5th Edition Spells – Mold Earth

Mold Earth

Druid, Sorcerer, Wizard - Cantrip Level Spell

School: Transmutation
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: 30 ft
Components: Somatic
Duration: Instantaneous
Attack/Save: Special
Reference: EEPC

You choose a portion of dirt or stone that you can see within range and that fits within a 5-foot cube. You manipulate it in one of the following ways:

  • If you target an area of loose earth, you can instantaneously excavate it, move it along the ground, and deposit it up to 5 feet away. This movement doesn’t have enough force to cause damage.
  • You cause shapes, colors, or both to appear on the dirt or stone, spelling out words, creating images, or shaping patterns. The changes last for 1 hour.
  • If the dirt or stone you target is on the ground, you cause it to become difficult terrain. Alternatively, you can cause the ground to become normal terrain if it is already difficult terrain. This change lasts for 1 hour.

If you cast this spell multiple times, you can have no more than two of its non-instantaneous effects active at a time, and you can dismiss such an effect as an action.

My Comments: So many of these cantrips have real life uses, like, gardening.

“I’m off to my magic show, I’ll be back tonight!”

“Sweetie,” your partner calls back, “did you forget you were going to help with the garden?”

“Oh right, right. one moment dear, while I utter the magic words,” you respond, then say, “Ala… Peanut Butter Sandwiches!”

The garden dirt rumbles and moves and then settles, all nicely turned and loose for planting.

Amazing Mumford cast spells - Move Earth In D&D, however, gardening doesn’t tend to come up that often.

Here’s another time when unlimited at-will cantrips are a little weird. One wizard could build a 500′ trench in 10 minutes (let me check my math… 5’/6 seconds, so that 50’/minute and 500′ in ten minutes, right?). Sure puts the ditch diggers out of business fast. In an hour, a wizard or two could build a defensive trench all the way around a small village and then make the earth on the other side difficult terrain, making them the heroes of the defense. The Magnificent Seven would have loved to have just one 1st level wizard on their side…

Of course, with a high-magic setting and at-will cantrips, the other side could have a wizard or two smoothing the terrain and filling the trenches, or more likely, just ignoring the trenches and magicking past them. Ahhh… high-magic settings; they make so many mundane things just pointless.

As a player, I know I have been consternated (<-that’s a real word, spell check says so… heh, spell check…) and annoyed by having to charge an enemy through difficult terrain. It’s nice to know the helpful team wizard could smooth that out for us… except… they aren’t going to waste an action on it, are they?

That’s alright, it’s just a cantrip right? I give it full marks for usefulness and potential.

[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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