dnd 5e – Trying to figure out dispel magic DC?

The DC to dispel a spell effect is based on the spell’s slot level.

Dispel magic says:

Any spell of 3rd level or lower on the target ends. For each spell of 4th level or higher on the target, make an ability check using your spellcasting ability. The DC equals 10 + the spell’s level.

The rules for spell slots say:

When a spellcaster casts a spell using a slot that is of a higher level than the spell, the spell assumes the higher level for that casting. For instance, if Umara casts magic missile using one of her 2nd-level slots, that magic missile is 2nd level. Effectively, the spell expands to fill the slot it is put into.

So a spell that is normally 1st level cast with a 4th level slot is a 4th level spell. Therefore the DC to dispel it would be 10 + 4 = 14. A spell’s level is determined by the level of the slot used to cast it.

dnd 5e – How can you selectively dispel spells?

First, the important part of dispel magic:

Choose one creature, object, or magical effect within range. Any spell of 3rd level or lower on the target ends.

Targeting a creature

If you target a creature, your only option is to (attempt to) dispel every spell on that creature. In this case, “any spell (…) on the target” is intended to be read as “each of the zero or more spells (…) on the target”.

Targeting a magical effect

Clear path

The rules on targeting spells say:

To target something, you must have a clear path to it, so it can’t be behind total cover.

This doesn’t just apply to creatures, so you must have a clear path to the magical effect in order to target it. The standard cover rules (including weird edge cases like windows and wall of force) have been covered in many other questions. The interesting question for dispel magic is: to which magical effects can you have a clear path?

You certainly have a clear path to shield of faith, since a “shimmering field appears and surrounds a creature”. On the flip side, nothing in the description of death ward indicates that it is present in any way; after all, spells only do what they say they do. I would therefore conclude that death ward cannot be directly targeted, because it isn’t present in a way that allows for a clear path. You could still target the creature, just not the effect itself.


Unlike many other spells, dispel magic allows you to choose any target, even one you can’t see. That said, you still have to choose a target.

Spells that produce a visual effect (blur, fire shield) are clearly choose-able. Any creature affected by zone of truth is “aware of the spell”, and thus could choose to dispel it, despite the lack of visual effect. A creature that correctly identifies a spell (via an ability check as it is cast or identify) could choose to dispel an otherwise-imperceptible spell, like aura of vitality, so long as the creature has a clear path to the effect.

The rules don’t say that you need to know exactly what spell you are dispelling. Therefore, dispelling “the 7th-level hallow spell I just identified” is just as acceptable as “whatever these tentacles are”. If you try to dispel something that isn’t a spell, it just doesn’t work. Similarly, if you choose “the invisibility on the creature in that square” and there is no creature in that square, it just doesn’t work.

In order to dispel an individual effect, you must both…

  1. Have a clear path to the effect.
  2. Be aware of the effect (enough to precisely target it).

In your specific example, blur qualifies for both points. You can certainly be aware of slow, but a clear path is trickier:

You alter time around up to six creatures of your choice in a 40-foot cube within range.

Unlike, say cloudkill, slow doesn’t actually create an effect that fills the 40-foot cube. Rather, targets are chosen from within that area. That said, the fact that you “alter time around up to six creatures” leads me to believe that there is an invisible area of slowed time surrounding each target. Therefore, you can have a clear path to the effect. (The wording is really important here. If slow said that you alter time for creatures, I would say that you don’t have a clear path.)

As a result, you can dispel slow or blur selectively (by targeting an effect), or you can dispel them both (by targeting the creature).

dnd 5e – Can Dispel Magic be used on the confusion caused by Yeenoghu’s flail?

You can target and (probably) dispel this effect with Dispel Magic

First of all, the confusion effect of this attack is definitely magical, because it specifically produces the effect of a spell. This is precisely one of the criteria for determining if an effect is magical. Hence, it is definitely a valid target for Dispel Magic.

However, targeting the effect isn’t very useful unless Dispel Magic can actually dispel the effect. The relevant limitation here is that as written, Dispel Magic can target any magical effect, but it only ends that effect if it is a spell effect. The effect in question specifically says that on a failed save, the target is “affected by the confusion spell”. I would argue that this is explicit enough to actually qualify this as a spell effect that Dispel Magic can dispel.

