dnd 3.5e – in D&D3.5, how do Magic Jar and Alter Self interact?

In D&D3.5, how do Magic Jar and Alter Self interact?

Suppose I am a normal human wizard, and I cast Magic Jar, then possess a huge zombie. Now I want to cast Alter Self. What are my options for picking a type? Which body changes?

Alter Self says, in relevant part:

You assume the form of a creature of the same type as your normal
form. The new form must be within one size category of your normal
size. The maximum HD of an assumed form is equal to your caster level,
to a maximum of 5 HD at 5th level. You can change into a member of
your own kind or even into yourself.

I’m ideally looking for a Rules-As-Written answer here, but any well-argued answer is good too.

dnd 5e – When a necromancer raises a zombie, is it animated by the dead creature’s soul, or by magic?

Like many things left unspecified, this is up to the DM and the design of his world.

I rule that Zombies and Skeletons are just animated by the spell’s magic, and the souls have nothing to do with it. Most of the undead, that are higher than that, are animated by the returned soul of the formerly living creature. Indeed some, such as Ghosts, are exactly and only that, no body required.

There’s some wiggle room for skeletons, since they, if left undirected, often mimic what they did in life, so one could theorize that some remnant of their souls remains. But I count that as remnant magical energy, and still say that the soul of the skeleton is gone.

dnd 5e – When can a magical effect be targeted with the dispel magic spell?

Inspired by the following:


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:

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?

dnd 5e – How exactly does the Dispel Magic spell work with multiple effects?

The answer by guildsbounty gets Jeremy Crawford’s statement on what dispel magic is supposed to do, which is remove every spell. This is also how I believe the actual rules text should be read, so I want to address the grammatical structure of the sentence, because its construction is a bit awkward and butts up against some oddities in the English language.

You are correct that any refers to a singular thing. However, when any X of a collection Y (here X = spell, Y = spells on the target) does something, or has something done to it, the meaning of this construction in English is for that thing to be done or to happen to all of them. The logic here is that the statment, being true for any of them and not limited in number (e.g. not using any one or similar), it continues to be true for each one in turn.

Ultimately, though, this is hugely context-dependent, and even being a fairly nit-picky grammarian, I struggle to articulate precisely why this statement must be read this way. English doesn’t work in rules, but rather in precedent and pattern, so all I can say is that having done a lot of reading of English rules language, for that sentence from dispel magic to have precisely this sense and no other is how I read the sentence.

For clarity, though, Wizards of the Coast definitely should have used each here rather than any, or perhaps even better, all. If nothing else, not everyone using these rules is a fluent English speaker, and the vagaries of any, each, and all are very common traps for people still learning the language (though really, everyone is “still learning” this language).

dnd 5e – How to best survive the explosive egg from a Magic Beans magic item?

The magic item Bag o Beans gives permanent ability bonuses about 10% of the time – specifically with this (random) result:

A nest of 1d4 + 3 eggs springs up. Any creature that eats an egg must make a DC 20 Constitution saving throw. On a successful save, a creature permanently increases its lowest ability score by 1, randomly choosing among equally low scores. On a failed save, the creature takes 10d6 force damage from an internal magical explosion.

The point? One could gain up to 30 in any / all scores pending enough successful Con-saves. That said, simple & easy constitution saving throws are hard to come by. Given vast time, energy, money &/or magical resources (dragons, vampires, elf lords, etc.), how would they prepare? The 35 damage (approx.) is not the issue – a failed save appears to give no ability bonus.


Basic Question: How can one improve &/or guarantee successful constitution saving throws given infinite time, money, support &/or magic to prepare?

All tricks are welcome / hook or crook: be that by advantage, use of luck, rare feat, class or race skill, potent-portent class features, advance preparation, or stacking spells. Even the stress wish counts. Anything.

Note / FYI: This is of great interest to ültrapowerful creatures that have one ‘flaw’ ability. Take most ancient dragons (lacking dexterity), Beholders (low strength and dexterity), giants (often low dex) – or even some demon lords (Yeenoghu is a bit stupid, relatively speaking).

dnd 5e – How much will studying magic in an academy cost?

I didn’t find any references to costs of higher education, so I’m going to do a real world comparison.

Disclaimer

As it’s well said in @NautArch’s answer, this is not an accurate comparison, and I fully agree that a fantasy world is going to have a lot of nuances that will vary the prices of products, like guild based economy where competition doesn’t exist and holds prices, for instance. But I still think it can serve as a reference to how much things cost in a more broader sense. The more you compare what things cost between them the more sense you can have of how much money (meaning coin) itself is worth.

It’s impossible to find the real price of a product or service that exists only in fiction. There is no real way to compare it with something real moreso when the used coin itself is not real. This is not me saying “This is the accurate price”. It’s just “If X costs Y in our world, and Z in fantasy, you can compare it and have a clue of how much something is worth”. Maybe the result is outrageous, maybe it makes sense to you. In the end it’s fiction, so take this only as a way, or a tool to decide on the cost, nothing else. In the end prices are subjective. Economy is very complex, and in a roleplaying game, every product and every coin is put in circulation by the authority of the DM.

A little bit of math

A spiced apple cinnamon wine bottle, which is likely a cider, costs 5 silvers in Eberron. (Got the reference from here)

In Madrid a bottle of cider costs around 3€.

In Madrid higher education costs an average of 1,609€ a year.

Then we do a rule of three.

