A fun to use spell that scales with your creativity and tomfoolery is Confusion in 5e Dnd. This level 4 magic is fun to use and is quite strong as well. In this guide we will tell a bit more about the uses, the pros, the cons and give some tips and tricks along the way!
What is Confusion 5e: Mechanics and Requirements
- Casting time: 1 action
- Level: 4
- Range: 90 feet
- Target: each creature in a 10-foot-radius sphere centered on a point you choose within range
- Components: Verbal, Somatic, Material (three nut shells)
- Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
- Classes: Bard, Druid, Sorcerer, Wizard
This spell assaults and twists creatures’ minds, spawning delusions and provoking uncontrolled actions. Each creature in a 10-foot-radius sphere centered on a point you choose within range must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw when you cast this spell or be affected by it.
An affected target can’t take reactions and must roll a d10 at the start of each of its turns to determine its behavior for that turn.
Advantages and Drawbacks
- Multi-targeted: The spell itself has a 10-foot radius area of effect, meaning that it will affect each person within the area as long as they are grouped up.
- Negates Reactions: This is great if a party member is surrounded or if you want to go through a swarm without provoking opportunity attacks. Opportunity attacks count as a reaction, therefore, if creatures within this radius are affected by the spell, a player can simply run past them without having to worry about getting hit.
- Renders a Turn Useless: Unless the creature rolls a 9-10 to determine their behavior, the creature’s turn is basically wasted being confused.
- Upcasting: Upcasting the spell increases the size of the sphere, which can only be beneficial when used carefully.
- Good Range: Nothing beats a ranged spell where you can choose the location of an effect. 90 feet from the caster should be enough to catch enemies by surprise and/or remain in the backlines safely.
- Non-damaging spell: The spell itself technically doesn’t do any damage unless the creature rolls a 7-8 to determine behavior.
- Gamble on Effect: The effect of Confusion in 5e is entirely reliant on chance (the 1d10 roll). There may be situations where the player will simply hope and pray that a creature will walk the opposite direction, but the dice denies it.
- Concentration and Duration: Concentration spells can be quite a hassle in the midst of battle. If the caster wishes to keep the spell’s effect going for as long as possible, they would basically have to avoid getting hit or performing any other actions for the next ten rounds, which of course isn’t always ideal nor possible in some scenarios.
- Friendly Fire: Confusion in DnD does not let the caster choose who is affected within the spell’s area of effect. Therefore, if a party member is within the 10-foot radius of the spell’s effect, they may also have their turn rendered useless.
- Small Area of Effect: The area of effect is relatively small and could be considered a disadvantage. In Dnd, 10 feet is simply two squares on a map, and the average speed is 30 feet, so one would have to carefully calculate the best location to do the most harm to the enemy.
Best Uses for Confusion 5e
1. Starting Combat
If the caster can catch the enemy by surprise, the Confusion spell in 5e dnd could result in a world of confusion for a group of enemies. They would wonder why their allies are acting strange, and when combat actually starts, the party can get the jump on them.
Possibly, half or more of the creatures could be confused by the spell. The frontliners would be able to charge in, and the backline wouldn’t even be noticed yet.
2. Disperse the Crowd
This is great for separating a group of creatures that refuse to spread out, trying to corner the party, or having them try to run past them, resulting in a multitude of opportunity attacks.
Once the spell is cast, a rogue can slip past the mobs or even go through them, taking them all out with extra attacks, sneak attacks, and any other additional damage the team may have.
3. Stall for Time
There will be several times in which another caster or frontliner needs a little time to prepare for their next action. Most rituals or anything in regards to preparation only take one action for that specific round.
Confusion in 5e itself lasts 10 rounds (1 minute), so it’s more than enough time to stall and do some damage to confused creatures afterward. For example, other spellcasters can cast a ritual, or the frontliners can use their turn to drink a potion before going back into the fray.
Advice and Final Thoughts
This spell is a great support for the team that mostly focuses on damage. Personally, I would only recommend getting this spell for Bards or Druids since Sorcerers and Wizards usually focus on dealing damage during combat.
Think of it as a support or out-of-combat spell more than anything else. Nonetheless, it’s still a great spell to have for resolving certain difficult situations or allowing damage dealers to do whatever they need to do. Why not have a spell that can distort the movements of a group of creatures?
Does taking damage end the spell effect?
Unless the DM specifies otherwise, no. There’s no exact way for another person to “snap” the affected creature out of confusion other than the spell ending. Meaning, the only way for the effect to end is by the affected creature making a successful saving throw, the concentration of the caster being broken, or if the duration of the spell ends (1 minute).
How does the “determining the random direction” with a 1d8 work?
I actually found that there are different ways to do this and it varies between certain DMs. The first way is a personal favorite of mine: have the player roll a 1d8, then whichever direction the die is pointing (like a compass or an arrow) is the direction they would go. However, the way I think the creators intended it to be would be like a table: assign a number to a direction (1 for north, 2 for northeast, etc.) then have the player roll for it.
What can a Confused target do?
Unless the confused creature rolls a 9-10, they won’t be able to take actions during their turn and will only be able to do whatever the die says and make the saving throw at the end of their turn. Since the rules haven’t specified anything, they can still speak. However, when the spell is cast, the DM may decide what the character sees from the delusions that the spell gives so it would have to fall in line with that. Additionally, if any other creatures target the confused creature that may require them to make a saving throw, they can still roll for it. Personally, I would have the confused target roll with disadvantage, but a DM may choose to have them roll it normally (making it at the DM’s discretion).