I've not been able to find an answer to this. If it has been addressed, or if I am overlooking something obvious, I apologize.

The potential interaction of the two spells, seems ambiguous to me. And I can't figure out if there is a possibility that Nystul’s Magic Aura might serve to cloud a Scrying attempt.

Are the examples listed under the two options, False Aura and Mask, to be understood as exhaustive? Because in spite of many people often jumping to the, "if the spell doesn't say it does something, it doesn't do it" argument, I often see a ruling going against that "dogma".

Nystul’s Magic Aura:

You place an illusion on a creature or an object you touch so that divination spells reveal false information about it. The target can be a willing creature or an object that isn’t being carried or worn by another creature. When you cast the spell, choose one or both of the following effects. The effect lasts for the duration. If you cast this spell on the same creature or object every day for 30 days, placing the same effect on it each time, the illusion lasts until it is dispelled.

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.

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.


2 Answers 2


It does not help

Unfortunately, Nystul's Magic Aura won't help prevent you from being scryed.

The Aura spell is specific in what it does (PHB, 263) with my emphasis:

You change the way the target appears to spells and magical effects that detect creature types

Scrying (PHB, 273) doesn't detect creature types, it puts a sensor near a creature itself:

You can see and hear a particular creature you choose that is on the same plane of existence as you..

Nondetection will help

Casting nondetection (PHB, 263) will hide you from divination magic such as scrying:

The target can't be targeted by any divination magic or perceived through magical scrying sensors.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I know both of us just posted answers saying no, but now I wonder if it depends on how the scrying target is specified. It says "a particular creature you choose", but what if you choose something like "that drow that escaped several hours ago" (because you don't have a name or other identifying feature), and the drow has masked their creature type as a surface elf? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 18:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RyanC.Thompson I'm not sure that would change it. YOu're still searching for the creature and it's not utilizing the type. If anything, it'd show the creature, but if it had nystul's up and you were seeing through something that detects creature types, you'd see the creature you were looking for with the aura of something else. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 19:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ A vampire (undead) pretending to a humanoid might be a bettler example. \$\endgroup\$
    – T.J.L.
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 19:18
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ That was for @RyanC.Thompson, not you NautArch. :( \$\endgroup\$
    – T.J.L.
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 19:21

Yes, the list of effects is exhaustive; No, none of them defeat scrying

Nystul's Magic Aura presents a list with two options: "False Aura" and "Mask". This list is definitively meant to be exhaustive, since the spell says (emphasis added):

When you cast the spell, choose one or both of the following effects.

The spell's text unambiguously treats the list as exhaustive. As for the interaction with Scrying and similar spells, such spells do not interact with a creature's magic aura (if it even has one), so despite being divination spells, they are not affected by Nystul's Magic Aura.

Of course, if a creature is using Scrying or a similar spell and at the same time has a way to see magical auras or detect a creature's type that works through the scrying sensor, they will see any false aura or detect a masked creature type that you have specified with Nystul's Magic Aura even when viewing a target through the scrying sensor. (Note that this is a fairly unlikely situation to actually occur, since most scrying-type spells and most aura/creature-detecting spells both require concentration.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ Nice addition on the perceiving aura/creature type through the scrying. +1. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 18:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Paladin Divine Sense doesn't require concentration, it just lasts for 1 round. But the wording seems incompatible with using it through Scrying: The presence of strong evil registers on your senses like a noxious odor, ... Until the end of your next turn, you know the location of any celestial, fiend, or undead within 60 feet of you that is not behind total cover. So it's not about pure sight or hearing, it's like an extra sense. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 26, 2022 at 21:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeterCordes Yes, I should clarify that this part of my answer assumes that their method of detection can function through the scrying sensor. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 26, 2022 at 22:29

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