Help with Glyph of Warding


Rules Questions


I would like some help understanding Glyph of Warding and magical traps as I have never really fully understood then

Do I understand correctly that a magical trap or glyph can be detected by "Detect Magic" but only removed by a rogue or Dispel Magic?

Q - What does Detect Magic detect? And abjuration effect and nothing else? Is a perception still required to identify it as a glyph?

Q - Can Magic detect the spell inside?

Q - What is the perception check to identify a glyph? I can't seem to see it in the spell description

Q - where does the read magic and spell craft come in? Is the order - detect, perception, read? And what would reading it reveal?

Then if a spell is stored inside it that normally has a single target:

Q - Does it effect everyone who passes through / past the glyph? Or just the first person/intruder where it is then "discharged"

Q - Does a targeted dispel magic count as a harmful spell?

My guesses:
1 - Just the abjuration effect. Not sure on the perception
2 - No
3 - I don't know. There are DCs in the trap section but I am not clear where these come from
4 - Posted my guess at the order above. I guess reading it would reveal whether it had a blast or a spell?
5 - I am not sure if the discharged is for blast ones only...
6 - I would like it to (Thieve's Downfall from Harry Potter) but strict interpretation is probably "No"? Are there any traps that dispel effects from intruders?

Thanks for any help


1. Assuming nothing obscures the aura (e.g., lead), the Perception DC should be trivial (DC 0 + 1 per 10 feet of distance) as the aura is plainly observable. Detect magic provides the presence of magical aura(s), then the number and most powerful of present auras, then the location and strength of each aura. With a Knowledge (arcana) check, one could identify that the trap's aura is abjuration. With a more difficult Knowledge (arcana) check, one can identify it as a glyph of warding ("Identify a spell effect that is in place").
2. Not normally. The spell inside hasn't actually been manifested yet, so there's no aura or effect to identify. A craftily-worded divination spell might provide something useful, or perhaps playing "CL Questions" via commune.
3.

Elements of a Trap wrote:
A successful Perception check (DC 25 + spell level) detects a magic trap before it goes off.

4. Read magic makes the glyph of warding much easier to identify (if you've kept up on Spellcraft, anyway) and also reveals the type of glyph and which spell (if any) is stored in it, per the spell description. Otherwise, Spellcraft isn't really useful unless you're watching the caster prepare the trap.

5. The glyph affects the creature that triggered its discharge as though the spell was cast upon the creature. If the spell has an area or secondary effects that would affect other creatures, then those work as normal. It would not cast multiple instances of the spell on nearby or subsequent creatures, though.
6. Yup. Anything with a saving throw that isn't "(harmless)" would be considered in the harmful category. I remember seeing a dispel magic trap in an Adventure Path at one point, but I don't remember which one.


Wow the single target thing makes one of the Hells Rebels Glyph traps even worse!


Lanathar wrote:

I would like some help understanding Glyph of Warding and magical traps as I have never really fully understood then

Do I understand correctly that a magical trap or glyph can be detected by "Detect Magic" but only removed by a rogue or Dispel Magic?

The Erase spell can get rid of the Glyph of Warding. Risky.

The Absorb Rune I spell can take care of it as well. Less risky.

Dispel Magic can work. No risk.

Lanathar wrote:
Q - What is the perception check to identify a glyph? I can't seem to see it in the spell description

The Glyph of Warding (CR 7) trap lists the DCs as: Perception DC 28; Disable Device DC 28

Lanathar wrote:

Then if a spell is stored inside it that normally has a single target:

Q - Does it effect everyone who passes through / past the glyph? Or just the first person/intruder where it is then "discharged"

Glyph of Warding wrote:
Duration permanent until discharged (D)

Once discharged, it is gone. So it is a one-shot effect.

Lanathar wrote:
Q - Does a targeted dispel magic count as a harmful spell?

No. It either works or it doesn't.

Since the triggering conditions do not include spell usage, it does not notice Dispel Magic.

Lanathar wrote:
Are there any traps that dispel effects from intruders?

Well, a glyph of warding that holds a Dispel Magic spell can.

So can a Symbol of Dispelling.

/cevah


"Lanathar wrote:
Q - Does a targeted dispel magic count as a harmful spell?
No. It either works or it doesn't."

Not entirely sure if Cevah is answering the question asked or not or perhaps confusion as to why Lanathar is asking if it is a harmful spell exists (see his next response), because I would say Yes it can be used as the spell stored by a Glyph. For example, if an invisible foe targeted my character with Dispel Magic I would very much expect they would become visible as a result, hence it is a harmful spell. But I do admit that is circumstantially based on the usage as the party cleric might also use Dispel Magic to remove the Slow effect a foe placed on the myself and my companions which is a desirable and not a harmful usage.

PS: I believe Lanathar was asking because the Glyph stores a harmful spell not just any spell of the proper level.


I was thinking of a dispel against the glyph. For dispel as the spell in the glyph, I think it counts. Since its use against another does not require an attack roll or a saving throw, it might not be considered harmful. It does require a CL check, so it might count. As a GM, I would allow it.

/cevah


Thanks for the answers . I forgot I had posted this here as I might have asked reddit as well.

My group have asked what happens if they fail a dispel magic ? Do they just have to trigger the effect ?

We are in greater glyph of warding territory now. Can a level 3 dispel remove a level 6 greater glyph?


1. AFAIK, dispel magic doesn't trigger a glyph of warding on failure. In fact, that would kind of stink, as it'd probably go off to no effect, ending the spell.

