The Sending spell in 5e states:

You can send the message across any distance and even to other planes of existence, but if the target is on a different plane than you, there is a 5 percent chance that the message doesn’t arrive.

Do I know if the spell actually goes across planes, or just if it fails?


1 Answer 1


No, the caster does not magically know if their message was received.

Since spells only do what they say, and Sending does not say that the caster knows if the message was properly received, the caster does not know. The text also alludes to it, saying "... there is a 5% chance that the message doesn't arrive." Not that it didn't send, or that the spell failed. You successfully sent the message, it just got lost. This is true whether or not you're on a different plane - you get no verification that it was received when you're on the same plane either, you just know that if it sent, it was received on this plane (Thanks, @MivaScott).

Obviously, since it doesn't say it explicitly, the DM can rule differently.

Also, keep in mind that the creature can respond. If the caster is expecting a response and doesn't receive one, they can at least assume something went wrong (although that doesn't necessarily mean the 5% chance happened, the creature could be dead or just didn't want to respond).

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ You might spell out that the spell never gives a "receipt", even if to a person across the room, so there would be no difference sending across planes. \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    Commented Mar 19, 2020 at 21:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 Bit pedantic, but even if it would say it explicitly the DM still could rule differently. And yes, I get that the idea was more like 'this is still vague enough that it's not entirely unlikely the DM might rule different', but still 😅 👍 . \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 20, 2020 at 9:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DaleM I'm not sure I agree with your edit, per this question: Can Sending fail in either direction? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 20, 2020 at 13:10

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