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Evocation Magic D&D 5e: A Complete Guide

Understanding Evocation Magic

The School of Evocation is the school of power. No other school of magic contains as many potent damage-dealing spells as this spell list. Whether it is divine, eldritch, or elemental energy, this school specializes in harnessing the tendrils of the Weave to create a desired effect. 

The ‘evocation’ is simply the noun form of the word ‘evoke,’ which means to give rise, draw forth, or produce. In essence, that is exactly what this school of magic does.

Casters who draw upon the School of Evocation are masters of the Weave. With the right words and components, they reorder the pattern of the Weave to call forth the manifestation of their will, usually (but not always) in quick, isolated bursts of power. 

Evocation, in a lot of ways, is like chemistry. A mage combines parts of the Weave together in order to create a reaction.

I think of evocations as magical chemistry. The evoker knows which threads to tug together to make the Weave combust, shock, or freeze, etc. They also know just how much or how little to add to produce either a tiny reaction or a massive burst of power.

Just as dropping a piece of potassium in water will cause a spectacular reaction, so the results of evocation magic will dazzle the eyes of those around to see it. 

What makes Evocation Magic Different from other Schools

I often joke with my other DM friends that if they are not sure what school of magic something belongs to, just call it an evocation and you’re probably right. This is because the School of Evocation has such a wide variety of uses that sometimes it’s hard to tell what makes it different from the other schools of magic. 

Like the School of Conjuration, the trait that makes evocation magic unique is the way in which the magic is manifested, rather than the manifestation itself.

Both conjurations and evocations can produce fire, but conjurations summon that fire from elsewhere. The School of Evocation creates fire from the magical energy that exists around the caster.

While the School of Necromancy is the magic of life and death, in D&D 5e, your healing spells are found on the list of evocations. 

Usually, evocations produce magic that is elemental in nature. This isn’t a hard rule, and there are always exceptions, but in general, evocations produce one powerful effect that dissipates quickly.

Fireball is the classic evocation spell. Combine the Weave for an explosive reaction, but it doesn’t last very long…

For example, without material to burn, the flames of fireball will fizzle out, whereas the fire of flaming sphere (a conjuration) will continue to burn until the caster dismisses it. 

These spells are designed to hit hard and fast and deal massive amounts of damage. That doesn’t mean there aren’t spells that do things other than damage, it just means that the main point of these spells is to make your enemies think twice about rushing into a spellcaster’s line of sight. 

The overlap between the School of Evocation and other schools of magic can sometimes be headache-inducing, but it does make sense. An evoker works their will by taking the magic that permeates the very air our characters breathe and putting it to use.

Since the Weave is the tangible raw energy that our characters can access, it can be twisted and folded to produce any number of things. The only real limit is the caster’s own spell list. 

How to Use Evocation Magic in your World

Since the School of Evocation is mostly designed to be spells that destroy, we as DMs must ask ourselves–what are the consequences of this type of magic existing in our worlds?

How has warfare changed with the advent of spells like fireball and lightning bolt?

How would the introduction of THIS guy to the battlefield change the tides of battle? Now imagine 50 of them!

It’s no longer enough to line up your soldiers in neat little rows and send them marching to battle with swords and shields. Now they have the very forces of nature to contend with, and if a general isn’t wise enough to plan for that, it will make for short combat. 

In a level 20 one-shot I played in once, we were facing down an ancient bronze dragon. All of our PCs started their turns getting ready for the battle and standing defiantly to face down the threat of the beast–in a perfect line.

Our DM graciously and casually mentioned, “are you sure you all don’t want to use your movement to…I dunno…get out of a 120x10ft straight line?” He then mercifully let us panic and retcon our turns to take cover. If he hadn’t, it would have been one of the shortest boss fights in history. 

I tell that story to show you how strategy and tactics change in a world where fireballs and lightning bolts and moonbeams exist. As second and third-level spells, it doesn’t take too much time or study–in the grand scheme of things–for many spellcasters to learn to master such destructive power.

If these same spellcasters join armies or, worse, build their own armies, how do the powers that be contend with such forces? Do they actively recruit mages? Do they force mages to do 2 years of compulsory military service after finishing “school?” One way or another, you better believe the government will find a way to use that kind of power to their advantage.

In the same way that it is a terrible idea to stand in a line when facing a Dragon, your NPCs would never stand in a line when facing a spellcaster. It is likely they would spot the mage and try to take them down first.

Consider how the advent of automatic weapons changed the way our own world went to war at the turn of the twentieth century. The scale of violence escalated quickly, making this century the bloodiest century in our world’s history yet.

Now, I’m not suggesting you need to make this parallel in your world with the School of Evocation (but it would be cool!). We often play D&D 5e to escape the struggles of the real world for a while.

But the reality is, violence is often a result of conflict, and good stories thrive off of conflict. Consider what role the existence of evokers plays in these conflicts, and what reputation this may have earned these mages. 

One effect this threat might have is causing nations to be more reluctant to go to war. If a battle over trade routes results in burned villages and shattered walls, not to mention thousands of dead citizens, is it worth it?

Or, would it be better to send a party of plucky adventurers to take care of some minor border raids? If that party has an evoker, they’re likely as destructive as a small army would be, anyway. 

On a more micro level, what defenses are made against such magic users? A mage with their magic focus or component bag is a walking weapon that can’t necessarily be disarmed at the door of the swanky party your players are infiltrating.

No one is going to just let a walking bomb enter their event without some measure of protection. Consider how your more prominent settings protect themselves against mad wizards who threaten to unleash earthquake if their demands aren’t met. 

“Yeah…no.” Always consider how others might react to mages who don’t hide their abilities.

Evocation is an incredibly powerful school of magic, and to quote the age-old adage, “With great power comes great responsibility.” No matter how scarce magic is in your setting, your world is shaped and affected by this magic. Our job as DM’s is to decide how

Common Evocation Spells

There are 109 spells that call the School of Evocation home. As we said before, there are so many different types of evocation spells, it’s hard to classify them all into sub-categories. This school is about how the magic is made, not what the magic does.

With that being said, evocations can generally be sorted into one of three subsets. 

Elemental Magic

The usual go-to evocations of the Arcane practitioner, elemental magic is magic that takes the form of one of the many types of damage found in D&D 5e: acid, cold, fire, lightning, poison, or thunder. These are spells such as ray of frost, chromatic orb, chaos bolt, and of course, the infamous fireball. 

All of these spells are the result of the Weave twisting to create the desired element. Ray of Frost does exactly what the title of the spell says–it shoots a ray of frost. On a hit, the target not only takes 1d8 damage, but it also reduces their speed by 10 feet. Not bad, for a cantrip. 

Ray of Frost is just as beautiful as it is deadly.

In the case of spells like chromatic orb, the spell caster gets to decide which element to use. Similar to this spell is one of my personal favorites, chaos bolt, which has its element determined by the roll of the dice. I like to think of these as more volatile concoctions of the Weave–not because they do more damage, but because you never know just how they are going to blow up. 

Of course, when it comes to explosions, few things can be more destructive and awesome than fireball. Even people who don’t play D&D have heard of fireball. It is one of the most popular spells and the subject of many D&D memes, for good reason.

This 3rd level (seriously??) evocation does massive amounts of damage, even if the creatures in range pass their dexterity saving throws. Just remember, all creatures in range take damage. You and your party included. 

Energy Magic

Energy evocations are spells that use a more abstract form of magic. These spells do not manifest as elements common to nature. Instead, the caster wields energy that only exists in the realm by magical or divine intervention. Such spells are eldritch blast, sacred flame, spiritual weapon, and magic missle. 

Consider what “other-worldly” elements might look like when describing Eldritch Blast.

We said that these spells are made of unnatural energy, and we find a prime example of this in eldritch blast. The word eldritch’ literally means otherworldly and supernatural.

This cantrip manifests as crackling energy that deals 1d10 force damage to a target on a hit. The spell only exists on the Warlock list, and is meant to be a manifestation of the power they received from the pact formed with their otherworldly patron

Eldritch blast generally carries with it a connotation of dark magic, but that doesn’t mean it has to be stereotyped that way in your game. There are many types of creatures that form pacts with mortals, including celestial beings.

Consider how the type of patron might affect the appearance of your warlock’s eldritch blast

Another spell that is described as glowing magical energy is magic missile, which also deals force damage instead of elemental damage. Although the spell is never officially linked to eldritch blast, these two evocations are incredibly similar.

Though one is learned through study, one is given by a higher being, both could be described as ‘eldritch’ in nature.

On the other side of the coin from eldritch power are spells like sacred flame and spiritual weapon, which are supposed to represent magic from the divine and heavenly realms. These spells are only found on the Cleric spell list, implying that only those whose connection to the Weave is mediated by a deity can access this type of magic, no matter how hard they study. 

Divine Magic can be used only by those who serve the deities, but not all deities are good and not all divine magic is beautiful.

Sacred flame is a cantrip that summons divine fire onto the wielder’s enemy, causing 1d8 radiant damage on a failed saving throw. Spiritual weapon is the manifestation of a spectral weapon that can be controlled by the evoker to deal additional force damage to their enemies. 

Both of these spells are generally thought of as ‘holy’ magic, which purges evil and purifies the wicked. Yet like eldritch power, this stereotype doesn’t have to persist in your games. Not all clerics work for good deities, after all, which might affect the way these spells are perceived. 

Support and buff Magic

While most spells in the School of Evocation deal damage directly, there are still some spells that exist to support, strengthen, or protect your characters in a fight. Some examples of these are spells such as cure wounds, divine favor, and Leomund’s Tiny Hut. 

Quite frankly, all of these spells could exist in other schools of magic, and have existed in other schools in the past. But for 5e, they have been categorized as evocations, so that is how we will think about them. 

In past editions, cure wounds has belonged to the School of Necromancy, where it was the work of a healer calling life back into a wounded individual. As an evocation, we can think of cure wounds as a magical first aid kit.

The bandages are made out of the Weave itself, and heal instantaneously as the evoker twines the tendrils of magic together. 

When spellcasters grab the threads of the Weave, what do they feel? Physical threads? Warmth or coolness, depending on what they are trying to cast? Ask your players how they envision it and watch as magic comes to life at your table!

As for divine favor, this spell grabs hold of the Weave to fill your character with divine radiance. This radiance then bursts forth from your weapon, like a paladin’s smite, and deals additional magical damage. 

Finally, there is Leomund’s Tiny Hut, which many would argue belongs on the abjuration or conjuration list. And, honestly, I don’t disagree. But since it is considered an evocation, we know that this hut isn’t something being conjured from nothing or summoned from somewhere else.

Instead, this hut takes the Weave and hardens it into something solid and strong, building it up with the raw materials of magical residue in the atmosphere. 

Common Evocation Items

As we have mentioned previously, magic items in D&D 5e are not required to have a school of magic associated with them. This fact, along with evocation’s eclectic nature, can make it difficult to classify many items as evocations.

On the other hand, one could probably say most magic items are evocations and it wouldn’t be technically wrong. It all boils down to how the item works, not what the item does. 

All of the being said, here are three items that I think could be classified as belonging to the School of Evocation that would be handy to add to your games. 

Circlet of Blasting (wondrous item, uncommon)

A circlet is like a small crown, in this case, it is embued with the power of scorching ray.

This fancy piece of bling does more than look shiny. The Circlet of Blasting is a magic item that allows the user to cast the evocation spell scorching ray once a day. Anyone using this circlet to cast the spell has a +5 to hit. 

Evocation items like this one are great ways to give a little more umph to your squishy spell casters. It allows them to use less of their precious spell slots so they can remain useful in damage dealing for a lot longer in a fight. There are few things more frustrating than running out of spell slots before the monster even looks bloody! 

Dagger of Venom (weapon, rare)

A rogues dream!

The Dagger of Venom is a weapon that could become a quick favorite of the rogues in your party. Not only does this give your character a +1 to hit, but it is also considered a magic weapon even when you haven’t activated its perk. 

As an action, the user can evoke a thick black poison to coat the blade, which lasts for one minute or until it hits a creature. That creature must then succeed on a DC15 constitution saving throw or take an additional 2d10 points of poison damage, as well as suffer from the poisoned condition for one minute. 

