[RPG] What does “within 5 feet” mean in the description of the Call Lightning spell


The Call Lightning spell description says that you pick a point for lightning to strike, and each creature "within 5 feet of that point" are affected by the strike. What does that mean?

I'm tempted to read it as only affecting a single 5-foot square, but the wording suggest that it is intended to be an AOE attack (unless it's accounting for the very rare occasion of two creatures sharing a space).

So, when using a standard grid, does the caster pick a square, and then all adjacent squares are affected? If so, why not say it affects a 15-foot cube centered on the target-point? (I guess the spell effect section doesn't describe square areas, just cube areas.)

Similarly, does Arms of Hadar affect 10 squares from the caster in every direction (so, ultimately a 50-foot square area)?

Best Answer

It means 5 foot radius.

  • You pick a point (If you're using a grid, that would be a grid intersection)
  • All creatures within 5 feet (ie, squares surrounding the grid intersection) are affected.

If it only affected a 5-foot square, that would be a 5-foot diameter (or 2.5 foot radius).