The description of the DnD 5e wish spell states "Finally, there is a 33 percent chance that you are unable to cast wish ever again if you suffer this stress." There are items and situations that grant a "free" wish spell. An example of this is the deck of many things (moon card). Now,

  • if a player gets such a free wish, is there still a chance that they will not be able to cast wish ever again?
  • if a player already failed the "33% test" in the past, will they be able to use a free wish when it is granted to them?

I know that a DM has, of course, the final say in this, but I am curious to what is common among other DMs. The thing is that 1d3 wishes from a DoMT sounds fun, but it seems a bit disappointing to me if a player gets such a card but is already not allowed to use wish spells anymore (or if the card causes a player to be unable to use wish ever again).


1 Answer 1


Yes, the negative effects still apply

There really isn't any difference casting with a spell slot or using a magic item that allows you to cast wish. In both cases, you are casting a spell. It's just that in one case you are expending a spell slot resource vs a different type of resource.

For instance, the Moon Card from the Deck of Many Things(DMG, 162) states (my emphasis):

You are granted the ability to cast the wish spell 1d3 times.

It is clear that you are casting the spell, so all limitations and requirements remain from the body of wish.

If you already are suffering from the 33% penalty, than that penalty remains when attempting to cast from this card (or any other magic item.)

Two examples for when you aren't the one casting

Efreeti Bottle

The Efreeti bottle(DMG, 167) produces an efreeti who casts wish for you. Since you aren't the one casting, you aren't subject to any negative effects:

The efreeti can cast the wish spell three times for you.


Blackrazor(DMG, 276) provides an example of language that makes it clear the spell is cast from and by the weapon as opposed to the caster:

Blackrazor can cast the haste spell on you once per day. It decides when to cast the spell and maintains concentration on it so that you don’t have to.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I am almost convinced. However, the fact that the Moon Card "grants the ability to ..." sounds almost like it temporarily lifts the fact that one is "unable to ...". Or am I reading that wrong? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 14:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TempestasLudi The only thing you're missing is that you are still casting the spell. It granting you the ability to cast doesn't change that you are still casting it. Technically, getting a 9th level spell slot grants you an ability to cast it. Or getting a spell scroll grants you the ability to cast it. But in all cases, you are still casting it. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 15:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch I feel like the moon card would be a case of specific beats general. Say you cast wish the normal way and suffer stress and your luck turns bad and you can't cast wish anymore. Then you get this moon card which is more specific than the general spell Wish. It would let you temporarily bypass the restriction. Am I wrong? (or should I ask this as its own question?) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 15:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Himitsu_no_Yami I think that particular bit is unclear personally. I see where you're coming from, but they may also have used that language for characters that don't normally have access to casting it. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 15:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch You've got a fair point there. I guess it ultimately comes down to DM discretion like 90% of 5e. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 15:52

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