Thoughts & Things

Spells for D&D 5th Edition [Part 1]

If you look through the D&D 5th edition spells in the Player’s Handbook you will notice that there are some spells that are named after people.  They are named after Greyhawk characters: Bigby, Drawmij, Mordenkainen, Nystul, Otiluke, Otto, Rary the Traitor, Tenser, Melf (male elf) and Tasha. And here are those spells from the PHB:

  • Tasha’s Hideous Laughter (1st level wizard)
  • Tenser’s Floating Disk (1st level wizard)
  • Melf’s Acid Arrow (2nd level wizard)
  • Nystul’s Magic Aura (2nd Level wizard)
  • Otiluke’s Resilient Sphere (4th Level wizard)
  • Bigby’s Hand (5th level wizard)
  • Rary’s Telepathic Bond (5th level wizard)
  • Otiluke’s Freezing Sphere (6th Level wizard)
  • Otto’s Irresistible Dance (6th level wizard)
  • Drawmij’s Instant Summons (6th Level wizard)
  • Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Mansion (7th Level wizard)
  • Mordenkainen’s Sword (7th level wizard)

And in the new Elemental Evil Player Companion they’ve added more named spells after characters from Forgotten Realms, Dragon Magazine articles, and other sources: Aganazzar, Maximilian, Snilloc and Abi-Dalzim and another one of Melf’s spells:

  • Aganazzar’s scorcher (evocation) (2nd level Sorcerer/Wizard)
  • Maximilian’s earthen grasp (transmutation) (2nd level Sorcerer/Wizard)
  • Snilloc’s snowball swarm (evocation) (2nd level Sorcerer/Wizard)
  • Melf’s minute meteors (evocation) (3rd level Sorcerer/Wizard)
  • Abi-Dalzim’s horrid wilting (necromancy) (8th level Sorcerer/Wizard)

I decided to go through the other named spells that I have seen through the years, and see if there are any others that could be added. I started with Melf because what I found was short list of spells accredited to him, and later on I could tackle Bigby and the other Greyhawk archmages’ long list of spells.

By the way, after doing a little research, I found out that Tasha only had only one spell named after her, and the interesting fact was that Tasha & the spell were inspired by a little girl that would write letters to Gary Gygax in crayon. She suggested the laughter spell, so her name was used in the version Gary created based on her suggested details. (Dragon issue 67)

Melf’s Spells

Here is what I found out about Melf’s spells. Melf is responsible for developing four spells: Melf’s Acid Arrow, Melf’s Slumber of Arrows, Melf’s Unicorn Arrow, & Melf’s Minute Meteors.  Acid Arrow and Minute Meteors have been added already, so that leaves Unicorn Arrow and Slumber of Arrows. So here is my take on conversion of those two spells:

Melf’s Unicorn Arrow
3rd-level conjuration (sorcerer/wizard)
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 120 feet
Components: V, S, M (An tiny ivory replica of a unicorn)
Duration: Instantaneous

You create a shimmering, translucent unicorn shape that appears in midair and flies forward, its corporeal horn lowered in a charge at the target of this spell. The target must make a Strength saving throw. On a failed save, the target takes 1d8 piercing damage, pushed back 5 feet, and is knocked prone. On a success, the target takes half as much damage and isn’t knocked prone or pushed back.
At High Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the number of unicorn arrows increases by 2 for each slot level above 3rd. You can target the same creature with each additional unicorn arrow, but each arrow can only strike one creature. Each creature that is targeted only requires to make one Strength saving throw.

Melf’s Slumber of Arrows
4th-level enchantment (bard/sorcerer/wizard)
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Components: V, S, M (A few poppy seeds)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour

For the spell’s duration, a single non-magical arrow that you touch is enchanted, and when used gives the player advantage on the attack roll against the target. You also imbue the arrow so that if it hits a creature there is a chance that the creature will fall asleep. Undead and creatures immune to being charmed aren’t affected.
The target that is hit with the arrow must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the target falls unconscious for up to 1 hour. The target wakes up if it takes any damage or if another creature uses its action to shake the sleeper awake. The target wakens fatigued and on it’s next two turns it is at disadvantage for attack, skill checks or saving throw rolls.
On a successful Wisdom save, the target is slightly fatigued and on it’s next turn will be at disadvantage for attack, skill checks or saving throw rolls.
At Higher Levels: When you case this spell using a spell slot of 5th level or higher, you are able to imbue 1 additional arrow for each slot above 4th level.


I can imagine Melf’s Slumber of Arrows spell being used by a Bard touching an arrow that is nocked by a Ranger. With an exhale, the Ranger lets the arrow loose and hits a Giant. The Giant is startled, but quickly slouches against the mountain wall and falls asleep.  The party sneaks past him to go into the cave, and rob him blind of course. Ha!

I hope you can use these spells, and I will be adding more as I go through, and do more reading & research. Let me know if you think I should changed anything. I debated on making slumber of arrows a quiver of 6 arrows, but that seemed a little over powered. If you know of any other named spells that you would like to see, let me know.


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