If for some reason you stumble across this document and want to know what I think about Deep Magic. You can find my Youtube review of the book here.
Note: It is certainly possible that I have made mistakes when writing this. Consider it a starting point when reviewing the spells in this book.
Also, there is a spell in here called Deep Focus. It lets you have multiple concentration spells active at a time. Since not every group is going to approve of the use of that spell, I judged the rest of the spells here assuming that spell didn’t exist.
Ritual Spells and Concentration: There are a lot of ritual spells in this book. Given this, I think it is worth remembering that you use your concentration when casting ritual spells and casting spells with a long casting time (longer than an action). So you may find the tradeoff of losing an earlier spell you were concentrating on to be not worth it.
(GREAT) This is a spell that I think is worth checking out. It’s typically something about it I’ve found to be either unique or really fun.
(OVERPOWERED) These spells are spells I feel are far too powerful for their level. To the point where (in my view) it would be hard to argue otherwise.
(POWERFUL ) It may be a bit too strong compared to the average spell at its level. At least enough that, while I’m not sure if I’d describe it as being overpowered, it may be.
(WEAK): Similar to “powerful” spells. These were spells that are just kind of underwhelming (from a power standpoint) for their level. Maybe not enough to call them underpowered though (but definitely close).
(UNDERPOWERED): I felt that these spells were clearly weaker than what I would expect for their level.
UNCLEAR) The text of the spell isn’t clear or is vague
(RULES) The spell is ignoring 5th edition rules or status conditions. It may instead show a lack of understanding of the rules (including using terms like caster level, spellcasting level, and move action).
(BOOKKEEPING) The spell was either needlessly complicated, requires too many rolls, or too much bookkeeping.
(RETHINK) The spell just needs a rethink. Sometimes this has to do with player agency and sometimes it has to do with saving throws that don’t match what the spell does. It basically just covers things that don’t fit into the earlier categories.
(TREND) This is a spell that I have identified is part of a negative trend with spells in the book. For instance
It may require you to look at other spells in order to understand how it works.
It may refer to (or worse require the use of) a monster statblock that is only available in one of Kobold Press’s other products.
There are websites that claim to offer these statblocks as part of an open license. But trying to figure out what is actually open license is a bit of a minefield.
Regardless, I shouldn’t have to rely on a 3rd party website to use a statblock for a product I bought. WotC provided statblocks in the Players Handbook for instance.
It may also just be redundant. Like the number of low-level tracking spells in the book that more or less do similar things, as well as the number of spells that are basically just Guidance but focussed on one ability.
Handwaves away some environmental or monster challenge by making it too easy or just by outright removing it as a challenge.
Some spells in here also assume you have a reason to know something about a monster that they typically might not know (like their CR, hit dice, alignment, whether or not they have darkvision, whether or not they are a monstrosity, or something else).
Sometimes I felt that a magic item would have been better suited to give the desired effect (a decent number of the spells in this book feel this way).
Spells (First Section)
Abhorrence (WEAK) (TREND): The problem with this (and similar spells in this book) is it requires you to know that someone is going to make a charisma check. It also runs the risk of them noticing your casting.
Abhorrent Apparition: This seems like a reasonable control spell for this level.
Absorbing Field: This is a pretty solid spell to have on hand when you are fighting spellcasters.
Acumen (TREND): It works at least on an ability that has a few different uses (using this before you passively search through a room could be helpful). That said, we don’t need 6 different cantrips for each ability. Guidance is fine. It does stack with Guidance though.
Adjust Position (UNDERPOWERED): I’m sure there are some cases where this is useful. But as is it doesn’t seem very useful.
Agonizing Mark: This being triggered each time you deal damage against a target (coupled with it being a charisma save for causing prone) could make this pretty useful against a target.
Ale-dritch Blast (GREAT) (POWERFUL): It’s a fun spell that plays off of the warlock cantrip wonderfully. The fact that it also poisons the target on a failed constitution save (at least until the end of its next turn) is also pretty great. It’s certainly a very strong cantrip option though. Perhaps too strong (and is available to bards, druids, and wizards). Unlike Eldritch Blast though it does only work on the one target.
Allure (TREND): Obviously this is a very useful spell to cast if you know you are going to be making a charisma check soon. It also stacks with Guidance. That said, we don’t need 6 different cantrips for each ability. Guidance is fine.
Ally Aegis: A 6th level reaction ability that acts almost like an improved Shield spell for use on only allies (that also helps against spell damage). I’m not sure it's ever worth using given how high of a spell slot this is. But it is at least a higher level reaction spell.
Alone: is an interesting spell but I could see DM’s struggling with how to use it in practice.
Alter Arrows Fortune (UNCLEAR): I’m not sure why you couldn’t just say it gives disadvantage instead of saying that it “effectively” gives disadvantage (whatever that means). Why make this more complicated than it has to be? Presumably this still cancels out with advantage?
Althea’s Travel Tent: It’s a fun little spell that probably doesn’t serve much of a purpose. It almost seems like they were going for a weaker Tiny Hut. I’m not sure the edition really needed the spell but some people might get a kick out of it.
Amplify Gravity: This spell could be used to devastate any target you manage to get into the air. What’s interesting is that while damage from falling is quadrupled, there is no change in the speed that a creature falls.
Analyze Device: Maybe this is useful in Midgard but it’s uses seem limited. Especially given its touch range. However, it could be useful I suppose in the right campaign.
Ancestors Strength: This treads a lot on Enhanced Ability. It’s also a lower level spell that lasts far longer.
Anchoring Rope: It’s a nice alternative to featherfall and it could get some use out of combat as well.
Ancient Shade (UNDERPOWERED): It requires you to have an expensive component and a 5th level slot. Now it doesn’t require your target to have a mouth, so that is good, but overall it just feels pretty underpowered for its level. Like how much important information are you likely to get out of incredibly ancient spirits?
Animal Spy (UNDERPOWERED) (TREND): The beast has to be within 30 feet of range. So that limits how much you can really use this. Unless a bird is pretty close to you. Overall, it doesn’t feel like a very useful spell. It seems very situational. Making this a magic item would have been a better option.
Animate Ghoul (OVERPOWERED): This is an insane spell for it only being a 2nd level spell. The only downsides are the fact that it only works on corpses (not bones), its material components cost (though this is not consumed), and the fact that your DM may not allow you to get access to the material components. However, the Onyx stone is similar enough to what is used for a Create Undead spell that it shouldn’t be impossible to come across (and fixed costs that aren’t consumed like this never made much sense to me. How did I learn to cast this spell if I didn’t have one of its critical components?)
In any case, there is no restriction on how many ghouls and ghasts you can control at one time and the spell has no duration. It also takes an action to cast, instead of 1 minute (like Animate Dead and Create Undead). Ghouls are way more powerful than a zombie or skeleton as well. You can also upcast this spell to create Ghasts, who are even more powerful.
One interesting thing to note is that you can also upcast it to create a large ghoul. But there are very few large humanoids in the game for you to actually do this on. The Sahuagin Baron is the only one in the main monster books, and there are a handful more among the different official adventures.
Animate Greater Undead: Like I said before there is only one large humanoid in the monster manual (and a few others in the various official 5e adventures). There are no official huge (or gargantuan) humanoids. So you are likely going to have to use a pile of bones.
The spell uses components that it says are consumed. Which is not unheard of but a bit unusual for components that don’t have any gold cost. Ultimately though, I don’t see using this spell to be worth it. Level 6 has such great spells and this is, at best, kind of meh.
Animated Object Swarm (TREND): Animate Object was already a very powerful spell. This gives you another option compared to it that also is immune to almost all conditions (unlike the original spells summons) and resistant against piercing, slashing, and bludgeoning damage. Weirdly, it's not immune to the poisoned condition or to blindness. This gets so few less attacks and has so much less health (compared to the combined health of the tiny objects) that I wouldn’t use it. It also requires you to be familiar with the original spell (because it references it) which is just part of an annoying trend in the book of not laying out spell effects in detail.
Animate Scroll (POWERFUL) (UNCLEAR): This is the kind of spell whose effectiveness depends on your DM and on how willing they are to have your characters know how to make foldable animals. It’s also left unclear how long it would take to fold an animal. All of this matters because, as cantrips go, this has the potential to be very powerful. Particularly given its long duration.
Arcane Parasite: The use of the bonus action as a reaction to casting spells is technically permitted in the rules, but conventionally it's not how they are normally used. So it comes across as being clunky.
Anyways, this is a cool spell but it seems really dependent on the DM providing a source of arcane power. Since it is a ritual spell it also seems like something that can make it a bit too easy to ignore spell slots. It’s also not clear what happens to this arcane power once you finish this spell and no examples are really given for what constitutes a source of arcane power.
Arcane Sight (TREND): Is a cool spell that shouldn’t force you to look up two other spells to use it.
As You Were (RULES) (BOOKKEEPING) (TREND): Seems like a cool concept for a spell. But between its own description, and the description of Gentle Repose (which it says this spell also functions as), there is just too much text here for what should be a straightforward concept.
I feel like it could lose at least a paragraph or two of text. It also refers to the effect of Gentle Repose (and therefore is yet another spell to rely on an official spell for an effect). Also, what is a “caster level”? This is not a defined term in 5e.
Finally, with any spell with this long of a casting time (or longer) don’t forget that casting it requires concentration. So you may find the tradeoff of losing the spell you were concentrating on to be not worth it.
Ashen Memories (GREAT): This is a great spell that (as written) isn’t available to druids, rangers, or sorcerers for whatever reason. Like, I get that sorcerers and rangers can’t ritual cast it, but druids get divination spells and feel like they should have it. It’s a shame too because it’s full of great opportunities for everyone involved.
Don’t forget that casting it requires concentration. So you may find the tradeoff of losing the spell you were concentrating on to be not worth it.
Aspect of the Ape: This is a fun, if very situational, spell. The fact that it takes concentration to use actually really hurts its usability. It also grants advantage on strength checks when climbing or jumping.
Aspect of the Firebird: The spell seems fine. However, when it comes to these sorts of spells they should use basic monster stats or provide their custom ones. Referencing your other products (Tome of Beasts) for a creature or statblock is a no no in my book. Fortunately, this doesn’t significantly affect the use of the spell, which is why I haven’t labelled this a “TREND”, but this is a common problem in this book. They also could have just put the image of the creature in artwork here so you wouldn’t need to look at another book for it.
Aspect of the Ram (UNDERPOWERED): This spell doesn’t seem very useful. Dual wielding short swords does 2d6 damage and wouldn’t require you to use up your concentration. It’s also only available for druids and rangers (at least as written). You might find some out of combat use out of it though. The advantage on strength checks when climbing or jumping is wasted by the fact that Enhance Ability can give you this too.
Aspect of the Serpent (TREND): As written, this spell is not available to rangers but it is available to sorcerers and wizards. Blindsight is definitely its most useful feature. It’s a bit weird because when it is first cast you get a ranged weapon attack with it but then in subsequent turns you only have a melee weapon attack option. I assume it's implied that you are at first spitting venom. You are going to find that a lot of spells in this book, just like this one, grant these kinds of melee attacks to just sorcerers and wizards, and no other classes. Despite the fact that melee range is generally the last place they should be.
Aura of Listlessness (OVERPOWERED) (RULES) (RETHINK): This is too powerful for its level. Bards (who can take it as written) are the best bet for taking this spell, apart from Bladesingers, just because they are much more likely to be in melee range. But the spell just absolutely massacres the action economy of any creature nearby. It also lays out pretty limited conditions for when affected creatures can move (and it doesn’t actually include this spell as an example in them…and instead uses vague descriptions).
Finally, while I personally wouldn’t rule this way, the phrase “any creature within 20 feet of you” could also include you (which of course vastly changes how useful this spell is). The spell just really needs polish.
Aura of Protection or Destruction (GREAT) (RULES): This is just a fun spell. It does still have some of the same phrasing as Aura of Listnessness sadly. The decision to write “including you” in the fiend half of this spell implies that you are not affected by the celestial aura. But these things should be clear.
Avoid Grievous Injury: This would be an amazing spell for a ranger or a paladin. Unfortunately for them, they don’t get it. Clerics do and can get some use out of it, as can maybe warlocks and druids.
Avronin’s Astral Assembly (GREAT): This is a neat spell. Basically, it's a zoom call across the planes. Except, it is probably a lot more interesting.
Awaken Object: One wonders why I would ever want to spend an 8th level spell, and 1,000 gold, on a weak construct. It’s not clear how you get your hands on a large non-magical object in humanoid form either.
Batsense (OVERPOWERED): This just invalidates the Darkvision spell. Now, admittedly, Darkvision didn’t need much to do that. But, blindsight shouldn’t be handed out so easily and this is a bit strong for its level. Also, let's not complicate the game unnecessarily by giving qualifiers like stealth checks that rely on being silent (what percentage of stealth checks don’t?).
Either way, this gives you 60 feet of blindsight and it's only real downside doesn't matter on any character wearing most types of medium armor and all types of heavy armor.
Battle Mind (TREND): The surprise avoiding aspect of this is pretty pointless because characters that have survived to level 9 are not as threatened by surprise as they were in Tier 1. But the other benefits it gives I could see being helpful. Same goes for the fact that it is a ritual spell (although one with a short duration). At the same time, it is at the level where it is competing against Wall of Force. So it’s not providing anything mindblowing for its level.
Also, it references 3 other spells. Multiple spell references just slow the game down and make that aspect of the spell more work to use.
Beguiling Bet: You are using your action in order to make a monster (or monsters) lose theirs. This makes it an interesting option.
Bestial Fury: This is an interesting take on a buff spell. I guess you could use it for summons. I’m not sure it could be worth it given how little extra damage it does and the fact that it requires concentration.
Bewilderment (TREND): This is an example of how too many spells in this book target one ability. It’s just unoriginal and inflates the number of spells found in the book.
Binding Oath (TREND): This spell refers to another spell (Bestow Curse) for understanding its effects. This is a common problem with spells in this book.
Black Sunshine (RETHINK): This has no gold cost for the pearl (this seems unusual since it is consumed). This seems likely to be an oversight. As for the spell itself, the fact that it gives invisibility to the party is great but it’s thrown effect is not very strong (since the saving throw is repeated each round and since it's a dexterity save).
Black Swan Storm (UNDERPOWERED): The damage seems to only occur once and after that it's just slightly darkening a small area. All for a concentration spell and a 2nd spell slot. It doesn’t seem like a very good spell.
Blade of my Brother (UNDERPOWERED) (RULES) : This spell was also in the Midgard Heroes Handbook. It refers to spellcasting level for determining its bonus to its attack roll (which is not used in 5E, instead 5E would use spell attack bonus). This was also an issue in the earlier book. It’s just disappointing to see them change some of its text but still not fix this.
Also the conditions for using this spell are so specific that you will never use it. It needs to be a blade from an ally that is dead and it requires your concentration.
Bleating Call (OVERPOWERED): This call pretty much kills the action economy since at a minimum every creature affected will use 2 actions to hear or examine the sound. The first is when they must take the dash or disengage action (regardless of how close they are to it). And the second is the action they take to analyze the sound. They do get an initial wisdom save to avoid having to do both of these but nothing further. But this is still a crazy strong spell for only 2nd level. Especially when it doesn’t even require concentration. The only major limitation of the spell is that it doesn’t work on creatures that are immune to being charmed.
Another issue with it relates to gridded play. If the sound is coming from the corner of a square that means that at any given time only 4 small or medium creatures could be adjacent to it. The rest would still need to get closer before they could investigate.
Bleed (BOOKKEEPING): This is too much bookkeeping for one spell affecting only one creature.
Blessed Rest (UNDERPOWERED): This feels pretty weak for a 2nd level slot. Plus, every group I’ve played in gives all hit dice back after a long rest. I realize that isn’t the rule, but I suspect I’m hardly alone in that. So for the average group I’m not sure this is really giving them much. Particularly given its a 2nd level spell.
Bless the Dead: Maybe a character could make some money off of this as they pass through villages. But it does feel like a pretty niche cantrip.
Blinding Pain (OVERPOWERED): So basically with this spell the target has to make this saving throw at the start of its turn for a minute. If it fails then it is blinded for a round and takes 1d4 psychic damage. Even on a successful save it still takes half damage (but no blindness). A successful save does not end the spell. Concentration is also not required for the spell.
Yes the spell can be ended early with the casting of a cure wounds or healing word, but this still comes across as being too powerful for a 1st level spell. Not only does the regular damage force concentration checks, but the blindness would render the target unable to cast most spells. The fact that you can upcast this at higher levels and affect more creatures is really just the icing on the cake for determining that this spell is too powerful.
Blood Offering (TREND): Using a 3rd level spell in this manner is going to make you want to know the enemies challenge rating before using this (since it's used to determine its effectiveness). But you really shouldn’t feel the need to know this. Druids, rangers, sorcerers, warlocks, and wizards get access to this.
Bloodhound (TREND): This seems like a pretty solid spell. Unfortunately, it is one of the many, many low-level tracking spells in this book. There are far too many of these and many of them are just redundant.
Bolster Undead: This spell just feels too niche. Unless you are using undead and facing off against a lot of clerics.
Bolstering Brew (GREAT) (POWERFUL): It's a powerful spell. I’m not sure if the gold cost makes up for the fact that it is giving advantage on all constitution saving throws, since this includes concentration saves. So it may be a bit too strong. But it is a useful spell and it has a fun theme.
Bones of Stone: Yet another strength advantage spell (though its limited to only effects that move the target against its will).
Booster Shot: It’s a cool spell. One nice thing is that you only roll the D6 once per casting. This avoids so much bookkeeping.
Boulder Toss (UNCLEAR): As written, you aren’t described as being proficient with throwing this boulder and it doesn’t say you use a spell ranged attack. It also states that your strength bonus is used to determine bonuses to the damage you do, but says nothing about its impact on your attack roll. While logically that would use strength it really should say it.
Brawn Boost (TREND): This is another example of how too many spells in this book target one ability. It’s just unoriginal and inflates the number of spells found in the book. It does stack with guidance though.
Breeze Compass (TREND): It’s a neat concept but a magic item would be better for this
Broken Charge (GREAT) (TREND): I like this spell because it's a fun use of your reaction. But labyrinth domain clerics don’t get access to this. This is also a problem across multiple subclasses in the book that are connected to the schools introduced by Kobold Press. These are spells that could help these subclasses a lot but (because of design choices and formatting) are easy to miss for users of these subclasses.
By the Light of the Moon (GREAT): Find Traps should have been a lot more like this.
By the Light of the Watchful Moon (POWERFUL): From the description it sounds like this applies to a 90 foot radius around you (which would be crazy). When you compare this to other 4th level divination spells in 5E it does come across as being very powerful. It’s hard to judge though because while the diviner subclass is great, divination itself is a bit of an underpowered school when it comes to combat spells like this (at least in my opinion).
Candle’s Insight (GREAT): Just kind of a fun take on zone of truth.
Carmello- Volta’s Irksome Preserves (UNCLEAR) (RETHINK): This is a fun spell for flavour but mechanically it is probably one of the worst healing spells I’ve seen. 1d4 healing is what healing word does but with no bonus. Don’t take this basically unless you are fighting constructs. It’s description is also unclear about this. But it sounds like you target the constructs component and that is what the jam is coming out of. The fact that it lasts for the spells full duration even when the jam is cleared out makes it seem kind of strong when used against constructs.
Catapult: I’m not sure why we needed a second spell named Catapult in 5E. But it’s a pretty solid control spell that can do solid damage (especially if you throw them 40 feet up).
Caustic Touch (GREAT): It’s available for druids and clerics, does a solid amount of damage, and can disrupt concentration.
Chains of the Goddess (GREAT) (POWERFUL) (UNCLEAR): How to kill one creature really quickly. 6d8 bludgeoning damage each turn will quickly add up, though they do have the chance to save to avoid it and there is no half damage with the spell (along with its need for concentration, this is the only reason I’m not labelling this overpowered).
The phrasing of the spell suggests that the restrained condition is also being given to those who fail the save. It is, however, a bit unusual that it doesn’t use the phrase “is restrained” at any point (as this is typical for these sorts of spells).
Chains of Torment (GREAT): It’s a 4th level spell that completely restrains a target and grapples them, while doing constant damage to them. There is an escape DC that is given, so the target could use their action to try to beat it (on a strength [athletics] check).
It also works as a nice interrogation tool.
Champion’s Weapon (POWERFUL): Honestly, unless you don’t have any magic weapon this doesn’t do much for you if it’s not cast at least at 3rd level. At level 3 the spell is slightly better than a Hex spell for damage.
The only thing keeping me from not considering this overpowered is that it is only available to paladins. But on a multiclass character, using a 4th or higher spell slot, this could let your paladin do insane amounts of damage in a fight (and a DM would be well within reason to view it as being overpowered). Since the weapon is the one dealing the extra force damage, it also would be doubled on a critical hit.
Cherub’s Burning Blade (UNDERPOWERED): 4d6 damage using your full action seems kind of weak for a level 4 spell. At least in the context of this being a cleric and paladin only spell that requires your concentration. It’s not that much better than Toll the Dead against a hurt target.
Chilling Words (WEAK): It’s hard to pass judgement on this because it does require allies to use their actions to utter this phrase. So, while it might initially look like tons of chances are given to restrain the target, in reality they do have to give up their action to do so.
However, the fact that it can’t be affected for a minute after it hears the phrase renders this to have only limited combat use. I suppose the party could try to cast this outside of combat. But it's 30 foot range (and the fact that they have to be within 30 feet for it to work) limits that opportunity. The target pretty much has to be non-hostile to you before you use it for this to work.
I guess I just think it's kind of weak for a 4th level spell. Especially given the time limits on when you can utter the phrases. But my bigger problem with it is it is that it’s not clear how you would most effectively use it.
Cloak of Serpents (GREAT): It’s a cool spell that has no concentration check. It is only available to warlocks, so that limits how likely it is to be used, and given that context its power is more reasonable.
Arguably, the fact that on a failed save the target is poisoned for 1 minute, without any chance to make a save each turn to lose the poisoned condition, could be viewed as being overpowered. But the limited spell slots of warlocks, the frequency that creatures are immune to the condition, and its 10 minute duration, do I think balance out what would otherwise be a very strong ability. I would not permit another class to use it though.
Cloak of Vermin: It’s an interesting enough spell. But the fact that it needs concentration is going to make it difficult to use to any significant degree. Since you either are just getting a single summoned swarm of insects as a summon, which aren't very strong, or you need to be getting hit by attacks (while maintaining concentration) in order to activate this ability.
Clockwork Bodyguard (TREND): Give me the stats of the creature in THIS BOOK. Not in one of your other books. This is a trend in this book (and a very annoying trend).
Clockwork Bolt (GREAT): Seems like it would be really strong for a cantrip, but it does limit your number of attacks since you aren’t using the attack action.
Closing In (UNCLEAR): “Enclosed space” is somewhat vague language. It’s also not clear if the 2d6 damage is dealt on the same turn that a successful save is made, since both happen at the end of a turn. The spell also just needs more than what it offers.
Clumsiness (WEAK) (TREND): Opponents dexterity ability checks are not that common (except for maybe getting out of a grapple) and this spell should have just been an amalgamated with similar spells. Also, adding and subtracting math is what 5E is trying to avoid. There are 5 other spells like this in the book (that target a different ability).
Cobra Fangs (TREND): It’s a neat spell but it feels like it could be reworked into a magic item and been more relevant. The lack of any concentration is nice. The problem is though you need to use your action in order to cast it. So the first turn you do it isn't much use. It’s duration is too short to be much use past low levels. It’s only available for rangers too. It does not work with Hunter’s Mark or several of the extra damage subclass features (Horizon Walker and Hunter) since they require a weapon attack.
Command Undead (GREAT): It is a niche spell but in a campaign involving undead saying “drop” could end battles quickly.
Compelled Movement: There is a lot going on here and I’m not sure the spell name fits. But it is an original spell at least.
Compelling Fate (UNDERPOWERED) (RULES): This is a great concept for a spell but its duration feels too short. It doesn’t require concentration though so that is nice. Also, it says “you” have advantage on attack rolls against it. But the spell only lasts for a round and takes an action so it really just applies to your next turn.
Also, saving throw spells aren’t counted as being an “attack” so your ally shouldn’t get a +2 bonus against them. An attack involves an attack roll or doing something that the rules call an attack, like grappling or shoving. So the language used in the spell needs work.
Comprehend Wild Shape: This feels like it should have just been a magic item.
Confounded Senses: I’ll give it credit that it is an interesting take on the confusion spell. But it also feels too similar to it.
Conjure Fey Hound (TREND): No statblock provided because it refers to a statblock found in Tome of Beasts.
Conjure Forest Defender (GREAT): It’s a cool spell and doesn’t seem unbalanced. Also it contains a statblock. No concentration needed too.
Conjure Greater Spectral Dead: This is basically very similar to the official Conjure Elemental spell except you summon a powerful undead with it. I’m not sure why anyone would want to use a 7th level spell on a creature that could turn on you like this. But I guess someone out there might. Me? I’ll stick with my army of Ghasts thanks!
Conjure Mantelet (GREAT): It’s defensive, it’s fun, and only rangers get access to it for some reason.
Conjure Mock Animals (OVERPOWERED) (TREND): First, this spell yet again relies on another spell for its effect. This means the spell is just going to be clunky to use. Like you have to reference another spell to use it, including selecting a CR level, and then either you or the DM (depending on how you run Conjure Animals) decides what creatures these are. They also still retain any other abilities that creature would have.
But besides this, the spell is so far out of balance that I don’t even know what to say.
What use you get out of this spell is very dependent on what creature your DM chooses. If it is small or medium sized creatures then, at a minimum, you can use this to block off a corridor.
But if your DM decides to make them tiny creatures then you can put four of these creatures in each 5 foot square. They each deal a guaranteed 2d4 damage to anything within 5 feet when they explode. It is radiant damage and then a separate dexterity save determines if those affected by the explosion are blinded for a round. All for a 1st level spell slot (available to druids and rangers only).
Ohh and you can have them attack each other and cause explosions that way, so the fact that their explosions don’t kill other mock animals may not even matter.
Now tiny creatures can’t block off a corridor (since medium and larger creatures can pass through it as though it were difficult terrain) but they can still do a lot of damage and be a real hassle.
Conjure Scarab Swarm: Seems fine. Nothing special here.
Conjure Spectral Undead (TREND): The greater version of this spell could have just been an upcast of this spell. Also, yet again, this draws upon a Tome of Beast statblock in order for you to use it.
Consult the Storm (GREAT): I could see groups asking hilarious questions with this and completely getting the attention of tons of enemies. The damage it does is just alright.
Convoluted Victim: A single target slow spell. Meh.
Conjure Undead: Shadows are crazy powerful compared to zombies or skeletons. Especially when it comes to their immunities. But this seems balanced given its casting time, duration, and the need for concentration.
Costly Victory: It lives up to the name but seems too niche to use an 8th level spell slot on.
