The knock spell's description reads:

Choose an object that you can see within range. The object can be a door, a box, a chest, a set of manacles, a padlock, or another object that contains a mundane or magical means that prevents access.

A target that is held shut by a mundane lock or that is stuck or barred becomes unlocked, unstuck, or unbarred. If the object has multiple locks, only one of them is unlocked.

If you choose a target that is held shut with arcane lock, that spell is suppressed for 10 minutes, during which time the target can be opened and shut normally.

When you cast the spell, a loud knock, audible from as far away as 300 feet, emanates from the target object.

As far as I see it, the description of the knock spell describes 4 things:

  • What the knock spell can target.
  • What happens if the knock spell targets something locked by a mundane lock, or is stuck or barred.
  • What happens if the locking mechanism is specifically the spell arcane lock.
  • The spell creates noise.

Valid spell targets include magical locks. But it doesn't seem the spell says what it does when such a target is selected (except for create a loud knock sound). This is the case, unless a magical lock is considered 'stuck' in which it is according to the spell the lock would be unstucked.

However, the spell says what it does to stuck things where it specifies what happens to a target that is held shut by a mundane lock, or stuck or barred. If magical locks were considered stuck, there wouldn't have been any need to specifically say what happens to a mundane lock, because it would apply to non-mundane locks too.

I originally asked this question here, but the question unfortunately got edited into a different question. The answer there addresses the question it got edited to. So I feel it is appropriate readdress the main issue in a new thread. For this reason, I don't think this is a duplicate question, even though I copied the majority of the content of this question from that thread.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It depends on how that specific lock is written, I doubt there even can be a general answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Apr 19, 2021 at 10:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ Is there a specific magical lock you are thinking of? I don't think there are any general ones in the main books. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 19, 2021 at 11:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AllanMills I don't think it really matters whether there is one in the main books or not. Can a magical lock that isn't arcane lock exist? The environment is the DMs playground and if he says something is locked by some unknown magic, then isn't it considered a magical lock? There are things within published content that can arguably have magical locks. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dezvul
    Apr 19, 2021 at 15:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ Can I get someone to tell me how this question is not focused enough? There are 2 main points that support why I even asked the question; 'magical locks' are a valid target of the spell, and the wording of the spell is ambiguous such that it might not have an inclusion for what happens when they are targeted. So what happens when the spell is cast on them? \$\endgroup\$
    – Dezvul
    Apr 19, 2021 at 15:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Dezvul I agree with you—I voted to leave it open initially, and I’m voting to reopen it now. I can see no reason whatsoever for closing this question. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Apr 19, 2021 at 17:03

2 Answers 2


Knock has no effect on magical locks unless indicated (or ruled) otherwise

"Magical locks" can come in all shapes and sizes. You could find a mundane lock secured with an Arcane Lock spell; a magical portal that opens only when a specific key object is nearby; a blank stone wall in which a door appears when you speak the password; a bridge that extends across a chasm when blood is spilled on a nearby altar; and an infinite variety of other forms. There is no way that the description of Knock can spell out whether and how it works on every kind of magical lock. Since Arcane Lock is probably the most common kind of magical lock, and moreover it is a spell available to PCs, it makes sense to specify the interaction between these 2 spells.

So yes, you can target any magical lock with Knock. But for anything other than Arcane Lock, either the description of the magical lock must specify the interaction with Knock, or else the interaction is unspecified and the DM must make a ruling on whether Knock will have any effect on it.


If you choose a target that is held shut with arcane lock, that spell is suppressed for 10 minutes, during which time the target can be opened and shut normally.

As Arcane Lock is specifically mentioned it just works on things held shut by Arcane Lock.

Arcane Lock is the only thing to do so tho. But of course a DM can use special magic locks that don't work with Arcane Lock to keep a puzzle door shut for what you need that McGuffin, which a whole campaign is written around. But Arcane Lock is the only RAW/non-homebrew spell to do such a thing... players shouldn't have the power of unknockable locks tho.


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