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Questions tagged [spells]

For questions about specific manifestations of magic that can be generically called "spells". Use the [magic] tag for more generic questions about magic.

113
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6answers
10k views

What is the source of the “spells do only what they say they do” rules interpretation principle?

Every time somebody asks a question like "can I use X spell for doing Y" the answer is usually "no" because spell descriptions are very short in 5e, and usually they don't explicitly say a spell can ...
85
votes
7answers
46k views

Why would I ever cast True Strike?

One of my players has complained several times that True Strike is a useless spell. The effect of True Strike is: On your next turn, you gain advantage on your first attack roll against the target, ...
67
votes
9answers
13k views

My DM insists on rolling a single save for groups affected by AoE save spells. How does this affect my odds of successfully affecting the enemy?

As the title question, my DM rolls a single d20 save for groups affected by my area of effect spells that require a save, in order to save time. I can't help but feel like I'm being ripped off by ...
65
votes
5answers
67k views

Do Cantrips use your character level or class level?

Cantrips seem to be the only type of spell that cares only about your class level. However, in the multiclassing section they are not mentioned, does this mean that cantrips use your character level, ...
62
votes
9answers
16k views

The fastest way to remove bones from a man

I'm likely going to be playing a human necromancer in an upcoming return to our Out of the Abyss campaign. My character is morally "scrambled" at the best of times, and has no qualms about raising the ...
62
votes
5answers
43k views

Is Moonbeam amazing, or are we doing it wrong?

PHB pg. 261, Moonbeam: When a creature enters the spell's area for the first time on a turn or starts its turn there, it is engulfed in ghostly flames that cause searing pain... On each of ...
58
votes
10answers
131k views

Does Warlock combat just equal Eldritch Blast spam?

Been looking over the warlock because I thought it would be cool to make a spellcaster that can also mix it up in melee combat. After all how awesome is it to conjure up a magical weapon and start ...
56
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20answers
8k views

Need out-of-game solution for spell choice paralysis

I could really use some advice from someone with experience with new players dealing with D&D spell analysis paralysis. I'm about to kick off a second D&D 5e campaign for a set of friends ...
54
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4answers
6k views

What is a spell slot in-lore, and how does it justify the limits on casting spells?

Spell slots are something that we, as players, expend when we want our spellcasting PCs to cast a spell. It is a resource to limit how many powerful spells we can cast in a day. But for our characters ...
50
votes
4answers
6k views

Is a creature in a Wall of Water trapped in ice when hit by Ray of Frost?

In 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons, I am playing a Sorcerer where I have set myself the rule that I can never take fire spells and instead take weaker spells and try to make the most of them with ...
49
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9answers
8k views

How to not let the Identify spell spoil everything?

I am currently DMing a campaign where there is a wizard with the Identify spell, the bane of my existence. Identify allows him to learn the properties of literally every single item the party ...
49
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11answers
47k views

Are there ways to concentrate on more than one spell at a time?

Are there any ways to maintain concentration on more than one spell at a time, or to interrupt and later resume concentration on a spell? I do know the general rules says it can't be done, but the ...
48
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5answers
7k views

Realistically, does Leomund’s Tiny Hut allow for indefinite long rests in a dungeon?

I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around this, but the more I read into Leomund’s tiny hut, the more it looks like it’s a spell designed entirely around taking free long rests in dungeons, or ...
48
votes
4answers
4k views

Would forcing armour on a wizard through Illusion 'Harm' them?

A wizard wearing armour that they are not proficient in is unable to cast spells. Would it be possible to force a wizard into armour using a combination of Illusion and Illusory Reality? For example, ...
47
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7answers
8k views

Can a GM prohibit players from using external reference materials (like PHB) during play?

I have recently started playing D&D 5th edition. All of the players are new except for the GM, who has played before, but it is his first time being a GM. I am using a Wizard character, and I ...
47
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5answers
9k views

Does Burning Hands really require touching thumbs?

The D&D 5E spell Burning Hands has verbal and somatic components, and is described like this: As you hold your hands with thumbs touching and fingers spread, a thin sheet of flames shoots forth ...
46
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8answers
7k views

What is the easiest way a Wizard can copy-protect the scrolls he makes?

I'm trying to come up with a way for a greedy NPC Wizard who sells spell scrolls exclusively to be used as consumables to prevent the buyers from copying the spell into their own spellbooks. For ...
46
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6answers
7k views

NPC casting Suggestion on PC: who decides it's reasonable?

A simple scenario: The DM wishes to break a cleric's concentration on their bless spell, and a foe uses suggestion to tell the cleric to cast silence on an enemy spellcaster. The rationale is that ...
46
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3answers
5k views

Can you cast Teleport to teleport to a ship, even if it's not in a fixed location?

My players spent 2 weeks on a ship and want to use Teleport to get back to it. They have a couple of items that came from the ship like some wood and potions. Normally I would say these would count ...
46
votes
3answers
162k views

How does wizard & cleric spell preparation and casting work? [closed]

In 3.X wizards had spellbooks, while clerics had their entire spell list, but they both memorized/prepared spells every day from those lists, and had a certain number of slots for preparing spells in. ...
46
votes
5answers
6k views

What happens when a Mage Hand touches a mimic?

I anticipate this is going to come up in the next session I am running. Our wizard has been going around the dungeon using Mage Hand to open doors. One of the doors he has not yet dealt with is ...
45
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3answers
5k views

Is a mushroom a plant for the purposes of Speak With Plants?

In real life, fungi are not plants; they are their own separate kingdom (I'm no biologist, so here's a quote from Wikipedia, for what it's worth): These organisms are classified as a kingdom, fungi,...
45
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5answers
11k views

Can one enter Leomund's Tiny Hut from below?

In a session today we were camped out in a Leomund's tiny hut and the DM determined that since it is described as a dome, the bad guys (Wraiths, so they are incorporeal) could enter the area from ...
44
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3answers
6k views

Would striking someone at 0 hit points with an entire Magic Missile spell automatically kill them?

Assuming the target is able to be hit and does not have immunity to force damage, would firing all three missiles at a target with 0 hit points inflict three guaranteed death saves ergo death? ...
44
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3answers
25k views

Clarification of Blink Mechanics, or “Should Someone have Punched in my Sandwich?”

I am looking for clarification as to the mechanics of the Blink spell. I believe that the spell reads quite clearly, however most of my play group does not agree with my recent ruling. Background: ...
44
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3answers
9k views

Can you cast banishment on yourself?

Can you cast banishment on yourself from a non-native plane, as a way of returning to your native plane?
43
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13answers
4k views

Storytelling with lie detection [closed]

Most of the fantasy systems I know have a spell to detect lies, speak with the dead, and the like. Imagine how long great movies like The Usual Suspects or In the Heat of the Night would have ...
43
votes
3answers
5k views

Can you escape a Maze spell by turning into a Minotaur?

The Maze spell states: Minotaurs are not affected by this spell. So could an enterprising victim escape the Maze spell by using a spell like polymorph to turn themselves into a Minotaur? ...
42
votes
6answers
15k views

How can we kill Demogorgon with a single fireball in 1st ed. AD&D?

So I saw this on Twitter this morning, apparently in reference to the TV show STRANGER THINGS: Something that completely ruined my suspension of disbelief (scifi.StrangerThings) submitted 14 ...
42
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4answers
7k views

What happens if you cast Resurrection on a found body part?

Assuming the soul is untrapped and willing, and the creature is indeed dead, if a character casts Resurrection on the severed hand of a dead creature, what memories does that creature have (i.e. from ...
42
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5answers
3k views

Does a shield count as wearing metal armor for Shocking Grasp?

If an enemy is not wearing metal armor but is wielding a metal shield, do you get advantage on the attack roll for Shocking Grasp?
41
votes
2answers
99k views

Can wizards really cast spells in armor?

I've just read the D&D 5e basic rules, and I'm not sure I'm up to speed regarding casting spells while clad in armor. The only mention I can find about this (page 79): Because of the mental ...
41
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5answers
19k views

Does casting a spell from an item allow you to apply class abilities that are used when casting a spell?

