Wondering how to use Magic Circle...

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So, I'm creating an 11th level wizard for an upcoming game and it will be the first time I've played a wizard in 4th edition.

The character has a bunch of rituals, and I was looking over Magic Circle and wondering... how do you get something in it?

The ritual lets you draw a circle to keep something inside it, but is the assumption that you have a creature knocked out while you draw the circle around it?

I guess what I'm looking for is some sort of portal power or ritual that lets you summon a creature into the circle. Does something like that exist?

Apologies if the answer is stupidly obvious, but I haven't given a close look to rituals or casters in general .
Um, Magic Circle is primarily used to keep things out. Not in. Put it around a town about to be sieged by undead, pick Natural as the creature origin (because most undead are). Bam, all the low level undead are stuck outside the town. Dispatch the high level ones that get through, town saved. Yay.
Wow. I don't think that would have ever occurred to me. For some reason I thought it was a way to bind extraplanar beings and keep them in place. Was it used that way in 3rd edition?

Well, thanks Alcestis, that clears that up .
Wow. I don't think that would have ever occurred to me. For some reason I thought it was a way to bind extraplanar beings and keep them in place. Was it used that way in 3rd edition?

Well, thanks Alcestis, that clears that up .

In third it could bind a non-God called creature, such as those summoned with lesser/greater planar binding, etc. It was more commonly "focused outward" as a protection from evil spell.

Writing that sentence makes me appreciate fourth edition so very, very much....

Um, Magic Circle is primarily used to keep things out. Not in. Put it around a town about to be sieged by undead, pick Natural as the creature origin (because most undead are). Bam, all the low level undead are stuck outside the town. Dispatch the high level ones that get through, town saved. Yay.

But be carefull. It's all to easy to create an circle that is beyond your own level to breach. And since you are not excempt from your own circles, you can easily trap yourself (or in this case) the town in your own circle.

"Congratulations, you saved the town from the undead menance. Now you only have to hurry to find a way to free the town from your own circle before the trapped townsfolk starve to dead" Laughing

Given its casting time of 1 minute for each square enclosed by the circle, it's not too practical for a whole village either. Enclosing a circular area equivalent to one square mile would require a total casting time in excess of two years.
Um, Magic Circle is primarily used to keep things out.

The fluff text for the circle (PHB p.309) alluded to the scenario that the OP described: 'The circle of symbols scratched into the ground glows and sparks briefly as the demon tests the boundary. “This will not save you for long!” it hisses.'

Demonomicon p.11 also mentioned entrapment via a magic circle (without explaining how). The writers likely envisioned using Magic circle in conjunction with a summoning spell. Unfortunately that summoning spell never materialized. However, a mage that can teleport targets might still be able to use it for entrapment.
Um, Magic Circle is primarily used to keep things out.

The fluff text for the circle (PHB p.309) alluded to the scenario that the OP described: 'The circle of symbols scratched into the ground glows and sparks briefly as the demon tests the boundary. “This will not save you for long!” it hisses.'

Demonomicon p.11 also mentioned entrapment via a magic circle (without explaining how). The writers likely envisioned using Magic circle in conjunction with a summoning spell. Unfortunately that summoning spell never materialized. However, a mage that can teleport targets might still be able to use it for entrapment.


Well, there is the Summon Demon ritual on p.18 of the Demonomicon.  If you fail the skill challenge and the demon chooses to manifest, or if entrapping part of the its will forces the demon to physically materialize and become entrapped in the magic circle, or if an underling is sent to the circle and it physically materializes, I'd say the Magic Circle works as written in the fluff
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there is the Summon Demon ritual on p.18 of the Demonomicon.  If you fail the skill challenge and the demon chooses to manifest, or if entrapping part of the its will forces the demon to physically materialize and become entrapped in the magic circle, or if an underling is sent to the circle and it physically materializes, I'd say the Magic Circle works as written in the fluff

Well done. I had discounted that ritual because it said "The manifestation has no physical presence. and it cannot attack or be attacked", but I didn't see the latter statement saying "the failure of the ritual might allow her to manifest at the characters' location for a combat encounter" (or the other options you mentioned). Thank you for the research.

there is the Summon Demon ritual on p.18 of the Demonomicon.  If you fail the skill challenge and the demon chooses to manifest, or if entrapping part of the its will forces the demon to physically materialize and become entrapped in the magic circle, or if an underling is sent to the circle and it physically materializes, I'd say the Magic Circle works as written in the fluff

Well done. I had discounted that ritual because it said "The manifestation has no physical presence. and it cannot attack or be attacked", but I didn't see the latter statement saying "the failure of the ritual might allow her to manifest at the characters' location for a combat encounter" (or the other options you mentioned). Thank you for the research.



You're welcome I actually found it a bit difficult to imagine how you can trap part of its will and not have it physically manifest for consistency's sake (kinda hard to imagine a demon who tends to space out because part of its mind is trapped elsewhere, without either laughing about it or imagining the demon being infuriated that a "mere" humanoid is at least trying to entrap even part of it).  There's also no mention that the Summon Demon ritual actually *needs* a Magic Circle, but considering how it's (fictional?) occult practice to always have a Magic Circle for your own protection when doing any sort of summoning, it makes absolutely perfect sense :D
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57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging