Edit: It seems that it is possible, but as for the companion spell, would another shadow evocation/conjuration could be the companion spell as well? If Wish can provide a companion spell, I see no reason that shadow evocation/conjuration would not work.

Related question: Can Wish give me a contingent spell?

(Assuming: that a shadow illusion's caster can opt to believe that the shadow illusion effect that he created is real enough to have its normal effect) a suggestion made by: @HeyICanChan

Because I believe it works that way and that's how I would run it in my game.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This question is also related to: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/165871/… \$\endgroup\$ Mar 6 '20 at 10:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ Does this come down to Can an illusion spell's caster opt to believe that the illusion spell's effect is actually real? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 6 '20 at 14:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ That's really the crux then. I suggest, if you feel strongly that way, that you self-answer this question with that position: A shadow illusion's caster can opt to believe that the shadow illusion effect that he created is real enough to have its normal effect. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 6 '20 at 16:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Even if caster disbelieves automatically, is it really relevant? It is shadow illusion, so there is a real part inside. Even if there is something like 40% fail rate, answers may discuss cases when it is a success, can't they? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 6 '20 at 21:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MaximeCuillerier (How did I miss that comment?!) There is a real part inside, but shadow evocation says, "Nondamaging effects, such as gust of wind, have normal effects except against those who disbelieve them. Against disbelievers, they have no effect." (And the contingency's target is the caster, by the way, so there's no legal wrangling.) Since the shadow contingency isn't itself dealing damage, whether or not the caster can disbelieve makes partly mean either 100% or 0%. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 11 '20 at 14:01

This is a long-standing argument in D&D 3.5e forums. We aren’t going to settle that argument here.

Your case, though, is not an issue. When shadow evocation acts like contingency, it acts like contingency, which includes the caster having the ability to cast some other spell as the contingency’s companion spell. If you wanted, that could even be another casting of (greater) shadow evocation.

The real issue, as HeyICanChan suggests in a comment, is whether or not a caster can believe their own illusion. You can choose to fail a saving throw, but does a caster even get the opportunity, in this case?

And there’s just no answer to that. RAW, the lack of any special carve-out for spellcasters’ own illusions means they are capable of falling for them, but adjudicating illusions has a lot of room for DM ruling, so in practice it’s not at all unreasonable to say that it’s just impossible. Certainly, being able to use greater shadow evocation to cast contingency when you have banned Evocation is a heavy nail in that school’s coffin, which is a strong reason to disallow the combination, but that’s not in the rules (which assume Evocation is just as good a school as the others even though it is not).

Anyway, really, contingency should just be banned anyway. The spell is almost-certainly the strongest in the game. Its existence completely changes the nature of the game, and not in a good way.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Unless I'm mistaken, you should go further than just banning the Contingency spell. What you want to do is ban the entire Contingent Spell mechanic. For example, I don't believe that banning Contingency bans Craft Contingent Spell. \$\endgroup\$
    – J. Mini
    Mar 6 '20 at 15:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ @J.Mini Sure, Craft Contingent Spell should be banned long, long before contingency itself. While contingency is overpowered and changes the nature of the game, the limitation of 1 does actually create a significant limit. Craft Contingent Spell is just nonsense. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Mar 6 '20 at 15:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ For once I disagree, Just as I also believe wish can't give you a contingent spell. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 6 '20 at 16:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MaximeCuillerier Uh, OK? There’s really no reason at all that these methods of copying contingency would block also casting the companion spell; I honestly see no evidence whatsoever for your position and I worry about the precedent that would set, but I can’t force you. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Mar 6 '20 at 16:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ Oh well I now understand correctly, I reread your answer and you can indeed cast another spell for the companion spell, the Shadow evocation will not give you the companion spell for free, but I now I wonder can you use a second casting of a shadow evocation/conjuration to mimic the companion spell. Your answer on the wish question made it clear to me. thanks @KRyan as always \$\endgroup\$ Mar 6 '20 at 17:57

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