This question is updated to request additional answers and details in light of information now available in the Dungeon Master's Guide. In the released DM basic rules, Lost Mine of Phandelver, Hoard ...
40
votes
8answers
4k views

How to deal with lack of downtime as a wizard?

As we all know the wizard is a physically weak class that relies on his spells to perform in his adventures. Other than the spells gained at each level-up however he needs to spend 32 hours learning ...
40
votes
7answers
15k views

Does every magic rod, wand, crystal, orb, and staff count as an arcane focus?

The various magic rods, wands, staves, etc. in the DMG all have certain abilities. But do they also count as arcane foci for the purpose of not needing material components for all your other spells?
40
votes
3answers
44k views

Does Magic Missile really always hit a creature of choice?

The rules state: Each dart hits a creature of your choice that you can see within range Does this mean that it is a guaranteed hit? Or is it meaning that it attempts to hit and attempt is merely ...
40
votes
5answers
6k views

Is there an easy way to validate a high-level Sorcerer's spell list?

Suppose I'm running a one-shot that starts at level 9, and I instruct players to generate characters using any officially published Sourcebooks to create their characters. One of my players chooses ...
40
votes
4answers
24k views

Does a bard have to play a musical instrument when using it as a spellcasting focus?

At my table I have ruled that 'to use as a spellcasting focus' does not imply 'to play'; since the sorcerer can simply point a wand, it seems like an undue burden that the bard should have to use both ...
39
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4answers
27k views

Can a spell be prepared once and cast multiple times?

Our group had some confusion about preparing spells for a Wizard and Cleric. The rules say that you prepare a number of spells from your list and that you tick off spell slots when you cast a spell. ...
39
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3answers
6k views

Amnesiac accidentally casts Sending to herself

I have a player who, after giving their consent, is playing an undead character with amnesia that only I, as the DM, know the backstory of. In life, this character was famous and has mysteriously ...
39
votes
2answers
5k views

If a spell cast from a Spell Scroll is Counterspelled, is the scroll consumed?

A spell scroll allows someone (with that spell on their class's spell list) to cast a spell. DMG p. 200: If the spell is on your class's spell list, you can use an action to read the scroll and ...
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
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4answers
3k views

Can a paralyzed creature targeted by an Evocation Wizard's Sculpt Spells feature actually succeed a Dex save?

Say a friendly barbarian is currently paralyzed. Part of the description of the paralyzed condition says: The creature automatically fails Strength and Dexterity saving throws. Its friend, the ...
38
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4answers
16k views

Can a multiclass Wizard copy any Wizard spell they find into their spellbook?

The Wizard includes the following feature: Copying a Spell into the Book. When you find a wizard spell of 1st level or higher, you can add it to your spellbook if it is of a level for which you ...
37
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 ...
37
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7answers
5k views

What are the dangers of renaming spells and changing their flavour, without changing mechanics at all?

I'm about to help get a bunch of interested new players into D&D, running a one-shot for them to give them a feel for the game and hopefully a fun first-taste of tabletop roleplaying. Before ...
37
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2answers
5k views

Must I declare the target of all magic missile projectiles at once?

My sorcerer casts magic missile. He has 3 projectiles he can target up to 3 creatures. Must I declare the target of all missiles at once then resolve damage / shield / immunities, or can I shoot one, ...
37
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2answers
3k views

How many characters using PHB rules does it take to be able to have access to any PHB spell at the start of an adventuring day?

I originally read this related question as wanting to find out how to have a party with access to every spell during an adventuring day with as few members as possible. It turned out that the linked ...
37
votes
6answers
23k views

Can spells be cast through a Wall of Force?

The spell description of wall of force is silent on the question of whether spell effects can pass through the wall. The semi-relevant part of the description states: Nothing can physically pass ...
37
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2answers
3k views

Can you raise your original body as an undead after moving to a clone?

In the situation where you have a currently mature clone from the Clone spell, die, transfer to your clone, and then manage to go back and recover your previous body, is that body potentially a ...