5th Edition Spells – Ray of Frost

Ray of Frost

Artificer, Sorcerer, Wizard - Cantrip Level Spell

School: Evocation
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: 60 ft
Components: Verbal and Somatic
Duration: Instantaneous
Attack/Save: Ranged
Reference: PHB 271

A frigid beam of blue-white light streaks toward a creature within range. Make a ranged spell attack against the target. On a hit, it takes 1d8 cold damage, and its speed is reduced by 10 feet until the start of your next turn.

The spell’s damage increases by 1d8 when you reach 5th level (2d8), 11th level (3d8), and 17th level (4d8).

image for Frost Bolt 5e cantrip spell

My Comments: I once joined a game where I took over an NPC that had joined the party previously. He was a farmer who carried a pitchfork and eventually became a wild magic sorcerer. His backstory was that he didn’t know he was a born magic user and had always believed he was just lucky, in both the good and the bad way.

I decided his cantrips should make sense for a farmer, like Mold Earth and Mending, but of course I wanted some sort of combat spell for when the old pitchfork wasn’t going to reach, so I decided on Ray of Frost. Produce Flame might have made more sense, but hey, call me a rebel. As least I didn’t go straight for Booming Blade, right?

Anyway, I grew to love the side effect of this spell- slowing the target a bit. There are times when this can be a total life saver. 10 feet might not seem like much, but if you’re backing up 30 feet and slowing your pursuer by 10 ft, it definitely makes a difference.

One big downside though, is missing. Missing with spells somehow sucks more than missing with a weapon, I don’t know why exactly. Another downside is cold damage is the most resisted basic element (last I checked), so it’s not always going to work out. For example, you want to cool down that Flame Skull? Don’t. It isn’t just flaming, it’s also undead and has cold resistance. Jerks.

The upside is the 60 ft range and fire-based creatures usually hate it. Mostly though, shooting a ray of frost is just cool, literally.

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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