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D&D 3E
hypothetical situation and question RE: detect magic 
4th-Mar-2005 10:26 am
you cast detect magic on a spellcaster, doesn't matter what kind, druid, bard, sorcerer, cleric, wizard, even a paladin or ranger high enough to have spells. the person you cast on isn't carrying anything magicl, isn't casting a spell, isn't currently affected by a spell. does detect magic tell you anything? what if you cast it on a race with innate magical ability like a gnome?
4th-Mar-2005 03:47 pm (UTC)
It doesn't detect anything.

4th-Mar-2005 03:50 pm (UTC)
No, but it'd be cool if it did. You might have detect magic detect spellcasting ability in your world, and that'd be a neat feature of your setting.
4th-Mar-2005 03:52 pm (UTC)
that's what i thought. but is there a spell to detect spellcasting or innate magical ability? it would be useful, wouldn't you think?
4th-Mar-2005 04:01 pm (UTC)
Check Unapproachable East. There's a spell in there that does just that. It's called Arcane Sensitivity.
4th-Mar-2005 04:33 pm (UTC)
3E takes a very mechanistic view of magic, since anyone can be a caster, etc. I think that spell casting ability in the implied setting wouldn't be detectable as any sort of aura. It'd probably be a mind-affecting spell that detects memories of casting or something.

However, I agree that it'd be a neat feature of a game world - just be sure you warn your players before they make their wizard characters. :)
4th-Mar-2005 06:25 pm (UTC)
There was/is a spell from the Tome of Magic (2nd Ed.) called Wizard Sight (3rd level mage spell) that could, I think, detect magical potential or something equivilant.
7th-Mar-2005 06:36 pm (UTC)
Well.. there's a couple of things you can allow as a GM (or suggest to the DM as a player). One of those is use your knowledge skills.
4th-Mar-2005 04:47 pm (UTC)
The way I understand it, magic and magic ability emanates from a being's lifeforce. Some people have more magic ability than others. Imagine seeing infared vision. Those with magical ability would light up more so than Joe Schmoe with little to none.

I don't know how you want to define it though. That's the way it's always been done in my campaigns. You're the DM. You can make the spell work how you want it. The story is what's important.
5th-Mar-2005 02:00 am (UTC)
Detecting levels in a spell-casting class, no. (Except maybe the Warlock, from the Complete Arcane hardcover.)

But I could see Detect Magic determining whether a character had any spells prepared and ready to complete.
5th-Mar-2005 04:37 pm (UTC)
Detect Magic wouldn't pick anything up, but I think Auravision would.

I might be wrong.
5th-Mar-2005 05:25 pm (UTC)
One way I've done it in my game is that any spellcaster can "cast" detect magic at any time by "opening their third eye." And when they do so, the third eye of others shows up as a radiant glimmering on the spellcaster's forehead. But strictly, by-the-rules, it doesn't show anything.

And no, you can't use it to spot an invisible creature either.
5th-Mar-2005 08:08 pm (UTC)
We had it that spontanious spell casters radiated magic, while static (those who have to prepare spells) did not. In fact you could tell approximate level with spontanious spell casters as well.

to balance it we assumed all spontanious spell casters had the echew materials feat.
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