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Scrying was both an arcane and divine magic spell that allowed the caster to view a subject at great distance[15] and possibly across the planes of existence.[7][8][9][14] The effect was very similar to using a crystal ball but with differences in scope, duration, and components.[8][9][14] Newer versions of this spell allowed the caster to hear as well as see the subject.[7][15]

Clerics received a similar spell they called magic font because it used a basin of holy water as the scrying surface. Druids (and some clerics) had a more limited version they called reflecting pool for the same reason.[16][17][18]

EffectsEdit

For all versions of this spell, the chance of success was increased by knowledge of the subject. If the subject was a location, then scrying was much more likely to succeed if the caster had been to the location rather than having a picture or having it described to him or her. If the subject was a sentient being, then the more familiar the caster was with the person the better. Additionally, having a personal possession, something that was worn by the subject, or an actual piece of the subject (hair clipping, a vial of blood, etc.) also improved the chance for success.[7][15][19][20]

The early versions of this spell allowed the caster to see the subject through a scrying device (such as a mirror or a font of holy/unholy water) but not hear what was being said or done at the subject's location;[19][20] however, they did allow viewing across other planes of existence (difficult, but possible).[7][19][20] Later versions added auditory scrying[15][7] but the latest version was limited to subjects on the same plane as the caster.[15]

The casting time for this spell was typically one hour,[7][8][9][14] but the latest version reduced this down to ten minutes.[15] The viewing time for the earlier versions of this spell depended on the chance of success (which was directly related to familiarity with the subject) and could be as low as ten minutes once a day to as high as one hour three times per day.[19][20] A later version gave a number of minutes proportional to the level of the caster.[7] The newest version was limited to ten minutes as long as the caster maintained concentration.[15]

Sensory organEdit

The later scrying spells worked by creating a sensory organ that was an adjunct of the caster's sight and, if the spell allowed, hearing, even if the caster was visually or hearing impaired. (This was a great improvement over previous versions that required the caster to be able to view a reflective surface.) Thus, any enhancements to the caster's senses, such as darkvision, see invisibility, comprehend languages, tongues, and read magic, operated through the scrying. If the subject was a location, then this sensor was stationary at that location, otherwise it followed the subject for the duration of the spell.[15][21]

Casting spells through scryingEdit

All but the newest version of this spell allowed a limited set of other spells to be cast through the scrying device or the connection to the sensory organ and operate at the observed location. The higher the level of the caster, the better the chance that these spells would succeed. Over the ages, the spells that could be attempted through a scrying were: detect chaos,[7] detect evil,[7][22][23][24] detect good,[7][22][23][24] detect illusion,[24] detect law,[7] detect magic,[7][22][23][24] and message.[7][22][23][24]

Detection and thwartingEdit

For the earliest versions of this spell, creatures that had sufficient intelligence had a small chance every minute to notice they were being observed. This chance increased with intelligence and experience level.[19][20] A later version simplified this to the same chance for all beings with average or better intelligence.[21] For the newest version, creatures that could see invisible objects could see the sensor as a floating orb about the size of a human fist.[15] Once detected, the sensor could be dispelled by dispel magic.[21]

Scrying was blocked by antimagic field, sheets of lead, mind blank, and nondetection.[21] Other methods included the wardmist spell,[25] a weirdstone,[26] and even the semi-precious gemstone tchazar caused scrying to be blurred within a two-foot (sixty-centimeter) radius.[27]

ComponentsEdit

The earliest versions of the scrying spell were called magic mirror when cast by a wizard or illusionist and required a finely crafted and highly polished silver mirror costing no less then 1,000 gp. In addition to verbal and somatic components, samples of copper, zinc, and nitric acid were required, along with the eye of an eagle, hawk, or roc. All but the mirror were consumed in the casting. The divine version was called magic font and required a basin that held holy or unholy water (depending on the alignment of the caster). The more holy/unholy water in the basin, the longer the scrying lasted. Nothing was consumed in the casting of magic font.[8][9][14]

When the sensory organ version was first developed, the only additional requirements were that the mirror have dimensions at least two feet by four feet (60 by 120 centimeters) and the holy/unholy water font cost at least 100 gp. Druids were able to use just a natural pool of water. Mirrors, fonts, and pools were not consumed in the casting.[7]

For the latest version of this spell, all that was required beyond verbal and somatic components was a focus costing at least 1,000 gp, such as a crystal ball, a silver mirror, or a font of holy/unholy water—no more metals, acids, or eyes.[15]

HistoryEdit

This spell has been known by many names throughout history. It was originally invented by the Netherese archwizard Anglin of Seventon[1] in −1939 DR and called Anglin's mirror[28] because it changed an ordinary mirror into a scrying device.[22][23] Over time, Anglin's name was dropped and this spell became known as magic mirror.

AppendixEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), p. 108. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  2. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 59. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  3. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 61. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  4. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 68. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  5. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 88. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  6. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 207–211, 273. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 274–275. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 159, 223. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 David "Zeb" Cook (April 1995). Player's Handbook 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 203, 283. ISBN 0-7869-0329-5.
  10. Cook, Findley, Herring, Kubasik, Sargent, Swan (1991). Tome of Magic 2nd edition. (TSR, Inc), pp. 151, 152. ISBN 1-56076-107-5.
  11. Richard Baker (1996). Player's Option: Spells & Magic. (TSR, Inc), pp. 181–182, 185–186. ISBN 0-7869-0394-5.
  12. Jeff Grubb and Andria Hayday (April 1992). Arabian Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 152. ISBN 978-1560763581.
  13. slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 22–23, 121. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 Gary Gygax (August, 1985). Unearthed Arcana (1st edition). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 39, 57, 70. ISBN 0880380845.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 15.7 15.8 15.9 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 273. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  16. David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 219–220. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  17. David "Zeb" Cook (April 1995). Player's Handbook 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), p. 278. ISBN 0-7869-0329-5.
  18. Gary Gygax (August, 1985). Unearthed Arcana (1st edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 43. ISBN 0880380845.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 David "Zeb" Cook (1989). Dungeon Master's Guide 2nd edition. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 164–165. ISBN 0-88038-729-7.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 Gary Gygax (1979). Dungeon Masters Guide 1st edition. (TSR, Inc.), p. 141. ISBN 0-9356-9602-4.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 173. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 159. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 David "Zeb" Cook (April 1995). Player's Handbook 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), p. 203. ISBN 0-7869-0329-5.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 Gary Gygax (August, 1985). Unearthed Arcana (1st edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 57. ISBN 0880380845.
  25. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), pp. 9–10. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
  26. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), p. 78. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
  27. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), p. 51. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
  28. slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), p. 26. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.

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