5th Edition Spells – Fire Bolt

Fire Bolt

Artificer, Sorcerer, Wizard - Cantrip Level Spell

School: Evocation
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: 120 ft
Components: Verbal and Somatic
Duration: Instantaneous
Attack/Save: Ranged
Reference: PHB 242

5e spell - fire bolt

You hurl a mote of fire at a creature or object within range. Make a ranged spell attack against the target. On a hit, the target takes 1d10 fire damage. A flammable object hit by this spell ignites if it isn’t being worn or carried.

This spell’s damage increases by 1d10 when you reach 5th level (2d10), 11th level (3d10), and 17th level (4d10).

My Comments: Much like eldritch blast, this is pretty much a fall-back spell for wizards and sorcerers. However, I’m not the biggest fan. While I’m not a min-maxxer and I value role-playing and flavor over charts and numbers, it’s hard to deny this spell’s two weakness: resistance/immunities and single roll to hit.

I say if you want to build a fire-based caster, go ahead! It’s fun! However, it’s hard to ignore that fire is one of the more common resistance or immunity tags for monsters. There you are in a lost mine somewhere or another facing off against a flaming skull and it’s just laughing at you as you toss fire-bolts at it… Mind you, that particular skull is also immune to cold and poison, so, there is that.

The other weakness comes up when you go up in levels and the spell starts getting stronger. Getting to roll those extra damage dice is great, but not rolling any damage dice when you miss kind of blows. For the cantrips that scale up, I’m most fond of the ones with multiple to-hit rolls. I know, this means you can miss on some of the rolls, but the chance of at least doing some damage goes up.

So what’s the hidden positive for this spell? Ask your DM if you can use it to set things on fire. Bugbear chasing you over a rope bridge? Wait until you get across and then burn the bridge. A thief is getting away with the parchment showing your side’s secret plans? Ask the DM if you can burn it right off him. D10 might not be enough to stop the thief, but it could very likely destroy the parchment. When playing with fire, be sure to remember that it is fire.

Flaming Skull vs. 5e Fire Bolt
In closing, it’s still a handy cantrip, I just think you need another option on hand for the occasional flaming skull.


[P.S. Check out the Wacky Dungeon game just above the footer!]

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.

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