Create Thunderstaff (UNDERPOWERED) (TREND) : It is a pointless spell that has far too many requirements. It could be funny to use one time. But who has 60 days to kill? Especially by the time you are casting level 7 spells. Also, by the time you are casting level 7 spells, being able to use Thunderwave as a bonus action is not as good as it sounds. Especially not given what is required to even get this.
Crushing Trample (GREAT): This is a very unique tactical spell. I’d highly recommend checking it out. Clerics, druids, rangers, and sorcerers get access to it.
Cure Beast (UNDERPOWERED) (TREND): This is way too similar to healing word and not useful. This might have worked better as a magic item.
Curse of Dust: Not sure how useful in practice this would be. But I like its use of exhaustion and how it lasts for days.
Curse of Hostility (GREAT) (TREND): This is an interesting control spell that would be particularly good when used against boss monsters. Since even charm immunity doesn’t stop it from working. Having said this, it is also part of a trend in this book of spells that creates effects that ignore existing similar conditions and immunities to them.
Curse of Incompetence (RETHINK): If you roll a 1 on this during combat it has no effect. The initiative order is determined at the start of combat. So if a target takes a penalty to its initiative roll that has no bearing since the order has already been decided on. If you roll it out of combat and get that 1, then you are getting into the tricky situation of taking turns outside of initiative being called.
Curse of the Grave: It’s hard to know what is balanced for a level 7 spell. But getting a vampire spawn with a duration of “until dispelled” seems very powerful. Especially when no concentration is required. At the same time, forcecage exists at this level. So it’s hard to argue this is too powerful for its level.
Cursed Gift: Other than fleecing people into believing you have cured their curse I don’t see what value this spell has.
Cynophobia (UNDERPOWERED): This spell is kind of silly. With such a short range I can’t see it being useful. Unless you are fighting like goblins riding on worgs.
Daggerhawk (UNDERPOWERED): This spell would be mediocre as a cantrip, let alone a levelled spell. If it were a bonus action it would be a lot better (but then it would be a weak version of spiritual weapon).
Dark Heraldry (TREND): Creatures don’t advertise their alignment and creatures are also not bound to always be a particular alignment. So you shouldn’t base spells around alignments since players will have no way of knowing if the spell will work or not. Also, characters in 5E are not required to be an alignment.
Dark Maw: This is not a particularly memorable cantrip. But you may find it particularly useful if you are playing something like a lizardfolk. It's good for clerics as well since it is an attack roll cantrip (and they typically don’t get those).
Dark Web of the Spider Monarch (GREAT) (UNCLEAR): Bigger and better version of the web spell. This lets you drain targets in the web for a bonus action (provided they are restrained). The webs are also not flammable but instead need radiant damage to even remove any of it. Unfortunately, it’s not clear how a 30 foot cube works out when it is centred on you (a 35 foot cube would work).
Dead Walking (UNCLEAR): I love the idea of you walking through undead as invisible targets. On the surface, someone might see this as being a bit powerful for second level, since it does affect multiple targets. But it also doesn’t allow any of the 6 creatures affected by it to attack or cast a spell. It’s also a concentration spell with an initial range of 10 feet. So it is probably reasonable. However, it should be clearer about whether or not people need to remain within that 10 feet to remain invisible.
Death God’s Touch: Presumably you have advantage on this attack because you become invisible before making it. But either way the spell is kind of meh. 10d10 necrotic damage against a target isn’t anything to scoff at. But there are also better 7th level spells out there.
Decay: It's a solid melee damage cantrip that most full casters get access to.
Deep Breath: What group worries about oxygen deprivation on mountains? The spell is filling a niche but a very limited one.
Deep Focus (OVERPOWERED): Pre-buffing is something that 5e avoids and for good reason. This just feels too much like it wants you to prebuff a concentration spell. The fact that you can cast this as a ritual just makes this worse. Concentration exists for a reason and shouldn’t be so easily bypassed.
Defensive Quills (BOOKKEEPING): It’s a fun spell but there is too much finickiness about what melee weapons work with it. “A melee weapon attack within 5 feet” would have been easier.
Defile Healing (GREAT): This is a great healing counter that is only available for clerics and warlocks.
Delayed Healing (UNDERPOWERED): This is unbelievably weak. Especially given that it costs 100 gold worth of a bloodstone to do. It’s also a third level spell slot.
On top of all that, because it is a 1 minute long casting time you need to use your concentration to cast it. So it truly is terrible.
Desiccating Breath (WEAK) (UNCLEAR) : “Animal” is not a creature type. beast is. If they wanted it to affect beasts it should say that (or if they wanted it to affect all creatures it should say that).
The damage from the breath is honestly probably a bit underpowered for its level. It also only affects a fairly limited number of creatures.
Discern Weakness: Only being available to bards, sorcerers, and wizards limits this. Especially since it doesn’t apply to a paladin smite. But I’m sure some rogue build could get a use out of it.
Dimensional Shove: Great if you are looking to trap a target in a locked room. It could be a useful control spell in the right circumstances.
Disquieting Gaze: The advantage on charisma (intimidation) checks is a very useful effect for a first level spell. However, not a lot of official spells make a spell attack roll that does necrotic damage. So getting advantage on them might not be that useful. Especially considering that clerics don’t gain access to this spell. There are some out there, like Chill Touch and Decay (found in this book), but not many.
Disruptive Aura (UNDERPOWERED): This is a cool effect but a 10 foot cube is nothing. Maybe it is good for being confined within a force cage or some other kind of spell.
But, considering you can just leave the area and then cast a spell, it feels pretty weak for an 8th level spell. Especially given the existence of magic resistance, high saving throw bonuses, and legendary resistances by the time this spell is going to be used.
Distracting Divination (GREAT): Great spell that most full casters get (though not druids). It’s really going to work best for clerics (and maybe others depending on your subclass) since you need to be adjacent to the enemy for it to work.
Distraction Cascade (GREAT): Solid assistance spell. It is especially good for helping rogues or paladins.
Dome of Silence: This could be a solid sneaking spell. Just remember though that while the dome itself is invisible, the people inside it aren’t.
Doom of Blue Crystal (GREAT): This is available for clerics, sorcerers,l and wizards, but only really useful on clerics (or maybe bladesingers). Still, it is a sweet control spell if you are in the position to be adjacent to enemies.
Doom of Consuming Fire (UNDERPOWERED): Does hardly any damage to enemies for the spell level and it can deal damage to you that could end your concentration. It’s true that the damage they take each turn is guaranteed, but it is hard to view this as a good spell when it is taking up your concentration. Also it's called consuming fire but you are doing cold damage to yourself and others.
Only clerics, sorcerers, and wizards get access to this as written (but only likely clerics are going to ever consider using it).
Doom of Dancing Blades (GREAT) (UNCLEAR): I like this spell. It’s very thematic and is a concentration alternative to Mirror Image. It is available to bards, clerics, sorcerers, and wizards. While the damage it can dish out on a critical hit is high, this is balanced out by the fact that it doesn’t work in total darkness, the attacker is blind, or you are invisible. One criticism I do have about it is it doesn’t state whether creatures with darkvision are still affected by it while they are in total darkness (as written they are not).
Doom of Disenchantment (RETHINK): It’s a neat concept for a spell. I would have liked to have seen warlocks get access to it. Like with a lot of these kinds of spells, clerics, sorcerers, and wizards get access to it but clerics are by far the most likely to get much use out of it. Getting an automatic counterspell against attack roll spells used against them is also pretty powerful, but the fact that charisma is used as your spellcasting ability for it is bizarre. Especially given that most charisma casters don’t get access to it.
Doom of Serpent Coils: I love that it doesn’t require concentration. Poison damage kind of sucks but I can see how this could be useful with the right build. Rangers don’t get access to it for some odd reason though.
Doom of the Cracked Shield: 5E doesn’t do broken armor or weapons (except for rust monsters) and I think it is better off that way. I wouldn’t allow this spell but some DM’s might. You have to also use an action to cast it and then, on another turn, and other action to attack with it.
Doom of the Earthen Maw: It is an interesting concept but I personally would avoid this just for the hassle of managing it. Also, the combination of it having no concentration required and its radius make it very potent but tactical.
Doom of the Pit (UNCLEAR): This spell says the following for its upcasting
“When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, you can increase the depth of the pit by 10 feet for each slot level above 3rd.”
But this is a 4th level spell. At some point Kobold Press may have increased its level but didn’t adjust its text. In any case, it’s an interesting idea but I also don’t see how the pit “destroys everything it touches.” Also, it has kind of a long description by 5E standards.
Doom of the Slippery Rogue: It’s basically just a better Grease spell that works on walls (with a fixed strength check for vertical climbing).
Drain Item (RULES): I think you should have to be able to see the item to be able to drain it (and you need to have a clear path to the target). For these reasons, I don’t think you should be able to drain an item that is being carried instead of just held. But honestly, I wouldn’t allow this at my table either way. Given how rare magic items are in 5E, it feels like it would be too niche of a spell for players to use and kind of a douche move for a DM to use.
Dread Wings (GREAT): 4d8 necrotic damage means you do half the damage of a Fireball (roughly) every turn and you can also frighten targets and move it. I love the flavour and it is very strong. But it is also a 4th level spell.
Drown: Honestly, I’m surprised this isn’t already a 5E official spell. It does its job and there are no surprises here.
Dryad’s Kiss (GREAT): This is a rare case where I’m ok with official spells being referenced in a spell. Just because they are only being referenced as a way to end it and not as a description of the spells effects.
Anyways, I love the flavour of this spell. The mechanics seem fair and it is an interesting take on making a spell. The upcasting of it also seems reasonable.
Ears of the Bat (GREAT) (POWERFUL): An hour of 60 foot blindsight makes this a really powerful spell. Because it lets you see through even magical darkness it may actually even be too powerful for only a 3rd level spell.
On the other hand, you are having to use your concentration for it and this only applies to you. Only druids and warlocks get access to it.
Earthskimmer (UNCLEAR): The fact that you have to use your action in order to dish out the damage and cause prone is a bit of a downside. What isn’t clear is if you can attempt to knock a creature prone twice in one turn. The spell reads like this isn’t possible, but it also gives you plenty of movement to do it. Also, since the spell takes up your movement it seems like even if you use the dash action you can only move 60 feet in a turn.
Earth Wave (OVERPOWERED): This spell is just pure badassery. But I could also see it causing balance issues in combat since you can just roll past monsters, potentially multiple times, at 90 feet per round.
Earthworm Melody (RULES): This calls for a constitution check to maintain concentration. But concentration is typically handled with a constitution saving throw. These are not the same thing since a constitution check is an ability check (which doesn’t use your proficiency bonus).
Echoes of Steel (POWERFUL) (TREND): This seems ridiculous for a paladin with smite. Especially given it lasts a minute. But it is also a 4th level, paladin only spell. A bard could take this as part of their magical secrets and get some use out of it. Especially if they had Booming Blade. The wording of the spell also goes against convention because it makes it seem like you can only cast this (as a bonus action) as you hit with an attack. That is technically permitted, because the spell determines when a bonus action can be used, but conventionally bonus actions aren’t used like this. So it feels clunky.
Eidetic Memory (GREAT): Players never need to take notes ever because they can just ritual cast this. It is a 5th level spell though so if you were hoping to not have to take notes you’ll likely not have access to it.
Elemental Horns (UNDERPOWERED): This is a really useful spell for Mazeborn Sorcerers. Fortunately for everyone, they weren’t reprinted in this book. But it does mean that this spell is very limited in terms of what it will actually work on.
Encrypt/Decrypt (UNDERPOWERED): Let's think about this logically. Any wizard that knows this spell could use it to read what another wizard wants hidden. But this spell is only a cantrip. So what smart NPC is going to use this? It’s not like non-magic encryption options don’t exist. Encrypting messages dates back to Ancient Egypt. Anyways, taking this spell is pointless.
Endow Attribute (GREAT): This is a cool concept that I haven’t seen done before.
Energy Absorption: This seems very high level for what it does. Like you need to be in melee striking distance to use its effect on an unwilling creature. Then you have to hit them. Even rangers are going to have trouble using this because you are making a melee spell attack (and wisdom is rarely the first priority for most rangers). So warlocks might be best with using it.
Energy Foreknowledge (RULES): The problem with this spell is that its reaction description presumes that you know what damage type a spell is using before it hits you (it doesn’t work on acid or poison damage for instance).
The name of the spell does say foreknowledge, but nothing in the rules would support you knowing this. This is why Absorb Elements is written as it is. Given you can cast counterspell one level lower than this spell I’d say it’s balanced though.
Enhance Familiar (RETHINK) (TREND): Another spell that relies on knowing an official spell. Also, I’m not sure every familiar has a giant version. Heck, even the familiar options in this book don’t.
Entomb: It is a cool spell but even with resistance 50 hit points is nothing. A commoner wielding a dagger would break free long before the 8 hours were up (let alone any monster with multiple attacks). It’s good that it doesn’t require concentration and it could be a good control spell. But it’s also not going to entomb anyone for very long. And as a dexterity save it may entomb no one.
Enumerate: This spell is useless unless you want to be a banker (or annoy your GM)
Essence Instability: No concentration but the damage is too little and resisted for using a 5th level spell slot. I could see it being used against enemy spellcasters but that is about it.
Exceptional Wit (TREND): Yet another Guidance like spell. This time for intelligence. It also stacks with Guidance.
Extract Knowledge: This actually could be a reasonably useful spell. But only as a ritual spell. Also only getting one answer per ritual cast could mean getting information takes a long time.
Exude Acid (UNCLEAR): Only sorcerers, warlocks, and wizards get this spell and only warlocks or bladesingers are likely to be in range to use it. Not sure if it works with the extra attack feature but probably? It could be clearer about this though. Also, you are making a melee attack with this and it's not clear with what attribute (presumably strength).
Fault Line: It is a fine spell but it is pretty forgettable.
Feather Field (TREND): Shield was fine for this and this is also really niche. Plus, how do you know the condition to use this (that the weapon is magical) is met before using it ? This is part of a trend in this book of spells assuming players know things that they can’t know.
Feather Travel: I like it. It’s like fly but has its uses, especially if cast at a higher level. Still a very nice cast.
Fey Crown: I like it. It seems to fit the theme and is balanced. Not having to worry about concentration also is nice.
Fey Glamer: It is too easy to just give advantage on these checks. Only bards and sorcerers get it. This spell is balanced but I don’t find it very inspiring.
Find Kin: This is such a niche spell. At least it can be ritual cast? That’s all I can really say.
Fire Darts (POWERFUL): I don’t think anyone is going to walk around with a fire that is large enough for cooking. I’ve labelled this as problematic because it’s more powerful than Scorching Ray. Even enemies that save take 2d6 damage each dart. The only thing Scorching Ray even has over it is that its range is much more limited than scorching ray, but that (and the small campfire) is its only weakness compared to it.
Fire under the Tongue (UNDERPOWERED): Too weak to justify a spell slot. Burning Hands does more damage. Also if it is treated like a ranged attack with a range of 5 feet then wouldn’t you get disadvantage when using this?
Firewalk: It’s a cool spell but I can’t see it getting much use. Especially since it is using fire damage. This is not as good of a damage type at higher levels because of the number of creatures immune or resistant to it.
Fist of Iron (UNDERPOWERED): Just an all around terrible cantrip. Why would I want to use my concentration for this spell? The number of builds this would help is very limited. It also requires you use your action to cast it so it isn’t even doing damage on your first turn. Even monks won’t get any use out of it because a quarterstaff deal 1d6 damage with one hand and monks can hit with their fists and have it count as a magical weapon by level 6.
Flame Wave: It’s too similar to Fireball for me to be that impressed by it (keeping in mind that since the radius of Fireball is 20 feet, the diameter is 40 feet). Pushing away creatures could be useful. It does the job I guess.
Flesh to Paper (GREAT): I love the idea of a character still moving 30 feet as a carbon level thick creature. Like when the coyote gets flattened by that steamroller by the roadrunner. Also, as written, enemies can’t just walk over the paper thin creature because it still occupies the space. Which may even give this defensive uses. Also, even though it can’t attack it can still use actions like the help action to help allies.
Fog of War (BOOKKEEPING): Too much rolling and bookkeeping with this spell. This is just going to slow down combat unnecessarily. It’s not clear when they make the wisdom saving throw in a round. Also, making the saving throw doesn’t end the spell for that creature (they just avoid it for that round).
Forest Affinity: Feels niche and (when considering its upcasting) pass without trace already fills the group stealth need. Obviously forests are a common terrain. But 5E tries to avoid these environment specific spells for a reason.
Forest Native (TREND): Like I said, 5E tries to avoid these kinds of environmental specific spells. This is an example of a spell in the book whose effect you could really instead give it out as a magic item. That way no one needs to use a spell slot on it.
Forest of Spears: The spell looks reasonably balanced given it is a 5th level concentration spell. Creatures are free to use their action to escape from the restrained condition. So the extra damage done each turn can be avoided.
Forest Sanctuary: It’s level 9 spell that you probably aren’t going to get a lot of use out of.
Its longer casting time will also cause you to lose concentration on any concentration spell you had active.
Form of the Gods (UNCLEAR): The statblock includes a feature called “Awesome Presence” This feature however is not listed under actions and doesn’t appear to trigger each turn. So is it just constantly active? Presumably not. Overall, I’m not too impressed either way with this given it's a 9th level spell.
Fortitude (UNDERPOWERED) (TREND): Do you know how often constitution checks come up? Fairly rarely. Constitution saving throws on the other hand, which you use for maintaining concentration, at least come up often. In fact, per the DMG even for extreme cold and heat you actually use constitution saving throws.
Frailty (UNDERPOWERED) (TREND): If Fortitude was weak then this is even weaker. It has all the problems of Fortitude, like constitution checks never happening, with the added problem of an enemy needing to fail a save for it to even work.
Freezing Fog (OVERPOWERED): Giving exhaustion really makes this a powerful spell. Sure it is using constitution saving throws, which many enemies will avoid, but any enemy that fails even saving throw one will have a level of exhaustion. One level of exhaustion means they’ll have disadvantage on ability checks. So they’ll be much easier to grapple or shove. The damage is only a minor side bonus.
Where this spell really becomes powerful is when someone else in your party can use a spell to contain enemies for any decent duration (even with just a spell that causes the area to have difficult terrain). With two levels of exhaustion their speed is halved, which stacks with any difficult terrain you place.
With 6 levels of exhaustion the enemies will all be dead. But even with 3 levels of it they will have disadvantage on their attack throws, ability checks, and saving throws as well as half speed. If used intelligently, and with a bit of luck, this truly can be a pretty deadly spell for its level.
And worse case scenario whoever casts this can always drop concentration if there is a need for it. The exhaustion doesn’t go away when the spell ends.
Plus the spell has a 100 foot range.
Frozen Razors (POWERFUL) (UNCLEAR): This is an excellent tactical spell. Unfortunately, it is in need of clarification.
On the surface it doesn’t appear to work entirely like Spike Growth. The damage taken only happens when you move more than 5 feet into or inside the area on a turn. I’m still unsure about whether or not the damage can happen more than once each turn.
Also, if you take any cold damage from the spell you have your speed reduced to half (and if you move more than 5 feet you’ll take cold damage even if you succeed on your save). This half speed though stacks with the fact that this spell is creating difficult terrain. So this is a very powerful spell for controlling creatures. The downside with it is that it is only a 20 foot cube.
Furious Hooves: You get an additional two attacks and any of your original attacks can be used to shove while still doing damage. Rangers don’t get this and frankly that kind of sucks for them.
Gear Barrage: So basically, this is just a wider, longer, burning hands that does bludgeoning damage using d8’s instead of d6’s. I guess the area of effect is great. But the damage itself is not all that impressive.
Ghoul King’s Cloak (GREAT): Most of the features are meh for its level. But the fact that the target can’t be reduced to less than one hit point is huge. Only clerics and warlocks can get this. Honestly, though it would be great on a grave domain cleric. Especially if cast at 9th level. You and your party are probably never going to die (unless it's dispelled).
Giant’s Jest: Basically, this renders the attack of an opponent that is using a weapon worthless for one minute and without requiring concentration. It is pretty good but still somewhat niche since it works best on humanoids and giants (since they are the most likely to require weapons).
Gift of Luck (OVERPOWERED): This spell is way too powerful for it to be a ritual spell without it also needing concentration. Especially given it is only a level 2 spell and lasts for 24 hours. In a four person party during a short rest you could use this on 6 different creatures. Now all of them get to have three rolls (of their choice) with advantage.
Gift of Resilience: Advantage on death saving throws is sweet. But not needing them is better. Weirdly not available for clerics. But in any case, it’s a decent enough spell for its level.
Gird the Spirit (TREND): This is a niche spell but one that invalidates too much about what makes the target (undead that drain ability scores) a challenge (at least given the spell level).
If you are planning to fight this type of undead then why wouldn’t you take this spell? Especially given it is a reaction spell.
Glamer of Mundanity: I’m sure people can come up with some fun infiltration uses for this.
Gliding Step (TREND): This feels like it could have just been a magic item.
Gloomwrought Barrier: You can’t destroy the wall since it is made of energy and has no hp or AC. Otherwise, I guess this is an interesting spell? It doesn’t work on ranged attacks or spells though so it isn’t much of a barrier.
Glyph of Shifting (OVERPOWERED): It doesn’t say how large the surface is and there is nothing stopping someone from teleporting someone a few miles up, causing most to almost certainly die upon landing (its 20d6 bludgeoning damage from falling). It is also very cheap and because of that it is too easy to access. But it is also expensive enough that I debated about whether or not this should be describing this as problematic instead.
It also only takes 10 minutes to cast instead of Glyph of Warding’s 1 hour.
I’m not big on offensive spells that consume gold either.
Goat’s Hoof Charm (TREND): It just comes across as a spell that should have instead been a magic item.
Going in Circles (TREND): This could be a good spell for DMs to use but I doubt players will ever get much use out of it. Unless of course they are aware they are being tracked. An interesting consequence of this spell is that anything flying over it would also be affected up to a mile away.
Gordolay’s Pleasant Aroma (POWERFUL) (BOOKKEEPING): The radius of this spell is 30 feet. This seems large for a first level spell. I also see this make combat require too many rolls. Since you are introducing a wisdom save and disadvantage potentially to all affected creatures (and creatures immune to charm are still affected).
Grain of Truth (OVERPOWERED) (TREND): Freely giving yourself advantage and adding twice your proficiency bonus on intelligence and charisma skills is a ridiculous ability given it is a 2nd level ritual spell. Especially in situations where you have 10 minutes to spare (to ritual cast it). Unless there is some ticking clock lots of adventurers will just use this when investigating parts of a dungeon.
The official spells that the spell lists out instead are far more reasonable to use.
Grasp of the Tupilak (BOOKKEEPING) (TREND): How does a player know who is an arcane or divine caster? Either way, it’s a neat spell for melee range casters and the fact that it has no concentration is a nice bonus. It’s best used by clerics or warlocks given the close proximity required for it.
Also the description of this spell is too long and the explanation could be shortened. It also feels like it has too much bookkeeping.
The spell also ends once it is triggered (it says it in the duration, but this can be easy to miss).
Greater Analyze Device (TREND): Just make this spell an upcast feature of the lower level spell. This is an unnecessary and frankly redundant spell.
Greater Maze (TREND): It’s a better version of Maze that does some damage each turn and also requires two actions and two successful checks before they are freed. It’s fortunate here that Maze is such a straightforward spell that it referencing it is less of a deal.
Green Mantle: I love the flavor to the spell but 5E generally avoids straight bonuses for a reason. Also, pass without trace already exists for only a slightly higher level. This has a longer duration but it also just feels very niche.
Hamstring (GREAT): The only disadvantage with this spell over Thunderbolt is that you have to be able to see the target, which is unusual for an attack roll spell. But otherwise, it’s just better than Thunderbolt and honestly a great cantrip.
Hard Heart (RETHINK): This spell just feels clunky. Allies are going to choose to fail the save. While it can be used on non-allies, since sorcerers can’t get access to this so any caster of this is going to be noticed touching someone while casting the spell. The target would have to be exceptionally stupid to not realize they are the target of the spell after being touched as a result of it.
I’m also not sure 5e really needed players to be giving charm immunity with a level 1 spell. Even if it does only have a 10 minute duration.
Harry (UNDERPOWERED) (TREND): I could see this spell being useful for tracking someone back to a lair. But for a 4th level spell it kind of sucks. Also, bards, rangers, sorcerers, and wizards get this but not druids (for some reason). Also this book has too many spells for tracking.
Harrying Hounds (OVERPOWERED) (RULES): First, as written, it’s not definitively made clear that creatures immune to being frightened are immune to this spell.
But besides that, this is a way to completely change a battle. No concentration is required and enemies are only able to repeat their saves every 4 hours (or every minute if they can no longer move). Most of the time the spell lasts for hours and those enemies are going to keep moving in that direction for as long as they can. Overall, this spell feels too powerful even for a 5th level spell.
Harsh Light of Summer’s Glare (RULES): The caster of this is a creature and they can clearly see themselves. So they would be affected by this too.
I know what you might be thinking. How do basilisks and medusa’s then avoid a similar effect? Well, both say that they “can” petrify the target. Which means they don’t have to.
With its 90 foot radius it's almost certain that some of your allies are going to be making this save (even if you want to argue over whether or not you would be). Which also could create the situation of your blinded allies swinging at enemies that are incapacitated (because they are stunned) but I could see a lot of disadvantage cancelling out any advantage with this spell.
Heart Seeking Arrow (POWERFUL) (RULES): I liked this spell up until it mentioned that a target could only be resurrected with a true resurrection or wish spell. This seems a bit much. The duration of this spell is a minute and it is a concentration spell. After the minute is up the spell ends. If they wanted this spell to last longer they should have used instantaneous for the duration.
Even if the argument is the damage that is inflicted to the heart, a resurrection spell (level 7) repairs a body in full. You shouldn’t need a 9th level spell and it's a bit silly that a 4th level spell prevents a 7th level spell from permanently operating.
Also, don’t forget that the 6d6 extra damage is counted this as part of that weapons damage. If you get a critical hit that is an insane amount of damage delivered. Even if you miss though it still deals 3d6 damage. Which is tiny for most 4th level spells, but less bad when you consider that this is a spell being cast as a bonus action.
One downside with the spell though is it just works the one time. So I’m a bit all over the place when it comes to it.
Heart to Heart (POWERFUL): It’s a cool spell that can help to keep party members alive. I’d be weary of approving it because at higher levels (when maintaining access to 1st level spell slots is less important) I could see it making death too difficult. Especially with the fact that regained hit points can be given from a character that doesn’t need them.
Heartache (POWERFUL): 5d6 psychic damage on a charisma save (for only a level 2 spell) is maybe a bit too strong. Particularly when you consider that Scorching Ray might do 6d6 fire damage but only if all of its attacks hit (and how common fire resistance/immunity is compared to psychic resistance/immunity).
Heartstop (TREND): This is too similar to Feign Death and it feels redundant to have it. Feign Death is a ritual though, so I suppose this is balanced given that it isn’t. But Feign Death is already a very situational spell so I’m not sure this spell was really needed.
Heartstrike (GREAT): This is a solid spell for rangers that makes their life easier (druids also get access to it but have less of a use of it). Attack rolls aren’t affected by being lightly obscured though.
Heavenly Crown: This spell could be really good with a party paired up with a rogue or paladin. Particularly rogues because their sneak attack damage can be done once per turn. It is a 6th level spell though and you may find you have better uses for your concentration at this point.
Hedren’s Bird’s of Clay (UNDERPOWERED) (RULES) : So you have to say “Pull” before the attack roll is even made. Reality doesn’t always work out like that. How am I supposed to know the DM is going to be making an attack roll this turn using a ranged attack? Sometimes I will, but sometimes I won’t.
I love the idea of the spell (particularly the idea of saying pull and having a clay bird intercept the attack). But it seems pretty likely that an attack that rolls less than a 10+proficiency bonus was already going to miss (at least for Druids and Rangers). Even for Wizards though this is why the Shield spell exists.
Hemotomancy (RULES) (TREND): It’s an interesting spell for tracking down a creature. But the spell clashes a bit I think with the idea of using focusses for non-gold material costs.
If you ignore needing the blood, then I feel like it's covering too much of what Locate Creature does and just doing it better. Even though Locate Creature is a 4th level spell and this is only 3rd level.
But if you require someone to have the blood then the circumstances where it could actually be helpful are kind of niche and very DM dependent. Especially if we are talking about a living creature.
Also, this book has too many spells for tracking already. It didn’t need another one. I actually think this would be cooler as a magic item anyway. Like a vial that magically points you towards the owner of the blood contained in it.
Its longer casting time will also cause you to lose concentration on any concentration spell you had active.
Hero’s Steel: I could see this being used in combat if it was cast beforehand.
Hobble (GREAT): This spell being a bonus action cantrip is huge, as is the fact that this effect stacks with difficult terrain and getting up from being prone.
Hobble Mount: This is one of the most niche combat spells in this book. You really need to be reliably fighting mounted creatures to get any use out of it.
Holy Ground (UNCLEAR) (RULES) : This spell could be clearer about how long this undead prevention thing lasts. Because saying that creatures can’t be raised as undead even if the corpse is “later removed from the area” makes it sound a bit too much like it’s not really a 10 minute duration spell. Typically, these kinds of permanent spells use the “instantaneous” duration and not a limited one.
Holy Vow (RETHINK): Too much forcing of alignment and oath by the DM here. Paladin’s can't ritual cast spells. So why make this a ritual spell if only paladins can get it? Sure the ritual casting feat exists but not many will take it. And yea bard’s can get it as part of magic secrets but why would they?
Also, the spell is too loose about what is “directly related” to your avowed task. It feels too much someone's idea of a spell to let DMs control players.
Holy Warding (UNDERPOWERED): Creatures typically don’t attack with magic weapons (the statblock has to specifically say they do) so this is giving resistance to most melee attacks. But, at the same time, this is basically just a better blade ward. I would have rather seen a cantrip like blade ward affect more creatures at higher levels, than seen a level 2 spell for this. If I could cast this spell as a bonus action, or its duration was longer, I might have not viewed it as being underpowered.
Hone Blade (UNDERPOWERED). This is an unbelievably terrible spell since it only works on the target's next successful hit. It may as well just do 1 damage to someone.
Hunter’s Cunning (TREND): This is the kind of spell rangers should have access to officially. I don’t know if handwaving difficult terrain for just one creature is that useful. But at least it fits the theme of the class. Having said that, it is yet another tracking spell.
Hunter’s Endurance (RULES) (TREND): The spells in this book assume that tracking targets is way more common than it is. This is what the survival skill is for in most cases.
Also, a focus can be used to cast spells that have a non-gold cost material component. I think there might be a few official spells that also don’t effectively do anything unless you have a non-gold component. But I don’t think they should be emulated. Especially when rangers (who under PHB rules can’t use a focus) and warlocks (who can use a focus) can get access to this. It’s also a bit weird that warlocks get access to this and not druids.
Hunter’s Stand (TREND): Tiny Hut already exists. We don’t need a spell to replicate it (and particularly not a spell at a higher level). Also, while a 10 foot cube could hold 9 creatures I think it needs to be acknowledged that they would have to squeeze into it for it to work.
Hypnotic Missive (RULES) (TREND): You want to take extra caution when using this to make sure that your character is not able to read any of it while they are enchanting it. It’s a fun spell but even creatures immune to charm are affected by this (which is part of a trend in this book that ignores existing conditions like charm). When you look at the Enthrall spell for instance creatures that are immune to charm automatically make their save but that doesn’t happen with this.
Also, while you need 50 gold worth of components, they aren’t actually consumed by the spell for some reason.
Ice Soldier (UNDERPOWERED): Why would I summon two ice soldiers when they each only work on one target and last for only 1 minute? This spell just seems very underpowered for a level 7 spell. I’d rather have a CR4 celestial at this level for an hour (like a Couatl), per Conjure Celestial, than two ice soldiers for a minute. It doesn’t use concentration, which is nice, but it still is not an impressive spell . The only thing the ice soldiers are really good for is being meat shields. But depending on what enemies you are fighting, their vulnerability to fire damage might even make them not that good for even that.
Ice Manipulation.I guess I just don’t see why this needed to be its own spell. This is too similar to Flesh to Stone (though there are differences). Also, there is a misspelling of the word permanent at the end of the first paragraph of this description.
Illuminate Spoor (TREND): Enough with the tracking spells. Yikes.
Illusionary Trap (RETHINK): First, just the fact that you are making a player make a wisdom saving throw, and not a proficiency check for this spell, should give away to the player that something is up. Why would a player choose to proceed past that point and try to disarm it? I think the spell creates a few issues when it comes to player agency and putting players in the position of metagaming it.
Impeding Ally (UNCLEAR): I assume this is an exact duplicate of you. But it doesn’t say anything about whether or not this also applies to health, AC, etc. Since this is not an illusion these all kind of seem relevant.
Impotence (TREND): I guess you could use this on a target you intend to grapple. But the opportunity to this spell on a target (particularly given its limited range) would be pretty limited. It also only applies to strength ability checks, not saving throws, so it may not always apply to offensive spells you have.
It also doesn’t require concentration. It’s part of a group of 6 similar spells like this for each of the abilities.
Indecision (UNCLEAR): I know the intent here is that if you fail your save by 5 or more you can’t move or take any actions. But as written, it seems like if you fail the save by 5 or more it could be interpreted as allowing you to move during the round? Which seems kind of weird. There is something just slightly off with the wording here. It otherwise seems reasonable for its level.
Insightful Maneuver (OVERPOWERED): So double damage from a type of your choice until the end of your turn and paladins and warlocks get it. Combining this with a paladin’s Smite, Eldritch Blast, or even Eldritch Smite would definitely lead to some pretty damaging attacks. This is too powerful for it to be given as a 1st level spell and castable as a bonus action. Even the Grave Domain cleric’s ability only works on the next attack and requires your full action.
Inspiring Speech: It is a reasonable buff of the level of the spell.
Instant fortification (GREAT): This is a fun, defensive spell and the cost to use it seems reasonable.
Instant Siege Weapon (UNCLEAR) (RETHINK): If you don’t own the DMG, or aren’t aware that there are siege weapons in the DMG, then this spell is useless. They should have just made up a siege weapon statistic (or statistics) for this. It’s effectively requiring you to reference the DMG for this to work. But not every DM is even aware there are siege weapon statistics in the DMG. I definitely would not say in a spell that the GM just “knows” what the statistics for the weapon are. Like I guess there are license reasons why they don’t use the phrase DMG. But just give a statblock then.
Instant Snare (UNCLEAR): It’s an interesting spell that balances its long duration against the two different ways to get out of it (you have a saving throw at the end of a turn and you can use your action to make an Intelligence (Arcana) check to get out of it).
I don’t see why you would trigger it at 10 feet. Since it doesn’t appear to do anything until they are within 5 feet. Why say you can trigger it at 10 feet if it doesn’t work?
Invested Champion: This spell is kind of weak for clerics because it eats up their bonus action, which they will probably be using for Spiritual Weapon. It also requires their concentration and by this level they are going to have multiple better uses for that. A paladin could maybe make better use of it but even they may have better uses for their concentration.
Ire of the Mountain: The 10 pound limitation on this limits what it can be used for. It won’t work on any metal armor for instance.
So weapons and shields are likely to be the target of it.
5E already has a spell that hurts creatures using metal, Heat Metal. It’s a much more reasonable way to approach this idea. Players not fighting humanoids or giants also probably won’t even get much use out of this. I suppose there are also out of combat uses for it as well.
Iron Hand (UNDERPOWERED): A lot of the creative uses for this spell could be done by Mage Hand. You also need to use your action to get fire resistance out of it for a turn.
Iron Mind (UNCLEAR): “Mind altering effects” is such a vague term to be throwing around. Like, presumably that means charmed or frightened. But what about stunned? It’s too broad of a term. Also, the spell is a bit too similar to Mind Blank for my tastes (particularly given its only a 3rd level spell). At least say the conditions it works on.
Iron Stomach (TREND): I guess we needed an “eat dirt” spell, assuming of course you count dirt as organic. But seriously, rations are pretty affordable. You shouldn’t need this spell. It could have even been a magic item that makes things edible.
Jeweled Fissure (UNCLEAR) (RULES): You had me until it was forcing these crystals out of the ground and up 100 feet. This comes across as being a bit too much of an anti-flyer spell. But it also doesn’t give the target any condition and instead decided to act outside of that. Like, I’m not even sure how this would interact with the hover ability. Like would a beholder hit by this fall? Either way, it’s just another spell that decides its going to ignore existing 5E conditions and mechanics.
Kareef’s Entreaty (RULES) (RETHINK): If you are making death saves you can’t be a willing creature because you are unconscious and lack awareness (according to Jeremy Crawford). Also, the moment before a death save doesn’t come across as being very perceptible. I think you could perceive a death save but I don’t see how logically someone could perceive one was coming beyond it just being “you see the character is near death.” As written, the spell just feels like there is a misalignment between the mechanics and what a character would perceive. A more logical spell might have been to cast the spell as a reaction in order to allow a character to reroll a failed death save.
Kavelin’s Instant Aerosol: It’s a neat concept but everyone within 5 feet of you benefiting from a potion of speed just seems like it might be too strong. Even weaker potions than this would have problems from this as well. It’s also a bit too reliant on having access to magic potions (not all DM’s might reward these regularly or provide store access to them regularly).
Keening Wail: A reasonable amount of damage for its spell level and a neat secondary effect. It’s a solid spell.
Killing Fields (BOOKKEEPING): The concept behind this spell is amazing. But having a 100 foot cube where I’m having to manage any beasts or monstrosities in it, just seems like it would be a pain. Per the spell though, unless you specified a creature you summoned before casting this, summons are unlikely to benefit from this.
On the one hand, it's a spell that takes 10 minutes to cast and only works in natural terrain. It is also a 5th level spell (and that is where spells start to typically get crazy). But the fact that all other creatures are hindered here, without any chance to save, doesn’t completely sit right with me. Particularly when combined with its 24 hour duration, 100 foot cube area, and lack of needing any concentration.
Kiss of the Succubus (UNDERPOWERED) (RULES) (RETHINK): Charmed isn’t mind control (you’d need to convince them to kiss you) and this spell treats it too much like it is. Also, 5d10 damage is weak for a single-target level 5 spell. Particularly given the conditions for it working (particularly the use of a dominate spell like dominate person, since that limits what creatures it would work on).
It’s also doing psychic damage but you are making a constitution (and not intelligence) saving throw.
So this spell needs a rethink for a variety of reasons frankly.
Labyrinth Mastery (WEAK): 5E doesn’t really use labyrinths as much as it should. This is a reasonable spell effect for its level. Arguably, it may be underpowered because it only works for finding the nearest exit. Which could just be how you came into the Labyrinth.
Labyrinth Howl: This is a really strong spell that only affects enemies. But it is a save or suck spell so it seems reasonably balanced.
Lacerate (POWERFUL): Exhaustion should be used sparingly. The use of slashing damage in a spell is also rare, and it is even rarer that this kind of damage is actually resisted.
4d8 damage on a single target, or half on a success, may actually be slightly too strong for this level. Particularly when you compare it to Mind Spike. Also, the description makes it seem like an attack roll would be more appropriate.
Lance of the Sun God (POWERFUL) (RULES) (RETHINK): Mounted rules make it tough to use this. If you are mounted, you wouldn’t be moving the same turn you make this attack, rendering the second paragraph of this worthless. But lances also require that you use them with both hands if you aren’t mounted. They also give disadvantage on attacks within 5 feet, making positioning really important.
Also, a lance doesn’t have the two-handed feature so it wouldn’t benefit from great weapon master (and lances also aren’t included in the list for polearm mastery). So your options are limited in terms of creating a build that could use this spell.
On the other hand, with a paladin you can crit with this and do insane damage. You do need to be mindful though of its concentration requirement as well. Clerics also get this but they probably have other better uses for their concentration.
Laugh in the Face of Fear (OVERPOWERED) (UNCLEAR): Unless you know the creature you are fighting can frighten, which can be metagamy, you have little reason to prepare this otherwise niche spell. But if you do it is extremely effective against against anything that frightens.
The fact that it protects up to 6 targets from frightening is great but you being able to have something like a dragon repeat these frighten saves just feels like it's breaking legendary resistance (since you are incentivized to avoid becoming frightened). Once frightened by this, an enemy would also get no chance to save against being frightened at the end of a future turn.
It's also a bit unclear if multiple creatures making this laughter would even force the target to make multiple wisdom saves. Presumably they would.
Lava Stone: This is dealing an average of 25.5 damage on its first turn, then 14, 7, and 3.5 on subsequent turns (provided no one uses their action to scrape off the lava). For an average of 50 damage. I’m not a math expert, but once you factor in the fact that this attack needs to hit (and does nothing if it misses), and the fact that say a Blight spell does half damage when a saving throw is successful, on average this is probably comparable to Blight’s damage.
You are able to force multiple concentration saving throws with this spell and can make enemies waste an action trying to prevent the damage.
Lay to Rest (OVERPOWERED) (TREND): On the one hand, it is a 5th level spell. On the other hand, this is such an anti-vampire spell that I think it is overpowered (particularly when you compare it to other radiant damage spells at 5th or 6th level).
A vampire that misses out on their regeneration because they took radiant damage is really missing out on a core feature. So when they are taking an average of 8d6 (28) radiant damage in one turn (half as much on a successful save) from one spell they are not long for this world. Vampire’s constitution saves are decent (+4) so they are probably going to take the full damage at least half of the time (and if they take any radiant damage they don’t regenerate).
The radiant damage though by itself is fine. But what really sets the spell into the state of being overpowered is that it completely bypasses a vampire’s ability to turn into mist when they hit 0hp. Instead they are just disintegrated (regardless of whether or not they make their constitution save). Flame Strike and Sunbeam don’t have this kind of a feature, and frankly, I think it makes the spell too powerful given that both clerics and paladins get access to this. A cleric walking into a vampire lair should always prepare this spell in advance.
Also the spell only works on undead. So, it is a bit limited in that sense, but it still can be used on more than just vampires (and clerics and paladins can easily switch the spell out when they have no need of it). It’s also part of a trend in the book of just hand waving core aspects of a monster by taking a “you just disintegrate it” approach.
Legion of Rabid Squirrels (GREAT): I have a Magic the Gathering squirrel deck so this spell won me over just with the name (though the spell is reasonable as written).
Lesser Maze (TREND): Let’s not devalue the Maze spell like this. Maze is a unique spell and it really should be unique. If the designers of 5E felt like it should have a lesser version they would have given it one. Also, nobody should have to look over the Maze spell just to understand what this spell does.
Liar's Gift: It’s basically just a level 1 version of the Friends spell.
Life from Death: I’m not a fan of spells that only work on a creature type as limited as undead (though humanoid is fine). But this spell seems reasonable (and maybe a touch underpowered). 2d6 radiant damage is the same as what holy water can do. So for a 3rd level spell slot you are getting the ability to attack in melee and do the same damage as a holy water. It also only works on undead and requires your concentration.
Life Sense (POWERFUL) (UNCLEAR) (TREND): I’m assuming trying to “hide your life force” refers to the hide mechanic. If so, this weakens the hide mechanic and stealth by giving a 3rd level spell that entirely gives away your location even when hidden. It also is available for all spellcasters (including rangers and paladins). Being behind partial cover also won’t help with the save since it's a charisma saving throw.
If the designers of 5E wanted such a fairly low level, quick, and easy way to detect hidden monsters nearby they would have just included the spell in the game. It’s not like this isn’t an obvious mechanic after all. Instead, we have skills like perception for a reason. I would not approve this spell as a DM myself.
The only thing that keeps me from labelling this as overpowered is its 10 minute duration and range.
Life Transfer Arrow (UNDERPOWERED): I doubt many will choose the second option. So realistically, we are talking about a spell that hurts your enemies with 2d6 damage and heals you 2d6 hit points. But a longbow with 16 dexterity does 1d8+3 damage so on average slightly higher than this spell. So, if you are a paladin taking this you are really just gaining from the healing here. But a Healing Word with 16 wisdom heals 1d4+3 (4-7) hp. So only an average difference of 1.5 health.
So using this is slightly better than Healing Word and attacking, but only as long as you are making one attack and only as long as you want to just heal yourself.
It’s an interesting concept but I think clerics and paladins have more flexible options. Chances are you won’t benefit that much from having access to this healing and even then by level 5 your cantrips will do more damage than this.
Litany of Sure Hands (TREND): Most of this is fine but ignoring the loading property just comes across as being yet another way they are bypassing design choices (a trend in this book). Normally, you’d need to take a feat for this and not a 1st level (Paladin only) spell. I don’t think it makes the spell overpowered by any means but something like a heavy crossbow has its limits for a reason. You can also cast this on anyone within 30 feet and as a bonus action. So the big cost of using it really is just the first level spell slot.
Lock Armor (UNCLEAR): What about locking armor makes this a wisdom saving throw? Dexterity? Sure. Strength? Sure. Constitution? Maybe. But wisdom? Does this mean my armor has consciousness? Has it been watching me? Judging me?
Also, here is that “effectively” word again. Just say that it gives a condition or doesn’t. Saying it “effectively” paralyzes someone is unnecessarily vague (do they have the condition or do they have effects that are exactly the same as being paralyzed, but don’t technically count as it).
The spell also feels excessively wordy for a spell that paralyzes metal constructs and people wearing metal armor. I’m not a fan of such selective spells to begin with, and I get that they are intending to treat specific types of medium armor differently, but I’d much rather a succinct spell.
Looping Trail (TREND): Another spell for terrain changes and tracking. Been there, done that. The only nice thing about this is it makes it more difficult for someone to track you. But that just makes it even more niche.
Lovesick: This has a bit of rolling to it but I could see it leading to some really memorable moments. It causing creatures to not take actions might be too powerful. Characters and enemies using this and causing creatures to “passionately embrace” someone nearby may not be wanted by all your players. So know your audience before approving it or using it.
Lower the Veil (OVERPOWERED) (TREND): The Symbol spell consumes a gem worth 1000 gold on its use. But this spell gets to ignore this just because reasons (and maybe because it is cast at one level higher).
But you know what the difference between Symbol and this is? Symbol works only on a 10 foot diameter area. Symbol doesn’t let you choose who it affects beyond that.
Do you know what this spell lets you do? It lets you choose who it affects in a 60 foot radius around you! Ohh and the spell lasts 10 minutes, instead of 1 minute, and it causes insanity to all those creatures if they fail the one saving throw against it.
That means no actions and the DM controls their movement for 10 minutes.
I get that it's an 8th level spell (and everything at this level is ridiculous) but even with that in mind the effects of insanity are way too strong to just hand out. Especially when you get to choose who is affected. The only thing Symbol has over it is that it uses an intelligence save, while this uses wisdom.
Also this is part of a trend in the book of spells referring to another spell for its effects.
Magnetize (BOOKKEEPING): It’s a cool concept for a spell, but this means all iron equipment the player has that isn’t being worn. So even in their backpack presumably. It’s hard to even give a value or further thought to this spell other than that a party could make effective use out of it. But it also feels like a spell that would require a lot of work to use. Especially for larger parties with lots of inventory.
Maim (POWERFUL). It’s damage is weak for its level but vulnerability of your choice between bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing is huge. Especially when it never effectively ends (except if certain spells are cast on it). It is also an attack roll spell (which this book seems to like to shun vs saving throws).
Malevolent Waves (POWERFUL): All your enemies are poisoned with no chance of saving. Also, the dome is invisible so they don’t see the spell radius, just its casting. It is an 8th level spell, and there are a lot of enemies immune to being poisoned, but enemies really should be able to save against it.
Mammon’s Due: With it being an hour long to cast, and a ritual, I’m having a hard time even judging this spell. It’s at the same level as wish though so it's got to be strong. It is a deadly spell against creatures in particular that have no fire immunity.
Mantle of the Brave (TREND): Show me a similar 5E spell to this that is official and this low level. I’m not sure what to make of this. It devalues frightened as a condition. But it also doesn’t seem completely crazy for a level 2 spell and ends after it is used once.
Mark Prey (OVERPOWERED) (TREND): Hey, look, another tracking spell. Also this spell is basically just an overpowered Hunters Mark. Unlimited advantage on attack rolls against your prey for an hour is ridiculous for a 2nd level spell (particularly for anyone using Elven Accuracy). And you can even upcast it to get a longer duration. Plus you see through the target's invisibility and get advantage when tracking and perceiving them. When it dies you can use a bonus action to switch to another target. Only Druids and Rangers get it.
Mass Hobble Mount: Hobble Mount was a niche enough spell. This should have just been what happens when it is upcast.
Maw of Needles: What is interesting is that the target has to make these con saving throws every turn, even when they’ve already succeeded. Druids and Rangers get this and both benefit from it not needing concentration. It’s definitely a strong spell but does require you to hit with it, them to then fail a save (for the per turn damage), and you to use your action and bonus action. So it seems like a fair trade.
Memento Mori (POWERFUL) (RULES) (RETHINK): You are a creature that can see you. So as written, this affects you. It also affects your allies. This just seems like a ridiculous spell. Especially given its any creature that can see you, which per the DMG, can be 2 miles away on a clear day. Giving out the stunned condition with a cantrip on a charisma save also seems very strong. Even if it is just for a round. Also, (and I’ll credit Mr. Tarrasque for catching this one as part of one of his recent videos) there is nothing stopping you from just using this over and over until your party members are immune for 24 hours.
Mire (UNCLEAR) (WEAK): This seems very reasonable and maybe even a bit underpowered. The way it's phrased though it seems like the creature outside of the AoE that is trying to pull someone out gets a bonus to their check. But it’s the restrained creature having to do a check.
Misstep: The main reason to take this spell is actually not for the movement but rather because it forces the target to waste their reaction on something that is fairly minor. Unlike Hamstring or Thunder Bolt (which both prevent a reaction from being used) this works within melee range and is a saving throw spell (while those other two spells rely on ranged spell attacks).
Monstrous Empathy: How does the caster of this know whether something is a monstrosity? Especially when monstrosities are in-part defined as something that “defy categorization, and in some sense serve as a catch-all category for creatures that don’t fit into any other type.” It seems too niche of a spell either way. Also it fails against anything with 4 or higher intelligence. How will I know their intelligence when I cast this? Do I have to make an arcane or nature check beforehand? A beast at least is reasonably predictable.
Moon Trap: The hour long casting time and lack of ritual casting make using this spell an unlikely proposition. I guess it's something to throw down while the rest of the party takes a short rest. But that is about the only time I could see it getting any use.
Mortal Insight (TREND): For the love of god no more tracking spells. The advantage on attack rolls against creatures that don’t have all of their hit points is interesting. But the advantage on survival and perception checks to track a target is just so overdone (even if it does only work on targets that don’t have all their hit points). The spell also only lasts for 10 minutes so it’s use for tracking is pretty limited.
Mosquito Bane (OVERPOWERED) (UNCLEAR) (TREND): First, insects are not a defined thing in 5E. I’m not a biologist, but from my understanding a spider is not an insect even though the spell Summon Insects includes them in the list.
So the spell could be clearer about what actually is affected. But besides this, a Swarm of Insects statblock has 22 average health. So this 1st level spell just kills a CR ? creature outright (without even a chance of a saving throw). Also, unlike the Sleep spell, it also kills any insects that has 25 or less hit points (the only limit being their remaining hit points and how many creatures can fit in a 50 foot radius). This also applies in a 50 foot radius around the caster.
Also a Giant Spider has an average of 26 health, so if you were to count spiders as insects, any hurt Giant Spider would also be killed by this immediately (and you can always upcast it at level 2 and kill healthy ones outright too). Phase Spiders (a CR3 creature) would also be killed instantly if this were upcast at level 2 (and you counted them as insects).
Anyways, this spell just handwaves this challenge a bit much for my tastes.
Mud Pack (POWERFUL) (TREND): A first level ritual spell that eliminates environmental hazards. The problem is this spell is just hand waving this aspect of some adventures at level 1. Plus, druids, rangers, sorcerers, and wizards get access to it. The only real control on it is its 1 hour duration.
Nature’s Aegis: Druids and Rangers can get 19 AC with this spell and a shield at first level (though only for an hour). The stealth advantage is also useful. The lack of concentration also helps to keep it more usable.
Necrotic Leech: If it hits (and they may also fail the save) it could be devastating to a single target. 8d10 necrotic damage by itself might be mediocre for a 5th level single-target spell. Even Steel Wind Strike does 6d0 and that is to three targets. But giving disadvantage to the targets attacks, saves, and ability checks more than makes up for that. Druids, sorcerers, warlocks, and wizards get access to this but since it's a touch spell it probably is best to be used by a druid or warlock.
Night Terrors (POWERFUL) (RETHINK) (TREND): I’m not a fan of every creature automatically being frightened. It sucks if used on players and it's going to feel cheap when used on monsters. There is also the possibility here of enemies succeeding the wisdom save but still being frightened. Which seems dumb to me. This is because they remain frightened until the start of your next turn even if they make the wisdom save (because that only relates to the paralyzed condition).
Nightfall: It’s an interesting spell since it grants normal darkness.
Nimbleness (TREND): Guidance exists. Let’s not split every spell up to the different abilities just to make them marginally better. At least dexterity has some uses attacked to it and this also stacks with Guidance.
Nip at the Heels (OVERPOWERED): This is too strong of a spell per level 2. Especially given its wisdom saving throw and lack of concentration needed. Requiring concentration though would make it much more balanced. Also, why have Cynophobia and this in the same book? This is clearly the better of the two of them.
Not Dead Yet (GREAT): This is a morbid if kind of hilarious spell. I have no idea what parties would use it for. But I’d love them to try to see what they can get away with. One thing worth noting is that, while it can’t speak, it’s not clear if it can make gestures or not (since the spell does say it can move). So that would be up to DM discretion.
Not this Day! (UNCLEAR): The language used in the spell could be clearer when it comes to how it interacts with monster types. Is it saying that you have advantage on saving throws from spells cast by that type of creature as well as death saving throws that are a result of damage inflicted by that creature type? It sounds like it. The language either way to me is a bit muddled. For its level though I’d say the spell seems otherwise reasonable.
Nourishing Repast (OVERPOWERED): There is basically little downside to taking this spell. Particularly, for when you plan to fight any kind of undead, poisonous creatures, or disease giving target. During a long rest you only need 6 hours of sleep. So you can eat this food at the very end of your long rest and still get effectively 8 hours of advantage on your saving throws against any disease or poison. Cleric’s also can ritual cast this and one casting works on enough food for 6 creatures. Bards also get access but can’t ritual cast it (without taking a feat for it). But since this is only a 1st level spell even if they had to spend the minute to cast it before a long rest it wouldn’t be that big of a deal.
Some might point to the paladin and the fact that they can cure disease. True, but they at least have to expend a resource in order to cast it. The most a cleric or bard had to do here is have this spell prepared/known. The paladin’s Lay on Hands also is not an active effect, while this spell is active for 8 hours.
Obtuse (WEAK)(TREND): When exactly will you know that a target is making a wisdom check? The answer? You won’t. Unless you are trying to sneak by them within the next minute (while also not getting detected when casting this spell). This spell is part of a group of similar offensive spells that all kind of rely on you to either have subtle spell or for enemies to not react to you casting a spell within 30 feet of them.
Opportunistic Foresight (RETHINK) (TREND): An opportunity attack is typically a reaction. So it’s kind of weird it just doesn’t give you extra reactions you can use. I guess it's to avoid the situation where you could be making two opportunity attacks in one round, but need more than one reaction to do it.
I’m not sure the spell is balanced for its level. Like this spell would be insane to cast on a rogue (since they can do sneak attack damage once per turn not once per round). Same goes for anyone with the sentinel feat. Even paladins could get a lot of use out of it.
Outflanking Boon (UNDERPOWERED): This spell feels underpowered for its level. Getting advantage when attacking one creature is nice. But they get a save when it is first cast and on the end of their turn, it’s a 3rd level spell, and it takes your full action to use. I’m not sure it's really worth taking given that plenty of status conditions like blindness or restrained also grant advantage when attacking a creature. I guess its a wisdom save? But I’m not sure that is enough to really make it worth it.
Pendulum (POWERFUL) (RETHINK): This spell is way too strong unless your DM, #1: does not grant a critical hit on the 20 with this spell, and #2: requires even ally targets to have to fail the saving throw in order to benefit from this. The latter of these is rules as written, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t DM’s out there that would normally let someone willingly fail a save.
I still wouldn’t allow my group to use the spell. The spell has a lot of problems, with the most serious being that it should clearly state if a 20 is considered a critical hit. Likewise it's not clear if 1’s count at critical misses.
If a 20 is not considered a critical then this spell is much less powerful. But being able to drop concentration to avoid the roll of 1 still would make it pretty useful for groups with a paladin or rogue in the party.
Phase Bolt: I’ve crunched the numbers here and you basically lose out on an average of 5.5 damage compared to Lightning Bolt. But that comes with the benefit of a damage type (force) which creatures are rarely resistant or immune to.
Pitfall (OVERPOWERED): So, basically a guaranteed way (unless the enemy is incredibly lucky with saving throws or are fighting a flying creature) to cause on enemy to be removed completely from combat and take 6d6 bludgeoning damage (plus fall damage). The lack of any concentration required really makes it seem overpowered. Even if the target is only needing to make a dexterity save. Especially given you can use a bonus action to try again during its 1 minute duration.
Poisoned Volley (OVERPOWERED): The 3d8 poison damage is nice but the really ridiculous thing is that it gives the poisoned condition on a failed save with no duration. All creatures that fail their constitution save in a 20 foot square are just poisoned until they are cured. All for a 60 foot range, 2nd level spell that requires no concentration. Yes, there are a lot of creatures that are immune to being poisoned. But that can’t justify this even then.
Poisonous Flesh (UNCLEAR) (RETHINK): So low-intelligence creatures know better than to bite you but intelligent ones don’t? This is literally what the spell says. “Creatures with an Intelligence of 5 or lower will not willingly bite you again, seeking other prey instead” That doesn’t make sense to me.
Also, the spell poisons for one minute without any chance to save against it again on a subsequent turn. This seems like a lot for a 2nd level spell but it is also a very niche spell that only works on creatures that use bite attacks or creatures that swallow. I think the balance of the spell is fine. But the intelligence part should be clarified.
Portal Jaunt (UNDERPOWERED): It only works on either yourself or one willing creature. With that in mind, I can’t see many circumstances in the game that this spell would be useful. It’s not like you can use it to avoid a trapped room or get across a chasm. Because the rest of your party still needs something to help them in those circumstances. Given this is a 3rd level spell it does feel a bit underpowered. Even being a ritual spell. It’s also only available to sorcerers and wizards (and without the ritual caster feat sorcerers can’t cast it as a ritual spell).
Potency of the Pack (OVERPOWERED): Advantage on attacks for every creature you designate within 25 feet of you feels very strong for a 3rd level spell that doesn’t require concentration. Same goes for (alternatively) giving everyone +2 to armor class.
With summons really being available starting (officially) with level 3 spells, this spell would be very powerful if paired with a shepard druid (or any druid with Conjure Animals frankly). Druids, rangers, and warlocks get access to it.
Power Word Kneel: A 2nd level Sleep spell works on 7d8 (31.5) hit points. Power World Kneel on the otherhand works on a fixed 55 hit points (starting with the lowest). This does allow an enemy to save against it at the end of their turn (using a wisdom save). So it has that separating it. It also requires a 100 gold component (which is not consumed). But it still mostly just feels too similar to the Sleep spell.
Power Word Pain: It’s similar to the Blight spell except it uses a d10, has 60 feet instead of 30 feet for range, deals force instead of necrotic (and necrotic is much more likely to be resisted), and it has the potential of doing more damage over time. But Blight just takes the “half damage on a failed save” approach instead. I don’t think Blight ever stood a chance at being viewed as being a strong spell though. So I’d view this as being a reasonable improvement over it. It’s also similar to Phantasmal Killer just with a different damage type, no concentration, and constitution instead of wisdom saves.
Primal Infusion: This is a decent choice for a 5th level spell but it is a 5th level spell. It’s very similar to Tenser’s Transformation, but it is much shorter. To the point where you are getting this buff for too short of a duration for it to be much use. Especially since it takes an action to cast. Rangers are the only class that gets access to this (or I suppose bards thanks to magical secrets).
Prismatic Ray (UNDERPOWERED): It’s the same amount of damage as a Power Word Pain spell (where they fail one save) except you have to hit the target and then they have to fail a saving throw. Also (per the last sentence of the spell) critical hits with it don’t even deal double damage. Overall, while the spell does offer a lot of variety in terms of what effect it can do it feels like it falls short for a spell at this level. Though I suppose it does not require concentration and the status effects last for 5 rounds (if they fail the save). So those are pluses.
Pummelstone: At 1d6 bludgeoning damage, the amount of damage this cantrip does at level 1 is not impressive (though it does at least scale). But it does scale and is unlikely to be resisted. Enemies hit by its ranged spell attack also have to roll a d4 on their next turn whenever they make an ability or attack roll. Then subtract the number from the roll. As a result, it's half way between a tactical combat and damage spell. Only sorcerers, warlocks, and wizards though can take it.
Pyroclasm (UNDERPOWERED): How likely is it that there is more than 1 creature in the area of this when it is first cast? With a 5 feet diameter, that goes up 40 feet, I’d say it's pretty unlikely.
What is nice about it is you can over time start to affect more creatures. But smart creatures are going to avoid this and avoid the lava pool if they can, while anyone trapped in the geyser is just going to use their full movement and action to break away the hard stone and get out of the radius of it. Unless you use like a Forcecage to prevent them from doing so.
About the only redeeming thing I can see about it is its range. At 500 feet it has a huge amount of range to work with. But that is really it.
Honestly, there are so many lower level spells just in this book alone that are far more powerful than this 9th level spell. I can’t imagine ever taking it.
Quench (WEAK): Unless you are making your way through a plane of fire I can’t see you ever getting much reliable use out of this spell. Especially when it comes to its use against fire elementals. Druids and rangers are the only ones to get access to it and I could only ever see a druid take this just in case. But unless you are in a very specific, fire or hell themed campaign, I wouldn’t take this.
Rain of Blades (UNCLEAR): 150 square feet is such an awkward way to phrase the area of a spell like this. They should have just made this apply to 6 adjacent squares of your choosing or a circle with 15 feet in diameter (which is actually larger than 150 square feet but it’s the closest you are going to get using 5 feet squares). It’s a dexterity save for 6d6 slashing damage each round (for 4 rounds). Magical slashing damage is rarely going to be resisted so this actually makes it solid in that sense. It also doesn’t require concentration.
Read Object (GREAT): This is actually a really fun utility spell and I could see some really great story hooks or quests coming out of what you learn about this item. Like what happens if you pick up a magical blade, use it on it, and then feel pure sadistic pleasure. Having this spell could be a great start to a murder mystery plot. It’s also a ritual and is available to bards, warlocks, and wizards (though only the latter can cast it as a ritual without a feat).
Reaver Spirit (RETHINK): I just don’t see this spell ever being worth it to use given the risk of getting 1d4 levels of exhaustion. I never thought I’d shoot down a spell that gives resistance against most creatures damage. But what it is offering just isn’t worth it. Even for fighters. There is a reason why the berserker is such a maligned subclass. But the thing that I really can’t back is that you don’t get a choice over which creatures are affected by it (it’s all your allies within 30 feet of you).
Recharge (GREAT): It’s nice to have a spell that can do this. The cost seems more than reasonable, as does the level, and best yet you can cast it as a ritual.
Remove Scent (UNDERPOWERED) (TREND): This feels like it could have just been a magic item. It’s definitely not worth using as a 3rd level spell slot.
Reposition (GREAT): This has some really great tactical implications. As a bonus action it also still leaves you free to use a cantrip or attack on a turn. It’s the kind of tactical spell that this book needed more of.
Revive Beast (UNDERPOWERED) (TREND): In what circumstances is it ever going to be worth it to use this? Especially when it is a touch spell that takes one action. I honestly wouldn’t even have required the gold cost. That is how niche this spell is. A magic item could probably have done this instead.
Riptide (GREAT): This is an interesting spell to use against spellcasters since it requires a strength check and can be used to either deal damage and knock someone prone, or knock them prone and stun them, potentially disrupting concentration either way (particularly given a stunned creature is incapacitated). The duration is kind of short though for a level 3 spell. But it is covering an area the size of a Fireball so that is pretty understandable.
Having said that, one of these options does move them 40 feet. The cylinder is only 20 feet tall and only had a radius of 20 feet. So moving this whole length would move them outside of the cylinder. You could also throw them 40 feet in the air. This is just going to cause them to take a bunch of fall damage when they eventually hit the ground. So it's a spell with a lot of interesting tactical options. Unfortunately, as written only sorcerers, warlocks, and wizards get access to it. But a strong case could be made for giving druids and rangers access to this spell.
Rolling Thunder: The damage of this spell is pretty limited and they only take it if they are left deafened. They also get half speed if they are deafened. The damage though isn’t very inspiring and these kinds of long, 5 foot wide spells rarely hit more than a few targets in any given battle. If you aren’t planning on using the Blindness aspect of Blindness/Deafness, then this is definitely the superior deafening spell. But otherwise just stick with Blindness/Deafness instead of this.
Rotting Corpse (WEAK) (TREND): It just feels like another spell that could have been a magic item. The use you’d get out of this spell is very limited and its not even a ritual. I wouldn’t take it unless you are playing in an undead themed campaign.
Rune of Imprisonment (RULES) (RETHINK): What is a “move action”? This doesn’t exist in 5E.
Sacrificial Healing (UNDERPOWERED): By the time you are casting 4th level spells you shouldn't be relying on this kind of a method for healing. Especially when you have quite a few hit dice that you can use to heal on a short rest.
Sand Ship (GREAT): This is a great spell but you do want to read the wording of it before using it. For the duration of this spell your ship will not float in water. So don’t be casting this while you are out in open water. You really want it to be either beached (or I suppose you could do this underwater when it is at the bottom). Anyways, this is such a fun ritual spell. It’s only available for wizards.
Scentless (TREND): Yet another spell related to tracking. In this case it's creatures trying to track the target of your spell. But either way it's just really repetitive. It could also be useful for characters trying to stay hidden against enemies that can smell effectively. But that is a very specific scenario. Especially when you consider that they can also likely hear you.
Screaming Ray (UNDERPOWERED): Deafened is not a powerful enough condition for it to be worth only doing 1d4 damage and expending a 1st level spell slot. Also, you have to hit them and then they have to fail a constitution saving throw in order for them to even become deafened.
Scribe: The downside of this spell is that it is all replicated in your handwriting. But I suppose it could be used in situations where you don’t want the big bad to know you were snooping through their things.
See Beyond (RULES) (RETHINK) (TREND): This is a neat spell that lets you see through objects, creatures, spells, and effects. But unfortunately it just gets a core aspect of how spellcasting works in the game wrong.
You need a clear path to a creature when casting a spell. You can’t cast a spell through even glass because (even if you can see the creature) it is behind total cover. So you don’t have that clear path.
They try to say in this spell’s description that the Geas spell only requires that you see the target as a way to explain how this spell works. But this is not true. You need a clear path to target a creature. So this spell description gets that wrong.
Also the spell is referencing another spell in order to explain how this one works. Which I just find to be annoying.
Seeping Death (UNDERPOWERED): I just can’t see a situation where it makes sense to use a 3rd level spell to make a melee attack in order to slightly lower someone’s Dexterity.
Shared Sacrifice: It’s an interesting spell but one that doesn’t feel as needed by the time you are casting 2nd level spells.
Shocking Shroud (GREAT): This is actually just a really solid defensive spell. Particularly on a tempest cleric. Wizards and sorcerers are likely to have less of a use for it. But the fact that it doesn’t take concentration makes it a really useful spell for melee range.
Shroud of Death (RULES) (RETHINK): The spell overall is fine. But it is worth noting that you are a living creature that you can see. So technically, as written, this spell is also causing you to take a slight bit of damage each turn (and forcing you to make a concentration check in the process).
It’s also a bit strange that this says up to 10 rounds instead of up to a minute. They are the same thing but rounds typically aren’t used by that point.
Sidestep Arrow (RULES) (RETHINK): An enemy being “between you and the attacker” is not as straightforward as a statement as it sounds. Gridded combat sometimes doesn’t result in attacks being made on perfectly diagonal or straight lines.
Sir Mittinz’s Move Curse: Remove Curse is such a useless spell to have prepared 95% of the time that a spell like this existing just makes sense. The gold cost here really isn’t enough to prevent this from being the superior option between the two. The only real downside to taking this instead of Remove Curse is the casting time of an hour (or an hour and 10 minutes a ritual casting). But that is more than fair.
Slippery Fingers: I could see this spell getting some use. It is a bit situational but against humanoids in particular it’s an easy way to disarm them.
Smiting Arrow (RULES) (TREND): If a material component has no gold cost you don’t need that component if you have a focus. Let’s not add extra spell-specific rules to something that really didn’t need them. I’ve noticed there is this trend in this book of just throwing extra material requirements into a spell that have no gold cost to them (while in turn expecting that the material costs are required).
Presumably, the extra damage is doubled on a critical hit. Strictly speaking it should be, given that this is counted as extra damage imbued to the weapon (like paladin’s smites) and not damage that is happening “immediately after” (like with swarmkeeper rangers).
Snap the Leash (TREND): Yet another beast only spell. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of beasts in 5E, but not enough to warrant all these spells.
This spell is interesting. Unless you are in a campaign where mounted combat comes up regularly though I don’t see it being very useful. This might have been better as a magic item.
Soothing Chant (UNCLEAR): There is no defined amount of distance for creatures to hear you. At least not one I’m aware of. So “any creature that can hear you” is very vague.
Soul Borrowing (GREAT): This spell is not very useful as a 3rd level spell but it could be very useful when cast as a 5th level spell. As written, only bards, clerics, and druids get access to it. But being able to get Blindsense for an hour or flying speed, a nonmagical ability, or an immunity, is kind of huge. All without needing concentration.
Speak with Inanimate Object : The spell feels like it’s treading too much on the role that Speak with Animals, Speak with Plants, Speak with Dead, Commune, and Contact Other Plane play. Especially given that this is a 1st level divination spell that can be cast as a ritual by both clerics and wizards. But it could also be a fun spell to use. The limited information the awakened spirit might have, along with the yes/no answers, might be enough to keep it balanced.
Spectral Herd: this is a pretty strong single target spell, just because if the target fails their initial Dexterity save they are going to have to go on a 60 foot ride, are left restrained and prone, and take 3d6 bludgeoning damage. On subsequent turns they can be dragged another 60 feet and take more damage. Restrained creatures also have to use their action to escape.
Spin: It’s a fun spell that grants the same effects as the poisoned condition without them actually having been poisoned. It also only ends 1 round after they successfully make a save against it (and they don’t make the save until the end of their turn). So it can be pretty potent when used against targets that rely on attack rolls in particular. It also will work on most creatures, which could lead to some interesting situations.
Spiteful Weapon (BOOKKEEPING): First of all, there are very limited situations needed for this spell to work. Like you need an attacker that injured you in the last 24 hours.
I’d like to meet the person who wouldn’t get lost when reading this. Spells should be relatively easy to understand. Yet, I feel like I need to map out everything going on in this spell. It’s never a great sign when you need to re-read a spell out in full 3 times just to understand it.
Spur Mount (UNDERPOWERED): Being able to disengage or dash on your mount in combat is useful. But is it really worth a 1st level spell slot and for you to have this spell prepared? I’d say not. It’s also only available to Paladins and Rangers. So it's not like either can spare the use of their spell slots for this.
Spy My Shadow (UNCLEAR): “You can spy through your shadow’s eyes and ears as if
they were your own, but magically enhanced senses do not work through this spell. “ I assume this means that if I have darkvision the shadow does have darkvision? If so then this could be a useful scouting spell. But it does only last a minute.
Staff of Violet Fire (UNDERPOWERED): I’m not sure that it’s worth it to use your concentration on the spell. The damage is alright for a 4th level spell, particularly when you consider you get dish it out over many rounds, but because the spell is only available for clerics and wizards I’m not sure it's ever worth taking. You are probably better off using your concentration on a control spell instead.
Starry Vision: I’m not big on reactions that have conditions that aren’t perceptible. “Which you take when an enemy starts its turn” is not a perceptible thing for a character. Moving is. Attacking is. Dying is. But not “starting your turn.”
It also references another spell in order to explain its effects. The spell it is referencing is also a spell in this very book but they don’t even give a page number for it. I’m not really interested in having to flip back and forth between spells in order to understand how effective a spell is. It’s also not really clear why this is being cast as a reaction at the start of a turn when it could have been used when an attack is being made or in response to movement.
Ultimately, it feels like a spell that is trying to do multiple things and isn’t effectively communicating what they are.
Steam Blast (WEAK): 5d8 fire damage is weaker than Fireball and it's a level higher than Fireball. Mind you, the designers have admitted that Fireball is overpowered for its level. But it still exists and needs to be accounted for. Why not just upcast Fireball instead of casting this?
Steam Whistle (UNDERPOWERED): 10d10 thunder damage is interesting. But this affects allies as well as enemies. The deafened effect also lasts for at least an hour (and as much as 8 hours). So, while it’s an interesting spell, and it does roughly the same amount of damage as Horrid Wilting, it also lacks the versatility of Horrid Wilting for where it can be cast because it is a large radius that is emanating from you. Also, only warlocks and wizards get access to it (so, bladesinger and hexblade aside, you probably aren’t going to be wanting to be this closer to an enemy and this far away from allies at this level).
Stench of Rot (OVERPOWERED): So it’s a charisma saving throw (one of the least resisted saving throw types) and the target not only gets disadvantage on charisma checks but also constitution saving throws to maintain spells. They don’t get any additional attempts to make the save again if they fail.
This spell is only level 2 and yet it lasts for an hour and requires no concentration. The spell can also help track the target as well if you have an ally (like a familiar) with Keen Smell (because why not?).
Ohh and it's a 30 foot range and all the casters except paladins and wizards get access to it.
Step Like Me (WEAK) (TREND): It’s a fun take of a spell for avoiding tracking. But it still is yet another spell related to tracking. It also feels very niche.
Sting of the Scorpion Goddess (OVERPOWERED) (UNCLEAR) : I love the idea of it. It requires no concentration and you get a badass scorpion tail. But being poisoned for a minute without even a second chance at a saving throw though is what makes this spell overpowered. Especially given that you are able to make these attacks as a bonus action. On top of that, it’s not clear if this is using your strength or dexterity when making this attack (because it is described as being a melee attack and not a melee spell attack). Presumably it is your Strength. But that could affect how usable it really is (because Rangers are the most likely to use it).
Storm Form (UNCLEAR): It says as an action you can attack an opponent up to 30 feet away. But (to nitpick here) it really should state that this is a spell attack. Also it’s not clear how incapacitated works with this spell (and Gaseous Form has this same issue). Because you lose concentration if you are incapacitated.
Storm God’s Doom (OVERPOWERED) (RETHINK) : I don’t understand why a creature that only moves 10 feet is treated as though it fell 40. Is it because they are moving upwards very fast?
Then (to keep things simple) why not just have the damage they take be consistent with what it would have taken when falling the distance they rose? Also, wouldn’t they take damage on the way down too? If so then this spell is actually doing
Plus as much as 5d6 bludgeoning from smashing into the ceiling
And then as much as 5d6 bludgeoning (for 50 feet) from fall damage (not part of the spell but it’s likely to happen)
Even then this doesn’t make any sense because it says that you minus the distance it travelled upward. So if you travel up 40 feet you “hit a solid obstruction” but take only 1d6 damage (out of the ceiling hit damage) from doing that.
Fall damage is also calculated for every 10 feet. What happens if you are sent 45 feet up? Do you take half of 1d6 damage?
There is no damage on a failed save. But (accounting for the problems that exist with the spell) it still would be a strong spell since the bludgeoning damage is unlikely to be resisted.
Storm of Wings (GREAT): This is a great tactical option for a spell. Whether it is controlling spellcasting, how successful enemies are with ranged attacks, or how much enemies can move, you get some really solid options here.
Strength of an Ox (TREND): We already have Enhance Ability. Let’s not just add another spell, available slightly earlier, that does very similar things (but just for one ability). The whole idea behind Guidance and Enhance Ability is to make it so that you don’t need 6 different spells.
Sudden Stampede: It’s a reasonable spell for its level.
Sun’s Bounty: This spell seems reasonable. It’s definitely useful against certain types of undead (zombies, vampires) but only if they are stupid enough to fight you in daylight.
Surprise Blessing: This is an interesting spell for suppressing conditions. It’s definitely original, if a bit high level for what it is seeking to do. I’m not sure how much use this would get if cast in combat. But if someone were affected by a condition that lasted longer than that I could see it being useful.
Swift Exchange: It’s a fun spell that works well to get you out of harms way.
Symbol of Sorcery: It’s an interesting enough spell. Being able to stun creatures, even if it only ends up being for a turn, has a lot of tactical value. Even most constructs aren’t immune to the stunned condition. So it has wide ranging uses.
Talons of the Hungry Land: You’ve got several different options when it comes to this spell. Unfortunately, by this point in time parties can have Wall of Force. So, while this does provide some interesting tactical options, it’s also not nearly that powerful. Particularly given its level.
Targeting Foreknowledge (UNCLEAR): The phrase “after a successful attack” is a bit vague. Does that mean after an attack hits or after damage has been determined? It sounds like the latter. But that just makes this spell’s effects feel clunky.
The use of the bonus action after hitting someone, and then having that turn the earlier attack into a critical hit, doesn’t really jive with how bonus actions are typically used. It just comes across as being clunky because of this.
Is it technically permitted? Yes, since the spell determines when a bonus action can be used, but that doesn’t stop it from still feeling like it is stepping on a reaction’s turf.
Telekinetic Parry: This is actually one of the cool features of the Light Domain cleric. It just feels kind of sucky to give it to all bards, sorcerers, and wizards (as is being done here).
Telekinetic Trip: You are taking the shove action from a distance. Take from this what you will.
Thin the Ice (UNDERPOWERED) (UNCLEAR) (RETHINK) : The wording in this spell just feels clunky and leaves too much on the DM to figure out exactly what else happens besides 2d6 cold damage. Also, it's not even a damage on a half save spell. So, regardless of all the text here, it doesn’t seem that useful of a spell. Especially when it only works on ice to begin with.
Thorn Cage: This is a reasonable 2nd level spell. The creature has to use its action to free itself and if it tries to do so it takes 2d6 piercing damage (that is unavoidable). The creature being restrained is also a pretty reasonable condition to place on a single creature at this level.
Thousand Darts. Each creature taking 6d6 piercing damage in that long line seems reasonable. Especially when you consider that Fireball is doing the kind of damage that is easily resisted (but magical piercing damage rarely is).
Throes of Ecstasy (POWERFUL): I realize that this is a 3rd level, single-target spell. But (on a failed constitution save) between it giving the target automatic failures on wisdom saving throws, attacks against the target always having advantage, and the exhaustion that targets when it ends, this spell feels like too much. I’m not sure it's at the stage of being overpowered but it may be.
Thunderclap (RULES) (UNCLEAR): Spells really should say “each creature other than yourself” instead of “each creature” because you are a creature and you are within 20 feet of you.
Crystal balls are one of the arcane focuses. So I definitely would be cautious about casting this around someone that is using it for that.
Besides all this the spell is just alright. It’s not very damaging but maybe you’ll get something else out of the stun or deafened.
Thunderous Charge: The shoving is fine. The extra attack and the damage is nice but it is only once a round (and you have limited spell slots).
Thunderous Stampede (TREND): Just make this spell an upcast version of Thunderous Charge.
Thunderous Wave: Worth noting they need to hit a “solid obstruction.” So like a wall, tree, etc. So this spell might not necessarily work well in a field. But it could be useful in a forest.
Tidal Barrier (GREAT): This is actually a pretty strong spell. The radius is small enough that you can probably work around it when it comes to party members, but large enough that it could be useful tactically. But I don’t think there is any other spell really like this.
Tireless (TREND): This is just a way to handwave exhaustion and rations. We don’t need a spell that invalidates that aspect of adventuring at level 1.
Tolling Doom: So it is the Bane spell but creatures have advantage on any attack against them. It’s not very original but it does the trick.
Tongue of Sand (GREAT): At least when this references another spell it's only used as an example and not for understanding its effects. I like the fact that it answers questions. I’m getting Aladdin vibes from it frankly.
