My character is being hunted down by 3 Rakshasa. The character is aware they possess limited magic immunity which reads as follows:

Limited Magic Immunity. The rakshasa can't be affected or detected by spells of 6th level or lower unless it wishes to be. It has advantage on saving throws against all other spells and magical effects. [Basic Rules, p. 341]

As a level 11 Artificer, I can store spells into a Spell-Storing Item.

Spell-Storing Item

At 11th level, you learn how to store a spell in an object. Whenever you finish a long rest, you can touch one simple or martial weapon or one item that you can use as a spellcasting focus, and you store a spell in it, choosing a 1st- or 2nd-level spell from the artificer spell list that requires 1 action to cast [...].

While holding the object, a creature can take an action to produce the spell’s effect from it, using your spellcasting ability modifier. [...] [ERLW p. 58]

Since the item is just "producing the spell's effect" should it be treated as a magical effect instead of a 1st or 2nd level spell?

Is the Rakshasa immune to the spells produced by the item? Or would they just have advantage against saving throws?


1 Answer 1


RAW: Yes, the item can be used to affect Rakshasa

Disclaimer: As always, talk to your DM about this. Rulings aren't always black and white, and while the information below tries to be as objective as possible, it's impossible to remove all ambiguity and it's well within reason that a DM would rule otherwise.

As stated in the question, there are two different types of magic one can use; Spells and other Magical Effects. We can prove that these are two discrete keywords that aren't always mutually present by looking at other magic items such as the Mantle of Spell Resistance [DMG p. 180] that only applies to spells whereas items such as the Robes of the Archmagi [DMG p. 194] has an ability that applies to both spells and magical effects. We just need to determine which one the Artificer's ability falls under.

To figure out where it falls under we just need to look at the wording of other magical items. In this case we'll look at wands, as they align the most with the effects generated from this class ability. Wand of Fireballs [DMG p. 210] states. (emphasis mine)

This wand has 7 charges. While holding it, you can use an action to expend 1 or more of its charges to cast the fireball spell (save DC 15) from it. For 1 charge, you cast the 3rd-level version of the spell. You can increase the spell slot level by one for each additional charge you expend.

Similar wording is found on the Wand of Magic Detection [DMG p. 211], Staff of the Woodlands [DMG p. 204], Sending Stones [DMG p. 199], among many, many others. We also see that some items produce effects similar to that of spells without using the keyword cast. While no such items exist (as of the DMG) that exactly duplicate every aspect of a spell, we do get close with the Plate Armor of Etherealness [DMG p. 185] which differs only in duration. (emphasis mine)

While you're wearing this armor, you can speak its command word as an action to gain the effect of the etherealness spell, which last for 10 minutes or until you remove the armor or use an action to speak the command word again. This property of the armor can't be used again until the next dawn.

Other notable items are the Wand of Fear [DMG p. 210], Censer of Controlling Air Elementals [DMG p. 158], and arguably the Necklace of Fireballs [DMG p. 182]. Given that the book references the other items in a consistent manner, we can gather that this is a deliberate choice and while functionally similar to the etherealness spell it is, in fact, its own magical effect altogether.

Now that's for magic items, but what about class abilities? We can see the same keywords persist across class abilities by looking at the Warlock's Mystic Arcanum ability [PH p. 108] which once again uses the cast keyword similar to magic items.

Looking back on the Artificer class ability, we see that the cast keyword isn't present at all. The creature produces an effect from the object, similar to how the Wand of Fear produces an effect imitating Command. The Artificer doesn't even cast the spell into the object as part of the creation process, it just gets stored. The item itself isn't even magical, according to a string of tweets by Jeremy Crawford here. (most relevant information below)

The D&D artificer's Spell-Storing Item feature doesn't turn an object into a magic item. [...]

[...] Use an Object works only with nonmagical items, as clarified in the DMG.

If the item of Spell-Storing Item is nonmagical, it's usable with Use an Object.

In the end, it would be a magical effect subject to the Rakshasa's advantage on saving throws and nothing more.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Good answer. This answer would be improved if you found a case where another item exactly duplicates the effect of a spell (not part of a spell, like wand of fear) yet doesn't cast it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Yakk
    Commented Oct 13, 2020 at 17:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's a good point. Answer's been updated with that in mind. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 15, 2020 at 9:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Interesting; so your claim is that Rakshasa aren't immune against the necklace of fireballs. \$\endgroup\$
    – Yakk
    Commented Oct 15, 2020 at 14:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Whether it is or isn't is outside the scope of the question asked. It's another magic item with unique and open-ended wording relating to the question and has been included for the sake of completeness, so any DMs wishing to look further into their own answer are able to do so as informed as possible. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 15, 2020 at 19:39

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