D&D5e: Magic


* Spell save DC = 8 + proficiency bonus + spellcasting ability modifier
* Spell attack = 1d20 + proficiency bonus + spellcasting ability modifier (Note: Disadvantage if within 5 feet of enemy that is not incapacitated. Does not apply to area effect spells requiring DC saving throw to avoid.)
* Spell slots measure a caster’s store of power. (Sorcerers also have Sorcery Points to adjust spell slots as desired during the game.) Many spells may be cast at higher level spell slots for greater effect.
* Ritual casting (available on some spells) adds 10 minutes to casting time but does not cost a spell slot to use.

* In one turn, a character may cast a spell of 1st level or higher as either an action or bonus action (per spell description), but not both — regardless of extra actions from class abilities, Haste spells or so forth. A cantrip does not count against this limit, so a caster may use one action for a spell and bonus action for a cantrip (or action for cantrip, bonus action for level 1+ spell) if allowed by the casting times shown in each spell description.
* A spell cast as a reaction (out of turn) does not count against the number of spells characters may cast in their turns during a round, but note most characters are only allowed one reaction per round.
* Ritual casting (available on some spells) adds 10 minutes to casting time but does not cost a spell slot to use.

* 1st-Level Spell Slot: Minor warping of reality. Effect the body or mind of individuals in temporary ways. View auras. Create minor personal wards. Summon a familiar.
* 2nd-Level Spell Slot: Moderate warping of reality. Enchant a body or mind to change its nature for a brief time. Teleport short distances. Create dangerous illusions. Expand senses to detect objects or thoughts.
* 3rd-Level Spell Slot: Major warping of reality. Block or dispel magic itself. Strike with bursts of raw elemental forces. Create minor undead monsters. Fly through the air. Conjure food, water or animals.
* 4th-Level Spell Slot: Serious warping of reality. Conjure beasts from the natural wilderness. Effect passages between cosmic planes of existence. Warp the nature of a living creature’s body and mind.
* 5th-Level Spell Slot: Critical warping of reality. Conjure powerful spirits from the inner elemental planes. Communicate with spirits in the outer planes. Profoundly alter minds. Restore life to the recently dead. Teleport around the world.
* 6th-Level Spell Slot: Severe warping of reality. Conjure immortal spirits from neighboring planes such as the Feywild and Shadowfell. Affect the minds of whole groups at once. Imprison mortal spirits. Disintegrate physical bodies.
* 7th-Level Spell Slot: Extreme warping of reality. Kill with a gesture. Conjure powerful immortal spirits from the outer planes. Create pocket dimensions as large as a house. Travel into other planes. Fully restore life to those long dead.
* 8th-Level Spell Slot: Grand warping of reality. Command major forces of nature such as earthquakes, tsunami or local weather. Create an isolated demiplane only you can enter. Control the minds of powerful monsters.
* 9th-Level Spell Slot: Supreme warping of reality. Kill with a word. Grant wishes. Lead travels into the astral plane. Call down meteors from the sky. Stop time.

* A long rest is needed to recover used spell slots. (Wizards can regain level/2 in spell slots once per day after a short rest.)
* Wizards must have a spellbook to study new spells. Other classes use intuition, prayer or some other mystical method.

Only one concentration spell may be maintained at a time. Each such spell lasts…
* until maximum duration is reached (varies per spell), or
* caster chooses to end the spell early, or
* caster casts another concentration spell, or
* caster is incapacitated, stunned, unconscious or killed, or
* caster takes damage and fails a Constitution saving throw versus DC 10 or half damage taken, whichever is greater (i.e. 23 points of damage = DC 11). Treat each hit as a separate saving throw check.

For spells listing a material component, the caster must have one of the following available…
* the listed components (various odd items), or
* a component pouch (filled with cheap magical materials), or
* Bards only: a musical instrument (drum, dulcimer, flute, lute, etc.), or
* Clerics and Paladins only: a holy symbol (amulet, emblem or reliquary), or
* Druids only: a druidic focus (sprig of mistletoe, totem, wooden staff or yew wand), or
* Wizards, Warlocks, Sorcerers only: an arcane focus (crystal, orb, rob, staff or wand).

Spells with a material component with a value (listed in gp) must have the specific item, which may or may not be consumed in the casting (see spell description). For spells listing a material component without a value, the caster must have one of the following available:
* the listed components (various odd items), or
* a component pouch (filled with cheap magical materials), or
* Bards only: a musical instrument (drum, dulcimer, flute, lute, etc.), or
* Clerics and Paladins only: a holy symbol (amulet, emblem or reliquary), or
* Druids only: a druidic focus (sprig of mistletoe, totem, wooden staff or yew wand), or
* Wizards, Warlocks, Sorcerers only: an arcane focus (crystal, orb, rob, staff or wand).
* Fighters (Eldritch Knights), Rangers and Rogues (Arcane Tricksters) do not have a spellcasting focus option but can use a well-stocked component pouch instead for non-valued material components.

* A gag in the mouth will prevent castings with verbal components. (So will an area of silence such as with the Silence spell.)
* Binding both arms and hands will prevent castings with somatic components.
* Stripping a caster of all gear will prevent castings with material components.
* To break concentration for an ongoing spell, badly injure or incapacitate the caster. (Beings stunned or unconscious count as incapacitated. Caster may make Constitution saving throw to hold concentration.)
* Avoidance may work, as a target behind total cover cannot be targeted by a spellcaster (but a point of origin for an area effect which includes the unseen target is possible).
* Note: Being blinded or deafened does not affect spellcasting ability.
* The above tips might not stop a Sorcerer (level 3+) who can spend Sorcery Points on the metamagic Subtle Spell class ability that allows somatic or verbal components to be ignored. In such a case, only the incapacitated condition will work.

The two most straightforward “counter-magic” spells became available to most 5th level spellcasters.

The 3rd level abjuration spell Dispel Magic works to end the duration of any spell working on one target within 120 feet. Dispel Magic takes one action and has no material components.

The 3rd level abjuration spell Counterspell works to interrupt a spell and prevent its effect from even happening if the spell is seen being cast within 60 feet. Counterspell takes one reaction and only has somatic components (a quick gesture to focus and block the magic). A caster may use Counterspell in a round even if that caster has used an action

The effectiveness is based on the level of the spell affecting the target, based on a spellcasting ability check (1d20 + ability modifier).
* 1st to 3rd level spell … instant and automatic
* 4th level spell … DC 14 ability check required
* 5th level spell … DC 15 ability check required
* 6th level spell … DC 16 ability check required
* 7th level spell … DC 17 ability check required
* 8th level spell … DC 18 ability check required
* 9th level spell … DC 19 ability check required

Wizards of 10th level or higher in the School of Abjuration make the above ability check with proficiency (1d20 + Intelligence modifier + proficiency bonus).

Spell slots higher than 3rd level may be used in casting to automatically dispel spells of equal level. For example, a 4th level spell slot always ends a 4th level spell, 5th level slot a 5th level spell, and so forth.

Targets already affected by a spell that has ended cannot be helped by Dispel Magic. Look to one of these spells instead:
* Lesser Restoration (2nd level): Ends being blinded, deafened, paralyzed, poisoned or infected with one disease.
* Remove Curse (3rd level): Breaks attunement to a cursed object.
* Greater Restoration (5th level spell, 100 g.p. worth of diamond dust): Ends being charmed or petrified, one curse, any reduction of one ability score, one effect lowering a target’s hit point maximum, or one level of exhaustion.
* Raise Dead (5th level spell, a diamond worth 500 gp): Restores weakened life to 1 hit point for corpse dead not more than 10 days.
* Antimagic Field (8th level spell): All spell effects negated while within the field, but effects resume once target leaves the area of effect.


* Common (1st level or highers characters; value 50 to 100 g.p.)
* Uncommon (1st level or highers characters; value 101 to 500 g.p.)
* Rare (5th level or highers characters; value 501 to 5,000 g.p.)
* Very Rare (11th level or highers characters; value 5,001 to 50,000 g.p.)
* Legendary (17th level or highers characters; value 50,001+ g.p.)

All methods require handling the item to learn its magical nature.
* Use Detect Magic (1st level spell; 1 action) to learn one item’s school of magic (if any), but no other information.
* Use Identify (1st level spell; 1 minute) to learn one item’s properties, attunement requirements and charges (if any).
* Use Legend Lore (5th-level spell; 10 minutes) to learn one legendary item’s details and history; useless on lesser items.
* Use a taste (less than 1 action) to learn what effect is caused by one potion.
* Use a short rest (1 hour) to learn one items’s properties and attunement requirements (if any).
* Use a short rest (1 hour) to become attuned to one item that requires it (in addition to any time used to discover attunement).

Attunement to a magical item ends if any of the following conditions are met:
* Creature spends another short rest (1 hour) focused on the item (unless cursed).
* Creature no longer satisfies the prerequisites for attunement.
* Item has been more than 100 feet away for at least 24 hours.
* The attuned creature dies.
* Another creature attunes to the magic item.

* Cursed items are not revealed as such by Detect Magic or Identify spells.
* Remove Curse 3rd-level spell needed to break attunement to a cursed magic item.

SCROLLS (DMG p. 139)

Most scrolls are spells stored in written form, while a few bear unique incantations that produce potent wards. Whatever its contents, a scroll is a roll of paper, sometimes attached to wooden rods, and typically kept safe in a tube of ivory, jade, leather, metal, or wood.

A scroll is a consumable magic item. Whatever the nature of the magic contained in a scroll, unleashing that magic requires using an action to read the scroll. When its magic has been invoked, the scroll can’t be used again. Its words fade, or it crumbles into dust.

Any creature that can understand a written language can read the arcane script on a scroll and attempt to activate it. (Note limits of spellcasting power for spell scrolls.)

Spell must be on a caster’s class spell list to use as an action (no need to provide any spell’s components). Otherwise, the scroll is unintelligible.

If the spell is on your class’s spell list but of a higher level than you can normally cast, you must make an ability check using your spellcasting ability to determine whether you cast it successfully. The DC equals 10 + spell’s level. On a failed check, the spell disappears from the scroll with no other effect. (Also see Variant: Scroll Mishaps rule below.)

* Cantrip (Common) … DC 10
* 1st Level Spell (Common) … DC 11
* 2nd Level Spell (Uncommon) … DC 12
* 3rd Level Spell (Uncommon) … DC 13
* 4th Level Spell (Rare) … DC 14
* 5th Level Spell (Rare) … DC 15
* 6th Level Spell (Very rare) … DC 16
* 7th Level Spell (Very rare) … DC 17
* 8th Level Spell (Very rare) … DC 18
* 9th Level Spell (Legendary) … DC 19

Once the spell is cast, the words on the scroll fade, and the scroll itself crumbles to dust.

A creature who tries and fails to cast a spell from a spell scroll must make a DC 10 Intelligence saving throw. If the saving throw fails, roll on the Scroll Mishap table.

SCROLL MISHAP (roll 1d6)
* 1 … A surge of magical energy deals the caster 1d6 force damage per level of the spell.
* 2 … The spell affects the caster or an ally (determined randomly) instead of the intended target, or it affects a random target nearby if the caster was the intended target.
* 3 … The spell affects a random location within the spell’s range.
* 4 … The spell’s effect is contrary to its normal one, but neither harmful nor beneficial. For instance, a fireball might produce an area of harmless cold.
* 5 … The caster suffers a minor but bizarre effect related to the spell. Such effects last only as long as the original spell’s duration, or 1d10 minutes for spells that take effect instantaneously. For example, a fireball might cause smoke to billow from the caster’s ears for 1d10 minutes.
* 6 … The spell activates after 1d12 hours. If the caster was the intended target, the spell takes effect normally. If the caster was not the intended target, the spell goes off in the general direction of the intended target, up to the spell’s maximum range, if the target has moved away.

The level of the spell on the scroll determines the spell’s saving throw DC and attack bonus, as well as the scroll’s rarity, as shown in the Spell Scroll table.

* Cantrip (Common) … Save DC 13 or Attack Bonus +5
* 1st Level Spell (Common) … Save DC 13 or Attack Bonus +5
* 2nd Level Spell (Uncommon) … Save DC 13 or Attack Bonus +5
* 3rd Level Spell (Uncommon) … Save DC 15 or Attack Bonus +7
* 4th Level Spell (Rare) … Save DC 15 or Attack Bonus +7
* 5th Level Spell (Rare) … Save DC 17 or Attack Bonus +9
* 6th Level Spell (Very rare) … Save DC 17 or Attack Bonus +9
* 7th Level Spell (Very rare) … Save DC 18 or Attack Bonus +10
* 8th Level Spell (Very rare) … Save DC 18 or Attack Bonus +10
* 9th Level Spell (Legendary) … Save DC 19 or Attack Bonus +11

A wizard spell on a spell scroll can be copied just as spells in spellbooks can be copied. When a spell is copied from a spell scroll, the copier must succeed on an Intelligence (Arcana) check with a DC equal to 10 + the spell’s level. If the check succeeds, the spell is successfully copied. Whether the check succeeds or fails, the spell scroll is destroyed.

