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

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37
votes
7answers
5k 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
796 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 ...
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?
2
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
14
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?
9
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 ...
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 ...
-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 ...
6
votes
4answers
989 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
602 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 ...
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 ...
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
588 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
419 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
1answer
361 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.)
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
815 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 ...
18
votes
8answers
724 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? ...
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
445 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
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
560 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
972 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
312 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
737 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
596 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
11k 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
3answers
311 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
942 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
1answer
492 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
391 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
1answer
918 views

Conceal Spellcasting - Skill or Skill Trick?

Races of Stone has a section in skills, which outlines how you can use Slight of Hand to conceal spellcasting. There is no special requirement: When casting a spell, you may make a Sleight of ...
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
4answers
551 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
166 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
238 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
3k views

How does metamagic feats interact with each type of casters?

Wizards Wizards must choose to apply the metamagic feat to their spells while preparing the spell? If yes, can they just cast spells with the metamagic feat this way? Sorcerers and Bards When ...
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
133 views

How can Constructs use Magic?

In Pathfinder I am currently trying to design a few encounters with a supposed ghost ship (actually a Colossal Animated Object) complete with a crew of Haunted Objects (again, Animated Objects), but I ...
2
votes
2answers
317 views

What happens if you stop meeting the requirements for a spell?

Many spells specify a condition (animal, living creature, undead, etc.) that their targets must fulfill. What happens if such a spell is cast on a target that meets the condition(s), but changes in ...
2
votes
2answers
705 views

Do spell targets know they were targeted?

Assuming a target of a Pathfinder spell did not see/hear/notice a caster casting the spell, do they know/feel they were targeted? Is it relevant if the spell worked or not, if a save was involved ...
1
vote
2answers
653 views

How to get spontaneous arcane casting without an armor penalty in pathfinder?

How could I get a gish in pathfinder with spontaneous arcane casting without having to worry about spell failure chance. To those that would say sorcerer/fighter, how do I avoid the spell failure ...
1
vote
1answer
132 views

Can alchemy be performed with magical items in a no-mana world?

I am currently reading through all the rules used for the Alchemy skill. It says (I quote from GURPS Magic, p. 210): It is a mechanical process, using the mana inherent in certain things. [...] ...