dnd 5e – Can you twin the Nystul’s Magic Aura spell?

(This answer has been edited to reflect recent guidance on Twinned Spell. This answer originally was “You can twin the spell as long as you don’t target an object.”)

RAW and RAI, the spell needs to target exactly one creature and cannot be capable of target anything else – including objects – in order for Twinned Spell to work.

As you’ve noted, the Twinned Spell metamagic option begins its description with:

When you cast a spell that targets only one creature…

A 2015 errata to the PHB added this note to the description of the Twinned Spell metamagic option:

To be eligible for Twinned Spell, a spell must be incapable of targeting more than one creature at the spell’s current level.

This means that a spell like Chaos Bolt, though it does initially target only one creature, is ineligible to be twinned because it can target more than one creature.

Further, as you point out, spells – like Fireball – that instead target points in space are also ineligible to be twinned. (More on Fireball later)

Nystul’s Magic Aura, on the other hand, while it does only target one creature, can also target an object.

Apparently, according to recommended guidance in a 2020 version of the Sage Advice Compendium, spells that can target objects are ineligible to be twinned:

If you … are still unsure whether a particular spell qualifies for Twinned Spell, consult with your DM, who has the final say. If the two of you are curious about our design intent, here is the list of things that disqualify a spell for us:

  • The spell has a range of self.
  • The spell can target an object.

— Sage Advice Compendium, page 6

According to this guidance, Nystul’s Magic Aura cannot be twinned because it can target an object, and that’s that.

But I personally think that’s a bit dumb.

This DM has allowed – and will continue to allow – spells like Fire Bolt to be twinned. I interpret the rules to mean that if you target a creature with a spell, you could then twin the spell and choose a new creature to also be affected; but if you choose an object as your original target, you could not then twin that spell.

An aside about targeting and that podcast:

As of January, 2019, Jeremy Crawford’s – or any other staff, for that matter – public statements are no longer considered official rulings. Only the Sage Advice Compendium is considered official as far as rulings go. Many of the past statements regarding rules clarifications have been published in the SAC, but many have also been excluded (or just haven’t been published yet). This means we can only rely on what is published in the SAC, and we should throw out all previous rulings in tweets, podcasts, etc.

I searched the SAC, and unless I missed something, the SAC does not currently appear to define anything in regard to spells automatically targeting things they affect. Where there might be exceptions, they seem to be explicitly covered in the description for a given spell. Fireball is actually one such spell. It initially targets a point in space and then treats the affected creatures like targets (emphasis mine):

Each creature in a … sphere … must make a Dexterity saving throw. A target takes 8d6 fire damage…

However, like I mentioned, this is explicitly phrased in the spell description, and not an assumption we make because the spell affected additional things. “Affect” does not automatically translate to “target” unless the rules for a spell say it does.

Nystul’s Magic Aura targets one creature or object and affects them the way the spell describes (emphasis mine):

The target can be a willing creature or an object…

“The target” in this case is explicitly defined. Later, if another spell targets the same target, Nystul’s defines how that other spell behaves. That is the extent of the interaction. We choose Nystul’s targets when we cast the spell. We do not suddenly have additional targets when someone else targets our target. Nystul’s does not mention the other spells becoming targets, so we cannot consider them to so be.

Jeremey Crawford’s ruling on Dragon’s Breath directly contradicts the reasoning of the 2015 PHB errata. Dragon’s Breath targets “one willing creature” and that’s it. Later, regarding the breath attack, it says (emphasis mine):

Each creature in that area must make a Dexterity saving throw…

Note that unlike Fireball, this spell does not declare the affected creatures to be targets. The fact that the breath attack granted by the spell can affect multiple creatures does not change the fact that the spell only targets one creature. This means that Dragon’s Breath is, in fact, an eligible target for the Twinned Spell metamagic option.

The confusion Jeremy Crawford’s initial Dragon’s Breath ruling caused is a great example of why the decision was made to retcon all rulings from before 2019, leaving the Sage Advice Compendium as the sole source of official rulings going forward.

pathfinder 1e – When do you decide variable material components for Restoration in a ring of spell storing?

The Ring of Spell Storing allows you to store any spell by casting it into the ring as the spell would normally be cast, presumably expending any material components required at this time as general rules.

A spellcaster can cast any spells into the ring, so long as the total spell levels do not add up to more than 5.

It is also clear that no material components are expended when casting spells from the ring.

The user need not provide any material components or focus to cast the spell…

However, some spells such as Restoration require a variable material component cost depending on decisions made when the spell is cast.

Components V, S, M (diamond dust worth 100 gp or 1,000 gp, see text)

This spell functions like lesser restoration, except that it also dispels temporary negative levels or one permanent negative level. If this spell is used to dispel a permanent negative level, it has a material component of diamond dust worth 1,000 gp.

What price diamond dust is used to store and cast Restoration in the ring and when is it expended?
Can you choose to expend the 1000gp diamond dust and then not dispel a permanent negative level?

dnd 5e – Are there ways to concentrate on more than one spell at a time?

Glyph of Warding – Takes 1 hour to cast and two spell slots, but with enough time to prepare, it can break encounters. At level 20, my players used it to chain cast True Polymorphs on themselves, really amazing.

You can store a prepared spell of 3rd level or lower in the glyph by casting it as part of creating the glyph. The spell must target a single creature or area. (…) If the spell requires concentration, it lasts until the end of its full duration

Twinned Spell – You can dupe a single-target spell when you cast it. Basically, you can Suggest two enemies to run away as far as they can.

When you cast a spell that targets only one creature and doesn’t have a range of self, you can spend a number of sorcery points equal to the spell’s level to target a second creature in range with the same spell (1 sorcery point if the spell is a cantrip).

Wish – Use it to cast Glyph of Warding. Major difference here is simply bypassing the 1 hour cast time.

The basic use of this spell is to duplicate any other spell of 8th level or lower. You don’t need to meet any requirements in that spell, including costly Components.

Simulacrum – Have a clone of yourself doing spells alongside you! You can even give it Magical Items so that you don’t worry about spell slot regeneration.

The simulacrum is friendly to you and creatures you designate. It obeys your spoken commands, moving and acting in accordance with your wishes and acting on Your Turn in Combat. The simulacrum lacks the ability to learn or become more powerful, so it never increases its level or other Abilities, nor can it regain expended Spell Slots.

Other answers have mentioned having NPCs (either hired, or dominated), and they cast spells as well. It is an option, yes, but they won’t have the same spells you have, so maybe not applicable.

dnd 5e – Impacts of managing all similar spell like Moonbeam or Flaming sphere

Moonbeam will only deal its damage once per round, unless forced movement (such as grapple/shove) push a creature into the affected area. The impact of a creature leaving the affected area is that the caster must then use their action if they want to keep that damage going.

By contrast, Flaming Sphere can deal its damage twice per round, if creatures fail to move away from it. A creature that keeps moving away ends up taking less damage, but the caster will typically end up using their bonus action to ram with the sphere either way.

This tends to make Flaming Sphere better for forcing creatures to leave an area (or dealing heavy damage when they can’t leave), while Moonbeam ends up dealing more damage consistently but is less effective for area denial. In keeping with that, Flaming Sphere will normally only damage one creature / round, while Moonbeam can hit multiple creatures, but Flaming Sphere threatens a larger area.

Dust Devil won’t normally deal any damage, unless a creature is unable or unwilling to move away from the affected area. This makes it almost purely a control-based area denial effect, but couple with the forced-movement aspect it is arguably even better than Flaming Sphere in that regard.

If Flaming Sphere hit every creature within 5 feet at the start of their turn, it would be a considerably stronger spell, reliably hitting multiple creatures instead of just one.

If Moonbeam only triggered when cast and at the end of turn, creatures would move out of the area each time it moved, taking no damage. If it also dealt damage when moved by the caster, it would provide a much stronger incentive for the affected creatures to leave if possible, making it a stronger control effect.

dnd 5e – Can someone with Devil’s Sight see inside a Fog Cloud spell while a sphere of Darkness remains at the centre of the fog?

Basically, in a session, we had the party come up against a group of Bugbears who attacked the party in an ambush. In a moment of haste, the party’s warlock cast Fog Cloud to help obscure against the bugbears to try and cause an even ground for the fight. At the same time, to give their team an edge, the Warlock cast Darkness on one of their allies’ blades so that they could see within the darkness and give at least two of the members who had Devil’s Sight advantage in the fight.

If someone casts Fog Cloud and then another person casts Darkness within the area of fog, does the darkness basically remove any trace of the fog within, even for those with Devil’s Sight? Or do those with Devil’s Sight see nothing but the fog within the darkness?

I would like some clarification as to know in the future how to react to this, should the tactic be reused.

dnd 5e – Does shoving a creature end the effect of the Hypnotic Pattern spell on them?

This seems pretty straightforward to me. There are two ways to break the effect of hypnotic pattern

  1. The affected creature takes damage
  2. Another creature uses its action to shake the creature out of its stupor

Obviously, the first case doesn’t apply here, since there’s no damage taken.

I would say that the second case also doesn’t apply for two different reasons.

First, there is no other creature using “its action” to do anything to the affected creature. When rules refer to a creature “using its action”, that’s generally taken to mean their one combat action on their turn. If it applied to bonus actions, it would say “bonus action”.

Secondly, the phrasing “uses its action to shake the creature out of its stupor” implies that the action is intentional. Unless the other creature is trying to break the pattern effect, the condition will persist through all sorts of other actions – casting other spells on the creature, healing it, grappling it, or shoving it (either physically, or with telekinesis).

Do attended items use their wielder’s spell resistance?

I want to disintegrate a powerful enemy’s weapons. This enemy has a high spell resistance. I know that attended objects receive their wielder’s saving throw bonuses, but what about their spell resistance? I have not found anything which grants objects their wielder’s spell resistance, but maybe I have missed something.

