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  • A wizard casts Magic Jar and then he takes control of another creature's body
  • The wizard in the new body casts Death Ward on himself
  • The wizard kills his previous body
  • The wizard goes 100ft away from the container used for Magic Jar and destroys it in some way. Then, according to Magic Jar:

If the container is destroyed or the spell ends, your soul immediately returns to your body. If your body is more than 100 feet away from you, or if your body is dead when you attempt to return to it, you die. If another creature's soul is in the container when it is destroyed, the creature's soul returns to its body if the body is alive and within 100 feet. Otherwise, that creature dies.

But, according to Death Ward:

If the spell is still in effect when the target is subjected to an effect that would kill it instantaneously without dealing damage, that effect is instead negated against the target, and the spell ends.

My question is: what happens to the wizard? Does the body survive? Does the soul survive? Does the soul return to the new body? I think that in this case rule need to be interpreted, because the body and the soul are in two different places at the occurrence of death. My main doubt is whether dying is referred to the body or the soul.

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The wizard dies - probably.

This is a difficult situation because there's no real specification of what exactly Death Ward covers when you target the "self". For all intents and purposes a creature is both simultaneously a body and a soul as a single unit, and only specifies each part when they are split.

My argument then, would be that Death Ward, when cast in this fashion, only exists so long as the soul and the new body are combined, as that is the "creature" the spell was cast on.

Order of operations:

  1. Cast Magic Jar, creature separates into "soul A" and "body A"
  2. "Soul A" possesses new "body B"
  3. Cast Death Ward on new creature ("Soul A" + "body B")
  4. Kill "Body A" or move 100' away.
  5. Break jar. "Soul A" is removed from "Body B". "Soul B" and "Body B" die as they cannot reunite. Death Ward dissipates as the creature that it was cast on no longer exists (but did not die).
  6. "Soul A" dies as it is unable to return to "Body A"

Breaking the jar is not the trigger that causes instant death (even though the soul would immediately die) thus I would argue Death Ward does not activate. The soul then dies as it specifically was not protected by the spell.

However

If you specified that the spell was cast on the soul, it might postpone your death by 1 round as the soul continues to exist in some form of limbo but the end result will be the same.

This is debatable and will likely fall under DM jurisdiction if they consider the Soul to essentially always be the target of spells such as this - the soul is truly who the creature is. The Soul however cannot survive without a host.

Additional options (DM approval) could be some form of permanent limbo that requires outside help to escape, or continuing to exist in an undead state like a ghost or specter. But these options are not strictly RAW.

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We have to break down this sentence:

If the container is destroyed or the spell ends, your soul immediately returns to your body. If your body is more than 100 feet away from you, or if your body is dead when you attempt to return to it, you die.

Your soul returns to your body no matter what. It is bounded by its own sentence. Even if the jar is more than 100ft. away. The only thing being more than 100ft away does is kill you.

So death ward just allows you to return to your body and live even if the magic jar is far away or your host body is dead. You don't keep the new body.

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In this case the "effect" that would kill the wizard is being a soul separated from any body. Even if Death Ward negates the initial effect of being disembodied the "condition" here of not having a body to go to doesn't end.

Using that reasoning, Death Ward would postpone death for one round but on the next round the condition causing death (not having a body) would still be there.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site! If you have a minute, consider taking the tour which will earn you a badge! You can always head over to help center or Role-playing Games Chat if you have any questions as well. This is a good answer, but it could be probably be improved by adding some references to source material to help flesh out your argument a bit. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Jan 12 '18 at 17:42
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You can attempt to possess any humanoid within 100 feet of you that you can see (creatures warded by a protection from evil and good or magic circle spell can’t be possessed).

If the container is destroyed or the spell ends, your soul immediately returns to your body. If your body is more than 100 feet away from you, or if your body is dead when you attempt to return to it, you die.

So it almost reads for the first line if your body is in 100 feet it immediately returns. Also, the second part for the 100 feet away is when you attempt to return to it. when your giving effort, like when you attempted to possess humanoid's body.

If the spell is still in effect when the target is subjected to an effect that would kill it instantaneously without dealing damage, that effect is instead negated against the target, and the spell ends.

For the deathward, the spell negates the effect that would kill the creature the spell then ends. But you're possessing the creature's body not transferring your soul like the clone spell.

I ask this does deathward prevent a demon from taking a soul outta a living creature? Can you cast deathward on a Ture polymorphed creature? (from a table to a humanoid) How about casting deathward on a ghost possessing a creature?

I believe this should be a DM's choice. Only because this brings up more questions.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome vrockman86. As Someone_Evil has stated, since this was posted as an answer to the original question, your question won't be answered unless you post it as a new question. You can reference this Q&A in your new question if it helps with context, but answers must be answers and not ask questions. \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Oct 26 at 13:45

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