Of course, the normal rules for dispelling spells apply: if Dispel Magic is cast at 3rd level, the caster must succeed on a DC 14 spellcasting ability check in order to dispel the effect, since Confusion is a 4th level spell.

dnd 5e – When can a magical effect be targeted with the dispel magic spell?

Inspired by the following:

The dispel magic spell states:

Choose one creature, object, or magical effect within range. Any spell of 3rd level or lower on the target ends. For each spell of 4th level or higher on the target, make an ability check using your spellcasting ability. The DC equals 10 + the spell’s level. On a successful check, the spell ends. (…)

The question for me is what sorts of magical effects can be targeted, we already have (at least) two somewhat related questions:

The first is just a general explanation that dispel magic ends spells that cause magical effects by targeting their magical effect. It does not address what magical effects you can target, just that you can target them at all. The latter asks specifically about the haste spell and has an answer stating:

(…) The haste spell isn’t creating a magical effect in the space (that is things like illusions, walls of fire, etc.). If you would like to argue otherwise you are very quickly into the realm of things 5e doesn’t define properly (ie. what is an object, magical effect, etc.?). (…)

My question is basically whether or not this is true. Does the haste spell create a targetable magical effect? Are there rules that help answer the question “Does X create a magical effect that can be targeted with dispel magic?”

How do I know if I can target an effect with dispel magic?

dnd 5e – How exactly does the Dispel Magic spell work with multiple effects?

The answer by guildsbounty gets Jeremy Crawford’s statement on what dispel magic is supposed to do, which is remove every spell. This is also how I believe the actual rules text should be read, so I want to address the grammatical structure of the sentence, because its construction is a bit awkward and butts up against some oddities in the English language.

You are correct that any refers to a singular thing. However, when any X of a collection Y (here X = spell, Y = spells on the target) does something, or has something done to it, the meaning of this construction in English is for that thing to be done or to happen to all of them. The logic here is that the statment, being true for any of them and not limited in number (e.g. not using any one or similar), it continues to be true for each one in turn.

Ultimately, though, this is hugely context-dependent, and even being a fairly nit-picky grammarian, I struggle to articulate precisely why this statement must be read this way. English doesn’t work in rules, but rather in precedent and pattern, so all I can say is that having done a lot of reading of English rules language, for that sentence from dispel magic to have precisely this sense and no other is how I read the sentence.

For clarity, though, Wizards of the Coast definitely should have used each here rather than any, or perhaps even better, all. If nothing else, not everyone using these rules is a fluent English speaker, and the vagaries of any, each, and all are very common traps for people still learning the language (though really, everyone is “still learning” this language).

dnd 5e – Can a 4th level or higher Dispel Magic dispel the effects of a Duration: Instantaneous spell?

You cannot dispel the effects of an instantaneous spell

The Sage Advice Compendium states (emphasis mine):

Q. Can you use dispel magic on the creations of a spell like animate dead or affect those creations with antimagic field?

A. Whenever you wonder whether a spell’s effects can be dispelled or suspended, you need to answer one question: is the spell’s duration instantaneous? If the answer is yes, there is nothing to dispel or suspend.

There’s really no ambiguity in that statement. A spell that has an instantaneous duration simply cannot be dispelled regardless of what level dispel magic is being cast at.

Furthermore, the definition of Instantaneous spells states (emphasis mine):

Many spells are instantaneous. The spell harms, heals, creates, or alters a creature or an object in a way that can’t be dispelled, because its magic exists only for an instant.

This is just a fact of instantaneous spells and dispel magic is not making some unusual exception to this fact.

The dispel magic spell should be better worded

Technically, the rule on instantaneous spells only says the spell cannot be dispelled, which may or may not imply anything about the dispel-ability of its effects. Meanwhile, the dispel magic spell says first that:

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

And then, when upcast, that:

(…) you automatically end the effects of a spell on the target (…)

And these use different wording… Whether a spell being unable to be dispelled (because it is instantaneous) applies also to its effects is going to be up to the GM because the rules don’t give an explicit answer to the question.

