dnd 5e – Does the Spiritual Weapon spell take a bonus action or an action to use?

Spiritual Weapon attacks using Bonus action, not an Action

Bonus Actions and Actions are not interchangeable in Combat.

Bonus actions don’t become Actions

You ask

Does this mean that you get a bonus action on a bonus action, or does the first bonus action become an action?

Neither. It does not become an Action, and you do not get a Bonus action on a Bonus action. Your PC gets one bonus action per turn.

How the Spell works when cast

From the spell description, you cast spiritual weapon with a Bonus action on round 1. You can attack with it on round 1 as part of casting the spell.

You can also take some other Action during your turn on round 1,beyond using your bonus action to cast spiritual weapon. For example, you can Dash, Shove, Disengage, Dodge, Attack (with something else).

You can continue to attack with spiritual weapon on rounds 2 through 10 (and move it as needed) as a Bonus action and use your Action to do another thing, as before.

Actions and bonus actions aren’t interchangeable1. (Sage Advice Compendium, p. 9)

A Bonus action1 is its own thing in D&D 5e, and is separate from Actions. (CH-9, PHB). It is treated separately from Actions (capital A) but is a kind of action (small a). Yes, it can be confusing.

What can a creature do during a round, and during their turn?

During a round a creature can take an Action, Move, take a Bonus action (if it has one) and Interact with an Object on their turn. They can use a Reaction on another creature’s turn if something triggers a Reaction. (PHB, p. 189-190)

How does spiritual weapon work? Illustration

I will illustrate by using five rounds of Combat. A Cleric (level 3, Str 14, Wis 16, Con 14)) versus a Bandit Captain (BC). Initiative roll for Cleric is 11, for BC is 10. Cleric goes first.

  • Round 1

    Cleric. Takes Dodge action and Moves to within the spell’s range of the BC. Casts spiritual weapon as a Bonus action; makes an attack. Rolls 5, misses.

  • BC. Moves to melee range, has no Bonus action, attacks Cleric. Rolls 18, 17, and 9. (Attacks are with disadvantage due to Cleric Dodge) Rolls second d20’s of 10, 8, and 20 respectively. Cleric’s AC is 16. All miss.

  • Round 2

    Cleric. Casts guidance (Action); with Bonus action attacks BC with spiritual weapon. Rolls 15, hits for 1d8+3 force damage. (Roll 4, so 7 damage).

    BC. Attacks cleric, rolls a 17, 10(Scimitar) and 12(Dagger). Does 11 damage total. (Cleric has 14 Con / 24 HP). Cleric makes a concentration save for guidance but not for spiritual weapon. Rolls 12. Concentration is not interrupted. If she had missed that save, guidance would end but spiritual weapon remains active.

  • Round 3

    Cleric. Shoves BC (Action) to knock it prone. Strength of 14 (+2); proficiency Athletics (Sailor background) +2 and adds 1d4 (rolls 3) from guidance: . Rolls an 11 on the d20 shove attempt; results is 18. BC rolls 11, adds Strength bonus (+2), Athletics (+4) makes 17; BC knocked prone. Cleric uses Bonus action, attacks with advantage (spiritual weapon). Rolls are 5 and a 14. Hit. Roll of 4 (1d8+3) yields 7 more damage. Moves back 30 feet; provokes opportunity attack(OA) from BC, who is prone; OA with disadvantage. Rolls 19 and 7. Misses.

    BC. Gets up (uses half of its movement) pursues the Cleric but it can’t reach her as only 15′ of movement remains. Throws two daggers. Rolls an 11 and 13. Both hit, 10 points of damage. Cleric is in trouble(has 3 HP left), but does not need to make a concentration check on spiritual weapon.

  • Round 4

    Cleric. Casts Hold Person. (DC Wisdom save 13). BC Rolls 12. Wis mod of 0. Fails. BC is paralyzed. Cleric moves next to BC, uses a Bonus action to attack with spiritual weapon (with advantage, due paralyzed BC). Rolls a 2 and a 13, hits (Automatic critical hit due paralyzed). Rolls 2d8+3; 9 force damage.

    BC. Unless he makes a saving throw on its next turn, and turns subsequent, can’t move or attack. BC misses save (Rolls 11).

    Cleric can attack with mace or a spell (Attack action), and with spiritual weapon on the following turns (with advantage). Concentration is used for hold person, not for spiritual weapon. She could take the Dodge action (in case the BC makes a save) and still attack using the spiritual weapon (Bonus action). But instead …

  • Round 5.

    Cleric tries a nova-type attack. Drops her mace, casts inflict wounds(touch) to attack (with advantage). Rolls 4 and 10. +2 for spell proficiency, and +3 for Wisdom – 15 hits AC 15. She does 3d10, and another 3d10 (critical hit) so rolls 6d10 for 33 damage. (BC still alive!) Uses Bonus action to attack with spiritual weapon rolling 1 and an 11. Hits, 2d8+3 damage, rolls 9 (+3) for 12 force damage. Finally kills BC (who had 65 HP to start with).

Spiritual weapon allows for a lot of combinations on rounds 2-10.

The point of the above illustration is to show how the spiritual weapon, once created with a Bonus action, can be used with a Bonus action to attack on subsequent turns in combination with a variety of other Actions. The Cleric never needs to make a concentration check for spiritual weapon.


1Bonus Action
Various class features, spells, and other abilities let you take an additional action on your turn called a bonus action. (p. 189)… You can take a bonus action only when a special ability, spell, or other feature of the game states that you can do something as a bonus action. You otherwise don’t have a bonus action to take.

dnd 5e – Does an out-of-sight creature affected by the Fear spell have to keep running if they fail the saving throw?

Yes.

First, the end condition of the spell:

If the creature ends its turn in a location where it doesn’t have line of sight to you, the creature can make a Wisdom saving throw. On a successful save, the spell ends for that creature.

So when the creature can no longer see the caster, it may make the save. On a success the effect ends, on a failure, return to the beginning of the paragraph:

While frightened by this spell, a creature must take the Dash action and move away from you by the safest available route on each of its turns, unless there is nowhere to move.

This is the effect of the spell, and this describes what you do until you succeed on the save.

This answer gives some insight into what this may look like in play. Essentially, you are compelled to move away from where you think the source of the fear is.

dnd 5e – Does the Eldritch Knight’s Eldritch Strike feature impose disadvantage on a saving throw against a spell cast before the attack?

Consider the following scenario:

A level 10 Fighter with the Eldritch Knight (EK) archetype (PHB, p. 74-75) is facing a single opponent, and has hold person as a spell available.

  1. EK attacks with both attacks available. If both miss, they try again next turn. If either hits, Eldritch Strike (the level 10 archetype feature) triggers against the target, and EK will proceed to the next step.
  2. (a turn passes)
  3. On EK’s next turn, they cast hold person on the person targeted previously. The target has disadvantage on the save due to Eldritch Strike. If they still pass, EK goes back to square one. Otherwise, EK does the following:
  4. EK Action Surges (Fighter level 2 ability). They use the Attack action to get two attacks with advantage against the target. If either hits, it does critical damage (thanks to the paralyzed rider on hold person), and Eldritch Strike triggers.

The wording in Eldritch Strike is as follows:

When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, that creature has disadvantage on the next saving throw it makes against a spell you cast before the end of your next turn.

Does the target have disadvantage on the save against hold person it makes at the end of its next turn, even though hold person was cast before the triggering of the Eldritch Strike event that would impose disadvantage?

dnd 5e – Can you help another character escape the Telekinesis spell?

You can use the Help action to give an ally advantage on an ability check.

The Help action is what you are looking for:

You can lend your aid to another creature in the completion of a task. When you take the Help action, the creature you aid gains advantage on the next ability check it makes to perform the task you are helping with, provided that it makes the check before the start of your next turn.

