[RPG] n effect comparable to Dimensional Anchor in 5e


In 3.5, the spell Dimensional Anchor could be used to prevent an enemy from escaping combat via teleportation.

This would be helpful for our party as some of our enemies have opted to escape us either using teleportation directly on their turn, or our actions trigger a contingency teleportation effect.

To my knowledge, the only spell we could utilize in combat to slow down the odds of teleportation is Force Cage, but there are a few problems with it:

  • Preventing teleportation isn't guaranteed.
  • The enemy is trapped and separated from the party, which just makes combat really boring, either shooting fish in a barrel or trapping the melees in with the target.

Does 5e have a spell like Dimensional Anchor that can be used to assuredly prevent teleportation (i.e. either no save or no additional saves once it takes effect) and doesn't prevent others from participating in the fight (i.e. no walls or cages)?

A good answer will present practical solutions during combat. There are several effects that would function assuming you can control the battlefield, but those do not have the broad utility that Dimensional Anchor did and I would not consider them to be comparable to that spell. For example, spending 24 hours to cast Hallow on a location is not something you can practically do in combat.

Best Answer

Incapacitate them and use Dimensional Shackles

The most straightforward analog is probably to incapacitate the creature and then put some Dimensional Shackles on them before they recover. The shackles only require an action to place on a creature, but that creature must be incapacitated (remember that other conditions, including stunned, unconscious, and paralyzed, also incapacitate). Compared to the dimensional anchor spell you've cited from a previous edition, the problem shifts from hitting them with dimensional anchor's attack roll to making them fail their save against an incapacitating condition. Once they are incapacitated, they do not get a save against the shackles. So this puts the shackles on the same order of difficulty as dimensional anchor: one good hit (or failed save) will do it.

However, if an enemy is incapacitated and your goal is simply to kill them before they escape, then using your action to do as much damage as possible might be the better option, since there's a good chance your party can finish them off before they recover from the incapacitating condition and take their next non-incapacitated turn to escape. On the other hand, if you're trying to capture them alive, this is a good option. Of course, be careful of very strong enemies (or if your group plays with automatic skill check success on a natural 20), since they have the potential to break out of the shackles with a DC 30 Strength (Athletics) check. (But note that they are only allowed one escape attempt every 30 days.)

There are a wide variety of ways to inflict the incapacitated condition, including lowly 1st-level spells like Tasha's hideous laughter, so the main obstacle to setting this plan up is the acquisition of the Dimensional Shackles.

High-level option: Wish a dimensional/teleporation ward into existence

There are several spells, such as Mordenkainen’s Private Sanctum, that can ward a large area against both teleportation and planar travel. These would be perfect if not for their long casting times, which make them unusable during combat. However, if you have access to a Wish spell, you can use it to bypass the casting time. Wish has a casting time of 1 action, and can "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." If you use Wish to duplicate an 8th level Private Sanctum, you can ward a 600-foot cube as an action.

Keep in mind that since you are warding the entire battlefield rather than a single creature, you are also cutting off your own escape via the same means, unless you first use an action to dismiss the sanctum.