The entry for the Amulet of Proof Against Detection and Location states:

While wearing this amulet, you are hidden from divination magic. You can't be targeted by such magic or perceived through magical scrying sensors.

Comprehend Languages is a divination spell, so would a person wearing this amulet be unaffected by it?

For example, my character overhears a conversation in a language they don't normally speak, so they cast Comprehend Languages. However, one of the people in the conversation is wearing an APADL. Would they be able to understand this person?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome! You can take the tour as an introduction to the site and check the help center if you need further guidance. Good first question! Good luck and happy gaming \$\endgroup\$
    – Sdjz
    Commented Jul 2, 2019 at 17:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you interested in the case of the caster wearing the amulet or whether or not the caster can understand the spoken language of another party wearing the amulet? \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Jul 2, 2019 at 19:41

2 Answers 2


Amulet doesn't interact with comprehend languages

The spell comprehend languages utilizes a target of self that allows you to:

...understand the literal meaning of any spoken language that you hear.

You are the target of the spell and you are able to understand the languages being spoken around you.

The amulet is specific in that:

You can't be targeted by such magic or perceived through magical scrying sensors.

Since you are not targeting the speaker with that spell but yourself, the speaker is not protected from your eavesdropping.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This isn't quite as cut-and-dry as it seems. JC has stated (unofficially, on Twitter) that Nondetection protects a target from being perceived by a creature with a True Seeing spell on them, even though the only explicit "target" of True Seeing is the creature doing the seeing. (See here). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 2, 2019 at 19:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ Unrelated to my other comment, but in the interest of answering the more general question in the title, it might also be worth exploring what happens when the wearer of the amulet casts Comprehend Languages. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 2, 2019 at 19:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ My point is that JC's ruling implies that looking at someone with True Seeing active effectively counts as "targeting" them with your truesight, or else it doesn't make sense that Nondetection would protect them from it. So if they are protected from this "targeting", which is just looking with magical truesight, then it might also make sense that they are protected from listening with Comprehend Languages. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 2, 2019 at 19:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @RyanThompson That's why his tweets are frustrating to me and I'm tending to steer clear of them. I don't want to guess at his rationale to use in other circumstances, so I'll just try and come up with a rationale that fits the rules. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Jul 2, 2019 at 19:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ @RyanThompson: Understanding a language does not require the person to be targeted. Understanding a language is an interaction between the interpreter and the sound that's being made. Unless the amulet mutes your voice, people are still able to hear you and therefore understand what you say (or not). Comparatively, True Sight requires a target (in the sense that you look at someone and "look through" them), which is something that requires interaction between the seer and whoever they're looking at and thus it can be reasonably argued to be blocked by the amulet. \$\endgroup\$
    – Flater
    Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 13:26

Comprehend Languages has a range of self so you're not targeting the person wearing the amulet in your example, you're targeting yourself. Since you're not targeting the wearer of the amulet nor are you using a scrying sensor (you're using your own senses here) you would be able to understand them yes.


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