In Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, spellcasters can eventually control the forces of reality, from controlling the elements to making things out of magical essence.
Among these powers, there are some spells that stand out. These spells are very flexible and can be used to solve more than one kind of problem.
Wall of Force is one of these spells. It allows the caster to create invisible walls that are almost impossible to break through and arrange them in a way that makes sense.
We’ll start with the basics and then talk about how this powerful spell can be used in more than one way.
Wall Of Force Spell
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 120 feet
Components: V S M (A pinch of powder made by crushing a clear gemstone)
Duration: Concentration, Up to 10 minutes
Access & Mechanics
Wall of force is a 5th-level spell, which means it can be used as early as level 9 by a character.
Wizards of the Coast’s books show that only the following official classes and subclasses have access to wall of force at the base level:
- Oath of redemption paladin
- Artillerist artificer
Bards are different because they may be able to use this spell because of their magical secrets ability.
Wall of force takes 1 action to cast and can be used up to 120 feet away. It has verbal, physical, and material components, and the caster can concentrate on the spell for up to 10 minutes.
The Core Rulebook says the following is an exact description of what wall of force does:
Clarifications & Analysis
Before we talk about how to use Wall of Force and specific ways to use it, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- A caster can create a wall in the air up to a certain distance away.
- In D&D 5e, a wall of force spell can last for up to 10 minutes, which is much longer than most fights. This makes it a great choice for being useful outside of combat.
- The spell doesn’t require a saving throw to trap a creature inside (if it fits in the shape the caster creates) or move it to one side of the wall (which the caster also chooses).
- As long as the wall remains flat, a caster can build a wall at an angle with panels that connect in different ways, such as a zigzag, as long as the panels are all connected to each other.
Based on how the spell is written, the wall is made up of panels that are 10 feet by 10 feet. This can affect how it fits into small spaces, but the caster can choose to create a wall with fewer than 10 panels.
Even though the wall is immune to most damage and can’t be destroyed, creatures can still get through it by teleporting or using any other method that doesn’t involve moving directly between the Material Plane and the Ethereal Plane.
Wall of force blocks spells and attacks that have a line of effect, which is most of them. But non-physical effects and abilities that can directly create something on the spot (like summoning a creature) can still work beyond the wall.
The rules for 5e don’t really say what a “hemispherical dome” is, so a Game Master (GM) can decide if the wall of force’s dome form has a nearly impenetrable floor.
The wall can only be seen by creatures that can see invisible things, like those who have the see invisibility spell. No one else would know where the wall is besides the person who casts it, unless they had the right senses or an external sign, like a creature running into it face first.
Tips, Tricks & Uses
Overall, wall of force is a simple spell that can be used in many different ways.
We’ll talk about a few of them here to give you an idea of how to use it and other spells that can be used in and out of combat.
The Classic Use
Wall of force’s dome form (or sphere form for mid-air targets) can be used to trap a creature (or multiple creatures) inside.
This works only if the trapped creature or creatures can’t escape. However, creatures that are successfully trapped in this way can no longer be used in battle or other situations.
The caster just needs to concentrate on the spell. In 5e, the outcome of a battle often depends on how many enemies you have to fight.
Removing one or more important enemies can significantly improve your chances of victory.
Area Control & Repositioning
If there are more enemies on the battlefield than can be trapped in the dome or sphere form, the spellcaster can use the long wall to separate a part of the battlefield.
Depending on the terrain, this method could completely lock down the enemy, such as by blocking off a corridor. If it doesn’t, it can at least help you change the areas of battle to your advantage.
You could put the wall in a way that makes it easier for enemies to get to you, slowing them down or even stopping them in their tracks.
With some help from your party, you can place your wall of force so that enemies are all in one area. This makes them easy targets for allies with abilities that affect a large area.
In a pinch, you could even force an enemy to move by having the wall cut through the creature’s spaces. You decide which side of the wall they get pushed to.
This part of the spell can help you separate enemies, but if you plan ahead, it can also help you separate an enemy from his or her group, since you and your allies can usually handle them better on your own.
Even when not in battle, being able to block off areas and force other creatures to move can be very useful.
Especially when running away from people who are chasing you.
The Invisible Platform
Since a spellcaster can create a wall of force anywhere and turn it in any direction, it can be used to get around obstacles in space.
During a fight, the wall of force can create a platform far away that your enemies can’t easily reach or break through.
This use is most helpful for people who use attacks from a distance, and it forces opponents to do the same.
A wall that can be up to 100 feet long also gives you more options for moving around and getting around.
For instance, you can build a wall to cross huge gaps, like between chasms, or to get around whole buildings in more urban areas. You can also build a ramp, which is more likely to help you slide down from high places than help you climb.
Of course, you have to realise that most people will find it very strange to see you walking on an invisible wall.
Creativity & GM Rulings
Wall of force is one of the spells that can be used in many different ways.
For instance, putting up an invisible wall in front of charging cavalry can make the spellcaster laugh out loud.
Or maybe your Bard wants a stage in the middle of the sky that no one can see.
Due to the fact that the wording is a bit vague, a caster might be able to get away with some implied uses.
Since the spell doesn’t say that it doesn’t work that way, you could crush a creature stuck between a wall of force and another solid surface. But this way of figuring out what words mean might not always work because it only looks at the words (or lack of words) in a spell and not at what it was meant to do.
So, these interpretations still depend on how each gaming group sees them, especially what the GM says.
If you come up with something that pushes the limits of the spell, or even if it’s just something really cool, you should try to get your GM’s opinion on it, since they’ll be the ones who decide how you use the spell in your game.
Who Should Take This Spell?
Instead of suggesting builds, it’s better to just say that wall of force is a spell that any spellcaster should have in their arsenal.
Most especially if they want to give control on the battlefield or use outside of battle.
Even though wall of force doesn’t do damage directly, it can set up situations that give your group of adventurers the upper hand.
Its many forms make it useful in many ways. And an adventuring group is likely to run into situations where wall of force can make a problem easier to solve or even make it go away.
Wall of force is a powerful and flexible spell that can be used in a variety of situations.
Whether you’re using it to trap enemies, deflect attacks, or create temporary barriers, it’s a useful tool to have in your arsenal.
Just remember to keep in mind its limitations, such as its inability to block non-physical effects and its visibility only to those who can see invisible objects.