[RPG] considered magical light for the purposes of the Darkness spell


The Darkness spell says (PHB 230):

…nonmagical light can't illuminate it.

it also specifies:

If any of this spell's area overlaps with an area of light created by a spell of 2nd level or lower, the spell that created the light is dispelled.

So my question is: what is considered magical light? is it only light from a spell or would light from a magical item (for example flame tongue sword) also be considered magical and, if so, what level would that light be considered?

Best Answer

All light sources from magical spells and effects can illuminate a Darkness spell and that includes light from items such as Flame Tongue (RAW).

Of course if light created by magical items can pierce if not dispel magical darkness we would need to calculate their level based on rarity, which to my knowledge is not present.

A good reference however is the Spell scroll conversion on page 200 of the DMG. In it rare scrolls (which are technically considered magic items) harbour spells from 4th and 5th level. Considering Flame tongue is a rare sword, it would be up to your discretion to choose whether to assign it a level of 4 or 5.

That said Jeremy Crawford's statement on twitter implies that only spells cast by characters illuminate magical darkness, which I think makes for more engaging encounters.

Matt Freeman: @JeremyECrawford Does light from a magic weapon’s characteristics (not via a spell) count as magical that can illuminate a Darkness spell?

Jeremy Crawford: Darkness cares only about light created by a spell. #DnD