5th Edition Spells – Infestation


Druid, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard - Cantrip Level Spell

School: Conjuration
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: 30 ft
Components: Verbal, Somatic, and Material
Duration: Instantaneous
Attack/Save: CON
Reference: xge 158

You cause a cloud of mites, fleas, and other parasites to appear momentarily on one creature you can see within range. The target must succeed on a Constitution saving throw, or it takes 1d6 poison damage and moves 5 feet in a random direction if it can move and its speed is at least 5 feet. Roll a d4 for the direction: 1., north; 2, south; 3, east; or 4, west. This movement doesn’t provoke opportunity attacks, and if the direction rolled is blocked, the target doesn’t move.

The spell’s damage increases by 1d6 when you reach 5th level (2d6), 11th level (3d6), and 17th level (4d6).

So, you carry a bunch of live fleas around with you?

My Comments: This spell seems fun from a role-playing perspective. I’m just not sure how effective it is. I mean, I can think of situations it could be handy, I’m just not sure I would give up the slot to use it when when something like Booming BladeGreen Flame Blade or others are available and just as much fun for role-playing.

Okay, let’s give it some situations-

Break grapple?
Well, according to the RAW (Rules As Written) this wouldn’t break a grapple condition based on the following:
“Moving a Grappled Creature: When you move, you can drag or carry the Grappled creature with you, but your speed is halved, unless the creature is two or more sizes smaller than you.”

This make me think the target would just carry the grappled victim with them. However, as a DM I would be willing to give the grappled party advantage on their escape roll.

Fall off a steed?
Ah-ha! This fun. Just found this in Mounted Combat rules:
If an effect moves your mount against its will while you’re on it, you must succeed on a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw or fall off the mount, landing Prone in a space within 5 feet of it. If you’re knocked Prone while mounted, you must make the same saving throw.

So, you could cause a mount to throw its rider, which is pretty cool.

Unblock a doorway?

Moving someone 5 feet doesn’t seem like much, especially since it doesn’t use up their movement, provoke opportunity attacks and could actually move the target closer to the caster, but if the target’s entire purpose is to hold a position then it could be pretty handy.

Set off move-related spells?

Of course, getting a target to move can be handy in setting off other spells, like the aforementioned Booming Blade and Spike Growth for good examples. Exceeeept… in the case of Booming Blade the spell specifically says the effect is set off if the target willingly moves, so no help from infestation in that case.

Break flanking?
This is possible, depending on which flanking rules are being applied since they are all optional. Flanking though, is a possibility, if you can get them to move in the correct direction.
Flanking: You have advantage on an attack roll against a creature if at least one of your allies is within 5 feet of the creature and the ally isn’t incapacitated.

Also, it does some damage. A single d6 might not seem like much, but it has potential to kill a peasant or a kobold. Also, let’s not forget that this spell by-passes armor and such.

Fun to torment others, drive stoic players and NPCs crazy as they’re trying to deliver their big speech, make a knight fall off their horse while on parade, etc… Just don’t get caught with fleas or mumbling during the king’s big proclamation. And… well, I guess your character carries around a bunch of live fleas for the material component of this spell? I mean, one living flea per casting but if you want to have enough for a true infestation you’ll need several.

To be honest, I like this one a lot. Even if it does involve carrying around a flea circus.

[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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