I love Programmed Image. It is like an contingency persistent image which stakcs with contingency. But I noticed something:

This spell functions like silent image, except that this spell's figment activates when a specific condition occurs. The figment includes visual, auditory, olfactory, and thermal elements, including intelligible speech.

You set the triggering condition (which may be a special word) when casting the spell. The event that triggers the illusion can be as general or as specific and detailed as desired but must be based on an audible, tactile, olfactory, or visual trigger. The trigger cannot be based on some quality not normally obvious to the senses, such as alignment. See magic mouth for more details about such triggers.

The spell doesn't say that you can only have one active in waiting to be triggered. I limit myself to only one at a time to avoid cheese, but the rules don't say you can't stack them. And the material component is dirt cheap, so no limit from this side.

So can you stack multiple programmed image waiting for their condition to trigger? I'm concerned it would be OP if so.


1 Answer 1


Have all the programmed image spells you want

There's no mechanical limit on the sheer number of programmed image spells that a caster can have in place at once.

However, keep in mind that, since the spell programmed image inherits much of its text from the spell silent image, the spell programmed image is, essentially, an area spell, it's effect creating the illusion over an area. This means, for example, unlike the spell contingency, a programmed image spell's effect is created in the area the caster designates when the spell's initially cast and not, when it's activated, creating its effect in the area around the caster.

Hence the spell programmed image can make invading an illusionist's lair a harrowing experience, but the spell's unlikely to make life significantly easier for the typical roving band of adventurers.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Oct 30, 2017 at 11:58

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