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The seeming spell description states:

This spell allows you to change the appearance of any number of creatures that you can see within range. You give each target you choose a new, illusory appearance [...] The spell disguises physical appearance as well as clothing, armor, weapons, and equipment. You can make each creature seem 1 foot shorter or taller and appear thin, fat, or in between. You can't change a target's body type, so you must choose a form that has the same basic arrangement of limbs. Otherwise, the extent of the illusion is up to you.

The 14th-level School of Illusion wizard feature Illusory Reality states (PHB p. 118):

When you cast an illusion spell of 1st level or higher, you can choose one inanimate, nonmagical object that is part of the illusion and make that object real [...] The object can't deal damage or otherwise directly harm anyone.

Here's how the situation plays out:

Conan the Barbarian is rushing the Martini Mage, about to cleave off his head with his battle axe.

The Mage yawns idly and snaps his fingers, casting seeming; with seeming, the Martini Mage disguises the battleaxe into the illusion of a limp noodle. He then uses his bonus action to use Illusory Reality, turning the illusion of a limp noodle on the battleaxe into a real limp noodle.

Conan the Barbarian is infuriated and attempts to beat the life out of the mage with his noodle, who laughs idly and sips on his Martini before disintegrating the barbarian.

RAW, does this sequence of events work? I'm trying to make a cheeky mage boss character who thwarts players like this.

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You make the noodle real.

The axe is still there and the weilder can still feel its weight and shape and can still swing the axe and hurt you. All that has changed at this point is that the axe blow is accompanied by a wet slap from a noodle that, although is uncomfortable, not damage dealing.

The key words in Illusory Reality:

When you cast an illusion spell of 1st level or higher, you can choose one inanimate, nonmagical object that is part of the illusion and make that object real [...] The object can't deal damage or otherwise directly harm anyone.

The axe is not part of the illusion in this case but the noodle is, so all you can do is affect the noodle. It is very unlikely that anyone weilding it would fall for the trick to be honest, it just doesn't seem plausible.

Bottom line is that you can only make objects that are a part of the illusion be real, you cannot make the absence of an item not part of the illusion real. That would be what a Transmuter would do. I realize that schools of magic are a bit of an after thought and some spells are classified as one school but described as entirely another (Goodberry as an example). If the Martini Mage was a Transmuter things could be different albeit with different spell choices.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ How can the noodle manifest in the same space as an invisible axe? \$\endgroup\$ – Nicbobo Jul 27 '18 at 18:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Nicbobo Magic? I hate using that as a panacea but in this case it works. DM could rule that there is a visible hole where the haft goes in or rule that it is concealed as part of the illusion making it look like a noodle. Illusions are wide and varied in their interpretation at each table. \$\endgroup\$ – Slagmoth Jul 27 '18 at 18:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TheAverageCanadian The answer to that is "Ask your DM", I can't make a ruling for your table. I could tell you what I would rule... which is definitely a flat "No"... The blade still exists and can still do damage a noodle isn't going to stop an axe or even slow it down... \$\endgroup\$ – Slagmoth Jul 27 '18 at 18:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yeah fair point, I failed to consider that the axe would simply cut through the noodle and then carry on into Mr. Mage. \$\endgroup\$ – TheAverageCanadian Jul 27 '18 at 18:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ I had to +1 this answer just for "...accompanied by a wet slap from a noodle". I mean, your answer is ALSO correct, but that line cracked me up. \$\endgroup\$ – Darth Pseudonym Jul 27 '18 at 20:11
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The rest of Seeming reads:

The changes wrought by this spell fail to hold up to physical inspections...If you use this spell to appear thinner then you are, the hand of someone who reaches out to touch you would bump into you while it was seemingly still in midair.

Seeming doesn't replace the axe, it just makes it looks different. When you use Illusory Reality, you're not replacing the axe with a noodle, you're replacing your illusion with a noodle. The axe is still there.

As written, this plan doesn't work. It would just result in the barbarian hitting the wizard with both their axe and a limp noodle, albeit a limp noodle that does no damage.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Sure, but the axe is being disguised by the Illusion of a Limp Noodle, which is then made real by Illusory Reality. How would a limp noodle manifest in the space that it covers the axe? Similarly, if I added 50 pounds of fat to a player through Seeming, RAW, I should be able to make that fat real temporarily, since Illusory Reality makes Illusions real. \$\endgroup\$ – Nicbobo Jul 27 '18 at 18:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ The axe is still hidden by that part of the illusion... However, it does nothing to hide the weight of the axe so the weilder knows something is amiss nearly instantly. You can't make the fat real because it is not an object so that is not a sound example or argument. \$\endgroup\$ – Slagmoth Jul 27 '18 at 18:46

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