The art of summoning. The Conjuration School of Magic focuses on the transportation of objects or beings from one place to another. This is will cover some of the most useful conjuration spells in the base player’s handbook.
18. Acid Splash – Cantrip
Acid Splash is a powerful base-level attack spell that inflicts 1d6 acid damage on a target and an additional 1d6 damage to another target within 5 feet of it.
The damage output is decent, and the spell’s range is impressive, at 60 feet. It is one of the few cantrips that has an area of effect damage. As a bonus, you can ask your DM if you can collect the conjured acid in vials to keep for later use.
17. Mage Hand – Cantrip
Mage Hand is a useful cantrip that allows you to interact with objects at a distance. The spell creates a spectral floating hand that the caster can move up to 30 feet. The hand cannot attack or interact with magical items, and it can only carry objects weighing up to 10 pounds.
However, it can be used to open doors, carry torches, pour out contents, and trigger traps from a safe distance. As an attack, the caster can use mage hand to hold a bottle of oil or acid and have another party member shatter it.
Additionally, mage hand can increase the caster’s throwing distance. If a caster throws an object 30 feet, then a mage hand that throws an object at the same range can extend the throwing distance.
16. Find Familiar – Level One Ritual
Find Familiar is an incredibly useful spell that grants the caster a familiar that is classified as a fey, celestial, or fiend. The creature takes the form of an animal that the caster can choose, ranging from aquatic animals to flying animals to tiny land animals. Additional forms can be chosen at the DM’s discretion.
Although having an obedient animal companion is cute on its own, the real benefit of this spell comes from its reconnaissance abilities. The caster can communicate with the familiar telepathically, and as an action, they can see and hear through the familiar’s senses up to a distance of 100 feet.
Another added bonus of this spell is that it is essentially permanent; once the spell is cast, the familiar stays until it is dismissed by the caster or taken down to 0 hit points. As an action, the caster can also dismiss the familiar to a pocket dimension and re-summon it to a space within 30 feet of them. This allows the caster to recall the familiar should the reconnaissance reach a dead end or if the familiar’s life is threatened and start over.
Although a caster can only have one familiar at a time, casting the spell again will allow them to change the form of the familiar, making them adaptable to the situation at hand. For example, an adventure on the seas could benefit from a familiar that can swim and exist on land, like an octopus. Need to view the landscape from the skies? Take the form of a hawk or an eagle. Maybe the situation calls for echolocation? A bat or dolphin could help with that.
Offensive and Defensive Capabilities
On top of all this, the caster can also cast touch spells through the familiar as if they were touching the target. This gives the caster a touch range of 100 feet and offers a lot of defensive and offensive capabilities. If the infiltration turns sour, a distant invisibility could let the rogue get out faster and safer than on their own.
|Spell Name||Find Familiar|
|Spell Level||Level One Ritual|
|Duration||Until dismissed or reduced to 0 hit points|
|Components||V, S, M (10 gp worth of charcoal, incense, and herbs consumed by fire in a brass brazier)|
|Effect||Grants the caster a familiar in the form of an animal|
|Communication||Telepathic communication with the familiar|
|Reconnaissance||Can see and hear through the familiar’s senses up to 100 feet|
|Dismissal/Summon||Can dismiss the familiar to a pocket dimension and re-summon it within 30 feet|
|Touch Spells||Can cast touch spells through the familiar as if touching the target|
|Adaptable Form||Can change the form of the familiar with each casting of the spell|
|Defensive/Offensive Capabilities||Can use the familiar for defensive and offensive capabilities|
|Limitation||Can only have one familiar at a time|
15. Unseen Servant – Level One Ritual
This is a useful quality of life spell. The caster summons an unseen servant to do their bidding for one hour. The servant can complete simple tasks and chores, such as prepping food, cleaning dishes, folding clothes, lighting fires, and fetching firewood.
It’s great for maintaining morale around the campfire at the end of the night. In the adventure, the unseen servant can be used to carry back recovered goods or act as a test dummy for opening doors and treasure chests.
14. Flaming Sphere – Level Two
The caster summons a five-foot diameter ball of fire within a 60-foot range. Any creature within 5 feet of it must make a Dexterity saving throw or suffer 2d6 fire damage, half as much on a successful save.
This is a useful skill for area control, blocking off a certain path, and forcing enemy troops to find another way. The spell can be maintained for up to one minute. As an action, the caster may also move the sphere up to 30 feet.
This can be used to protect a group from a flank or rear attack. Flaming Sphere can also cause flammable material to combust. So an area can be prepared with oils or gunpowder and then triggered by a flaming sphere.
13. Misty Step – Level Two
This is one of the earliest teleportation spells a caster has access to. It allows the caster to disappear into a silvery mist and reappear 30 feet away in an unoccupied space. This can be used well to reposition oneself.
If the caster gets ambushed, they can misty step away from the enemy, to their party, or onto a ledge or roof up on higher ground. It can also help with adventuring to traverse deadly pits or traps. Misty Step also counts as a bonus action, meaning that the caster is free to cast another spell after the teleportation.
A tactic could be for the caster to feign a bad position, gather enemies to a single location, misty step away, and then cast a finishing area of effect spell like Flaming Sphere or Cone of Cold.
12. Call Lightning – Level Three
This is an area control spell that lets the caster call down lightning on chosen targets. The caster summons a storm cloud that is 120 feet in diameter and, as an action, calls down lightning from the cloud to strike targets, dealing 3d10 lightning damage.
The spell lasts for 10 minutes, and lightning can be called down every 6 seconds for a maximum of 360 lightning bolts. It is a little impractical mid-battle, as the caster would need to be well-protected while having a clear view of the battlefield. This spell would be most useful for sieges or other long drawn-out battles.
Imagine that a barbarian tribe has taken over a village. Once the party knows where the villagers are, the caster can call lightning down on any barbarian left within the village grounds.
11. Food and Water – Level Three
The caster creates 45 pounds of food and 30 gallons of water, enough for 15 people or 5 steeds. This is a very useful spell to keep in the back pocket of the caster. Supplies and rations are not always guaranteed. Additionally, the food and water that were brought could be lost or tainted.
Unless the party is skilled in hunting wild game or familiar with the local plant life, then food and water will be difficult to procure. While the food is bland, it is nourishing. A couple helpings of salt, pepper, and other herbs could help.
10. Spirit Guardians – Level Three
Typically unique to holy casters, Spirit Guardians offers a wide area of effect that is harmful to enemies and benign to allies. The caster summons spiritual ancestors to aid in battle, dealing 3d8 radiant damage to all enemies within a 15-foot radius of the caster.
Enemies entering the area for the first time take the damage, and enemies that remain in the area continue to take damage. Allies in the area are unaffected. This can prevent the party from getting swarmed with enemies. Alternatively, the caster can chase down enemies and keep them within the area of effect.
9. Conjure Minor Elemental / Woodland Creatures – Level Four
With this spell, the caster is able to summon a variety of allies into the fray of battle. Conjure Minor Elemental will summon creatures from the elemental planes, while Conjure Woodland Creatures will summon creatures from the Fey realm. The caster can choose from the following effects:
- 1 creature with a challenge rating of 2 or lower
- 2 creatures with a challenge rating of 1 or lower
- 4 creatures with a challenge rating of ½ or lower
- 8 creatures with a challenge rating of ¼ or lower
The higher the challenge rating, the higher the damage ability and hit points of the creature. The caster can decide to shore up the party’s numbers with quality or quantity. I recommend the first two options to give the summoned creatures a higher likelihood to survive more hits.
A well-placed area of effect spell can decimate a group of low-rated creatures. Consult with the DM before using the spell to come up with what creatures may or may not be summoned using these spells.
8. Dimension Door – Level Four
Dimension Door is an upgraded version of Misty Step. The only detriment is that the casting is now an action instead of a bonus action. Dimension Door gives the caster the ability to teleport herself and a willing creature of equal size up to 500 feet.
The caster can designate any spot within the range, even if it is unseen. The caster can also designate a direction such as “200 feet downward past the earth.” If the space is occupied, the spell fails, and the caster and any passenger receive 4d6 force damage. This spell is useful for a quick getaway.
If the caster needs to rescue the princess from the tower, he can dimension door himself and the princess out of the tower and onto the ground a good distance away.
7. Conjure Elemental – Level Five
A true elemental summoning, Conjure Elemental brings a challenge rating 5 or lower elemental to the caster’s side of battle. The detriment of this spell is that if the caster’s concentration is broken, she loses control of the elemental.
A good use for this spell is to summon the hardiest elemental and command it to go deep into enemy territory. If the caster loses control, then the elemental is far enough away to not hurt the caster but is still a huge problem for the enemy forces.
6. Teleportation Circle – Level Five
The first group teleportation that the caster has access to, Teleportation Circle allows a caster to take herself and a group to a predetermined location. The detriment of this spell is that it requires the caster to have knowledge of a previously existing teleportation destination.
I suggest making friends with the local mage guilds to gain access to their established circles. If a caster is dedicated, a new teleportation circle can be made in a location of their choice if he casts the spell on the location every day for one year. This activity is best left to the end of a campaign or the time-skip section of the adventure.
5. Heroes’ Feast – Level Six
Heroes’ Feast is the spell taken right before a big battle. The caster conjures up a hearty meal that takes 1 hour to consume and benefits up to 12 people. Anyone who eats the food is cured of all diseases and poison, becomes immune to being poisoned or frightened, and has advantage on all Wisdom saving throws. This is helpful for enemies that induce fear, like dragons or undead.
Additionally, the consumers of the meal increase their hit points by 2d10 and gain that many hit points. It is important that this boost adds to base hit point maximum, so temporary hit points may still be applied. Also, the higher hit point maximum means that healing spells and items can be used earlier and with greater efficiency.
4. Planar Shift – Level Seven
Planar Shift is the spell to take once the adventure starts to traverse realms away from the material plane. The caster can take up to eight other creatures to a different plane of existence. The destination can be general, such as the Water Plane or specific, like the City of Brass on the Fire Plane.
The destination can also be a teleportation on that specific plane, although those details must be known to the caster beforehand. Alternatively, this spell can be used to banish a single creature to a plane of the caster’s choice. Although it is costly, this spell could take certain enemies out of a battle altogether.
3. Teleport – Level Seven
The true teleport spell lets the caster and eight others teleport to a specified location of the caster’s choice. A higher familiarity with the location will result in a higher chance of success. Teleporting to an unknown location could result in magical mishaps and undesired locations. Thorough research is necessary before teleporting to unknown locations.
2. Gate – Level Nine
One of the most powerful conjuration spells – Gate – creates a doorway between one location and another location and stays open for one full minute.
This spell is helpful for transporting large groups of people or large quantities of goods between worlds and planes. Alternatively, Gate can be used to summon a creature to the caster. If the caster knows the name of a specific creature, a gate will appear next to it and pull it through.
The creature still retains its own free will and is free to help, hurt, or return to its plane of existence. The gate can be closed before the creature tries to return to its original location. This spell is helpful when dealing with monsters out of their home turf, as large monsters tend to have lair actions that can benefit them.
1. Wish – Level Nine
Wish is possibly the strongest and most dangerous spell in humanoid knowledge. Wish is a spell that can alter reality with a matter of words. The uses for this spell are only limited by the caster’s choice of words.
Some typical uses have been to mimic the spell effects of any other spell without the use of material, somatic, or verbal components, to create wealth up to 25,000 gold pieces in value, instantly heal and restore up to 20 people, or give 10 people immunity to spells or resistance to a certain damage type.
The caster could also turn back time and undo a single event, forcing a reroll within the last six seconds. Furthermore, the caster could cast a wish as a general desire by choosing their words and stating their wish.
The results are then left to the DM to determine the effect, with a general rule being that the greater the wish, the higher the likelihood of something unintended happening. Wish is a spell that can literally make and break the fabric of reality itself.