Inspired by the following:

The dispel magic spell states:

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. [...]

The question for me is what sorts of magical effects can be targeted, we already have (at least) two somewhat related questions:

The first is just a general explanation that dispel magic ends spells that cause magical effects by targeting their magical effect. It does not address what magical effects you can target, but instead addresses what happens if you've already targeted an effect. The latter question asks specifically about the haste spell and has an answer stating:

[...] The haste spell isn't creating a magical effect in the space (that is things like illusions, walls of fire, etc.). If you would like to argue otherwise you are very quickly into the realm of things 5e doesn't define properly (ie. what is an object, magical effect, etc.?). [...]

My question is basically whether or not this is true. Are there rules that help answer the question "Does X create a magical effect that can be targeted with dispel magic?"

How do I know if I can target an effect with dispel magic?


Ask your DM.

With all the spells and magical effects in D&D 5e, if we tried to create some airtight rules for what could be targeted by dispel magic we’d probably have more exceptions than are worth keeping track of.

If dispel magic is a regular feature of your game, it would likely be more helpful to build your own set of individual rulings as your game moves along and try to just be consistent with yourself. This is what I do with a lot of my rulings; I write them down and read back over them occasionally so I can make consistent rulings over time.


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