[RPG] Does the Dispel Magic spell affect skeletons and other undead


According to the MM skeletons are animated by dark magic. They heed the summons of spellcasters who call them from their tombs. The magical energy motivates a skeleton to move and think in a rudimentary fashion. I assume that a similar effect animates and controls all undead. So if I cast dispel magic on a skeleton or any other undead do they cease to be animated and can't move or act?

Best Answer

No. Dispel Magic has a single purpose... to end spell effects.

They can only be used to end existing spell effects of greater than instantaneous duration, and ignores other magical effects such as Arcane Ward and Wild Shape or a Vampire's Gaze.

Jeremy Crawford starts every answer to how dispel magic works the same way...

"Dispel magic does one thing: end spells on its target. It does nothing to other magical effects."

The Sage Advice Compendium also says the same thing. See the answer to the question:

Can you use dispel magic on the creations of a spell like animate dead or affect those creations with antimagic field?

It will affect undead and constructs the same as other beings; for instance, if they have a magic spell on them like Protection from Good and Evil, it will end that. Specific spell descriptions can override this such as Wall of Force.

Please also see my other answer for things not directly addressed to this question. There are a lot of duplicates or slight variations of this question floating about so arguments don't always get repeated.