Tongue Tied (UNDERPOWERED): You can blind a target instead by this level (and without even requiring concentration to do it). So I don’t know why you would choose this spell.
Touch of the Unliving: It’s a nice alternative to Vampiric Touch. Instead of healing you you paralyze the target. If it hits it is quite strong. But it is also a concentration spell and you are gambling a bit on it hitting.
Tracer (TREND): Hey look another tracking spell.
Tree Heal (UNDERPOWERED): This is actually one of the most useless cantrips I could imagine. Do you know how many official statblocks there are for plant creatures in 5E? Even Kobold Press’s own books don’t have that many.
Tree Running (BOOKKEEPING): This has too many conditions for when it works. Just give me climbing speed and let the official rules sort out how that works.
Tree Speak (UNDERPOWERED): There is already a Speak with Plants spell. Speak with Plants is a sucky spell, but at the very least if you were going to do this spell then just make this a cantrip or a ritual spell. Who wants to spend a spell slot on this?
Trench (UNDERPOWERED): It takes a minute to cast this and in that minute I could do half as good as this with a cantrip (Move Earth). You just need to push the dirt to the side with Move Earth (which also would give you a dirt wall that you can also use for cover).
Is it really worth the 2nd level casting? I’d say not. The only thing this does, that Move Earth doesn’t allow, is it sinks the dirt into the ground. So you don’t have to worry about where to put the excess dirt.
Trick Question: It’s treading a bit on Zone of Truth but the one word answer requirement at least prevents it from getting too strong for its level.
True Light of Revelation (POWERFUL) (TREND): So basically it's a spell that invalidates many of the reasons to take the True Seeing spell and risks Polymorph and Shapechange becoming worthless. Even 9th level shapechange spells too.
I realize it's only a distance of 30 feet from you. But in indoor or underground fights that 60 foot diameter could be all of the combat area.
On the other hand, it’s nice to have another option to counter Polymorph as a DM.
Twist the Skein: The whole point behind advantage/disadvantage is to avoid this kind of math. This is an unreliable and unnecessary spell.
Uncanny Avoidance (UNDERPOWERED): So they looked at True Strike and thought “how can we do the reverse of this?” instead of “wow that is a terrible cantrip!”
But seriously, I just can’t see a caster using their action and concentration on a cantrip that may not even end up successfully protecting its target against the single attack it works on. Especially when it only lasts for a round.
Unholy Defiance (WEAK): This is a spell that covers undead allies so it is very niche.
Unleash Effigy (UNDERPOWERED): Guys, this is a 9th level spell. It’s competing with Wish for crying out loud. Don’t give me berserking allies. I don’t want or need it.
Unluck on That: It’s a reasonable enough spell.
Visage of Madness (OVERPOWERED): It only affects hostile creatures, it can cause blinded and stunned, the creatures cause damage to themselves when affected (potentially breaking concentration), and there is a ? risk of creatures that are affected to permanently blind themselves. Ohh and no concentration required. When you compare it to official 4th level spells I think this clearly would come across as being overpowered.
Visage of the Dead (POWERFUL): Being able to ritual cast immunity to poison damage and the poisoned condition, with protection that lasts for 8 hours, is really strong. Especially when no concentration is required and on 4 creatures. Dwarves already get advantage against poisons and resistance to poison damage at level 1, so it might not be insanely overpowered, but it definitely feels a bit too strong given it is a long lasting ritual. In fact, I’d say the fact that undead ignore you is a plus but it is not the most powerful thing about this spell.
Volley Shield: The spell seems reasonable from a balance perspective. As a player though I would be reluctant to use it because it really relies on your DM making the choice to target this creature.
Vomit Tentacles (BOOKKEEPING): It’s a great thematic spell and I like the flavour behind it. But using your spellcasting attack roll, your spell save DC, your strength modifier, and your constitution modifier for one spell is kind of clunky. Like I get that this spell is meant to be an extension of you. But it is magic. It’s ok to treat it like magical tentacles. Plus damage dealt to the tentacles doesn’t hurt you so it’s not clear why it is connected to your constitution at all.
Plus why does it use my spell save DC for the target to get out of the grapple, when it uses my strength to do damage and my constitution for taking damage? It’s not very logically consistent.
Anyways, I would put this ever so slightly into the “too much bookkeeping” category of spells.
The fact that it prevents you from casting spells that have a vocal component is probably the biggest thing keeping the use of this spell balanced. Particularly since it doesn’t require concentration and does require the target to have to use their own action to escape.
Walking Wall (TREND): What if I don’t want to carry around a pile of 100 miniature axes? Spells are castable from arcane focuses for a reason (provided they have no gold cost). I’m not even sure what constitutes a miniature axe to begin with. But let’s not make this more work to cast than it has to be.
Why not just give me a statblock for the wall? Even if you don’t want to give me the size of it. It just seems like it would be easier than trying to write out what all its stats are in a paragraph.
As for the spell itself. It’s a 7th level spell that can act as a wall between you and your enemies, while also dealing some damage on its own. It seems reasonable enough to me.
Walk the Twisted Path (UNDERPOWERED): I love the concept behind this spell but when you look at a map of the Forgotten Realms 100 miles doesn’t get you very far. This will not take you between Neverwinter and Waterdeep for instance (around 334 miles). It’s not even enough to get you between Luskan and Mirabar.
Warning Shout (UNCLEAR) (RETHINK): The text of this feels a bit off in the context of initiative “you sense danger before it happens and call out a warning to an ally”
So first, you sense this but you yourself aren’t given advantage on this initiative? That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
Second, because of this someone in your party gets advantage on their initiative? Shouldn’t anyone within the 30 feet have noticed you yelling out a warning? Nothing here says that you are subtle about this warning shout.
Also, it really needs to be noted that you can’t cast this if you are surprised. Since creatures that are surprised can’t use their reactions until their first turn is over. Even though the concept behind this spell is you sense danger in advance.
If you are not surprised then I guess you can still use this? But it would require you to use a reaction outside of initiative. Presumably, you can’t use another reaction between when you used this spell and the start of your first turn. Even though your use of the reaction fell outside of initiative.
Also it is entirely possible that you could avoid being surprised, and then use this on someone that is surprised. That way the initiative they roll is probably higher and they have their turn quicker (and therefore get out of being affected by surprise quicker).
Understanding stealth and surprise and all that stuff is already a minefield in the community. I think it would have been better if this spell clearly said that it did not work if you were surprised.
Wayward Strike (WEAK): This is a fun spell. But for what it does (given that it is for only one attack) it feels like it's too high of a level. A 3rd level spell feels more appropriate.
Weiler’s Ward: So you deal 4d6 damage and push a target away. Plus you get a bit of dim light. Honestly, I’m not sure it's worth a 2nd level spell slot. But it might be if your DM counts each hit as separate damages (for concentration purposes).
Wind Lash: It’s a solid damage cantrip with a nice push effect. Slashing damage from a spell is unlikely to be resisted. So you can’t go wrong picking it. Plus it's a melee spell attack with 20 feet of range. So it works up close and from a limited distance.
Wind of the Hereafter: So basically it's a necrotic Cloudkill that has a wider radius. It’s an alternative anyways to using Maddening Darkness at this level. Same amount of damage but the type is different and the radius is half the size.
Wind Tunnel: They took Gust of Wind and removed your ability to change the direction. In return you get it at a lower spell level. I’m fine with this because Gust of Wind was not a very useful spell. But it is another example in the book of them just providing a lesser version of an existing spell.
Withered Sight: We already have a Blindness/Deafness spell at 2nd level. So we really didn’t need this spell as far as I’m concerned.
Wolfsong (UNDERPOWERED): It’s too niche of a spell for what it does. Plus there have to be wolves within 200 feet of you for it to do anything. Which means the DM has to provide wolves or dogs nearby to make this relevant.
Wresting Wind (UNCLEAR): Are shield’s “held in ones hands”? Because they normally have a strap or two that you put your arm around (on top of holding a strap with your hand). I would have liked to have seen more specificity about what items are affected. Because if that is the intention then this seems like a pretty important thing to clearly state.
Writhing Arms: It’s an interesting spell. The 10 foot range allows even wizards to be just behind more armored party members. At least, hopefully enough to avoid most melee attacks. There also is no limit on how many tentacles you have. So you could actually hurt multiple targets each turn.
But the big downside with this spell is that you can’t be casting spells with material components, or using a shield, while it is active. So it definitely makes you more susceptible to attack.
Acid Gate (UNDERPOWERED): I know it sounds crazy but, at least by Forgotten Realms standards, 100 miles is not going to get you between major cities. The upside I guess with this spell is that you don’t expend any expensive component when you use it. But by the time you get access to level 7 spells you can already have access to Teleport anyways. So, while this is more reliable, it still feels a bit redundant. I guess you could use this for travelling between a dungeon and a local town. But its use still feels kind of niche.
It also only works on a total of four creatures. At least make it six guys.
Acid Rain (POWERFUL): This does a very similar amount of damage to Cloudkill using a damage type that is less likely to be resisted. Now Cloudkill is larger (since it has 40 feet in diameter) but this spell also does damage on the first turn that they get out of the acid too. And they can’t avoid this damage either.
At the same time, the fact that this is concentration and a 5th level spell helps to keep it balanced against some of the control options you’d have available.
Alchemical Form (UNDERPOWERED): Only wizards get access to this spell. For the life of me I don’t know why they would ever cast it. I think the idea here is to emulate Tensor’s Transformation, but you only get one attack with this form and it doesn’t do that much damage. At least not by the standards of a 6th level spell. It also is weirdly a weapon attack.
Not sure why warlocks don’t get access to it when they can get more out of it than a wizard.
Blood to Acid (UNDERPOWERED): Since only wizards get access to this, you are competing against Wish here and this is a single target damage spell. Not only that, but it is using a saving throw. Between magic resistance, high saving throws, and legendary resistances, this spell may not even work. So go nuts! This should have been clearly a capstone aspect of this school.
Boiling Oil: I know adventurer’s are made of hearty stuff. But when I hear “entering a pool of boiling oil” I don’t think 3d8 fire damage. It sounds like this is more like a puddle of oil.
Also why doesn’t the spell do damage on subsequent turns? This is boiling oil!
The power level here is probably fine for its level. Given it is in a 15 foot radius. Its description just feels very off given it lasts 1 minute.
Bottled Arcana (UNCLEAR) (RULES) : Not sure how you cast a spell with a range of self into this container.
Maybe you could use this for casting Dispel Magic without risking it being countered. Would a spell upcast be still counted as a 3rd level spell for the purposes of this? I’m not sure. Unlike an Ioun Stone or a Ring of Spell Storing it says nothing on this.
Bottomless Stomach (UNDERPOWERED) (UNCLEAR) (BOOKKEEPING) : Such a cool spell and they had to ruin it by putting it all on the DM to figure out. Also 1d6 damage is nothing for a 1st level spell. Cantrips do more damage than this!
Brimstone Infusion (GREAT): This spell single-handedly makes your alchemist feel like an alchemist. Imagine a cantrip putting the entire artificer subclass to shame. This nearly does it.
Caustic Torrent (GREAT): Now this is what I’m talking about. With this you are just ruining enemies with acid and poisoning. It’s a shame when an 8th level spell puts the 9th level Blood to Acid spell to shame.
Delay Potion: It’s an interesting spell that allows you to take advantage of potions in combat in a way that the rules don’t normally allow you to. It won’t do you any good in groups that allow the drinking of potions as a bonus action. But for standard groups I could see it being useful especially if you were going into a dungeon and wanted a quick healing option or haste.
Gluey Globule (UNCLEAR): Ahh yes “universal solvent” and “sovereign glue” those things that you definitely remembered to include in this book (they didn’t include them).
It’s a single-target restrained spell at 3rd level. I guess an advantage it has is that it is an attack roll. So you could take down a dragon temporarily with it. The fact that it can free itself by taking 20 acid damage does sort of make it less useful against enemies with a lot of hit points though.
Life Hack: It’s a strong spell at a point in the game where balance has been thrown out of the window anyways. I think the fact that it can’t be used on a target that has temporary hitpoints helps to balance it out a lot. But it is definitely a good spell to have on hand.
Mephetic Cone: 4d6 damage, in a 15 foot cone, with half on a success, and the chance to poison and stun for a round. The poisoning and stun requiring both a failed dexterity and constitution saving throw, which I think balances it out for its level.
Quicksilver Mantle: The spell is probably balanced given the niche uses it has and its level. I could only ever see it reliably being useful when fighting something that can disintegrate, like a Lich.
Ray of Alchemical Negation (UNDERPOWERED) (UNCLEAR) (TREND): The circumstances that you would use this are so narrow that I honestly don’t even know how to view it from the standpoint of providing balance. First of all, you’ve got the first aspect of it that negates alchemical traps. This requires that you know what the trap even does and are aware of it.
Then the second effect is so specific on what it works on. Like I just don’t know how you would justify taking this as a 4th level spell. Maybe if you were entering another alchemists lair. But that is about it.
It mentions an alchemical golem but then doesn’t mention that this is found in the Creature Codex. If you are going to reference a spell working on a specific type of creature that you have made, and it isn’t a summoning spell (where you need that creatures statblock for the spell to function), then you should at least reference where you can find this creature.
Salt Lash (UNDERPOWERED) (UNCLEAR) : So I use my spellcasting ability here but not my proficiency bonus? Like you say spellcasting ability but that doesn’t include a proficiency bonus. Am I just not proficient when using this weapon I created?
Anyways, only wizards get access to this anyways and I don’t know why they would ever risk being in melee combat to use it. Unless they are bladesingers. It’s not even that good of a 3rd level spell anyways. In fact that damage is far less than I would expect for a spell like this. Not sure why warlocks don’t get access to it when they can by far make the most out of it.
Angelic Guardian: This is very similar to Shield of Faith. Except with a shorter range, reduced duration, and it gets a dexterity save reroll. It seems fine for its level.
Benediction (UNDERPOWERED): You use your action and concentration to save a creature from taking 1d4 damage. It does last for a minute (or until it blocks this damage) but it just seems like you are better off doing something else over casting this. Plus it doesn’t scale.
Blade of Wrath (UNDERPOWERED) (UNCLEAR) : You use a 3rd level spell slot, an action to attack with this, a bonus action when you first cast it, and it deals 4d8 damage on a hit.
On the surface this might sound good. But the turn a cleric uses this they can’t use spiritual weapon on the turn it is cast. Not to mention they lose out on the opportunity to use their other concentration spells instead.
A paladin is not going to get this until 9th level and will only get one attack with it since attacking with it (as written) uses your full action. And most wizards are not going to be wanting to probably use this in combat.
At least with a spell like Shadow Blade you can use it as part of a regular attack. In fact, it’s really weird that the description says nothing about using this as part of a regular attack.
The fact that it frightens doesn’t help much either. Plenty of these creatures are going to be immune to being frightened and even if they aren’t they will have magic resistance.
Blazing Chariot (GREAT): This is a great, tactical, flavourful spell.
Blessed Halo (TREND): Having to use your action to do this healing makes it completely not worth it.
Unless you are talking to someone super obvious, like a priest of Lathander, you have no way of absolutely knowing the alignment of someone before talking to someone. So you risk casting this and the charisma check part of it not working. Plus, Enhance Ability exists at this level anyways and lasts longer.
The magic darkness removal is pretty much the only thing that saves this spell. I would put this aspect of the spell in the same power level as I would put See Invisibility. In the right circumstances it is useful, but its use is also kind of niche.
Celestial Fanfare: Hurting neutral creatures doesn’t seem like a very “good” thing to do. Being able to blind creatures is pretty useful, though many evil creatures by this point are going to either have blindsight, be immune to being blinded, or both. So I’m not sure how effective this will be. It’s hard to guess if it is appropriate for its level. But the fact that the Blindness doesn’t allow a subsequent saving throw for evil creatures is pretty sweet.
Deva Wings (GREAT): Love it. You get the ability to fly around, some badass angel wings, and can also hover. Plus a wing attack that can knock someone prone.
Greater Seal of Sanctuary (GREAT) (UNCLEAR): This spell is ridiculous and that is completely fine. 9th level spells should be ridiculous. You are competing against Wish after all.
A 100 foot radius area is massive. And it lasts for 24 hours. And it has no concentration saving throws. The 500 gold cost at this stage is nothing. Also you can even ritual cast this too.
The one issue I maybe have with it is it could be clearer. You really have to parse out how this spell works on different creatures. It’s also not clear what happens to Fiends that are inside the barrier when the spell is cast (they aren’t included in this list for this).
Quintessence: Great radius and solid effect. I guess the downside here is that magic resistance, high saving throws, and legendary resistance, not to mention immunity to being frightened, are pretty common by the time you get this. I’m not sure it is clearly underpowered, but you may find its effect is less helpful than you were hoping.
Seal of Sanctuary (GREAT) (UNCLEAR): Its a level 7 version of Greater Seal of Sanctuary. Frankly, it might have been better to just have the one spell here (with the option to upcast it).
That also means that it is still work to try to parse out what this works on and how. Fiends inside the barrier when the spell is cast don’t appear to be affected by it.
Babble: This is a really solid anti-spellcasting spell. Especially against creatures that don’t rely on intelligence for their spellcasting. The downside is though that it really doesn’t do much against non-casters. Other than make them not be able to communicate with each other verbally.
Bad Timing (UNDERPOWERED): I guess you could use this before combat and it would have no perceivable effects on the creature. Though the creature would be able to see you saying the words of the spell.
It still feels pretty weak for a 2nd level spell. Even with the charisma saving throw.
Calm the Storm: It’s worth noting this only affects a single chaos magic surge effect. So don’t be thinking (like me initially) that this affects any surge that took place in the last minute.
It also doesn’t work on you. Which sort of limits its usefulness. I could see reality reshaping events as also causing some confusion in combat in some circumstances (particularly those involving creature or character deaths).
Chaotic Form: So you basically become that senator from the first X-Men movie. Sweet. Hopefully your outcome is better than his.
Chaotic Vitality (RULES) (BOOKKEEPING) (TREND): This one spell uses a few phrases not used in 5E (spellcasting level and caster level) and also relies on you knowing a creature's hit dice. It also is frankly unnecessarily complicated.
Chaotic World (OVERPOWERED): Spell balance is hard after 4th level. But this just seems like too much. The fact that it only works on enemies, and they become blinded, deafened, and fall prone. It’s also a 30 foot cube. So this is covering a decent sized area. It’s also an intelligence check as well so having partial cover won’t benefit them against this and creatures often have lower intelligence scores compared to other scores.
Ohh and it works as long as they are in the area of the spell. So, because they take half their movement just getting up. It may take them at least 1 of their turns just to get out of it. During which they are blinded. So they can’t target anyone with spells and are getting attacked with advantage.
Elemental Twist (UNDERPOWERED): The intention behind this spell is cool but given it takes your action to cast it, takes concentration, and only lasts a minute, it feels pretty weak for its level. Level 1 might have been more appropriate.
Entropy Damage Shield (BOOKKEEPING): Every time you take damage and it's split up these creatures have a chance to roll? Yea no. Way too much rolling here for what is likely to be a trivial amount of damage for each target. It would be one thing if this was limited to a small number of creatures. But this applies to any creature within a large area that fails a charisma saving throw. Yea no.
Fluctuating Alignment: We don’t even have a 5E spell that determines someone’s alignment but we have one that can temporarily change it?
It’s a fun spell to cast provided it is not used by DM’s. But I could see it causing problems when used on players. I can’t see a player using a 4th level slot on it though.
Frenzied Bolt (UNCLEAR): It’s a fun enough spell that has a solid range to it.
I also like that it actually limits the amount of rolling you have to do. I would have had a much worse opinion of it if I had to roll to determine a random target. Thankfully, you get to pick all the targets.
What could maybe be clarified is whether the bolt jumps to a target within range of where the spell was initially cast, or within 120 feet of the last hit target.
Ill-Fated Word (GREAT): This spell needs to be cast when the roll is being made. So you don’t know the result of the roll. But it’s a pretty flexible, solid spell. It’s a shame few people will see this because it is buried on page 184 of this book.
Mass-Surge Damper: I’m reminded of the old Chaos Shield spells used by wild mages here. This seems like a reasonable spell to have on hand if you are doing anything that would risk surges. Especially since you can ritual cast it. It’s short duration does mean you need to have finished ritual casting it right at the start of combat.
Misfortune (OVERPOWERED): Even for a 6th level spell this feels overpowered. Like ability checks and attack rolls are one thing. But even saving throws? The fact that this is a 6th level concentration spell with only a 15 radius area of effect isn’t enough to mitigate the fact that they also only need to fail the save once for them to be affected by this for a whole minute.
Mist of Wonders: There is a very narrow window of time where this spell is very useful. But you are probably not going to see a lot of enemies casting 1st level spells for long. Also, the fact that cantrips work through it is a bit odd too.
Paragon of Chaos (UNCLEAR): I can teleport 30 feet and that is counted towards my entire move? Is that what this is saying?
This spell is very powerful for its level. Is it too powerful? Maybe. But as an 8th level spell balance was thrown out long ago. It definitely is going to fulfill the chaotic goal of this schools spells.
Roaming Pain (GREAT) (POWERFUL): Honestly, I just like the spell. There is a bit of extra rolling to it but I think the randomness of it helps to keep it fresh. Having said that, I do think the effects might be a bit too strong for a first level spell. Even for a single target spell.
Roaring Winds of Limbo (BOOKKEEPING): Let’s not have more rolling than we need here. It’s ok for this 8th level spell to extinguish any lanterns here. We don’t need to make it a 75% of extinguishing a given lantern. It even sounds like we’re expected to roll for each.
The rolling doesn’t stop though. Roll this. Roll that. Stop it already.
Shifting the Odds: Ok, so use this, get advantage, and then use saving throw spells for the rest of combat. At the end of combat make some kind of an ability check to use up the spell’s effect.
Surge Dampener: Same thing as Mass Surge Dampener just at a lower level and affecting less creatures.
Timely Distraction: It’s an alright spell. 3 rounds is most of combat so this could be crippling on a target if they aren’t able to make the wisdom save at the end of their subsequent turns. Especially if they get stunned or blindness.
Uncontrollable Transformation: No point in taking the exhaustion here. Just keep ritual casting it until you get the result that you like. Some of these effects are definitely better than others.
Undermine Armor: If you were playing a sorcerer and could twin this it might be worth it to use it. But having a single target lose 2 AC, however important AC is, seems like it would be only worth it at low levels.
By higher levels you are both using up your concentration on this and you are using a constitution saving throw spell against an enemy. So you are missing out by using it and it’s likely to fail anyways.
Unruly Item (UNCLEAR): The effects that this can create are nice and varied. But, as written, you only have to make the save once with a weapon. I don’t know if this was intended but the spell could be clearer about it.
Unshackled Magic (GREAT) (UNCLEAR): This spell only does you any good once you know which creatures are spellcasters. But it is the exact kind of chaos that you would expect from a 9th level chaos spell. This is how you get Mordenkainen's Magnificent Mansion cast in the middle of combat. It’s nice long range also helps to prevent an enemy from using counterspell on it.
The spell could be clearer though about how you go about randomly selecting spells.
Wild Shield (UNCLEAR): The formula for the DC if you have less than the spell cast on you should have been written out more clearly here. It is easy to miss that there is a minus here instead of an em dash or something. Maybe just cut down the size of the illustration on the right so you have the space to properly write out this formula.
Wild Trajectory (BOOKKEEPING): Creatures aren’t always perfect 45 or 90 degree angles from you when you cast a spell. So it's not like this is going to work out perfectly in practice. I appreciate what they were going for here, and it isn’t as complicated as it could be, but I’m still not interested in a spell where I even feel like I have to break out a protractor to run it as written.
The spell is also hard to judge in terms of balance because it is going to invalidate a lot of single target damage spells.
I would instead have the D8 make it so that the spell is diverted within 15 feet of the original target, to a location or creature within that area, with the D8 determining which direction (D1 = north, D5 = South).
Aspect of the Dragon: It’s a 7th level spell that lets you turn into basically a young dragon. It’s fine for its level I guess.
Catch the Breath (UNCLEAR): It’s actually not made clear if it takes your action to make this ranged spell attack. It’s the kind of thing that should be clearly spelled out in a spell.
Cave Dragon’s Dominance: The poison breath is really what saves this spell. By this point lots of enemies are going to be able to save against it though. Or just not be affected by it. The blindsight is nice too but there are much lower level spells that will also give you this for much longer without requiring concentration (like Batsense and Draconic Senses).
Claim Lair (POWERFUL): Who makes a Claim Lair spell and then doesn’t have an ability to make the spell permanent if it is cast each day over the course of a year? Anyways, this spell might actually be a bit too powerful for its level. It’s definitely stronger than Guards and Wards.
Claws of the Earth Dragon (UNDERPOWERED): When you look at any other 5th level damage spell it's hard to not come to the conclusion that this is clearly underpowered for its level. Especially since its a single target.
Converse With Dragon: This spell would be a lot more useful if it could be ritual cast. I guess in the Midgard setting it would be useful but in any other setting it is really niche.
Deadly Sting (UNDERPOWERED) (UNCLEAR): It doesn’t say if you use your action to make this melee spell attack. So it sounds like it requires you to use your attack action for this. Which also means you need to wait a turn after this is cast in order to attack.
For most characters though this is an 8th level spell that isn’t even good enough to be a 5th level spell. The vulnerability to poison damage is nice but that doesn’t cancel out immunity.
Detect Dragons (UNDERPOWERED): It only lasts 10 minutes, it requires your concentration, it only works within 120 feet of you, it's a very niche use, you can’t ritual cast it, and it's a 2nd level spell. Sorry this is just underpowered.
Draconic Majesty: Your allies would also be affected by this too potentially.
Draconic Senses: You can already get 60 feet of blindsight from Batsense. Sure this doesn’t have the downsides that has, and this lasts longer and gives you darkvision (or more darkvision), but I’m also not sure it’s enough of a downside to justify using up a 4th level slot. At least not when you can use a 2nd level slot.
Draconic Smite: This works best obviously if you have a bunch of creatures you are fighting. The damage isn’t a lot but even that little bit of damage is enough to force a concentration check.
Dragon’s Breath (GREAT): This is a great spell that fits the theme. Being able to breath on a bonus action on subsequent turns, provided you get a 5 or 6 on the D6 roll, also makes it pretty useful. The damage types are also diverse enough that you don’t have to worry as much about resistances here.
Dragon Roar: This is a good mix of a damage and control cantrip. The limit on how often the target can be affected by it does diminish its usefulness though.
Dragon’s Pride: Advantage on all charisma checks is something Enhance Ability could already give you. So I guess what you are mostly getting here is advantage against being charmed or frightened. This is pretty sweet especially when fighting either dragons or fey.
Enhance Greed (UNDERPOWERED): This really needed to be a ritual spell in order to not be underpowered given its level.
Fire Dragon’s Fury: We already had something like this with the cave dragon. I think if they were going to have more than one of these they should have just put them into one spell. So that way you choose the bonuses and it keeps it flexible.
