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Questions tagged [magic]

For questions about the nature of magic in a game. Use [spells] for questions on specific spells, and [spellcasting] for questions specifically about the process of spellcasting.

53
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10answers
12k views

Medieval problems in a magical world

This is a bit of a broad question, but I will try to narrow it down to this: When GMing a medieval fantasy, and conflicts arise between the medieval times and the magical world (mostly D&D and ...
52
votes
7answers
12k views

How does D&D Vancian magic make sense in-game?

One thing that bugs me about Vancian Magic in D&D as I understand it is the following: How is "fire and forget" remotely believable when I can slot and ready more than one "copy" of a spell? Say ...
48
votes
12answers
40k views

How do I keep spellcasters from casting while in jail?

Interesting situation came up in my session. The players captured a wizard NPC and put him in jail. Then came a long discussion about what measures needed to be taken in order to prevent said wizard ...
39
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1answer
2k views

What is the reason to only give casters a single high level slot up to the upper levels? [closed]

Looking at the spellcasting progression, casters only get a single 8th and a single 9th level slot, from when the spell level becomes available up to the 20th level(1). A similar situation happens to ...
38
votes
10answers
8k views

What should a GM do about players using magic in unforeseen game-breaking ways?

Firstly, a quick anecdote. In our most recent Pathfinder session our cleric jokingly mentioned he will soon be able to summon 1d3 dolphins. Another player then mentioned that some dolphins (orca) can ...
36
votes
7answers
9k views

Creating a city made of illusion that won't be quickly figured out

We are playing DnD5e in custom world. This is going to be my first time as DM. Currently I'm trying to get my first adventure together. My idea was to trap my players in the city, which is just an ...
35
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7answers
9k views

Is a pregnant creature considered a single entity for spells such as Banishment?

Using the D&D 5e RPG system. We'll use a Brown Bear and the spell Banishment as an example. What, if anything, occurs when you attempt to cast such a spell on a creature that is currently pregnant?...
34
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3answers
10k views

Does a sorcerer's metamagic work for non-sorcerer spells?

Can a multiclass sorcerer/cleric use the Metamagic class ability with non-sorcerer spells? For example, using Twinned Spell when casting cure wounds to heal two creatures instead of just one?
33
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1answer
4k views

Does hitting a creature with a magical creature count as magical damage?

Half-Orc Barbarian Conan has been Enlarged, making him Large. During a fight against some Couatls, he managed to grapple one and beat it to death. Now, having something (the body of the dead Couatl) ...
31
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7answers
6k views

Do teleportation spells conserve momentum?

To be more specific, do teleportation spells conserve momentum from before to after the obvious infinite violation of momentum conservation inherent in instantaneous magical travel? Credit to nitsua60 ...
31
votes
1answer
3k views

How do I know if an ability is magical?

There is often confusion when the anti magic field spell is used, armor of invulnerability is worn, or the Beholder's anti-magic ray is employed, whether a given character's ability will still ...
30
votes
4answers
10k views

Can a Sorcerer use Sorcery Points to create spell slots higher than he can cast?

At level 6, a Sorcerer may have a maximum of 6 Sorcery Points. This is enough to create a level 4 spell slot. Would the Sorcerer be able to create a level 4 spell slot, even though he only knows level ...
29
votes
17answers
6k views

Why aren't magocracies and theocracies dominant in D&D settings?

Anyone has (or has links to) well thought-out, logical explanations for why magocracies and theocracies are not the dominant forms of government of D&D worlds? I'd also be really interested in ...
28
votes
6answers
214k views

What is the difference between an Arcane Focus and a Component Pouch?

Reading through the Player's Handbook, I've noticed that the Sorceror, Warlock and Wizard classes can all take either an arcane focus or a component pouch. My understanding is that an arcane focus ...
28
votes
1answer
3k views

What happened to the Permanency spell? [closed]

As the title asks, I'm curious about why the permanency spell isn't in 5e. It's not in the PHB, DMG, or any forum page on the interwebs. It's been incorporated into various spells like true polymorph ...
28
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2answers
2k views

How to handle the magical girl genre in Fate Core?

