One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
An image must be specifically targeted and hit, but not necessarily damaged, to cancel it. A magic missile spell cast by a 9th level caster could be used to target 5 images, and they would all be canceled out. Melf's Acid Arrow, Melf's Minute Meteors (which do specifically target something as a missile, and then explode upon hitting), flame arrow, and other spells do similar (as they may be used to specifically target something, not just an area). Area spells do not specifically target images, and so will not cancel out mirror images (the exception being something like dispel magic, which cancels the entire spell outright). The images just don't offer any protection is all. An offensive touch spell, even one that doesn't do damage (such as poison, paralysis, bestow curse, or even an energy drain touch that removes hit points through level loss rather than as direct damage), will cancel an image upon a successful to hit roll, as these are melee attacks.
A light spell (or similar spell) is not a missile or melee attack, so no image is canceled by it. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Next question: Can a Detect Magic be used to find the actual target if a Mirror Image is employed since the images are magical (they'd give off a dweomer of illusion/phantasm) and the person is not?
Or...what if the person in question is carrying many magical items (say, armor, weapons, a ring or cloak, etc., all of which emanate a magical enchantment) and/or has protective spells enacted (ex: Shield, Protection from Paralysis, etc.) and thus radiates numerous auras as opposed to the single aura of the images themselves? Could a Detect Magic be used to realize which are the images, and which is the actual person?
Detect magic shouldn't give away the false images in any way. Whether because it duplicates existing magical auras, or because the (obvious) illusion/phantasm aura overrides/overwhelms any others is up to the DM.
Yep. Detect magic just detects the presence of magic in its area, and potentially what type (s). It doesn't pinpoint anything though. True seeing will defeat mirror image of course, but so would the 3rd level spell wizard sight (see what this spell allows for, and you'll get the picture). _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
I definitely agree about Detect Magic being unable to counter the Mirror Image spell, and that a True Seeing is needed.
I do have access to the Wizard Sight spell and just read it. I would think that if a Mirror Image spell is able to duplicate the auras of the actual wizard to confound a Detect Magic spell that it would likewise confound this spell, too. However, as Wizard Sight grants pinpoint accuracy, and is also a level higher than Mirror Image, that it may be able to overpower the phantasm's dweomer.
Mirror image doesn't "confound" detect magic. Detect magic is simply limited in that it can only detect magic in the area and not pinpoint any type of it in that area. Detect magic just tells you, "Yes. There is magic in the 10' wide and 60' long area of the spell," and you might end up knowing the type, strength, and number of auras too...if one is not so powerful as to drown the others out. You do NOT know the specific location of any magic though (i.e. under that flagstone, in the chair leg, that particular (mirror) image, etc.), just that there is magic "in the area." You can further pinpoint the general location of anything detected by moving about until you sort of triangulate its position.
Obviously detect magic doesn't work all that well as a combat application vs. mirror image because of its limitations, as it is of no help in differentiating between what is the caster of the mirror image and what are the mirror images. Wizard sight allows its caster to see what is, and what is not a spellcaster. Images are not spellcasters, so the spell pinpoints the mirror image caster immediately. It it not the spell's intended use, but it works in this particular case. It will also sniff out a project image effect, but only tell that what is being seen is not a spellcaster...even though it seems to be casting spells. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Detect magic just tells you, "Yes. There is magic in the 10' wide and 60' long area of the spell," and you might end up knowing the type, strength, and number of auras too...if one is not so powerful as to drown the others out. You do NOT know the specific location of any magic though (i.e. under that flagstone, in the chair leg, that particular (mirror) image, etc.), just that there is magic "in the area." You can further pinpoint the general location of anything detected by moving about until you sort of triangulate its position.
I think you would know it, because Detect Magic makes things glow. From C1, which is 1st ed, but good starting point:
"Detect Magic - 1 segment, lasts 1 turn: detects magical
radiations and causes them to glow; blocked by I‘ of
stone or 1 inch of metal."
2nd Edition doesn't specifically say that things glow, but it isn't an unreasonable interpretation, considering the word choices (radiations, dim, faint, etc.):
"When the detect magic spell is cast, the wizard detects magical radiations in a path 10 feet wide and up to 60 feet long, in the direction he is facing. The intensity of the magic can be determined (dim, faint, moderate, strong, overwhelming), and the wizard has a 10% chance per level to recognize if a certain type of magic (alteration, conjuration, etc.) is present. The caster can turn, scanning a 60-degree arc per round. A stone wall of 1 foot or more thickness, solid metal of 1 inch thickness, or a yard or more of solid wood blocks the spell. Magical areas, multiple types of magic, or strong local magical emanations may confuse or conceal weaker radiations. Note that this spell does not reveal the presence of good or evil, or reveal alignment. Otherplanar creatures are not necessarily magical."
We preferred the more limited lack of "items glow", because detect magic is just a first level spell, and if one adds in the whole "magic things/effects glow" bit, that lessens the importance/usefulness of higher level spells, such as detect invisibility and similar, which seems a bit much considering their higher level, dedicated purpose, and lack of utility. One would think such limitations would be features of the lower level spells, not the higher level spells, so we were fine with limiting the lower level spell. As I explained, the work around is easy too. Move around until you find the location. Then separate items if there are multiples, scan sideways until you find "the one", and there you have it. After showing the DM we knew how to go through the process, we'd all knew what it meant to "detect magic." It merely takes a bit of extra character time, nothing more.
You will note that detect evil does pinpoint creatures/objects, but is a more focused effect with regard to what it is limited to doing. Considering the importance of magic in the game, detect magic is miles ahead of any other spell so far as the broadness of its application and level are concerned. Okay, cure light wounds arguably beats it, but not much else.
Make things glow if you want to though. Total DM decision, and you would not be the only one who plays it that way. I would advise being careful how you adjudicate illusion/phantasm spells though, as allowing focused "it glows" detect magic will just gut the effectiveness of the entire illusion/phantasm school of magic. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
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