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Dispel Magic states:

Choose one creature, object, or magical effect within range.

How does one differentiate a creature from the magical effect that it is currently under? Does Dispel magic target the creature to remove the effect, or is it targeting the magic itself?

Example A: Wizard with invisibility.

  1. Dispel Magic must target the creature and dispel the effect on
  2. Dispel Magic can be targeting the effect and the magic will find it's way there.

Does this mean that there is more of a separation between a creature/object with a magical effect vs a magical area effect like Web?

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    \$\begingroup\$ This whole Dispel Magic conundrum that's been trending today has boggled me.... resulting in me wondering how it is even possible, let alone not overpowered; to walk in to a room and go "I'd like to cast Dispel Magic on whatever 'Invisibility' or 'Greater Invisibility' spell might be active on something in this room please, even though I have no idea where the magical effect is or if one even exists, kthnx." ...and then that just somehow works because Dispel Magic will auto target the magical effect no one has any method of sensing? Can someone explain this to me? \$\endgroup\$
    – Airatome
    Nov 10, 2016 at 20:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Honestly, that was how I thought the spell could work. Here was my thought process: 1)Consider using Dispel Magic to target the Magical Effect Invisibility (note: note a creature); 2)Assume that my dispel magic is like a magic seeking spell that finds the type identified (in this case, invisibility); 3)If there is an active spell Invisibility up in the range, it would be dispelled. If not, waste a level 3 spell slot. \$\endgroup\$
    – NautArch
    Nov 10, 2016 at 20:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ The above is no longer my thought process, to be clear. But I think a lot of folks were using it like that or thinking it worked like that. That was why I wanted to posit this to clarify that a magical effect that is attached to creature or object requires you to know that creature/object is within range. \$\endgroup\$
    – NautArch
    Nov 10, 2016 at 20:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ Ahhh...I see. So something like...I don't know...any class ability or spell that allows you to see invisible creatures; or a good perception; or an Invisible creature that isn't also 'Hidden' , would allow you to know where it is even though it gains the benefits of Invisibility; and thus be able to dispel the magical effect it is under. Alright, I think I got this. \$\endgroup\$
    – Airatome
    Nov 10, 2016 at 20:49

1 Answer 1

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One doesn't. If you want to dispel something affecting a creature (or object) then the creature (or object) is the target. A magical effect is something that is independent of a creature (or object) like a Wall of Fire or Major Illusion. or, as you say, Web.

Unlike many spells you do not need to be able to see the target so an invisible wizard is valid provided they are not hidden. See What advantages does hiding have?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you, this was in reference to rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/90228/…. I think many people aren't separating Magical Effect from Creature with a Magical Effect. \$\endgroup\$
    – NautArch
    Nov 10, 2016 at 19:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Then what is the purpose of targeting creatures with dispel magic? Perhaps to dispel summons? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 11, 2016 at 14:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DavidBenKnoble Targeting a creature is what you would do to dispel either a summoned creature, or a creature with an active spell (not cast instantaneously) that you want to dispel. Same goes for an object. Dispelling an effect is for area effects or things not attached to a creature or object. \$\endgroup\$
    – NautArch
    Nov 11, 2016 at 16:24

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