8
\$\begingroup\$

Here's the premise- Upcast your glyph of warding as a 7th level spell slot, select spell glyph. Trigger for glyph is "When [Desired Party Member] touches this glyph."

Cast Contingency->Revivify into glyph, contingency trigger "when targeted creature dies." Desired party member immediately touches the glyph.

Contingency can normally only be cast on self, but Spell Glyph overrides that via

You can store a prepared spell of 3rd level or lower in the glyph by casting it as part of creating the glyph. The spell must target a single creature or an area. The spell being stored has no immediate effect when cast in this way. When the glyph is triggered, the stored spell is cast. If the spell has a target, it targets the creature that triggered the glyph.

The last paragraph for Contingency says

The contingent spell takes effect only on you, even if it can normally target others. You can use only one contingency spell at a time. If you cast this spell again, the effect of another contingency spell on you ends. Also, contingency ends on you if its material component is ever not on your person.

What we have here are two exclusionary clauses. The first is bypassed by spell glyph; the contingent spell can't normally target others, but spell glyph allows the spell to target others via means that aren't normal, and specific beats general. It's also worth noting that functionally, you are not actually casting the spell- you're storing it in the glyph and the glyph is casting it later.

Finally, casting a second contingency (which you effectively aren't during the glyph, because when you cast the spell into the glyph the spell has no effect- which would include the trigger effect of contingencies ending when the spell is cast- it does that later when the Glyph casts it for you) might be argued to end any contingencies on you, but RAW does not end contingencies on other creatures, which means if you deliver a glyphed contingent revivify to your party one or two people per day at a time, in a 4 person party on the 2nd or 4th day you could contingent revivify yourself, and the party would have 6/8 days of auto-phoenix.

Does this work or did I miss some glyph errata designed to prevent this beyond the 10 feet of movement bit?

\$\endgroup\$

4 Answers 4

10
\$\begingroup\$

Probably, but this is a call for your DM

Both Contingency and Glyph of Warding break how normal spellcasting works, and consequently, there is heavy need of DM adjudication for them, as the rules only describe in detail how normal spellcasting works.

  • Contingency on another. Contingency says: "The contingent spell takes effect only on you, even if it can normally target others.". The question is who is you in this case: is the spell limited to "you, the caster", or, to "you, the target of contingency". They normally are one and the same, but if you allow Contingency to be cast on another via Glyph, they differ. This is nowhere clarified in the rules, and so is up to the DM.

  • Multiple Contingencies: One can argue that there can only be one contingency at a time, because you means the caster, and Contingency states "You can use only one contingency spell at a time". On the other hand, one can argue (as you do), that Glyph overrides who you is, changing it to the target of the Contingency. This is the same ambiguity as above. This again will be a call for your DM.

For what it is worth, the consensus answer is that you can store spells that target self into glyph, and have them work on others. That would suggest "you" in spells that target Self should be read as the target of the spell, not the caster of the spell, or they would not work as intended. Which in turn would mean that your scheme could work. But this is just an accepted consensus answer on the internet, not a rule or Sage Advice ruling, so the official rules tell us that it is up to the DM.

Xanathar's Guide to Everything, p. 5:

Many unexpected events can occur in a D&D campaign,and no set of rules could reasonably account for every contingency. If the rules tried to do so, the game would become a slog. An alternative would be for the rules to severely limit what characters can do, which would be contrary to the open-endedness of D&D. Here's the path the game takes: it lays a foundation of rules that a DM can build on, and it embraces the DM's role as the bridge between the things the rules address and the things they don't.

(Funnily enough, here contingency is the contingency.)

\$\endgroup\$
3
\$\begingroup\$

RAW, Contingency is unusable in a Glyph of warding...

As noted in Ruse's answer, the stored spell is cast when the glyph is triggered. This means that no matter how Contingency was cast to be stored in the glyph, a new, "clean" version of the spell will be cast upon triggering the glyph.

