5th Edition Spells – Message

Bard – Cantrip – Message

Transmutation cantrip
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: 120 Ft
Components: V, S, M (a short piece of copper wire)
Duration: 1 Round

You point your finger toward a creature within range and whisper a message. The target (and only the target) hears the message and can reply in a whisper that only you can hear.

You can cast this spell through solid objects if you are familiar with the target and know it is beyond the barrier. Magical silence. 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal, a thin sheet of lead, or 3 feet o f wood blocks the spell. The spell doesn’t have to follow a straight line and can travel freely around corners or through openings.

My Comments: This seems to be a spell WotC decided to leave up to common sense. Sometimes they make sure to say things like “your message can only be 25 words” or some other limitation, and here they left that out.

So, as a DM, you will probably want to remind your players that this is just a cantrip and they can’t recite Moby Dick and have the target respond with War & Peace. The duration is one round, so they should be limited to whatever they can say in about 6 seconds.

5th Edition Spells – Mending

Bard – Cantrip – Mending

Transmutation cantrip
Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: Touch
Components: V, S, M (two lodestones)
Duration: Instant

This spell repairs a single break or tear in an object you touch, such as a broken chain link, two halves of a broken key, a torn cloak, or a leaking wineskin. As long as the break or tear is no larger than 1 foot in any dimension, you mend it. leaving no trace o f the former damage.

This spell can physically repair a magic item or construct, but the spell can’t restore magic to such an object.

My Comments: In the past I’ve had two characters I have played that need to use mending, each once. One wanted to repair a magic broom that sweeps floors. The magic still worked, but the handle was broken, so he fixed it, because… why not?

Another player got hit by a critical and bust a few links of chainmail. He didn’t have mending and in that case it would have been really useful. Once.

I can think of of other uses, but this isn’t going to be the most used spell in your arsenal. I know, it’s just a cantrip, but it’s a cantrip with a 1 minute casting time, all three components (V,S,M) and that includes using 2 lodestones every time. Are you going to carry around two lodestones? OK, to be honest, a lot of players and DMs ignore material components when it’s slowing things down, but the point is still there.

Here are some uses I can think of; you busted a door handle to get into a room and want to leave without a trace, your arrow was broken when you went to retrieve it, you want to fix that rope bridge you have to cross, you broke the chain of a necklace as you grabbed it off an idol and ran for your life and now you want to fix it… Anything else?

All in all, I would be glad enough to have access to it, but I wouldn’t cry if I didn’t.

5th Edition Spells – Mage Hand

Bard – Cantrip – Mage Hand

Conjuration cantrip
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 ft
Components: V, S
Duration: 1 minute

A spectral, floating hand appears at a point you choose within range. The hand lasts for the duration or until you dismiss it as an action. The hand vanishes if it is ever more than 30 feet away from you or if you cast this spell again.

You can use your action to control the hand. You can use the hand to manipulate an object, open an unlocked door or container, stow or retrieve an item from an open container, or pour the contents out o f a vial. You can move the hand up to 30 feet each time you use it.

The hand can’t attack, activate magic items, or carry more than 10 pounds.

My Comments:  This is another great utility spell. There are a lot of times when having an extra hand 30ft away is useful, especially in the first few levels. I think combining this with other cantrips like prestidigitation, and dancing lights can make for a great show.

Plus, you can always use it to high-five yourself. Best. Use. Ever.

5th Edition Spells – Light

Bard – Cantrip – Light

Evocation cantrip
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Components: S, M (a firefly or phosphorescent moss)
Duration: 1 hour

You touch one object that is no larger than 10 feet in any dimension. Until the spell ends, the object sheds bright light in a 20-foot radius and dim light for an additional 20 feet. The light can be colored as you like. Completely covering the object with something opaque blocks the light. The spell ends if you cast it again or dismiss it as an action.

If you target an object held or worn by a hostile creature, that creature must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw to avoid the spell.

