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The Hexblade Warlock has the ability to convey a curse on a target with the Hexblade's Curse feature (XGtE, p. 55):

Starting at 1st level, as a bonus action, choose one creature you can see within 30 feet of you. The curse ends early if the target dies, you die, or you are incapacitated. The target is cursed for 1 minute. Until the curse ends, you gain the following benefits:

  • You gain a bonus to damage rolls against the cursed target. The bonus equals your proficiency bonus.
  • Any attack roll you make against the cursed target is a critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20 on the d20.
  • If the cursed target dies, you regain hit points equal to your warlock level + your Charisma modifier.

Words like "magic" and "cast" do not appear anywhere in the description which suggests that, at least RAW, the Hexblade Warlock may use the curse while within an AMF and the targeted creature would still suffer the effects of the curse if it were in an AMF.

Is this correct?

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Hexblade's Curse is not magical so it works in an Antimagic Field

From the Sage Advice Compendium we can see when a feature is considered magical (p. 17-18, "Is the breath weapon of a dragon magical?"):

Determining whether a game feature is magical is straightforward. Ask yourself these questions about the feature:

  • Is it a magic item?

  • Is it a spell? Or does it let you create the effects of a spell that’s mentioned in its description?

  • Is it a spell attack?

  • Is it fueled by the use of spell slots?

  • Does its description say it’s magical?

If your answer to any of those questions is yes, the feature is magical.

In the case of Hexblade's Curse:

  • It is not a magic item
  • It is not a spell nor does it create the effects of a spell
  • It is not a spell attack
  • It does not use spell slots
  • There's no mention of it being magical

So the feature is not magical and works in an antimagic field normally.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ As usual, I notice the absence of any criteria to determine that anything is not magical. This is probably just bad writing (Sage Advice has even lower standards than the published rules) but if you're in an environment where "Is a warlock curse magical?" is considered a serious question, this kind of precision might matter. \$\endgroup\$ – Mark Wells Jul 15 at 18:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MarkWells In this case the criteria seems to be simply "if it doesn't meet any of these questions, then it's not magical". That's how they use it in that Sage Advice question when saying that a dragon's breath weapon is not magical \$\endgroup\$ – Sdjz Jul 15 at 18:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think an argument could be made that it being called a "curse" means it is magical. \$\endgroup\$ – AgentPaper Jul 15 at 23:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AgentPaper Seems like a bit of a stretch when we have a specific list of things to look out for. I think if all curses would count as magical, such a thing would have to be stated in that list. \$\endgroup\$ – Sdjz Jul 16 at 0:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Sdjz If an ability was called "Magic Arrow", and the name was the only mention of it being magical, don't you think that would qualify as being "mentioned as being magical"? I think the same should go for something called a Curse. Provided my answer as an alternative. \$\endgroup\$ – AgentPaper Jul 17 at 1:55
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Hexblade's Curse is magical so it does not work in an Antimagic Field

From the Sage Advice Compendium:

Determining whether a game feature is magical is straightforward. Ask yourself these questions about the feature:

...

Does its description say it’s magical?

If your answer to any of those questions is yes, the feature is magical.

While Hexblade's Curse does not mention magic, I would argue that a curse is a type of magic. Thus, Hexblade's Curse is a magical ability, it's effect a magical effect, and so it will be affected by Antimagic Field like any other magical effect.

While there may be an argument (though a tenuous one) that by RAW Hexblade's Curse is not magical, by claiming that curses are not explicitly connected to magic by necessity (ie: it's just a coincidence that every other curse is magical), RAI at least seems very clear.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you cite anything in the rules that states that all curses are magical? \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jul 17 at 2:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ I could cite every other spell or ability called a curse, all of which are magical, but that would get a bit long I'd think. \$\endgroup\$ – AgentPaper Jul 17 at 2:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, currently you cite none of them. You quote the official ruling that asks "Does its description say it's magical" but the description in question does not - and then you say "I would argue that a curse is a type of magic" but your answer provides no support at all for this claim other than that you think so. (Also, regarding the use of the RAI acronym, see this meta; you should write it out or make it clear how you're using it.) \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jul 17 at 2:39

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