Lets say a wizard Arcane Locks a door in a house. Then the wizard goes off to the nearby park for a walk. While she's away, a master thief enters the house and breaks the Arcane Lock and steals all the goodies in the previously locked room.

The description of Arcane Lock in the PHB pg.215 describes the spell in detail and that it can be broken or suppressed, but it doesn't clearly say if the wizard who cast the spell knows it has been broken/suppressed.

What I'm wondering is: Does the wizard know when the Arcane Lock is broken, does she somehow sense the spell being broken or suppressed?


1 Answer 1


No, they don't.

The general rule of thumb is that spells (and all rules) do exactly what they say they do.

Beware of claims that a rule does something mentioned nowhere in that rule or elsewhere in the core books. There aren't secret rules.

Jeremy Crawford - Voice of Official Rulings for WotC

Arcane Lock says...

You touch a closed door, window, gate, chest, or other entryway, and it becomes locked for the duration. You and the creatures you designate when you cast this spell can open the object normally. You can also set a password that, when spoken within 5 feet of the object, suppresses this spell for 1 minute. Otherwise, it is impassable until it is broken or the spell is dispelled or suppressed. Casting knock on the object suppresses arcane lock for 10 minutes.

While affected by this spell, the object is more difficult to break or force open; the DC to break it or pick any locks on it increases by 10.


Arcane Lock does not specify that the caster is aware if the spell is broken. Therefore, they are not. If they were notified, it would say so.

If you want to be notified of an intrusion, that's what the Alarm spell is for.

For further reading on the 'Spells do what they say', then see here

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, that was my gut feeling, I was just wondering if there was some sort of rule about quasi-permanent enchantments like Arcane Lock in general that I overlooked in the PHB. Cheers! :) \$\endgroup\$
    – DMfiend
    Feb 20, 2018 at 14:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ When you say about alarm, is that because you do think dispelling that would alert the caster... Or was it a pithy turn of phrase? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 11, 2022 at 21:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AncientSwordRage Turn of phrase. Mostly. In line with the "Spells do what they say they do" clause, the Alarm spell doesn't say it tells you if it's dispelled. So it doesn't. But layering locks and alarms is common enough so that unless someone is willing to burn 2 Dispel Magics--the act of breaching the Arcane Locked thing will set off the Alarm. (for example, place an Alarm spell on the floor just inside an in-swinging door--so you can't see it until the door's open and opening the door [possibly] sets it off. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 11, 2022 at 23:42

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