I'm creating a campaign which one of the quest requires the party to obtain a key (ordinary, not magical) to a room. One of my PCs is a Wizard that specializes in Conjuration.

I'm considering whether or not this Wizard can recreate the key using "Minor Conjuration" (I actually want him to make one) as an alternative to the Rogue pickpocketing the mayor.

If yes, what is the reasonable requirement to allow this, beside that the Wizard should have already seen it before?


4 Answers 4


Yes (no other requirements)

The text for this feature clearly spells out the limitations for items it can conjure:

This object can be no larger than 3 feet on a side and weigh no more than 10 pounds, and its form must be that of a non magical object that you have seen.

A key will easily fit the size requirements, so as long as it is not magical and the Wizard has seen it, then Minor Conjuration should have no problem creating a replica.

  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ This answer seems not to agree with you: rpg.stackexchange.com/a/79582/33200 \$\endgroup\$
    – Szega
    Dec 22, 2017 at 7:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ I've seen my house keys dozens of times, and I have no accurate recollection what the key-part of it looks like. I certainly wouldn't be able to replicate it from memory and be able to open my front door, so the rule 'If he's seen it, he can make a key of it' seems implausible. \$\endgroup\$
    – Temp
    Dec 22, 2017 at 10:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Zso Int of about 10 is supposed to represent real-life humans if I remember correctly. And here we are speaking about wizards, with Int often in 16~20 range, possibly even higher. Plus, magic. Spell does not require to remember the form. It only requires that character have seen it. In the context of pulling key out of thin air why would it matter that details of the shape are pulled out of thin air too? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Dec 22, 2017 at 13:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ Assuming the setting is typical dnd, i.e. "medieval", the key is nowhere near as complicated as @Zso 's house key. A key from that era wouldn't be very detailed. I think I'd likely be able to remember it (if I thought it was important enough to remember), and I'm not even a wizard. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 22, 2017 at 17:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Zso "'If he's seen it, he can make a key of it' seems implausible" - Perhaps, but 'he can use magic to make a key appear out of thin air' is already implausible. Having the key actually work seems no more implausible. It just means the magical essence that allows a wizard to create an object out of nothing is also able to understand their intent and provide a suitably matched object (so long as they've seen one in the past). \$\endgroup\$
    – aroth
    Dec 23, 2017 at 7:56

A key

Yes without any other requirements. Key fits requirements of the spell.

The key

There are currently no rules specifically saying one way or the other. It is, thus, a DM call to say if created object will be precise enough to actually work. At my table "its form" would probably be enough, because it's the very form of a key what opens lock, but other interpretations may be different and there is currently no rule to say one way or another.

Note that spell only requires character to have seen a form he wants to conjure. If you (house?)rule that character should also actually remember details, Intelligence test to find out if his memory was good enough might be required. Personally I wouldn't bother, because spell does not say a word about actually remembering what you have seen, and because we are talking about characters that can memorize something even more complicated: spells.

Exception would be a lock that in some way probes material key is made of. As conjured item is worth 0gp, if lock requires gold (or even silver) key, Minor Conjuration will not be able to help.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1; I really like the Intelligence test compromise to remember the details of the desired key! \$\endgroup\$ Dec 22, 2017 at 20:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ A related question is now addressed in the latest Sage Advice Compendium: "Can Minor Conjuration create a copy of a book, complete with all its text, if the wizard hasn’t seen all the text? No. In the case of a multipart object, the intent is that you must have seen all parts of the object to duplicate those parts. In the case of a book, if you have seen only the cover, then the duplicate created will be a copy of the cover, and the pages will be blank." You may want to address this in your answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Oct 4, 2020 at 10:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast but the key is a single part object. I'm not sure if this Sage Advice is really relevant. Need to think about it a bit. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Oct 5, 2020 at 6:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Mołot: Yeah, I'm not sure either. I think it's relevant to the extent that you need to have seen the parts of the key you want to replicate in your conjured key, though it leaves the issue of "remembering"/memorizing those parts unaddressed. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Oct 5, 2020 at 6:52

He can certainly make a key, and it will look very much like the real one. I would rule that in order for the key to actually be precise enough to fit, the caster must (a) have studied the real key in detail, to recall the precise form, or (b) at least have gotten a good look at it with the Keen Mind feat.


Think through the consequences.

Whenever you make a ruling on a subject like this, remember that you are setting a precedent not just for the party, but for your whole world. If conjuring wizards are common in your world, then anyone wanting to lock things up are going to be extremely careful not to let anyone see their keys. If such wizards are rare, then they won't.

If you are paying attention as DM, you should respect a law that I call the "Conservation of Difficulty". If Knock spells and skilled lockpickers are common in the world, then so too will be locks with higher-level protections. If charm spells such as Suggestion are easily available, so too will be protections against them (and probably a whole set of laws, courts and prosecutors to deal with such "charmers".) Whenever a player uses a spell or ability "by the book", it should not change the general level of the challenge - first level spells should not have third-level effects. Only if the player is truly creative, going beyond the obvious application of the spell or ability, should the challenge be bypassed. Otherwise you should demand more from the player - a higher level spell or effect, a higher roll on the dice, or some additional actions such as getting a close look at the key.

If you don't respect this law, your players will surely notice. If this room is supposed to be highly protected and they get in using such a simple technique, they will ask themselves, "Why wasn't this room plundered before?" And most players will feel a little bit robbed. Unless, of course, your answer is, "Well, it would have been hard for anyone else - you are the only conjuration wizard within 100 leagues", or, "Well, it was supposed to be easy - it's just a mop closet." Or maybe, "You won't realize it until later, but the mayor wanted you to get in, and since he knew you were a conjuration wizard he simply made a point of letting you see the key. He showed you the bait, and you took it!"


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