Kobold Fury: It does work on more than one melee weapon attack and it also adds damage. But you are also using up a first level spell to do this. Given the damage amount I think it's probably reasonable for a first level spell. Chromatic Orb is 3d8 and this is doing 2d8 (on a hit) and giving advantage. That seems like a fair tradeoff.
Lair Sense: I suppose this could be good for you before you rest. At least to avoid you getting surprised during the night.
Legend Killer (OVERPOWERED) (TREND): Legendary actions are too essential to permit a spell like this. It’s kind of cool to see a spell address them but the way the action economy works by the time you are casting level 7 spells they are so needed for boss fights.
Mithral Dragon’s Might: Hey look another very similar spell as the cave and fire dragon. Let’s consolidate these spells next time because the differences are such that they could be accounted for in a single spell.
Overwhelming Greed: I guess this helps to control the movement of an enemy, by making them compulsively try to get their hands on something. But for a 4th level spell it feels kind of meh.
Phantom Dragon (UNCLEAR): “When seeing this illusion, Observers make a wisdom saving throw to see through it.” I don’t know if this means the first time they see it, once each turn, or what.
Puff of Smoke (OVERPOWERED): A bonus action cantrip that blinds someone until the start of your next turn. Yea this is overpowered. It doesn’t work on creatures with tremorsense or blindsight, but that hardly matters enough. This is still a crazy good spell. Especially at lower tiers when you have limited spell slots (and you don’t have to worry as much about the effect of casting a bonus spell on your ability to cast a levelled spell).
You can cast this and a damage cantrip (that takes an action) on the same turn. Or just make a weapon attack (with advantage if they are blind). In fact, this would be a really good spell for a fighter character to take for combat. Especially an Eldritch Knight.
Raid the Lair (POWERFUL) (TREND): I think something that affects every type of lair, even ones that have nothing to do with dragons, might be way too strong here. Especially with saves having advantage and damage being halved.
Lair actions exist for a reason and this feels like it is trying to weaken something that is meant to keep combat (and certain strong monsters) interesting.
It’s also kind of notable that this is only a 4th level spell. Which basically means you’ll have access to it throughout your time fighting creatures with lair actions.
And yea its radius is limited. But even still.
Scale Rot (UNCLEAR): And just when does the affected creature that wants to end this spell make this constitution saving throw? At the start of their turn? At its end?
The spells power is really dependent on how often this constitution saving throw is allowed. Bearing in mind that a 2nd level Blindness spell also would grant advantage to targets attacking the creature (among other things), is based on a constitution saving throw, and doesn’t require your concentration.
So the only thing its doing beyond that is preventing it from regaining hitpoints (but at the expense of a higher level slot and using your concentration). Creatures that make the save against this are also immune to other castings of it for 24 hours.
Scaly Hide (UNDERPOWERED): A 4th level concentration spell that is basically barkskin mixed with some protection from energy. Except it works on poison instead of thunder damage and it only lasts 10 minutes instead of an hour.
By the time you get this spell most characters are either going to have at least 16 AC or they will have some means of temporarily giving themselves more AC. Like the shield spell. The only thing this has going for it is its 10 minute duration gives a bit of wiggle room that allows fighting through multiple combats.
I don’t even know anyone who uses barkskin at 2nd level. So having this at 4th level makes no sense.
Shade (UNDERPOWERED): Immune to blindness for 10 minutes sounds nice. But it is using your concentration and doesn’t cancel out blindness you already have. This spell could be useful for drow and duergar, but having to use up a 2nd level spell to get 10 minutes of reprieve of sunlight sensitivity doesn’t seem worth it. At least not until you get into higher levels. But by that point this is eating up your concentration to do it.
Thunder Bolt (UNDERPOWERED): Them not having a reaction is great. But the damage doesn’t scale. This is a strong cantrip early on but by level 5 it’s going to become situational. Especially once you have enough health to absorb opportunity attacks if you need to.
This is also completely overshadowed by the much more superior Hamstring cantrip (which is also found in this book). The problem is that this damage doesn’t scale. So by level 5 Hamstring is just a better cantrip in almost every way. Heck, Hamstring even gets twice the range this does. It also does force damage while this does thunder damage.
The only advantage I can see with this spell is that with hamstring you have to be able to see the target, which makes hamstring kind of unusual for an attack roll spell. But even with that benefit it still doesn’t seem worth it to me.
Thunderstorm (UNCLEAR): This is probably the more oddly named spells in the book. What makes this a thunderstorm? Also when is lightning or thunder treated as harmless in D&D?
But more importantly the spell isn’t clear about the obscurement. It seems like it just obscures this one creature from view. But it also is 30 feet in radius? Like it says “the creature” instead of creatures is heavily obscured.
Torrent of Fire: It’s kind of neat. It’s less damage than a fireball, but you get to teleport as a part of it.
Treasure Chasm: It’s a fun, single-target control spell that can cause a target to be incapacited. But they aren’t restrained or anything so you still don’t get anything like advantage to hit them.
Waft: This could be a useful spell for getting yourself into a more defensive position in combat. Or to get your group across a 60 foot obstruction.
Note: Many of the spells in this section do not state how you cast “ritual only” spells at a higher level (which you can’t do normally under 5E rules). This is a consequence of them cutting out a subclass from the book that addressed this issue.
They also don’t really explain what “ritual only” means (though there is a blurb that talks about casting them as normal).
Afflict Line: It is an interesting enough spell that players will probably never use. But it is a ritual spell so you never know. As a DM you can use it for inspiration.
Bloom: Another spell that players will probably never use. Unless they have a stronghold or something.
Celebration (RULES): This is exactly the kind of distracting spell that could be very useful. Unfortunately, it works on allies. So its use is probably going to be very specific.
It’s not clear how you ritual cast this spell “at higher levels” when the highest level you normally ritual cast at the spells level.
Clearing the Field (UNDERPOWERED) (RULES) : I suppose if you wanted to cut your way through a thick forest this could be used. But you are still only making your way through 40 feet of forest every 10 minutes (the time needed to ritual cast it). So it’s not really worth it.
This has the same problem with casting the ritual at a higher level that other spells have here.
Desolation: It’s a cool spell and very villain-ey. But I don’t see players getting much use out of it.
Encroaching Shadows (RULES): It takes an hour to cast this spell. I guess the advantage here is you are creating a bunch of darkness for 12 hours. It sounds cool I guess I just don’t see what the tactical value is in spending 1 hour to cast this. You can’t even end it yourself without using Dispel Magic (since it is not a concentration spell).
This has the same problem with casting the ritual at a higher level that other spells have here.
Extract Essence (RULES): I guess I could see this being useful in a campaign where you are keeping track of weight. But it is still a very situational spell.
Guest of Honor (RULES) (TREND): So it’s a 10 minute long Guidance spell that only works for charisma checks. It stacks with Guidance and Allure (found in this book), so that is something, but it still feels redundant.
This has the same problem with casting the ritual at a higher level that other spells have here.
Shadows Brought to Light (GREAT): It’s a flavourful ability that could actually prove useful at some point. The challenge is using it within 30 feet of someone without them wondering what you are casting or doing.
Shadowy Retribution (GREAT) (RULES): I don’t really have much to say here other than this is actually kind of a cool spell.
This has the same problem with casting the ritual at a higher level that other spells have here.
Song of the Forest (UNDERPOWERED): It’s weird that in a book where they hand out 60 feet blindsight like candy they decide to restrict how much tremorsense you get here so much. Even with a 3rd level spell. Anyways, there are too many restrictions on when it can be used and it takes 10 minutes to cast (plus 10 more to ritual cast it) so it just feels really weak for its level.
Vine Trestle (RULES) I assume the length of the vine here is up to 30 feet. It’s a neat enough spell though it feels like it would have only niche uses. Maybe for resting in trees or doing ambushes.
This uses spellcasting level as a term when this isn’t a thing in 5E. This also has the same problem with casting the ritual at a higher level that other spells have here.
Sometimes these reference spells but I can’t really judge these because Hieroglyphs are really more like mini-feats (things you select after taking a feat).
Amplify Light: There isn’t anything wrong with this spell. But the problem with this spell is I don’t know anyone who tracks how long a torch burns. Like sure it’s assumed to be expended when you are finished in a dungeon. But after a short rest? Maybe by the rules but not in practice.
Anyways, darkvision is so common and people forget about what darkvision grants enough that I’m not sure how useful this would be.
Burning Radiance: 10d8 is a ton for radiant damage (a damage type that also has implications for undead, particularly vampires). But this is also a 6th level spell and Chain Lightning does a similar amount of damage. Damage spells by this level are often underpowered compared to control options. So this seems reasonable.
Greater Protective Nimbus (UNDERPOWERED): I feel like by the time you are casting level 5 spells you should have something to give yourself light with regardless. So the damage is really what we’re interested in here. Even accounting for the fact that this is radiant damage, this damage here is low for its level. It also has the problem of this being a range of self and it working on any creatures within 30 feet of you.
Cone of Cold by comparison does 8d8 damage at this level. Sure it’s damage type is more resisted but the diameter is the same and you have more control over it.
Guiding Star (WEAK): The fact that this is a ritual spell is nice. Same goes for its 8 hour duration and lack of needing concentration. But this spell just needed something more. How often do groups even face getting lost? Maybe for very specific adventures, but I think most groups don’t really worry about this aspect of the game. Plus there is a survival skill for this.
Last Rays of the Dying Sun: Kind of weird that this is called a dying sun but doesn’t do radiant damage. As 7th level spells go the damage is probably reasonable. It’s a lot but fire and cold are some of the more resisted damage types.
Orb of Light: A 2nd level spell that does an average of 13.5 damage and blinds the target for a round. It seems reasonable. Maybe even a bit on the weaker side of 2nd level spells. Especially since it uses a dexterity saving throw.
Phantom Light (WEAK): I’m a bit torn on this spell. On the one hand it is clearly better than the Darkvision spell (also a 2nd level spell) but on the other hand I guess I’m just not that impressed by it.
At this spell level this needed to be either an 8 hour long spell or a ritual cast. There are circumstances where it would make sense to use this, particularly if you are looking to be stealthy, but the second anyone wants to take a short rest you need to cast this again.
Protective Nimbus (UNDERPOWERED): The light cantrip does most of this and lasts longer. The only thing this does over it is the necrotic damage resistance. But that isn’t worth it for a 3rd level spell slot.
Searing Sun: Weird that it burns exposed flesh but not buildings.
Sickening Radiance does a comparable amount of damage to this but even more on top of that. So I’d say this spell is fairly balanced for its level. Especially when creatures can avoid it.
Shield of Starlight (UNDERPOWERED): This is way too similar to Protective Nimbus. It also is too weak for its level. Either the duration needed to be longer or it needed to be a lower level.
Soothing Incandescence (GREAT) (UNCLEAR): This keeps allies alive and prevents certain undead (like vampires) from regenerating. It’s not clear if the damage would happen before any regeneration, but given its spell level I’m assuming it would (therefore preventing that regeneration).
Starburst (POWERFUL): This is a cantrip that has a charisma saving throw, which is much harder for monsters to save against than Dexterity or Constitution. It's also one of the most likely types to succeed. It's also a cantrip that also does 1d8 radiant damage (that scales). Radiant damage is one of the least resisted damage types and is often needed to prevent certain creatures from regenerating. Only wizards only get access to this spell too, which sucks for clerics. The fact that it makes a charisma saving throw also means that any benefit the target would normally get from cover doesn’t matter (so Sacred Flame doesn’t even have that over it).
Starfall: 6d6 damage at this point is not incredible. But the fact that it is radiant damage, and that you knock them prone and blind them on a failed save, really makes this a solid spell. Those conditions only last for a turn but you can do a lot in a turn against an enemy that is blinded. The downside of course is that this is a dexterity save. But even some damage can get through and that alone would prevent regeneration on creatures like vampires.
Star’s Heart (GREAT): I don’t know how this has anything to do with the rest of the theme of this school. Other than that stars have lots of gravity.
Anyways, this would be a really strong spell to cast. Especially with the spell causing them to become incapacitated. The fact that it also doesn’t require concentration is also huge. I wish the non-wish official damage spells were this useful at 9th level.
Tracking Beacon (TREND): The thing with all these tracking spells is that they don’t even last that long. Like 8 hours is long enough to track someone to a local place. But you should have been able to do that with survival anyways. Plus they are going to see this thing floating above their head and they will figure out after that time that they are being tracked.
But 8 hours is not long enough for long distance tracking.
For the life of me I don’t get the appeal of Ring Magic. Dark Magic sounds way cooler but it gets the Appendix treatment.
Bitter Chains: It’s a reasonable spell for its level.
Circle of Devastation (UNDERPOWERED): More like circle of mediocrity. Guys, this is a 9th level spell. GO NUTS. Yea ok it deals 6d6 damage to everything in a given area each round for a minute. But it dishes out that damage on a creature if they are in the cylinder at the end of its turn. So you know what a reasonably intelligent creature is going to do? It’s going to leave the giant magical cylinder. The only thing I guess redeeming about it is that it has a 1 mile range. But it isn’t enough to save it.
Circle of Wind: This seems fine. Its long duration helps to keep it somewhat relevant. But I can’t see myself taking it unless I knew I was in a campaign with harsh environments in it.
Create Ring Servant (TREND): It’s a CR8 summoning spell. Is that good enough for an 8th level spell? No clue. There really are a lack of summoning spells after 7th level (and even 7th level only has Summon Celestial, which is actually pretty great even though it is a CR4 creature). Officially you pretty much have to rely on upcasting other spells to get a summon.
Anyways, this spell feels reasonable given it requires your concentration. It’s a big, strong, condition immune creature.
Also, this book should be providing the statblock for it.
Curse Ring (TREND): It’s basically Bestow Curse being given to an item. Could that be useful? Yes. But it is still situational, it is using up a 5th level slot to cast a quasi-permanent 3rd level spell, and uses up 250 gold per casting.
Also, you need to review another spell in order to understand how it works (which is why I’ve labelled it as a trend).
Enchant Ring: So a 6th level slot to make a creature charmed by you. Charmed isn’t mind control. I could see this being useful as a gift to some noble. But casting Detect Magic before accepting any gifts just sort of seems like the kind of thing that would be done in worlds that are filled with magic. So this seems like a spell that very much relies on your DM being generousl.
Hoarfrost: They nerfed this spell from the Midgard Heroes Handbook (it used to not end on a successful hit). The nerf made sense and it’s still useful I suppose for characters that are making weapon attacks. Especially when it makes those attacks magical and gives you something to do with your bonus action (for those not dual wielding or using polearm master). It only works on melee weapons though (sadly).
Innocuous Aspect (GREAT): It’s kind of like a mass Disguise Self except you look like a harmless creature or object and it only lasts 10 minutes. How it works out though is very DM dependent. It could be pretty useful for infiltration. The duration and the need for concentration also means that it isn’t stepping too much on Seeming’s toes.
Reverberate: It’s similar to Thunderwave but with a longer area of effect and it causes creatures to fall prone. It seems like a reasonable 2nd level spell.
Ring Strike: I’m not really big on requiring non-cost material components for spells instead of an arcane focus. But that is clearly a precursor for ring magic so needing two rings is not surprising (nor difficult to acquire).
It’s a first level spell that does up to an extra 2d10 damage to a target that has been hit by your attack(s). It’s comparable to the damage of a Magic Missile spell so I’d say its fine. The damage is counted separately from the weapon attack I think so I’m not sure if it would be doubled as part of critical damage.
Ring Ward: Advantage against spells and resistance against a damage type is pretty sweet. Is it worth it for a 7th level spell slot and your concentration? Maybe? But the advantage is only against spells. So this won’t help against a dragons breath. It also does not include magical effects.
Spinning Axes: 5d8 force damage for a level 4 spell is on the weaker side even after accounting for how unlikely it is to be resisted. It’s the bleeding here that really saves this spell. It either forces the target to take damage (and potentially make a concentration check at the end of their turn) or it forces them to use up their action or heal. This seems like a reasonable tradeoff to me.
These are each an extension of the rune magic feats (and work the same as Hieroglyphs). I looked over them but haven’t given them a proper review for this document.
Become Nightwing (WEAK): On the one hand you can deal out this damage over the course of a minute and on roughly half of your turns it’s going to be recharged.
On the otherhand it requires your concentration, the damage amount isn’t that amazing, and the Dragon’s Breath spell does 3d6 damage over a 15 foot cone, but it is only 2nd level.
Is it worth it to use a 6th level slot and your concentration up on a spell with a wider area of effect, but only an average of 7 extra damage (per creature hurt)? I’m not sure it is. Dragon’s Breath also offers a level of flexibility since it offers multiple damage types.
Black Hand: I think what makes this spell work is the fact that it is a ranged spell attack. This makes it a lot more useful against dragons and other creatures that are heavily resistant against spells.
Black Ribbons: This is basically just a variant of Entangle. It’s a pretty good, tactical spell, especially at lower levels.
Black Well (GREAT): The fact that this can hold 9 creatures in a 5 foot space (in an extradimensional space I’ll grant you) could make this awkward to use in practice. But it is a great tactical spell to use. Especially given its long range.
Call Shadow Mastiff (OVERPOWERED) (UNCLEAR) (RULES): It’s nice that they actually attached a statblock to a spell in this book.
It’s not really clear how often the Mastiff can howl (per its Bay ability). Like does it take an action? And if so shouldn’t it be found under the actions?
Also this is using “panic” instead of frighten. So it’s ignoring status conditions.
The reason I’m labelling this as overpowered is because it requires the creature to move 300 feet. Thing is, they aren’t able to save against it a second time. So not only do they get a non-existent condition but they also only get one shot to save. Otherwise they walk 300 feet.
Claws of Darkness (UNDERPOWERED) (UNCLEAR): Alright, so I use up my concentration, then use up my action, in order to allow me for the next minute to make a melee spell attack from 10 feet away that does 1d10 cold damage.
Gosh, I wonder how I could do at least an average of 5.5 damage from 10 feet away using my action? Good thing this damage doesn’t scale either. We can’t be having that. Ohh and we really needed to be having to use our concentration on this one.
Ohh and you can’t attack the first turn because you used your action for this.
My interpretation of the spell is that you can take the attack action on subsequent turns and then use these as your attacks instead (this works rules as written it's just not normally how spells are written). So you should be able to use it as part of an extra attack as well.
But the damage isn’t very good even with that in mind. Some martial abilities also require a weapon attack too so it’s not even like its good to use this with a martial character.
Anyways, this spell was also in the Midgard Heroes Handbook and unfortunately, it hasn’t changed since that book. It’s too bad too since it seems like it could have been a cool spell. But I can’t find anything redeeming about it.
Cloak in Shadow: I guess you could use this before hiding in combat. Especially if you are playing an arcane trickster.
Conjure Shadow Titan (POWERFUL) (RETHINK): A CR 7 creature at this level seems pretty reasonable for a level 7 spell. It is kind of weird though that it is a shadow with none of the usual damage or condition immunities you’d expect for some kind of a shadow creature.
Creeping Darkness (WEAK) (UNCLEAR): This seems kind of weak for a level 8 spell. It does move restrained targets along, so that is good, but 6d6 damage every turn is not that much better than Cloudkill (though it is a less resisted type). It also involves constitution saves and those are probably going to be made by enemies. Plus it requires your concentration.
That said, restrained is a useful condition to give because there aren’t a lot of creatures that are immune to it.
Some of the language also could be cleared up here. Like it uses the phrase “darkness” to describe the dim light at times. It’s clear what they mean but it’s the kind of use that should be avoided when making spells in 5E.
Dark Dementing (WEAK) (UNCLEAR): It’s a single-target frighten spell that is 5th level. Frighten is such a common condition immunity that at this stage I wouldn’t bother with a spell like this. Sure, this doesn’t require concentration and lasts 10 minutes. But even with them needing to be in bright light I’m not sure its worth using a 5th level spell slot on.
What isn’t clear is what happens to a creature that can’t create bright light and can’t see any to move into. Do they just stand around and die? Because the spell says a creature won’t enter a space that isn’t brightly lit (which also conflicts with this idea it is moving towards bright light if that light is beyond their speed in a given turn).
Dark Path: I guess you could use it to make a path up to a tall building as well. But it feels situational.
Douse Light (UNDERPOWERED): I get the intention here but this seems really weak. Plus Prestidigitation can already do this. The only difference is range (30 feet here, 10 feet with Prestidigitation).
Dying in the Light: Exhaustion is really powerful. But constitution saves are probably the worst save type by the time you are using 7th level spells. Especially for creatures that also have magic resistance.
The damage here is also pretty meh given this is also a concentration spell.
Hide in One’s Shadow (WEAK): Maybe I’m just not a creative thinker but this 4th level spell seems pretty situational given it has to be a willing creature that you touch. Maybe you could use it on a summon? Or on a party member for right before a meeting that is supposed to involve only one person. That’s about all I can think of.
Legion: The problem with this spell is the area of effect. Like sure it is 10 feet cubed. But it would be easy to step out of that in most circumstances (even as difficult terrain). So this would be good in a corridor (particularly where enemies have different initiative rolls and have trouble leaving) but that is probably about it.
Negative Image: I could see this being a great strategic spell to use in a pinch. Especially if an enemy was adjacent to you. Pop, now someone else in your party (or a summon) has switched places with you. The long range makes it particularly flexible.
Shadow Armor (RETHINK): Good luck trying to use this spell before your DM makes an attack roll. I don’t know why the trigger isn’t “when an attack roll is made against you” instead.
Shadow Bite (WEAK): Sure, half movement speed is good. But the damage isn’t particularly amazing here and any cantrip with constitution saving throws is going to start becoming less effective starting in Tier 2.
Shadow Blindness (UNDERPOWERED) (TREND): You have to know this creature has darkvision otherwise you waste your action by casting this. Also, unless you are in darkness it’s not worth even thinking about using this because what it’s doing won’t really matter in dim light. Overall, it just seems like a really weak cantrip.
Shadow Gateway (UNCLEAR): Alright so after a minute is up how do you get back from the Plane of Shadow? Because, as written, this just lets you open a portal to it. Not to open a portal to the prime material plane from there.
Shadow Hands (RETHINK): I don’t think there are any clear rules for where a cone affects if it is not covering a whole square (there are rules in the DMG on page 251 but they only apply to circles). While a cone is circular vertically, I’m not even sure how a 10 foot cone would even work in practice horizontally. The spell goes outwards 10 feet and then is 10 feet wide at its end. So would it affect up to 4 medium ground creatures or 2?
If they had wanted it to work on 4 medium creatures they could have just used a 10 foot cube. So I’m assuming the intent here is for it to only affect 2 creatures.
The spell is fine for what it is. But I think the use of a cone here adds more complexity to this than was needed.
Shadow Metamorphosis (UNDERPOWERED): I think given this is a concentration spell, at 6th level, that can only be used (at least offensively) on touch, this is not a very powerful spell for its level. Especially when it doesn’t grant any fly speed. In theory, it could be used on an opponent in combat. But the constitution saving throw is likely to be easily avoided by this stage.
I guess I’m just not impressed by it? You could use it for scouting but by this stage so can so many spells.
Shadow Monsters (GREAT): This is a pretty useful spell. Imagine turning the enemies healer against the group? Let alone their wizard? There is a lot of solid possibility with this spell. It’s also a reasonably low level and it still lets enemies make their save again at the end of subsequent turns (so it doesn’t seem too unbalanced to me).
Unlike the confusion spell, it is very much up to the DM to interpret what these “attacks” would entail. A wizard affected by this doesn’t have to use their spells, though logically they should.
Shadow Puppet: This is a pretty useful single target control spell. It does burn your action and bonus action if you use it on your first turn though.
Shadow Step (UNDERPOWERED): Why use this when you can just Misty Step and walk? This is way too weak for a 4th level spell. Especially given its dim light/darkness restriction and the fact that it takes your action and all your movement.
Shadow Tendrils (GREAT): I think this is a solid spell. The ability to restrain a target, potentially even more than one, is kind of huge. Plus you force them to use their action to escape it and you can deal damage regularly enough that it could break their concentration. At least in the lower tiers.
Shadow Trove (GREAT): 2 feet by 2 feet is nothing. But 750 pounds is a lot. The fact that you can ritual cast this is pretty huge. It’s similar to a floating disk but it is something you can ritual cast.
Silhouette (UNDERPOWERED): I certainly wouldn’t take this as one of my initial cantrips anyways. It clearly can get some use for describing events or as a distraction (in the event of you having a surface to work with that you can touch), but I think its practical uses are just too narrow. Minor Illusion just does so much more. This spell would be much better if it worked from range, didn’t require concentration, and had no vocal component.
But it is a touch spell that requires concentration and that is limited in scope. Even its 10 foot cube area of effect is not enough to save it.
Slither (TREND): It feels like this and Shadow Metamorphosis could have just been one spell. It feels rather redundant to have both (not to mention Gaseous Form in the official spells).
Umbral Storm: It’s a cool thematic 9th level spell. But constitution saving throws in particular are so easy to make at this point for enemies. Especially ones that have magic resistance and bonuses to their saving throws. I just see it not working out a lot.
Plus, while exhaustion sucks for party members, it’s less of an issue for monsters until exhaustion level 2 (where they get their speed cut). Giving it to enemies is good but works best when set up with other spells that require ability checks (and not saving throws).
6d8 damage a turn (half on a save) is also not mindblowing for this spell level either. Especially not for a 20 foot radius spell. Not when Meteor Swarm is doing 40d6 (though all at once).
Accelerate: This seems like an OK spell. It’s nothing mind blowing but it seems balanced.
Alter Time Flow (RETHINK) (TREND): Since the Slow spell uses wisdom saves this should too. Having it be constitution saves is odd.
Also you need to understand this spell and two other spells just to know how it works.
Anticipate Arcana: It’s a solid spell. Is it worth a 3rd level spell slot though? Probably not. Especially when you can normally just counter a spell at this level. However, its bonus does last for until the start of your next turn. So that is nice.
Anticipate Attack (RETHINK): I really don’t get why you would have this spell function only between when an attack is declared and an attack roll is made? This has the same issue as Shadow Armor. Just make it work only after an attack roll is made. That way the spell is more flexible.
Anticipate Weakness: This is probably what True Strike should have been all along (but not a cantrip). It’s also nice that it has no concentration requirement.
Auspicious Warning (UNCLEAR): The triggering event for this reaction is that you make this roll when the attack roll/saving throw/ability check is made. Not after. However, the description says it actually is after.
Adding a D4 to an attack roll, saving throw, or ability check could make the difference. But when you actually make this roll matters a lot.This spell should be crystal clear about this.
Chronal Lance (RETHINK): This saving throw is weird. How is this a wisdom save and not a constitution save? You are inflicting the ravages of aging on someone, not just making them think they are aged.
Decelerate: It’s an interesting spell with a decent range and one that doesn’t require saving throws. I’m not sure I’d take it but it could be useful on the right enemy. Especially an enemy that is reliant on its speed.
Flickering Fate: It only lasts a round but how this works out could be really interesting. It could also have no effect whatsoever (if the person you touch can’t do much of anything).