Telekinesis says:

You can try to move a Huge or smaller creature. Make an ability check with your spellcasting ability contested by the creature’s Strength check. […]

On subsequent rounds, you can use your action to attempt to maintain your telekinetic grip on the creature by repeating the contest.

So the NPC ally would use the Help action on their turn, and the target of telekinesis would have advantage on the next Strength check contest for the spell. Note, most DMs, myself included, would rule that the helping character has to be within reach of the helped character at the time of the ability check.

Helping on subsequent rounds

This will be the most common use case, I think. BBEG casts telekinesis on the paladin, we’ll call him Rick.

After Rick’s turn, it is Laurie’s turn. She moves next to Rick and uses the Help action to help Rick escape telekinesis. On BBEG’s turn, BBEG uses their action to maintain control of Rick. With Laurie’s help, Rick has advantage on the strength check to be free from the telekinesis.

Helping with the initial check

This situation is a bit odd. From a purely mechanical perspective it works out just fine. On Laurie’s turn, she moves next to Rick and declares “I’m using the help action to help Rick break free of a telekinesis spell, should one come his way.” Then, if BBEG casts telekinesis on Rick, he has advantage on the initial strength check.

But this is a bit of an odd scenario. It takes some forward thinking from Laurie, which may not make sense if she is unaware of the BBEG’s telekinetic capabilities. If she is totally unaware of the BBEG’s ability to cast telekinesis, from a roleplaying perspective, it’s probably much more likely that Laurie spends her action doing something else.

On the other hand, suppose Laurie knows BBEG is inclined to shaking his enemies about with some telekinesis. Then it may seem reasonable for Laurie to preemptively declare that she is going to Help Rick.

Can a level 16 draconic sorcerer maintain their dragon wings (from the Dragon Wings bloodline spell) indefinitely?

A Draconic Sorcerer would have to recast Dragon Wings

The result is, as you note, that they will not immediately regain the Focus Point to re-cast it and the Wings will be “off” at least 1 round before they’re able to cast them again without spending a second Focus Point.

However, it is unclear whether combat affects the Sorcerer’s ability to regain their Focus Point spent after 10 minutes. This is actually built into the Exploration tag that Refocus uses. Emphasis added.

An activity with this trait takes more than a turn to use, and can usually be used only during exploration mode.

So, the usual result is that the Refocus is interrupted.

  • If cast in combat, the rest of combat adds to the time before the spell can be re-cast with the ‘same’ Focus Point
  • If they engage in combat after exploring with Refocus for 5 minutes, it will be another 10 minutes after that combat (approximately 15 since last casting Dragon Wings) before that Focus Point replenishes

However, a GM can rule that, because the Sorcerer’s blood is always doing its sorcerous recharging, the Sorcerer can continue to Refocus along side any other actions including Encounter actions/activities. The result of this would be a mere 1 turn difference between the end of one Dragon Wings and the ability to recast it with the same spell (and likely at that point hand-waving that they are on as long as they maintain 1 spent Focus Point).


This GM would rule that, as long as it didn’t adversely affect play, that they could maintain the wings as long as they had the Focus Point to do so. By level 16, this isn’t a game breaking advantage and would be a cool benefit for the player. I don’t see any Bloodline Focus spells that would be ‘too’ powerful if allowed to be used every 10 minutes regardless of combat. I would, however, inform the player that it is only a standing ruling and Paizo clarifying that Sorcerers could not do this (or player(s) attempting to ‘break the game’ using the ruling) could result in that changing.

dnd 5e – Must a Wizard prepare a spell to cast it as a ritual?

Ritual casting does not expend a spell slot, I know that. However, the Wizard class feature does not say anything about whether you must prepare the subject spell to cast it as a ritual. On one side, it is anyway “casting” a spell, so you can say “yes, you must prepare.” On the other hand, (although it is just about how wizards cast rituals,) your ritual involves your spellbook, so you can see the ritual ceremony “from the spellbook”, which removes the need to prepare the spell.

My question is: Must I prepare the subject spell in advance to perform it?