* Common (Cantrip, 1st level) … 50 to 100 g.p.
* Uncommon (2nd, 3rd level) … 101 to 500 g.p.
* Rare (4th, 5th level) … 501 to 5,000 g.p.
* Very Rare (6th, 7th, 8th level) … 5,001 to 50,000 g.p.
* Legendary (9th level) … 50,001 g.p. or more

Rare item (value 501 to 5,000 g.p.)

Unlike spell scrolls, scrolls of protection may be used by any character that speaks a language and can read. Each scroll of protection works against a specific type of creature chosen by the DM or determined randomly by rolling on the following table.

CREATURE TYPE (roll 1d%)
* 01-10 … Aberrations
* 11-20 … Beasts
* 21-30 … Celestials
* 31-40 … Elementals
* 41-50 … Fey
* 51-75 … Fiends
* 76-80 … Plants
* 81-00 … Undead

Using an action to read the scroll encloses you in a invisible barrier that extends from you to form a 5-foot radius, 10-foot-high cylinder. For 5 minutes, this barrier prevents creatures of the specified type from entering or affecting anything within the cylinder.

The cylinder moves with you and remains centered on you. However, if you move in such a way that a creature of the specified type would be inside the cylinder, the effect ends.

A creature can attempt to overcome the barrier by using an action to make a DC 15 Charisma check. On a success, the creature ceases to be affected by the barrier.

House Rule: A Greater Scroll Of Protection works as above, but DC 20 Charisma check to break through the barrier.


* Friends (cantrip): Targets one creature for Charisma advantage, and after 1 minute, that target automatically becomes hostile.
* Dominate Beast (4th level): Only works on normal animals (including dire beasts, dinosaurs, non-mammals – all typically INT 2 or less), but not monstrosities (aka magical beasts).
* Dominate Person (5th level): Casting must happen within 60 feet, but if effective, range becomes essentially unlimited (on the same plane).
* Dominate Monster (8th level):
* Modify Memory (5th level): Change must affect something “known” in the past 24 hours, lasting no more than 10 minutes, but the altered memory will be permanent.
* Magic Jar (6th level): Victim’s class features cannot be used, but its base proficiencies and languages can, as can racial traits and Strength, Dexterity and Constitution saves. Also, the “jar” item doesn’t have to stay within 100 feet of either the caster or the possessed victim, but it’s dangerous to be out of that range.


* Most visual illusions are useless to fool creatures with blindsight or truesight, but non-living creatures (undead and constructs) are not automatically immune to such trickery unless noted in the creature’s description.

* Most illusion spells can be foiled by a successful Investigation (Intelligence) check. “An ability check is used instead of a save when an illusion is cast at the environment, rather than at a creature.” (Quote from 11/20/2014 tweet from D&D5e editor @JeremyECrawford.)

* As a rule of thumb, a lower level illusion spell cannot replicate the specific effects granted by a more specific, higher level spell. For example, Silent Image (1st level) cannot cover an individual in shimmering waves and gain the defensive bonus described in the Blur illusion spell (2nd level).

* Light and darkness are not “objects,” thus the Minor Illusion cantrips cannot duplicate the obscuring effects of a fog cloud, nor Light or Darkness spells. (Confirmed in 9/17/2015 tweet from D&D5e editor @JeremyECrawford.)

* Objects created by the Minor Illusion cantrip cannot be made to move. (Confirmed in 8/19/2015 tweet from D&D5e editor @JeremyECrawford.) Silent Image (2nd level) and Major Image (3rd level) specifically allow moving objects or creatures within the illusion’s area of effect, though it requires using an action to trigger such movements.

* Silent Image and Major Image illusions “covering” something cannot make real things invisible, nor render an area lightly or heavily obscured. Only the specific Invisibility spell (2nd level), Greater Invisibility spell (4th level) or Mislead spell (5th level) can make something disappear from sight.

COUNTER-POINT: That ruling seems to contradict the consequences of an affective Investigation check, which if successful the illusion is still seen but very transparent. If that Investigation check fails and the illusion appears solid — so why can’t “real” objects hide behind it?

SUGGESTED HOUSE RULE: Creatures “inside” an illusion disrupt its effectiveness, like hands waving through smoke. It is up to DM to allow creatures the Hide action while “inside” or “behind” an illusion’s area of effect. (Maybe grant advantage on the Hide check if illusion fully covers the character?)

