature (i.e. a bag over the creature's head). My question is about the illusion moving of its own (or the caster's) accord.

Best Answer

Yes. It can move wherever the target goes (assuming the thing created can move).

Ultimately, it is the DM's decision however I think the evidence definitely supports it being able to move with the target since it is in their head anyway.

Jeremy Crawford's tweet (emphasis mine) indicates that the size of the illusion/phantasm is limited to a 10ft cube.

Q: Can be the effect of phantasmal force a bag on the target's head which is moving with the target?

A: Yes, assuming the illusory bag can fit in a 10-foot cube.

Note he doesn't say "stays within the 10-foot cube"...

Couple that with the fact that you target the creature not an area or point in space for this spell to seed the mind of the target with the phantasm. It does not anywhere indicate that it can't move out of the 10ft cube it starts in and since everything occurs within the victim's head there would be no reason that it couldn't if it were an imagined creature.

This means that when you cast you target a creature within 60ft with the idea of a creature or object no larger than a 10ft cube. After that point for the duration (assuming you chose something that is ambulatory such as a lion) it will follow and attack the subject of the spell.

Mike Mearls' tweet also indicates that such a phantasm need not roll to attack; it just automatically does damage. I would expect the text of the spell to indicate as much if it were required.