Could you imagine if a rogue hit with one of these while hidden and landed a crit? Those damage dice would add up fast. Fortunately for the sake of your epic boss battle, the dagger can only be used to evoke the poison once a day, so once it hits it is done. 

Driftglobe (wondrous item, uncommon)

Having the Daylight spell at your fingertips is far more useful than you might think… RIP Strahd.

At first glance, the driftglobe might not seem like an exceptionally useful or interesting item. All it does is float and emit light. At least, that was the uninformed and rookie mistake I made when I hastily gave one out to my party when I needed to come up with a magic item to reward them with on the spot. 

As it turns out, this little glass sphere doesn’t just emit light, it emits the evocation spell daylight. And, as it turns out, my party was questing on their way to face down an evil vampire lord who might not appreciate their piece of portable magic sunlight. 

Anything that gets disadvantaged with sunlight would suffer from the effects of this little wondrous item. So if your party is planning to raid some undead-infested crypts or adventure into the Underdark, this would be a nice little boon for them to take with them.

Like the other evocation items we discussed, it can only be used once a day, so your players will have to strategize what their best moment to use that sliver of daylight would be. 

Describing Evocation Magic in Your World 

Of all the schools of magic, evocation is hands down the easiest school to get descriptive with.

It’s flashy, it’s fun, it’s even explosive at times. All of your senses can easily be drawn into this powerful manifestation of magic. There is very little that is subtle about evocation spells. With that being said, let’s take a look at some ways you might consider describing this magic in your world. 


Sight is by far one of the first things you will think of describing when it comes to evocations. Just the names of some of these spells evokes powerful imagery. Ray of frost, burning hands, chaos bolt.

When it comes to elemental magic, describe the effects of it on the world around your players, not just the spell itself. This adds an extra layer of realism to your game!

All of these names spark images of colorful wizard duals in my mind even before I read the descriptions of what these spells actually do. 

But just because a spell tells you what it looks like doesn’t mean you can’t decide for yourself what it looks like. Spell manifestations are a great way to invite your players to the creativity of the table. Let them decide, based on the flavor of the character they are building, how their spells look. 

Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything gives some guidelines to keep in mind on personalizing spells on page 116-117, starting with a fun anecdote from Tasha herself about adding chicken legs to all her spells for her own amusement.

If adding spell components for fun was good enough for the OG witch, it is good enough for me!

This is a great resource to reference if you are looking for inspiration. But in case you don’t have the book, here are the most important things to keep in mind when altering the traditional appearance of a spell:

  • Visual alterations are for flavor only, and shouldn’t change the effect of the spell unless you as the DM approves it.
  • Any positives you allow to be added to a spell should come with an equal number of drawbacks.
  • Creativity is King. If your player wants to cast a spell but is out of the compoents they need, they can try to subsititue, but the results may be…interestesting.

The best thing to keep in mind when changing the way an evocation looks is making sure the alteration doesn’t change the mechanics of the spell.

As we said before, there is very little that is subtle about evocations, so changing a spell’s appearance to look either hyper-realistic to blend in or completely invisible to go on unnoticed could be potentially overpowering a spell. There should always be some risk in casting magic, and that risk could be getting caught and being seen.  


Like sight, the sense of hearing is another easy way to describe your evocations. The roar of fireball as it crashes down or the boom of thunderwave as it echoes out its 300 feet are all easy to reference. And really, there’s not much need to grab for more than that. Oftentimes, the simplest description is the best description. 

When describing the elemental magic of evocation, don’t get too caught up in fancy lingo. Often, the simple phrases everyone can relate to are the best!

People connect to references they understand and will create vivid pictures in their minds based on the smallest description. If we try to be too creative, we might lose the audience

Like sight, sound can also be flavored to suit the theme of the character.  If you change the visual effects of a spell, the sound effects will probably be altered as well. For example, if your warlock has a pact with an archfey, their eldritch blast might not crackle. It might be accompanied by birdsongs or the childish laughter of pixies.


Scent is always a great detail to add to magic, and as you have probably picked up by now, I’m a big fan of magic having its own unique scent. Especially if your character has a specific theme that accompanies it. (check out my YouTube video below for more on this crazy idea)

Clerics who work for sea gods might leave a trace of brine on their air with every evocation they cast, signifying the hand of their god on their magic. Warlocks belonging to demon lords may leave sulphur and brimstone. 

Rather than personalizing each scent marker, you could also unify this school of magic by giving it one scent.

Consider giving the Weave its own specific aroma, and for the sake of this example, I’ll say it has a clean linen scent (it is called the Weave, after all). Because all evocations have the source of their magic in common, perhaps all evocations leave a faint hint of fresh laundry behind, signifying the way the Weave was touched and rearranged to form the magical effects. 

This would be a great way to reveal this school of magic to those who cast detect magic. It could also be a way to feed information to your players that magic has been cast recently in the area they are exploring, perhaps warning them to be on their guard. 


There are two things that come to my mind when I think about describing evocation spells to my players. The first is how the magical effect feels to the target of the spell. 

Since evocations are spells that generally cause pain, pain is generally what I describe. The amount of damage rolled will determine how much pain I describe. One magic missile might feel like a bee sting, whereas all three magic missiles targeting the same character might be more like a bullet ant bite. 

What would it feel like to walk into what you think is just an ordinary beam of light, only to have searing pain ripped through your body thanks to the moonbeam spell?

We all know what it feels like to get burned and some of us may have even experienced being frostbitten before. If not, you can always spend a little time researching the effects of certain injuries, such as acid spills or sound concussions.

Be sure to reassure anyone who looks over your search history that you’re a DM, not a psychopath

The second way I think of describing evocations is describing how it feels to cast such spells.

This ranges from what the Weave feels like in the palm of the weaver. Does the magic feel warm? Cold? Threadlike? Slippery? Does the mage reach out and grasp fire-element threads or water element threads? How does the wizard know they have caught the right threads of magic? 

When they do catch magic, consider what it feels like for the caster. In one of my games, my druid asked if they could use some recent emotional trauma to change their subclass from Circle of Life to Circle of Wildfire and I allowed it.

When it came time for them to start casting spells, my player did a fantastic job describing how he started to gather the Weave to heal a fallen companion only to realize he was gathering heat in his palm, not the cool healing energies. The character quickly changed course and cast burning hands at the enemy instead. 

Burning hands is a classic cantrip, but I always wondered if it was a pleasant heat or uncomfortable. Have your players decide!

This is a great example of how you can use the sense of feel to flavor combat and magic casting in your games. That character could have just said, “I cast burning hands.” Instead, they worked the feeling of magic into their description to help tell the story of his character discovering that magic no longer reacted the way she expected it to. 


Since evocation spells are so powerful visually and sonorously, it’s probably safe to just stick with these descriptors and not worry about what flavor your lightning lure is. But, just like scent, taste can be used to add a little extra unexpected detail to your evocation spells. 

Many of the suggestions applied to the sense of smell can also be applied to the sense of taste, since these senses are so closely related. The difference is only the way the sense is perceived. 

Those around the caster of a spell might pick up on that scent of magic, whereas those casting the spell might taste the magic as well as smell it. As they draw the Weave in and through them, some of that residue might linger on their tongue, especially if your spell has a verbal requirement to it. A wizard or sorcerer might literally be able to taste the magic on their lips. 

I hope this gives your game advantage, my friends!

Until next time,

Halfling Hannah

Enchantment Magic in D&D 5e: A Complete Guide

Understanding Enchantment Magic

The School of Enchantment is the school of charm and influence. These spells are specifically designed to affect the minds of others so that they will perceive the caster differently than they did before. This can be as simple as making friends to as dangerous as obeying the caster’s every command. 

Just as many things in life, there are two sides to the School of Enchantment. On one side, the enchanter can calm emotions, remove the fear from their allies, and even bless their friends for greater success. On the other side, Enchantment spells can destroy the minds of enemies, causing physical pain with mental barrages, controlling their actions like puppets, or even killing with a single word. 

While not quite as sinister as Necromancy, the school of Enchantment is still home to some dark and dangerous spells.

The School of Enchantment allows a mage to have instant friends but at a cost. When the magic wears off, the victim of the spell knows they have been enchanted, and not many people appreciate having their minds altered against their will.

While this magic can be a quick and easy way to avoid problems in the moment, there is always a potential for those problems to come back and haunt the players later. Just like in real life, lies and deception can only get a player so far

What makes Enchantment Magic Different from other Schools

The School of Enchantment is different from any other school because of the subtle way it alters the mind of the target. The spells of this school primarily focus on altering perceptions and emotions in ways that no other school of magic does. Where the School of Divination uses magic of the mind to reveal truth, the School of Enchantment uses the Weave to conceal truth

Enchantment spells mess with and control the mind, making them disorienting.

There are spells on the School of Enchantment list that do damage, but all of them come with some sort of disorienting effect as well. This is what makes an Enchantment different from an Evocation.

Enchantments target the mind and cause an effect within the mind of the target, whether it be to subtract from dice rolls or cause disadvantage on their own attack rolls. Any damage done is just an added bonus. 

The School of Illusion is another branch of magic designed to deceive, but in a different way than the School of Enchantment. Illusions affect a person or thing by changing the way someone perceives the world around them naturally with their own senses. (See more on this school in my article all about Illusion magic in D&D 5e!)

Few other schools of magic are so direct with their effects on the mind as Enchantment.

An enchantment touches the mind of the target directly, forcing them to see things differently then they actually are. Some of the spells on both lists might accomplish the same end goal, but just like with Conjuration vs. Evocation, the way the goal was achieved is different

How to Use Enchantment Magic in your World

Some of the most entertaining moments I have experienced, both as a player and as a DM, have come about because of the School of Enchantment. A single failed saving throw can force a player to have to play their character differently, to the amusement or detriment of others. 

The consequences can range anywhere from silly to destructive, depending on the circumstance. A playful fey might just charm a kiss out of an adventurer for their own amusement, whereas a sinister enemy might bewitch the unfortunate soul into seeing their own friends as their enemies.

Either scenario produces a memorable experience for your players and promotes excellent role play opportunities around the table. 

Fey are masters of Enchantment. While your adventurers fall for their charms?

On the other hand, I’ve been known to be a player who relies heavily on Charm Person to get my way. So what do you do when the bad guy falls under the spell of an enchanter? How do you keep them from divulging all their wicked plans and ruining the intrigue of the game? 

First, remember that spells like friends and charm person don’t make the target instantly do whatever the charmer wants. There are spells that do that, but they are higher level and have their own caveats to them. Spells like charm person only make the charmed person regard the caster as a friendly acquaintance

While this has its uses in its own way, it does not mean your player can get whatever information they want, unless that NPC has a bad habit of gossiping already. Just like in real life, there are some secrets we don’t divulge to people we like but only kind of know. In the same way, a charmed person will still need to be convinced by some excellent role playing or high persuasion rolls to tell all their master’s evil plans. 

The school of enchantment allows your players to make friends more easily, but lower-level spells do NOT allow them to control others, merely to have advantage to persuade them.

Which brings up an important question. How do you differentiate between the effects of a magic spell and a really high charisma roll? We don’t want to give all our secrets away, but at the same time, we don’t want our players to waste a spell slot on something they could have rolled for. So, how do you know which scenario to use? 

A persuasion roll is generally called for when a player is trying to convince someone of something. It relies on the character either role-playing or describing how they want to convince a guard who found them where they weren’t supposed to be to not to turn them in. It does not make NPCs act in a way that is contrary to their nature

Persuasion rolls require a lot of creativity, and the roll helps decide whether it succeeds. However, the guard is still going to do what the guard is supposed to do. He might just tell the players to scram if they convince him not to arrest them, but he isn’t likely going to be their friend and let them just keep on with their plot. He will become hostile if the players push him too far. 

Charm person, on the other hand, allows for the requests to move into the realm of illogical. One of my DM friends likens it to a high school crush. The charmed person is suddenly very interested in the charmer and wants to be liked by them, but there are still limits to what they would do. The effect also lasts up to an hour, whereas a persuasion roll is a one-time request. 

