If a Shadow Magic sorcerer replaces Darkness with another spell, can they still cast it?

The Shadow Magic sorcerous origin learns darkness as an extra known spell. They also gain additional ways of casting darkness.

When you reach 3rd level in this class, you learn the darkness spell, which doesn’t count against your number of sorcerer spells known. In addition, you can cast it by spending 2 sorcery points or by expending a spell slot. If you cast it with sorcery points, you can see through the darkness created by the spell.

And whenever a sorcerer gains a sorcerer level, their Spellcasting feature lets them exchange one of their known sorcerer spells for another sorcerer spell.

Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the sorcerer spells you know and replace it with another spell from the sorcerer spell list, which also must be of a level for which you have spell slots.

Suppose when this sorcerer reaches 4th (or higher) level, they replace darkness with another sorcerer spell of their choice. For the purposes of this question, assume they do not know darkness from other sources such as racial traits or multiclassing.

Despite not knowing the darkness spell anymore, can they still cast it by spending sorcery points? Can they still cast it by expending a spell slot?

Shutter – How to add drop shadow / outline to text?

I’m trying to add a black outline to any text I’m inserting into an image through the Shutter editor, the “Shutter DrawingTool.” Perhaps this is available through a plugin? Alternatively, if there’s a screenshot tool or photo editor that provides this, I’m all ears. For users of Skitch, I am trying to replicate its default text formatting (Example). I am aware that I can do this manually, in a fashion, by creating an opaque block and then overlaying text, but I’m looking for a less manual and more elegant solution.

Thanks!
Kyle

Does the Way of Shadow monk’s Shadow Step feature count as a magical ability?

The Way of Shadow monk’s Shadow Step feature says (PHB, p. 80; emphasis mine):

At 6th level, you gain the ability to step from one shadow into another. When you are in dim light or darkness, as a bonus action you can teleport up to 60 feet to an unoccupied space you can see that is also in dim light or darkness. You then have advantage on the first melee attack you make before the end of the turn.

In D&D 5e, does Shadow Step count as a magical ability? Or is it more of the ninja-like reflexes using those abilities to move within shadows? I get the word used is “teleport” which, in the general D&D world would be considered magical, but based on the context, it doesn’t seem to be a magical ability.

For example, on the D&D Beyond website, in the text description of Shadow Step, the word teleport is not linked to the teleport spell, whereas Cloak of Shadows does reference invisible as a link. Also Shadow Step is not under the Shadow Arts section where Ki can be used to duplicate certain spells. These separations make me think it’s not really magical.

I’m asking specifically regarding its use in the Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage adventure. My understanding is that all magic doesn’t work the same way in there so wondering if Shadow Step would be affected there seeing how it’s not mentioned as a spell and/or magical.

Can you cast Dispel Magic on a Shadow Monk’s Silence?

Let’s say a Wizard is outside the range of a 3rd Level Shadow Monk’s Silence, casted via Ki points.

Can he dispel it?

My gut inclination is that the Wizard can indeed dispel the Shadow Monk’s Silence despite it not being technically a spell, due to the Sage Advice Compendium containing this ruling:

  • Is it a spell? Or does it let you create the effects of a spell that’s mentioned in its description?

[…]

If any one of these questions can be answer “yes”, then the effect, ability or item is magical for the purposes of being affected by magic cancelling effects.

Now, consider the Shadow Monk’s Shadow Arts Feature:

Shadow Arts

You can use your ki to duplicate the effects of certain spells. As an action, you can spend 2 ki points to cast darkness, darkvision, pass without trace, or silence, without providing material components. Additionally, you gain the minor illusion cantrip if you don’t already know it.

Seems clear enough. However, the only reason I’m unsure is due to to the “best answer” selected to this question, “Does ki count as magic for the purpose of an antimagic field, or is it only fluff?”

That answer seems to conclude that Ki Magic is NOT in fact magical. (Note that the second answer, which is more highly rated, concluding that it IS in fact magical.)

