The art of magical persuasion. The Enchantment School of Magic focuses on the magical ability to get others to do what you want, willingly or unwillingly. This guide will cover some of the most useful enchantment spells in the base player’s handbook.
Factors to note: Charming a creature is often at a disadvantage if the target is already engaged in battle with you. Some creatures, such as Elves, have natural resistances to charms and always have advantage against charms.
Some charm effects have conditions of common language or being heard by the target, so some creatures are immune to these charms.
18. Vicious Mockery – Cantrip
The classic Bardic attack. Insult the target to their face, deal some mental damage, and make them hesitate on their next attack. The target must be able to hear you but not necessarily understand you. They must then make a Wisdom saving throw against your spell DC.
If they fail, they take 1d4 psychic damage and have disadvantage on their next attack roll. The damage increases as the player level increases: Level 5 – 2d4, Level 11 – 3d4, Level 17 – 4d4.
17. Bless / Bane – Level One:
A solid support spell in earlier levels. Bless grants three allies a +1d4 bonus to all their attack rolls and/or saving throws for the next minute (approximately 10 rounds of combat).
This can make a significant difference in the battle, ensuring hits instead of misses. In the early levels when every hit counts, this can swing the battle in your favor. Bane is the opposite version of Bless, affecting your enemies. Choose three enemies to make Charisma saving throws.
If they fail, they take a -1d4 penalty on all attack rolls and saving throws. Bless has a slight advantage in power because there is no saving throw for your allies.
16. Charm Person – Level One
The quintessential charm spell. With a failed Wisdom saving throw, you can turn someone into a friendly acquaintance. The target becomes Charmed, which means for the next minute they will not attack you or cause any harmful magical effects.
Additionally, all of your ability checks to socially interact with the target are at advantage. It’s a great way to tip the social scales in your favor if your usual persuasion tactics are failing.
Note that the target becomes aware of being charmed at the end of the spell, so characters prone to violence may initiate combat. The target will have advantage on the saving throw if it is already in combat with you.
15. Command – Level One
Command is an interesting spell that can be unpredictable depending on its use. On a failed Wisdom saving throw, the caster utters a single word of command, and on the target’s next turn, it must follow that command. The target must be able to understand you, and the command cannot be directly harmful to it.
Some common useful commands include: Approach/Flee to move the target closer or farther from you, Halt to take no actions, Drop the items/weapons it is holding, and Grovel to make it lie down prone (great for surrounding an enemy and launching melee attacks). You can issue an uncommon command, and the effect would be determined by your DM. Communicate the intent of your action with the DM.
Here are some examples of uncommon commands: Release a captive, Dispel a spell, Strip/Doff to remove armor, Betray/Backstab to attack an ally, Surrender to signal surrender, Confess a crime, Verify information, or Drink/Eat to consume a drink or food in front of it.
14. Heroism – Level One
A great support spell to bolster the front line or anyone expected to be hit the most in an upcoming fight. The target gains immunity to being frightened and temporary hit points equal to the caster’s spellcasting ability modifier at the start of each of its turns for the next 10 turns.
When paired with a barbarian in rage, those hit points are essentially doubled since barbarians take half damage during rage. It’s perfect for giving your side the advantage in a one-on-one duel.
13. Hold Person – Level Two
On a failed Wisdom saving throw, the target person becomes paralyzed for the duration of the spell, which is up to one minute. The target can make another Wisdom saving throw at the end of its turns to attempt to break free.
Pairing this spell with a Bestow Curse spell can reduce the chances of the target breaking free on its own. Although there is a low chance of holding the target for the full duration of the spell, even one round is usually enough to catch up to the target and physically subdue them with ropes or chains.
Note that this spell specifically affects humanoids and does not affect beasts or monsters.
12. Suggestion – Level Two:
This is where control starts to come into play. On a failed Wisdom saving throw, the target is given a suggestion to perform an activity for the duration of the spell, which can last up to a maximum of 8 hours. The suggestion must be reasonable, so a suicidal suggestion would immediately end the spell.
If the suggested task can be completed within the 8-hour window, it will end the spell. The suggestion can also include a condition, such as “walk down this road and subdue any bandits you encounter.” If the condition is not met within the specified time frame, the spell will still end.
This spell is ideal for non-combat situations or role-playing scenarios, as it requires the caster’s concentration to maintain.
11. Zone of Truth – Level Two
The truth serum spell, typically accessible to clerics. Zone of truth creates a 15-foot sphere, and creatures that enter the space or start their turn within it are forced to make a Charisma saving throw.