In short, I think of it this way. Enchantment magic comes into play when there is no time to build rapport naturally. If you need something in a pinch but don’t have the time to convince the NPC they should trust you, magic is the answer. 

If you need just a little bit of help to persuade quickly, enchantment offers the perfect subtle solution.

As always, when looking at magic we want to consider how it will affect the world our adventure is set in. How is the School of Enchantment viewed in your world? What are the consequences for getting caught casting beguiling magic?

It is an ethically questionable school of magic, so what are the rules about using it? 

If there are laws regarding the use of enchanting spells, you will want to consider how to enforce them. Since the magic leaves no mark, the only proof of it is the testimony of the victim. How does the justice system differentiate between true claims and false in order to prevent witch hunts? Without someone purposely enforcing order, chaos will abound. 

Common Enchantment Spells

According to the D&D 5e spells app, there are 48 spells classified under the School of Enchantment. Of all the spell schools, the School of Enchantment has the most consistency in the effects it creates. With that being said, here are 3 subsets you can break this school down into.

Befriending things

Some NPCs and PCs excel at befriending others through the use of enchantment, like this NPC from my upcoming eBook on Crime Bosses and Syndicates!

The most common use of the School of Enchantment is to make temporary friends. This is accomplished through spells such as charm person, animal friendship, and of course, friends.

The point of each of these spells is to make someone or something with whom you have no influence or rapport with magically regard you as someone they like.

In the case of friends, the spell only lasts one minute and gives you advantage on charisma checks directed towards them. It’s important to note that this spell specifically says the charmed person becomes hostile when the spell ends

Both animal friendship and charm person make the target of the spell regard you as friendly and unthreatening. The effects of these spells are not permanent, and once the spell wears off, the person that is charmed knows they were charmed. How they react is not dictated by the spell, so it is up to you as the DM to decide how you want to roleplay it out. 

Controlling things

Using another creature like a puppet could be considered an evil action if that creature has done no harm to others. How should you treat “evil” actions in your campaign?

The darker side of the School of Enchantment consists of spells that control other creatures. These are spells such as command, crown of madness, and Suggestion. All of these spells force the target to obey the will of the caster, unless the order is directly harmful to themselves.  

Command forces a creature to follow a one word command that the caster issues, such as ‘confess!’ or ‘Halt!’ On a failed saving throw, that target has no choice but to obey the command on their next turn.

Crown of Madness charms the target and forces them to attack anyone the charmer chooses, save for themselves.

Suggestion charms a person into doing whatever you suggest for up to 8 hours to the best of their ability. 

These spells are certainly the morally gray area of magic, but can turn the tides of a fight in favor of the heroes. Just make sure your players are prepared for the consequences when the magic wears off. 

Debilitating things

Enchanting the mind can have painful consequences, and create negative effects for those affected by it.

Debilitating enchantments not only cause damage to the targeted creature, but they also generally impose some type of negative effect to make it harder for the enemy to fight back. An example of spells that debilitate are mind sliver, vicious mockery, Bane, and Hex. 

Both mind sliver and bane cause the enemy to subtract 1d4 from their attack rolls. A failed save for vicious mockery imposes disadvantage on their next attack roll. Hex is one of the signature spells of warlocks, causing 1d6 extra necrotic damage every time the warlock hits with an attack and imposing a subtraction of 1d4 on whichever skill the warlock chooses. 

All of these spells were designed with misery in mind. They cause pain and break focus. In a fight, they are powerful tools to use against your enemies.

Common Enchantment Items

Including items from the School of Enchantment can be a fun way to challenge players in your game. Whether they receive the item and get to come up with creative ways to use it or they accidentally fall prey to a mislabeled love potion, the role-play opportunities are boundless. 

As always, remember that magic items don’t actually get assigned a school of magic in D&D 5e. But if you want to include some items that are specifically designed to enchant, here are a few great options. 

Eyes of Charming (wondrous item, uncommon)

You can describe this item as contact lens (which I think are subtle and cool) or as glasses as the art on DND Beyond shows.

The Eyes of Charming is a very simple, basic magic item that does exactly what it says it does. They are described as crystal lenses that fit over the eye. When used, they cast charm person with a spell save DC of 13. They have 3 charges a day and recover their charges at dawn. 

These contacts would be a great gift to your low-charisma characters. It gives them a chance to play outside of their usual roles by giving them a way to interact socially without having to be disappointed with low dice rolls.

They also make a great tool for your more nefarious NPCs, the ones the players can’t resist in the moment but can’t figure out why until their contact falls out and they see their eye color change.  

Philter of Love (wondrous item, uncommon)


The Philter of Love is your standard love potion, and who doesn’t love the effects of a good love potion? The person who drinks this philter is charmed by the first creature they see. If that creature happens to be of a gender and species that they are normally attracted to, they consider that creature their one true love for the duration of an hour. 

Notice that I said creature, not humanoid. It is entirely possible for an NPC to try to use the philter on a player they think they have isolated. Unfortunately for the NPC, the player sees a cat before they see them. Now the whole potion has gone to waste making the player worship the cat as a beloved pet. Whatever schemes that NPC had now have to wait until the player is done building a cat-condo for Ms. Tibbles. 

There are so many ways I can think of to use this in my game. An accidental sip of this concoction can create memorable moments of in party role-playing. A more purposeful slip of the drink can cause problems, unexpected consequences, or potentially even whole side arcs. 

Ring of Animal Influence (wondrous item, rare)

This is a fun and useful item!

The Ring of Animal Influence is great for players like me, who love interacting with animals but just don’t want to make a druid to do it. This ring has 3 charges which recharge daily at dawn. As an action, the player can use one of the charges to cast either animal friendship, fear, or speak with animals

Although Animal friendship is the only spell on this list that actually belongs to the School of Enchantment, I still consider this item to be a mostly Enchantment item. Speak with Animals finds its home in Divination and Fear comes from the School of Illusion.

However, the purpose of this ring is to create influence over animals, whether by befriending them or scaring them away. This purpose is the epitome of the School of Enchantment, making this ring a great item to add to your Enchantment toolbox. 

Describing Enchantment Magic in Your World 

While a little more difficult, I LOVE to describe enchantment magic. It is a beautiful and “enchanting” form of magic and deserves some good descriptions!

The School of Enchantment twists the Weave in entirely mental ways, making it hard to describe with the five senses. It is a school of magic that is designed to deceive the perceptions of an individual directly, so in many ways they will ignore what their senses might be otherwise telling them. 

With that being said, let’s take a stab at describing the School of Enchantment in your world.


Describing the way an enchantment looks might be trickier than describing the effects of the spell itself. One example that comes to my mind when I describe the spell charm person comes from the novel Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. 

In the book, one of the characters has distant fey ancestry, which gives her a natural charm that affects the way people perceive her. Those who are immune to such charms see her as an incredibly ordinary, plain, average girl. Nothing special about her. But those who are not immune see her as radiant and beautiful.

No one can really put a finger on why. If they see her in drawings they reflect that it is an accurate likeness, but something is just not right, because the drawing can’t capture the fey ancestry in her blood. 

Make enchantment subtle. Sparkles, glitter, shimmering magic that alters a person’s mind and changes what they think.

I use something like this description when I describe the effects of a person being charmed. Where once the character was hostile or wary of a creature, they suddenly notice just how beautiful their smile is, or just how lustrous their hair looks. Having noticed these sudden alluring details, the player wonders why they were wary in the first place. Surely, such a lovely creature couldn’t possibly mean them any harm. 


Fortunately, when it comes to describing the sound of certain enchantments, some spells come with their descriptions baked in. Both vicious mockery and dissonant whispers rely on sound to cause their effects. 

Even if the creature is unable to understand the words of the insults slung at it, there is something about the power of the words that causes it actual physical pain. Maybe this comes from an infernal cadence laced in the magic, or maybe it just booms louder or shriller than a normal sentence. Whatever you choose, the actual sound of the spell causes so much pain the target isn’t quite as sure of their next attack. 

Harsh or jarring music is a wonderful sound description for the few damaging enchantment spells.

Dissonant whisper is cast with a discordant melody that only the target can hear. Discordant just means harsh or jarring. You and your player get to decide what is harsh and jarring about that melody. Is it haunting, or screeching, or just plain out of tune?

Do you want the melody to actually sound like whispers reaching into the mind of the target, causing them to go temporarily mad? 

Just because a spell doesn’t specifically rely on sound doesn’t mean you can’t use sound to describe it. Like the sirens of Greek mythology, a song can be used to charm your person or make the mind malleable to suggestions.

A bolstering word can imbue the bravery of heroism and the sharpness and certainty of the commanded word for command can be what drives the magic home. These are all viable options and great examples of using sound in your enchantments. 


Scent is always a hard thing to describe, especially when it comes to describing mental magic like Enchantments. So much of this magic is perceived through sight, sound, and feel, it can be easy to forget that some magic also has a scent to it. 

Since most of the spells from this school involve some sort of saving throw, scent can be a good way to explain a failed save. There are several novels that ascribe a certain scent to magic, so the idea isn’t unprecedented.

I imagine the smell of enchantment magic to be sweet flowers or perfume.

Let’s just say in my world, when the Weave is plucked to cast an enchantment, it is accompanied by a sweet, sugary scent. Perhaps the target begins to fall under the influences of the spell, but they catch the scent of the actual magic itself, and it awakens them to the spell being cast against them. Now they are alert and aware that the creature they are facing is charmer. 

Another example of using scent with a specific spell is calm emotions. Since this spell is used to de-escalate potentially violent situations, one way of describing it could be with scent.

Herbs such as lavender and chamomile have a calming sensation, or you could choose to let the magic trick the mind of the target into smelling something comforting, that reminds them of home or their childhood. Scent is a powerful stimulant, and therefore shouldn’t be overlooked when it comes to beguiling the mind. 


The sense of feeling is the very first sense I go to when I start to describe the effects of an enchantment spell. I’ve often heard enchantments explained as having similar effects to drugs or alcohol, which gives you a plethora of sensations to pull from. 

From mind fog to blissful euphoria, the charmed person feels themselves in an elevated state of being. They can’t quite think clearly, or they feel too good to think clearly. On the other side of the coin, the effects of mind sliver are disorienting and painful, perhaps causing splitting headaches or a burning feeling

Buring without a fire being present would be a disturbing feeling…

Even emotions are felt in a physical way. Sudden affection or fear cause adrenaline spikes that affect heart rates. The character who receives bravery might still feel their fear, but distant and far away in a place that can’t touch them. There are really endless ways you can choose to describe the way an enchantment makes a character feel. 


Just like with the sense of smell, the sense of taste can be easily overlooked when it comes to describing magic, and enchantments are no exception. In some ways, I think enchantments are one of the hardest spells to describe the flavor of. 

Unless you’re drinking a potion, you’re not normally tasting the Weave as you cast it. But that doesn’t mean that a magical effect can’t leave a taste in your mouth. Maybe, for the duration of a charm, the character that is bewitched tastes honey or chocolate, which contributes to their good, sweet feeling.

Certain sweet tastes are iconic. Honey sweetness coating the tongue is something your players can really understand!

When that charm dissipates, however, they are left with a bitterness on the tongue that lets them know they were fed vinegar, not sugar. The tangy flavor could be just what tips off the enchanted person that their enchanter is less of a friend than they thought. 

By incorporating the senses when we describe enchantment magic in our world, we create richer worlds for our players to interact with. Try picking just one sense to describe the next time your player casts an enchantment spell and see what a difference it makes!

I do hope this gives your game advantage, my friends!

Until next time!

-Halfling Hannah

Divination Magic in D&D 5e: A Complete Guide

Understanding Divination Magic

The School of Divination is home to magic that reveals information. I like to think of it as the Google of magic. It’s like saying, “Hey, Siri!” and being answered by the Weave itself. This could look like reading a target’s mind to learn something, or it could be letting the Weave bring that knowledge to you from the world around you. 

