D&D 5E Does Prestidigitation Break the Law of Conservation of Energy?

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Simple question, but the consequences are a bit strange.

If you use Prestidigitation to clean an object . . . what happens to the "dirtiness" on it? Is it just magically destroyed? Is it teleported somewhere else? Is it somehow melded into the object you clean?
 

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Simple question, but the consequences are a bit strange.

If you use Prestidigitation to clean an object . . . what happens to the "dirtiness" on it? Is it just magically destroyed? Is it teleported somewhere else? Is it somehow melded into the object you clean?
I would just have the dirt, paint or what have you just fall off onto whatever is beneath the object being cleaned.
 

niklinna

Legend
If Prestidigitation is a concern for conservation of energy/matter, be sure not to look at Fireball, or Wall of Stone, or...gosh, so many other spells. Like, all spells. Where does the energy/matter for any magic come from?

But more prosaically, for Prestidigitation, the dirt can just fall to the ground. And if you soil an object, in a medievalish world, I'm sure there's plenty of nearby dirt to be drawn to the target of the spell.
 




Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
If Prestidigitation is a concern for conservation of energy/matter, be sure not to look at Fireball, or Wall of Stone, or...gosh, so many other spells. Like, all spells. Where does the energy/matter for any magic come from?
Magical energy that is all around in any non-magic dead area is turned into other matter or energy.
 




Simple question, but the consequences are a bit strange.

If you use Prestidigitation to clean an object . . . what happens to the "dirtiness" on it? Is it just magically destroyed? Is it teleported somewhere else? Is it somehow melded into the object you clean?

Every time you cast a cantrip a puppy dies.

Unless it’s Eldritch Blast. In that case it’s one puppy per ray.
 


ECMO3

Hero
Simple question, but the consequences are a bit strange.

If you use Prestidigitation to clean an object . . . what happens to the "dirtiness" on it? Is it just magically destroyed? Is it teleported somewhere else? Is it somehow melded into the object you clean?
I think you mean conservation of mass?

In any case the dirt goes the same place it would go if you hosed it down with a hose ... not on the object.
 

Stalker0

Legend
The simple answer is....there is no answer. There is no implicit mention of how magic truly "works" in the grand sense, its completely up to the DM.

I could absolutely see games where perhaps magic has a "total amount", and the more its used over the years, the less there is. So you could have a game towards the end of the multiverse's lifecycle, where magic has been almost used up. You could have magic maintain conservation of mass, perhaps when things are "created" its actually pulled from a specific plane (and again that plane could be used up at some point).

Or....magic is completely infinite, and is completely different than physics. Up to the DM as always.
 



Yaarel

Mind Mage
Simple question, but the consequences are a bit strange.

If you use Prestidigitation to clean an object . . . what happens to the "dirtiness" on it? Is it just magically destroyed? Is it teleported somewhere else? Is it somehow melded into the object you clean?
Personally, I view "magical energy" to be potential energy inherent within anything exists. (Maybe somewhat like light and atomic energy.) So, effects can materialize from and dematerialize to ambient magical energy.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Magic can:
• create magical effects that are spells.
• create magical effects that are not spells (such as race/class features).
• magically create effects that are not magical in themselves (such as the Create Water spell and the breath of a dragon).
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
My PCs use Prestidigitation to clean, shave, haircut, routinely. (It requires careful interpretation of the spell description and relies on DM discretion.) I cant wait for nanobots to do these for me in reallife!
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Magic accesses demiplanes all the time. So there's no reason not to think that magic that brings matter or energy into existence comes from alternate dimensional places and planes. So if the Conservation of Mass and Energy is a scientific thing you actually care about for the physics of your campaign world... shunting or accruing energy and matter from other dimensions via magic is the way to go.
 

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