A command word, or a trigger word is a word that needs to be spoken aloud to activate a magical effect. A command word or words can be any word. Though common words are often avoided as to avoid activating a magical effect accidentally. Often a command word is a seemingly nonsensical word or a word from an ancient language.[1]

In the time after the fall of Myth Drannor it was common for several centuries to hide a command word inside a more easily memorized phrase. However this fell out of use after too many magics were unintentionally activated.[2]Often nowadays command words are best described as elegant nonsense.[2]

Overwords are command words that can activate many magical effects, spells or items. Several wizards attempt to learn these words and capbooks are sold of them at every Mage Fair.[2]

Careful folks keep command words secret, as many seek command words.[3]

The spells Identify and analyze dweomer can both reveal command words.[1]

Magic ItemsEdit

Many magical items use command words to activate them.[1]Often command words can be found written right on a magical item. Some time the word maybe hidden in a pattern or design. Command words are placed in a magic item during the Mastering step of magic item creation.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Monte Cook, Jonathan Tweet, Skip Williams (July 2003). Dungeon Master's Guide 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 213. ISBN 0-7869-2889-1.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), p. 32. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
  3. Ed Greenwood (February 2005). Spellfire. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 158–159. ISBN 0-7869-3599-5.
  4. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), p. 17. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.