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One of the options for Nystul's magic aura is:

Mask. You change the way the target appears to spells and magical effects that detect creature types, such as a paladin's Divine Sense or the trigger of a symbol spell. You choose a creature type and other spells and magical effects treat the target as if it were a creature of that type or of that alignment.

This all seems to make sense except the part at the very end about alignment. You only choose a creature type, not an alignment, when you use this option of the spell. In fact, this is the only mention of alignment anywhere in the spell's description, so the fact that it says "that alignment" as if referring to a previously mentioned alignment makes it seem like this could be a part of the text from an earlier revision that was accidentally left in after all other mentions of alignment were expunged.

So, is nystul's magic aura actually intended to allow masking of alignments as well as creature types? If so, how does that work? Do you choose an alignment as well as a creature type, or do certain creature types automatically imply certain alignments (e.g. devils and angels)? If not, is this an error in the spell's text?

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In 5e, alignment has been greatly downplayed and marginalized. Spells that used to detect alignment now detect creature type. However, some creature types still have an alignment associated with them. Celestials are good, usually lawful. Fey are chaotic, usually good. Fiends and undead are evil. Beasts and other creatures with low intelligence are unaligned.

Thus, the last line you quoted appears to be a carry over for DMs that want to continue to use alignment.

An example usage:

If you wanted to hide a Celestial from a Paladin, you could cast magic aura, using its Mask effect, and choose Beast as the type. Your Celestial (Good) would now appear to be a Beast (Unaligned) to the Paladin's Divine Sense and be undetected.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So you're saying that if the chosen creature type always has a specific alignment, then masking a creature as that type also causes their alignment to be detected as the alignment associated with the creature type? \$\endgroup\$ – Ryan Thompson Nov 12 '18 at 1:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RyanThompson -- exactly. \$\endgroup\$ – ravery Nov 12 '18 at 1:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RyanThompson to clarify here, I'm pretty sure no creature type RAW (!) enforces any alignment. Yes, celestials are usually good, beasts are unaligned etc. BUT THAT IS NOT A RULE. Take, for example, the Giant Eagle, a neutral good beast, or an Empyrean, a celestial that can be CG or NE. It is noteworthy that so far, all 5e demons are CE and all devils are LE. That is, lore-wise, unlikely to change - but it's not unthinkable either that, for example through some kind of high-power magic, a devil might be allowed to choose his alignment and subsequently choose to become neutral or good. \$\endgroup\$ – PixelMaster May 10 at 17:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PixelMaster Are you saying this answer is wrong? I'm don't quite understand what your comment implies for the question. \$\endgroup\$ – Ryan Thompson May 10 at 18:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RyanThompson ... I guess? Ruling like this makes sense, but personally, I think the real problem is an error in the spell's description, because, as I said, there is, RAW, no relation between creature type and alignment (fiends might be an exception so far, but afaik none of the other creature types are unequivocally bound to an alignment). Therefore, the sentence "You choose a creature type and other spells and magical effects treat the target as if it were a creature of that type or of that alignment" makes no sense, and should start with "you choose a creature type or alignment". \$\endgroup\$ – PixelMaster May 10 at 20:08

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