Of course, this school of magic does more than just gather information. Divination magic allows you to know how to do things you wouldn’t normally be able to do, such as understand languages you haven’t studied or speak to animals.

Speak with animals is both a gift and a curse to DMs. The gift is you can give your players very clear directions to the plotline. The curse is having to come up with animal voices..

Some spells allow you to commune with the divine and get glimpses of the future. While these spells don’t usually do direct damage themselves, some of them allow the user to gain a greater insight into their target’s abilities and defenses so that their attacks will hit harder and more frequently. 

If you are lost, looking for something or someone, searching for secrets long forgotten, or just curious about what might happen if you take a certain path, this is the school of magic for you. Boundless information is at the tips of the fingers of the mage who has mastered divination magic.

What makes Divination Magic Different from other Schools

The School of Divination is one of the least aggressive schools of magic out there. Although it can be used to do great harm, it’s generally what you do with the information you’ve gleaned rather than the spell itself that does that harm. Of course, there are always exceptions to every rule, but that is how the majority of the spells are designed

Like the School of Enchantment, divination magic is magic of the mind. But where the School of Enchantment seeks to establish mental connections and influence the intentions of the target, the School of Divination uses the Weave to connect and communicate.

Is the Weave basically DND’s internet?

It does not charm, frighten, or influence other creatures in any way

For example, spells such as beast bond or speak with animals don’t make the animal like you, they only allow you to communicate with the creature. It’s up to your own natural charms to make friends. 

Because of the nature of Divination magic, these spells tend to be less flashy than spells from some of the other schools of magic. However just because they don’t have as much razzle-dazzle to them doesn’t mean you have nothing to work with when it comes to creating vivid descriptions for your world.

When a caster uses a Divination spell, they are glimpsing the Weave itself, tugging it into their mind to comprehend the impossible. The way you convey this divine knowledge is limited only by your own imagination. 

How to Use Divination Magic in your World

On a mechanical level, the School of Divination can cause your games some serious problems. There are few things that kill intrigue in my game faster than spells like detect magic, detect evil and good, or even identify.

Spells to find anything you want and immediately understand exactly what those things are? Doesn’t seem broken or game ruining at all. Thanks, DND!

It is hard to create mystery when a player can use a spell slot to circumvent it. So when it comes to using divination magic, you’ll need to learn to walk the line of suspense and while still being fair to the player who was clever enough to use the right spell at the right moment. Here are some things to bear in mind when dealing with these spells.

First, know what the spell says it does, and do it. Unless you have established a homebrew rule ahead of time, your player is casting the spell and expecting the results to pan out exactly as the spell description says it will. They won’t appreciate a mystery if their spell should have solved that mystery for them. 

On the other hand, every spell has its limits.

Find traps, for example, only detects hidden and harmful environmental effects that were put there on purpose. It does not sense natural wear and tear on a rickety bridge over a chasm of darkness in a dungeon.

Commune allows your player to speak directly to their character’s deity but points out that deities are not omniscient. So even though you must give a truthful answer, there are some things the deity may not know, forcing it to give an “unclear” answer. 

Talk about an answer to prayer! Commune can be a fun way to bring deities to life in DND!

And of course, just because certain spells reveal answers about the future doesn’t mean that those answers are set in stone. Destiny is something that is malleable in D&D. There are many things that can alter the course of fate, including the choices your players make and the roll of the dice. Something that is true in one moment may not be true in the next, depending on how things have changed. 

These ambiguities are the areas in which your intrigue will thrive, but there are other ways to hide things from divine sight. Some magic items, such as the Amulet of Proof against Detection and Location (see my article all about Abjuration magic and how it can protect the mystery of your campaign!) will protect the wearer from Divination magic.

Other things, such as enough stone or metal, will block the effects of spells like detect magic. These are important details to remember, not so you can thwart your players with the rules, but so you can build the narrative and setting of your world.  

If you stop and think about it, the School of Divination is home to some scary spells. Anyone with enough talent, determination, or money, can just...know things about you. Deeply personal things, such as your inner thoughts and your exact location. This is creepy on a personal level, and potentially catastrophic on a global level

As you fill your world with powerful NPCs and world influencers, consider how they might protect themselves from magical spying.

An unstoppable BBEG

Monarchs don’t want just anyone to be able to listen in on their council rooms. How do they protect their important secrets from unscrupulous wizards? Is it more feasible to employ other magical means of defense or good old-fashioned lead-lined walls? It all depends on the setting you create, and the resources your NPC would have access to. 

Of course, divination magic doesn’t only have to be a problem for you as the DM to solve. 

The School of Divination can be used to reveal hidden mysteries that you do want your players to know, but don’t have an easy way for them to discover. Allowing the players to have access to knowledge or experience visions from beyond the Material Plane can create easy plot hooks or motivations for characters to act on. 

Perhaps there is a “prophet for profit” who can say just enough to interest your players in a certain course of action without giving the whole story away. Or maybe the use of detect thoughts during an interrogation reveals the target is worried about far more than just what is about to happen to them if they don’t talk.

In a world where the “internet is magic,” there is no reason you can’t put this magic to work to bolster your story and move your plot along. 

Common Divination Spells

The School of Divination is home to 32 spells according to the D&D 5e Spells app, but that doesn’t mean this school is less impressive than the others. What these spells lack in damage-dealing they make up for in utility. These spells tend to fall into one of 4 categories. 

Detecting things:

Someone should really do something about all these traps just laying around. Seriously, someone could get hurt!

The most common use of the School of Divination that I have seen in my games is in the casting of spells such as detect magic, detect evil and good, and find traps. All of these spells use the Weave to sense something that is otherwise hidden from the mortal eye.

These spells make dungeon crawling and adventuring just a little bit safer, allowing your characters to sense and prepare for danger before they fall into it. 

Other spells which would fall under this category are things like locate object or locate animals or plants, which allow you to find things you are familiar with by concentrating. These spells may not always be helpful in a fight, but they are certainly helpful during travel scenes or when you run low on a resource you need to find. 

Knowing things:

Divination isn’t all about knowing the future and talking with gods and animals. It also gives knowledge of languages and insight into the mind.

Divination spells that let you “know things” are spells such as detect thoughts, identify, comprehend languages, and clairvoyance. Each of these spells works differently, but all of them give the caster knowledge magical knowledge they did not previously possess. 

Detect thoughts, for example, allows the mage to read surface-level thoughts of a target or even delve a little deeper if the target fails their saving throw.

Identify is a spell that reveals the exact nature and use of magical objects. Great for avoiding cursed items!

Comprehend languages allows the user to understand languages they haven’t studied, though it does not allow them to speak it.

Finally, clairvoyance creates an invisible sensor that can either see or hear whatever is around it as if you were in the location yourself. 

Another spell I would add to the list of “knowing” spells is mind spike, which is one of the few spells in the School of Divination that does direct damage.

If the target fails its wisdom saving throw, it takes 3d8 psychic damage (more at higher levels). In addition, for the duration of the spell, the caster always knows the location of the target so long as they remain on the same plane of existence.

The target cannot hide from the mage or turn invisible.

It’s a brutal way to play Hide and Seek. 

Communing with things:

Many of the spells on the School of Divination list allow you to gain knowledge by communing with other forces or beings. These are spells such as speak with animals, beast bond, augury, commune, and commune with nature

Do your players need a map, but keep forgetting to pick on up in town? There’s a spell for that.

Both speak with animals and beast bond allow the caster to connect with animals either verbally or mentally, and communicate with them in their respective ways.

In the case of speak with animals, the user learns to speak a language the animal can converse with them as though they were conversing with a person, though the animal’s knowledge is limited by their own intelligence and the DM’s discretion.

Beast bond only allows for the transference of simple concepts and emotions, though it does give the animal advantage on attacks within 5 feet of you. 

Augury is an example of spells that contact higher beings for insight on future plans. In the case of augury, the mage uses some sort of divination tool, such as jeweled rods or tarot cards, to receive an omen of good or bad fortune.

Curse of Strahd uses fortune telling and card readings really well! Check out my guide to use in your game!

Interested in how to use this kind of divination in a game? Curse of Strahd is a great example! Check out my article of Card Readings in Curse of Strahd and use it as a guideline for creating fortunes in your own game!

There are other spells like augury, such as commune, which create a direct link between the caster and their deity for more specific input. 

Commune with nature is like commune, except instead of contacting a deity the user becomes “one with the force of nature.” This spell gives knowledge of the surrounding territory and landscape up to 3 miles or 300 feet if you are underground.

Not only does it reveal the topography, it also tells you what is on the land, such as people, fey, fiends, and notable resources. 

Getting Insight on things:

The last notable subset of the School of Divination can be described as spells that give insight. These are spells like guidance, true strike, and gift of alacrity. 

This school of magic is like a guidepost pointing the way to advantage and knowledge.

Guidance and true strike are both cantrips that give the target of the spell an advantage over their circumstance or enemies.

In the case of guidance, the term “advantage” is used as a flavor term, not a mechanic term. The willing creature affected by this spell can add 1d4 to an ability check of their choice. Because of the name of the spell and the school of magic it is categorized as I like to think of this effect as the result of divine insight imparted by the magic

In the case of true strike, “advantage” is a mechanical term. When cast, the user gains magical insight into their target’s defenses, which gives them actual advantage on their first attack roll against the target

Want to gain the upper hand in combat? Knowing what your enemies will do before they do it is a great way!

As for gift of alacrity, this might seem like an odd spell to place under this category. All it does is grant a willing creature an extra 1d8 to their initiative roll. But because initiative is how fast one responds to danger, I would argue that the effect of this spell is some sort of divine insight that allows the target of the spell to react faster than normal. 

Common Divination Items

Although magic items in D&D 5e don’t belong to any particular school according to the rules, there are several items that are clearly meant to belong to the School of Divination. Some of them are items that literally cast divination spells, while others just follow the rules of divination magic by revealing information. Here are a few of my favorites. 

Medallion of Thoughts (wondrous item, uncommon):

Creepy aesthetic, but super useful!

The Medallion of Thought is an item that simply casts one of the spells from the School of Divination. It carries with it three charges of detect thoughts, and regains 1d3 expended charges at dawn. 

This item would be a great gift to your player who likes to do the interrogating or investigating but didn’t pick a high charisma character or a caster with access to the spell. It adds a new level to that aspect of the game that they could really dig into. 

Lantern of Revealing (wondrous item, uncommon):

A must have if you are dealing with tricky fey creatures!

The Lantern of Revealing is a hooded lantern that can burn for six hours. It sheds 30 feet of bright light which reveals all invisible creatures or objects

This item would be a great gift to your players if you are planning to send them on fey adventures, as many of the fey creatures are able to turn invisible.

It would also be helpful in Underdark situations where darkness naturally hides an enemy. The lantern can be used to reveal things to those who lack dark vision while also adding the extra benefit of revealing anything that hides in more than the dark. The lantern can also be dimmed so that any of the players who want to take advantage of invisibility are still able to do so. 

Crystal Ball (wondrous item, very rare or legendary):

Endorsed by Mordenkainen myself!

While this item isn’t exactly “common,” it is the first item that comes to mind when I think of divination items. Even the item’s description assumes that, by describing the item as a “typical crystal ball.” You know, just your average, daily, run-of-the-mill very rare magic item. Everyone knows that. 

Mechanically, the Crystal Ball allows the user to cast the scrying spell with a DC17 save. There are three legendary variants of the ball, all of which fall into the divination school of magic. 

The first is the Crystal Ball of Mind Reading, which allows you to cast detect thoughts while scrying. While using the spell this way, the user doesn’t need to maintain concentration on detect thoughts to keep it active. 

The second legendary variant of this magic item is the Crystal Ball of Telepathy. This item lets the user cast telepathy through the scrying. While the spell telepathy is itself an evocation, there are several telepathy-like spells on the divination list to keep this magic on brand. 

Not only does the Crystal Ball of Telepathy let the user commune with others through the use of its magic, it also allows you to cast suggestion once a day, again with a DC17 save. Talk about a seriously scary item! 

The third variant is the Crystal Ball of True Seeing, which does exactly what it sounds like. While scrying, the caster has true sight within 120 feet of the spell’s sensor. After the flare of the telepathy ball, that might not seem like much. But there is something to be said for being extra sure what is in the Big Bad’s lair before you go marching in. 

There are LOTs of varients to the Crystal Ball, so feel free to create your own! A unquie one I really like is the Crystal Ball of Thieving from Dungeon Strugglers on Patreon. They make really cool homebrew items with unique art, so be sure to check them out!

A seriously great Patreon creator! Be sure to check them out!

The Crystal Ball and all of its variants are obviously extremely powerful magic items. I would be very cautious about giving it to players, and would perhaps be more prone to lend it or allow them to pay an NPC for the services of one.

If you do want to allow one to fall into the hands of your players, bear in mind that these are very high level spells that the ball can cast. I would save it as a reward for late-game, high level players who are facing incredibly tough challenges. 

Describing Divination Magic in Your World 

Since Divination magic is mostly invisible magic, it can be more difficult to describe the way this magic appears in your world. That being said, one of my absolute favorite descriptions of magic found in the Player’s Handbook (page 205) is in regards to describing spells from this school of magic.

It reads, “When characters use divination spells such as detect magic or identify, they glimpse the Weave.” What an incredibly beautiful way to describe the interface between spell casting and the Weave! With that in mind let’s take a look at some ideas for describing magic from the School of Divination. 

Divination magic provides a brief glimpse into the Weave…what would happen if players looked for too long?


As quoted above, those who use divination magic have the ability to glimpse the Weave. We’ll take detect magic as an example for visual uses of divination magic. 

Imagine that your players have used detect magic on an interesting ring they have just found. They are delighted to discover that it is, indeed, a magic ring, and they naturally want to know what school of magic is associated with it.

Now, magic items are not actually required to have a school of magic in D&D 5e. So if you have something like a Ring of Warmth and on the spot you can’t decide if it belongs in the School of Evocation (because it manipulates the Weave to keep you warm) or the School of Abjuration (because it protects you from the cold) you could just say it doesn’t have a school. 

But that could be disappointing to the wizard who wants to know more about this cool magic item they just found. So instead of just saying “it’s from the School of Evocation” or “there’s no school associated,” you have the opportunity to describe how the ring is interacting with the Weave.

Auras of magic are a great way to describe magic items without giving away too much information or having to pick a school of magic!

Perhaps you can describe how the threads of the Weave are pulled into the gem of the ring and pulse out in shimmering waves, like heat waves in the desert. Or, perhaps you see the Weave twisting around the ring and emanating as a protective shield, repelling the cool air away from the item or attuned user

If that seems like too much detail to give the players unless they cast identify, you can always simplify it. The evocation item just changes the effect of the Weave around it, whereas the abjuration item forms a barrier.

There’s no need to go into detail of what precisely the barrier seems to repel. Either way, it creates a much more interesting encounter than a simple, “yep, it’s magical. Feels abjuration-y.” 


Since most of the effects of divination magic are described as invisible, sound descriptions are a great way to add flavor to this school of magic. So much of the way we learn and process information comes from what we hear. 

There is more to the sound of the School of Divination than just the silly voices we create whenever our druid casts speak with animals. Consider describing the sensation of a player casting clairvoyance.

Don’t just rely on that adorable squirrel voice. (Seriously though, I believe every DM has a squirrel voice)

They are suddenly being able to hear in another room as if they stood there themselves. There could be a little crackle or pop as ‘connection’ gets established. Or, in a less serious game, maybe the whole dial-up internet spiel. (provided your group is old enough to know what that is….gosh, I am getting old..)

From the ethereal whispers of the otherworldly murmuring knowledge into your mind to the way a comprehended language manifests to the ear of those under the influence of the Weave, there are countless creative ways to describe the sound of this invisible magic! 


Scent is another great way to describe divination magic. I like to use this sense when it comes to describing spells such as Detect Evil and Good or Detect Poison or Disease

Few things trigger memories or emotions like the sense of smell.

Since Detect Evil and Good senses specific types of creatures, it’s easy to describe the knowledge obtained by an aura of scent. A room might reek of rot or brimstone when a fiend or undead is nearby.

Or, the pleasant scent of nutmeg and spice could accompany the presence of a fey. The Paladin’s built in version of this spell, divine sense, actually describes the knowing of evil as a noxious odor

Just like Detect Evil and Good, I also use scent to describe the different types of poison or disease a creature is suffering from. Depending on the effects, I flavor the scent to give as much helpful information as I can. A feverish disease will smell acidic, a wasting disease will smell like decay, etc.

Some poisons come from certain creatures, like the toxins of a vibrant colored frog from the jungles. In those case, I would tell the player the recognize the scent of the exoctic flowers and know that this toxin came from that specific type of creature. 


Feeling is probably the easiest descriptor of divination magic to describe, because so much of what is learned through this art is based on “feeling.” You get a sense of the thoughts or emotions shared between others.

Humans have more than just 5 senses. Be sure to use the other senses too! Like the sense of time, balance, spritiual attunement and equibrium!

You gain divine “insight” to the weaknesses or locations of your target. While these senses are different from the traditional way we describe the sense of touch, they might still translate into touchy-feely adjectives. 

For example, let’s look at commune with nature. This spell gives information about the lay of the land. In this spell alone, you could lend your description to all five senses. The smell of fresh water, the sound of marching enemies. You could describe the sight of it all as though the player were having an out of body experience. 

But for me, the real gem of this spell is describing the way the land feels. The caster becomes one with nature, according to the spell description. This leaves it open to rich interpretation. Instead of feeling their own flesh and blood, the player is suddenly engulfed in the sense of being made from stone and earth.

Becoming one with nature can be both a fullfilling and terrifying experience. Nature is so vast and humans are not made to experience so much at once. What toll might this experience take on your player?

They feel the valleys and mountains as the contours of their own bodies, get the sense of the cool streams running along their skin. The cool breeze might cool their own temperature. Or, a magma pit might make them feverish. Whatever the land looks like, you can use the sense of touch to personify the experience to your caster. 


Taste is always a hard sense to describe, especially when it comes to intangible magic such as divination. But though it might take a little more creative effort on your part, the extra dimension it brings to the game will be well worth it. 

I don’t know about you, but I can taste this picture!

Our sense of taste is so closely related to the sense of smell that the descriptions could be very similar. Perhaps the scent of noxious fumes that accompanies evil might bring with it the taste of iron in the mouth.

If the scent of spices indicates a fey is in the room, perhaps the bitter taste that accompanies it tells you the fey might have nefarious intentions whereas a sugary sweetness might put you less on edge. 

Combining these two senses this way is a fun way to give more vivid flavor (all pun absolutely intended) to your games. If you wanted, you could even create a whole flavor pallet for magic, so that detect magic and identify reveal their schools of magic by giving the caster an impression of taste. Just make sure your players are aware of the magic pallet you’ve established for the game, and even invite them into the fun of helping you to create it. 

Until next time, my friends,

May your game have advantage!

-Halfling Hannah

Conjuration Magic in D&D 5e: A Complete Guide

Understanding Conjuration Magic

The School of Conjuration is home to magic that transports creatures or objects from one place to another. This school is responsible for your summon spells and teleportation spells. Rather than bending the Weave to create fire out of intrinsic magical energy, a mage casting a spell of conjuration reaches through the Weave to pull their desired effect from somewhere else. 

If you want to know more about the Weave and where magic comes from in the D&D universe, be sure to see my article that details everything you need to know!

As an example, casting a spell of conjuration might look like calling fire from the Elemental Plane of Fire, or it might look like teleporting yourself from one place to another. Regardless, what ties these spells together is not the result of the spell, but the method used to achieve that result. 

Summoning elements from other planes is the foundation of Conjuration Magic and a great way to introduce the idea of other planes of existence to your campaign!

Interestingly, the player’s handbook also casually mentions that some spells in the School of Conjuration create something out of nothing.

There isn’t more detail given than that, and I haven’t been able to find a hard and fast rule explaining which spell summons their effects and which just creates matter where once there was none. It is sort of up to the interpretation of the spell description, but even that isn’t always clear. So, here’s my take on it:

Because the Player’s Handbook also describes Raw Magic as the magic of creation (see my article on understanding the types of magic), and because mortals can’t touch Raw Magic, conjuration spells should fall into the summoning category most often.

True, this raises some awkward questions about whose Hero Feast your mage just stole, but so long as the constable doesn’t come knocking…who cares? (Actually, if the constable does come knocking, that would be a pretty funny side quest.) 

It’s completely up to you as the DM to decide where you want to draw the line on summoning and creating from nothing. The Players Handbook makes both interpretations of the School of Conjuration valid. It is up to you to decide how you want to flavor this school of magic to fit your world and your story best. 

What makes Conjuration Magic Different from other Schools

Conjuration casters are unique in that can reach into other planes of existence and pull their spells from them.

The difference between the School of Conjuration and other schools of magic is the method behind the magic. Just like there is more than one way to bake a cake, there is more than one way to cast a spell. The results may look the same, but the roadmap to get there is vastly different.

Many of the spells on the conjuration list look and read like evocation spells. For example, flaming sphere and fireball both manifest themselves as large balls of fire. But where fireball creates fire from the magical energy of the Weave around the caster, flaming sphere brings that fire from another plane of existence. 

Another common trait I have noticed that sets conjuration spells apart is the length of the effect. Although there are always exceptions to this rule, spells from the School of Conjuration tend to have longer-lasting effects

To use our fiery examples again, fireball is a one-and-done massive AOE attack. It does tons of damage all at once and then fizzles out. flaming sphere, on the other hand, creates a ball of fire that exists until the caster loses concentration, dismisses it, or time runs out. The caster can continue to move and manipulate their conjured ball of fire. 

Although fireball seems like it might be a conjuration spell, the fire comes from the energy of the Weave, while conjuration fire is summoned from the Plane of Fire itself.

The other description that is given for how these spells work is also completely unique to the School of Conjuration. No other school of magic allows the caster to create something out of nothing. Even evocations use something—the energy of the Weave itself—to create their spells.

If you choose to allow it in your game, a caster working in the School of Conjuration can literally bring their imagination to life. And if you stop and think about it, that is incredibly cool and leads to some amazing homebrew possibilities!

How to Use Conjuration Magic in your World

Conjuration magic can create some sticky questions if you really dive into it! You don’t have to, of course, but it is fun!

How you choose to use the School of Conjuration in your world largely depends on what kind of world you have created. I’ve already shared my take on it, where I lean towards the School of Conjuration essentially being the School of Transportation (not to be confused with transmutation).

This is because in my games, creation is a Big Deal. Only deities should have the power to create something from nothing–that’s why they’re deities. 

But maybe your world doesn’t have that hard and fast rule. Maybe instead, you’ve created a world with more rigid borders, so the ability to step through planes and pull something from somewhere else would break those rules. Or maybe, you just don’t want to deal with the explanation of where the material comes from to build Galder’s Tower. These are all completely valid reasons. 

However you choose to use the School of Conjuration, you will still have to consider how this type of magic would affect the world around it. What are the ramifications of mages who can just pull their needs to them at will? It’s one thing to call fire from the Elemental Plane of Fire. Odds are, no one is going to miss it. But that cloud of daggers has to come from somewhere

*Breaking news! The city armory has been robbed! officials say the weapons simply “disappeared.” Who could possibly be behind this heinous crime?*

If you choose to explain these spells as creations of nothing, you’ll need to explain the limits of what can be created. If spells like heroes’ feast and create food and water can make sustenance from nothing, then what else can magic do?

An important question to ask is, “Can mortals create?” If not, I would suggest not allowing those spells that specifically say the spell “creates” or re-flavoring them to fit better with your campaign.

Could a wizard who has studied the arts of conjuration effectively end world hunger? If so, why hasn’t someone tried? 

The answer to these questions will help you decide how you want to use the School of Conjuration in your world. 

Common Conjuration Spells

The list of spells for the School of Conjuration spans 92 different spells, according to the D&D 5e Spells app (want to know more about that app? Check it out in my article about Apps DMs need!). Their effects vary greatly, but in general, they fall into these three categories. 


The Elemental Plane of Fire is just as terrifying as it sounds. A landscape filled with magma, fire and ash with no water in sight.

Summon spells take two forms, summoning of effects and summoning of creatures. These are the spells that reach through the Weave and pull something from somewhere else

Conjuration spells that summon effects are spells such as flaming sphere, entangle, and acid spray. On paper, these spells could easily be from the School of Evocation. What makes them different is the origin of the effect. 

Conjuration spells that summon creatures are find familiar, find steed, and summon beast. All of these spells call a creature from another plane to assist the caster in their work. The creature that is summoned is described as a spirit, usually fey, fiend, or celestial. The spirits take different forms and perform different tasks based on the conjurer’s will. 


Conjuration is likely the most commonly associated spell for wizards. The whole “pull a rabbit from a hat” thing. Annoying, but technically conjuring!

Spells that teleport are spells that move something or someone from one place to another. In other words, the caster conjures themself or items from one place to another. misty step, thunder step, and wristpocket are all great examples of teleportation spells from the School of Conjuration. 

Misty step and thunder step are spells that transport individuals. Wristpocket is a nifty little trick that allows the caster to casually send a small item into an interdimensional pocket for an hour, or until the caster calls it back.

If you ever need to sneak a dagger past party security, the School of Conjuration is your ticket in. 


What kind of power does it take to create something from nothing? Should mortals be allowed to wield such power? Are there those in the world that would try to stop them?

Although I prefer to lean much more into the School of Conjuration’s magic of summoning, there are some spells that are just written to imply the effects were created from nothing. These are spells such as sword burst, mage hand, and unseen servant.  

Those spells might seem like strange choices, but there is a common language in their descriptions that leads me to think they were intended to be creations of the will, rather than elements borrowed from other places. 

Sword burst and mage hand are both describe “Creating a spectral image” of something. Either a hand or a ring of swords, in this context. The swords and the hand don’t operate like their normal counterparts. The damage for sword burst is force damage, not slicing damage. This is because these spells are creations of the caster’s mind, rather than summons of literal objects. 

Unseen servant is different from the other summon spells because it doesn’t say that you call the servant from somewhere. The spell literally says that the servant “springs into existence” when the ritual is cast. It is not described as a spirit like other summon spells, but rather it is an invisible, mindless force that obeys your commands. Like sword burst and mage hand, the unseen servant is a creation of the caster’s will, a force that is made from nothing but is now something.  

Common Conjuration Items

When it comes to magic items with School of Conjuration effects, some of them are just plain fun. From hats that produce animals to instant-travel trinkets, the School of Conjuration has just the item you need. 

As I mentioned before, always keep in mind that in D&D 5e, magic items don’t have to belong to a school of magic. That being said, here are some examples of items I would assign to the School of Conjuration. 

Bag of Tricks (wondrous item, uncommon):

Best. Item. EVER.

The Bag of Tricks is quickly becoming one of my most favorite magic items. Who doesn’t love a bag that conjures tribbles and turns them into real animals? This bag comes in three varieties, and the color of the bag determines which critter you get. 

A character can reach their hand into the bag three times a day and find a “fuzzy object” which can be thrown up to twenty feet. A d8 is rolled to determine the creature, and bam. Instant animal, which is friendly and controlled by you. The creature remains until it reaches 0 HP or until the next dawn, whichever comes first. 

Now if you decide to use the Bag of Tricks in your game, you’ll have to ask yourself the tough questions. Where exactly does that animal come from? Does the bag allow you to reach through the realms and pull a bear out of its home for your purposes? Or does the animal simply pop into existence when their “fuzzy object” is activated? 

These are questions you will have to answer which will make for interesting role-play elements. Perhaps an angry druid comes after your player because they keep ‘abducting’ the druid’s forest friends. When the animal reaches 0 HP, does it die, or just go home? Whatever you decide, make sure your players know what they’re getting themselves into every time they throw their “fuzzy object.” 

If Conjuration really does take from other places, there are such to be some really confused animals out there…don’t worry buddy! It will all be over soon…

Amulet of the Planes (wondrous item, very rare):

Okay, this one isn’t exactly a ‘common’ magical item, but it is such a great example of a School of Conjuration item that I couldn’t pass it up. 

The Amulet of the Planes allows a character to travel to another plane of existence they are familiar with. All that is required is a DC 15 intelligence check. Upon a successful roll, they are able to cast the Plane Shift spell. 

There are, of course, consequences to failing. On a failed roll, the user and every person and thing within fifteen feet of the caster are sent to a completely random location on another plane of existence. 

It most assuredly was NOT fine.

Can you just…imagine the chaos? You try to go visit your buddies in the Feywilds but a few bad roles later you end up in Avernus? Or maybe your players are trapped in another plane and just want to go home, and after a long hard dungeon crawl they find the magic item that will get them there. Only they end up somewhere worse. 

One important thing to consider when using this magic item is whether or not it has a cooldown period. The description of the item doesn’t specify a recharge or anything related to how often it can be used, so you may want to think about that before giving it to the party. If you plan to use it as a plot device, make sure your players can’t just plane shift out of the situation.

Flask of Perpetual Booze (wondrous item, uncommon):

Thanks for this gem, Nott!

Let’s be honest. The name really says it all, doesn’t it? The Flask of Perpetual Booze does exactly what it says it does. Open the flask, pour drink. Up to a gallon of hard whiskey, to be exact. Wait an hour, and repeat. Just don’t let it sit, or your whiskey will turn to brine.

This little gem of an item is a fun thing to reward your players with that won’t necessarily break your game. It’ll definitely create some interesting moments, however! Wherever the whiskey is actually coming from, your players will never be short on spirits as they adventure across the multiverse. And, depending on how dark your campaign is, they just might need it.

Describing Conjuration Magic in Your World 

When it comes to describing the School of Conjuration in your world, you’ll have to decide first how the magic works. The sensation of pulling something from somewhere else is probably different than the sensation of creating matter out of thin air. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at how to describe conjuration at your table. 


Since magic from the School of Conjuration usually manifests with a visible effect, the way you choose to describe its appearance is vitally important. There is so much opportunity for creativity and flavor with these spells, it’s really up to you and your players to decide what fits their character and world best. 

Almost all of the summoned creatures are really spirits of some kind that take the form of a creature that the caster chooses. What do these spirits look like? Does your druid’s owl familiar look like an ordinary owl, or do they glow faintly with spectral light?

Summoning a familiar for the first time is an important part of a young Wizard’s life! Make sure the experience is a memorable one!

Whichever you choose will have ramifications for how the familiar can be used. A glowing cat won’t blend in as well as a normal cat, which would limit its ability to be used to spy. Want more on familiars? Be sure to see my article all about how to use familiars in your campaign!

Another thing I like to consider when thinking about summoning spirits is if they appear as the spirit first and then morph into their shape, or if they appear already pre-shaped. By giving the spirit a true form first, you have an opportunity to truly add flavor to the magic. What does it say about your Paladin if the spirit the summon for a steed manifests as a fiend first, and then takes the form of a warhorse? That could create some interesting conversations around the table! 

As always, feel free to change the way a spell looks regardless of the description. In one game that I run, I have a player who is an Air Genasi Ranger. Rather than ensnaring strike manifesting as vines and thorns, he asked if it could manifest as something akin to a localized tornado that restrains the target.

Since it fit the theme of his character better, I allowed it, explaining that the 1d6 piercing damage would come from rocky debris instead of thorns. The spell does the exact same thing mechanically, it just looks different based on what fit the character and the story better. 


When bending reality to summon something particularly nasty, like a Barlgura, rip a piece of paper to simulate the sound of the very fabric of the Weave tearing to bring the creature to your plane!

The sound that always comes to mind when I think of conjuration magic is the sound of a fabric ripping. I know, it’s pretty cliché, but the spells work by opening portals and transporting effects. Specifically, it opens portals through the Weave. That just screams ripping-fabric sound effects. 

The other sound effect I often think of when browsing spells from the School of Conjuration is a “popping” sound, as things just “pop” into existence. Mage hand, misty step, and unseen servant are spells I would assign such a sound effect to. 


Since the School of Conjuration is the school of summons, the scents I would choose to describe would be the lingering scents of the origin of the spell. Flaming sphere might bring with it the heavy odor of sulphur and smoke, whereas fog cloud might carry with it the heavy smell of mildew. 

Use smells your players will instantly recognize. They may not know the smell of “brimstone” but everyone knows the distinct smell of a lit match!

Ascribing unusual scents to summoned steeds or animals is another great way to make these critters a little more than average creatures. Perhaps an animal created from the conjure animal spell always has the scent of herbs and spices lingering on its fur, reminiscent of its true fey-form. Or perhaps the summoned fiend-steed we mentioned earlier carries with it the scent of death as it rides


There are two ways that I think about how casting a Conjuration spell might feel. The first is the sensation of grasping for that conjured item from another realm. When your caster flings their hand forward and shoots an ice knife, their hand has dipped into the Plane of Ice.

Do they feel the chill in their blood? Is there some frost on their fingernails? 

Spells that summon elements will have an effect on the area around where they were summoned. Be sure to keep this in mind and describe what other characters feel after ice or fire is summoned from the elemental planes.

Another thing I like to think about is what it feels like to teleport. Does misty step feel like dissolving and reappearing? Or is it more of a compressed and then decompressed sensation? Either might be terrifying which explains why some never learn teleportation magic.

Is it the same for all teleportation spells, or does the effect vary depending on which spell is used? I can just imagine Wizards arguing over preferred methods of instant-transportation based on which feels better. 

The second thing that I think about when it comes to describing the physical sensation of conjuration magic is the way it would feel to make something from nothing.

The unseen servant is the most blatant example I can think of since the text of the spell is so clear. The servant is a force that ‘springs into existence’ the moment this spell is cast. It is not perceived visually at all and based on the way it reads, I don’t think it can be perceived with any other sense either. The only way to know where the servant is located is by watching it affect the world around it and by feeling it. 

When your wizard creates the servant, what does it feel like for a manifestation of their imagination to spring into existence? Can they feel a physical connection to it once it appears? Are other players able to feel the force of it if it brushes past them performing their tasks? The same question can be asked about mage hand and sword burst. 


While I normally don’t recommend players tasting magical manifestations of power, the School of Conjuration is a happy exception. This school actually creates food and water! There’s even a spell for it, aptly called create food and water. 

Of course, the create food and water spell already tells you how it tastes–bland. But at least it is good for you. On the other hand, you have a spell like heroes’ feast which conjures a magical array of food and drink that is described as “magnificent.” Magnificent food should probably taste magnificent. 

Heroes’ Feast is the official cookbook of D&D and it has some really tasty treasures in its pages! Try it out!

If you want to conjure your own Hero’s Feast, you should grab the official DND cookbook, aptly named “Heroes’ Feast!” I have tried many of the recipes in this book and I and my players have loved them all! You can pick up a copy from Amazon, but I would ask you get it from our local game store instead, you can check out the book here and get a discount! Whoot!

When it comes to describing how these things might taste, I think it comes down to where it comes from. In my games, magically created food has a strange, magic taste to it. Almost like the residue of the Weave has clung to the created thing. Even when the description of the taste is already in the spell description, it’s up to you as the DM to decide.

If your players or your NPCs use conjuration magic, I hope this has given you some ideas on how to truly make it your own!

Until next time, my friends,

May your game have advantage!

-Halfling Hannah

Abjuration Magic in D&D 5e: A Complete Guide

Understanding Abjuration Magic

The School of Abjuration is known as the magic of protection, but don’t let that distinction fool you. Some of the spells in this school can do some nasty damage. Just as a shield can be as deadly as the sword it is paired with, so abjuration magic can be a surprising tool for your glass cannon casters. 

Sure, it might lack the flashiness of some evocations and conjurations. But to that fiend who takes 5d10 radiant damage when they try to teleport into your party’s 40,000 square foot Batcave-like lair only to be forbidden by forbiddance, it’s no joke. 

