In my 3.5e campaign, one of my players has permanent arcane sight. Does a projected image have a magical aura associated with it?

Project Image for 3.5e states:

You tap energy from the Plane of Shadow to create a quasi-real, illusory version of yourself. The projected image looks, sounds, and smells like you but is intangible. The projected image mimics your actions (including speech) unless you direct it to act differently (which is a move action).

You can see through its eyes and hear through its ears as if you were standing where it is, and during your turn you can switch from using its senses to using your own, or back again, as a free action. While you are using its senses, your body is considered blinded and deafened.

If you desire, any spell you cast whose range is touch or greater can originate from the projected image instead of from you. The projected image can’t cast any spells on itself except for illusion spells. The spells affect other targets normally, despite originating from the projected image.

Objects are affected by the projected image as if they had succeeded on their Will save.

You must maintain line of effect to the projected image at all times. If your line of effect is obstructed, the spell ends. If you use dimension door, teleport, plane shift, or a similar spell that breaks your line of effect, even momentarily, the spell ends.


2 Answers 2


The shadow duplicate created by the spell project image has a magical aura that can be discerned with arcane sight

The shadow duplicate created by the 7th-level Sor/Wiz spell project image [illus] (PH 265-6) does have a magic aura, specifically a creature using a effect like the spell arcane sight can discern a strong aura and, with a successful Spellcraft skill check (DC 22), that's of the school of illusion.

This is because the spell project image creates an effect that's not instantaneous. Thus the effect—the shadow duplicate—is continuously magical while it exists.

  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 for being correct. You might want to explicitly mention that the list of things that have magical auras can be found in the table under the detect magic spell description. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    May 21, 2017 at 21:45

Functioning spells or objects create auras

On page 219 of PHB "Detect magic" shows the aura power of level 6(bard casted) as "Moderate" or level 7 (wiz/sorc casted) as "Strong" Project Image spell (PHB 265).

Aura Strength: An aura's power depends on a spell's functioning spell level or an item's caster level. If an aura falls into more than one category, detect magic indicates the stronger of the two.

Definitely if this projected image is from the "project image" spell, it creates an aura. Additionally, if you choose for the projected image to cast a spell, that could create an aura as well.

However, there is room for clever use of other auras.

Magical areas, multiple types of magic, or strong local magical emanations may distort or conceal weaker auras.


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