Questions about the nature of magic in a game. Use [spells] for questions on specific spells.

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37
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7answers
6k views

How does D&D Vancian magic make sense in-game?

One thing that bugs me about Vancian Magic in D&D as I understand it is the following: How is "fire and forget" remotely believable when I can slot and ready more than one "copy" of a spell? Say ...
7
votes
2answers
911 views

Does a caster under the effect of a True Polymorph spell retain their class levels?

The true Polymorph spell specifies that: The target's game statistics, including mental ability scores, are replaced by the statistics of its new form ... The creature is limited in the actions it ...
2
votes
3answers
6k views

How do you choose Spells Known when creating a new character above 1st level?

It's not clear to me how to choose Spells Known when creating a new character at a higher level. Let's take the Bard as a working example first: Bard level 2: Spells Known: 5 Slots per Spell level:...
15
votes
3answers
4k views

What happens when Detect Magic is used upon something that is magically invisible?

Does a simple casting of Detect Magic reveal the presence of magical invisibility?
26
votes
17answers
2k views

Why aren't magocracies and theocracies dominant in D&D settings?

Anyone has (or has links to) well thought-out, logical explanations for why magocracies and theocracies are not the dominant forms of government of D&D worlds? I'd also be really interested in ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it possible to interrupt spellcasting in 5e?

As this blog post suggests, there seems to be a hole in the D&D Basic rules. Maybe. The rules for readying an action state: When the trigger occurs, you can either take your reaction right ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Creatively targeting summoning spells

Me and my party have a plan in our upcoming session, that will need some clarifications on how summoning spells can be used. Its all about creative targeting with the Summon Monster I spell, let me ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Does an Enhancement bonus on clothing become an Armor bonus?

Given this discussion I had here about combining Magic Vestment and Coat of Many Stars: Targeting what you're wearing would get you two different, non-stacking sources of Armor bonus. – Zachiel ...
18
votes
10answers
956 views

What RPGs treat magic as being common? [closed]

Some fantasy RPGs treat magic as arcane and thus rare, possibly subject to suspicion by the masses. Other games treat magic as somewhat more prevelant but not ubiquitous. At some point in this trend, ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

What ways are there to magically enforce an agreement?

Assume a PC (or the whole party) wants to make a deal with another PC or NPC. What magical ways are there to make this "contract" binding and enforceable, or at least somewhat so? Examples where this ...
13
votes
3answers
617 views

Does an Evocation shield have a reactive utility to it?

Say that Player X is 2nd in the initiative. 1st is the Black Court vampire that is in a rage and taking a swing at Player X. Player X gets a built in defense [Athletics/Fists + 4dF] but can Player X ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

Permanently hiding items/objects

I'm curious how one might go arranging for an item or object to become permanently lost, and completely inaccessible to everyone (I would prefer a method that's reasonably secure against even divine ...
6
votes
2answers
613 views

Reduce/enlarge person's equipment acquired while enlarged?

The rules for enlarge and reduce person say "All equipment worn or carried by a creature is similarly [reduced or enlarged] by the spell." Does that happen once at the beginning of the spell for the ...
5
votes
1answer
476 views

What happens if a Teleportation Circle destinations moves?

So I want to make a Howl's Moving Castle home base, but I want to be able to have visitors teleport in from a little cottage. My DM and I are wondering if a Teleportation Circle that was made ...
4
votes
3answers
223 views

Can you affect multiple targets with multiple Warding Bond casts?

It has come to my attention that the text of Warding Bond, the legal target(s) of Warding Bond, and the rules as written for target's and spell casting and such; leave it possible that Warding Bond ...
4
votes
1answer
388 views

Can Dispel Magic or Mordenkainen's Disjunction dispel a Supernatural (shapeshift) effect?

In D&D 3.0 and/or 3.5 -- can Dispel Magic or Mordenkainen's Disjunction dispel Supernatural effects? (For instance, a druid's wild shape.)
-11
votes
2answers
1k views

Can I wield just a shield and use magic?