0.5 (gp cost of cider in Eberron) * 1,609 (Higher education in Madrid) / 3 (Cost of cider in Madrid) = The average cost of higher education in Eberron should go around 268.16 GP per year. This is more or less the cost of a coach with a horse, so it’s pretty expensive.

Take in mind this is a rough approximate for an average university cost. Values could vary depending on market conditions. But I think it’s a good measure of the basic cost, you could go up from there.

Probably magic schools in Eberron take a lot less students, which means increased prices, so you could get a more accurate price if you could know how many students does a magic school in Eberron have vs how many students does the average college or university have.

Since we got the cost of studying in Harvard from the answer user @Phillip gave us before (67,580$) we can use this method to do a similar comparison with the cider bottle in USA (around 5$ for a litre) giving us a total of 6,758gp a year.

DM controls the economy

But definitely, this is just another perspective and more of a thought experiment. @NautArch’s answer is the most practical in regards to the game. The DM decides the value of money and controls all the economy, so the DM should decide.

pathfinder 1e – Does the bane magic weapon property work like greater magic weapon or weapon enhancement for DR

The weapon property bane is a wonderful boost to a weapon on the occasions where its the right bane. One effect is that the weapon enhancement is +2 than what the weapon states, so a +1 bane (human) sword is actually a a +3 weapon against humans. But when dealing with creatures that have DR, the difference enhancement levels matter for overcoming DR, and other sources like magic weapon greater while increasing the enhancement, do not affect DR.

from magic weapon greater

This bonus does not allow a weapon to bypass damage reduction aside from magic.

Since the weapon property doesnt have the same wording as the spell, my thoughts are that it would be effective against higher DR types, but I have nothing to stand on for this.

dnd 5e – Does the Hexblade Warlock’s Hex Warrior feature apply to a magic weapon that is transformed into your Pact Weapon?

Yes.

First of all, the weapon has been transformed into your pact weapon, so that checks out. But is it “conjured” when you make it appear?

Conjuration school of magic includes summoning spells, including spells like Instant Summons and Secret Chest , which kinda do similar things.

Also, the plain English meaning of “conjure” is

to make something appear by magic, or as if by magic

(From Cambridge Dictionary )

And this is clearly what is happening here. There is no clear definition of “conjuring” in 5th edition which would contradict this.

So, it would be extremely strange for a DM to rule that making your magic pact weapon appear would not count as conjuring a pact weapon with the Pact of the Blade feature.

dnd 5e – If you make a magic weapon your pact weapon, can you still summon other weapons?

The Pact of the Blade states:

You can use your action to create a pact weapon in your empty hand. You can choose the form that this melee weapon takes each time you create it. You are proficient with it while you wield it. This weapon counts as magical for the Purpose of overcoming Resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.
(…)
You can transform one Magic Weapon into your pact weapon by performing a Special ritual while you hold the weapon. You perform the ritual over the course of 1 hour, which can be done during a Short Rest. You can then dismiss the weapon, shunting it into an extradimensional space, and it appears whenever you create your pact weapon thereafter. (…)

Say I attune to a Flame Tongue (longsword), is that longsword now the only weapon I can summon through this feature? The Sage Advice makes it clear I cannot reform my Flame Tongue into a javelin, but could I just conjure a regular javelin that is not the Flame Tongue, as I could before I attuned to the magic weapon?

ct.category theory – Magic behind idempotent-complete categories a.k.a. why (sometimes) be Karoubian is sexier than be Abelian

It is well know that Karoubian categories (also called idempotent-complete categories) are living between additive and
Abelian categories. While one of the most famous advantages to
work with abelian cetegories is that they are closed under
building kernels and cokernels of arbitrary morphism, the
Karoubian categories have a slightly weaker property that only
idempotent morphisms (i.e. $p$ with $p^2=p$) from there share
this property.

Nevertheless it seems that in diverse constructions Karoubian categories
or Karoubian envelopes of additive categories provide a more
natural setting than Abelian categories.

I hope my question not becomes too broad: What is the philosophical
meaning behind Karoubian categories or say in simpler words why in some constructions they are more prefered (e.g.
category of pure motives and in K-theory) in contrast to say
at first glance more ‘flexible’ abelian categories?

My natural guess is that if we think about the construction
of of the category of pure motives we start with the category
of smooth varieties over a base field and pass after
application of this magic Karoubian completion functor to
idempotent-complete categories. Since it’s not abelian it contains
by definition only kernel and cokernels of idempotent morphisms
but that’s all we need there to proceed the constrution.

This lead me to conjecture that the main advantage of
Karoubian categories in contrast to Abelian categories mights show when
one have to perform a construction where one starts with
a certain preadditive category but the construction requireres
a category having at least some kernels and cokernels.

Now one can pass canonically to the Karoubian completion or
extend the initial category to an Abelian category. But exactly here I see
an obstacle with the secound and at first glance more ‘natural’
approach:

Does there always a way to embedd a preadditive category in an abelian
category? If yes, seemingly the disadvantage of this approach
seems to be that this Abelian category is much harder to control,
while the Karoubian completion is constructed quite canonically and
behaves more ‘similar’ to initial preadditive category.

Questions: Is what I tried to sketch above exactly the motivation
why Karoubian categories are in some constructions more prefered
then Abelian categories?

Are there more reasons making Karoubian categories ‘interesting’.
Is there any intuition or important example one should have in
mind how to think about Karoubian categories?