I would hope (and the Sage Advice Compendium does agree here) that if a spell cannot be dispelled, neither can its effects be dispelled. Though this is not explicitly laid out within the rules, which is why I fell back upon the Sage Advice Compendium ruling at the beginning.

dnd 5e – Does Dispel Magic work on a self-targeting spell cast by an artifact and emanating from within an antimagic field?

The dispel magic spell targets magical effects, not their points of origin

The dispel magic spell states:

Choose one creature, object, or magical effect within range. Any spell of 3rd level or lower on the target ends. (…)

So while the caster of dispel magic could not target the artifact itself because antimagic field states:

(…) Spells and other magical effects, such as magic missile and charm person, that target a creature or an object in the sphere have no effect on that target. (…)

This does not prevent the caster of dispel magic from targeting the magical effect that is outside of the antimagic field. Thus the caster could target the portion of holy aura that it outside the antimagic field, thereby ending the spell without ever needing to target its point of origin, which cannot itself be targeted.

A rather unrelated sidenote, there are times in the rules where a magical effect can be dispelled without having to target its point of origin (besides dispel magic): the darkness and daylight spells:

If any of this spell’s area overlaps with an area of light created by a spell of 2nd level or lower, the spell that created the light is dispelled.

If any of this spell’s area overlaps with an area of darkness created by a spell of 3rd level or lower, the spell that created the darkness is dispelled.

dnd 5e – Dispel a self targeting spell emanating from within an antimagic field

The Holy Aura won’t glow outside the Antimagic Field

There’s two seperate parts in the Antimagic Field spell about how it interacts with spells, and I think you’re applying the wrong one. You seem to be looking at the rules for interacting with areas:

Areas of Magic: The area of another spell or magical Effect, such as Fireball, can’t extend into the Sphere. If the Sphere overlaps an area of magic, the part of the area that is covered by the Sphere is suppressed. For example, the flames created by a Wall of Fire are suppressed within the Sphere, creating a gap in the wall if the overlap is large enough.

However, that is referring to spells that are created and exist seperately from a creature. But Holy Aura is not a stand-alone spell, it’s a buff on you:

Divine light washes out from you and coalesces in a soft radiance in a 30-foot radius around you.

That means you’re dealing with a spell affecting a creature inside the field, and for those you look at this part of Antimagic Field:

Spells: Any active spell or other magical Effect on a creature or an object in the Sphere is suppressed while the creature or object is in it.

So while the character is under the effects of both Holy Aura and Antimagic Field the latter will completely surpress the Holy Aura, including the light, and there will be nothing outside the field for anyone to target.

dnd 5e – Does the Dispel Magic spell affect “Living Spells” in any meaningful way?

It appears that dispel magic has no effect

Living spells are not affected by dispel magic. Whatever magical effect is sustaining the sentience and energy of the living spells, it must not be a spell. Remember that dispel magic typically only works on spells, unless a specific effect is listed as being affected (emphasis mine):

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

That being said, non-spell effects can still be affected by dispel magic in specific cases such as the Animated Objects in the Monster Manual:

Antimagic Susceptibility. The object is incapacitated while in the area of an antimagic field. If targeted by dispel magic, the sword must succeed on a Constitution saving throw against the caster’s spell save DC or fall unconscious for 1 minute.

While the magical effect (the animation of the object) is clearly not entirely ended like a spell effect would be when hit by dispel magic, the antimagic does have some effect.

However, no such effect exists for living spells. This may be connected to whatever is causing “its magical energy (to endure) indefinitely.”

Antimagic field

Antimagic field, however, will have an effect on the living spells.

Creatures and Objects. A creature or object summoned or created by magic temporarily winks out of existence in the sphere. Such a creature instantly reappears once the space the creature occupied is no longer within the sphere.

Living spells are creatures, so since they were created by magic, they would be affected by the above portion of the antimagic field spell.

dnd 5e – Does Dispel Magic Affect Living Spells in any Meaningful Way?

I recently came to a point where I was trying to find a source that talks about Dispel Magic in relation to Living Spells. Living Spells are very similar in a lot of ways to spells with a few notable exceptions obviously, but they are still at their core magical spells from what I can ascertain. Dispel Magic can currently dispel spells with a d20 check sometimes if they spell is of a certain level or higher, but it doesn’t address whether a Living Spell would be affected by Dispel Magic.

How would Dispel Magic work when cast on a Living Spell?