5E Sun Blade vs Darkness spell?

How would everyone rule the interaction between a Sun Blade and Darkness? Does the light emitted negate the sphere of darkness?

While this would also apply to other magic items that emit light such as Frost Brand, Flametongue, and items with the Beacon minor property, Sun Blade is probably the most common item when it comes to this question. In AL, this is even truer as both OotA and CoS feature versions of it.
 
While it would be up to the DM, Darkness is by default only countered by a Daylight spell or similar magical effect. The light from a Sun Blade isn't described as being a Daylight spell. Therefore, I would say that the light of a Sun Blade would be suppressed inside of a Darkness spell. However, I would also say that the Sun Blade could nonetheless deal damage despite that no one can see it when it is in the Darkness effect.
 
Since only a light created by a spell of 2nd level or lower is dispelled when overlaping with area of Darkness and that the light emitted by a Sun Blade is not a spell, it shouldn't be dispelled by RAW.

Also since a Sunblade's light doesn't specifically dispell magical darkness, then the Darkness spell should persist.

I would probably let such area of magical light overlapping the Darkness illuminate it while overlapping athough.
 
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The sun blade description mentions a blade of pure radiance. It does not describe it as shedding light of any kind or give a radius for such light.

The flame tongue does mention that it sheds bright light in a 40' radius. Being generated from a rare magical sword, I would treat the light as magical. Being a rare item I would treat the effect from this as a daylight spell effect. Being an always on item I would probably rule that it would suppress the effects of darkness spell of 3rd level or lower instead of dispelling it.

I would treat the frost brand the same way.

A beacon minor power would be treated exactly as a light cantrip.
 
PHB 230 said:
Magical darkness spreads from a point you choose within range to fill a 15-foot-radius sphere for the duration. The darkness spreads around corners. A creature with darkvision can't see through this darkness, and nonmagical light can't illuminate it.
If the point you choose is on an object you are holding or one that isn't being worn or carried, the darkness emanates from the object and moves with it. Completely covering the source of the darkness with an opaque object, such as a bowl or a helm, blocks the darkness.
If any of this spell's area overlaps with an area of light created by a spell of 2nd levei or lower, the spell that created the light is dispelled.
The first bold section is what I believe allows the light-emitting magical items to suppress the effects of Darkness. The light that they shed is magical, therefore the first bold section doesn't apply. The second bold section would only apply if the items were casting a spell, and not creating the magical light by its own function. Therefore by RAW, the spheres of light created by such items should be visible within an area affected by Darkness.

The reason I asked this question is because this has come up at my OotA table, and will likely come up again this week. I initially gave Darkness priority, but I've been rethinking my stance after rereading the text.
 
The first bold section is what I believe allows the light-emitting magical items to suppress the effects of Darkness. The light that they shed is magical, therefore the first bold section doesn't apply. The second bold section would only apply if the items were casting a spell, and not creating the magical light by its own function. Therefore by RAW, the spheres of light created by such items should be visible within an area affected by Darkness.

The reason I asked this question is because this has come up at my OotA table, and will likely come up again this week. I initially gave Darkness priority, but I've been rethinking my stance after rereading the text.
I suppose it comes down to whether you rule that the light shed by the sun blade is magical in nature, or a natural byproduct of a magical effect. In a similar sense, is the light from a Flame Tongue sword or the flash of light presumably created by a fireball magical in nature?

I'd personally rule that secondary phenomena are natural. The flame from a fire bolt spell is undoubtedly magical, but if you light a campfire with the spell then the campfire is natural. It's simpler, and prevents weird consequences (like lighting torches with a fireball in order to create torches that can suppress magical darkness).
 
I suppose it comes down to whether you rule that the light shed by the sun blade is magical in nature, or a natural byproduct of a magical effect. In a similar sense, is the light from a Flame Tongue sword or the flash of light presumably created by a fireball magical in nature?

I'd personally rule that secondary phenomena are natural. The flame from a fire bolt spell is undoubtedly magical, but if you light a campfire with the spell then the campfire is natural. It's simpler, and prevents weird consequences (like lighting torches with a fireball in order to create torches that can suppress magical darkness).
The sun sword calls out the light it emits as sunlight. To me, actual sunlight produced by something other than the sun is most certainly magical rather than natural.
 
I agree with you, except that the light emitted from these items is an explicit part of their magical properties. That makes their particular light magical, rather than natural.
 
The sun sword calls out the light it emits as sunlight. To me, actual sunlight produced by something other than the sun is most certainly magical rather than natural.
I agree with you, except that the light emitted from these items is an explicit part of their magical properties. That makes their particular light magical, rather than natural.
Those are legitimate ways of looking at it, but as I see it, interpreting it as a natural phenomenon is equally legitimate. It just depends on where you want to draw the line.

If the "blade" of the sun blade is concentrated magical sunlight, then it is reasonable that the photons it emits are consistent with natural sunlight if you rule that secondary phenomena are non-magical. Much like how a Flame Tongue sword could produce light as a natural consequence of the supernatural flames that line the blade. It would be far more supernatural to me if either of these blades functioned without emitting light, given their nature.
 

UngeheuerLich

Adventurer
Darkness can not be illuminated by nonmagical light and diapells spells that shed light of level 2 or lower. Notice that it also quenches flaming spheres. It also cancels darkvision. But it does not prevent magical light sources from illuminating areas of darkness.
 

Werebat

Visitor
If the light from the Sun Blade is nonmagical sunlight, it will not dispel Darkness because neither would normal sunlight.

If it is magical sunlight, then the question is whether or not it counts as a 3rd level or higher spell. The sword's description doesn't say, so it becomes a DM's call.

The blade says that the sunlight produced is "sunlight", so I would rule that it functions as sunlight. The Darkness spell suppresses sunlight. But that is my call as a DM.
 

thethain

Visitor
Basically, the sunlight is smothered that is within the area of Darkness. The sunblade itself is not dispelled and it cannot dispel the darkness as darkness only has special interactions with light from SPELLS. So your blade is still working, but there is no sunlight within the darkness. You could still stab someone in the darkness and deal radiant damage (if you can see them).
 

jaelis

Explorer
Since a sunblade is basically a light saber, just ask yourself how a light saber would work :) To me the answer is easy, the blade remains visible but it doesn't illuminate anything else in the darkness.
 

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