While playing Dnd 5e tonight, I had a small party of players in a room with Darklings in which Darkness had been cast in two locations in the room. It was very dark and the players initially were getting pummeled by the Darklings. The reason Darkness had been cast in the room was because Darklings are at a disadvantage in brighter environments; Darklings are at an advantage when the environment is dark.

The Player characters first cast the level 1 Light spell to try to brighten up the room. The Darkness spell is a level 2 Evocation spell cast by Wizards, Sorcerers, or Warlocks and according to the Darkness spell's specifications:

If this spell's area overlaps with an area of light created by a spell of 2nd level or lower, the spell that created the light is dispelled.

Therefore, nothing happened when they cast the little level1 light spell at the Darkness. At a loss, the Player characters then cast the level 1 Evocation spell called Faerie Fire, hoping to cause the Darklings nearby to dimly glow violet.

Since the Faerie Fire spell would've been adding a form of light, and since it's the same type of spell that Darkness is (Evocation), but since it's a level lower than Darkness, my inclination was to say Faerie Fire was dispelled the same way the light spell was.

However, I can see a reasonable explanation behind allowing Faerie Fire to work in magical Darkness, since Faerie Fire is not actually a light spell.

And...... that's where we ended things for the night because, fortunately, we were playing online - the virus - and our link abruptly ended. When it ended, the bard who cast Faerie Fire said he was going to quit for the night.

So that's the question: Is Faerie Fire dispelled immediately if it's cast into magical Darkness?


1 Answer 1


Darkness dispels Faerie Fire

One of the effects of faerie fire is to create an area of light.

For the duration, objects and affected creatures shed dim light in a 10-foot radius.

If this area of light overlaps with the area of darkness created by the darkness spell, then faerie fire will be dispelled as per darkness's description.

Note that by RAW this applies to the whole faerie fire spell with everything targeted by it. Darkness dispels "the spell that created the light", irrespective of how many discrete objects were targeted. (This is unlike dispel magic, which specifically states that it dispels spells "on the target").

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Regarding your penultimate paragraph - Darkness says "If any of this spell's area overlaps with an area of light created by a spell of 2nd level or lower, the spell that created the light is dispelled." It doesn't care who or what the light-creating spell targets; if any of the darkness spell's area overlaps with the area of that other spell, the spell that creates light is dispelled entirely. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Mar 30, 2020 at 7:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast You're probably right. I was thinking of dispel magic there, which specifies "on the target", but darkness doesn't say that. \$\endgroup\$
    – BBeast
    Commented Mar 30, 2020 at 9:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ Does this mean that even creatures outside the darkness spell affected by a Faerie Fire casting will be dispelled? \$\endgroup\$
    – Vylix
    Commented Apr 21, 2020 at 6:23
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Vylix, yes. Intuitively it seems strange, but following strict RAW that is the conclusion I reach. \$\endgroup\$
    – BBeast
    Commented Apr 21, 2020 at 7:18

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