5E Magic Jar aftermath question

Dark_T_Zeratul

Explorer
Okay, here's the situation:

Unbeknownst to the party, the villain they think they killed has magic jarred into their NPC companion. The villain has escaped with the jar, but their original body has been destroyed. They need a way to make their new body permanent so that they don't have to worry about the spell being removed or the jar being destroyed.

Are there any clear ways to do that in 5e, before I start digging back into 3e and 2e spells? If necessary, the villain can find minions to help and/or be extra bodies.
 

tommybahama

Explorer
Place the magic jar in a portable hole, fold the portable hole up, and sew it into the lining of a cloak or other mundane garment. Then cast Nystul's Magic Aura on the portable hole.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
Place the magic jar in a portable hole, fold the portable hole up, and sew it into the lining of a cloak or other mundane garment. Then cast Nystul's Magic Aura on the portable hole.
I applaud the creativity!

My question is as an extra-dimensional space is the interior of a portable hole "within 100 feet" of the current body in case of things like death...

I'd say that Wish could probably achieve the effect that you're seeking here.

OTOH, having it have a way to "undo" and finally defeat the villain with a dispel once they figure out what is happening would be a very rewarding experience as a player. Having it be something that has no way to reverse would feel... less fun.
 

Dark_T_Zeratul

Explorer
While thoroughly protecting the jar is an option, the villain would much rather find a way to make the body switch permanent (more or less). I feel being able to undo it with a simple Dispel Magic would be a bit anti-climactic, and as long as their companion's soul remains intact a Resurrection would always be an option to set things right afterwards.

On a related note, an interesting spell interaction came up and I'm not quite sure which way to adjudicate it. The players cast Sending on their companion; would the villain answer in the companion's body, or would it fail by virtue of their companion's soul being trapped in the Magic Jar?
 

tommybahama

Explorer
What I am about to tell you is very dark magic. Proceed at your own peril if you dare...

On page 211 of the Player's Handbook under the list of 8th level spells you will find a foul dweomer known as Trap the Soul. However, there is no spell description to be found in any of the 5e books, for such is the foul powers of this spell. This is the spell your villain seeks. Casting it will remove the host NPC's soul from the shared body, thus making the spell permanent.

Alternatively, the villain removed his pinky finger down to the first knuckle and preserved it some place safe so that he could cast the Clone spell someday if needed.

As far as your second question, "Meanwhile, the possessed creature's soul can perceive from the container using its own senses, but it can't move or take actions at all." It will receive the message but can't reply.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
the villain would much rather find a way to make the body switch permanent (more or less).
I understood that. I think RAW the only way to do it is probably with the Wish spell. Even then, that is up to your DM fiat.

I mean really... you're the DM. Your NPC can do whatever you want them to be able to do. NPC's often have abilities unavailable to PC's (Death Domain, Oathbreaker - NPC options in the DMG).

If you want the wizard to find or have some dark ritual to make magic jar permanent, give it to them. Maybe this wizard has been doing this very thing for centuries or millennia. This NPC is just the latest body they've occupied.

I feel being able to undo it with a simple Dispel Magic would be a bit anti-climactic
I don't see that. Maybe as a DM, but as a player I feel that doing the leg work to deduce that the wizard is now your NPC companion, find the jar somewhere, manage to dispel a 6th level spell (or higher if the wizard upcast Magic Jar, and get your companion back sound very satisfying. A mini-quest or adventure in its own right.

would the villain answer in the companion's body, or would it fail by virtue of their companion's soul being trapped in the Magic Jar?
I don't think they would get any answer. I agree with @tommybahama

Alternatively, the villain removed his pinky finger down to the first knuckle and preserved it some place safe so that he could cast the Clone spell someday if needed.
Not sure about previous editions, but in 5e it requires a living person to clone when cast.

"This spell grows an inert duplicate of a living, Medium creature as a safeguard against death."
 

tommybahama

Explorer
The problem of DM fiat is it breaks the verisimilitude of the fantasy world, is bad writing when authors do it, and foils the fun of the players' creative attempts to solve problems within the rules.

You are right about the fine print on the Clone spell. But it does say
"at any time after the clone matures, if the original creature dies, its soul transfers to the clone, provided that the soul is free and willing to return."