I’m likely to face this specific, niche situation in an upcoming session I’m running and I want a clear, community consensus on how to resolve this specific problem. Other examples and evidence are extremely welcome as well.

Does Shadow Lore require the Bard to physically whisper, and could the target or a nearby creature detect this?

A 14th level College of Whispers Bard gains the following class feature:

Shadow Lore: As an action, you magically whisper a phrase that only one creature of your choice within 30 feet of you can hear. The target must make a Wisdom saving throw against your spell save DC. It automatically succeeds if it doesn’t share a language with you or if it can’t hear you. On a successful saving throw, your whisper sounds like unintelligible mumbling and has no effect.

If the target fails its saving throw, it is charmed by you for the next 8 hours or until you or your allies attack or damage it. It interprets the whispers as a description of its most mortifying secret.

While you gain no knowledge of this secret, the target is convinced you know it. While charmed in this way, the creature obeys your commands for fear that you will reveal its secret. It won’t risk its life for you or fight for you, unless it was already inclined to do so. It grants you favors and gifts it would offer to a close friend.

When the effect ends, the creature has no understanding of why it held you in such fear.

(pg 16, Xanathar’s Guide to Everything)

When using Shadow Lore, would the Bard physically whisper something that only the Target can hear, or is it more like a telepathic whisper that the target hears?

Would the target, or a nearby creature, be able to tell that Shadow Lore was used and potentially who used it?

Would it be possible to get a dragon to CR27 using only official material and variants (Shadow Dragon/Dracolich, innate spellcasting, etc.)? [on hold]

Ancient Gold Dragons and Ancient Red Dragons have a CR of 24. This means that, if you were to have such a dragon of the innate spellcasting dragons variety (MM p.86), they could know spells up to 8th level. I’m wondering if it would be possible to get a dragon up to CR27 (to give it access to 9th-level spells) using only official materials and variant rules.

By my calculations, an Ancient Gold Dragon has a defensive CR of 25 and an offensive CR of either 22 or 23, giving it an average CR of 24. In order to get it up to an average CR of 27, the easiest route would most likely be by raising its OCR, as it has more room for improvement. In order to get it to CR27, its OCR would need to be at least 28. The Ancient Gold Dragon gets a +2 boost to its OCR due to having an exceptionally high attack bonus, meaning its damage output would need to be equivalent to CR26, which is 231-248 damage per round on average over the first three rounds of combat.

As far as I know, making the dragon a Shadow Dragon or Dracolich doesn’t significantly increase its damage output. A Shadow Dragon’s breath weapon is more lethal due to instantly killing upon dropping a character to 0, but I don’t know how to quantify that.

Is there a selection of spells of levels 1-8 that could be given to a dragon in order to get its OCR up to 28? Or is there another way to get a dragon to CR27 that I’m overlooking?

My organic traffic is dying —have I been shadow banned?

I run an alternative news site for almost 3 years now. My SEO is good. I was earning around $ 500 a month with Google AdSense, until the ens of June when my traffic dropped dramatically, and now (August 22) I am barely earning $ 50, and traffic seems to keep dropping.

I haven’t got any penalties warnings though. Do you think I was shadow banned or this drop might just be seasonal?

Heres a screenshot showing the last 4 months graphics…
View attachment 244746

Can an ally use your shadow blade without it dissipating?

Xanathar’s Guide to Everything includes the spell shadow blade, which seems intended to be used only by the caster. It creates an actual weapon (XGtE, p. 164):

You weave together threads of shadow to create a sword of solidified gloom in your hand.

However, the spell also says:

If you drop the weapon or throw it, it dissipates at the end of the turn.

Instead of dropping or throwing the sword, what happens if the caster hands it to an ally? Can that ally attack with the sword on subsequent turns (in particular, without either party using Ready to act on the same turn)? Would the sword dissipate if an ally was the one who dropped or threw it?