This is only about Wizards. Clerics, Druids, Bards have these problems nailed down explicitly. Clerics’ and Druids’ ritual casting requires you to prepare the spell in advance, and Bards’ rituals can only be drawn from what they know.

dnd 5e – What is the definition of “mineral goods” for the material component of the Galder’s Speedy Courier spell?

The word isn’t defined in-game so it takes its normal meaning

The definition of mineral is “a solid, naturally occurring inorganic substance.”

Or, in British English, a fizzy soft drink but that doesn’t seem applicable.

Quartz, feldspar, diamond, even sandstone (although you’d need a lot to be worth 25gp) are all minerals, even if they are subsequently worked cut or polished.

Gold, copper and iron ore are minerals but iron and steel isn’t because they don’t occur naturally. Gold and copper metals might be minerals because the pure metal does occur naturally.

Rock salt is a mineral but sea salt isn’t because the first occurs naturally but the latter involves human intervention – although that may be needlessly hair-splitting. I think the fact that some salt occurs naturally allows us to consider all salt as a mineral.

Seashells are a curly one (even non-curly seashells) – they are solid, inorganic and naturally occurring – so they’re probably in.

However, there is a broader definition of mineral as anything that isn’t a plant or animal (or fungus, bacterium etc.). If you want to use that definition then the only edge cases are fossils.

dnd 5e – Can you cast a spell learned from the Magic Initiate feat using spell slots?

No, unless you choose the class associated with your spellcasting feature.

Without loss of generality, suppose we are a Wizard who takes the Magic Initiate (Cleric) feat. Then the feat says:

choose one 1st-level spell from the cleric’s spell list. You learn that spell and can cast it at its lowest level.

So this spell is a cleric spell. Even if the spell chosen is on both the cleric and the wizard spell list, it still counts as a cleric spell for you.

Unfortunately, the Wizard’s spellcasting feature says:

The Wizard table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your wizard spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot of the spell’s level or higher.

A wizard may only cast wizard spells with their wizard spell slots. This is confirmed in the Sage Advice Compendium:

If you have spell slots, can you use them to cast the 1st-level spell you learn with the Magic Initiate feat?
Yes, but only if the class you pick for the feat is one of your classes.

If the cleric spell chosen counted as a wizard spell for you, you would be able to cast it using your spell slots, but the SAC confirms that the associated class of Magic Initiate must be one of your classes for this to be the case.

On the other hand, if the wizard took the Magic Initiate (Wizard) feat, the chosen spell would be a wizard spell and would be eligible for casting with the wizard’s spell slots. This is confirmed in the Sage Advice Compendium:

Similarly, if you are a wizard and pick that class for the feat, you learn a 1st-level wizard spell, which you could add to your spellbook and subsequently prepare.

In short, you must follow your character’s normal spellcasting rules, which determine whether you can expend spell slots on the 1st-level spell you learn from Magic Initiate.

Eldritch Knight and Arcane Trickster

In particular, casting a spell with your spell slots as an Eldritch Knight or Arcane Trickster requires two things: you know the spell, and it is a wizard spell. The spell gained from Magic Initiate (Wizard) satisfies both of these conditions.

Magic Initiate (Wizard) says:

In addition, choose one 1st-level spell from the wizard’s spell list. You learn that spell and can cast it at its lowest level. Once you cast it, you must finish a long rest before you can cast it again using this feat.

The Eldritch Knight’s Spellcasting feature says:

The Eldritch Knight Spellcasting table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your wizard spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot of the spell’s level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.

For example, if you know the 1st-level spell shield and have a 1st-level and a 2nd-level spell slot available, you can cast shield using either slot.

Similarly, the Arcane Trickster’s spellcasting feature says:

The Arcane Trickster Spellcasting table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your wizard spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot of the spell’s level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.

For example, if you know the 1st-level spell charm person and have a 1st-level and a 2nd-level spell slot available, you can cast charm person using either slot.