Foretell Distraction (WEAK) (UNCLEAR) : The problem with this spell is that “lightly obscured” is relative. Dim light is lightly obscured and normally is fine to be hidden in (though you need to be heavily obscured to initially hide). However, any creature with darkvision is going to see in dim light as if it were bright light. So there aren’t a lot of reliable options for lightly obscured (maybe foliage or pure darkness).
Also, while it does say you are treated as having made a successful stealth check it is weirdly vague about whether or not you are treated as actually being hidden.
Quicken (WEAK) (RULES): Initiative is locked in at the start of combat (“it remains the same from round to round”). So, since this is adding to its roll, to get this to work with initiative you need to use it before combat starts. Also, the fact that this uses concentration and it’s best use is against dexterity saves does not work in this spells favour. It just requires you to know in advance that this character is going to be making a dexterity save. But, depending on your class, I think you are better off casting Bless or some other concentration spell.
Quick Time (WEAK) (TREND): This feels like it should have been a magic item. The use of a 4th level slot for this just can’t be justified in most cases. Plus the amount of years is not enough to justify using it. Maybe there is some edge case where you can age someone over time after many castings of this. But only druids get access to this so the spell can’t be subtly cast (and even if it could be it would still require the material component).
Ravages of Time (OVERPOWERED) (UNCLEAR): You can’t make a creature take 3 levels of exhaustion without even a saving throw. Yikes. 3 levels of exhaustion means disadvantage on attack rolls, saving throws, ability checks, and ? movement speed. It’s not something to be thrown around. The fact that this is a level 7 spell doesn’t stop it from being overpowered. At least with Forcecage creatures can potentially teleport out of it.Since its a 7th level spell, even Limited Magical Immunity won’t protect against this (and neither will Legendary Resistance or Magic Resistance since no save is involved).
You can even twin this as a sorcerer (which is even more ridiculous).
Having said this, what it can be used on is really open to DM interpretation. Like are fiends affected by aging? What about other creatures from the planes? What creatures would be and what wouldn’t be affected? This spell really leaves a lot to the DM and affects its usability. If you can use this is extremely strong but its one of those things that is either extremely strong or useless (and there is no in between).
Reset (RETHINK) (UNCLEAR): Messing with initiative just creates further issues. Like how does this work with a spell like Enhance Ability?. If I have advantage on my initiative then how does this work with that? Because this doesn’t describe this second rolling as advantage.
Nevermind that this spell isn’t really a “reset” (since everything that came before it still happened in the same order) and it also isn’t really slowing down anyone (since it has no effect on movement and even the Slow spell doesn’t affect initiative).
Right of the Stars (OVERPOWERED) (RETHINK) : Nothing in this spell in any way feels temporal in nature. Also, giving 30 temporary hitpoints and doubling a conjuration creatures duration feels like it is too powerful for something that relies on there not being more official wizard spells that allow you to summon many enemies.
Even now, you cast this and then cast Summon Lesser Demon (upcasting it as a level 6 spell and choose a CR ? or lower creature). You now have 16 creatures, each with probably between 39 to 48 hit points (and resistant against most elemental damage), that are attacking everything near them. You can drop concentration the second they pose a threat to your group too.
The only downside here is the 10 minute casting time.
Scry Ambush (UNCLEAR) (RETHINK): This spell is a perfect example of why you shouldn’t make spells that deal with surprise. Just don’t.
My understanding is that this spell works as follows
Band of orcs surprises your entire party.
Orc #1 attacks Larry, your childhood best friend. You can’t cast this to save Larry because your first turn hasn’t happened yet. Sucks to be Larry.
Orc #2 attacks you. You can cast this in response to this attack (even though you haven’t had your first turn yet) but then need to make this weird initiative based DC save (per the spell description)
Say you are successful on the save. You and your other companion (Billy) are now no longer surprised.
But, on a failure you don’t foresee this attack and instead use it on your next turn (aka your first turn in combat).
The whole spell is just a mess and it is sticking its nose into one of the most confusing aspects of 5E for many people.
Plus there was already that Warning Shout spell earlier in the book (that was also frankly a mess). So this spell wasn’t even needed
Seer’s Reaction: I’m not a fan of spells that react to something that is not perceptible. Someone moving is perceptible. Someone attacking is perceptible. Even someone taking damage is perceptible. But a “turn” is just a mechanical concept.
On top of that you can’t use this if you are surprised and initiative matters a lot less if surprise isn’t an issue. I guess the benefit of this spell is that you can use it to pump up your initiative when it actually might matter (outside of being surprised that is). Namely if by doing this you would move well up the order. I would have rather you had the option of choosing where in the order you fell though.
I’m also not sure this is a good use of 1st level spell slots. At least not at lower levels.
At higher levels your first level slots won’t matter nearly as much so this will be more useful then.
Time in a Bottle (GREAT) (BOOKKEEPING): I’m sure there are much more creative uses than I can think of for reversing time in a bubble. I suppose an advantage of this spell is that you have a 1 minute long protective barrier where you can heal as you need. Alternatively, you can also put a creature in this barrier for up to a minute and freeze time and they can’t do anything. Which gives you enough time to heal up or prepare something.
Having said that, I think the time reversal is just going to require so much bookkeeping. Especially on a grid. Who is going to remember where someone was 5 rounds earlier, what status conditions they had, what spell slots they had (particular for DM’s using monsters) or what their health was? Especially for this large of a radius. Maybe a smaller radius would have been more appropriate.
Time Jaunt (GREAT) (RETHINK): There is a great spell behind the jumbled mess that is this spell description. More than half the text of the spell is trying to explain how the spell works.
If this is the case (with any spell) then you’ve clearly failed to effectively convey how it works. For the most part, the spell isn’t even that complicated to understand either.
It also uses raw bonuses at one point and I think this should be avoided.
Time Jump (WEAK): This spell is so incredibly niche. Unless you were in a campaign filled with constructs I can’t imagine ever preparing this spell. The only reason I haven’t labelled it as underpowered is because it is a very useful effect if you can pull it off. Especially when it has no saving throw or concentration required. Though it is a touch spell.
Time Loop (GREAT): This is actually a pretty fun spell. It actually seems like it would feel like a time loop.
Time Slippage (RETHINK): Getting disadvantage on all saving throws even when you make the save means that you are worse off (in this respect) than a creature that is stunned. Since a stunned creature just fails strength and dexterity saves automatically. Either way, this makes no sense. It should also grant this disadvantage to creatures that are stunned.
Time Step: I could see this spell having some use as an escape spell in a pinch. But it being limited to 30 feet might limit its usability somewhat. Especially when it uses an action.
Time Vortex (TREND): I’m not a fan of changing initiative after combat has started. It creates too many issues, not the least of which when it comes to monsters of the same type (that would normally all share one initiative roll). Besides that though this spell is fine. Especially given that the Slow spell is a level lower than it.
Speaking of which, it references the slow spell instead of just explaining what it does here.
Wall of Time (TREND): Hey look, another spell that references another spell to explain what it does. The rest of the spell is fine.
Biting Arrow: It’s a ranged take on booming blade. Except it involves cold damage and people taking their reaction. This would be really good for a rogue.
Blizzard (RETHINK): I’m a bit surprised that this spell doesn’t at least make this difficult terrain. 40 feet in diameter (aka 20 feet of radius) is not much. Most creatures should be able to just leave the area of the blizzard on their turn, so they shouldn’t be taking any damage after the initial 8d8 (since further damage happens at the end of the turn).
Because of this it feels a bit underpowered for its level. The initial damage is not enough to keep this spell worth it to use. Plus other lower level spells can cause this amount of area to be heavily obscured.
What really saves this spell is the disadvantage on concentration checks for creatures who take damage (which is going to be most creatures since saving means half damage). But cold is a common enough resistance at this point that the damage may not actually be that effective.
You can’t cast a non-attack roll spell at anyone inside this because it is heavily obscured and attack roll spells are going to be made with a disadvantage. So you’d be wanting to use an area of effect spell (targeting outside of the radius of it) for disrupting concentration further. But the spells 20 feet of radius and placement could limit your area of effect options.
So I think the spell creating heavy obscurement and its small radius might actually hamper its use a lot.
Boreas’s Breath (WEAK) (RULES) : A 20 foot cube centred on you is not possible. Neither is a 10 foot cube. Keep in mind you are in the centre of a cube (and therefore are in a 5 foot square already). It would need to be either 15 foot cube (meaning 5 feet on either side of you) or a 25 foot cube (10 feet on either side of you).
I think the idea here is that the water becomes solid but the creatures inside don’t. So even fish suffocate because they are encased in ice (instead of being frozen themselves).
I just can’t imagine there are a lot of cases where this is useful as a ritual spell. I guess if you needed to cross an area of water and then could take the time to ritual cast this over and over, again keeping in mind that the spell is centred on you.
You also can’t really use this spell well if you are in water because then you are encased in it (though only partially submerged).
If this spell was a ranged spell it would be amazing. But as a spell that is centred on you the number of cases where you can use this just narrows. It feels too situational because of this.
It doesn’t use concentration though. So at least that is something.
Breathtaking Wind (OVERPOWERED): This is potentially a very powerful spell. A huge number of spells require a vocal component and many default monsters may not even have many spells that don’t have it. On top of that, they don’t even get a second chance to save against this. Mind you, this is a concentration spell, but it is also a cantrip. Even with the Silence spell you can’t just leave the area of the Silence spell. The only option enemies have here is to disrupt your concentration.
Brittling (RULES) (WEAK): “Level as a spellcaster” is just a worse way of saying “spellcaster level” because I didn’t even find this one when searching for that terms use. If you are going to use incorrect terminology at least be consistent. It’s also not even clear if this means the level of your class or your combined spellcasting classes level (in the case of multiclasses).
The problem with this spell to me is that I’m sure it has its uses. But are they worth using a 4th level spell on? I’d say no.
Clash of Glaciers (UNCLEAR): I’m going to assume the line is 5 feet wide. But the spell doesn’t say this.
This spell is half doing bludgeoning damage, which is unlikely to be resisted, but it is also still just kind of a worse Cone of Cold. While cold damage is much more likely to be resisted. Cone of Cold’s area of effect makes it much more useful. You might be able to get Clash of the Glaciers to work against 2-3 enemies. But that is likely the maximum.
Control Ice (OVERPOWERED): You shouldn’t be balancing a very situational spell like this by just making it crazy powerful. The non-weapon bludgeoning damage this does alone is going to be rarely resisted. This spell has 3 different effects for you to choose from so I’ll be breaking down my thoughts on each.
Crack: 4d10 damage in an area (even a 100 foot area) normally would not be good for a 5th level spell. But you can use an action to do it every turn. It’s also up to 100 feet in any dimension and (and this is the part that makes this aspect of the spell really strong) you control the dimensions of that area (so it could go around allies). Especially when it also makes difficult terrain.
Now this only really works if you are in a cavern that has ice overhead or along its walls (so presumably in some arctic setting).
Reshape: “Or otherwise alter the form of the ice in this area”
Here is where things go off the rails. Now, assuming that we’re just talking about a 20 foot cube here, you can still use this 5th level spell to completely trap enemies of your choosing behind solid walls of ice. Now you can just do whatever you want to the rest of the enemies and pick them off one by one (reshaping the ice as you need it). In some ways it’s like Wall of Force on overdrive because you can change its shape each turn and even if they break down the ice you can just remake it next turn (provided you still have concentration). The only option they have that might prevent you from reshaping it is to melt it.
Thicken/Thin: This is by far the most reasonable aspect of this spell. I would frankly never use it though.
Also, if ever there was ever a spell that needed bullet points then this was it. Reading lists of what you can or can’t do, in paragraph form, kind of sucks.
Creeping Ice: It’s a neat spell that seems reasonable for its level.
Curse of Boreas (OVERPOWERED) (RETHINK): What makes this a charisma saving throw? This is clearly a constitution saving throw if there ever was one. Charisma saving throws make sense when we’re talking about something that is sending you to a demiplane or another plane. Not something freezing you.
The spell pretty much puts flesh to stone to shame, since it requires a charisma save, requires no concentration, has a longer range, and just does things instantly.
Deep Freeze: Even a creature that saves against this still likely has their speed cut in half (unless they have more than 30 speed, in which case it's not as bad) unless they burn an action to free themselves of it. Plus they’ll still take half of the initial damage.
Weirdly, if you use your action (and strength) to break through the ice then you don’t have ice clinging to you and are not slowed down.
Entomb in Ice (RETHINK): This has already been done with Creeping Ice basically (and its on the same freakin page). Giving restraint and encasing in ice is getting really repetitive in this school already. You don’t need two spells that are this similar.
Evercold (OVERPOWERED): This risk of death by exhaustion with this spell is much too high for me to use it on players. Especially if I know they don’t have any Dispel Magic or 3rd/4th level spell slots available.
I think the spell is too strong for what it is. It would be far more reasonable if the spell ended after a successful constitution save.
It feels like a cheap spell to use as a DM and like a spell that takes too long to work for players to want to use.
Flurry (RULES): Yet another spell that bypasses the existence of rules. There is lightly and heavily obscured in this edition. Just say you do one of them just in case there is some edge case where it is relevant.
In this case, say the spell causes light obscurement in the area and also that attack rolls have disadvantage.
Freeze Blood (WEAK) (RETHINK) : I’m no doctor, and I realize that this is a game, but freezing someones blood, while not freezing the rest of them, seems like the sort of thing that would end horribly for that person. Like getting frozen solid as a whole is bad enough.
Anyways, for a 3rd level, single target, concentration spell the damage here is weak and the effects it gives don’t help enough to make it worth using.
Freeze Potion (WEAK) (RETHINK) : I’ve never drunk a potion when using my monsters as a DM. It almost never makes sense as an action in combat to do it. So this spell is incredibly situational. Also, why only a 25 foot range?
I get the intention here I just don’t think it will come up all that often.
Frostbite (RETHINK): First Catapult now Frostbite. Maybe lets not name things the same as existing spells? It’s a bit weird to have the same spell name as official spells.
It’s a 5th level single target spell that requires concentration. The fact that it ends when the target makes their third save is pretty good. So is the fact that the target keeps taking damage each round, has disadvantage on their attacks rolls/ability checks, and has half speed.
Frostbitten Fingers (UNCLEAR) (RULES): The phrasing of this spell is weird. Like you make this ranged attack and then there is a saving throw that happens when the spell is cast (instead of on a hit).
“Manipulate, wield, or pick up an item” is also kind of vague. I assume if I draw a sword and then attack with it that is two saving throws? So attacking twice is two saving throws as well?
You don’t get to target a hand with this spell. So I guess its up to the DM to decide which hand it is. Also, lets be real, what are the chances someone wielding a weapon fails this save more than a handful of times? Probably very limited.
But the spell doesn’t stop there. Even a successful dexterity save does not end the spell. Neither does a constitution save. You are stuck with it for an hour or until concentration is broken.
Other than being an alternative to Heat Metal I’m not sure what the purpose of this spell is.
Fusillade of Ice: Yes the damage types are less resisted than Fireball, but the width of the spell is also 10 feet smaller than it (and also Ice Storm). Also, at least when looking at the totality of monsters in all official 5e products, there are nearly as many creatures resistant/immune to cold as there are fire.
It’s a slightly more damaging alternative to Ice Storm. But at least Ice Storm also causes difficult terrain too.
Glacial Cascade (WEAK): Meh. By the time you get this enemies will make this saving throw and you’ll be left doing 5d8 cold damage (highly resisted) against them. The 30 foot radius is nice but it hardly makes up for the 8th level slot being used on this. Also losing the body means no spells like Speak with Dead or Animate Dead can be used on it.
Glacial Fog (OVERPOWERED) (RULES): So crossbow users can’t use their crossbows and anyone who doesn’t have their weapon out is out of luck.
12d6 damage each turn, plus exhaustion, and disadvantage on perception, is insane. Especially when saving just cuts the damage in half and means they don’t get the other effects. So a creature in this 30 foot radius is going to be affected by this spell in some way (including it disrupting their concentration). If the damage this inflicts doesn’t kill them the exhaustion might.
Also creatures immune to cold damage are still affected by this spells other effects.
Ice Burn (RETHINK): I’m not sure what to make of this spell. I’m generally not a fan of spells that don’t allow at least a save against their effects. Getting disadvantage on all dexterity saving throws is also pretty big because there are a lot of spells that rely on it. But it is also a single-target spell. So I’m not sure I’d describe this as being overpowered? Especially when enemies can just heal this damage and lose the effect that way.
Ice Fortress: It’s a fortress that is made of ice. It’s only a 10 foot cube too. I’m sure there is some use for this, but casting Tiny Hut before resting just seems like a better way to go if you are looking for something to protect you during a rest. Otherwise, this seems like a pretty situationally useful spell to me.
It also lasts until dispelled or destroyed. This seems weird to me because its just made out of ice (I guess because of the arcane lock but it still seems a bit strange).
Ice Hammer (UNDERPOWERED): It does an extra 1d10 cold damage on a hut but it still requires your concentration to use it. By 5th level a cantrip can be doing 2d10 damage (Firebolt) so even if this hits someone twice it still seems underpowered for a 2nd level spell. Just because you are also having to use your concentration to do this damage.
Icicle Daggers (UNCLEAR): So potentially an additional 3d4 if you manage to use them as throwing daggers, or an extra 2d4 damage a round if you dual wield them as daggers in melee. Dual wielded short swords do 2d6 (7 average) damage. So dual wielding icicles and getting an extra 2d4 damage would be an improvement for sure (4d4 is an average of 10 damage).
But getting an extra 3 damage/round over just using weapons might not be worth it. Particularly for wizards since they may not want to be in melee range.
The nice thing is that they will last for an hour in cold weather. It’s not clear how long they last if you aren’t in cold temperatures.
Protective Ice: This could be a good spell to cast on a character that lacks armor, like a mage or sorcerer, provided you have no other use of your concentration. Unfortunately, only clerics get access to this and it’s competing against their use of Spiritual Guardians. So it’s hard to recommend using this instead. But it is at least an option (and you can always prepare it when needed).
Sculpt Snow: This might actually be a rare case where it makes sense to create small creatures for the Animate Objects spell. If you did 4 of them would benefit from this.
Sheen of Ice (POWERFUL): Being able to cause 20 feet radius worth of creatures to move at half speed if they fail a save is pretty strong. Especially when it lasts for a minute and does not require concentration. Sure the spell does no damage. But this actually stacks as well with difficult terrain. So its pretty useful as a control spell.
Shiver: A cantrip that can prevent someone from casting for a round could be a bit too strong. But you also require your action to use this. So it balances out. The fact that it only works once per 24 hours is not as restrictive as you think, since most combats probably last less than 4 rounds.
Snow Boulder (UNDERPOWERED) (BOOKKEEPING) (RETHINK) : It’s a cool concept for a spell but having to roll an attack roll and having someone roll a dexterity save kills it for me. Just make it a dex save guys.
Also, unless you are using this at its max range, and are fighting really stupid enemies (that can’t see it coming at them) the damage this spell is going to do is going to be pitiful for a 4th level spell. Even a huge area is only a 20 foot cube. Any creature should be able to see it and get out of its way by then.
Snow Fort (UNCLEAR): Its a fun, thematic spell. It doesn’t say you are proficient with throwing these snowballs though so that is a pretty big downside. But it works as a fort or for ambushes. It doesn’t say you need snow for it (only that it “comes out of the ground”) so you might have more flexibility on where this can be used.
Snowy Coat: It’s fine but because it only works on snowy terrain (and not ice or arctic tundra) it is too situational. The fact that it takes an action (so you probably will have to wait until your next turn to hide with it) doesn’t help either.
Steal Warmth (UNDERPOWERED): Too many conditions are needed for this spell to even do anything. Plus it costs a 3rd level slot to use it. Like you need someone within 5 feet of you that you would want to take this damage and you have to have cold damage done to you from magic (and not from non-magic sources). For a 3rd level slot I’d want more. Especially when this is a one time only use.
Triumph of Ice: It’s a neat enough spell and at least you can use it on a bunch of different terrain types. You might find some uses for it though its use against elementals is very campaign specific.
Winterdark (POWERFUL) (RETHINK): This lasts for an hour.
On the one hand, I look at Sickening Radiance and that does a lot more damage than this and doesn’t have all the means that this has for avoiding the exhaustion. Plus creatures will probably make any constitution save (or at least they have a good chance of doing so).
On the otherhand, this is an even wider radius and lasts for an hour. Plus you can move it and unlike Sickening Radiance the exhaustion doesn’t end when the spell does.
Is it overpowered? I don’t know. The damage is pathetic but it at least still will force concentration checks.
I’m always wary of anything involving exhaustion but at least in this case immunity to cold damage or wearing winter clothing renders someone immune to it too (though that still would be powerful since most creatures aren’t immune to cold and it can still be cast far away from arctic environments).
Some of the spell just also feels kind of out of place. Like how it does 1d6 cold damage but also is described as being unbearable cold. I feel like these two things don’t compute.
Is it too powerful? I don’t really know. There are not a lot of spells that dish out exhaustion for a reason.
Winter’s Radiance: It’s weird that the area of effect here is described in the range section.
Anyways, this seems like a pretty solid spell. It could especially be good against any flyers that mostly rely on ranged attacks. Especially since it lasts for the duration of the spell.
Winter Glide: This feels situational. Especially for a 4th level concentration spell. It also only works on you, so that limits its usefulness in any party. I guess you can use this to move around the battlefield as you wish. But it is very dependent on the terrain laid out by your DM.
Aura of Entropy (OVERPOWERED): I think what the spell is doing is reasonable for a spell. I’m just not sure 4th level is an appropriate level for a spell this powerful. 5th or 6th level feels like it would be much more appropriate.
Black Hole (UNCLEAR) (RETHINK): I think it needs to be noted that the black hole itself is a sphere that is 15 feet in diameter. So that is where you are basing further measurements off of.
Thematically this is awesome. But why is it that it is only on the first turn that creatures within 40 feet need to make a check to avoid being sucked in? After the first turn any creature that is more than 5 feet from the black hole only takes a tiny amount of damage (2d6 cold damage, which is nothing at this stage).
Admittedly, that still means this spell is effective within a 25 foot diameter (15 feet for the hole and within 5 feet of it). So it is a bit small from a radius perspective but it makes up for it with a great amount of force damage.
One thing that isn’t clear relates to using this in gridded combat. Since this is using a point instead of a square as a starting point, how does this work on a combat grid? Typically you cast a spell at a corner on the grid, not in the centre of a square. So that would mean that the black hole at say its widest point would takes up two full squares and then two half squares. So its width at its widest point would be like so
Half-square /square/point targeted /square /half-square
If a creature were 5 feet over from these half squares, would they still be counted as being within 5 feet? Based on the rules in the DMG I would presume so. But I think it would have been better to have a nice even amount of squares at the widest, tallest, and deep points of the sphere.
Caustic Waste: It seems like a solid enough amount of damage. Though why this is here and not in the alchemy school confuses me.
Detonate Corpse (WEAK): It’s a cool spell but you really have to space these corpses out in advance to get the most out of this. But using this just in combat seems like a waste of a 5th level slot otherwise. Sure, you prevent them from being raised, but the damage isn’t that impressive for its level, even after accounting for its likelihood of avoiding resistance and immunity.
Forceful Repurposing (RULES) (RETHINK): I like the concept with the spell but you don’t know what spell is being cast or the target of it. So while the DM could inform you of what spell is being cast, what targets are valid targets for the spell, or if the targets you want to cast it on are in range or not, you might not know whether or not the target is actually valid. The DM is technically under no obligation to tell you anything here frankly beyond letting you know after that the target was invalid.
So what happens to your casting of this if you choose an invalid target? Does that invalidate the spell being cast too? If that is the case then it makes this a potentially better version of counterspell.
Frailform: It’s a powerful spell that relies on an expensive component that your DM might make it difficult to access. But at this level 1500 gold is nothing. I guess its only downside is that constitution save. Most enemies are going to rely on dexterity to some degree. So between the two scores you could seriously cripple enemies with this.
Glimpse the End (UNDERPOWERED) (TREND): This spell would be a lot better as a magic item (or maybe as a ritual). As it stands now I’m not sure its really worth expending a 3rd level slot on.
Grave Sense (UNDERPOWERED): This seems really specific and situational. Like I have to be able to control the undead and also gain something from seeing through its eyes and hearing through its ears. Maybe this could be used for scouting? But it seems like a waste of a 2nd level spell for that.
Also, how many undead that you can summon even have blindsight, truesight, or tremorsense?
Also, this is in a book with level 2 and level 3 spells that grant Blindsight at 60 feet. Why waste a slot on this?
Grim Siphon (UNDERPOWERED): Dealing 1d4 + spellcasting ability score mod, while healing half of that for another target, just seems still like a really weak spell. Especially given that it is a constitution save and there is no save for half. It’s also poison damage so they may even be outright immune to it.
Hand of Doom (WEAK): The problem with this cantrip is that if you just hit, but they succeed on the con save, then you do a pitiful amount of necrotic damage.
If you hit and they fail their con save then they are poisoned until the end of your next turn. I guess a strength of the spell is that you know it will at least do something if it hits. But Poisoned is one of the weaker conditions, as many creatures are immune to it. It’s still good for making sure an enemy is missing his attack or failing ability checks. The damage though is really weak. Plus it is a touch cantrip so you do need to be next to them while using it, unless you cast it through a familiar.
Hellfire Blitz (UNCLEAR): Arkos on Kobold Press’s Discord pointed out that the range of this spell is 30 feet but the spell’s description makes it seem like it is meant to affect just you. I’m assuming the range was written in error.
It’s a fair tradeoff to use this spell instead of Misty Step. You are missing out on the options you would have for using a spell as a bonus action, but in exchange you are getting to do this 6d6 fire damage to potentially multiple creatures. On top of that, you get to move 40 feet and don’t provoke opportunity attacks. It’s also a rare case of a spell that sorcerers and warlocks get but not wizards or clerics.
Investiture of Blight: This could be useful if you are expecting to be hit by a lot of necrotic damage. It also could be useful if you have something in a forcecage and are just looking for an easy way to give it exhaustion and eventually kill it.
Jerilyn’s Cadaverous Uprising (OVERPOWERED) (RETHINK): Getting a ghoul or spectre for a level 2 spell is too powerful. Especially one that doesn’t even require concentration and that you can cast using an action (Animate Dead takes a minute to cast).
Also the upcasting of this spell is weird. Like why do you need 5th level slots to upcast it? And why does it go up by 2 levels each time? It’s almost like this was a 3rd level spell and then they reduced it.
Magma Spray (UNDERPOWERED): 3d8 every turn is not great for a 2nd level spell. But it is especially useless because you can’t move this and because it is only for creatures that enter this area on their turn or at the end of their turn.
Unless the DM or player is being really stupid this is only ever going to do 3d8 fire damage on a single target (half on a save). Which is only a bit better damage to one creature than burning hands (which works against potentially multiple targets and is a lower level). Either way, it feels underpowered for its level. Especially given it is doing fire damage.
Prayer of the Resolve: This actually seems like a really solid spell for granting a party temporary hitpoints.
Proselytize (POWERFUL): This is a really strong spell especially on a cleric. Being able to walk into a bunch of creatures and force them to fall prone, while denying them reactions, is kind of huge. The fact that you can upcast it and increase its radius (depending on your needs) is also pretty big too.
Servant of Doom (POWERFUL): This is a really strong spell. What really sets it apart is being able to have truesight and advantage on these attack rolls. That can matter a lot for some classes more than others, but clerics (with spells like Spiritual Weapon) and Sorcerers (thanks to spells like Firebolt and Scorching Ray) really benefit the most out of it. It’s also a bonus action to cast it too. So you can cast a cantrip after using it.
Souleater: Its using up a 5th level spell slot and your concentration to have someone do an extra 2d8 necrotic damage on each of their hits. This could be great on a fighter, paladin, rogue, or monk. But it also feels like a heavy cost. It doesn’t feel weak but it also feels like there is enough of a downside here that it is not as strong as what it appears to be. Especially when you consider that by this level (at least if you were a wizard) you could be casting Wall of Force instead.
Transmogrification (GREAT): This is a solid concentration spell that gives you a wide range of options. It’s a bit complex but not enough to be burdensome to read. It’s kind of got something for everyone.
Withering Smite (UNDERPOWERED): This is a lot more of a stealthy smite than Thunderous Smite. But it also is a more resisted damage type and does less immediate damage. Even with it doing damage on subsequent turns it still feels a bit on the weaker end. If the target fails a single constitution save it is only meaning an extra 2d6 damage overall against it. This is pretty weak given it doesn’t do anything else (like knocking a creature prone). This will be outclassed by most cantrips by level 5.
Blood and Steel (UNDERPOWERED) (RULES) (BOOKKEEPING) (RETHINK): I honestly don’t know how someone makes a spell with a description this long. Half of what is here could be simplified. For instance, just say that while this spell is active the construct has an intelligence score of at least 10 (instead of taking 2 sentences to blab on about this).
Was there some demand I’m not aware of for being able to charm constructs? Charm mostly just provides a social benefit (especially in a party setting where this creature is still free to attack your party members). Plus plenty of constructs have magic resistance so this might not even end up working.
Also you take damage at the start of this spell so I guess that makes this spell could cause you to lose concentration before it even does anything.
Blood Armor (RETHINK): This has the potential to be a great spell. But what wizard or sorcerer is going to be making a melee weapon attack against someone by the time they are able to cast a 3rd level spell?
I love the flavour of it. But its use feels very niche. Especially when it only works on “foes”.
Some people are going to be put off by the fact that this uses a bonus action (even though a reaction feels more appropriate). This is permitted but it feels clunky to do it..
You might be able to use this on a recently created corpse. In which case it could be more useful.
Blood Lure (POWERFUL): This is very similar to Bleating Call, one of the earlier spells in the book that does something similar to this but uses sound. At least here it just takes a single action and they aren’t as restricted with what they can do when they are moving towards it.
I was a bit torn about whether or not to describe this as being powerful. The fact that this is only a 2nd level spell, that uses a charisma saving throw, and that basically wastes the action and movement of the affected creatures, makes it strong for its level. But it also is a very specialized spell that only works on certain creatures. Wasting creatures actions within a 60 foot radius, without even needing concentration to do so, is really what makes me lean towards me thinking this is maybe too powerful for its level.
Blood Puppet: I’m sure there is some use for this spell out there. But for a 4th level concentration spell it does feel like you would really need to set a lot up for it to work. Like you need to have this creature be otherwise restrained by you outside of combat.
Blood Scarab (UNDERPOWERED): It’s basically a weak mix of False Life and a damage spell. The damage isn’t enough for it to be worth it to use this, because cantrips do more, and the temporary hitpoints aren’t enough to be worth it to use it beyond first or second level. This is a good example of how sometimes splitting up bonuses doesn’t make for a good spell.
Bloody Hands (OVERPOWERED): I like the theme of this spell but forcing the caster to also make a DC10 constitution saving throw is way too strong for this level. While it is true the casting is not lost, it effectively burns their action as well. That’s not to mention the consistent damage that is forcing concentration checks and the disadvantage they are facing on melee and ranged attacks.
Plus this is a ranged spell too. It’s way too strong in my opinion for its level. It is a save or suck spell and doesn’t have any upcast bonuses. So those are just about the only negative it has.
Bloody Smite (POWERFUL): Giving enemies the inability to cast spells that have a verbal component is very strong. Like many offensive spells have one. When you compare this to say Searing Smite, it is pretty clear that this is the better spell. The only real downsides compared to Searing Smite is that this also ends when healing magic is used. Even the fact that an ally tending to the wound needs to make a medicine check against your spell save DC makes this better than Searing Smite.
Boiling Blood (UNDERPOWERED): Even if you manage to have this work twice in a row, which is unlikely, 6d6 (4d6 then 2d6) fire damage is a bit weak for a single-target 4th level spell (the DMG recommended amount is 6d10). Being able to blind a creature is useful but the Blindness spell is available two slows below this and it doesn’t use your concentration up either.
The fact that it (understandably) doesn’t work on constructs or undead, despite the latter of these being a pretty common enemy type, isn’t helping matters.
Caustic Blood: It’s got a decent range and the damage would be worth it if you have three enemies to use it on. The downside of this is that you do need to actually get hurt to use this. You are likely to get more use out of it on a druid or a ranger than on a cleric.
Cruor of Visions (OVERPOWERED) (UNCLEAR) (RETHINK): I assume it's my pool of blood that is treated as this crystal ball of telepathy, and that I don’t need another creatures blood to get this, but the spell weirdly places this in the same paragraph that talks about other creatures. So it is not clear.
I guess this could be a useful spell if you were playing in a campaign where you take these gold costs seriously. But by the time you are able to cast 5th level spells, spending 1000 gold on a crystal ball doesn’t seem too difficult to me. Having to use up this high of a spell slot to save the money might not be worth it.
While getting the equivalent of a crystal ball of telepathy out of this might make this seem worth it, don’t forget that Scrying has a 10 minute casting time. Cruor of Visions however only lasts for 5 minutes. You’ll never be able to cast Scrying with it because it just doesn’t last long enough. Plus both Scrying and Cruor of Visions require concentration.
Neither this spell nor the item reduces this casting time either (per the DMG spells cast through an item are cast at their normal casting time). It’s like Kobold Press didn’t read through what this item does.
Even if they had, this is also a legendary item that (while scrying) grants you telepathy between yourself and creatures within 30 feet. But more importantly you can continually cast Scrying as much as you want while you have this item (17 DC). So, even if this spell worked as written, this is not even a balanced thing to have for a 5th level spell.
Also, presumably, you are considered to be attuned to this blood as though you were attuned to the crystal ball (since the item normally requires this and you otherwise wouldn’t have enough time to get attuned). But there should be a reference to attunement here.
Exsanguinate: Funnily enough this spell works on undead or constructs, including undead (like skeletons) that might not have either ichor or blood.
Is it worth it to use a 5th level slot and your concentration on a single target spell to incapacitate a single creature? Maybe? But the chance of enemies making this constitution saving throw starts to get higher at these levels. Especially when legendary and magic resistances are involved. The real value for the spell then might be the fact that you can upcast it and get multiple targets.
Exsanguinating Cloud (POWERFUL): This blows cloudkill out of the water. The damage is slightly less than Cloudkill but it is less likely to be resisted (or have creatures outright immune to it). You also cause exhaustion as well. Cloudkill still has the advantage of it slowly moving through areas. But even still this seems really strong for its level.
Sanguine Horror (TREND): Hey look a statblock that they don’t give you. What a refreshing change! (this is sarcasm).
The elemental seems like it has a reasonable enough number of abilities and does enough damage to be worth considering for its level. But summons are hard to judge. It’s definitely more of a combat summon but you could use its ability to squeeze through areas as a way of having it clear out rooms before you enter them. The fact that you get it for an hour is also nice.
Staunch (WEAK): I guess the ongoing bleeding effect ending could be useful. But Spare the Dying could just continuously stablize a creature like this too. Maybe there is some contrived situation in combat where a creature has been reduced to 0hp and has a bleeding effect active on it. But I think most bleeding effects in this book end when any magical healing is applied to it.
The spell just seems pretty underwhelming.
Vital Mark (UNDERPOWERED): When would this ever come up? Like seriously, when would you ever use this ritual spell?
Weapon of Blood (UNDERPOWERED): You hurt yourself, potentially causing you to fail your concentration check, only to create a +1 dagger. But a +1 dagger only does 2-5 damage. So its not that much better than a short sword. There are also very few enemies at low level that are resistant against non-magic weapons. Overall, it’s a weapon that does mediocre damage and requires your concentration and a 1st level spell slot.
Aura of Wrath (UNCLEAR): “Must take its next action to attack the nearest target” this sentence is problematic because many creatures have multi-attacks. So does that mean they must use their action to make one attack or can they use their action to make a multi-attack (and what happens with subsequent attacks in a turn after that one?).
Also “must take its next action” doesn’t forgo the creature retaining control over where it moves. So it could still move somewhere deliberately in a way that it only has one possible target.
A 20 foot radius also means that it is likely to affect allies as well.
I don’t really know what to make of this spell. Only Warlocks and Wizards get access to it and Warlocks would clearly be the better choice for it. This is kind of like a better version of the confusion spell. Except you really have to put yourself in harms way for it to work and the classes it is available to are so limited. It’s hard to say when this would actually be useful or even safe to use.
This feels like it could completely derail encounters. But it is also a 6th level concentration spell so that isn’t totally surprising.
Chains of Perdition (GREAT) (UNCLEAR): I like the theme behind this spell and the fact that you can keep using this as a bonus action for a minute (or until the chains are destroyed).
Having said that, it doesn’t say when on your turn they take the damage. So that aspect of the spell could be clearer.
It’s also kind of weird that the chains aren’t immune to necrotic damage.
Channel Fiendish Power (GREAT): It is worth noting that the first effect, regarding darkvision, still means that areas that would normally be in darkness are still dim light to you. Like this isn’t quite working the same as the warlock invocation (where you could see entirely normally in darkness).
Anyways, the spell gives a ton of different options for you to choose from. The claws are garbage but everything else is pretty solid.
Cloak of Fiendish Menace (RULES): There is no such thing as a “personal” range. I think they meant self. The rest of the spell seems fine for its level.
Conjure Fiends (POWERFUL): Being able to spawn eight CR ? fiends and have control over them for an hour is huge.But it is also highly dependent on what your DM will permit. It also is fiends, not specifically devils or demons, so you don’t know what you are going to get.
There are also not a lot of lower CR fiend options here. Especially if you exclude official adventures or Kobold Press’s other products.
Dretches (CR ?) can poison enemies and prevent them from using both their action and bonus action on a turn, as well as their reaction. Not to mention they can attack twice each turn. I’m not even sure what would happen if multiple Dretches used multiple Fetid Cloud abilities. But most enemies would probably not be able to save against all of them administering it. Overall it is definitely a strong option (even for a 4th level spell). Especially if upcast.
Conjure Nightmare: It seems fine. I suppose it could be useful in combat if you are looking for a mounted option. Especially if you’ve killed someone you can use as a sacrifice to appease it. But this is also at a level where you have a lot of great options. It seems reasonably balanced for its level.
Dark Lord’s Mantle: This seems like a pretty solid spell. The fact that your allies can add the D4 to saving throws as a reaction, as well as to one attack as a bonus action, makes it really effective at getting them to use the most out of the action economy. It could also be a useful spell for DM’s too for this reason. Especially when using minions and having the boss have this active.
Demon Within: I’ve never been a fan of how you have these spells that require concentration, but then involve a summoning that seems like the concentration doesn’t matter for. The spell is what summoned this demon into the world. Dropping concentration should at least get the ball rolling for this creature to be sent back (even if it is after 1d6 rounds, like how Summon Greater Demon handles things).
Having said that, Conjure Elemental (the official spell) is similar to this spell so it isn’t without company.
Fiendish Brand: This could be a really useful spell to use in a boss fight. Just because giving disadvantage on saving throws could be huge. The challenge of course is hitting with it. But if you can pull that off then this could be a really useful spell to cast.
Mammon’s Avarice (UNDERPOWERED): I like the flavour but this should have been a cantrip or a ritual spell. Anything less than that and it just isn’t worth using a spell slot on.
Nest of Infernal Vipers: It’s weird to say the DM has the creature statistics. This is a creature in the SRD. The player should be able to find them easily enough to (unless your DM decides to change them).
Also, unless you are looking for the condition immunities this is offering, summoning a single CR2 creature as a 3rd level concentration spell doesn’t seem worth it. There is a reason why people choose 8 creatures and not a single CR2 creature when casting Conjure Animals. Plus wizards and clerics already have a lot of great spells competing for their concentration.
Plaguebearer: This spell would be a lot more useful if disease was something you often come across. There are some creatures and spells that can cause it, but it isn’t nearly as prevalent as it could be. It’s a good spell to have on hand though just in case, even if it is just on a cleric. It’s a bit weird though that sorcerers don’t get access to it but warlocks and wizards do.
Tome Curse (WEAK): I could see you using this to offer a book to someone in order to try to cause permanent blindness on them. Just because you attack that is. Beyond that, I’m not sure it is worth it. I’ve labelled it as weak because you have to come up with a very contrived circumstance in order to get any use out of this. If you manage to get it to activate it can be very strong.
Wave of Corruption: The usefulness for players is very dependent on whether or not enemies use any potions. My enemies normally don’t. I guess the necrotic damage can also destroy other things as well (including non-magical weapons).
Conjure Minor Voidborn (WEAK): I really don’t get the appeal of summoning spells that can go hostile on you if you lose concentration on them. This is basically just a worse version of Conjure Animals but at a higher spell level.
Conjure Voidborn: A CR6 Fiend or Aberration gives you a lot of flexibility over what you can get out of this. A Gauth would certainly be a solid choice here. But you can also get a White Abishai instead. There are a lot more options than with the minor version. Is it worth a 7th level spell slot and your concentration? Maybe? It’s hard to say.
Crushing Curse: 1d6 psychic damage to a single target, using wisdom saves, is a decent cantrip. Since it is wisdom they’ll get no bonus from being behind cover. The fact that this causes deafness is really only as good as what your DM lets you do with that.
Destructive Resonance (GREAT): A bunch of creatures not being able to take their reactions is huge. The damage here is also pretty solid for a 2nd level spell. It’s also a wisdom save so it’s likely that it will still be pretty usable even later into the game.
Glimpse of the Void (POWERFUL) (RULES): Even creatures immune to being frightened are affected by this. On the one hand I get why, because frightened is not madness, but on the other hand it also means this works on any creature. There really should be a “madness” condition in 5E that creatures can be immune to if this is an effect that is going to be used.
At the very least, creatures immune to frightened should be given advantage on the save against this.
Creatures having to make an intelligence saving throw (within a 30 feet radius) and if they fail they take no actions for a minute seems strong even for an 8th level spell.
Icy Grasp of the Void: The damage seems reasonable for its level. The spell seems unlikely to kill anyone, since they’ll likely make a constitution save before then, but it could give them severe exhaustion.
Life Drain: The damage is a bit weak for the level but it makes that up by letting other creatures regain hitpoints.
Living Shadows (UNCLEAR) (RULES): The problem with this spell is that they aren’t grappled. A restrained creature can just leave the sphere. Presumably, when a creature leaves the shadows it is no longer restrained?
Maddening Whispers (POWERFUL) (RULES) (RETHINK): Why is this a charisma saving throw? Madness is normally a wisdom or intelligence save. Also, the only condition immunity that can protect from this is being immune to being incapacitated. That is a very rare type of condition immunity (there are only two monsters that are immune to it). You do need to use your action to maintain this and it can’t take any damage. But between the Charisma save, and the condition being applied, and its lack of needing concentration, this seems pretty strong for a 2nd level spell.
Nether Weapon: This seems reasonable for its spell level.
Protection from the Void: The cost, relatively short duration, and concentration requirement probably make this reasonable for 1st level spell.
Void Rift: I swear this is like the third spell like this in this book. The spell seems fine but I’m not big on taking damage on each turn. This spell is competing with Wish afterall. It should be powerful and all damage is doing is forcing me to make concentration checks.
Void Strike (POWERFUL): Vampiric Touch is only 3d6 damage and is a melee spell. This is doing more damage and potentially causing the frightened condition. I think its certainly stronger than the average spell at its level. It may also be overpowered.
Words of Misfortune (WEAK): I get the intention here but a D4 is not very strong and this requires my concentration. It seems really situational to use this.
Black Goat’s Blessing: I have no idea what virility has to do with saving against spells you cast. But ok. I swear there was another spell in this book that did exactly this already.
Curse of Yig (TREND): Another statblock not found in this book. A servant of Yig is a CR4 monster that gets a couple of useful control spells at its disposal. But the minute long casting time and its need for concentration mean you may only get to use this on a familiar in practice.
Ectoplasm (POWERFUL): It is using up your concentration, but being able to continuously move this through other creatures' space as a bonus action does allow for you to deal out a small amount of consistent damage each turn to multiple enemies. That makes this potentially a very powerful and damaging spell over time.
Eldritch Communion (BOOKKEEPING): A ? chance of it giving a falsehood in its reply, a ? chance of an aberration becoming aware of you, and a cumulative ? chance after the first casting of it not working.
Compare this to the official spell “Commune”. There is ? the amount of rolling with Commune (and actually less if you’ve never cast it before). Why not just make it so that aberrations within 300 feet become aware of you. This really did not need this many rolls for something that should be straightforward.
Emanamation of Yoth (OVERPOWERED): I’ve never seen a summoning spell (other than Find Familiar) that I could ritual cast. This makes this really powerful. The only things really limiting its power are its 1 minute casting time, its Horrifying Visage ability affecting your party, and the fact that it needs your concentration. But being able to use this thing to possess humanoids could be very useful.
If you are willing to risk aging, you can also make your party members immune to the Horrifying Visage by just having them become immune to it for 24 hours when you initially cast it. Taking as much time as they need to be made immune to it. It is still creating a limitation with this spell, but I still feel like the spell is too powerful for its level. Especially when you can cast it up to 90 feet from you. So you may not have to ever worry about that effect.
Green Decay (RULES) (RETHINK): You are a creature within 15 feet of the target that the target can see. So this poisoning (but not the disease) could affect you here.
Also this is really weird. It's a ritual spell but when you cast it you make a melee spell attack against someone. So how are you expected to use this as a ritual?
Hunger of Leng (GREAT): I guess it was only a matter of time before there was a living zombie creation spell. Here we are. At the very least it is a good control spell because it forces the creature to make these bite attacks. This could be useful on spellcasters in particular.
It also works on any creature, including creatures without mouths. So that could be interesting.
Mind Exchange (GREAT): I could see this getting a lot of use in infiltration campaigns. Particularly given you can ritual cast it.
Seed of Destruction (RETHINK): Another ritual spell that you make an attack after casting. This feels really clunky and it's not how ritual spells are normally handled. Like I guess this works if you plan to cast it on the very first turn of combat? But you’d need to maintain concentration on that first round (until you actually finish casting it).
As for the Hydra itself, its a CR8 creature that you may lose control over (though it doesn’t require concentration). This seems probably reasonable for its level.
Semblance of Dread: The benefits provided in the spell feel very disjointed. Especially vulnerability to radiant damage.
The problem with the spell is that, in the attempt to balance it as a cantrip, they gave it a requirement to use your concentration. It may be useful at low levels but even then there are likely to be enemies that can just shoot you from range.
Sign of Koth (POWERFUL) (UNCLEAR) (RETHINK) : The casting time for this is one turn. So I guess that means you can’t use bonus actions or reactions the turn you use it? The meaning of this could be clearer.
I’m not even sure what to make of this. But the 60 foot radius of this spell just makes it so powerful. Especially when enemies have no chance to save against it. If you pick the right type then those enemies are all attacking at a disadvantage. You can even make it so that they can’t leave the sphere. Plus, the enemies will need to have some way of dispelling it. If they don’t then they can’t end this in any way.
Also any enemy that frightens, charms, or possesses could end up being countered here too (assuming you select the right type). Sucks to be you Mr. Dragon.
The 500 gold cost is also a small cost of doing business for the spell.
That said, the spell has its issues. The massive radius of it, and the limits of something like darkvision (60 feet), mean that in the right situation you might not even see all the creatures caught up in this spell (at least when you initially cast it).
Sleep of the Deep: The spell just seems so situational. Like I guess you can do this to torture someone you’ve knocked out until they talk. But beyond that it just feels very unhelpful. Even as a ritual spell.
Summon Eldritch Servitor (UNDERPOWERED) (BOOKKEEPING) (RETHINK) (TREND): Give me these statblocks (including the ones in the upcasting section). I shouldn’t have to go searching for them.
What is the point of void taint? (which is not even found in this section)
How likely is it that 4 damage ever exceed my wisdom score?
Between the charisma saving throw to determine hostility, a wisdom roll per round, a psychic damage roll, and a concentration check as a result of the damage, it feels like this involves too many rolls. Plus void taint points and madness on top of that.
Why would I want to use a spell that can cause me madness, isn’t even a safe guarantee at creating a summon, uses my concentration, and takes a minute to cast? The one redeeming thing about it is it is a ritual spell. But the chance of getting hostile creatures doesn’t make that up to me. I’ll just end up fighting hostile creatures until I luck out and get safe creatures.
Summon Avatar (UNDERPOWERED) (UNCLEAR) (BOOKKEEPING) (RETHINK) (TREND):
All the same issues as Eldritch Servitor, with all the disappointment of making an avatar of freaking Cthulu a CR2 monster. That’s not a joke on my part. A Deep One (in the Tome of Beasts pg 73) is a CR2 monster.
Why would I want to cast this? I guess so it can in turn cast Eldritch Servitor? But this thing might not even be on my side and I have to take damage each turn (risking my concentration).
Between all the rolls, the statblocks not being given, and the underwhelming nature of what is supposed to be a badass 9th level spell, it’s hard not to be just disappointed by this.
It looks like all of these creatures really are weak and some have hardly any good combat options. The Yog-Sothoth avatar in particular is so bad that it doesn’t get a statblock (what are the stats of this human?).
It’s just a disappointing spell all around. It’s also a spell that you have to constantly roll for too.
Unseen Strangler (GREAT) (POWERFUL): The fact that this is a ritual that lasts for 8 hours means that this has the potential to be a very useful spell when resting. You can just spend an hour while the rest of your party is taking a short rest. Now you have 6 of these guarding an area in secret. It doesn’t take up concentration and it lasts for 8 hours. So these would be really strong.
It takes an action to cast it so you can also just throw one out in combat too.
Voorish Sign (POWERFUL): 20 feet is treading a bit too much into the See Invisibility spell for my tastes. Especially when this also protecting against being frightened.
Warp Mind and Matter: Causing indefinite madness through the use of a ritual spell seems like it could be very useful in the right circumstances, but not game breaking. The flesh warp itself is typically a mix of good and bad though. The spell still is situational though.
Charm Person Variants
The spells aren’t all listed alphabetically in the book here. Instead they do it by spell level. Which is not how they’ve done it earlier.
Lesser Charm: It’s just an alternative to the friends spell.
Charm of Long Standing (POWERFUL) (UNCLEAR) (TREND): It’s not clear if this first sentence means it is meant to act as a charm person spell.
You being charmed by the target as well is kind of weird. I’m not sure it really balances out the really long duration of this spell and the fact that you can’t make any additional save on it. Especially when characters live elves may just avoid this.
Bedazzling Charm (RETHINK): This spell could be useful for using it to charm a creature and then allowing your party face to talk to them. But if the goal is to do this the spell description just feels excessively lengthy. It should just be something as simple as “when you cast this spell you choose a humanoid target and an ally creature. If the target fails the wisdom saving throw, it is charmed by your ally for the duration. The humanoid is no longer charmed if any harm is done to it.”
Something way cleaner and direct than the description found for the spell.
Charm of Great Fondness: Romance is a very potentially awkward thing in D&D sessions. I would be weary of approving this myself, but other DM’s could be more comfortable with handling it.
Moonlight Charm (WEAK): I get that the intention here is to provide variants for these spells. But I just don’t see how charming someone for a month is going to be all that helpful. Especially when you run the risk of not encountering them again, and suddenly they are now aware that you charmed them. It also seems kind of underwhelming for its spell level.
Raise Dead Variants
Same issues with how the spells are presented by spell level and not alphabetically.
Raise Ghost (WEAK): I guess you could use this if, for whatever reason, you had the gold to use this but not the gold to get them raised. There are things you can do in this ethereal form, like taking the help action, but generally it seems pretty limited.
It would be cool if this was an option I would consider taking. But the gold cost is too high here relative to what little health you have, your penalties, and how little you can actually do.
The hour long casting time is the same as a Raise Dead spell. But given how little you get from using this it feels like it is too punishing.
Raise Hero (WEAK): So I get someone back for 24 hours at the cost of only a 4th level spell slot, but for the same material costs of the official Raise Dead spell.
Basically, for this spell to be relevant you would need to not know Revivify or the time after death would have to exceed 1 minute. Realistically though, I’m not sure this spell would be all that useful. Especially given its high gold costs and long casting time.
Raise Shade (WEAK) (TREND): I didn’t think much of Raise Ghost and I don’t think much of this spell for even feeling the need to reference it. This is a 4th level spell and it just doesn’t impress for that spell level.
Raise Nemesis (GREAT) (WEAK): I love the concept behind this spell. I just don’t see why anyone would ever cast it. Like why not just cast Raise Dead instead? If this spell cost less or was at a lower spell slot then maybe I could see someone using it. Even DM’s might not find much use for it.
The fact that the spell is split across all these pages is really annoying. Would it have killed them to make the random table a D8 or D10 table instead of a D12? Just so that this spell wasn’t spread out over multiple pages?
Raise Elder (TREND): This spell just feels too situational. Like when are you going to ever need it? A magic item might have worked better here.
Raise Questing Dead: I could see this being a spell that could be offered to the party by an NPC. Especially hags. Sure they will be raised, but they will be required to do something more in return.
I’m not sure players are going to get as much use out of it though.
Again, none of these spells are organized alphabetically.
Solitary Fireball (POWERFUL): 6d6 (21) fire damage is as much damage as a Scorching Ray does (if used on a single target). Plus its a save or half damage spell. When compared to other spells at this level it does seem a bit too powerful. Especially given the recommended single target damage in the DMG at this level is 3d10 (or 16.5 average damage).
Slow-Burn Fireball: This is a solid alternative to Fireball. For the next few turns you get to deal regular damage against targets or force them to use their action.
Bouncing Fireball (GREAT): This spell is so chaotic that I love it. You have to send it 40 feet and it ends if you overlap it. The damage is underwhelming for its level but you could send this down a hallway and nuke practically everyone along it. One downside is though that (unlike regular fireball) it doesn’t appear to go around corners.