Does casting a spell from an item allow you to apply class abilities that are used when casting a spell?

This question is updated to request additional answers and details in light of information now available in the Dungeon Master’s Guide.

In the released DM basic rules, Lost Mine of Phandelver, Hoard of the Dragon Queen, and the DMG teaser there are wands, staves, and rings that you can use to cast spells.

  1. Do abilities that trigger from casting a spell activate when casting a spell from an item?

  2. Can the character modify the spell using class abilities when casting a spell from an item?

Examples include:

  1. An abjurer Wizard’s arcane ward recovering hit points from a Dispel Magic cast from a Ring of Spell Storing

  2. A sorcerer using Twinned Spell on a ray of enfeeblement from a Staff of Power

  3. An evocation wizard using Sculpt Spell on a fireball from a Wand of Fireballs.

Now that the DMG is out we have some clearer rules on casting spells from items (DMG p. 141):

Some magic items allow you to cast a spell from the item. The spell is cast at the lowest possible spell level, doesn’t expend any spell slots, and requires no components, unless the item’s description says otherwise The spell uses its normal casting time, range and duration, and the user of the item must concentrate if the spell requires concentration.

A magic item, such as certain staffs, may require you to use your own spellcasting ability when you cast a spell from the item.

Does whether or not you can apply class abilities to the casting of the spell depend whether the item uses the user’s own spellcasting ability (such as the Staff of Fire) versus an item that comes with a fixed spellcasting ability built-in (such as the Wand of Fireballs)?

Does it matter if it’s something that triggers more or less automatically like Arcane Ward, versus something you have to control, like Careful Spell?

Should magic items which allow to cast spells be considered as material components? [duplicate]

For using Counterspell, a spell needs to contain some kind of component, otherwise it cant be countered.

When casting spells from magical items the spell is cast at the lowest possible spell level, doesn’t expend any of the user’s spell slots, and requires no components, unless the item’s description says otherwise. DMG p141.

spells you cast from items can be countered

So, does it mean that the magic items are considered as the material components of the spell?

Per RAW, does knowing Assassin’s Stance allow for feats that have “sneak attack” as a prerrequisite?

I’ve read that both Craven and Staggering Strike are very good feats for a Sneak Attack oriented swordsage, however, per RAW, I don’t think knowing Assassin’s Stance would accomplish the prerrequisite of being able to make sneak attacks, since it’s more of an "added" ability rather than a "natural" ability like, for example, the Rogue has. So, as the title says, would RAW allow that? It could easily be houseruled, however my DM is already giving me the stink eye by multiclassing into Swordsage.

Does the Observant feat allow you to auto-succeed against illusions?

The Observant feat states:

You have a +5 bonus to your passive Wisdom (Perception) and passive Intelligence (Investigation) scores.

To my knowledge, nowhere else in the rules is there discussion regarding a passive Intelligence (Investigation) score.

Furthermore, when added to a character in D&D Beyond, the Passive Intelligence (Investigation) is added under the character’s Senses akin to Darkvision or Blind Sight.

Several illusion spells include language along the lines of:

Can use its action to (do something to see through the illusion) and must succeed on an Intelligence (Investigation) check against your spell save DC.

Does the creation of a Passive Intelligence (Investigation) by the feat constitute a scenario of specific beats general rule whereby any illusion that can be defeated by an investigation check automatically fails if the save DC is lower than the passive score created by the feat?

Does Message allow me to ensure I am talking to a particular person?


You point your finger toward a creature within range and whisper a message. The target (and only the target) hears the message and can reply in a whisper that only you can hear.

You can cast this spell through solid objects if you are familiar with the target and know it is beyond the barrier. Magical silence, 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal, a thin sheet of lead, or 3 feet of wood blocks the spell. The spell doesn’t have to follow a straight line and can travel freely around corners or through openings.

Alice casts Message towards a creature. She believes that creature to be her friend Bob.

The creature is, however, actually the villainous Eve merely disguised as Bob. Can Alice preclude Eve from hearing the Message?

What Illusion spell would allow me to trick two enemies into fighting each other?

Is there a good spell or combination of spells that will allow me to cause opponents to see their allies as the enemies they are fighting? Either one on one or in groups? The intention is to make them fight their allies thinking that the allies are the enemy.

The best i can think of is using Major Image and placing it over another creature, so that his companions see him as the bad guy. Then through concentration I can manipulate the illusion to make it look like its fighting… Unfortunately that would only work for one attack because once the illusion is touched the opponent can see through it… Any other options?

Having a backdoor password for each user to allow impersonation

For some context, I want my api to be able to ‘impersonate’ (or connect as) a user on my ldap database as most of the api’s access controls are on the ldap database and tied to the user you are connected as.

In order to do this I have an idea where I will generate a random password for each user. The random password will then be encrypted with a key only the api has access to. The encrypted string will then be stored under the user’s entry. Now when the api wants to impersonate a user, it will get the encrypted string, decrypt it and then connect as that user.

How bad of an idea is this?

How to allow my player to play a ranged paladin-style character?

So, I saw this question here. The way the questioner wrote it (at the time I am writing this one) was quite broad. I have been through a similar issue, which ultimately led me to homebrew a new class, and I decided to share my problem and my solution.


I am running a new Curse of Strahd campaign with players that are more used to D&D than most groups I DM to. One of my players wants to play a ranged weapon-based character, but that, at the same time, has “holy” characteristics, similar to a Paladin or Cleric. Basically, the player wants to shoot arrows that deal radiant damage and deal some extra nice damage against Undeads and other evil creatures.

Additionally, the player feels like the holy aspect should provide some kind of support to the party, similar to what Paladins and Clerics do, not only be a damage dealer that deals radiant damage and extra against evil.

The Issue

Well, there is the first obvious issue: clerics don’t have much supporting ranged weapon-based playing style, nor do Paladins. But not only that, the Paladin class as a whole is quite melee-based, so, creating a new subclass to the Paladin that fits with ranged combat still seems hard – it is not just about changing Divine Smite to ranged and allowing Archery as a Fighting style. The channel divinities are melee based, the auras are mostly melee-tankish based. On the other hand, re-flavoring a Ranger to something more “sacred” also does not feel the same (especially since the player wants something to support the team).

The question

So, that said, how can I allow my player to play with the concept they have in mind and have a fun time? I should mention that I am totally okay with homebrew content, as long as it is fairly balanced, and I am also okay with build suggestions that make such a playstyle viable. Answers explaining why this is a bad idea are also welcome, if that is the case and I am unaware.

Are there any abilities or magic items that allow weapon attacks to ignore damage immunity?

DnDBeyond recently released a League of Legends themed adventure that introduces new unofficial subclasses that, while certainly interesting, pose some serious balance ramifications.

One of the biggest offending abilities allows a PC’s weapon attacks to ignore resistances and immunities for any damage inflicted by the weapon attack. I can’t think of single feature or item that grants this effect.

Are there any features or magic items that allow weapon attacks to ignore damage immunity against the weapon’s damage type?

This effect can be permanent or transient.