The description for Detect Magic doesn't explicitly cover this. Some monsters, like the Ankheg, are categorized as magical beast, but don't have any magical or spell-like abilities. If they are detectable, what school of magic would they be in?

I could picture some magical beasts having the aura of their spell-like ability. A Blink Dog might always emanate an aura of Conjuration since it uses Dimension Door. However even that seems like it would only have a lingering aura after using the Dimension Door ability.


3 Answers 3



"Magical Beast" means that the species is not a product of natural processes, but is rather the result of something fantastic: weird wizard experiments, development in a naturally high-magic environment, or merely being a fantastic and bizarre creature that defies the knowable laws of nature. They are not made of magic or something like that, and aren't detectable with detect magic.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I second that. Magical beasts are mainly "it's like an animal, but it doesn't exist in the real world". An antimagic field doesn't make them disappear, and you can't dispel anything about them. So: not magic. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 4:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ Third. Wizards and sorcerors don't detect as magic either, despite their involvement. +1 for the antimagic field, too - fitting in every case except supernatural effects, and even then fitting quite often. \$\endgroup\$
    – LitheOhm
    Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 8:26

According to the d20SRD entry for Detect Magic, only spells and objects are detectable by this spell. It mentions outsiders and elementals as a special case, to note that the Conjuration spells that summon them will register normally.

In Pathfinder, Detect Magic doesn't trigger on creatures. See James Jacobs (Creative Director) post for his assertion.

Mind you, I'd be willing to house rule that for a player and copy over the aura strengths from the Detect Animals or Plants spell. This is because I like to encourage heavy metaphysical discussion in my games.


Magical Beasts have no aura of magic about them – they're just the results of the magical experiments or conditions of their life.

All it really is, is a game-design way to separate beasts and Magical beasts without lumping them in with Outsiders or Abberations. Because many magical beasts are from the Prime Material plane, they have souls separate from their being (which excludes Outsider). They also have normal animal anatomy for their type (therefore excluding Aberration).

However, a quick house rule can change that. It is up to you as DM to determine little details like this, and it can be entirely plausible that they have a magical aura in your world.


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