A mage who uses spells from the school of Abjuration bends the Weave to form magical barriers and shields. They can also negate harmful effects such as poison or curses, set some nasty traps, and even banish dangerous enemies to other realms. The focus of these spells is to repel bad things and keep good things (or people) safe. 

Mechanically speaking, this is the AC-boosting, HP-raising class of magic. It is the ultimate support school. The best defense is sometimes exactly that–defense. You don’t have to heal what isn’t wounded. No one ever said that defense had to be boring. 

What makes Abjuration Magic Different from other Schools

Unlike the other schools, Abjuration magic focuses on protection and defense.

The School of Abjuration gets its definition from the motivation behind the magic rather than the magical source or effects themselves. There are several different ways that abjuration magic manifests that it can sometimes be easy to confuse the spells with evocations or conjurations. 

What truly sets the School of Abjuration apart from the other schools is not the form of the magic, but the purpose behind the magic.

Abjuration magic is specifically geared towards defense and protection in a way that no other school fully excels at. Other schools of magic can be used defensively, but none of them do so as effectively as abjuration

Even the abjuration spells that have a damaging effect, such as armor of Agathys or forbiddance, do so as a secondary effect. The first and primary task of any School of Abjuration spell is to keep the spellcaster and/or their allies safe. 

Whether it be from imminent, physical danger, a poison that creeps through your veins or prying eyes and ears, the one thing all abjuration spells have in common is their purpose to protect. 

How to Use Abjuration Magic in your World

If your players are adept at avoiding your carefully laid plans, use Abjuration magic to force them to face challenges.

I won’t lie, I am a bit guilty of abusing the School of Abjuration in my games. It’s just too tempting! “Can I misty step through the door to get to the bad guy?” Er… uhm… no… because… magic… yeah. 

Okay, so that’s not exactly how abjuration works. But if my warlock uses detect magic on my DM-BS, I’m going to tell her that abjuration is the reason I’ve railroaded her into solving the riddle instead of teleporting past my not very well-thought-out plans.

No, don’t judge me! We’ve all done it at least once in our DM lives! It was a cool riddle! 

Okay, okay. All jokes aside, the School of Abjuration really is a great tool to have in your toolbox when it comes to designing challenges. Since most D&D settings are highly magical in nature, there needs to be some sort of counterbalance to seemingly unlimited abilities.

That counterbalance is abjuration. 

Could you imagine living in a world where a few spoken words and components could turn a less-than-savory individual invisible?

Or a fancy magical item could make an assassin look like an innocent bystander? That kind of power is scary if you really think about it. And if you’re a monarch living in a world like that, you’ve definitely thought about it. 

Depending on what your players are trying to do, abjuration magic is probably in the way. Someone who has something worth questing for is someone who has something worth guarding.

Valuable things are guarded. Those that have the ability to use magic to guard them will surely do so.

Important people and villains probably have alarms set to warn of intruders. Depending on how secret their secret base is, they may have traps and snares set up.  

Just looking through the list of abjuration spells gave me a whole new roster of inspiration for dungeon traps and encounters.

There is really no limit to how your NPCs and villains could be using protection magic to guard themselves and their loot. It’s a scary world out there, with adventurers and dragons running rampant. It only makes sense that the world is prepared to fight magical threats with magical defenses.  

Common Abjuration Spells

Abjuration magic basically says, “No, thank you. Stay away from me and everything I love.”

According to my research–which consisted entirely of filtering by abjuration on the D&D Spells 5e app–there are 52 spells in the School of Abjuration. That’s 52 different ways to just say “no” to whatever situation you don’t want to happen. 

No, you can’t teleport here.

No, actually, you can’t see me.

And, no, thank you. I don’t feel like being blinded right now.

There is a lot that the School of Abjuration can do, but in general, the spells fall into one of five types of effects. 


Buffs add benefits while “de-buffs” take away benefits or add penalities.

Spells that buff are spells that alter some type of score. In this context, it is usually armor class or hit points.

Staples of this category are mage armor and shield. These spells increase armor class and are intended to make a target less easy to hit. Aid is another great buffing spell, which gives temporary HP. 

One of my favorite buffing spells is ceremony, which gives a wide variety of benefits depending on how it is used. You can bless converts, make holy water, or even give a bonus +2 AC as a wedding gift to a happy couple for 7 days!

I’m still trying to figure out who gets married and then chooses monster-slaying as their honeymoon destination…

(Is that why Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann decided to get married in the middle of that boss fight in Pirates of the Caribbean?)

This isn’t about love, it’s about the meta!

Negate Effects:

Whoa! No need to cast that spell! But if you do, I will negate it.

A spell that negates effects makes a bad thing that happened stop happening.

These are the spells that I often forget my players have until they casually whip them out just in time to thwart my diabolical schemes.

(Or, if you’re a player like me, you also forget you have them and spend three rounds of combat blinded until the effect wears off on its own…)

Greater and lesser restoration, protection from good and evil, and dispel magic are all great examples of spells that negate effects that every adventuring party and evil NPC enterprise should have access to.

These spells remove certain pesky conditions such as blinded, poisoned, deafened, or paralysis. In the case of protection from good and evil, the targeted creature is immune to certain conditions based on the parameters the caster chooses. 

Keep Away:

Abjuration magic is great for locking away valuables from even the most adept of rogues!

The “Keep Away” spells are spells like arcane lock, forbiddance, and alarm.

These spells keep out intruders of various types in various ways.

From as simple as alerting the caster to the presence of uninvited guests to an explosive reason not to try and barge your way in, these spells make long rests actually restful. 

Every locked door that requires a riddle to open is a door enchanted with arcane lock. It can only be opened by those who know the right password. Assuming your players don’t have access to dispel magic, this is a great time to throw in that riddle you’ve been holding onto for so long. 


“Put that thing back where it came from OR SO HELP ME.”

Banishing spells are one of my favorite mechanics of this school of magic. Nothing says “I can’t even with you right now” like casting banishment on a Balor to send them back to their home plane. It’s like hanging up on a telemarketer who won’t leave you alone about your nonexistent car warranty

Even better than banishment is banishing smite, if you’re a paladin. It’s essentially the same as banishment, except you cast it with a righteous smackdown in the name of your deity or oath.

True, you have to knock it down to a certain level of HP for it to work, but just think of that sweet satisfaction when you slap that monster out of contemporary existence

Avoid Notice:

‘Who’s there??’ “No one.” ‘WHO SAID THAT’ …. “Umm….it’s a ghooooooooost.” -actual conversation had between an NPC and an Abjuration Wizard at my table.

Sometimes the best way to defend yourself is to just not get caught, and the School of Abjuration has spells for that, too. Pass without trace and nondetection are prime examples of this. One adds +10 to your stealth rolls while the other protects you from divination magic. 

In addition to these, I also include mind blank as a spell to avoid notice. This spell is so powerful, not even wish can get around it.

Mind blank makes it impossible for any creature to penetrate your mind. They can’t divine your thoughts, sense your emotions, or damage you psychically.

As far as your nosey adversary can tell, there is nothing going on in that head of yours. It’s a really useful spell when you’re the only one in the world with the nuclear launch codes, or when your jealous ex-supervillain doesn’t understand that you blocked them on Instagram for a reason.

Common Abjuration Items

Magic items that produce abjuration effects are incredibly useful for a party of adventurers. In my experience, my players always want to build their characters to do the most damage. While this isn’t true for absolutely every party, it is a common trait among my circle of players.

One way to help your party play the characters they want to play without having to sacrifice spell slots on support, (more slots to go boom!) is to give them magic items from the School of Abjuration. 

Unlike in previous editions of Dungeons and Dragons, magic items in D&D 5e don’t actually have to belong to a school of magic.

That means when your warlock finds that cool magic trinket and casts Detect Magic on it, you don’t actually have to tell them anything more than the fact that it is magical.

Crazy right???

That’s a little-known fact I would have liked to have known when I first started DMing! (so many panic searches…)

But for those moments when the mystery of the item isn’t the point of the adventure and/or your players just won’t let it go, (“ACTUALLY, It says RIGHT HERE I get to know the school of magic!” …can it, Kevin.) here are some nifty magic items I would label as belonging to the School of Abjuration.

Orbs of Shielding (wondrous item, common):

Come at me NOW with your fire breath, ya dang dragon!

These little crystal balls come in every flavor of the magic rainbow. From Acid to Thunder, the Orbs of Shielding allow the holder to reduce the damage of its allotted type by 1d4 to a minimum of 0.

It is also able to be used by a spell caster as a spellcasting focus! Two birds, one polished spherical chunk of crystal! 

Orbs of Shielding are particularly useful when you know you have an encounter coming up that will deal a significant amount of one type of damage. It’s also incredibly useful to you as a DM if you have a sorcerer who flavors all their spells as one type of damage.

If your pyro-mage likes to spam fire bolt on command, consider giving an enemy an Orb of Fire Shielding to make the fight a little more challenging. Then, depending on how you feel about giving your players magic items, let them loot it for a fun reward! 

Lock of Trickery (wondrous item, common):

This is just too good to not use.

The Lock of Trickery is a fun little magic item that has the potential to frustrate your players. This lock appears to be just a normal, ordinary, average, everyday, run-of-the-mill lock.

Until your rogue tries to pick it. 

The tumblers within Lock of Trickery magically adjust to thwart those who would break into it. This means, mechanically speaking, that dexterity checks to pick the lock have disadvantage.

I like to imagine that the lock snickers a little bit every time a rogue fails to defeat its machination (just like I do, hehe). 

The Lock of Trickery does come with one key, so there is potential to make a quest out of finding the key to get into whatever is locked up.

Perhaps after a failed attempt or two, the party moves on and discovers the key hidden in another room. Perhaps they have to smooth-talk it out of someone or pickpocket it from the owner. There is plenty of potential to make an ordinary locked box something a little more fun with the Lock of Trickery. Just make sure whatever is locked up in there is worth all the trouble. 

Amulet of Proof against Detection and Location (wondrous item, uncommon):

Long name, incredibly useful item!

Wow, that’s a doozy of a name. The Amulet of Proof against Detection and Location does exactly what it says it does: it protects the wearer against divination magic. While wearing this trinket, you cannot be perceived by magic scrying or sensors. 

This magic item is an INCREDIBLY important tool for us Dungeon Masters. Because, finally, I have something that will thwart my paladin’s divine sense.

Nothing kills intrigue and suspense faster than, “I cast Divine Sense.” Any chance the vampire BBEG had of trying to convince the players he was good went right out the window. 

But now, with this simple piece of fashion accessory, I can create a bit more mystery in my games. And while it is true that divine sense isn’t ‘labeled’ as divination magic, it works exactly like the spell detect good and evil, which is a divination spell. There is enough ambiguity in the item and the feature that you could justly rule one way or the other. (don’t ya just love the magic system?? *rubs temples*)

Either way, this amulet, along with other School of Abjuration items, is an excellent way to keep a bit of mystery and fun alive in your D&D adventures! 

Describing Abjuration Magic in Your World 

When it comes to describing the School of Abjuration in your world, consider what makes Abjuration magic abjuration Even though there are many different types and flavors of abjuration spells, we know that they all have the goal of protection in common. So with that in mind, let’s look at some ideas for describing abjuration magic. 


The way a spell looks when it manifests is probably the first thing a person would notice when an abjuration spell is cast. Consider something that would fit the theme of your world and the person casting their spell. As an example, let’s look at shield

Shield is a reaction spell that increases armor class temporarily. There are myriad ways that could look, though. Maybe it’s as simple as a glowing, ethereal bubble between the caster and the attacker.

Perhaps it manifests as a full suit of magical-glowing armor, or just a light that shimmers over the character’s skin. It could appear as a literal shield that arises just in time to protect the target of the spell. 

Even a spell as simple as “Shield” can be unique and make your players feel special based on the way you describe it.

The description of the appearance of a spell is a prime opportunity for you to incorporate your players into the building of the game.

Ask your players what makes their character safe and protected, and consider using that to shape the elements of their abjuration manifestations.


The world is full of wonderful and terrible sounds! Be sure to include them when describing magic!

There are two ways I think about describing the sound of aberration magic in my games. The first is the actual sound of the chanting. 