I play a wizard and while I am rarely hit due to being in the back I'm still paranoid I will get hit. So I was wondering if, after getting a feat to wield a shield, I can use that with one hand and ...
50
votes
10answers
11k views

Medieval problems in a magical world

This is a bit of a broad question, but I will try to narrow it down to this: When GMing a medieval fantasy, and conflicts arise between the medieval times and the magical world (mostly D&D and ...
19
votes
7answers
837 views

Fantasy and magic in a primarily realistic setting

I'm running a game that's best described as "medieval fantasy," in the sense that we're actually trying to have the lives of people in the setting strongly resemble the historical Middle Ages. There ...
30
votes
9answers
9k views

How do I keep spellcasters from casting while in jail?

Interesting situation came up in my session. The players captured a wizard NPC and put him in jail. Then came a long discussion about what measures needed to be taken in order to prevent said wizard ...
18
votes
8answers
734 views

How do I create a sense of mystery about magic?

Magic in so many games is something mechanical and fully understood. Assuming I control the setting (and have a group of players willing to try new rules), how do I make magic something mysterious? ...
16
votes
10answers
929 views

What would you pick as the “four elements” of mind? [closed]

Good evening! I hope this isn't too vague, this is my first post on RPG Exchange (I see some cool conversations here, I'm happy to be a part). While doodling about with a magic system I'm developing,...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Reputed Magical Effects of Real-World Herbs [closed]

For various reasons I want to go back to primary sources to develop a list of herb and their magic effects for various fantasy RPGs that I use to run my campaign, the Majestic Wilderlands. Does ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

How does concentration interact with spells cast via the Wild Magic Surge table?

I can't find any official ruling about this. I'll use the example of Fog Cloud on the Wild Magic Surge Table (PHB pg. 104) as an example. The Wild Magic entry reads: You cast fog cloud centered ...
12
votes
3answers
11k views

Does casting a spell require a check to succeed?

If my character is a spell caster, and he is not wearing any armor, is there any chance to fail casting the spell? I'm wondering specifically about normal circumstances: There is nobody who can attack ...
10
votes
1answer
451 views

Recommendations for game mechanics that emphasize reagent or component based spellcasting

I'm researching spell component systems for a 3.5e campaign. In 3.5e, spell components are an inconvenience at best and a waste of time at worst. I'd like to homebrew a solution drawing from mechanics ...
23
votes
5answers
5k views

Are there ways to concentrate on more than one spell at a time?

Are there any ways to maintain concentration on more than one spell at a time, or to interrupt and reconcentrate on a spell? I do know the general rules says it can't be done, but the general rules ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

How to distinguish between arcane and divine spellcasters?

I'm making a setting where there's a large cultural importance placed on whether you're a divine or arcane caster. I was wondering if detect magic (or any other plausible and simple method) could ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Does a sorcerer's metamagic work for non-sorcerer spells?

Can a multiclass sorcerer/cleric use the Metamagic class ability with non-sorcerer spells? For example, using Twinned Spell when casting cure wounds to heal two creatures instead of just one?
16
votes
3answers
3k views

How does Empowered Evocation work with Magic Missile?

Empowered Evocation (PHB 177) reads: Beginning at 10th level, you can add your Intelligence modifier to the damage roll of any wizard evocation spell you cast I have an evoker with a 16 ...
15
votes
2answers
576 views

What happens to a character who breaks a Law of Magic and is about to hit 0 refresh as a result?

In DFRPG, you have the 7 laws of magic, which if you break you automatically have to add it as a power. Lets say we have a focused sourcerer who's used 6 of their 7 refresh, and they break one of the ...
12
votes
8answers
1k views

Why are high ability scores mandatory to cast spells?

After reading this answer, I was once again struck by the fact that a Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 spellcaster, no matter his level, is unable to overcome the limits imposed by his ability scores. Like ...
11
votes
3answers
992 views

I want to build a castle, with magic!

Rather, one of my players, a Terram Magus, wants to be able to construct a castle or equivalent fortification without using creo magic in an Ars Magica 5th edition game. The rules for crafting with ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Does ki count as magic for the purpose of an antimagic field, or is it only fluff?

I was verifying whether my fighter's Sun Blade would in fact be a useless hilt in an antimagic field (AMF) and came across this question on a few other sites, and it piqued my interest. My first ...
9
votes
2answers
327 views

Dresden files movement rote

Hi I'm looking to create a rote to do an effect similar to Harry's quick escape potion. I have a good discipline and conviction and air control specialisation. Harry's potion is 5 shifts of power for ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Rulesets to make magic more unpredictable and dangerous?

I am considering starting a Pathfinder game, however before I do this I would like to brew-up some house-rules on the use of magic for a "low-magic" setting (think Conan or A Song of Ice and Fire) ...
7
votes
1answer
787 views

Can one use detect magic to detect undead?

As lesser undeads like skeletons or zombies are mostly made by magic I'm wondering if detect magic can be used as sorts of "detect undead in your view". Thus you see a pile of bones ahead of you and ...
6
votes
1answer
646 views

Does Grim Harvest trigger when my minions kill something?

The Necromancy School's Grim Harvest ability restores HP when you kill an enemy with a spell of 1st-level or higher. Does this apply when minions created by a spell, such as Animate Dead, or Conjure ...
6
votes
4answers
13k views

The Warcaster Feat and Arcane Focus

I'm playing a Warlock in 5e and I'm trying to make him a front line fighter/tank because we...don't have any and our healing sucks. Thus, I'm trying everything I can to avoid being hit altogether. ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Combining Jump and Step of the Wind

Inspired by this question Step of the Wind ... Your jump distance is doubled for the turn p. 78 Jump ... the creature's jump distance is tripled ... p. 254 Combining Magical ...
5
votes
3answers
331 views

What is the highest number of spells that can be cast in one round?

I'm aware of the hotly debated "...normal limit of one spell per round" text from the rules on magic casting time. Assuming that this doesn't mean anything substantial, however, what is a theoretical ...
5
votes
1answer
493 views

What point-buy systems of magic (like psionics in 3e D&D) are there? [closed]

The RPG I'm currently developing is a d20 model, skill driven rules system. The mechanics of spellcasting center around spell effects and point cost for stamina (a universal energy pool for all ...
4
votes
2answers
636 views

How does D&D 5E Wizard's magic work, in Lore terms?

Not asking about the mechanics, but about the "lore" for the purpose of eg novel or short story. Before, memorisation was represented in the following, IMHO coherent way: You prepare a spell and ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Can a magus with a high BAB cast two spells or attack and cast, with their full attack action?

Suppose you are a level 10 Magus or something similar. (Something with a decent BAB progression and spellcasting abilities) When you hit +6/+1, can you cast a spell, then attack, vice-versa, or simply ...
4
votes
3answers
372 views

What counts as a bardic focus?

Inspired by this question: Can a multi-class spellcaster have one thing be two different focuses? The PHB, on p54 says: Spellcasting focus You can use a musical instrument (found in chapter 5) ...
4
votes
2answers
441 views

How viable is shrink item and massive projectiles?

I'm sure it's been done many times in many variations over the spell's history, but I'm having trouble finding any reasonably conclusive ruling or argument as to whether or not it should work. Is it ...
4
votes
4answers
556 views

“High on Magic” - how original is it? [closed]

I have written a RPG called "Chuť magie" - it's in Czech and it means literary "Taste of Magic", but I'd definitely call it "High on Magic" in English. I'm not planning to translate it to English soon,...
3
votes
1answer
169 views

What is the caster level for a supernatural ability?

As per the errata to the D&D 3.0 DMG, as explained here, supernatural abilities can be dispelled as if they were spells. However, I have never seen a definition of what their caster level is, and ...
3
votes
2answers
253 views

Can a caster grant class levels to the target form of a True Polymorph?

This is a follow-on to: Does a caster under the effect of a True Polymorph spell retain their class levels? Assume we have a wizard who wants to check out a cave system where he or she can't fit ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

How does the Magic Staff (from the Handbook) work?

The Magic Staff in the Weapons and Equipment chapter of the 4e handbook sounds like something I'd want as a Lv. 6 Wizard, but I'm unclear as to how exactly it's bonuses are applied and what to. Here's ...