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Thread: 3.5 Entangle

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    Default 3.5 Entangle

    In a 3.5 game I'm running I have a ranger who likes to try to bring things down to a crawl by casting entangle.
    My ruling is that in order to cast entangle there must be some vegetation in the area for it to work, or at the very least earth where vegetation can grow. Because it does not create plants to the best of my knowledge, to me it doesn't make sense that you could cast it on stone and what not. And even 'Animate Plants' can entangle but it says plants have to be there to begin with.
    So my question is has anyone ever made a similar ruling regarding Entangle? Or has done anything to limit Entangle?

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    Default Re: 3.5 Entangle

    I think that used to be the 3.0 ruling, but Wizards thought druids weren't good enough already so they took that limit off.

    I could be wrong though.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Entangle

    I seem to recall seeing some kind of statement to the effect of "Whatever is in the area will do it, and if you cast it on stone then plants rise out of cracks and whatnot."
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    Default Re: 3.5 Entangle

    I'd say there's very little terrain where some kind of vegetation can't grow. Even the stone in your example could support moss, mold or fungi for the magic to work with.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Entangle

    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    Level: Drd 1, Plant 1, Rgr 1
    Components: V, S, DF
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Long (400 ft. + 40 ft./level)
    Area: Plants in a 40-ft.-radius spread
    Duration: 1 min./level (D)
    Saving Throw: Reflex partial; see text
    Spell Resistance: No
    By RAW, OP, you're correct. It only affects the plants in the area.


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    Default Re: 3.5 Entangle

    Quote Originally Posted by AslanCross View Post
    By RAW, OP, you're correct. It only affects the plants in the area.
    It doesn't say how many plants are required though. By RAW, you could have two flowers in that 40 foot radius, and they would be enough to entangle 8 critters.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Entangle

    Quote Originally Posted by AslanCross View Post
    By RAW, OP, you're correct. It only affects the plants in the area.
    Weeds, roots, etc are plants.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Entangle

    Quote Originally Posted by Optimystik View Post
    It doesn't say how many plants are required though. By RAW, you could have two flowers in that 40 foot radius, and they would be enough to entangle 8 critters.
    Since the area says "plants in a 40 foot radius," I take it to mean that the affected area is a subset of the 40 foot radius. I read it to mean that "if there is a plant in a square, it turns into an entangling mess." So yeah, a single flower or dandelion weed in a square snags anyone standing above it, but it doesn't spread out of the square it's in.

    If it means "plants in the area turn nasty and grapple anything out to a 40 foot radius," the area would be written as "40 foot radius spread with vegetation in it."

    Quote Originally Posted by Starbuck_II View Post
    Weeds, roots, etc are plants.
    Of course. Did I say otherwise? I'm only saying it does not in fact create vegetation. It doesn't say "this spell causes hostile, entangling vegetation to spring up from the ground." It only says "Grasses, weeds, bushes, and even trees wrap, twist, and entwine about creatures in the area or those that enter the area." I think it's reasonable to interpret that any vegetation will do, but it doesn't grow into a bunch of assassin vines that attack things outside of their square.
    Last edited by AslanCross; 2010-04-07 at 09:05 AM.


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    Default Re: 3.5 Entangle

    Quote Originally Posted by AslanCross View Post
    Since the area says "plants in a 40 foot radius," I take it to mean that the affected area is a subset of the 40 foot radius. I read it to mean that "if there is a plant in a square, it turns into an entangling mess." So yeah, a single flower or dandelion weed in a square snags anyone standing above it, but it doesn't spread out of the square it's in.
    Yet the spell says "creatures in the area or those that enter the area"; "the area" being defined as a 40-foot radius. So it doesn't appear to matter where exactly the plant may be physically located within that 40 feet, once a creature enters it they get entangled. It doesn't say "when a creature enters the specific 5-foot square within the area that contains a plant."

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    Default Re: 3.5 Entangle

    Seeing as it is a magical effect.
    We rule that if there is ANY vegetation in the area it works.

    Mainly because every description of Entangle i've read in books talks about how it makes grass grow a bit longer, trees bend and all vegitation reacts. plus i'm a big fan of the spell.

    Though some places are just barren of plants. Such as some caves, some deserts, mountian tops ETC. Though some times there is growth that is unseen to the players. and or enemies...

    For the cave example. one of my druid players new they where 40ish feat from the surface(thanks to the party dwarf) and he cast entangle because he believed they where right below a open plains (lots of sod roots) which i had entangle there enemies.


    I always looked at it as 40ft area to me a 40 foot bubble/box from what ever central point there is. so any thing within the 40ft bubble makes it effective.


    Also we ruled though prolly not RAW that fungus that don't have any thing on it that could entangle would work. Mainly because of a realy stupid image brought on by entangling some one with the flat round fungus that grows on rocks(above ground)
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    Default Re: 3.5 Entangle

    Quote Originally Posted by Optimystik View Post
    Yet the spell says "creatures in the area or those that enter the area"; "the area" being defined as a 40-foot radius. So it doesn't appear to matter where exactly the plant may be physically located within that 40 feet, once a creature enters it they get entangled. It doesn't say "when a creature enters the specific 5-foot square within the area that contains a plant."
    I beg to differ. It does indeed say "creatures that enter the area." However, the area entry is not "a 40 foot radius," it is "Plants in a 40 foot radius spread." Contrast this with Evard's Black Tentacles, which works on the same principle and has the same wording ("They grasp and entwine around creatures that enter the area, holding them fast and crushing them with great strength."), but has an area entry of "20 ft. radius spread."

    http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/entangle.htm
    http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/blackTentacles.htm

    Btw, another argument versus the "it creates plants" interpretation: It's a transmutation spell, not conjuration. It does not create plants out of nothing; it simply makes existing plants entangle stuff.
    Last edited by AslanCross; 2010-04-07 at 09:44 AM.


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    Default Re: 3.5 Entangle

    Quote Originally Posted by AslanCross View Post
    I beg to differ. It does indeed say "creatures that enter the area." However, the area entry is not "a 40 foot radius," it is "Plants in a 40 foot radius spread." Contrast this with Evard's Black Tentacles, which works on the same principle and has the same wording ("They grasp and entwine around creatures that enter the area, holding them fast and crushing them with great strength."), but has an area entry of "20 ft. radius spread."

    http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/entangle.htm
    http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/blackTentacles.htm

    Btw, another argument versus the "it creates plants" interpretation: It's a transmutation spell, not conjuration. It does not create plants out of nothing; it simply makes existing plants entangle stuff.
    I think the "plants" qualifier is simply to let the caster know that the spell needs plants in the area to work. As long as there are, the spell works the same way regardless of the number.

    Also, I never said it created plants. But as long as any plants are in the area, it can make them spread to fill it. Spells that increase size are usually Transmutation.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Entangle

    Quote Originally Posted by AslanCross View Post
    I beg to differ. It does indeed say "creatures that enter the area." However, the area entry is not "a 40 foot radius," it is "Plants in a 40 foot radius spread." Contrast this with Evard's Black Tentacles, which works on the same principle and has the same wording ("They grasp and entwine around creatures that enter the area, holding them fast and crushing them with great strength."), but has an area entry of "20 ft. radius spread."

    http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/entangle.htm
    http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/blackTentacles.htm

    Btw, another argument versus the "it creates plants" interpretation: It's a transmutation spell, not conjuration. It does not create plants out of nothing; it simply makes existing plants entangle stuff.
    That isn't realy a good example for a few reasons.
    1. black tenticles is a conjuration spell.
    2. kinda along the same lines that is creating the tenticles were as entangle is enhancing the plants (enhancing by making them twist and such)
    3. though doing similar things i belive tenticles involve grappling.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Entangle

