On the compendium of Roll20 spell scrolls are listed under Items. So I wondered whether a spell scroll is actually considered to be a Magic Item, in case a PC casts Detect Magic to reveal it.

I'm asking this to find out whether my wizard could, while exploring, concentrate on Detect Magic to search for hidden spell scrolls.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I think the premise of this question is a bit weird, because Roll20's Items list contains magic items as well. Just looking down the list, I see things like Amulet of Health and +X weapons... \$\endgroup\$
    – Icyfire
    Commented Apr 25, 2018 at 15:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Icyfire, if you scroll down in the link of the Q, you'll see the stat block state Category: Items rather than Magic Item. That's what caused my confusion. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vadruk
    Commented Apr 25, 2018 at 15:49
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ That's true of all of the magic items on Roll20's list, though. \$\endgroup\$
    – Icyfire
    Commented Apr 25, 2018 at 15:50

1 Answer 1



In DMG p.139 Scrolls are listed under Magic Item Categories:

The most prevalent type of scroll is the spell scroll (...). A scroll is a consumable magic item.

PHB p.231 mentions about Detect Magic:

For the duration [of 10 minutes], you sense the presence of magic within 30 feet of you. 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.

The spell can penetrate most barriers, but it is blocked by 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal, a thin sheet of lead, or 3 feet of wood or dirt.

So: Yes, using this spell enables you to sense spell scrolls in the vicinity.

It's unclear to me why that Roll20 compendium would contradict the information in the DMG. EDIT: See comments by Icyfire in the question for a clarification.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Roll20 has a license to use the rules on their site, however, they are not a WotC source and so mistakes are going to be present that are not in official materials potentially. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 25, 2018 at 15:41
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @JimMacKenzie Given that detect magic penetrates many types of barriers, the scroll would have to be made from a thin sheet of lead in order to be blocked, even if it's just the writing that is magical. "The spell can penetrate barriers, but 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal, a thin sheet of lead, or 3 feet of wood or dirt blocks it." \$\endgroup\$
    – Makyen
    Commented Apr 25, 2018 at 20:33
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Even if the wizard sensed the magic scroll, all they would know is that they were in 30 get off something magical. Until they actually had a visual on it they would have to look for it. \$\endgroup\$
    – JJohnston
    Commented Apr 27, 2018 at 16:14

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .