Hypnotic Pattern 5e Dnd: how it works and best uses 

Get ready to be hypnotized and entranced by this spell! Hypnotic Pattern is a powerful 3rd level spell to be maximized by any fellow bards, sorcerers, warlocks, and wizards. You can cast a 30-foot cube within a vast range of 120 feet. 

What is Hypnotic Pattern 5e: mechanics and requirements


  • Casting time: 1 action
  • Level: 3rd level illusion
  • Range: 120 feet
  • Target: A 30-foot cube within range
  • Components: S M (A glowing stick of incense or a crystal vial filled with phosphorescent material)
  • Duration: Concentration. Up to 1 minute
  • Classes: Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard

Hypnotic pattern description

You create a twisting pattern of colors that weaves through the air inside a 30-foot cube within range. The Pattern appears for a moment and vanishes. Each creature in the area who sees the Pattern must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature becomes Charmed for the Duration. While Charmed by this spell, the creature is Incapacitated and has a speed of 0.

The spell ends for an affected creature if it takes any damage or if someone else uses an Action to shake the creature out of its stupor.

5e hypnotic pattern

Advantages and drawbacks


  • Special feature: Aside from being charmed by this spell, creatures affected are incapacitated (which disables them from taking actions and reactions) and have a speed of 0.
  • Targetable AoE: As long as the Hypnotic Pattern spell is cast within range, the caster can choose where they may want to cast it. This is great as it affects all of the creatures within a 30-foot cube.
  • Long range: The Hypnotic Pattern spell has a range of 120 feet which gives you plenty of legroom to target creatures in the area.
  • Charmed condition: When a creature is charmed, it cannot attack nor target the charmer with any harmful abilities or magical effects. The charmer also has an advantage on any ability check to interact socially with the creature.
  • Long Duration: Though one minute may seem short in real life, in the Dungeons and Dragons’ battlefield, one minute can last up to 10 rounds giving you plenty of control.
  • No follow-up saves: If an enemy fails their Wisdom saving throw, they have no chance to roll again to get out of the effect. It would take another ally’s action to waste a turn.


  • Common saving throw: The problem that comes with this spell is that it requires a Wisdom saving throw. Many monsters in Dungeons and Dragons can be found with a saving throw proficiency in this, rendering it useless if the monster manages to save.
  • Ineffective against some: Some creatures may have resistance or immunity against charm, which may make the spell useless. Thus, it is important to know who you are going up against.
  • Needed components: With this spell’s needed components, it requires materials to cast, which means if you lose or have your materials taken away from you, you will be unable to cast this spell. What’s more, with the somatic component, if you are in a situation where you are unable to move, this also hinders you from casting.
  • Requires Concentration: To maintain a Hypnotic Pattern involves Concentration. If the Concentration is broken, the spell ends. Normal activity, such as moving and Attacking, doesn’t interfere with Concentration, but Concentration can be ended at any time or if the following occurs:
    • Casting another spell that requires Concentration. Suppose a player wants to cast another spell while in Concentration; the current spell will break.
    • Taking Damage. Whenever you take damage while concentrating on a spell, you must make a Constitution saving throw to maintain your Concentration. The DC equals ten or half the damage you take, whichever number is higher. 
    • Being Incapacitated or killed. If you are incapacitated (when you can’t take actions or reactions) or if you die, you will lose Concentration.
  • Disadvantage to the party: Since this spell has targetable AoE, if you so happen to target this spell in an area where your fellow party member or ally may be, they will be forced to roll a Wisdom saving throw and subdue to the effects if they fail.
  • Spell can be broken: It is easy to be relieved by the effects of this spell. According to Hypnotic Pattern, “The spell ends for an affected creature if it takes any damage or if someone else uses an action to shake the creature out of its stupor.”
hypnotic patern dnd

Best uses for Hypnotic Pattern 5e

Strategic Play

If you have any party members with high Wisdom or are immune to being charmed, you can bring them into the cube to take down the enemies. Or you can even cast it areas of your party members who wouldn’t be affected to assist them. A good combination to use is by having a Devotion Paladin as they would render the party immune to the charm, which enables everyone to take advantage of the playing field.

Mob Takedown 

The Hypnotic Pattern spell is an excellent control, especially for low-level enemies. If you’re up against a raid of goblins, a swarm of kobolds, or any other low-level enemy with typically low Wisdom, this is a great spell! By casting this among these sorts of enemies, you’ll have a high likelihood of hindering them with this spell, which gives you the ability to scale down the battlefield.

Shaking-off Enemies

Whenever there might be someone behind your tail, casting the Hypnotic Pattern spell can help you shake whoever is behind or even ahead of you. Thanks to its effect, it can incapacitate enemies, leaving them unable to take any actions or reactions along with a movement speed of 0. This is useful whenever you’re in a tight space with some light.

A Groovy Attraction

This is the right spell for you if you want to capitalize on the psychedelic motif. By creating “twisting patterns of colors that weave through the air,” this spell can be useful for your party’s next Flower Child-themed party or even attracting a fellow hippie to basque in its swirling colors. Stay away from this unless you want to be caught in its effects!

Advice and final thoughts

Hypnotic Pattern is a widely known and loved spell by many magic users and a very much hated one by Dungeon Masters across the Dungeons and Dragons universe. But it’s vital as a caster to consider two essential things.

First, allies and yourself must stay away from the range unless you and your party have the traits to be immune to the effects. Second, ensure that you can maximize the usage of the spell.

Think strategically, and surely you can eradicate the battlefield with your party! All in all, the Hypnotic Pattern spell is one of the best and grooviest spells to have!

Hypnotic Pattern FAQ

Should I choose Fear or a Hypnotic Pattern for my next spell?

Though both are strong contenders for your spell slot, the Hypnotic Pattern spell would be the best if you are looking for something more reliable. With Hypnotic Pattern, you can take advantage of AoE and affect a mass of enemies within range.

Can you be affected by the Hypnotic Pattern spell if you cast it?

Though it may be unwise to be in whichever area you have cast the Hypnotic Pattern spell, you would still be under its effects if you failed a saving throw. Therefore, it is best when casting this to perform it from a distance.

Does Hypnotic Pattern work in the dark?

No, it doesn’t. For this spell to work, the targets must be able to see it in full color. Thus, even creatures with darkvision would not be affected due to vision being in black and white.

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