Perhaps our villain used the magic jar as a temporary solution because he wanted to use the NPC to spy on the party and also needed time to prepare for his final transfer to the clone?

The next time the players meet the cloned villain say something like, "You notice for the first time with your passive perception that the villain is missing his left pinky up to the first knuckle. Quite curious." Hopefully the party will capture the villain and ask him about the pinky during interrogation so that you can reveal the big secret. Hmm, the villain has an ability to make clones. Can you ever truly kill him?
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
The problem of DM fiat is it breaks the verisimilitude of the fantasy world, is bad writing when authors do it, and foils the fun of the players' creative attempts to solve problems within the rules.
Different perspectives I guess.

Verisimilitude is broken for me with the assumption that everyone everywhere has access to all the same abilities and spells exactly like everyone else. That doesn't make sense to me at all that there would never be anyone ever out there who had different abilities or new spells.

Why is it bad writing for a bad guy steeped in evil to have access to magic that no one else has or that he's taken farther than anyone before? Were Horcruxes in Harry Potter then a bad plot device just because the heroes didn't know how to make them?

I'm all for creative roleplaying. If the bad guy has something that no one has seen before, maybe that is a good plot hook for research or questing to find an oracle or... I don't know.

I'm not saying "let the guy do whatever he wants and there is no way to undo it ever". If you're going to present something non-RAW then you as the DM need to also know how the PC's can solve it... if you want it to be solved and not a narrative beat you're trying to hit.

Sometimes not everything has a solution, sometimes you lose. And that can be powerful RP opportunities as well, to know that your friend is truly gone and there is nothing you can do about it....

Perhaps our villain used the magic jar as a temporary solution because he wanted to use the NPC to spy on the party and also needed time to prepare for his final transfer to the clone?
Sure, I'm all for that! RAW, It would have just had to have been a cast/created Clone and he'll get to it when he wants. It sounds like a great way to do it. It doesn't solve the OP's desire to make Magic Jar permanent, but it looks fun/cool and would make a good story!

Hmm, the villain has an ability to make clones. Can you ever truly kill him?
Yeah... that was the 2e/3.x Manshoon issue in FR, he had too many of them around.
 

tommybahama

Explorer
It's okay to break the "rules" of your fantasy universe sometimes, but if you do it too much then your audience/players will eventually resent it since there is no way to "win" if the universe is totally inconsistent.

I think the Trap the Soul spell is the best route to make Magic Jar permanent. The Clone spell is just to get him back to his own body. On second thought, can he clone the NPC and Magic Jar to the clone? Since there is no soul in the empty clone yet then maybe it can be permanent or at least hidden by Nystul's Magic Aura.

Hopefully the OP will update us on which path he chose and the player reactions.
 
I'd argue that Clone's "creature must be alive" is covered by magic jar. The body is dead, but the creature's soul isn't.

This is based off (a) the rule of cool, (b) when something isn't abusive and is ambiguous, bias in favor of permitting it, (c) the spell is about rehousing a soul in a duplicate body, so the state of the soul is fair game.

Now, biologically dead bodies cannot grow clones, but this isn't biological cloning. I wouldn't permit a sufficiently decayed body to contribute to this, but either a recent corpse or one protected by gentle ripose is fair game.
 

Nebulous

Hero
Not sure about previous editions, but in 5e it requires a living person to clone when cast.

"This spell grows an inert duplicate of a living, Medium creature as a safeguard against death."
Salthorae, later on it says: V S M (A diamond worth at least 1,000 gp and at least 1 cubic inch of flesh of the creature that is to be cloned, which the spell consumes,

Thus, from the pinky finger it grows a full size living medium clone, that was the meaning.
 
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I'd argue that Clone's "creature must be alive" is covered by magic jar. The body is dead, but the creature's soul isn't.
I have a wacky reading that could make for a great deal of fun...

The BBEG is in a stolen body. He casts clone...

Now the villain sets up a situation in which the party confronts him or her... and the party gets to break the jar. The trapped soul returns to it's body... and the PCs think everything is fine. They'v'e rescued the NPC, and they've won!

But, the mage's soul is shunted into the clone! While it wasn't his original body, it was his spiritual essence driving the spell. Now there are two copies of the body walking around. One good, the other evil, and the wizard can set about his revenge! Bwahahahaha!
 
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