Negative Magical effects exist in various instances within Dungeons and Dragons. From curses on magical items to hostile spells that inflict certain status effects, these negative effects can cause problems for any player that had to deal with them. Now spells like Greater Restoration exist to counter these negative effects by providing buffs to a player or removing the negative effect altogether.
This Spell, Greater Restoration, is one of the more powerful ones; Its weaker version, Lesser Restoration, is capable of similar abilities, though not to the extent of this Spell. Greater Restoration is the topic of this article, and it will prove itself as a 5th-level spell worth taking for the spellcasting players that want to provide buffs to their players through their magical ability.
What is Greater Restoration 5e: mechanics and requirements
- Casting time: 1 action (6 seconds)
- Level: 5th
- Range/Area: Touch
- Target: One Willing Creature
- Components: Vocal, Somatic, and diamond dust worth at least 100 gp, which the Spell consumes
- Duration: Instantaneous
- Classes: Artificer, Bard, Cleric (Peace Domain), Druid, Warlock (The Celestial)
The greater Restoration Spell description
You imbue a creature you touch with positive energy to undo a debilitating Effect. You can reduce the target’s Exhaustion level by one, or end one of the following Effects on the target.
- One Effect that Charmed or Petrified the target
- One curse, including the target’s Attunement to a Cursed magic item
- Any reduction to one of the target’s Ability Scores
- One Effect reducing the target’s hit point maximum
Advantages and drawbacks of greater restoration
With a decent selection of items this Spell can heal a lot
As stated in the introductory piece to this article, Greater Restoration is one of the many healing spells that can rid a friendly creature of many negative effects that can be cast upon them. In addition, of course, the Spell can assist in dealing with levels of Exhaustion by removing a single level as one of the options available.
This way, should a player be suffering from any level of Exhaustion, they can get a tiny bit of relief if they’re suffering from more than one, or even remove it altogether if the 1st level of Exhaustion is all they were suffering from. However, removing exhaustion levels is the first of a healthy range of options the caster can choose to use the Spell for.
Suppose an allied Player Character or NPC has found themselves petrified or charmed by an enemy spell. In that case, Greater Restoration can remove those status effects from the player. By getting rid of either one, as you cannot get rid of both simultaneously with a single casting of this Spell, a player suffering from these debilitating status effects can quickly get back on their feet and help in the fight.
Although there are few Spells or other negative effects that can reduce a player’s maximum hit points can also be removed by the Greater Restoration spell, along with any that reduces Ability Scores. Finally, as the last possible option for a player to be able to select when casting this Spell, they can remove a single curse off of a player outside of the scope of what was described.
This course could come from the attunement of a cursed magical item. Or something that was cast on the player via a ritual. This Spell’s capabilities are extensive enough to make this quite a bountiful spell to utilize.
Wide Range of spellcasting classes that can take this Spell
One of the primary limiting factors of a spell and how often it gets used in a spellcaster’s spell list is how many classes can actively take the Spell in the first place from their class spell list. For Greater Restoration, a surprisingly high number of spell casters can take this Spell into their usable spell list.
There are the obvious ones that can do it, such as Clerics, Druids, and Bards, as they are practically known for casting spells that heal and/or buff their fellow players in some form or another. Artificers can also use this Spell, though they have a better range of combat spells than the previously mentioned spellcasters, so you would have to purposely look for any Artificer who might have this Spell.
As the most interesting possibility for the class to choose this Spell, the Warlock, through some technicality, can also take it into their spell lists. Now, this is not done as a natural spell they can pick like all of the others; The Warlock’s access to the Greater Restoration Spell is given to them as a 5th-level spell in their expanded spell list should they choose “The Celestial” as their otherworldly patron.
Regardless of what spellcasting class takes it, the mere existence of a wide array of classes that can take this Spell into their spell list promotes its very use, though this ultimately depends on the build a player is attempting to go for when choosing their spells.
Incredibly Short Range for such a useful spell.
For such a powerful spell such as this, one would assume upon hearing about it without going into detail that it must be at a range, as other healing spells such as Healing Word and Mass Cure Wounds are both ranged healing spells. However, that is not the case for Greater Restoration, as the Spell requires a player wishing to cast it to go up to the afflicted person and be able to touch them.
For situations that call for its use, mostly in the middle of a combat encounter, running up and touching an afflicted player character can leave them quite exposed to enemy attacks that can be done from a range.
This exposure can be potentially lethal for Classes such as Warlock or Clerics, as their Health Pools are incredibly low even at the level to where they could take 5th Level spells, which is usually around level 8 or 9. With an average Constitution Modifier, the health for any classes that could take Greater Restoration would end up being less than 50 by those levels.
A single well-placed ranged Spell or arrow could easily take their current hit points down to dangerous levels if the enemies focus on them when they’re out in the open. Being put in such a situation could cause some players to simply avoid touch ranged spells to ensure this problem does not happen too often, with Greater Restoration being one that could potentially be passed up with this limitation in mind.
Expenses can be a cowardly thing, even in spell casting.
Whenever a physical material is required for casting a spell, the material will tend to always have a gold value associated with it, such as a total value or a flare rate. In the cast of Greater Restoration, the physical material is diamond dust worth 100 gold pieces, which can be a rather hefty price.
