5th Edition Spells – Control Flames

Control Flames

Druid, Sorcerer, Wizard - Cantrip Level Spell

School: Transmutation
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: 60 ft
Components: Somatic
Duration: Instantaneous
Attack/Save: None
Reference: EEPC 152

You choose nonmagical flame that you can see within range and that fits within a 5-foot cube. You affect it in one of the following ways:

  • You instantaneously expand the flame 5 feet in one direction, provided that wood or other fuel is present in the new location.
  • You instantaneously extinguish the flames within the cube.
  • You double or halve the area of bright light and dim light cast by the flame, change its color, or both. The change lasts for 1 hour.
  • You cause simple shapes—such as the vague form of a creature, an inanimate object, or a location—to appear within the flames and animate as you like. The shapes last for 1 hour.If you cast this spell multiple times, you can have up to three of its non-instantaneous effects active at a time, and you can dismiss such an effect as an action.

My Comments: Everybody wants to know how spells and abilities are going to help them in their murderhobo careers of killing, looting and killing some more, so let’s get that out of the way. If you’ve played Curse of Strahd or Lost Mine of Phandelver you might have run into some annoyingly animated plants, like twig blight and awakened shrubs. Luckily, these things have fire vulnerability, so let’s have the rogue toss a torch at them or some flaming oil. Oh no, they missed! Luckily, you can pick up their slack with a wave of the hand and send the fire 5″ over to their target, wave again and it jumps from one to another.

The big bonus? It’s just a cantrip. Another big bonus? It’s just a wave of the hand, so if you’re caught in a silence spell, you can still cast this one.

For item three on the list, all you elves and dwarves, you can help human out, can’t ya? Obviously, this is great for making torches more effective, but how else could it be used? Maybe as a rogue, you’d like to reduce the like coming from a torch or campfire as you sneak by. Maybe as a poncy mage, you’d like to have torches flare up as you enter a room. Maybe you just need more light to read by and the tower library is very stingy about lanterns.

For the final aspect, anime! You get to create campfire anime! How cool is that? 🙂

Seriously though, imagine your rogue is sneaking around a room and you can see from a different vantage point that guards are coming. Wave your hand silently and cause the torch sconce next to your rogue to show an image of your face shaking your head and pointing in the direction of the guards, then dim all the torches in the area so the sneakster can slip into the shadows. Wave your hand again and have another torch throw some of its flames onto a curtain and suddenly the two guards are too busy putting out the totally normal accidental fire to notice the rogue slipping past them.

The upside; it’s a fun cantrip-level spell with a lot of flexibility and only somatic components. The downside; it takes up a full action and only affects normal flames. All in all, a very worthwhile spell to keep in your back pocket.

Dave Goff

Writing and creating in my spare time to avoid going crazy in this mad, mad, world. Check out some of my materials on DMsGuild and let me know what you think! subscribe to keep up with new posts and leave comments to keep the conversation going.


  1. Oland on May 9, 2017 at 2:45 am

    This makes me think of a game where the only magic that is accessible to characters to start is Cantrips, seems like it could be super interesting.

    • DaveGoff on May 9, 2017 at 7:18 am

      Right? I think it would be really interesting. Of course, every non-magic using class would need to be just as limited. We’re kind of doing that with Storm Children but I think it would be interesting to do it with a more standard game.

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