Forgotten Realms Wiki
Forgotten Realms Wiki

Identify was a divination spell that determined the features of a magic item.[6]

Improved identify was a more powerful version of the original spell, and thus it 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.[12][13][14][15]


The caster instantly learned all properties and features of one selected magic item they could touch, such as how a function was activated and, if it contained charges, how many remained, as appropriate. It did not work on artifacts.[6]


The spell required verbal and somatic components and took a full hour to cast. Divine casters needed a divine focus. Arcane casters needed a material component, namely a pearl worth 100 gp or more, which was crushed and stirred into wine using the feather of an owl. This infusion had to be drunk before beginning casting.[6]


According to 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.[16]

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 with a 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 be added to the vial, which was sealed and stored under a rapid stream of water for six days before it could be used.[16]


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

It was an uncommon, though not unpopular, spell in Faerûn around 1358 DR.[18]


The magistrati, specialty priests of Azuth, were granted access to a special version of identify.[19]




  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. Jeremy Crawford, James Wyatt, Keith Baker (November 2019). Eberron: Rising from the Last War. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 56. ISBN 978-0-7869-6692-9.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 182, 188, 192, 243. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
  7. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (March 2006). Power of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 72. ISBN 0-7869-3910-9.
  8. David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 135. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  9. Richard Baker (1996). Player's Option: Spells & Magic. (TSR, Inc), p. 180. ISBN 0-7869-0394-5.
  10. Jeff Grubb and Andria Hayday (April 1992). Arabian Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 152. ISBN 978-1560763581.
  11. slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 121–122. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  12. Westwood Associates (December 1991). Eye of the Beholder II: The Legend of Darkmoon. Strategic Simulations, Inc.
  13. Strategic Simulations, Inc. (1993). Eye of the Beholder III: Assault on Myth Drannor. Strategic Simulations, Inc.
  14. DreamForge Intertainment, Inc. (1994). Designed by John McGirk. Menzoberranzan. Strategic Simulations, Inc.
  15. DreamForge Intertainment (1993). Designed by Thomas Holmes, Chris Straka. Dungeon Hack. Strategic Simulations.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Ed Greenwood, Tim Beach (1995). Pages from the Mages. (TSR, Inc), p. 23. ISBN 0-7869-0183-7.
  17. slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), p. 26. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  18. Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 152. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  19. Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc.), p. 35. ISBN 978-0786903849.