[RPG] Web spell clarifications


My Halfling Monk/Sorcerer recently acquired a Cloak of Arachnida. He is heavily invested in being a utility character. In order to take full advantage of his new gear, I wanted to find out some information about the Web spell which is provided by the cloak:

  1. Is it possible to climb the webs? Spell rules state that if not suspended between vertical surfaces, the webs fall flat (5 feet deep). Otherwise, they fill a 20 (or in this case 40) foot cube. What is the weight-bearing load on the webs? Could a small character that is not restrained by webs climb up the webbing like rope? Or would even a minimal amount of weight over-tax the capacity of the web?
  2. How do the Dex / Str saves work for the Web spell? RAW states that a failed Dex save means the target is restrained, and has to spend an action to break free (Str). In either case, if a creature succeeds at getting or staying free, can it then navigate the webbing with impunity (aside from the Difficult Terrain effect)? Or does it need to save every time it enters or moves within the webbing? I found this related answer, but it's for Pathfinder, and the spell description is different and specifically addresses this question, so I'm looking for a Fifth Edition answer.

For what it's worth, I only have access to the PHB, so if XGtE clarifies any of this, then I'll need to ask my DM for the updated spell rules.

Best Answer

  1. The webs are clearly strong, since it takes a contest of strength to get out of them. They are also sticky, though. So while I would say they are strong enough to be climbed, one would have to have a way to not stick to them. This might be as simple as, say, having a Cloak of Arachnida, which lets you treat webs as normal non-sticky difficult terrain, and you can climb to your heart's content. If the cloak is not available, it might still be as easy as just stepping in, and hoping to make your Dex save, in which case, yes you could climb them. Note that climbing in difficult terrain costs 2 extra feet per foot of movement (PHB p.182), so such a character could only climb 10' (8' for halfling) of Web with a normal movement, or 20' (16'for halfling) if the action chosen is to Dash. And, of course, if you miss that save, you'll have to use your action (and make the Str save) to break free before climbing anywhere.

  2. The spell clearly states that a new save is required if a creature enters the Web, or starts his turn in it; if this save is made, then he can move (per difficult terrain) during his turn without further saves. I would rule that either a successful initial Dex save, or a successful Str save to break free, would then allow the creature to exit the Web, taking note of the status of difficult terrain for how much movement that takes. If he does not have enough movement to clear the Web, then he will still be in it, and have to make a new save at the start of his next turn.

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