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D&D 5E What can be dispelled?

Eric V

Hero
Could a person suffering under a vampire's charm have said charm dispelled?

Or that of a succubus?

Trying to get a handle on what can or can't be dispelled.

Thanks.
 

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Eric V

Hero
Yes and yes. Both are magical effects as I read it and can thus be dispelled.

Though other DMs may rule differently.

I was thinking that too, but then I read the Dispel Magic description and it specifically mentions "spells" not "magical effects." :/
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I was thinking that too, but then I read the Dispel Magic description and it specifically mentions "spells" not "magical effects." :/

The first line of the spell reads: "Choose one creature, object, or magical effect within range."
 

Eric V

Hero
The first line of the spell reads: "Choose one creature, object, or magical effect within range."

For sure. The next two sentences though "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."

...which is why there's confusion about it in my group.
 

Paraxis

Explorer
DISPEL MAGIC

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.



RAW it only works on spells, so unless the magic effect is something like a wall of force, symbol, or other spell you can't dispel it.

You need a spell level to set the DC of the spellcasting ability check, so obviously again it needs to be a spell.

Now saying all of that I don't know many DM's who wouldn't allow dispel magic to work on non-spell things and just set a DC.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
For sure. The next two sentences though "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."

...which is why there's confusion about it in my group.

The charm ability of the succubus or vampire a magical effect. Dispel magic targets magical effects. If the DM feels that the use of dispel magic will have an uncertain outcome, he or she can assign a DC and call for an ability check.
 

MonkeezOnFire

Adventurer
I agree that the charm effects should be dispellable based on the magical effect wording and that my gut tells me that this is the kind of stuff dispel magic is supposed to get rid of. On the player side of things they don't know (or at least shouldn't know) the monster's stat block so they don't know whether the effect comes from a spell or a magical ability of the monster.

Assigning a DC is easy enough. You can just assign it as if it were a comparable spell (like dominate person for major charm effects), assign it an easy, moderate or hard DC based on the DMG guidelines, or assign it a number that feels right to you. Often times I won't even assign a specific DC to a task, I'll just wait for the player to roll then make a decision based on it.

In a similar vein however I'm unsure if dispel magic should be capable of dispelling summoned creatures.
 

KarinsDad

First Post
The charm ability of the succubus or vampire a magical effect. Dispel magic targets magical effects. If the DM feels that the use of dispel magic will have an uncertain outcome, he or she can assign a DC and call for an ability check.

No. Dispel Magic targets any spell on a magical effect.

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.

It does not dispel magical effects, just like it does not dispel creatures or objects. For all intents and purposes, a Wall of Fire is a magical effect with a spell on it (or a spell driving it, i.e. the Wall of Fire spell).
 


KarinsDad

First Post
In a similar vein however I'm unsure if dispel magic should be capable of dispelling summoned creatures.

I think that conjured animals or creatures fall under the "creature, object, or magical effect" clause with the conjuring spell being the spell on them (i.e. cast to bring them there). Ditto for illusions.

The magical effect clause of Dispel Magic appears to be for things like conjured creatures, illusions, Wall of Ice, etc. where the effect is the object, creature, or magical effect in question, and the spell is the spell that allowed for that effect.
 

KarinsDad

First Post
As DM, dispel magic does whatever I say it does and I say it does dispel the charm effects of a succubus or vampire.

The rules serve the DM, not the other way around.

For your table. The OP was asking about the confusion in the spell. The spell isn't confusing if one understands that the Dispel Magic spell only has the power to dispel spells. As per the reading of Dispel Magic, it does not have the ability to dispel magical effects unless those effects are created by a spell.

You want to expand that at your table (or if you want to say that Vampire Charm is a spell), great. Do so.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
For your table. The OP was asking about the confusion in the spell. The spell isn't confusing if one understands that the Dispel Magic spell only has the power to dispel spells. As per the reading of Dispel Magic, it does not have the ability to dispel magical effects unless those effects are created by a spell.

You want to expand that at your table (or if you want to say that Vampire Charm is a spell), great. Do so.

Go back and read my posts in context and you'll see that I've always been talking about my ruling, from post one.

In any case, the wording of dispel magic doesn't prohibit it working on any other magical effect. It simply gives rules for adjudication when dispelling spells, that being, the outcome is uncertain if the slot you use to cast the spell is lower level than the spell being targeted.
 

S

Sunseeker

Guest
It does not dispel magical effects, just like it does not dispel creatures or objects. For all intents and purposes, a Wall of Fire is a magical effect with a spell on it (or a spell driving it, i.e. the Wall of Fire spell).

Then the better question would be: how does one dispell a non-spell magical effect?
 

KarinsDad

First Post
Then the better question would be: how does one dispell a non-spell magical effect?

I would think a ritual in some cases.

One does not want a PC to be able to dispel a Mythal for example without a lot of work.

I would think a more powerful spell in other cases. i.e. Dispel Supernatural/Magical Effect.

I think that certain supernatural abilities like Vampire Charms and Harpy Charms (and many curses) should require something more than just Dispel Magic or Remove Curse. JMO.
 


KarinsDad

First Post
In any case, the wording of dispel magic doesn't prohibit it working on any other magical effect.

So, Dispel Magic can dispel creatures and objects then? For example, a creature like a vampire or an object like +1 armor can be dispelled because the first sentence states that the target can be a creature or an object (just like with your interpretation , the first sentence states that the target can be a magical effect)?

The first sentence is only target selection (Choose one creature, object, or magical effect within range). That's all the first sentence is. The second sentence and third sentence indicates what the spell actually does. It dispels spells.

Sorry, but you are reading a lot more into that spell than it indicates (and hence, the OP's question).


According to your interpretation, Dispel Magic can dispel a glowing +1 sword. Err no, it can't. It can do so in your game with your "assign a DC" house rule. But it's fairly clear from the wording that the designers only wanted it to affect spells, not magic items, vampire charms, Mythals, or any other source of magical effects. Earlier versions of the game allowed Dispel Magic to suppress magic items for 1D4 rounds and such, but that is no longer the case. Dispel Magic can no longer affect areas, nor can it be used as a counterspell, nor can it affect spell-like effects. All four of these features are no longer part of the Dispel Magic spell.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
So, Dispel Magic can dispel creatures and objects then?

It does when I, as DM, say it does.

The first sentence is only target selection (Choose one creature, object, or magical effect within range). That's all the first sentence is. The second sentence and third sentence indicates what the spell actually does. It dispels spells.

That's one thing it can do. It can do other things if I, as DM, say it does.

But it's fairly clear from the wording that the designers only wanted it to affect spells

Why should I care what the designers wanted? I run my game - not the rules, not the designers.
 

baric

First Post
How does one put a spell on a magical effect? It is very simple though. The spell was worded properly and more detailed in GYgax D&D. When it came to objects it rendered them inert for a period of time etc. A magical effect is nothing more than a SPELL effect therefore can be dispelled. It is up to the DM to choose the spell that the effect imitates and set the DC. As for objects I do it old school...if you actually hit the DC I set you render the object inert temporarily.

Anyone with a brain knows RAW and wizards of the coast are not very compatible. They rush things and fail to think of how they word stuff. Dispel magic is proof of that. If you go by rules as written dispel magic wont affect anything at all. Because a spell creates a magical effect which is no longer a spell so cannot be dispelled. See what I did there?

Blame wizards for their shoddy wording and adjudicate the spell at your table the way you want it to be and make sure your players understand the ruling. Then play your game and have fun and dont let the rules bog you down and kill the fun factor.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Or it could be that they write the rules for the DM to use as a basis for adjudication - if the DM needs them at all - rather than for strict interpretation and adherence.
 

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