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D&D: Exposing Your Enemy’s Schemes (With Magic) for Fun & Profit

3 Minute Read
Aug 5 2022
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Knowledge is power no matter what reality you’re living in. And in D&D, these spells will tell you what the enemy is up to.

There’s a lot that comes from having the right spells for the job. If you know where the enemies are, you know where to aim your fireball. Or more importantly, where not to aim it. But good intel can tell you more than just targeting info. The right spell can absolutely ruin the big bad villain’s day.

Plotting Mindflayer hoping to take over the baronet? Can’t work in secret if you drag their scheme into the light. Here are some classic ways to expose enemies’ schemes.

Scrying

Let’s start with the easiest/most iconic option. This spell lets you glean information from even the most secretive enemy.

When you cast it, you create an invisible sensor near your target that allows you to magically spy on the target. For ten minutes, you can see and hear as though you were within 10 feet of your target. If you have a likeness or picture of them, or a possession, or know them particularly well, it makes it even easier to scry on them.

But if you really don’t want to be caught, you’ll want to cast this spell on a location. It is particularly helpful if you know where your enemies will be meeting up because you can create a sensor in that location instead and there’s no risk of it failing.

Zone of Truth

The Clint McElroy special. Zone of Truth is one of two great spells that will help you glean any information from even the most tight-lipped foe.

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Because sometimes in order to expose schemes, you’ve got to get them to admit the truth. And with Zone of Truth, they will be magically compelled to speak only the truth. At least while in the Zone.

Arcane Eye

Arcane Eye summons an invisible, magical eye. Which is pretty great on its own, just because you can tell everyone it’s there. But aside from that you are also constantly “receiving visual information from the eye” which is hilariously vague. Are you seeing through it? Are you getting  picture in picture?

At any rate, for an hour you can scout ahead with an invisible magical eye that can see in the dark and can look in every direction. You won’t necessarily be able to hear things, but if you took the Observant feat you can read everyone’s lips.

Detect Thoughts

The other good “divulge your secrets” spell. Detect Thoughts is great in a one-two punch with Zone of Truth, but even on its own, it’s pretty great.

When you cast the spell, for a solid minute, you can focus your mind on any creature you can see and probe their thoughts. Initially, you can only see their surface thoughts, but you can look deeper to gain insight into their reasoning, emotional state, or something that looms large in their mind.

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Ask them the right questions and you might be able to direct their thoughts towards the right goal. Combine that with the effects of a Zone of Truth and you’ll have the kingdom saved in no time.

Divination

Finally the ultimate learn all the secrets spell: Divination. With this spell, you can ask a god or their servants directly. And, this is the kicker, “the GM offers a truthful reply.” Now sure, it might be a cryptic rhyme, but you get to ask a question directly to the one being with all the answers: the GM.

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