I'm a newcomer to Fate Core, and working out a magic system is daunting. I have read over the core and glanced through the system toolkit as well, but some experience-based advice would be helpful (...
27
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6answers
2k views

How to introduce the levelless, cost-based spells of Cthulhu d20 into D&D 5e

Cthulhu d20 has a magic system in which spells aren't tied to classes nor to levels. Anyone can learn and use a spell, if they're willing to pay the price, which usually comes in the form of a ...
27
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4answers
1k views

Which incarnation is created by True Resurrection when used on a reincarnated creature?

Reincarnate creates a new body for a creature who has died. True Resurrection is able to create a new body for a creature when the original no longer exists. What happens when a reincarnated creature ...
25
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8answers
3k views

Making magic “magical”

When I work with settings that contain magic, whether traditional fantasy or others, I always perceive something of a tension when trying to portray the magic between the following factors: Magic ...
25
votes
1answer
6k views

Do your spells end when you die?

I linked to this answer in a 5e question, attempting to bring support for the idea that, if you cast an open-ended spell, like Magic Mouth, it could remain after you die. Someone pointed out that, as ...
24
votes
4answers
14k views

How to handle a warlock with the detect magic invocation?

My group has a warlock that took the eldritch invocation eldritch sight which allows them to cast it without consuming a spell slot. This is causing some concern for me as the DM as I currently have ...
24
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4answers
10k views

Is it possible to interrupt spellcasting?

As this blog post suggests, there seems to be a hole in the D&D Basic rules. Maybe. The rules for readying an action state: When the trigger occurs, you can either take your reaction right ...
24
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1answer
1k views

Does Force damage count as magical if the feature causing it doesn't?

A recent question asked whether it's possible to cause non-magical damage of every damage type, to which the answer was apparently yes. However, a point was raised a couple of times, such as this ...
23
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4answers
1k views

How can I reason with a game master who shoots down any magical solutions?

I have recently joined a game and there were several instances where the dungeon master just shot down any idea that didn't fit her plot. We were supposed to have this encounter in this forest with ...
23
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4answers
5k views

Can You Concentrate Through a Long Rest?

According to the PHB, concentration is broken under one of three conditions: Casting another spell that requires concentration Taking damage and failing the CON save Being incapacitated or killed So ...
22
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4answers
5k views

Can a Spiritual Weapon be summoned within someone's body?

A little bit out of left field I know, but someone in my game tried to summon a Spiritual Weapon within an enemy's body. Now, strictly speaking the range of the spell is 60' and doesn't say anything ...
22
votes
7answers
7k views

Is there a way to force a doppelganger to revert to its true form without killing it?

The scenario is this: The heroes have figured out there's a doppelganger, and they know who it is, but the only way they can prove it is to make it reveal itself as a doppelganger. The party can use ...
22
votes
4answers
27k views

Can you cast a magic initiate spell using spell slots?

Say I play a wizard who learns cure wounds by taking magic initiate. Could I cast that spell using the Wizard's spell slots?
22
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1answer
1k views

History of the Wish Spell

A friend of mine was wondering about the history of the wish spell in Dungeons and Dragons. It is his suspicion that the spell “only” exists because they needed something for genies to cast to work in ...
21
votes
9answers
36k views

How are spells made permanent in 5e?

As we all know, the golden-age era of spellcasters having access to spells like Permanency is now over with the arrival of 5E. I am now DM'ing a top-tier campaign, and several of my PCs are casters ...
21
votes
9answers
8k views

Should encounters be adjusted to a full-magic party?

I am still a new GM and I am building a session for three first-time players. After discussing the game, rules and setting, all of them are interested in playing magic characters (Draconic Sorcerer, ...
21
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4answers
3k views

Is future technology that is almost indistinguishable from magic considered a “Magical Effect”?

My players are currently in a futuristic setting where they are being shot at by lasers and such. One of my players tried to justify that an antimagic field should be able to disable future tech ...
21
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3answers
3k views

How to Reconcile the MERP/RM High-Magic System with the Low-Magic Middle Earth Setting?

Our group is regularly playing in Tolkiens Middle Earth universe, and we use a combination of MERP extended with Rolemaster as our system. And from what I gathered online, this seems to be a popular ...
21
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3answers
2k views

How do I handle astral security?

When a shadowrunning team tries to break into a facility protected by magic, it seems to me as a GM like the team's biggest liability is getting past magical security. If a mundane B&E character ...
20
votes
6answers
5k views

How do I cover a vast area of land with dense vegetation?

I need help to introduce a plot device for the next scenario I intend to GM. I need a way to cover a large area of grassland (a few miles in radius) with high, thick and near impenetrable vegetation. ...
20
votes
8answers
1k views

How do I create a sense of mystery about magic?

Magic in so many games is something mechanical and fully understood. Assuming I control the setting (and have a group of players willing to try new rules), how do I make magic something mysterious? ...
20
votes
2answers
17k views

Does ki count as magic for the purpose of an antimagic field, or is it only fluff?

I was verifying whether my fighter's Sun Blade would in fact be a useless hilt in an antimagic field (AMF) and came across this question on a few other sites, and it piqued my interest. My first ...
20
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3answers
8k views

What happens when Detect Magic is used upon something that is magically invisible?

Does a simple casting of Detect Magic reveal the presence of magical invisibility?
20
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7answers
1k views

Fantasy and magic in a primarily realistic setting

I'm running a game that's best described as "medieval fantasy," in the sense that we're actually trying to have the lives of people in the setting strongly resemble the historical Middle Ages. There ...
20
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2answers
1k views

Does GURPS Thaumatology require GURPS Magic?

If I picked up the sourcebook GURPS Thaumatology, would I need GURPS Magic? There seem to be a lot of negative reviews of 4th-edition GURPS Magic and nothing but rave reviews of Thaumatology.
20
votes
1answer
2k views

What counts as a spell?

There are many things in D&D that are spells, spell-like effects, magical effects, magic-like effects, or otherwise special abilities. There are also many things that affect such things. What is ...
20
votes
4answers
3k views

What's the in-universe reasoning behind sorcerers needing material components?

Sorcerers are "spontaneous" spell casters. They don't "learn spells" the way a wizard does; their spells aren't granted by a powerful extraplanar entity the way a cleric's, paladin's, or warlock's ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

How would something passing through an illusion of fog or mist reveal it to be illusory?

Minor illusion says: If you create an image of an object - such as a chair, muddy footprints, or a small chest - it must be no larger than a 5-foot cube. The image can't create sound, light, smell, ...
19
votes
2answers
3k views

Can a Torch shed bright light for 160ft?

The cantrip Control Flames has a list of effects it can do: four items, out of which two are instantaneous, and two are non-instantaneous. One of the non-instantaneous effects listed there is: You ...
19
votes
2answers
15k views

What happens when you target a “magical effect” with Dispel Magic?

In D&D 5e, the spell Dispel Magic says Choose one creature, object, or magical effect within range. The rest of the spell description explains that spells "on the target" of a level lower ...
18
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3answers
7k views

What is the source of a Paladin's spellcasting ability?

PHB states that: [...] a paladin's oath is a powerful bond. lt is a source of power that turns a devout warrior into a blessed champion. and later: Although many paladins are devoted to gods of ...
18
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2answers
3k views

Are Warlocks Arcane or Divine?

This question recently came up in one of my sessions. Are Warlocks considered Arcane or Divine? There is a magic item, Dark Shard Amulet that is for Warlocks and it requires an Arcana check to use. ...
18
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10answers
1k views

What RPGs treat magic as being common? [closed]

Some fantasy RPGs treat magic as arcane and thus rare, possibly subject to suspicion by the masses. Other games treat magic as somewhat more prevelant but not ubiquitous. At some point in this trend, ...
18
votes
5answers
1k views

Replicating Modern Technology using Magic-Punk [closed]

This is generally a system-agnostic question, as I'm trying to build a feel for my world, and I can add to it whatever rules I need to later. The world is a 1930s setting, very pulp/noir/steampunk-...
18
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2answers
2k views

What type of stone do targets of Flesh to Stone, and Petrification, turn into?

To what kind of stone creature or character is turned with petrification or flesh to stone type spells? The Petrified condition is the result of various monster abilities A Petrified character ...