On a failed save, the creature cannot tell deliberate lies while within the effective radius. The caster knows whether the creature passed or failed the saving throw.
However, a failed creature can still choose to abstain from answering questions or be evasive in their responses. Beware of half-truths, especially from cunning characters.
10. Compulsion – Level Four
An unassuming spell that allows you to command others to move in a specific direction. While not inherently powerful, what makes it potent is that it has a 30-foot radius and is not limited to targeting a specific number or type of creatures (monsters or otherwise).
On a failed Wisdom saving throw, as a bonus action, you can compel the creatures to move in a direction of your choice. The chosen direction can involve obviously harmful hazards like fires, but be aware that the movement may provoke attacks of opportunity from your allies.
This can be a great way to clear the front lines and reach rangers and magic users positioned at the back.
9. Dominate Beast – Level Four
Dominate Beast allows you to take full control of a beast for 1 minute on a failed Wisdom saving throw. You establish a psychic link with the target and can issue commands telepathically.
You gain complete control over the creature, using its actions and reactions at the expense of your own. Whenever the creature takes damage, it must make another Wisdom saving throw.
Higher spell levels increase the duration of the spell. Note that the target beast has advantage on the saving throw if it is already engaged in combat with you.
8. Dominate Person – Level Five
Dominate Person has the same description and effects as the Dominate Beast spell, but it can target a person instead.
7. Geas – Level Five
Taken from Irish folklore and language, Geas imposes an obligation or prohibition on a target for 30 days on a failed Wisdom saving throw. With this spell, you compel the target to carry out a set of orders or avoid certain types of behavior. The commands cannot be directly harmful, such as attempting suicide.
The target must also be able to understand you, so consider any severe language barriers before casting the spell. The spell is not entirely foolproof, as the target can go against the orders but will then receive 5d10 points of psychic damage.
6. Hold Monster – Level Five
Hold Monster immobilizes a chosen creature on a failed Wisdom saving throw. Note that the spell range is 90 feet and that it does not affect undead creatures. For each spell slot above 5th level, the spell can target an additional creature within 30 feet of the original target monster.
The spell is not indefinite in timing; it lasts for one minute, and the Wisdom saving throw can be rerolled at the end of the creature’s next turn. It won’t last forever, but it should be long enough to restrain the monster or surround it and unleash attacks for a few rounds.
5. Modify Memory – Level Five
Use this spell to manipulate another creature’s memories. On a failed Wisdom saving throw, you can reshape the target’s memories of a 10-minute period, even within the last 24 hours. These 10 minutes can be completely eliminated, allow the target to recall the memory with perfect clarity, alter details in the memory, or create an entirely different memory.
Casting this spell at higher levels increases the time constraint: 7 days for level 6, 30 days for level 7, 1 year for level 8, and any time in the past for level 9. This spell can be useful for uncovering specific event details, erasing traumatic memories, or implanting false memories of friendship to gain the target’s trust.
4. Antipathy/Sympathy – Level Eight
These spells attract or repel a certain type of creature. Antipathy imbues a chosen location or item with the ability to drive certain creatures away within a 60-foot radius. When chosen creatures see or come within the target range, they must make a Wisdom saving throw or become frightened, using their turn to move away from the target, attempting to avoid seeing it.
Sympathy imbues the chosen location or item with the ability to lure certain creatures to it. The chosen creatures make the same Wisdom saving throw or become entranced, staying within the target’s 60-foot range.
Antipathy is great for avoiding specific types of enemies, especially in their natural habitats. Sympathy is useful for hunting a specific creature or luring away an invasive species.
3. Feeblemind – Level Eight
This spell reduces your target to a thoughtless, mindless state. The target takes 4d6 psychic damage and must make an Intelligence saving throw. On a failed save, the target’s Intelligence and Charisma scores drop to 1.
While under the effect of the spell, the target can no longer cast spells, activate magical items, understand language, or communicate in any intelligible way. Another saving throw can be made every 30 days to attempt to rid itself of the spell’s effect.
2. Power Word Stun – Level Eight
If the target has 150 hit points or fewer, it is stunned. At the end of each of its turns, it makes a Constitution saving throw to try to shake off the spell and end the condition. There is no specified duration for the spell; it lasts as long as the target fails to succeed at the saving throw.
1. Power Word Stun/Kill – Level Nine
These are god-level spells that literally bring death to your target. The spell is self-explanatory: if the creature you target has 100 hit points or fewer, it dies instantly without any saving throws.