During tonight's game, the party's wizard became confused because of a failed save against Yeenoghu's flail, which had the effect of:

The target must succeed on a DC17 Wisdom saving throw or be affected by the confusion spell until the start of Yeenoghu's next turn.

Dispel Magic says:

Choose one creature, object, or magical effect within range. Any spell of 3rd level or lower on the target ends. For each spell of 4th level or higher on the target, make an ability check using your spellcasting ability. The DC equals 10 + the spell's level. On a successful check, the spell ends.

With this in mind, I had the following question:

Is the confusion caused by Yeenoghu's flail a targetable magical effect for the purposes of Dispel Magic? Or does the wizard have to wait for this effect to expire in the normal fashion?

To clarify, I'm trying to determine if the magical effect on the Wizard can be removed without hitting the wizard as a creature with Dispel Magic. The latter has some pretty negative consequences for the wizard.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I’ve closed this as a duplicate blah blah, you know the drill. Let me know if it’s a good closure. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 16, 2021 at 8:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov this question is really the inverse of that question - the linked question makes quite clear that dispel magic can affect multiple effects on one target, but this question is about whether or not you can deliberately not do that, since some spells you don't want to dispel. (It'll hinge on whether or not the confusion effect can be considered a perceptible "magical effect" that can be targeted, I think.) \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    Jan 16, 2021 at 10:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ It looks like this question is still covered under the question in the target, but answers fail to emphasize clearly if dispel magic must dispel all effects. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 16, 2021 at 11:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Pyro, if you think that question is the same question, but the answers are insufficient I’ll happily throw a bounty on there. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 16, 2021 at 11:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ The problem seems to me that this question is actually two questions. Whether the dispel magic can remove some effects and not others should be answered in the question of which this one is a duplicate. Whether dispel magic has any effect on confusion (which to me seems more the domain of a lesser restoration), is a new question and cannot be answered by that other question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Poseidaan
    Jan 16, 2021 at 13:40

1 Answer 1


You can target and (probably) dispel this effect with Dispel Magic

First of all, the confusion effect of this attack is definitely magical, because it specifically produces the effect of a spell. This is precisely one of the criteria for determining if an effect is magical. Hence, it is definitely a valid target for Dispel Magic.

However, targeting the effect isn't very useful unless Dispel Magic can actually dispel the effect. The relevant limitation here is that as written, Dispel Magic can target any magical effect, but it only ends that effect if it is a spell effect. The effect in question specifically says that on a failed save, the target is "affected by the confusion spell". I would argue that this is explicit enough to actually qualify this as a spell effect that Dispel Magic can dispel.

Of course, the normal rules for dispelling spells apply: if Dispel Magic is cast at 3rd level, the caster must succeed on a DC 14 spellcasting ability check in order to dispel the effect, since Confusion is a 4th level spell.

  • \$\begingroup\$ How do you suggest the effect be targeted when a clear path is needed to it? Where/what is being targeted, just a magical effect that is probably somewhere? \$\endgroup\$ Jan 17, 2021 at 23:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 The magical effect is on the affected creature, just like with any other spell that affects creatures. So if you can target the creature, you can target the effect. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 18, 2021 at 0:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you don't mind putting that as an answer to my recent question, I'd appreciate it. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 18, 2021 at 0:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 Hmm, looking at that question and the linked ones, I think I'd have to do some more research to properly justify my comment as an answer. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 18, 2021 at 1:25

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