Here are the relevant extracts from the Nystul's Magic Aura spell:

You place an illusion on an object you touch so that divination spells reveal false information about it. The target can be an object that isn't being carried or worn by another creature. [...]

False Aura. You change the way the target appears to spells and magical effects, such as detect magic, that detect magical auras. You can make a nonmagical object appear magical, a magical object appear nonmagical, or change the object's magical aura so that it appears to belong to a specific school of magic that you choose. When you use this effect on an object, you can make the false magic apparent to any creature that handles the item.

And the Glyph of Warding spell:

When you cast this spell, you inscribe a glyph that harms other creatures, either upon a surface (such as a table or a section of floor or wall) or within an object that can be closed (such as a book, a scroll, or a treasure chest) to conceal the glyph. The glyph can cover an area no larger than 10 feet in diameter. If the surface or object is moved more than 10 feet from where you cast this spell, the glyph is broken, and the spell ends without being triggered.

The glyph is nearly invisible and requires a successful Intelligence (Investigation) check against your spell save DC to be found.

Can you use the Nystul's Magic Aura spell on a Glyph of Warding to either hide it from detection entirely, or at least make it seem like something else?


2 Answers 2


You can hide the Glyph from Detect Magic or other Divination magic; you can't hide it from the Intelligence (Investigation) check

You've quoted the relevant parts of Nystul's Magic Aura necessary to prove that the glyph could be hidden from divination magic, which Detect Magic is a type of. Anyone who attempts to use magical means to locate the glyph would be unable to do so if you chose to make the glyph "appear nonmagical".

However, the Intelligence check that enables a character to attempt to detect the glyph is not itself a form of Divination magic, or magical in any way for that matter. So Nystul's Magic Aura would not have any effect on a character's ability to search for and detect the glyph.

In practical terms, that doesn't necessarily mean it's useless: a character, upon seeing a strange glyph on a wall or floor (assuming they fail a potential Intelligence[Arcana] check to identify it), might respond by asking a nearby spellcaster to Detect Magic it, and if that check then failed to turn up any magical aura, they might disregard it. But Nystul's Magic Aura is not a spell that can sufficiently prevent a Glyph of Warding from being detected through non-magical means.

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    \$\begingroup\$ If the glyph is placed on a floor or other surface rather than on an object, can it still be targeted by Magic Aura? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 30, 2019 at 4:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ @RyanThompson My inclination is to argue that the Glyph itself constitutes an object, targetable by Magic Aura. It's not obvious to me, however, that adjudicating whether or not the Glyph satisfies the strict targeting requirements of Magic Aura is the essence of what the OP has asked. \$\endgroup\$
    – Xirema
    Commented Mar 30, 2019 at 4:44

Depends on the situation, but not really

Even though magic aura could hide the magic of the glyph, it does not actually hide its own presence. So wherever the glyph is will still read magical, with an active illusion spell on it.

Thus this will not make someone with detect magic overlook it completely. What it can do is to hide the fact that it is an abjuration spell that is on an object and it is not, e.g. a magic item. Depending on what the outcome of such confusion would be, it might be enough for your purposes, but we cannot say more without knowing more about the situation.

Making it seem like something else is also foiled by the presence of the illusion aura. I mean it can seem so, but most people would assume that they are "being lied to".

The fact that magical aura does not hide itself might be an oversight, but it is RAW. For your home game, if you are the DM, I would say that making the aura itself immune to detection would be reasonable. (Just don't forget that the players have access to the spell too and it should work consistently.)

Even then, there is the issue that magic aura targets an object and the glyph itself is not one. It is either part of one or a magical effect. So a glyph inscribed in a book can be affected by casting magical aura on the book, but one on a wall cannot be, as neither the wall, nor the glyph is a valid target.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you claiming that anything you cast magic aura on will always show the illusion aura of the magic aura spell itself, even if you choose the option to make the target appear non-magical? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 5:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes. Szega is effectively asserting that Magic Aura is virtually useless. However, illusions do not have aura, & Detect Magic merely grants a sense of the presence of magic on a creature, object or space. Magic is seen upon things, not as a target. Spell effects are ended by targeting the creature, object or space, not by targeting the magic. Altering the aura of a creature, object, or space, to resemble no magic (or one school of magic), effectively masks all magic upon that creature, object or space. Instead of detecting the magic, cast magic which interacts in defined ways: Proof>sense \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 25, 2022 at 20:22

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