Most spells require some sort of somatic component to cast them. You and your players don’t necessarily have to come up with the chants and the words themselves, but think about what a protection spell might sound like.

The words are probably bold and forceful, a verbal representation of a boundary that can’t be crossed. They are words that, under no circumstance, are meant to be argued with. 

Another way of looking at sound in magic is the sound of the manifested magic itself. Let’s look at snare as an example.

This spell requires a rope in a 5-foot circle to be enchanted into a magical trap. Specifically, the spell says it is nearly invisible and must be discerned with a check against the caster’s DC check. In addition to describing the faint visual light one might see, you could also opt to describe a low thrumming sound from the spell’s location. 

I like to imagine abjuration magic as having a deep, low sound, like that feeling when the bass drops and you know something is about to go down. It’s like the rattle of a snake warning you that it is about to strike, telling you to back off and give it space.

Your players automatically know it’s time to gear up and be on their guard. 

Whatever safety and protection sounds like to you and your players, that’s the sound you’ll want to describe. 


Scent is the sense most linked to memory. Describing is a great way to get the “feel” you are trying to establish!

Scent is probably one of the least described senses in most games, but it can create the most interesting sense of realism.

When I think of “safe” smells, the first thing that comes to my mind is metal and oil. That might seem a little strange, but it’s the smell I associate with old locks and vaults.  

Of course, not every spell is about locking things up and keeping them safe. Perhaps lessor restoration leaves a cleansing smell, such as myrrh or sage or other herbs and spices generally associated with cleansing. Or maybe, it just leaves a smell of bleach. Whichever one fits your setting better.

When it comes to the banishing smells, I like the idea of the scent of the other plane of existence lingering in the air afterward.

Did your players send a Balor back to whence it came? Describe the acrid scent of sulfur and death from its realm. Let the air be permeated with the reminder of what your players almost had to face. If the concentration is broken and the creature is able to return, let that scent be the warning to your players that it’s not over yet


Just looking at this guy makes my mouth feel on edge! What about you?

I’m just going to go out on a limb here and say that I don’t recommend players or NPCs make a habit out of licking magic, or strange magical objects, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared for any situation. That being said, when it comes to ‘tasting’ magic there are more options than just describing the flavor of a potion. 

Even if your players aren’t actually licking anything, taste can still be a strong sensory stimulant. As an example, let’s look at protection from poison. Regardless of how a player became poisoned, a bitter taste in the mouth is a common symptom. When a player is cured by this spell, consider how a sweet taste might replace the bitter one

If you’re casting absorb elements, what do those elements taste like?

They’re absorbed into your character, and everything is connected. Odds are you’re going to taste it. Is fire smokey, or lightning spicey? Does cold remind your character of shaved ice, or does acid taste sour? Coming up with different flavors is a great way to engage your players in the story and the world. 


Strong magic can push people and objects away, be sure to include this when you can.

Feeling Abjuration magic can be a two-fold experience. There is what the caster feels when they twist the Weave, and there is what those who experience the magic feel. 

Because of the nature of the School of Abjuration, I always imagine the magic feeling strong and solid. Shield ought to feel like a heavy, protective shield. Banishment should have all the force of a bouncer tossing rowdy tavern goers out the door.

When my spellcasters cast some type of abjuration, I want them to feel the force of their will snapping into place. 

On the other hand, when someone is on the receiving end of an abjuration spell, I want them to feel that force working against them.

When shield prevents my wizard from getting sliced, I want that NPC to feel the reverberation of their blade striking the magic all the way up their arm. We all know that feeling, when an unstoppable object discovers it is not so unstoppable after all.

Worst. sensation. ever.

That’s the kind of description I want to leave my players with.

Of course, not all abjuration is forceful and strong. Lessor restoration might not manifest as kicking poison out of the body, it might feel like hot soup on a cold day. Subtle, reviving, comforting. 

What could possibly be more comforting?

One of my absolute favorite descriptions of magic comes from the Players Handbook on page 205, when talking about the Weave. The book describes dispel magic as “smoothing out the Weave” that has been twisted by another’s magic. What a beautiful and relatable image! 

As with anything in D&D, it is important to remember that the story belongs to you and your players. The suggestions above are just that–suggestions. Hopefully, they will inspire you to come up with your own creative ways to describe Abjuration magic in your world. 

To better engage your players in this, when they cast an Abjuration spell, ask them about one of the senses and let THEM describe it to the table!

Ask questions like, “You cast Dispel Magic and you can feel the arcane nature of this item falling away. What does it feel like?”


You cast Greater Restoration, the person breathes in deeply, what do they smell?

Asking specific, guiding questions will allow your players to know what they should describe and give you some fun details to work with!

I hope this gives your game advantage, my friends!

Until next time,

-Halfling Hannah

Every School of Magic and How to Use Them D&D 5e

The Schools of Magic in D&D 5e is a system mostly designed to organize spells. It groups all magic into one of eight categories:

For a complete guide for each type of magic, just click on the link above for the school you are looking for!

Magic is an essential element in any fantasy story or game, and Dungeons and Dragons is no exception. But if you’re anything like me, magic has been nothing more than another mechanic to manage. and Schools of magic?

That sounds like something your wizard PC has to worry about. All you as the DM need to know is how to thwart–I mean, create challenges suitable for your magically inclined players. 

But magic should be, well, magical, and as DMs, it is our job to help create that sense of wonder for the players who come to our tables. We should aspire to bring the fantastical to life, and one way of doing that is by understanding the different ways that magic affects your world.

Describing individual magic effects is a small detail that will add a lot of value to your campaign!

As with anything in D&D, magic is subjective to your vision. You are the DM, you get to decide how you want magic to function. There is no hard science behind the made-up laws of a fictional game.

But having an understanding of how magic was designed to work in the world of Dungeons and Dragons will help us to create an engaging environment for our players to escape to when we gather around the table (or virtual table). 

Fortunately for us, there are plenty of resources out there to call on. Wizards of the Coast has kindly put together a system of magic that is conveniently organized into eight simple, helpful, easy-to-remember, not-at-all-confusing schools of magic. 


Maybe not so easy to remember. 

For those of you like me, who have to frantically google “schools of magic” every time your doe-eyed warlock innocently spams detect magic in every room of your carefully planned magic-trapped filled dungeon, this guide is for you.

Hopefully, it will give your games advantage as you bring magic to life at your table! 

The Difference Between “Raw Magic” and “The Weave”

Raw Magic is “the stuff of creation.” It is the energy of existence as old as time itself.

Before we take the full dive into each of the different schools of magic, I’d like to take a moment to talk about Raw Magic and the Weave. It is, pun absolutely intended, the blanket approach to understanding magic in D&D. 

The Weave is the barrier between Raw Magic and the realms. Raw Magic, as defined by the Players Handbook on page 205, is “the stuff of creation.” It is the energy of existence, dwelling in every molecule in all of creation. It permeates all matter, and all things that exist do so because of Raw Magic. 

We mere mortals don’t get to play with Raw Magic. Suffice to say, we’re not worthy and bad things happen to those who try. Instead, our magically inclined characters cast their spells by manipulating the Weave, the invisible force of magic that separates mortals from the well of Raw Magic. 

Like a spider’s web, pulling on one thread of the weave could trigger unknown or unwanted consequences.

The Weave has been described in many ways. The most common descriptions I came across referred to it as a blanket, a barrier, a fabric, or a web. Like a layer of snow, the Weave covers everything in the multiverse.

It is a force of energy that can be grasped and manipulated by those who have the inclination to try. All casters access the Weave differently, but all casters cast by the Weave. 

If you really want to mess with your players, consider wrinkling the Weave a little. It is entirely possible to disrupt the Weave and, therefore, disrupt magic.

The Weave can be broken, torn, even destroyed. Magical catastrophes, warzones, and the like can cause significant damage to the fabric of magic.

Such places can either be magical ‘dead zones’ or fonts of unpredictable surges of Wild Magic. The possibilities for randomness and chaos are endless, and for me personally, too tempting not to play with. 

Arcane Magic in D&D 5e

Anyone can learn magic, very few can master it.

To further break down the system of magic in D&D 5e, casters are categorized into two types, The first of which are known as Arcane mages. 

Arcane Magic is cast by those who study the Weave and learn how to pull on the threads of magic. Classically, these are your wizards, bards, artificers, and so on. Anyone who learns magic through study practices the Arcane arts. 

Depending on how into the details your players like to get, this can create a multitude of role-play opportunities.

Sure, we can just make our wizards deduct the proper amount of gold and say they learned their spell during their downtime. But what if they meet a wizened old hermit, instead?

What if there is a whole sidequest devoted to the tracking down of a dying sage to learn the final secrets of their most infamous spell? 

Requiring players to learn new spells from other magic users or their deities can be a fantastic way to add realism to your campaign!

And yeah, that spell might just be fireball on paper, but how much more rewarding would it be to learn fireball from a quirky NPC who made you answer riddles and hunt down weird spell components first?

It takes a D&D cliche and turns it into an epic story-telling moment, one that might just stick with your players throughout the campaign. 

Divine Magic in D&D 5e

Those with a special purpose are blessed with the gift of magic to bring about change in the world. But they are also held accountable to a higher standard. What would happen if they broke their promise or misused their powers?

Casters who practice Divine Magic are those who are given the ability to touch the Weave by higher powers. Clerics, paladins, even druids and rangers, are all considered Divine magic users. 

Unlike the Arcane magician, the Divine mage taps into the weave through the power of their faith and devotion. To some, this devotion is to their deity. Through prayer and supplication, they work in tandem with their god to influence the world with magic. 

Others might grasp the Weave through their devotion to a sacred oath or calling. Their belief in their purpose or mission grants them magic. Whatever it may be, the Divine Mage is granted the power to see the world changed. 

Nature itself can be a source of magic. Those who spend most of their lives in nature can learn its subtle secrets.

Just like with the Arcane classes, there is plenty of opportunity to work this mechanic into your story. In a recent game I ran, my players were leveling up to level 3. The paladin in my party had already ‘taken her oath’ in her backstory, so I didn’t want to make her repeat it when she took her subclass. Instead, I gave her a dream sequence, where an avatar of her deity came and spoke to her. He bestowed greater powers on her to face the challenges that were coming her way. 

I could have just said, ‘as you get more experience you discover you have new powers,’ but where is the fun in that? By using my player’s unique story and the mechanics of magic, I was able to create an engaging story moment that made her feel specially called to the mission at hand. 

There is a lot that can be done by flavoring the player’s particular style of magic to their experience in the game. As we look further at the way magic manifests, we’ll find even more details we can pull on to shape our worlds. 

The Schools of Magic in D&D 5e

Magic is divided into 8 schools or categories.

The Schools of Magic in D&D 5e is a system mostly designed to organize spells. It groups all magic into one of eight categories. It’s kind of like the taxonomy classification in the real world, and honestly at times, just as arbitrary. Like the platypus, there are a lot of spells that seem to fit into more than one category. It is best to consider it “more of a guideline.”

If we’re being completely honest, the schools of magic aren’t usually relevant except in certain niche scenarios, such as wizard subclasses or trying to discern the use of a mysterious magic item. At least, those are the only scenarios I’ve encountered the need to google ‘schools of magic’ for. 

But we’re not just DMs, we’re great DMs, and the more we know, the more flavor we can add to the worlds we create. We can use the Schools of Magic to add all sorts of layers and textures to our game that will wow our players and send them away starry-eyed. 

Or, more likely, be completely ignored by our players who just want to roll the damage on their Fireball…like seriously are these zombies charred to smithereens yet? Why are we still talking about the smell of sulfur and singed hair? Let’s get on with the monster-slaying already!

Oookay…maybe that’s just my experience…But for those of you out there interested in painting with fine details, who are blessed with players who appreciate fine details, let’s break down the schools of magic! 

To get a full, deep dive into each school of magic, simply click the link below for the school you are interested in! It will open the article in a new window so you can keep this article up and explore schools of magic to your heart’s content!

Until next time, my friends,

May your game, have advantage!

-Halfling Hannah