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I have a simple question:

If I cast a nondetection spell on me can I also cast spells like detect magic on myself while I'm under the nondetection effect?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you trying to detect magic that is on you or just in general can you use that spell if you have non-detection running? \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Jan 30, 2019 at 17:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hello and welcome! You can take the tour to learn about the site. I made some changes to the question to hopefully make it more clear but feel free to revert the changes or edit yourself if you don't like the change or if I changed what you wanted to ask. Happy gaming! \$\endgroup\$
    – Sdjz
    Jan 30, 2019 at 17:30

2 Answers 2

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No, you can't

It says clearly in nondetection's spell description:

The target can't be targeted by any divination magic

"Any" includes your own, so no divination spells would affect the target, unless that spell says otherwise.

Detect magic is an AOE spell that targets the caster as the point of origin as stated in the rules for targeting:

A spell's description tells you whether the spell targets creatures, objects, or a point of origin for an area of effect

And thus the spell cannot target the caster.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Might be worth mentioning explicitly that detect magic is a "self" spell and thus would unequivocally target the caster. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 30, 2019 at 17:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ Excellent assessment. Pretty sure my comment in the question isn't necessary anymore :) \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Jan 30, 2019 at 17:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose That sounds odd to me, so I Googled it, and found this argument to the contrary: reddit.com/r/dndnext/comments/61kgpb/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Brilliand
    Jan 30, 2019 at 21:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Brilliand the first 2 sentences of the post are correct, but everything else is not. The origin of an AOE is a target of the spell. In this case the origin is the caster and thus the caster is a target. From the Targeting rules: "A spell's description tells you whether the spell targets creatures, objects, or a point of origin for an area of effect " \$\endgroup\$ Jan 30, 2019 at 21:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Eiri if detect magic was an AOE spell that affected the world centrwd around you, that would be the case. But the spell grants a temporary feature for the caster to sense magic within that AOE. The spell has to affect the caster to do anytjing at all. \$\endgroup\$
    – RallozarX
    Jan 30, 2019 at 22:51
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Of course you can in any world ran in a sensible manner

When you cast a buff on yourself, or get a magic item which casts a buff, and the net effect is "oh dear by strict RAW I now can't use beneficial spells" then you have found a loophole.

Any DM worth the title will ignore that loophole and just let you cast detect magic and have it work as normal on anything that isn't you.

The nondetection ability is meant to be so that you can't be detected or seen by divination, not to prevent you from divining information yourself.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ What I'm getting from this is "any DM worth being called a DM will uncritically reject the 'take' of any 'give and take' relationship found in the rules". I think there is a good answer somewhere in here focusing on working through this issue with the players, promoting player fun etc, but this isn't there yet. This is more "this is the only good ruling, all other rulings are bad mkay", which isn't a good answer. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 4, 2022 at 16:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov I take that, it is a fair and constructive criticism. At some point I will hopefully get chance to think of a cleaner way to put it, but honestly I do believe that "all other rulings are bad mkay", probably why I never even thought about putting it better originally. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Oct 4, 2022 at 17:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ This is the correct interpretation in my opinion. The point is not to prevent you from detecting yourself, it is meant to prevent a hostile other from detecting you with the consequence that a friendly or neutral other could also not detect you... you know where you are. I think it is silly to interpret the divination spell which originates from you, being cast 'self,' as something that your own protection magic would prevent. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 4, 2022 at 18:28

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