[RPG] Can two repelling blasts from opposite directions deal extra damage by crushing the target


There are two Warlock twins, Boris and Doris, who have made a deal with a celestial entity to cleanse the evil from the world. In one of the catacombs they are exploring they encounter a skeleton. Boris, with the higher initiative roll, reacts to the skeleton first and moves to the skeleton's left while preparing to fire an eldritch blast (using the Ready action) using the Repelling Blast invocation at the moment that his sister uses eldritch blast; this is intended as a way to apply a combo attack.

Doris remembers that skeletons are particularly weak to being crushed, so she gets an idea moving to the right side of the skeleton and firing an eldritch blast, also with repelling blast invocation, thinking that when she and her brother fire at the same time the skeleton will be crushed due to the opposed push by two Repelling Blast-empowered eldritch blasts.

For the sake of visualisation:


Which of these three possibilities happen?

  1. The skeleton moves to Boris's side due to the repelling blast and
    gets an attack of opportunity on Boris when he casts eldritch blast.
  2. The skeleton simply keeps its position.
  3. The skeleton takes damage as if it fell 20 feet due to the crushing
    force. (With 10 feet of a push from either side)

Best Answer

The skeleton may be moved twice; no falling damage

The skeleton moves twice if each eldritch blast rolls "to hit" successfully. This would leave the skeleton in its original position at the end of Doris' turn (possibly destroyed). It is worth noting that the trigger to Boris' attack is Doris' attack, so Doris' turn is "when it all happens."

When the trigger occurs, you can either take your reaction right after the trigger finishes or ignore the trigger. (Ready Action, Basic Rules, p. 75)

  1. There is no opportunity attack made on Boris. Boris didn't move out of the skeleton's reach. (This isn't 3.x edition)

    If you leave a hostile creature’s reach during your move, you provoke an opportunity attack (Basic Rules, p. 73)

  2. Doris' blast moves the skeleton one way (on a hit) and then Boris' blast moves it back the other way (on a hit).

    If either Boris or Doris miss, the skeleton moves only in one direction. If they both miss, hilarity ensues and the skeleton keeps on grinning.

  3. There is no fall, and thus no falling damage, for being moved laterally.

    A fall from a great height is one of the most common hazards facing an adventurer. At the end of a fall, a creature takes 1d6 bludgeoning damage for every 10 feet it fell, to a maximum of 20d6. (Basic Rules, p. 68)

    The combined damage of two eldritch blasts (2d10) may kill the skeleton anyway, so it would be fun to narrate it as being shattered by the opposed effects if the damage is enough to destroy it.

Rule of Cool

If both eldritch blasts hit, the DM can invoke the rule of cool and apply some bludgeoning damage to the skeleton. Even though, by the way action/ready action works, Doris' blast would likely hit first1 -- maybe it takes a DC 16 Dexterity check to get the timing just right? -- the DM rewarding the two players for cool innovation is consistent with Rules As Fun.

1 If using the optional rule in Xanathar's Guide to Everything, it could be simultaneous, if Doris so chooses:

If two or more things happen at the same time on a character or monster's turn, the person at the game table - whether player or DM - who controls that creature decides the order in which those things happen. For example, if two effects occur at the end of a player character's turn, the player decides which of the two effects happens first.

Caveat to the answer: this answer presumes from the language of the question that the eldritch blast was a single blast cast by each Warlock. I think the assumption is valid since a skeleton won't typically be a threat to level 5 and above PCs, and the intended effect of multiple blasts (and thus multiple potential repelling blast effects) was not included in the question.