The evil wizard has to escape from my level 3 group. He has a reinforced escape door in his lair, which is secured with an arcane lock. When he closes the door, does he have to use an action to lock it, or does it lock automatically?

You touch a closed door, window, gate, chest, or other entryway, and it becomes locked for the duration. You and the creatures you designate when you cast this spell can open the object normally.

I want to know if he can throw a darkness at my group before he walks through the open door and then closes it.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Before the tagging changes again - I don't think it needs a class tag. This isn't about wizards, it's an NPC that wants to use a certain spell and OP is asking just about how that spell works. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 14:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch Acceptable, although that would imply we need a separate tag to ask about spells on the wizard spell list - if they are somehow different from other spells. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 14:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kirt Not sure what you mean, but comments aren't the best place for this convo. Hop into Role-playing Games Chat or post a meta? \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 15:00

1 Answer 1


Yes, the door is automatically locked each time it's closed

Arcane lock states:

You touch a closed door, window, gate, chest, or other entryway, and it becomes locked for the duration.

The spell doesn't state that it ends when the door is opened, so it continues to lock the door. In fact, the door never stops being locked, even while you're manipulating it; instead, you are simply able to open it normally (as if it weren't locked).

If the door didn't automatically relock, then listing a password duration wouldn't make sense (as speaking the password would be equivalent to permanently dispelling the lock):

You can also set a password that, when spoken within 5 feet of the object, suppresses this spell for 1 minute.

The spell gives no way for the caster to manually relock the door, so it's clear that the spell is handling that automatically.

Don't forget about the object interaction

Note that the door will probably need to start off open. The wizard only gets one object interaction for free, which can include:

open or close a door

Depending on how pedantic your group is, the wizard might not be able to both open and close the door for free in the same turn.1

1 Comment from Kirt

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I agree with this analysis. You might add that since the encounter begins with the door open, the caster is able to cast darkness as the Cast a Spell action, move away as their Move, and close the door as their free Object Interaction, all on the same turn, since the OP specifically asks about this. As you say, upon closing the door, it will automatically be locked. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 15:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kirt That's a good point. I originally had a section on object interactions written up, but I thought it was too pedantic, so I removed it before posting. Good to see that someone else is thinking along the same lines! Edited. \$\endgroup\$
    – Red Orca
    Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 15:34
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ "[...]how pedantic your group is[...]" Very pedantic. This is why I ask on SO before each single adventure. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 15:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @stupidstudent have you seen rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/78520/… or rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/67146/… ? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 16:02
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I'd add that the duration is "until dispelled". not "until dispelled, or opened (see spell text)". \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 4, 2021 at 0:02

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