However, this means that the spell will be cast without a contingent spell to hold. This would effectively render this Contingency spell useless. It is unclear who the "caster" of the stored spell is, since Glyph of warding only specifies this (emphasis mine) :

When the glyph is triggered, the stored spell is cast.

In normal circumstances, the caster would also be the target so there would't be any doubt. Here, however, the original caster and the target are two separate entities, which seems like a situation which was never thought about by the creator of the spell (or even intended in the first place).

So, reading the rules as written, you could store Contingency in a spell glyph, but it would do nothing upon being triggered.

... but this is a boring interpretation.

In the end, it's up to the DM to decide how to rule this. They would be right in deciding this is an unintended abuse leading to casting a spell that was only intended to target "Self" on others, and disallowing it.

They would also be right in ruling it as you intended, meaning storing the original spell, or a spell cast at trigger time. It's up to whatever epic plan and situation you and your DM want to forge.

In any case, this seems unintended. Be careful.

Spells that target "Self" are explicitely designed on the premise that they cannot be cast on someone that is not the caster. Such an interpretation would allow to go around this limitation, which would land us in situations in which the rules were never meant to apply, just like this one.

This means that allowing the storing of "Self" spells in glyphs could have critical, unexpected side effects on the balance of those spells, possibly game-breaking. If your DM (or you, if you are the DM) decide to go this way, caution is advised, and the players should be aware of that.

\$\endgroup\$
6
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure I agree with your logic about it being unintended or not thought about, because spell glyph itself specifically goes out of its way to state that spells that can normally only be cast on self can be placed in the spell glyph and target other creatures. To me, it seems like this use was not only thought about, but explicitly intended. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 12, 2023 at 0:34
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @TheFallen0ne I double checked the rule text for both Contingency and Glyph of Warding, but couldn't find any explicit mention of targeting other creatures with Self spells. Could you please provide the quote you're refering to? \$\endgroup\$
    – Matthieu
    Feb 13, 2023 at 6:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ahh, that's my mistake. It's not explicit in those exact words. Relevant text is: You can store a prepared spell of 3rd Level or lower in the glyph by casting it as part of creating the glyph. The spell must target a single creature or an area. The spell being stored has no immediate Effect when cast in this way. When the glyph is triggered, the stored spell is cast. If the spell has a target, it Targets the creature that triggered the glyph. Self spells target a single creature. If the spell has a target, it targets the creature that triggers the glyph. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 13, 2023 at 7:53
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @TheFallen0ne Self spells are often balanced partly by the fact they cannot be used on other creatures, so while this works as written, it seems like such a large buff to those spells that if it was intentional, it would likely be written as such. It's a shame there doesn't seem to be any Sage Advice on this case. \$\endgroup\$
    – Matthieu
    Feb 13, 2023 at 7:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Choose a spell of 5th Level or lower that you can cast, that has a Casting Time of 1 Action, and that can target you. Self spells can target you. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 13, 2023 at 7:59
2
\$\begingroup\$

No, you cannot Revivify the party

You can Revivify one person.

You can use only one contingency spell at a time.

When you try to cast this a second time, the first one ends even if it is held inside a Glyph of Warding or active on another PC. It’s still your Contingency spell even if it is affecting someone else.

\$\endgroup\$
7
  • \$\begingroup\$ But in this scenario is the caster using contingency, or is it "you" the target? Also, you don't cast spell into the glyph, you only "store a prepared spell of 3rd level or lower in the glyph". Only "When the glyph is triggered, the stored spell is cast". So no, spell inside Glyph shouldn't end because it didn't even start, it wasn't cast yet at all so how can it end? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Jan 3, 2023 at 9:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Contingency isn't cast until glyph is triggered. Besides, "you" means "target", which by definition can only be you under normal conditions. However, it is not clear to me how magic focus should work with glyph - I would've ruled that everything works and then Contingency fizzles immediately, because target is not in posession of the figurine material component \$\endgroup\$
    – Dartarian
    Jan 3, 2023 at 9:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mołot “You cast that spell” is unarguably definitive \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Jan 3, 2023 at 10:33
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Where is this "you cast the spell" taken from? What's the source? What I wrote is from the Glyph of Warding spell description on D&D Beyond. There's no "You cast that spell" anywhere on Glyph's page. Maybe you are using the wording that changed by errata as a base of your answer? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Jan 3, 2023 at 11:35
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Mołot misquoted. The correct quote is “… by casting it as part of creating the glyph“ \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Jan 3, 2023 at 11:57
2
\$\begingroup\$

