View Full Version : Detect Magic

07-14-2008, 12:55 AM
A need to detect magic has come up twice in our 4e D&D games. We came close to getting it right the first time, but after careful reading we corrected some assumptions and discovered come key points to remember about how it works. It's broken into 4 basic utilities, but the one that will most concern a party is the one that allows a character to sense the presence of magic.

Detect magic is not a spell but an sense gained through training in the arcana skill.
Sensing magic has a range of 5 squares plus character level in every direction, and magic can be sensed even through walls (ignore all barriers).
It's not an automatic sense magic. It takes 1 minute to perform.
If you don't sense magic in one minute, you can't retry until you've had an extended rest.
It does let you pinpoint magic items if they're in your line of sight, otherwise you only get the general direction of where the magic is emanating (but not its distance).

It is important to understand that Detect Magic is a trained arcana skill, because by 2nd level most everyone will have a little arcana knowledge. Even though you can make arcana rolls untrained, you can't sense magic with the untrained arcana skill.

I'm leaving a lot of details out, but those are the points that we didn't get exactly right the first time. At least, I hope we're doing it right this time.

07-14-2008, 01:20 PM
It's come up in our game at least once. I don't think we'd been playing it against the rules (from what you've described), but I'll pay a little better attention next time just in case.