[RPG] Given that a Small creature cannot pass through a space occupied by a Tiny creature, but a Medium creature can, will this strategy work


Based on this question:
Given a space occupied by a Tiny enemy, is a Small creature unable to move through it even though a Medium creature could?

Could I summon, say, 8 Sprites and have them surround me, occupying the eight spaces around mine, while I whale on goblins with my glaive or other reach weapon with near-impunity, since the goblins would be unable to approach? I'd still have to deal with their ranged attacks, but if I'm also invisible, I should be nearly invincible vs. Small enemies (at least until they kill off my Sprites).

Best Answer

Sure, but...

First of all, you are totally correct that RAW, a small creature cannot move through a hostile tiny one's space. As I mentioned elsewhere, some DMs may decide that this rule doesn't apply to all tiny creatures, but RAW this is accurate.

There is a slight complication: tiny creatures only control a 2.5 square foot of space in combat (PHB, p. 191), and you need to keep the goblin 5' or more away from your space.

Still, if you are using the rules for movement on a grid, a DM would probably consider the entire square to be occupied by the sprite's space (as there are no clear rules on how decide the sprite's location within the square). And if not, you could place the sprites like so (orange is sprite's space, green is you).

enter image description here

Why this tactic is even better than you think

You wouldn't just be safe from small enemies using this tactic, but larger ones as well (as long as they have a range of 5' or less). Note that the rules on stopping your movement in another creature's space means it is against the rules for a creature to move into a creature's space, attack (anything), and move away regardless of the size of either creature. So your ring of sprites would protect you from melee attacks from larger creatures as well.

Why this tactic isn't so good

  1. Invisibility doesn't make you immune to ranged attacks. If enemies know where you are (which they will unless you Hide, and even then they might be able to guess if you're surrounded by a ring of sprites) they can target you with disadvantage.

  2. Most tiny creatures (like sprites or fairies) have only 1 or 2 hit points, and not great AC (e.g. 15). At best, you'd be warding off a couple of attacks with this tactic before enemies can swarm you again. Fewer if any of your foes can deal area-of-effect damage (e.g. cast shatter).

  3. You're using up two 4th level spell slots for this tactic (conjure woodland beings and greater invisibility), both of which require concentration and thus can't be cast by the same person, and both of which require an Action to cast. Many spells can get you out of melee range (flight, spider climb, blink) or effectively cut off access to you (wall of fire, spirit guardians) for much fewer resources than this. Given the defensive boost you'll likely get getting (only warding off one or two attacks from the goblins), you'd probably be better off doing nothing for your defense, but casting shield if an attack gets through. The +5 to your AC will almost be as good a defensive boost as this tactic, and for far fewer resources, and it won't restrict your actions at all during your turn.