2. There is no spell level restriction on dispel magic. Higher level spells simply have more difficult DCs. There are some spells that cannot be dispelled that way, but they say so in their spell descriptions. Dispel magic can even dispel a wish in many cases. This isn't unusual--higher level spells do not always "win" against lower level ones. There are some cases where they do--see the darkness and light rules--but they're not the norm for the game.

Silver Crusade

I have a couple more questions. The thread is quite recent so this shouldn't count as extreme necroposting, and I think it's good to have all rules questions pertaining a specific argument within the same post.

Q6 - When using the Spell Glyph version, does the riding spell require the expenditure of an additional spell slot? The rules state:

Spell Glyph wrote:
You can store any harmful spell of 3rd level or lower that you know

making no mention to casting the spell, or even having it prepared. A Witch just needs it digested somewhere in their familiar, while a Cleric simply knows it, whatever spell it might be. It looks to me no second casting is required.

Q7 - Are spells with different effects depending on the target's characteristics or status still considered harmful, as long as they do have a harmful component? Examples:

7a) Cure X Wounds is harmless when cast on a living creature, but it is harmful when cast on an undead (and harmful when cast on a disguised undead although the caster might think it is harmless). Cure spells seem a good deterrent vs undead incursion: would an area so protected however cure any living trespasser?
7b) Prayer has both a positive effect on allies and a negative effect on enemies. Would a small encampment protected with Prayer that gets assaulted by bandits overnight both boost the party resting in it and debuff the intruders?

Q8 - An Evangelist of Torag can cast Glyph of Warding as a 1/day spell-like ability without paying for the 200gp material component. Since the duration of the spell is permanent, what would stop such a character from accumulating glyphs day after day of downtime? Example:

Between campaign arcs, the party has 1 month of downtime. The Evangelist spends 10 minutes every day to engrave a Blast Glyph on an inexpensive mundane locket. At the end of the month, 30 Blast Glyph lockets have been created at no cost, 6 for each elemental type. The lockets are then put together in a necklace which does not take the Amulet slot, since it is still non-magical. If more time was available, more lockets/necklaces could have been created and given to the party. In case of swarms or enemies vulnerable to a specific element, the Evangelist or other members of the party can cast Resist Energy on themselves (via spells or scrolls) and start opening lockets of the corresponding elements. Since no activation is required, this counts as manipulating a mundane item, which takes a move action: each round, 2 lockets can be opened, dealing AoE 10d8 damage per round, per person with a necklace, or 15d8 in case of swarms or elemental vulnerability. What would happen if the party had 6 months, or 1 year of downtime as it might happen in APs such as Kingmaker?

More abusable results can be achieved if the previous question is positive, as this would essentially become a way to indefinitely store healing or buffs/debuff spells for free, and to cast them as a move action when needed.


6. Unsure of what RAW would be, as a GM I would make you expend a spell.

7. As a gm, I would not allow you to store any spell with the Harmless tag on its save. This is simply because while there may be an offensive use for them, it's primary use is not as such.

8. The GM saying no.

Silver Crusade

willuwontu wrote:
7. As a gm, I would not allow you to store any spell with the Harmless tag on its save. This is simply because while there may be an offensive use for them, it's primary use is not as such.

How about Inflict X Wounds? It does not have the Harmless tag on it and seems a good spell to be used for this purpose, and yet it can be used by a Cleric with the proper domain to heal themselves or their undeads. How about spells with no save at all? Stone Call is clearly a good candidate. Prayer also does not have a save, and it is as harmful as it is helpful: how can you tell which one of the two components is to be considered its primary use?

Quote:
8. The GM saying no.

Care to expand? How about a single locket with the picture of my dear mum in it, protected with Blast Glyph? I am pretty sure no GM would say no to that. But then if my mum can have an exploding locket close to my heart, so can my dad, and here we have two Blast Glyph lockets, and so on. Is there a number we can agree on that separates what is acceptable from what it isn't? Would this number change in the case of a character who was actually casting the glyph as a proper spell, so paying for the material component?


Gray Warden wrote:
How about Inflict X Wounds? It does not have the Harmless tag on it and seems a good spell to be used for this purpose, and yet it can be used by a Cleric with the proper domain to heal themselves or their undeads. How about spells with no save at all? Stone Call is clearly a good candidate. Prayer also does not have a save, and it is as harmful as it is helpful: how can you tell which one of the two components is to be considered its primary use?

Again, this would be definitely a GM call on a case by case basis. Some might say that beneficial effects are not applied at all, while others might allow both. In my case, I'd allow stone call, but prayer feels more like a party buff to me than an attack, so I wouldn't allow it. I'd also allow inflict spells, but would warn the player that undead (and similar things) would be healed instead.

Quote:
Care to expand? How about a single locket with the picture of my dear mum in it, protected with Blast Glyph? I am pretty sure no GM would say no to that. But then if my mum can have an exploding locket close to my heart, so can my dad, and here we have two Blast Glyph lockets, and so on. Is there a number we can agree on that separates what is acceptable from what it isn't? Would this number change in the case of a character who was actually casting the glyph as a proper spell, so paying for the material component?

It really depends on the GM, and the circumstances of the campaign. While I'm fairly certain we can both agree that 1 is fine and 30 is probably too many, the GM might also expect and encourage you to have 30 if they have a planned village invasion that you know about. If you're going on a dungeon run and they want to grind down your abilities and resources so that you're forced to make hard choices in the dungeon, 10 is probably too much.


I personally just prefer introducing the goblin suicide bomber squad in response to the 30 blast locket situations. Players want to make it fair game, they don't exactly have grounds to complain when they're on the receiving end from folks with more resources than them.

In other news, don't be a jerk.

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