My Comments:  This is probably one of the best utility spells in the game, and as a cantrip that makes it awesome.

You might be thinking “A magic torch is awesome? Pffft… whatever, human! Get some low-light vision already!”

But wait, check out that second paragraph for some inspiration. I know mages hate to get within touch range, but imagine scoring a touch attack on that annoying rogue that keeps getting away, or the shape-changing doppelganger! Of course, with something like invisibility and shape-change you could argue the light gets neutralized but I think I’d probably leave them glowing… Maybe a save would be in order in some cases.

It’s easy to imagine other uses, like you’re trapped away from the rest of the party in a wagon rolling away in the dark. Light up the door of the cabin! Light up the sail of the pirates that kidnapped you!

I never managed to have the right situation come up, but I had a character that carried around some sticky pitch he found and he planned on throwing lit-up balls of pitch at people in the dark. There are some creatures that would really hate that!

And, of course, it works as a magic torch as well.

5th Edition Spells – Friends

Bard – Cantrip – Friends

Echantment cantrip
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self
Components: S, M (a small amount of makeup applied to the face as this spell is cast)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

For the duration, you have advantage on all Charisma checks directed at one creature of your choice that isn’t hostile toward you. When the spell ends, the creature realizes that you used magic to influence its mood and becomes hostile toward you. A creature prone to violence might attack you. Another creature might seek retribution in other ways (at the DM’s discretion), depending on the nature of your interaction with it.

My Comments: Sooo… basically, you can take a creature that isn’t hostile to you, and make it hostile to you after getting 1 minute of advantage on Charisma checks and  you have to waste concentration on it.

I’m sure if I tried I could come up with a good use for this spell, but there are better options for spell choices, so I don’t think I would bother. If I were to home brew this I might say the creature gets a save to figure out it was hornswogled instead of it being automatic, because advantage on CHA checks doesn’t seem that great to me. Also the component of the spell? What the heck?

Bard – “I bet you’d like me better with a little rouge on, wouldn’t you?”
Orc Guard – “Well, now that you mention it, it does look nice… Wait! You were trying to trick me!”

5th Edition Spells – Dancing Lights

Bard – Cantrip – D a n c i n g L ig h t s

Evocation cantrip
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 120 feet
Components: V, S, M (a bit o f phosphorus or wychwood,or a glowworm)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

You create up to four torch-sized lights within range, making them appear as torches, lanterns, or glowing orbs that hover in the air for the duration. You can also combine the four lights into one glowing vaguely humanoid form of Medium size. Whichever form you choose, each light sheds dim light in a 10-foot radius.

As a bonus action on your turn, you can move the lights up to 60 feet to a new spot within range. A light must be within 20 feet of another light created by this spell, and a light winks out if it exceeds the spell’s range.

My Comments: This is the best kind of cantrip in my mind, because it can be used very effectively outside of combat, or pre-combat. During pre-combat the loss of a full action isn’t such a big deal and this spell could be very useful as a distraction. Plus, it’s got a great range at a 120′!

I also notice that it doesn’t specifically say you have to be able to see the target. As a DM I think I would house rule that you did, but if not then you could do a lot of fun things, like materialize the globs on the other sides of walls or right next to a creature hiding in bushes, possibly surprising them into jumping out of the bushes or something.

For a cantrip, it’s a great spell.

5th Edition Spells – Blade Ward

For some reason I’ve decided to go through every single spell in the Player’s Handbook. Here’s the first:

Bard – Cantrip – Blade Ward

Abjuration cantrip
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self
Components: V, S
Duration: 1 round

You extend your hand and trace a sigil of warding in the air. Until the end o f your next turn, you have resistance against bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage dealt by weapon attacks.

My Comments: Sure, it’s a cantrip so you can’t expect much, but still, I can’t say I’m impressed. Basically you give up an action in one turn to reduce the damage you’re going to take for ONE round.

Personally, I think you’re probably better off using your action to do some damage.