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5E Is there a spell....?

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
Is there a spell that can essentially identify a monster's weaknesses, resistance, vulnerability, and origins (what plane it comes from, or what it's type is)?

A newer player in our group asked me that. My first thought was Identify, but not quite. Anyone know of any spell otherwise?
 
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Dausuul

Legend
I'm not aware of any such spell. The closest I can find is legend lore, which can be used to learn "significant lore" about a "person, place, or object." Depending on how liberally the DM interprets "person" and "significant lore," this could provide some of the information the player wants. But that's a 5th-level spell with a 10-minute casting time, so not real effective against a monster in your face.

However, a ranger with the Monster Slayer subclass gets Hunter's Sense, an ability which lets you use your action to look at a monster and identify its immunities, resistances, and vulnerabilities.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
Well, I might start with the arcana skill. Seriously. You might not get that whole list, but it could get some basic info. Then hit a library. Obviously that won't work in the field of course. I'm not sure I want a spell that fills the design space of tell me all the game rules for this creature I've never seen though. Kinda takes the fun out of things IMO.
 

Galandris

Adventurer
Is there a spell that can essentially identify a monster's weaknesses, resistance, vulnerability, and origins (what plane it comes from, or what it's type is)?

A newer player in our group asked me that. My first was Identify, but not quite. Anyone know of any spell otherwise?
I'd go with the solution proposed by Fenris-77, either an arcana check or a nature check depending on whether the monster. As weird as some of the things are (Owlbear? Bulette) they are just regular animals.

As DC, I use the CR of the monster for basic knowledge (nothing useful in fight), CR+5 to know resistance and vulnerability and main feature CR+10 to know weakest and best save, CR+15 "go look at the MM entry". Since I customize monsters characters can have some surprise if the player assumes OOC knowledge to hold water. I ask for the roll to be made at advantage if there is some reason for the character to have a specific familiarity with it and disadvantage (more often) when the monster is especially obscure. Unique creature with no legend about them can't be "remembered from studies" of course (usually BBEG only).
 

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
Legend Lore is along the right track, but too powerful. The player is looking for a Volo-like spell for his character's "guide". Maybe a homebrew level 3 spell, somewhere in between Identify and Legend Lore?

Thanks for the ideas.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Legend Lore is along the right track, but too powerful. The player is looking for a Volo-like spell for his character's "guide". Maybe a homebrew level 3 spell, somewhere in between Identify and Legend Lore?

Thanks for the ideas.
Failed save, caster learns HP max, and 2 of the other things?
 


iserith

Magic Wordsmith
As a player wanting this information, I would have the character attempt to recall lore, specifically telling the DM what information the character is trying to recall and how he or she might have had access to that information in the past. Then I'd dummy up and wait for the DM to give me the info, ask me to make an ability check, or tell me I can't recall it. Such an effort likely costs me no resources (unlike a spell) and, in most games, won't have a consequence for failure that will leave me worse off than when I started.
 

Fenris447

Explorer
For what it's worth, the Monster Slayer Ranger subclass can use an action to learn resistances, vulnerabilities, and immunities of a creature.
 


dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
How about this as a spell. It basically mimics the Monster Slayer feature, Hunter's Sense:

1593037787138.png


Thoughts? At first I was going to have it provide all the information, but I don't want to make the Hunter's Sense feature useless, so I decided to maybe reduce it to a choice of the three. Is that too limiting?
 
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MarkB

Legend
How about this as a spell. It basically mimics the Monster Slayer feature, Hunter's Sense:

View attachment 123192

Thoughts? At first I was going to have it provide all the information, but I don't want to make the Hunter's Sense feature useless, so I decided to maybe reduce it to a choice of the three. Is that too limiting?
The casting time and material cost both make this a very niche spell. Since it has a verbal component and a 60 foot range, any creature against which you attempt this will be well aware of your presence throughout the casting time. How many situations are going to come up in which a creature will be friendly/passive enough to allow you to stand there spellcasting at it for a minute, and yet potentially hostile enough that you're willing to spend 100 gp to know its combat strengths and weaknesses?
 

jsaving

Adventurer
The Kingmaker CRPG handles this issue pretty well. Each time you encounter a monster, you make a check against the appropriate skill (such as nature lore if the monster is an animal) which then if successful reveals some information about the creature. Then you make a second check upon dispatching the monster to learn more.

If you are going to let mages do this kind of thing through spells, bypassing the need to make sacrifices in their builds, then I definitely agree a gp-per-use cost is appropriate. Moreover from a RP point of view you want this kind of spell to be used only in certain situations, whereas without a gp cost you'd simply cast this spell every time you encounter something new.
 

Saelorn

Hero
I think it was Pathfinder which had a spell that did 1d6 damage of each standard energy type, specifically so you could scan for resistances and vulnerabilities.
 

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
The casting time and material cost both make this a very niche spell. Since it has a verbal component and a 60 foot range, any creature against which you attempt this will be well aware of your presence throughout the casting time. How many situations are going to come up in which a creature will be friendly/passive enough to allow you to stand there spellcasting at it for a minute, and yet potentially hostile enough that you're willing to spend 100 gp to know its combat strengths and weaknesses?
So, you think removing the Verbal component would be good? I can see that. The other option would be boosting the range to 120 feet maybe? I almost thing increasing the range would be better.

We typically allow ability checks to know information to an extent (typically Arcana or Nature). The player wants a spell that gives more than a check.
 


Iry

Adventurer
The best first step is doing what @iserith says.

The Monster Slayer Ranger and Cobalt Soul Monk both have class features that can, and many divination spells if you ask the right questions.
 

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
Ok, so now that you mention it, I have to use the name "Google" in the spell title. The player will get a kick out of it.

The best first step is doing what @iserith says.

Otherwise, the Monster Slayer Ranger and Cobalt Soul Monk both have class features that can. And many divination spells can if you ask the right questions.
We already do ability checks for lore, the player is asking for a spell since the character is neither a Ranger nor a Monk. Most divination spells that will answer if you ask the right questions are higher level and cryptic typically due to the nature of the scenario. Basically, this player is looking for a boosted "Identify" that works on creatures for their info instead of a magic item.
 

MarkB

Legend
So, you think removing the Verbal component would be good? I can see that. The other option would be boosting the range to 120 feet maybe? I almost thing increasing the range would be better.

We typically allow ability checks to know information to an extent (typically Arcana or Nature). The player wants a spell that gives more than a check.
I'd just drop the casting time down to an action. That makes it viable for use in combat, if you're up against something that's shrugging off your regular attacks.

One suggestion for an alternative approach would be the Monster Knowledge checks from D&D 4e. I don't recall the precise details, but they involved an appropriate knowledge skill check based upon the creature's type, with various levels of information being revealed based upon how high you rolled. You could import that mechanic, and make this spell be the thing that allows you to make the check.
 

jsaving

Adventurer
We typically allow ability checks to know information to an extent (typically Arcana or Nature). The player wants a spell that gives more than a check.
If the player is not trying to min-max by using the spell as a substitute for arcana/nature/etc, then you might consider a spell along the lines of 3e's find traps and letting her add half her caster level to the roll. Or if the player is trying to min-max by using the spell as a substitute for arcana/nature/etc, then you might consider a spell along the lines of 5e's find traps that would automatically confirm the presence of an anomaly but wouldn't provide detailed information about exactly what the anomaly is. That would make the spell simultaneously more and less powerful than arcana/nature/etc without being a complete substitute for them, and might not even require a consumable material component for balance.
 

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