(For remarks on using disintegrate on an enemy’s weapons, go to the linked question.)

pathfinder 1e – Casting a spell, but not using it immediately

No and Yes.

Normally, a spell’s effect begins right when you finish casting it. There is no general way to store a finished spell for later use without using items.

The big exception to this are spells with a range of touch, such as shocking grasp. When you finish casting such a spell, you automatically hold it in your hand, and it is only discharged when you deliver the spell. To do so, you get a free melee touch attack in the round you cast them. (I can’t find a primary source, so here’s a secondary source from the Magus’ Spellstrike ability)

Instead of the free melee touch attack normally allowed to deliver the spell, a magus can make one free melee attack with his weapon (at his highest base attack bonus) as part of casting this spell.

(emphasis mine)
If you fail to deliver the attack (i.e. miss the touch attack), the spell is not discharged, and you can try again with regular touch attacks (Holding a spell makes those armed attacks). This is described under Holding the charge.

Touch Spells and Holding the Charge

In most cases, if you don’t discharge a touch spell on the round you cast it, you can hold the charge (postpone the discharge of the spell) indefinitely. You can make touch attacks round after round until the spell is discharged. If you cast another spell, the touch spell dissipates.

Some touch spells allow you to touch multiple targets as part of the spell. You can’t hold the charge of such a spell; you must touch all targets of the spell in the same round that you finish casting the spell.

So the spell stays active as long as you like, though you cannot cast another spell while holding one.
Note the exception to the exception at the end.

dnd 5e – What happens if you use the control water spell on a living creature?

The water in elementals is presumably not freestanding

Ok, this comes down to a reading and meaning of terms the game doesn’t define, but control water requires the targeting of freestanding water:

Until the spell ends, you control any freestanding water inside an area you choose that is a cube up to 100 feet on a side.

And if the water is bound up in an elemental or similar, it is not freestanding. For more on that, see: What the heck is “freestanding water”?

As such, the water in the elemental is ineligible as a target for control water.

dnd 5e – Can you cast multiple copies of the same spell by nesting multiple Glyph of Wardings?

Can you do this via rules-as-written? Yes.

The sole limit on the spell that is attached to a glyph of warding is,

The spell must target a single creature or an area.

Does glyph of warding target an area? One important thing to consider is that neither “target” nor “area” are keywords for D&D 5th ed. In this rule set, words don’t have any special, codified meaning. There’s no such thing as something that is targeted with a spell that isn’t a target; there is no such thing as a spell that affects an area that is not an area effect spell. From https://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/wolfgang-baur-girl-scouts-midgard :

If the rules do not specifically add or change the meaning in a
significant way, the word means what it means in regular idiomatic

This is a quote taken out of context, and if you have time, I’d recommend listening to the entire source, but I think you’ll find that the context supports that reading as well.

So then, does GoW target (affect) an area? The spell itself answers:

If you choose a surface, the glyph can cover an area of the surface
no larger than 10 feet in diameter.

Is an area no larger than 10 feet in diameter an area? In plain English? Yes, it is an area. Tautologically so.

Is “covering” an area the same as affecting that area? This is more ambiguous, but I believe that it is. Would you say that the Web spell affects an area or covers an area? Is that question hard to parse because, well, they’re kinda the same thing?

So a glyph of warding spell, when cast on a surface with an area, can be nested in this way.

Is this rules as intended?

It was not intended for GoW to be cast nested. There are numerous other cases where the designers have made rules that could be misunderstood clear; this is a clear case where the rules could be misunderstood; therefore, they just didn’t imagine this possibility.

But what is intended is that players try to be creative in problem solving. And one of the things that means is that they’re going to stumble upon solutions to problems that the designers never imagined. That’s the reason for having such a crunchy rule set! So it is very much rules as intended that you use spells in ways unforseen by the designers.

Are there ambiguous questions about this particular situation?

Yes, absolutely. One of the ambiguities is casting time. A GoW has a casting time of 1 hour. Does the stored spell add to the cast time, or is it fully contained in it? I’d make it add to the cast time, because using this to cheese cast time is the likeliest use. So nesting four glyphs of warding would take four hours (and, presumably, a round, for the final spell.)

What happens when the trigger is met for the first spell? Is it automatically met for the nested spells? That could very easily depend on the exact conditions. A concerned GM might reasonably institute a 1-round delay for each nest. If the second glyph triggers on the same conditions as the first, is an instantaneous condition still met, or is an instantaneous condition now expired? Like I said, ambiguous.

Is this abusable?

Other than potentially via the casting time, which I mentioned above, no. Nesting four GoW costs you 800 GP in components and four hours. With those 800 gp and 4 hours, you could cast four independent GoW, which gets you four “free” spell effects, much more powerful than a few measly abjuration ward HP. (Those other spells can still be abjuration spells….) Nesting GoW is probably the least effective imaginable way to use this otherwise extremely powerful spell. Doing this allows your player to exercise their creativity, but in this particular case, it’s not a wise decision on the player’s part.