Since you know the spell from Magic Initiate, and it is a wizard spell, it meets all the conditions for being able to expend spell slots to cast it as an Eldritch Knight or an Arcane Trickster.

This ruling is confirmed in the Sage Advice Compendium:

In short, you must follow your character’s normal spellcasting rules, which determine whether you can expend spell slots on the 1st-level spell you learn from Magic Initiate.

dnd 5e – Can an Arcane Trickster or Eldritch Knight with the Magic Initiate feat (picking the wizard list) use spell slots to cast the chosen 1st-level spell?

Yes, this works.

Magic Initiate (Wizard) says:

In addition, choose one 1st-level spell from the wizard’s spell list. You learn that spell and can cast it at its lowest level. Once you cast it, you must finish a long rest before you can cast it again using this feat.

The Eldritch Knight’s Spellcasting feature says:

The Eldritch Knight Spellcasting table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your wizard spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot of the spell’s level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.

For example, if you know the 1st-level spell shield and have a 1st-level and a 2nd-level spell slot available, you can cast shield using either slot.

Similarly, the Arcane Trickster’s spellcasting feature says:

The Arcane Trickster Spellcasting table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your wizard spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot of the spell’s level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.

For example, if you know the 1st-level spell charm person and have a 1st-level and a 2nd-level spell slot available, you can cast charm person using either slot.

Since you know the spell from Magic Initiate, and it is a wizard spell, it meets all the conditions for being able to expend spell slots to cast it as an Eldritch Knight or an Arcane Trickster.

This ruling is confirmed in the Sage Advice Compendium:

In short, you must follow your character’s normal spellcasting rules, which determine whether you can expend spell slots on the 1st-level spell you learn from Magic Initiate.

In particular, casting a spell with your spell slots as an Eldritch Knight or Arcane Trickster requires two things: you know the spell, and it is a wizard spell. The spell gained from Magic Initiate (Wizard) satisfies both of these conditions.

dnd 5e – Can you cast a spell learned from the Magic Initiate feat using spell slots?

The Sage Advice Compendium appears to be misquoting it’s own source texts (which is truly frustrating because the most indelible measure of being wrong is being wrong by your own logic) as, in the PHB, the Sorcerer Spellcasting feature makes no mention of specifically casting “Sorcerer” spells.

The above ruling is wrong, at least in the 5e rule set as written (including errata). After a careful reading of the spellcasting ability description of all classes you will find the specificity of the cleric description to be an exception in terms of wording.

Further examination of the multiclassing section of the PHB will net you the understanding that spell slots are a feature tied to Character Level, though the ability to cast spells in general using a spell slot requires having a class with the spellcasting feature, as they are the only classes with spellslots to use.

Looking through the Spellcasting chapter of the PHB will also reveal that regardless of the source of the magical knowledge, all spells follow the set out rules in the same way. In this section there is no mention of spell slots being class specific, and evidence would lead one to conclude that the function of spells being denoted as class specific pertains to the traditions in which they are learned and thus the ability modifiers applied to them.

The only difference in casting type is in the form of the distinction made between the Spellcasting and Pact Magic class features.

Add to this the fact that the only specification in the Magic Initiate feature regarding learning the spell is that it is learnt as a spell from a specific class which means the ability modifiers added to it are derived from that class’ specification for spell modifier and it is obvious to me that RAW allows the spell to be cast with any spell slot, at least before the question was answered by the Wizards Team in which they misquote their own material.

This leads me to believe that either the team misread their personal notes on the topic and substituted them for final copy materials to reference, or that they need to issue another errata, or, finally, that given that the DM is the be all and end all of rules and that all forms of common sense from the material given would lead you to deduce that you can cast a spell with any spell slot because there is absolutely no mention of spell slots being class specific, most DMs should probably ignore the above ruling.

This is the way I have been running my games since we moved to 5e at least, and its the one that makes the most sense deriving from the base texts only. Though the team may have notes that clarify this, they have not shared them, and the SAC quotes a non-existent line of text, so I’m not entirely sure this ruling will stand for long anyway.