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If a player were to wish with this wording: "I wish for my wishes to be fulfilled exactly as I mean them to be, never taxing on me and never causing me to lose anything"

Does this cover the following points:

  • DM interpreting the wish not as the player meant
  • Suffering fatigue or damage as a result from a wish
  • The chance of losing the ability to wish

This is clearly something that wouldn't fly, but how can a DM use the wording to cause a reasonable way under the Wish spell description to counter that wish?

Another way to put the question would be, is there a wish that breaks the game?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you allowed to warp the wisher in order for the wish to reflect their new intentions? \$\endgroup\$ – Fering May 14 at 3:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ Related: "Can you use Wish to allow yourself to cast Wish without risks?" \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 May 14 at 3:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ Your wish is granted! Any future wishes will not be detrimental to you. However, the stress of making this Wish will prevent you from making use of this spell in the future. \$\endgroup\$ – Michael Richardson May 14 at 3:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelRichardson but the second and third points go against your ruling meaning its not granted. I think this is a broken spell. \$\endgroup\$ – Toma May 14 at 3:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Tis a meta-wish! \$\endgroup\$ – Senmurv May 14 at 7:40
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No amount of wordsmithing will perfect a wish

I'm sure there's likely many flaws in the wording you've provided:

There is no need for the requirements to apply to the wish you are making right now so you could just lose the ability to ever cast wish again.

From now on wishes you make won't have negative side effects, you just also can't make any more wishes

Or maybe the fact that the wish granter simply cannot know exactly how the wisher wanted their wish to be fulfilled so that part of the wording doesn't help at all.

Oh, you mean you weren't using the word "fork" as a chess term?

Maybe the definition of "taxing" is subjective. Maybe you lose your arms, but history is rewritten such that you never had them in the first place. And so on and so on

There's always gonna be some sort of nonsensical interpretation like these where the wish goes wrong.


But none of that really matters because the wish spell also states:

The DM has great latitude in ruling what occurs in such an instance, the greater the wish, the greater the likelihood that something goes wrong. This spell might simply fail, the effect you desire might only be partly achieved, or you might suffer some unforeseen consequence as a result of how you worded the wish.

The spell can just not do anything at all because the GM said so. There is no explanation needed and no way of getting around it.

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The DM has a lot of leeway in adjudicating wish.

The description of wish states:

You might be able to achieve something beyond the scope of the above examples. State your wish to the GM as precisely as possible. The GM has great latitude in ruling what occurs in such an instance; the greater the wish, the greater the likelihood that something goes wrong. This spell might simply fail, the effect you desire might only be partly achieved, or you might suffer some unforeseen consequence as a result of how you worded the wish.

If someone tries to wish for "I wish for my wishes to be fulfilled exactly as I mean them to be, never taxing on me and never causing me to lose anything", by the rules:

  • The DM can have this simply fail
  • The DM can rule that it only partly takes effect
  • The DM may describe an unforseen consequence due to the wording
  • The DM has great latitude in ruling what occurs, and can have something else go wrong

Within these bounds, some suggestions might include:

  • It just fails. This is like wishing for unlimited wishes. It's too powerful. It's also hard to adjudicate exactly what the player means by their words.
  • You are pursued by a quarut inevitable, an extremely powerful construct which hunts down people who try to meddle too harshly with space-time, including the use of wish. Perhaps you are attacked by one every time you cast wish, since being attacked or punished for using wish is not one of the terms. (The quarut appears in the D&D 3e Fiend Folio; it's basically a CR17 construct with the ability to use time and space magic including haste, limited wish, teleport without error, and also locate person, dominate person, and geas/quest.)
  • You can't wish any more. Your future wishes can't be misinterpreted if you're unable to use wish.
  • Because wish now cannot cause you to lose anything, you can't ever wish to get rid of anything; e.g. an injury, a rival, a problem.
  • The gods are upset with your new-found power, and seek to destroy or imprison you.
  • Another powerful spellcaster uses wish to take away your overpowered wishing power.
  • Another powerful spellcaster does the same thing, and now you have to fight against an enemy with the same power.
  • The gods congratulate you for finding out the same loophole they used to become gods, and invite you to join their pantheon, retiring the character and completing the campaign.
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  • \$\begingroup\$ Your fourth suggestion, interpreted broadly, would arguably be enough to prevent any wish: "you cannot lose the educational opportunity of overcoming this situation [or whatever you're wishing for] without magic", etc. \$\endgroup\$ – Andrzej Doyle May 14 at 11:42
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I am surprised that wish in such a broad sense has been allowed into 5th ed, but as a DM any wish that was attempted in this fashion would automatically fail or have other bad effects. Using the wish in the straight forward ways listed is one thing, but when trying to use a wish to alter the nature of wishes themselves, it removes some of the balancing aspects of the wish.

I might set up circumstances in a game so that a wish(s) are required to be used, such as wishing away a demon or removing a magic plague. But players just being able to use wishes for anything can be very breaking.

As a DM, unless wish was being folded into the story, wishing is a dangerous situation. Worse than legal contracts, which while often clear in their legalese meaning, might not be so easily understood to regular people. Same with magic, the more complex and/or longer and/or powerful the wish, the more likely the wish is to get something wrong. Wishing for other spells is straight forward and there are already templates for it. Wishing to become immortal, well, liches are immortal so you become a lich since you didnt specifically ask to remain as you are or not to become a lich.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I know all that, but about the wording.. The spell states that the DM will interpret the wish. So on those words, what is a way to rebuke the wish? \$\endgroup\$ – Toma May 14 at 3:34

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