Spell Subtypes (5e Variant Rule)

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Spell Subtypes[edit]

The eight schools of magic in 5th edition go a long way toward being able to categorize magic. However, in many situations they are often not granular enough to be able to help you when making a rules call in certain situations: What if a water spell gets thrown at a fire elemental, for example? This is where spell subtypes come in.

A spell's subtype in this variant rule is written in parentheses next to its school, and serves to further subdivide a spell than what the umbrella spell schools can offer. A spell's subtype is largely for categorical purposes. By sorting spells into these categories, other effects can interact with a breadth of related spells by calling them out by subtype instead of by naming every single one. This both makes it easier to write concise language and enables broad-scale buffs, debuffs, or other interactions that would not be mechanically possible.

A spell is allowed to have multiple subtypes, or no subtypes at all. As an example, transmute coins is a purely Transmutation spell that does not cleanly fit into any subtype: so it has none.

Putting Subtypes Onto a Spell Page[edit]

Adding subtypes to a page you desire is as simple as adding categories to the bottom of the page. Each subtype listed below uses its own category, which uses the following format: [[Category:<Subtype Name Here> Subtype]]

Fire[edit]

Fire spells involve the creation, manipulation, or application of fire, which includes both open flames and invisible heat. Fire spells include:

Spell Level Fire Spells
Cantrip control flames, create bonfire, fire bolt
1st burning hands, searing smite
2nd Aganazzar's scorcher, continual flame, dragon's breath, flame blade, flaming sphere, heat metal, pyrotechnics, scorching ray
3rd glyph of warding, fireball, flame arrows, Melf's minute meteors
4th conjure minor elementals, dominate beast, elemental bane, fire shield, wall of fire
5th flame strike, immolation
6th investiture of flame
7th delayed blast fireball, fire storm
8th incendiary cloud
9th meteor swarm

Homebrew Fire Spells[edit]

Spell Name Level
Dark Flare 3rd
Fire Orb 2nd
Fire Shot 1st
Flame of Life 1st
Great Chaos Fireball 5th
Ignite cantrip
Lee's Fume Punch 1st
Power Within 1st
Pyrokinesis cantrip
Scald cantrip
Tile of Fire 2nd

Water[edit]

Water spells involve the creation, manipulation, or application of water, be it in its solid, liquid, or even gaseous state. A Water spell that overlaps with Fire and/or Air generally creates or manipulates steam, fog, and clouds; while a Water spell that overlaps with Cold generally creates or manipulates ice and snow. Water spells include:

Spell Level Water Spells
Cantrip shape water, frostbite
1st create or destroy water, fog cloud, ice knife
2nd Snilloc's snowball swarm
3rd create food and water, gaseous form, maelstrom, sleet storm, tidal wave, wall of water, water breathing, water walk
4th control water, watery sphere
5th '
6th '
7th simulacrum
8th control weather, tsunami
9th storm of vengeance

Homebrew Water Spells[edit]

Spell Name Level
Coldslinger cantrip
Hydro Barrier cantrip
Hyetomancy 1st
Power Word Freeze 8th
Scald cantrip
Soaking Hands cantrip
Water Whip, Variant cantrip

Earth[edit]

Earth spells involve the creation, manipulation, or application of earth, which includes soil, sand, gravel, and stone. Earth spells include:

Spell Level Earth Spells
Cantrip magic stone, mold earth
1st earth tremor
2nd Maximillian’s earthen grasp
3rd erupting earth, meld into stone, wall of sand
4th stone shape, stoneskin
5th transmute rock, wall of stone
6th bones of the earth, flesh to stone, investiture of stone, move earth
7th '
8th earthquake, mighty fortress
9th '

Homebrew Earth Spells[edit]

Spell Name Level
Golem 7th
Rock Splash 1st
Rockform 6th
Stone Tent 1st
Tremorsense cantrip

Air[edit]

Air spells involve the creation, manipulation, or application of air, wind, or most sorts of gas. Air frequently overlaps with Water when it comes to creating clouds and fog, but Air alone is capable of blowing it away. Air spells include:

Spell Level Air Spells
Cantrip gust, poison spray
1st fog cloud, zephyr strike
2nd dust devil, gust of wind, skywrite, warding wind
3rd fly, stinking cloud, wind wall
4th storm sphere
5th cloudkill, control winds, steel wind strike
6th investiture of wind, wind walk
7th whirlwind
8th control weather
9th storm of vengeance

Homebrew Air Spells[edit]

Spell Name Level
Pixie's Gale 1st
Remove Breath 2nd
Respirance 2nd

Cold[edit]

Cold spells directly channel cold energy, and typically deal cold damage. Cold and Water overlap very frequently, coming together to create snow- and ice-based magics. Cold spells include:

Spell Level Cold Spells
Cantrip frostbite, ray of frost
1st ice knife
2nd Snilloc's snowball swarm
3rd sleet storm
4th ice storm
5th cone of cold
6th freezing sphere, investiture of ice, wall of ice
7th simulacrum
8th '
9th storm of vengeance

Homebrew Cold Spells[edit]

Spell Name Level
Coldslinger cantrip
Power Word Freeze 8th

Lightning[edit]

Lightning spells involve the creation, manipulation, or application of lightning and electricity. Lightning spells include:

Spell Level Lightning Spells
Cantrip shocking grasp
1st '
2nd '
3rd call lightning, lightning bolt
4th storm sphere
5th '
6th chain lightning
7th '
8th '
9th storm of vengeance

Homebrew Lightning Spells[edit]

Spell Name Level
Arc Bolt 1st
Ball Lightning 2nd
Blade Lightning 4th
Blink Strike 1st
Bolt of the Storm 9th
Direct Lightning 2nd
Lightning Stake 3rd
Lightning Strike 4th
Lightning Whip cantrip
Luminous Globe 2nd
Produce Electricity cantrip
Shock Coil 5th
Static Shackles 4th
Thundershock 1st

Sonic[edit]

Sonic spells create or destroy sound, and typically deal thunder damage. Sonic spells include:

Spell Level Sonic Spells
Cantrip minor illusion, thaumaturgy, thunderclap
1st alarm, thunderwave
2nd blindness/deafness, knock, magic mouth, shatter, silence
3rd major image, thunder step
4th '
5th '
6th guards and wards
7th '
8th '
9th storm of vengeance

Homebrew Sonic Spells[edit]

Spell Name Level
Booming Word 3rd

Creation[edit]

Creation spells spawn new creatures or objects using magic as opposed to summoning existing objects from other places. Creatures and objects spawned with Creation spells can be permanent, but most are temporary. Creation spells include:

Spell Level Creation Spells
Cantrip prestidigitation
1st create or destroy water, goodberry
2nd continual flame
3rd create food and water, phantom steed
4th faithful hound
5th creation, wall of stone
6th heroes' feast
7th simulacrum, temple of the gods
8th mighty fortress
9th wish

Homebrew Creation Spells[edit]

Spell Name Level
Conjure Potion of Healing 3rd
Genesis 9th
Instant Fancy Clothes cantrip
Plumbophoresis 5th

Summon[edit]

Summon spells summon creatures or objects from other places to your location. Summon spells are differentiated from Creation spells by the fact that they do not create new matter, only transport existing matter from another place. Summon spells overlap with Dimension when the spell in question brings something from another plane of existence. Summon spells include:

Spell Level Summon Spells
Cantrip '
1st find familiar
2nd find steed
3rd conjure animals, summon lesser demons
4th conjure minor elementals, conjure woodland beings, find greater steed, summon greater demon
5th conjure elemental, infernal calling
6th conjure fey, instant summons, planar ally
7th conjure celestial
8th '
9th gate

Homebrew Summon Spells[edit]

Spell Name Level
Conjure Minor Devils 3rd
Conjure Plant Creatures 3rd
Summon Corpse 1st
Summon Spirit cantrip
Summon Steak cantrip
Teleposition 3rd

Teleportation[edit]

Teleportation spells involve instantaneous travel from one point to another on the same plane: If a spell crosses planar boundaries, it falls into the Dimension category instead. Teleportation spells include:

Spell Level Teleportation Spells
Cantrip '
1st '
2nd misty step
3rd thunder step
4th dimension door
5th far step, steel wind strike, teleportation circle
6th scatter
7th teleport
8th '
9th gate

Homebrew Teleportation Spells[edit]

Spell Name Level
Far Jaunt 5th
Teleposition 3rd

Dimension[edit]

Dimension spells allow access or travel between planes or demiplanes. A Dimension spell that allows you to bring something from another plane to you is also a Summon spell. Dimension spells include:

Spell Level Dimension Spells
Cantrip '
1st '
2nd rope trick
3rd blink
4th banishment, secret chest
5th infernal calling
6th '
7th divine word, etherealness, magnificent mansion, plane shift
8th demiplane, maze
9th astral projection, gate

Homebrew Dimension Spells[edit]

Spell Name Level

Ward[edit]

Ward spells protect an affected creature, object, or area from intrusion. The Ward subtype's domain includes personal shields and area protection. Archetypical examples of this kind of magic include shield and guards and wards. Ward spells include:

Spell Level Ward Spells
Cantrip '
1st absorb elements, alarm, protection from evil and good, sanctuary, shield, shield of faith
2nd arcane lock, gentle repose, warding wind zone of truth
3rd glyph of warding, protection from energy, magic circle, spirit guardians, tiny hut
4th fire shield, guardian of faith, private sanctum, resilient sphere
5th antilife shell, dispel evil and good, hallow
6th druid grove, forbiddance, globe of invulnerability, guards and wards, primordial ward
7th symbol, temple of the gods
8th antimagic field, antipathy/sympathy, holy aura
9th invulnerability

Homebrew Ward Spells[edit]

Spell Name Level
Elemental Armor 1st
Energy Immunity 5th
Hydro Barrier cantrip
Invincibility 9th
Mass Death Ward 7th
Rockform 6th
Stone Tent 1st

Hold[edit]

Hold is the converse to Ward: While Ward keeps stuff out, Hold keeps stuff in, by restricting or reducing movement. Archetypical examples of this kind of magic include hold person and imprisonment. Hold spells include:

Spell Level Hold Spells
Cantrip ray of frost
1st entangle, hideous laughter
2nd earthbind, hold person, Maximillian’s earthen grasp, web
3rd magic circle, slow
4th guardian of faith, private sanctum, resilient sphere
5th hold monster, transmute rock
6th flesh to stone, irresistible dance
7th '
8th antipathy/sympathy
9th imprisonment

Homebrew Hold Spells[edit]

Spell Name Level

Infusion[edit]

Infusion spells apply magical effects to physical equipment, most often armor or weapons. All kinds of buff spells, most notably the smite series, are included in this category. Infusion spells include:

Spell Level Infusion Spells
Cantrip magic stone, shillelagh
1st searing smite, wrathful smite
2nd branding smite, heat metal, magic weapon
3rd flame arrows, tiny servant
4th secret chest
5th animate objects, holy weapon
6th '
7th '
8th '
9th '

Homebrew Infusion Spells[edit]

Spell Name Level

Life[edit]

Life spells restore hit points, and many also make it easier to prevent or outright negate death. Life spells include:

Spell Level Heal Spells
Cantrip spare the dying
1st cure wounds, goodberry, healing word
2nd aid, healing spirit, prayer of healing
3rd beacon of hope, life transference, mass healing word, revivify
4th death ward
5th mass cure wounds, raise dead, reincarnate
6th heal
7th regenerate, resurrection
8th '
9th power word heal, true resurrection

Homebrew Life Spells[edit]

Spell Name Level
Flame of Life 1st
Soaking Hands cantrip
Touch of Unlife 1st
Vecna's Reanimation 7th

Light[edit]

