How does the dispel check work for single-target spells becoming multi-target using higher levels? [duplicate]

The 2nd level spell Hold Person can affect multiple targets when upcast with a higher level slot.

Suppose a wizard uses a 6th level slot and successfully holds 5 humanoid king’s guards with the spell.

The Dispel Magic spell simply works automatically if it targets any spell 3rd level and below. The caster needs to make an ability check to ends spells of a higher level with a DC of 10+spell level.

If the king’s adviser wished to dispel the spell on one of the guards, would a check be unnecessary because he is attempting to end a 2nd level spell that affects multiple targets or does he need to attempt a DC16 ability check?

Can a caster of Dispel Magic just target a specific spell on a creature? [duplicate]

Dispel Magic says (emphasis mine):

Choose one creature, object, or magical effect within range. Any spell of 3rd level or lower on the target ends. For each spell of 4th level or higher on the target, make an ability check using your spellcasting ability. The DC equals 10 + the spell’s level. On a successful check, the spell ends.

At high level play, I’ve found that players often have long-term buff spells in effect (i.e. Heroes Feast, Mindblank, etc.), which are a major factor in them being able to survive.

If one of these characters is affected by a save or suck kind of spell (i.e. Mental Prison, Irresistable Dance, etc.), the need to remove that spell becomes imperative.

With this in mind, can a caster of Dispel Magic target only a negative spell under the assumption that it is a discrete ‘magical effect’ subject to removal? Or must they target the ‘creature’ and risk removing all spells, both positive and negative?

For reference, we see a potentially unique ‘magical effect’ in this question about Yeenoghu’s flail. This effect is similar to a spell in its function (target is affected by the Confusion spell if they fail the save), but has clear differences from a spell because the spell would require Yeenoghu’s concentration and have a different duration. Conversely, this answer suggests that a ‘magical effect’ only applies to things that wholly separated from the creature.

When can a magical effect be targeted with the dispel magic spell?

Inspired by the following:

  • Can Dispel Magic be used on a specific magical effect without removing other spells?

The dispel magic spell states:

Choose one creature, object, or magical effect within range. Any spell of 3rd level or lower on the target ends. For each spell of 4th level or higher on the target, make an ability check using your spellcasting ability. The DC equals 10 + the spell’s level. On a successful check, the spell ends. […]

The question for me is what sorts of magical effects can be targeted, we already have (at least) two somewhat related questions:

  • What happens when you target a "magical effect" with Dispel Magic?
  • Can you Dispel a spell buff on a Rakshasa?

The first is just a general explanation that dispel magic ends spells that cause magical effects by targeting their magical effect. It does not address what magical effects you can target, but instead addresses what happens if you’ve already targeted an effect. The latter question asks specifically about the haste spell and has an answer stating:

[…] The haste spell isn’t creating a magical effect in the space (that is things like illusions, walls of fire, etc.). If you would like to argue otherwise you are very quickly into the realm of things 5e doesn’t define properly (ie. what is an object, magical effect, etc.?). […]

My question is basically whether or not this is true. Does the haste spell create a targetable magical effect? Are there rules that help answer the question "Does X create a magical effect that can be targeted with dispel magic?"


How do I know if I can target an effect with dispel magic?

Can Dispel Magic be used on a specific magical effect without removing other spells?

During tonight’s game, the party’s wizard became confused because of a failed save against Yeenoghu’s flail, which had the effect of:

The target must succeed on a DC17 Wisdom saving throw or be affected by the confusion spell until the start of Yeenoghu’s next turn.

The wizard was in this position because they’d had multiple buff spells placed on them like Shapechange, Haste, and something else.

However, being confused was a big problem that the party decided needed to go. So the cleric cast Dispel Magic with the intent to just target the magical effect of confusion caused by Yeenoghu.

Dispel Magic says:

Choose one creature, object, or magical effect within range. Any spell of 3rd level or lower on the target ends. For each spell of 4th level or higher on the target, make an ability check using your spellcasting ability. The DC equals 10 + the spell’s level. On a successful check, the spell ends.

With this in mind, the question I have is two-fold.

First all, is the confusion effect targetable by dispel magic? It seems like it should be because the effect is described to be like a specific spell’s effect.

Secondly, if the cleric casts dispel magic on the wizard to end the confusion, can they do so without risking removing all of the other buff spells?

Can a 4th level or higher Dispel Magic dispel the effects of a Duration: Instantaneous spell?

When cast at 3rd level, dispel magic ends a spell that is currently effecting the target:

Choose one creature, object, or magical effect within range. Any spell of 3rd level or lower on the target ends. For each spell of 4th level or higher on the target, make an ability check using your spellcasting ability. The DC equals 10 + the spell’s level. On a successful check, the spell ends.

Notably, this does not work on effects from spells with instantaneous duration, as those spells have already ended.

But when cast at 4th level or higher, it appears as though it should end spell effects from spells having Instantaneous duration:

When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, you automatically end the effects of a spell on the target if the spell’s level is equal to or less than the level of the spell slot you used.

Is this the correct ruling? Does a 4th level dispel magic end spell effects from instantaneous duration spells?

Dispel a self targeting spell emanating from within an antimagic field

So, a character has an artifact granting the ability to cast Holy Aura. Another character casts Antimagic Field and the two effects overlap, so that the origins of both spells are within both spell effects.

Can someone cast Dispel Magic on the Holy Aura effect since its radius (30ft) exceeds that of the Antimagic Field (10ft)?

The argument raised against being able to dispel it, is that since the effect is active on a creature, then it is the creature that must be targeted, differentiating this case from a Grease spell for example.

Does Dispel Magic Affect Living Spells in any Meaningful Way?

I recently came to a point where I was trying to find a source that talks about Dispel Magic in relation to Living Spells. Living Spells are very similar in a lot of ways to spells with a few notable exceptions obviously, but they are still at their core magical spells from what I can ascertain. Dispel Magic can currently dispel spells with a d20 check sometimes if they spell is of a certain level or higher, but it doesn’t address whether a Living Spell would be affected by Dispel Magic.

How would Dispel Magic work when cast on a Living Spell?

Can a single casting of Dispel Magic dispel every creature conjured by a Conjure Animals spell?

Yesterday in a game, my character cast Conjure Animals and summoned 8 wolves†. On the baddies’ turn, one cleric was about to cast Dispel Magic, but the DM changed his mind, deciding that the 8 wolves could not be considered a single magical effect. Personally, I agree with this, but I’m wondering if that stands up to the rules:

Can a single casting of Dispel Magic dispel every conjured creature from one spell at once?


† I’m aware of the debate over who picks the animals; my DM ruled that I could pick.

Does Dispel Magic end the spell for everyone affected or just the target?

An opposing Cleric casts Bless on 3 of its allies who then immediately move around the battlefield to start attacking. Concerned that the buff will create an issue, I cast Dispel Magic on the nearest one.

As the target spell is 3rd level or lower, the dispel succeeds automatically.

My question is, does this end the spell for all 3 of the initial targets, or just the one that I targeted?