An opposing Cleric casts Bless on 3 of its allies who then immediately move around the battlefield to start attacking. Concerned that the buff will create an issue, I cast Dispel Magic on the nearest one.

As the target spell is 3rd level or lower, the dispel succeeds automatically.

My question is, does this end the spell for all 3 of the initial targets, or just the one that I targeted?


The spell only ends for the target of the dispel magic spell

This was clarified in the June 2016 Rules Answers article, and later included on page 14 of the 2016 Sage Advice Compendium:

If dispel magic targets the magical effect from bless cast by a cleric, does it remove the effect on all the targets? Dispel magic ends a spell on one target. It doesn’t end the same spell on other targets.


RAW, it ends for everyone affected.

In the description of Dispel Magic,

Any spell of 3rd level or lower on the target ends.

Subject: "any spell"

Qualifier: "of 3rd level or lower on the target"

Predicate: "ends"

Dispel Magic ends the whole spell, not just its effects on the target.

A single spell can affect multiple targets, but it remains one spell. So when Dispel Magic "ends" a spell, it ends it, full stop: all of its duration effects are ended.

Sage Advice conflicts with the written word of the text, and apparently confuses "spell" and "spell effect". A spell effect can end on a single target without impacting other targets, but that's different from the spell itself ending.

For RAW to be compatible with Sage Advice, the spell should be rewritten as

Any spell of 3rd level or lower ends on the target

This changes the predicate from "ends" to "ends on the target": the spell ends only for the target.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – linksassin Sep 4 '20 at 5:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.