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I am trying to cast a spell, like Message which requires "pointing" at the target, but without looking directly a the target.

I think there are two possible situations that could occur:

  1. As suggested by Thomas Markov, the mirror is the only way you can see the target with no other direct line of sight. I would have to point into the mirror at the target.
  2. I am looking into the mirror at the target, but I can point directly a the target. I would have to do a "trick shot" behind the back at the target while looking into the mirror.
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    \$\begingroup\$ There is no rule for directional facing, so it’s probably important to specify here that the mirror is the only way you can see the target. Good question. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 2 at 21:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov - Thanks for the props. I'm new to the forum and dnd. Still trying to figure some things out. \$\endgroup\$
    – wpigrad
    Jan 2 at 21:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is a neat question, I never thought about this. In your last paragraph, you may want to rephrase it since you’ve emphasized that the mirror is the only way you can see the target, so the trick shot behind the back isn’t an option anymore. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 2 at 21:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you mind if I ask the separate but very related question of "Can I target someone who I have line of effect to by looking in a mirror?" \$\endgroup\$
    – Phoenices
    Jan 3 at 1:48

1 Answer 1

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Message specifically does not require line of sight

The text of message reads:

You point your finger toward a creature within range and whisper a message. [...] You can cast this spell through solid objects if you are familiar with the target and know it is beyond the barrier. [...] The spell doesn't have to follow a straight line and can travel freely around corners or through openings.

Since the reflection is not the creature itself, you would have to point at the creature. But seeing its reflection in the mirror would certainly fulfill the requirement to "know it is beyond the barrier", and I would say the creature is effectively "familiar" by virtue of being presently observed, even if you had no prior contact with the creature.

This text is specific to message. Most spells require a line of sight/effect; see this question linked by Exempt-Medic.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "point your finger toward a creature [...] You can cast this spell through solid objects [...] doesn't have to follow a straight line and can travel freely around corners or through openings" -- So it requires pointing, which usually involves a straight line, but it can travel freely around corners. Also it can go through a wall, but somehow rounding corners or using openings is also significant. Argh. \$\endgroup\$
    – ilkkachu
    Jan 3 at 13:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ilkkachu some materials and spells may block magic from going through. And there always can be an edge of antimagic zone to go around. So yes, both properties are significant. For pointing, I can point from my bedroom in the direction of someone sitting on my living room chair, with no line of sight. I just know where she is, generally, and spell doesn't say anything about caster needing to be precise about it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Jan 3 at 17:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ I just wanted to point out that "toward" does not mean "at." With this in mind, you only have to know the approximate location of the target and be able to point in their general direction, as supported by the vague knowledge requirement of being beyond a barrier and the fact that this spell is able to (somewhat, at least) intelligently traverse corners, openings, (and solid objects are beside this particular point) as necessary in order to reach the target. So it sounds like the mirror wouldn't even be necessary, beyond possibly being necessary to establish the knowledge requirement. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trevortni
    Jan 3 at 20:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mołot I don’t know if 5e has changed it, but magic could is through an antimagic field in past editions; it was suppressed only in the field itself and reappeared on the other side as if nothing has happened. While arguably a bit odd, this is rather crucial for balance, as otherwise one could stand behind it, immune to spells but still able to cast themselves. Or worse, in the middle of a ring-shaped antimagic field, immune to magic but still casting. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jan 4 at 6:06

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