5th Edition Spells – Minor Illusion

Minor Illusion

Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard - Cantrip Level Spell

School: Illusion
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: 30 ft
Components: Somatic and Material
Duration: 1 Minute
Attack/Save: Special
Reference: PHB 260

You create a sound or an image of an object within range that lasts for the duration. The illusion also ends if you dismiss it as an action or cast this spell again.

If you create a sound, its volume can range from a whisper to a scream. It can be your voice, someone else’s voice, a lion’s roar, a beating of drums, or any other sound you choose. The sound continues unabated throughout the duration, or you can make discrete sounds at different times before the spell ends.

If you create an image of an object–such as a chair, muddy footprints, or a small chest–it must be no larger than a 5-foot cube. The image can’t create sound, light, smell, or any other sensory effect. Physical interaction with the image reveals it to be an illusion because things can pass through it.

If a creature uses its action to examine the sound or image, the creature can determine that it is an illusion with a successful Intelligence (Investigation) check against your spell save DC. If a creature discerns the illusion for what it is, the illusion becomes faint to the creature.

*a bit of fleece

My Comments: With unlimited cantrip casting, is this the prankster’s favorite spell? Maybe, maybe not… okay, probably it is.

Here are some keys to this spell:

  1. It doesn’t move. Cast an illusion of a scroll, you can’t pick it up and hand it to someone. Use it to make it look like you have a bitchen’ tatoo, the tatoo will stay hanging in the air when you move away from it.
  2. As a matter of fact, you can’t even pick it up. ANY physical interaction breaks the spell.
  3. It doesn’t create any secondary effects, so if you were to make an illusory torch it would look like a model of a torch and not give off any heat or light.
  4. It doesn’t move, so no animated gif-type action here. You could conceivably use multiple castings to animate your illusion, but 1 action casting time it’ll be 1 frame every 6 seconds. I hope your audience is patient.
  5. I made point 5 about the 5′ cube. I like 5’s, so sue me. So, you can create an illusion of an Ogre to freak someone out, but it will be a tiny 5′ ogre.
  6. It only lasts a minute, so it won’t be around forever. A minute is a long time in combat, and a pretty short amount of time outside of combat.
  7. Noises actually have a bit more latitude in that they can change during the 1-minute duration. You could skip trying to perform 1 frame/6-second animated features and have a heck of a ventriloquism act instead.
  8. The visual illusions are faint for those that discern them. I would think this includes the caster. I’m imagining a halfling running into an alley and cast a minor illusion of a box and sitting inside watching with his crossbow loaded while his pursuers run right past. He can mostly see out because the illusion is faint to him, they can’t see in unless they do something to discern the illusion, in which case he pulls the trigger on his crossbow.

With unlimited cantrips I would be the most obnoxious player ever with this spell. I would be pulling pranks and harassing people constantly, because why not? Another good reason to limit cantrips.

Look at the tiny ogre! Isn’t he cute? (I know he kind of looks like a chibi orc, but it came up when I searched on “tiny ogre”)

This is a tiny ogre created by the 5e D&D minor illusion spell.






[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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