When a magic item that can only be used once, such as a Potion of Cure Light Wounds, or Scroll of Teleport, or a Burning Hands Trap, gets directly hit by a successful Dispel Magic, what happens to the item? Are the suppressed for 1d4 rounds like other, more permanent, magic items, or do they get destroyed/expended?


2 Answers 2


Magic items are suppressed for 1d4 rounds. These are magic items. Thus, they get suppressed for 1d4 rounds, and you cannot use them during that time.

Quite simply, there is nothing saying otherwise. The only rule we have is dispel magic’s statement that magic items are suppressed for 1d4 rounds, so that’s the only thing that happens.

The one exception—that conveniently proves the rule, in its Normal section—is Arcane Trap Suppressor, which increases the time a trap is suppressed by dispelling to 1d4 minutes.

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    \$\begingroup\$ In AD&D 2E and earlier, magic potions (specifically and only—not scrolls or magical traps) could be forevermore rendered nonmagical by a dispel magic spell and a successful roll. Edition creep could be the source of the question. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 16, 2022 at 18:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I don't think edition creep is relevant for this. It's primarily from a discussion with my GM about dispelling one-shot magic traps, and whether they would be disarmed or just suppressed. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 17, 2022 at 2:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ You could also reference the text of Arcane Trap Suppressor in your answer, since it states that the normal behavior for Dispel Magic would suppress a trap for 1d4 rounds. \$\endgroup\$
    – Shivers
    Nov 17, 2022 at 3:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Shivers Didn’t know of that, useful (for this answer, not as a feat anyone should ever take). \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Nov 17, 2022 at 4:03

Dispel Magic can be used on magic items, and potions are explicitly one-use magic items. Under Dispel Magic, it says that it does not remove the magic from magic items, but can suppress the effect for 1d4 rounds. Many potions have a duration of instantaneous, but not all.

So yeah, if you set up a readied action to dispel magic on someone drinking a potion, instantaneous effects would be straight-up stopped (as the potion will be inert during the period it would be helping), while potions with a duration would have their first 1d4 rounds of efficacy ruined, but work normally after that point.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Your second paragraph is unclear under the rules—it assumes the would-be potion-drinker doesn’t notice the dispelling, or can’t stop in time if they do. It’s not clear that either one of those is the case. I would rule that the readied dispel magic can stop the potion from working, but that after you do it they would just choose not to drink the potion and do something else with their action. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Nov 17, 2022 at 15:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan For single-use magic items like scrolls, you are unable to stop halfway through if you notice someone counterspelling you. How would this be different? \$\endgroup\$
    – Carduus
    Nov 17, 2022 at 21:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ I mean, same question: can you back up that statement? I don’t believe that’s in the rules, either. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Nov 17, 2022 at 21:29

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