* Minor Illusion: Makes a single sound (talking allowed) or non-moving object (not a creature) in 5-foot cube area. Touching spoils illusion.

* Disguise Self: Specialized to one individual. Includes carried items.
* Illusory Script: Designated creature can read, others see jibberish. Lasts 10 days.
* Silent Image: Moving images in 15-foot cube area. Touching spoils illusion.

* Mirror Image: Specialized interactive duplicates.
* Phantasmal Force: Cannot be perceived by others, only appears in subject’s mind.

* Major Image: Moving images in 20-foot cube area, including appropriate sites, sounds, smells and non-damaging temperatures. Can replicate visuals of creatures. Touching spoils illusion.

* Hallucinatory Terrain: Natural terrain in 150-foot cube area, including sounds and smells. Building and creatures still appear as normal, unchanged by the illusion magic.
* Phantasmal Killer: Cannot be perceived by others, only appears in subject’s mind.

* Creation: Makes 5-foot cube of material.
* Dream: Cannot be perceived by others, only appears in subject’s mind.
* Mislead: Caster invisible, replaced by moving duplicate.
* Seeming: Essentially mass Disguise Self.

* Programmed Illusion: As Major Image in 30-foot cube area, but only starts when a specific trigger happens. Last until dispelled, “loops” each time trigger happens.

* Mirage Arcane: Essentially Hallucinatory Terrain over 1-mile square, but also affects buildings (but not creatures).
* Project Image: Duplicate of caster looks, sounds, smells, acts normal for 24 hours. Touching spoils illusion.
* Simulacrum: False duplicate create lasts until dispelled.

* Weird: Cannot be perceived by others, only appears in subjects’ minds.

Clerics, warlocks and wizards are the most common means of creating undead.

The 3rd level necromancy spell Animate Dead turns piles of bones or corpses within 10 feet into minor undead under the command of their creator for 24 hours. The spells takes 1 minute to cast and has no material components besides the body parts needed to animate.
* Animate Dead (3rd level slot): 1 skeleton or zombie.
* Animate Dead (4th level slot): 3 skeletons or zombies.
* Animate Dead (5th level slot): 5 skeletons or zombies.
* Animate Dead (6th level slot): 7 skeletons or zombies.
* Animate Dead (7th level slot): 9 skeletons or zombies.
* Animate Dead (8th level slot): 11 skeletons or zombies.
* Animate Dead (9th level slot): 13 skeletons or zombies.
* School of Necromancy (caster level 6+): +1 skeleton or zombie.

Wizards of 6th level or higher in the School of Necromancy add one additional skeleton or zombie per casting of Animate Dead.

The 6th level necromancy spell Create Undead turns corpses within 10 feet into undead under the command of their creator for 24 hours. The spells takes 1 minute to cast and has various material components, including one 150 g.p. black onyx stone per corpse.
* Create Undead (6th level slot): Three ghouls.
* Create Undead (7th level slot): Four ghouls.
* Create Undead (8th level slot): Five ghouls, or two ghasts, or two wights.
* Create Undead (9th level slot): Six ghouls, or three ghasts, or three wights, or two mummies.


List of spells that can be cast as rituals without expending a spell slot…
* Alarm (1st level)
* Comprehend Languages (1st level)
* Detect Magic (1st level)
* Detect Poison and Disease (1st level)
* Find Familiar (1st level)
* Identify (1st level)
* Illusory Script (1st level)
* Purify Food and Drink (1st level)
* Speak with Animals (1st level)
* Tenser’s Floating Disk (1st level)
* Unseen Servant (1st level)
* Animal Messenger (2nd level)
* Augury (2nd level)
* Beast Sense (2nd level)
* Gentle Repose (2nd level)
* Locate Animals or Plants (2nd level)
* Magic Mouth (2nd level)
* Silence (2nd level)
* Feign Death (3rd level)
* Leomund’s Tiny Hut (3rd level)
* Meld into Stone (3rd level)
* Phantom Steed (3rd level)
* Water Breathing (3rd level)
* Water Walk (3rd level)
* Divination (4th level)
* Commune (5th level)
* Commune with Nature (5th level)
* Contact Other Plane (5th level)
* Rary’s Telepathic Bond (5th level)
* Drawmij’s Instant Summons (6th level)
* Forbiddance (6th level)