Light spells emit light. Light spells are typically able to meddle with darkness, or negate invisibility. Light spells that invoke the power of the sun, a celestial body, almost always overlap with Space magic. Prismatic spells, such as color spray and prismatic spray, also fall into this subtype. Light spells include:

Spell Level Light Spells
Cantrip dancing lights, light, produce flame
1st color spray, faerie fire, guiding bolt
2nd continual flame, moonbeam
3rd daylight
4th fire shield, sickening radiance
5th dawn, hallow, holy weapon, wall of light
6th sunbeam
7th crown of stars, prismatic spray
8th holy aura, sunburst
9th prismatic wall

Homebrew Light Spells[edit]

Spell Name Level
Moon Pulse 2nd
Moonlight cantrip
Quasar 8th
Radiant Lance cantrip
Sunspark 3rd

Space[edit]

Space spells draw power from or evoke celestial objects and phenomena, the most common of which are the sun, moon, and stars. Gravity manipulation mimicks the power of planetary bodies, and thus also falls into this subtype. Space spells include:

Spell Level Space Spells
Cantrip '
1st catapult, guiding bolt
2nd levitate, moonbeam
3rd daylight, melf's minute meterors
4th '
5th dawn, flame strike
6th sunbeam
7th crown of stars, reverse gravity
8th sunburst
9th meteor swarm

Homebrew Space Spells[edit]

Spell Name Level
Dark Matter Blast cantrip
Dark Meteor 9th
Dark Nebula 4th
Moon Pulse 2nd
Moonlight cantrip
Quasar 8th
Sunspark 3rd

Time[edit]

Time spells manipulate time. This usually filters down as an effect that allows one to take extra turns or actions; increase one's movement speed; grant a bonus to AC or Dexterity; or the inverse of any of these. Time spells include:

Spell Level Heal Spells
Cantrip '
1st zephyr strike
2nd blur
3rd haste, slow
4th '
5th steel wind strike
6th '
7th sequester
8th '
9th time stop

Homebrew Time Spells[edit]

Spell Name Level
Time Skip 9th
Time Stride 1st
Time Walk 7th

Positive[edit]

Positive spells channel the energies of the Positive Energy Plane, and almost exclusively deal radiant damage. Positive energy is known for its extremely potent healing, and many high-level healing magics are often Positive spells. Positive spells include:

Spell Level Heal Spells
Cantrip '
1st '
2nd '
3rd '
4th '
5th greater restoration, mass cure wounds
6th heal
7th '
8th
9th mass heal

Homebrew Positive Spells[edit]

Spell Name Level
Inflict Positive Energy 1st
Positive Energy Blast 3rd

Negative[edit]

Negative spells channel the energies of the Negative Energy Plane, and almost exclusively deal necrotic damage. Undead have affinity for and often use negative energy. Negative spells include:

Spell Level Negative Spells
Cantrip '
1st inflict wounds
2nd ray of enfeeblement
3rd vampiric touch
4th blight
5th danse macabre, enervation, negative energy flood
6th circle of death, harm
7th finger of death
8th '
9th '

Homebrew Negative Spells[edit]

Spell Name Level
Dark Flare 3rd
Inflict Minor Wounds cantrip
Mass Harm 9th
Mass Inflict Wounds 5th
Necromancer's Enervation 4th
Touch of Unlife 1st
Vecna's Reanimation 7th

Words of Power[edit]

A Word of Power is the mightiest form of magic a creature can cast. Words of Power are fundamental aspects of the universe given voice, and as such are all extremely potent high-level magic. Deities can grant their clerics a greatly diluted version of this kind of magic, in the form of Divine Words. Words of Power include:

Spell Level Words of Power
Cantrip word of radiance
1st '
2nd '
3rd '
4th '
5th '
6th word of recall
7th divine word, power word pain
8th power word stun
9th power word heal, power word kill, wish

Homebrew Words of Power[edit]

Spell Name Level
Booming Word 3rd
Power Word Die 1st
Power Word Freeze 8th

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