# Does Detect Magic require one action per object, or one action for all visible objects in range?

The text of Detect Magic says:

[...] you can use your action to see a faint aura around any visible creature or object in the area that bears magic [...]

This text seems a bit ambiguous.

Does it mean that I select a specific object to focus on as an action, or that a single action makes an aura visible around all visible magic-bearing objects within range?

For example, if there are 10 nearby objects I want to check for magic, do I need 1 action or 10 actions to do so?

## The Spell Does What it Says:

For the duration, you sense the presence of magic within 30 feet of you.

So you know:

"Wait, magic is nearby . . ." (Jeremy Crawford Tweet: https://twitter.com/JeremyECrawford/status/803821339412955136)

Then:

If you sense magic in this way, you can use your action to see a faint aura around any visible creature or object in the area that bears magic, and you learn its school of magic, if any.

"I'd like to use my action to see what it is I feel," which would reveal the aura of any visible magical creatures or objects in the area. This says all 10 would glow with the aura of their particular school of magic.

### Regarding Sigular/Plural Wording Problem

This isn't a unique issue to Detect Magic, Detect Evil and Good has a simliar wording issue:

you know if there is an aberration, (etc.) within 30 feet of you, as well as where the creature is located

Discussed here: How many things can Detect Evil and Good detect at once?

In both cases, if it was singular was to mean one object/creature, it isn't clear WHICH one to pick, and historically both spells revealed all objects/creatures. The presence of "any" in the Detect Magic serves to drive the point home. I'm still looking to see if I can find Jeremy describing the use of the spell with multipule magical sources.

The singular 'its' refers back to the (single) aura that each specific source has: "If you sense magic, you can use your action to see a faint aura around any[thing] in the area that bears magic, and you learn [each aura's] school of magic, if any."

• I feel the spell is meant to reveal all the auras at once. The singular 'its' refers back to the (single) aura that each specific source has. That is , "If you sense magic, you can use your action to see a faint aura around any[thing] in the area that bears magic, and you learn [each aura's] school of magic, if any." Commented Mar 12, 2018 at 18:35
• Commented Mar 12, 2018 at 18:43
• Darth, missed your comment earlier. I agree, and borrowed it. Commented Mar 12, 2018 at 19:27
• I'm accepting this answer because I think it is the most consistent with RAW. As further evidence, we have the text of Detect Thoughts, which is a similar sort of spell (i.e. concentration for basic function + action to "dig deeper"), but says (emphasis mine) "... you can focus your mind on any one creature ...". This wording clearly specifies that you are selecting a target, in contrast to the wording used in Detect Magic. Commented Mar 12, 2018 at 22:55

## One aura per action

The text continues:

and you learn its school of magic, if any. (emphasis mine)

This clearly refers to one thing, otherwise it would say "their schools". You can analyze one aura with one action.