Although 100 Gold Pieces init of itself is a basic price to pay, finding diamond dust can be rather hard since the name would assume that this is a ground-down diamond made into this dust. Since a regular diamond costs about 5000 Gold Pieces and is a very important item for other spells such as Revivify, grinding it down to dust for this Spell can be seen as a hell of a waste of a good diamond.
Even if the player did not convert the diamond into dust, it could still be viewed as a waste of a good gemstone. Since Diamond Dust would also be slightly difficult to find, the player would either be unable to cast the Spell altogether or simply have to fork over the gold cost of the Spell. Depending on how the Dungeon Master rules things regarding physical material requirements.
Best uses for Greater Restoration 5e
1. A good night’s rest from a single touch
Levels of Exhaustion can become quite dangerous if players get several layers stacked on top of themselves during the period between one Long Rest and the next. Disadvantages on Ability Checks, Saving Throws, Attack Rolls, Reduction of Movement speed and maximum hitpoints, and even Death are all things that can afflict a player depending on how many levels of Exhaustion they have accumulated.
With Greater Restoration, however, a player can aid one of their allies by removing a single level of Exhaustion to help them through to their next Long Rest. Of course, suppose the party member in question is suffering from more than a single level of Exhaustion.
In that case, they will still be dealing with some negative side effects, but at the very least, removing one level from them is better than dealing with how many they had to handle in the first place.
Curses exist in many shapes and forms, From spells cast by hostile creatures to curse a player in some form to magical items found in a dungeon with a curse placed upon them. These Curses can cause all sorts of problems for any player who is at the unfortunate receiving end of such curses.
Greater Restoration does assist in dealing with this problem, though, as one of its chosen effects can remove a single curse from an Ally to the caster. This could either be by removing a curse caused by the previously mentioned Spell, to simply removing the attunement to the cursed item the player happens to have on them.
Either way, having the ability to help relieve a player’s pain from these curses is useful to the party in the long term.
3. The Gift of Perseus
Conditions and Status Effects, similar to Curses, come in various shapes and forms that can cause negative effects on a player, depending on what condition is being applied to them. Two of the more dangerous varieties are Charmed and Petrified. Having a player character be charmed can easily turn deadly, especially if the cause of this condition is a spell such as Dominate Person.
Using a player to attack another one through the charmed status effect is very much possible and can easily down a player if it is used on the right target and the afflicted player is used to attack the right target. Petrified is also extremely dangerous during combat encounters, as not only do all attacks against the afflicted creature have an advantage added to their rolls. They are also completely unable to move, making them quite the easy target for any hostile force to come up and attack them without much trouble.
Greater Restoration, as one of the options the caster can choose to use, can assist in handling these issues. The Spell is capable of ridding the Charmed or Petrified conditions, removing a hostile creature’s influence from the afflicted player character, or it could return the player to their normal state and get them back into the fight.
Doing this to help the party can help against creatures that have a better time fighting against the party when it is divided than if they were all focused on it.
4. Once Crippled, Now Healed
The most basic aspect of any character for Dungeons and Dragons is that of the Health Pool and its maximum capacity. Be reduced to 0 Hit Points, the Player Character is downed and must make death saving throws to either get themselves back up or permanently die off as a character. One of the things that can make this a closer reality is any spell or magical effect that reduces the maximum hit points of the player character affected by the Spell.
Thankfully, Greater Restoration is more than capable of being able to help with this issue, as the last option that is available to a spellcaster who uses this Spell is being able to remove one magical effect that reduces the health pool maximum of a player character.
Even though not many spells or items can inflict such a punishing effect, having something that can help remove it can be a great help during combat. Especially against a boss monster that could easily wipe out a player if their health was reduced from its standard maximum.
Some final words
The selection and usage of Greater Restoration can be pinned to certain builds that a player can choose from. The Classes that the player can pick with this Spell in its spell list, along with its wide range of items, can prevent other players from making this Spell quite useful, should a player choose to take it.
However, they must be weary that the Spell’s Range is incredibly short and must coordinate with any afflicted party member to be able to use the Spell properly on them. Of course, the Spell can be used on NPC’s that are suffering from these effects as well, though it’s rare for something like that to occur for the party to encounter unless the party has an NPC traveling with them.
Overall, it is a good spell for the group’s healer to take to help their party in situations where it would be needed.
Greater Restoration Spell FAQ
Can a spellcaster use Greater Restoration on themselves instead of a fellow player?
Save for the removal of the Petrified Condition, Yes, a spellcaster can indeed use the Greater Restoration spell to be able to remove any of the listed afflictions the Spell can remedy from themselves instead of an ally or fellow member of the party.
Can a Paladin utilize Greater Restoration?
In terms of keeping to how the rule was written when released as part of Published Media, they cannot. However, a Dungeon Master can be convinced to allow a Paladin to learn this Spell through various means, either through a spellbook or from their deity.
Can Greater Restoration be upcast to add or improve any of the benefits from the Spell?
As it matches a similar outlook to the previous question, it cannot if we are discussing how the Spell was written and published. A Dungeon Master could decide to allow for an upcasting effect to take place, such as being able to remove more levels of Exhaustion for each level passed the 5th-level spell slot that is used.