Not quite

Crucially, when the Bard casts glyph of warding and contigency, the latter's effects do not happen. When another character triggers the glyph, contingecy is cast again and this time it takes effect:

You can store a prepared spell of 3rd level or lower in the glyph by casting it as part of creating the glyph. The spell must target a single creature or an area. The spell being stored has no immediate effect when cast in this way. When the glyph is triggered, the stored spell is cast.

Casting a Spell (PHB p202) explains what the effect of a spell is:

Each spell description in chapter 11 begins with a block of information, including the spell's name, level, school of magic, casting time, range, components, and duration. The rest of a spell entry describes the spell's effect.

So in contigency's case, casting the contingent spell, selecting the circumstance, etc. are effects, because these are laid out in 'the rest' of the entry:

Choose a spell of 5th level or lower that you can cast, that has a casting time of 1 action, and that can target you. You cast that spell--called the contingent spell--as part of casting contingency, expending spell slots for both, but the contingent spell doesn't come into effect. Instead, it takes effect when a certain circumstance occurs. You describe that circumstance when you cast the two spells.

The contigency is a self-spell, which is eligible for glyph of warding, as you and others have pointed out. But for any such self-spell to work at all as a glyph, the 'you' in the self-spell's description must be interpreted as the character that triggered the glyph.

This means that the character who triggers a contingency glyph is the one who needs to choose, cast, and expend a spellslot for the contingent spell, as well as choose a circumstance for it.

Moreover, it's the character that triggered the glyph who mustn't cast contingency again and who must carry the contigency's material component:

If you cast this spell again, the effect of another contingency spell on you ends. Also, contingency ends on you if its material component is ever not on your person.

Notably, the material component of contingency isn't an effect, so it should match the character who cast contingency into the glyph, not the character who triggers the glyph.

For example

The Bard casts glyph of warding normally and as part of that he casts contigency (using a statutte of himself as the component). The trigger he chooses is "when a creature picks up this statuette".
He repeats this process with a different statuette.

A Cleric picks up the first statuette, so contingency is cast, as if she cast it on herself: the Cleric casts revivify for the contingent spell with "when I die" as the circumstance. She keeps the statuette, else contingency would end.

A Fighter picks up the other statuette, so contingency is cast on her too, as if she cast it on herself: the Fighter cannot provide a contingent spell, so contingency fails. (She returns the statuette, breaking the Bard's heart)

\$\endgroup\$
3
  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm unsure about this interpretation. Glyph of warding states that you cast the stored spell as part of the creation of the glyph, and Contingency states that you cast the contingent as part of casting the Contingency spell. So if you cast Contingency for storing in a glyph, you should also cast the contingent spell as part of Contingency's casting. Not casting the contingent spell would make Contingency's casting fail, as you do not fit the casting conditions. \$\endgroup\$
    – Matthieu
    Jan 3, 2023 at 9:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Let us continue this discussion in chat. \$\endgroup\$
    – Matthieu
    Jan 3, 2023 at 11:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ No, disagree. Matthieu is right; Contingency's spell text explains how the casting of Contingency works, not just its effects. "You cast that spell--called the contingent spell--as part of casting contingency, expending spell slots for both, but the contingent spell doesn't come into effect." The general definition of spell text as "effects of a spell" doesn't trump the specific wording of Contingency. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 4 at 4:35

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .