Consider the Abjuration Wizard's 10th level feature:

Improved Abjuration

Beginning at 10th level, when you cast an abjuration spell that requires you to make an ability check as a part of casting that spell (as in Counterspell and Dispel Magic), you add your proficiency bonus to that ability check.

Some spells, such as Telekinesis, include cases where an ability check is not necessarily required, but may be called for depending on circumstances, either as soon as the spell is cast, or later:

If the object is worn or carried by a creature, you must make an ability check with your spellcasting ability contested by that creature's Strength check.

  1. Does an Abjuration Wizard ever add their proficiency bonus when they cast Telekinesis?
  2. If so, does that only apply to the case where a check is made on the same turn as the casting, or could it apply later?
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well now I feel dumb, but at least that was quick! Does anyone has an example of an Abjuration spell that is similarly ambiguous? \$\endgroup\$ – Alex Millette Sep 24 '20 at 19:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ As some answers have pointed out, telekinesis is not an abjuration spell. It also doesn't give you the option of making the check, but specifies conditions under which you must make the check. Do you have another spell that's a better example? \$\endgroup\$ – Mark Wells Sep 24 '20 at 19:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kirt Emphasis on the "if" in the quote block seems entirely trivial. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Sep 24 '20 at 20:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov The question is about conditional ability checks as opposed to required ability checks. 'If' is what sets the next phrase up as a condition rather than a requirement. I consider it the essence of the question. YMMV. \$\endgroup\$ – Kirt Sep 24 '20 at 20:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kirt I am okay with the current status of the question, thank you! \$\endgroup\$ – Alex Millette Sep 25 '20 at 11:38


The other answers have shown that this bonus does not apply to Telekinesis, as it is not an Abjuration spell.

To answer your original question, however: regardless of whether such a spell exists, the bonus granted does by Improved Abjuration does not apply to any check performed after the initial casting of the spell.

The text of the feature is quite clear. Emphasis mine:

When you cast an abjuration spell that requires you to make an ability check as a part of casting that spell [...] , you add your proficiency bonus to that ability check.

The actual casting of the spell occurs only once: directly before the spell is cast. This is supported by the verbiage used to describe spells. Each spell has an associated "casting time", and the spell takes effect immediately after the casting time is complete.

Therefore the bonus granted by Improved Abjuration can be applied only to a check that occurs as part of casting the spell.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think you're on the right track here, but I think it would help to appeal to the duration of a spell. Dispel magic, ceremony, and counterspell all have duration Instantaneous, so the distinction between casting the spell and the spell effect is trivial, but for spells with longer durations, that distinction is substantial. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Sep 24 '20 at 20:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov I think a more appropriate metric is the casting time of spell, rather than its duration. Updated the answer accordingly \$\endgroup\$ – Andrendire Sep 24 '20 at 20:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ dispel magic and telekinesis have the same casting time, so I'm not sure how you're applying this metric. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Sep 24 '20 at 21:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov where in the text for Improved Abjuration are there references to a spell's duration? A spell's duration occurs after its casting time so I'm confused as to how it could be pertinent to this question. For clarity I'm addressing the title question (#2 at the bottom of the question). \$\endgroup\$ – Andrendire Sep 24 '20 at 21:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ I've decided to marked this answer as the accepted answer. While the other answers explain very clearly the answer to sub-question #1 (and I especially like that @Someone_Evil answer lists the spells that are actually affected by Improved Abjuration), this one is more future proof, answering the underlying question I had. \$\endgroup\$ – Alex Millette Sep 25 '20 at 18:36

Telekinesis is not an abjuration spell

Improved Abjuration applies only to abjuration spells (emphasis added):

Beginning at 10th level, when you cast an abjuration spell

whereas telekinesis is a transmutation spell. Improved Abjuration is therefore not applicable.

To my knowledge (and a going through the currently published spells) the only (currently published) spell in addition to dispel magic and counterspell to which the feature applies is ceremony which also has the ability check on cast. The other abjuration spells which even include ability checks in their description are things like snare where the ability check is done by a creature trying to thwart the spell.

†: Creds to Thomas Markov for pointing that one out.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Since I suspect that it's not a very long list, what spells does this feature apply to outside of Counterspell and Dispel Magic? For the life of me I can't think of any. \$\endgroup\$ – RevanantBacon Sep 24 '20 at 19:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RevenantBacon yeah, pretty sure there aren't others (yet) and added a note on it. \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Sep 24 '20 at 19:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ Ceremony - "Atonement. You touch one willing creature whose alignment has changed, and you make a DC 20 Wisdom (Insight) check. On a successful check, you restore the target to its original alignment." \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Sep 24 '20 at 19:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov Ahh... Cunningham's Law strikes again \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Sep 24 '20 at 19:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ I went through and expanded every spell description on each page of the Abjuration spells at DDB and ctrl + f for “check”, so I’m pretty certain you’ve got all of them now. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Sep 24 '20 at 19:28

The feature does not affect telekinesis

Beginning at 10th level, when you cast an abjuration spell that requires you to make an ability check

Telkinesis is a transmutation spell, so it gains no benefit from this.


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