Identify was a divination spell that determined a single feature of a magic item.[5] It was an uncommon, though not unpopular, spell in Faerûn.[11]


The spell determined the single most basic function of each magic item, including how that function was activated, and if it contained charges, how many were left.[5] If a magic item had multiple different functions that were equally basic, identify determined which was weakest.[citation needed]


The material component of identify was a pearl of at least 100 gp value, crushed and stirred into wine with an owl feather. This infusion had to be drunk prior to spellcasting.[5]


According to the tome known as the Book of the Silver Talon, the ingredients for the ink used to inscribe identify into spellbooks were: one ounce of giant octopus ink, a clump of the honey fungus plant, one bunch of fennel, a fist-sized chunk of rose quartz, one drop of holy water, a single saffron plant and a small,flawless diamond.[12]

The honey fungus had to be plucked from rotting tree bark at night and immediately submerged in a silver vial full of the octopus ink and drop of holy water, the entirety of which was heated over a small fire. The rose quartz, fennel and saffron were powdered a with mortar in a bowl of water and added to the vial as it was warming. This concoction was then shaken until properly mixed and cooled in a dark place. The leftover water was boiled in the bowl until evaporation, during which the diamond was to be powdered and combined within. This residue should then have been added to the vial, sealed and stored under a rapid stream of water for six days before it could be used.[12]

Improved IdentifyEdit

Improved identify was a more powerful version of the original spell, and thus, could only be cast by more experienced mages. The improved spell determined all the magic properties of the item in question, as well as the object's name.[13][14][15][16]

Arcane HistoryEdit

The Netherese arcanist Trebbe was given the credit for the creation of this spell in -2271 DR, originally named Trebbe's scry identify.[1][17]

Divine HistoryEdit

Identifyhas been available to clerics whose patron-deity's portfolio included magic for as long as gods have been worshiped.[18] Savras always granted use of this spell[19] and Azuth has always granted access to a special version of identify to their priests.[20] Generally, the ability to cast this spell was only granted to other various clerics a couple of years after the Time of Troubles.[21]




  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 22, 24. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  2. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 207–211, 252. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  3. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 59. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  4. Jeremy Crawford, Mike Mearls, Robert J. Schwalb, Adam Lee, Christopher Perkins, Matt Sernett (November 2017). Xanathar's Guide to Everything. Edited by Kim Mohan. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 18–19. ISBN 978-0-7869-6612-7.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 243. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
  6. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (March 2006). Power of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 72. ISBN 0-7869-3910-9.
  7. David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 135. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  8. Richard Baker (1996). Player's Option: Spells & Magic. (TSR, Inc), p. 180. ISBN 0-7869-0394-5.
  9. Jeff Grubb and Andria Hayday (April 1992). Arabian Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 152. ISBN 978-1560763581.
  10. slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 121–122. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  11. Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 152. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Ed Greenwood, Tim Beach (1995). Pages from the Mages. (TSR, Inc), p. 23. ISBN 0-7869-0183-7.
  13. Westwood Associates (1991). Eye of the Beholder II: The Legend of DarkmoonStrategic Simulations, Inc..
  14. Strategic Simulations, Inc. (1993). John Miles. Eye of the Beholder III: Assault on Myth DrannorStrategic Simulations, Inc..
  15. DreamForge Intertainment, Inc. (1994). John McGirk. MenzoberranzanStrategic Simulations, Inc..
  16. Template:Cite game/Dungeon Hack
  17. slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), p. 26. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  18. Warning: book within boxed set not specified for Netheril: Empire of Magic
  19. Eric L. Boyd (1997). Powers and Pantheons. (TSR, Inc), p. 50. ISBN 0-7869-0657-X.
  20. Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), p. 35. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  21. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 64. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.