    It's a virtual certainty that roots should be available within that 40' radius if you're underground, and small lichen and grasses (as well as roots) should be at least minimally present in a desert within that radius. There's nothing that says the 'plants' have to be leaves, branches, or flowers, or that the plants need be copious, RAW. Rangers are not overpowered as is. Play the game the way you and your friends enjoy, but limiting Entangle like this is a houserule.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Entangle

    The only place I can think of that it won't work is one of those ivory towers that wizards seem to be fond of. Even wooden buildings (wood is, kinda, a plant.) will let it work. How the roof/walls grapple you, I do not know.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Entangle

    Quote Originally Posted by ozgun92 View Post
    The only place I can think of that it won't work is one of those ivory towers that wizards seem to be fond of. Even wooden buildings (wood is, kinda, a plant.) will let it work. How the roof/walls grapple you, I do not know.
    I belive wood is considered dead plants so it becomes an object and looses its plant status
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    Default Re: 3.5 Entangle

    Entangle affects "plants in a 40' radius". If you read the text of the spell it goes on to say:

    Grasses, weeds, bushes, and even trees wrap, twist, and entwine about creatures in the area or those that enter the area, holding them fast and causing them to become entangled.
    There's no indication that the spell makes the plants bigger in any way, or causes plants to appear from nowhere. This suggests that you need a certain minimum of plant life to get the spell to work. So no, having a bit of moss in the corner does not cause the entire area to become entangled.

    My general rule with the spell is that as long as you cast it outside in a temperate environment, there'll probably be enough plant life to get it to work. Beyond that it depends on the terrain, but it's unlikely that a dungeon will have enough plant life to make the spell effective. Note that Entangle is already extremely powerful for a 1st-level spell, so I don't think there's much reason to give it an extra boost.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Entangle

    Quote Originally Posted by RagnaroksChosen View Post
    I belive wood is considered dead plants so it becomes an object and looses its plant status
    I've not seen this in the RAW or FAQ; Could I see a source, please, so I can update my data if this is so?
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    Default Re: 3.5 Entangle

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    I've not seen this in the RAW or FAQ; Could I see a source, please, so I can update my data if this is so?
    not sure i know a dead body is considered an object... i don't have a quote for that though. I remembr seeing a debate on one of the forums regarding it.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Entangle

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    There's no indication that the spell makes the plants bigger in any way,
    It rather has to, unless it's translocating the roots out of the ground,

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    or causes plants to appear from nowhere.
    I never said it did.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    This suggests that you need a certain minimum of plant life to get the spell to work.
    That's a reasonable interpretation, but RAW specifies no minimum, therefore it is up to the DM to decide.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    So no, having a bit of moss in the corner does not cause the entire area to become entangled.
    It would in my game, it wouldn't in yours. There is no right answer.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Entangle

    Quote Originally Posted by Optimystik View Post
    I think the "plants" qualifier is simply to let the caster know that the spell needs plants in the area to work. As long as there are, the spell works the same way regardless of the number.
    It targets all plants in the area.

    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    Creatures
    A spell with this kind of area affects creatures directly (like a targeted spell), but it affects all creatures in an area of some kind rather than individual creatures you select. The area might be a spherical burst, a cone-shaped burst, or some other shape.

    Many spells affect "living creatures," which means all creatures other than constructs and undead. Creatures in the spellís area that are not of the appropriate type do not count against the creatures affected.
    Prayer, for example, affects "all enemies and allies in a 40 ft. radius burst", but it's not an emanation. It doesn't blanket the area with an aura; it only targets creatures in the area.

    Entangle is worded similarly. Its "area" is limited to the plants in the area. In the woods, that would be pretty much the whole area. But if you were inside a marble temple and the janitor missed a small puddle with a small colony of algae in it, the puddle with the algae would entangle anyone who passed through it, but not spread across the area like slime and give everyone within 40 feet a hard time.

    I admit it's hard to find a perfect example due to the unique wording and effect; even plant growth doesn't have the same area entry. Still, this is as RAW as one can get.

    Also, I never said it created plants. But as long as any plants are in the area, it can make them spread to fill it. Spells that increase size are usually Transmutation.
    My bad, that was directed at the OP, not at you.


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    Default Re: 3.5 Entangle

    Your own quote proves my point: if an area spell affects all creatures in the area as you say, then that means all creatures that enter the area are affected. The only way for Entangle to do that, would be for the plants to not stay within their individual squares and leave gaps in the spell's effect.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Entangle

    Quote Originally Posted by Optimystik View Post
    Your own quote proves my point: if an area spell affects all creatures in the area as you say, then that means all creatures that enter the area are affected. The only way for Entangle to do that, would be for the plants to not stay within their individual squares and leave gaps in the spell's effect.
    The quote from the area types was meant to say that it targets specific things in the area, not the entire area.

    The spell descriptions entry specifies the difference between a regular burst/spread (fireball) and specific target-bursts (entangle). It's kind of like the difference between a regular high-explosive warhead and an MIRV. One hits everything in the area; the other is limited to specific targets in the radius, but it affects only those.

    Entangle's area entry says "plants in the area." It specifically targets the plants, but neither the creatures nor the area. It's kind of strange to rule that a level 1 spell can make a potted cactus on a shelf entangle someone eighty feet away hiding behind a pillar (the spell is a spread, after all, not a burst) with no save, attack roll or grapple check, as long as he's in the area--let alone everyone in the area regardless of cover. Furthermore, the default shape for bursts and spreads is a sphere, so does that mean if I had a single dandelion growing on a rock, I could turn it into an entangling 40-foot diameter sphere of briars that can snag flying creatures?

    And I thought Black tentacles was annoying.

    I don't think a level 1 spell should be able to do this. (The sunflower tentacles starting from 1:05)


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    Default Re: 3.5 Entangle

    Quote Originally Posted by AslanCross View Post
    The quote from the area types was meant to say that it targets specific things in the area, not the entire area.
    Right - it targets the individual plants - I'm fine with that.

    But having targeted the plants, any creatures that enter the 40 ft. radius are subject to being entangled, until the spell ends.

    It says it affects "creatures that enter the area" not "creatures that enter the specific parts of the area containing plants."

    Condition 1: Are there plants in the area?
    If no, spell ends.
    If yes, go to two.

    Condition 2: Are there creatures in the area?
    If no, check elapsed duration, then go to 3.
    If yes, entangle them, check elapsed duration, then go to 3.

    Condition 3: Have creatures entered the area?
    If no, check elapsed duration, then go to 2.
    If yes, entangle them, check elapsed duration, then go to 2.

    When elapsed duration = total duration, spell ends.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Entangle

    I recall it saying that there has to be vegetation in the area.

    This reminds me of my drood. I loved casting entangle on enemies so far away that they never knew I was there to cast it.

    To them it was always like "THE PLANTS ARE ATTACKING US! WE'RE SO EVIL EVEN THE FOREST HATES US!"
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    Default Re: 3.5 Entangle

    Quote Originally Posted by Optimystik View Post
    Right - it targets the individual plants - I'm fine with that.

    But having targeted the plants, any creatures that enter the 40 ft. radius are subject to being entangled, until the spell ends.

    It says it affects "creatures that enter the area" not "creatures that enter the specific parts of the area containing plants."

    Condition 1: Are there plants in the area?
    If no, spell ends.
    If yes, go to two.

    Condition 2: Are there creatures in the area?
    If no, check elapsed duration, then go to 3.
    If yes, entangle them, check elapsed duration, then go to 3.

    Condition 3: Have creatures entered the area?
    If no, check elapsed duration, then go to 2.
    If yes, entangle them, check elapsed duration, then go to 2.

    When elapsed duration = total duration, spell ends.
    No, no, no, no. You misunderstand. Reread the "Area" portion.

    The "Area" is not an area. The "area" is the plants. Now, one could say that this is rather ridiculous, as this would require someone to enter the plants themselves in order to be entangled, rendering this spell completely useless on anyone other than people trying to use spells like tree stride. So, it is reasonable to suppose that instead what was meant by "enter the area" is "enter a space where the plants are located", which is precisely what those who are arguing against your interpretation are saying. So basically, that would change your conditions to the following:

    Condition 1: Are there plants within the selected 40ft radius sphere?
    If no, spell ends.
    If yes, go on to condition 2.

    Condition 2: Are there creatures occupying the same space as the affected plants?
    If no, check elapsed duration, then go to condition 3.
    If yes, entangle them, check elapsed duration, then go to condition 3.

    Condition 3: Have creatures entered the same space as the affected plants?
    If no, check elapsed duration, then go to 2.
    If yes, entangle them, check elapsed duration, then go to 2.

    When elapsed duration = total duration, condition ends.

    And of course, if you wanted to be a complete literalist, that would be:

    Condition 1: Are there plants within the selected 40ft radius sphere?
    If no, spell ends.
    If yes, go to 2.

    Condition 2: Are there any creatures inside the affected plants?
    If no, check elapsed duration, then go to 3.
    If yes, entangle them, check elapsed duration, then go to 3.

    Condition 3: Have creatures entered inside the affected plants?
    If no, check elapsed duration, then go to 2.
    If yes, entangle them, check elapsed duration, then go to 2.

    When elapsed duration = total duration, spell ends.

    But I don't think anyone would be idiot enough to argue for that completely literal reading of RAW. Unless they just figured that they hated all spellcasting and wanted to nerf it to the point of insanity.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Entangle

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiery Diamond View Post
    No, no, no, no. You misunderstand. Reread the "Area" portion.
    I understand what they're arguing; I just disagree with it.

    Even if you go with their interpretation, there's going to be enough subterranean roots, lichen, vines etc. in the wilderness, outdoors, or even in a cave system to make the spell fit mine. Unless you're in a desert, tundra, or some other totally barren area where the spell wouldn't work anyway.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Entangle

    Quote Originally Posted by Optimystik View Post
    Even if you go with their interpretation, there's going to be enough subterranean roots, lichen, vines etc. in the wilderness, outdoors, or even in a cave system to make the spell fit mine. Unless you're in a desert, tundra, or some other totally barren area where the spell wouldn't work anyway.
    I agree with that statement.
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    When I opened my eyes, I was in a fantasy world. I quickly discovered that it functioned off of game-like rules (levels, EXP, skills, and so on). Taking the name Zenith, I decided to make the best of my new world and live as an adventurer aiming for the top together with my new best friend Rozenskye. And I might be functionally immortal? An Isekai-style story.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Entangle

    Back in 2nd, if there were any plants in the area, they would grow to entangle nearby creatures. I don't see anything in the 3.5 spell description to imply it works any differently now.

    Unless you're in a barren region, or a subterranean cave beneath the root system, entangle should probably work. I'm sure there are exceptions why there happen to be no plants in "this" particular 40' radius, but, in general it should work.

    F.Y.I. Lichens and things found in caves aren't technically plants, so a DM is well within his rights not to let entangle work on lichen.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Entangle

    Quote Originally Posted by Optimystik View Post
    I understand what they're arguing; I just disagree with it.

    Even if you go with their interpretation, there's going to be enough subterranean roots, lichen, vines etc. in the wilderness, outdoors, or even in a cave system to make the spell fit mine. Unless you're in a desert, tundra, or some other totally barren area where the spell wouldn't work anyway.
    I agree with practically any wilderness location having enough vegetation to entangle stuff in the area. What I cannot swallow is having a single potted cactus on the second floor of a house suddenly sprouting tentacles that never miss and go around corners to entangle people who are hiding behind obstacles, because you said earlier that a patch of moss was enough.

    By that same interpretation, I can make a weed growing on top of a 40-foot pillar turn into a thick briar sphere that can entangle something flying 40 feet above it.


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