Let's say an explosive glyph was set in front of a house of someone that might be attacked late in the night. Condition set that any hostile creature to the person that passes by triggers it.

So nighttime comes and sure enough a dumb assassin who doesn't check for magic or anything stumbles onto the glyph.

If I was the one who created the glyph, and I was across the town, would I know it was triggered?

I know there is the option of storing a spell like Sending in a glyph and having it communicate that way. But I was thinking that use to be more of sending someone within town a message if the trigger happens while we're far out adventuring.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Just to make sure, you're not asking about being able to hear the explosion, right? \$\endgroup\$
    – goodguy5
    Feb 20, 2020 at 16:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you mean the explosive rune option of Glyph of Warding? \$\endgroup\$
    – Bookwyrm
    Feb 20, 2020 at 16:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is there anything in the game text making you think he does? \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Feb 20, 2020 at 16:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not about hearing the explosion itself, just knowing it was triggered. Yes the explosive rune option (but tbh any possible use of the glyph still begs the same question). And no I have no seen game text that says anything about "sensing" it, but in that same vein i have seen nothing explicitly saying it does NOT. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 20, 2020 at 17:33

3 Answers 3


Only if you are close enough to hear the explosion / spell effect

Otherwise, the glyph's spell efect, or explosive runes, will go off and you won't be alerted by the glyph spell itself. Since you specify "across town" the most general answer is: no, you won't hear it.

  • An exception: if you had cast a spell glyph with Thunderwave, for example, and were sleeping withing 300' of the glyph area, you'd hear the boom of Thunderwave

The mechanic you are thinking of (alert the caster) is part of the first level alarm spell.

A mental alarm alerts you with a ping in your mind if you are within 1 mile of the warded area. This ping awakens you if you are sleeping.

Glyph of Warding does not have any descriptive text like that.

Can I combine the two?

Sure, in some cases. You can set an alarm spell with a similar trigger to your glyph of warding if the glyph is triggered by a creature.

Until the spell ends, an alarm alerts you whenever a Tiny or smaller creature touches or enters the warded area. (Alarm)

For a more complicated glyph trigger, the two may not work together.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I guess my cleric doesn't get the alarm spell, because that might have pointed it out to me without having to ask. Thank you for that tidbit, it puts it into perspective the most \$\endgroup\$ Feb 20, 2020 at 17:37
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @J.Wagner I think that access to the alarm spell would require either Arcana domain, or levels in Ranger or Druid. Lemme check ... on Ranger list, not on Druid list. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 20, 2020 at 17:38
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @J.Wagner some spells can send messages or trigger other effects, They may be helpful here. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 20, 2020 at 18:25


The general standard used for magic (and game rules in general) in 5E is "Spells only do what they say they do."

If Glyph of Warding included a "This spell has been triggered" notification, then it would say so. It does not, so it doesn't. All it says about activating is

When triggered, the glyph erupts with magical energy in a 20-foot-radius sphere centered on the glyph
When the glyph is triggered, the stored spell is cast.

Might I recommend 2 castings of Glyph of Warding on the same location? One to blow up the intruder, another to cast Sending to notify you that Glyph 1 activated.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ There is no such rule in 5e. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Wells
    Feb 20, 2020 at 16:38
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @MarkWells Semantics. Switched to "Standard used for." Better? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 20, 2020 at 16:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Better, though "standard I and some of my friends use" would be more accurate. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Wells
    Feb 20, 2020 at 19:03
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @MarkWells As is noted in the question I linked, this is also the standard that is used by the actual designers of the game. I cannot count how many times I have see Jeremy Crawford respond to Twitter Questions with "If it was supposed to do that, it would say so in the rules." Furthermore, looking at the entirety of the Sage Advice Compendium, there are many, many places where official WotC rulings use the exact same standard. "If A was supposed to do B, it would say so." or "The description says nothing about that, so no." \$\endgroup\$ Feb 20, 2020 at 19:41


Nothing in the spells description gives the caster any awareness of when the glyph is triggered, and the glyph does not require concentration (which would alert the caster when it ends)

It is worth noting however that an exploding glyph would make some noise when triggered, the closer you were and the better your perception, the better your chance of knowing.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I wanted to upvote your answer but the big "No" put me off. You include in your answer the part about perceiving that the spell stored in the Glyph of Warding has taken effect, so maybe your "No" ought to be a "Maybe", maybe? :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Senmurv
    Feb 21, 2020 at 8:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ No is the answer to the OPs question, it is not unfriendly \$\endgroup\$ Feb 21, 2020 at 9:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ I never said it was unfriendly. :) Like you say yourself, if the Glyph of Warding triggers while the caster is in hearing/sight distance then they would know. The scenario presented suggests that the caster might actually notice it. So saying "no" contradicts your own answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Senmurv
    Feb 21, 2020 at 16:58

This site is temporarily in read-only mode and not accepting new answers.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .