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I GM a campaign where the main villain is a 20th level wizard called EM (short for Evil Mage), with the spells contingency and dimension door. EM has a contingency spell, set to go off when xe drops to below 1/3 of xer max HP, with dimension door as the contingent spell (teleporting xem 450 feet straight up, although the destination really doesn’t matter).

Today, one of the players cast silence on EM, preventing xem from casting spells (they were in a space where EM couldn’t move out of the silenced area), and eventually the other players brought EM to 1/3 of xer max HP.

However, when I said that xe flashed away, the player argued with me, saying that the silence spell prevented casting spells with a verbal component, and because dimension door has a verbal component, it can’t be cast in the silenced area, even if it was cast by contingency. I said that no, the spell was already cast when the contingency was cast, so it didn’t need verbal components and silence didn’t prevent it from going off.

Does a silence spell prevent a spell with verbal components cast through contingency from going off?

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Contingency doesn't cast the spell

The relevant parts of contingency is

You cast that spell–called the contingent spell–as part of casting contingency, expending spell slots for both, but the contingent spell doesn't come into effect. Instead, it takes effect when a certain circumstance occurs.

The spell isn't cast when the circumstance occurs, it simply comes into effect. A spell coming into effect, or the effect of one being produced is not it being cast. The casting of the spell, and all its requirements like components and spell slots, have already been checked and provided at the time of casting contingency.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This would seem to make Contingency a bit like Glyph of warding: the spell is "pre cast" and then 'goes off' when the trigger condition occurs. (Not sure if you want to add that comparison or not, this answer is nice and tidy as is) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 30, 2021 at 17:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast The Spell Glyph actually has slightly different wording saying it is cast upon the trigger. Whether the glyph would need to provide the components for the spell is an ambiguity I'll leave to DMs. Readying is probably a better comparison (see the first q linked by Medix2), but it isn't clean enough to be particularly useful it's just using the same logic. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Commented Jan 30, 2021 at 18:09

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