Classes Cleric D&D homebrew Sandbox Sorcerer Warlock Wizard

5e Invokers: A Handful of Spells

A first draft of five spells for the 5e Invoker, with an eye for use by clerics, sorcerers, warlocks, and wizards.

As weird as this sounds, writing spells stresses me out. The provided guidelines in the Dungeon Master’s Guide so often do not align to the spells in the Player’s Handbook (which is the same issue with monsters, but I digress.) I end up scouring all of the existing “official” spells, the spell creation rules, and the 3rd-party content from creators I respect and trust to have done their own exhaustive legwork. The result really is more art than science. It’s a “look and feel”-type deal. This is especially true if you are trying to create a new class or three with a spell list paralleling the best of what D&D currently has to offer. Still, if you don’t face your fears, you don’t grow. With that in mind, here are a handful of spells for a draft of the 5e invoker.

5e Invoker: Concept and Theme | Five 5e Invoker Spells

All of the below are listed as invoker only as it is my intent to include them on the invoker’s spell list. If you want to include these spells for home use, cleric, sorcerer, warlock, and wizard are viable classes. You can make cases for just about any of these going to any of them, and I trust DMs to know their campaigns better than I do in order to get a best fit. Likewise, the lore included with each spell is for a very specific setting I am currently getting a feel for. It can be changed or used freely. The spells included are:

  • Sun Strike – a conjuration cantrip
  • Astral Protector – 1st-level conjuration (v1.1 – updated 01/19/18)
  • Whispers of Defeat – 2nd-level Enchantment (v1.1 – updated 01/19/18)
  • Knives of the Soul – 3rd-level Transmutation (v1.1 – updated 01/19/18)
  • Brilliant Beacon – 4th-level Abjuration

These are first drafts.

Sun Strike
“Long have the Guardians of the Aurisian Chain held their vigil. Legend holds that Auris diminished herself – Efen claiming the space in the Southern Sky Auris once filled – to create the great chain to close the Gate of Vek Ntshai. The Guardians swore oaths to Auris to take her sacrifice as their own, and stand in unsleeping watch should the cult of Vek Ntshai attempt to re-open the gate or the Children of Siab Rho claim the chain for their own. This is their sworn duty and they are oathbound to see it through. In turn, Telke Dros offered to perform the tasks left vacant by Ebher Lang becoming First Guardian. Dros formed the Speakers of the Southern Sky, recruiting those like herself who have the stars answer their call directly. Their numbers swelled with the inclusion of the Soldiers of the Southern Sky, leading to where we are today.”
-an excerpt from A Treatise on the Martial State of Czolia by Historian Franta Radek

Cantrip Conjuration
Class: Invoker
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: 60 feet
Components: V, S
Duration: Instantaneous
A bolt of sunlight erupts from your hand, staggering a creature within range. The creature must succeed on a Strength saving throw or take 1d8 radiant damage and be knocked prone.

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

Astral Protector
“When we talk, the sky listens. We are not sanctified servants of Rjochter and Ahnden, but the voice of the Twelve. We speak for Nadya Vamse and Zaguben. Pravos and Nakaz Vam are no different in our eyes. When we are tasked with the rehabilitation of scholars who have become infected by words they should not know, we bring them to the Conservatory. When matters require more overt action, we intervene. The Twelve grant us the ability to call upon them, and they respond to us. They send their servants to our side.”
-an excerpt from Speaking to the Southern Skies, a Speakers of the Southern Sky leaflet

1st-level Conjuration
Class: Invoker
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: 60 feet
Components: V, S, M (a moonstone worth at least 50gp)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
You summon an astral protector, appearing as a floating, starry orb hovering just over the shoulder of your target. When you summon the astral protector, you instruct it to protect your target.The astral protector will retaliate for or guard the target – chosen when summoned. You may also instruct the astral protector to retaliate or guard each round as a bonus action.

When instructed to retaliate, in reaction to your target being attacked by a creature within 60 feet, the astral protector makes a spell attack using your spell attack bonus against the attacking creature. On a successful hit, the attacking creature suffers 2d6 radiant damage, and an additional 1d6 radiant damage if the attacking creature hits your target with the triggering attack

When instructed to guard, in reaction to your target being attacked by a creature within 60 feet, the astral protector grants your target 1d6 temporary hit points and grants your target resistance to the attack.

The astral protector regains its reaction on your turn.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the damage and temporary hit points granted increases by 1d6 for each slot level above 1st.

v1.1 (January 19, 2018) – Revised the retaliation portion of the spell to be more distinct and easier to parse. 

Whispers of Defeat
“The labyrinthine texts of Zaguben are well-documented. The most dangerous tomes uncovered in the excavation of the Library of Drakal and Nisha Academy are those that sought to capture the words and teaching of Zaguben. We have lost much in learning the wisdom of the Wanderer, but such is our duty. The paths wind on, yet we have found the trail Zaguben left behind. We, too, can whisper the words that broke the siege of the Joined Seraphs. Where others see sorrow and fear, we see only service.”
-an excerpt from the journal of Speaker Dusana Vencesov

2nd-level Enchantment
Class: Invoker
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: Self (25-foot radius)
Components: V, S, M (an ebony rod at least one foot long)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
When you cast this spell, choose a number of creatures within range equal to 1 + your spellcasting ability modifier. These creatures must succeed on a Charisma saving throw, or have disadvantage on all weapon attacks. Additionally, the first time the creature misses an attack on its turn, it suffers 2d6 psychic damage. Affected creatures may make a new saving throw at the end of each turn after the first.

This spell does not affect creatures who are immune to the frightened condition.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d6 for each slot level above 2nd.

v1.1 (January 19, 2018) – restricted the amount of times it can trigger on a creature in a single turn.

Knives of the Soul
“Jade has long been favored by the people of Czolia. Spanning from statues to jewelry to armaments, there are myriad examples to pull from without taxing yourself to even the slightest degree. All children grow up on tales of Izkov, the Forge, who caught the dreams of Rjochter and Ahnden and crafted from them all the greatest items of legend: Pozar – the blazing bow, Cehreb – the steed of Hezky, Spatne – the Halberd of Generals, among countless others. The Singing Priests of the College of Rjochter the Kind claim jade instruments are the key to their healing of the sick and blessing the unfortunate. The Speakers of the Southern Skies carry jade knives with them, claiming jade allows them to draw upon their souls and entwine it with their spells. Wherever you look in Czolia, you are sure to find jade.”
-an excerpt from “Myths and Materials,” by Alefa Tani

3rd-level Transmutation
Class: Invoker
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: 60 feet
Components: V, S, M (a jade knife worth at least 100gp)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
Focusing your magic and mind upon your jade blade, you are able to hurl duplicate blades of pure force at two creatures worthy of your ire. Choose two creatures you can see within range. As an action, make an attack roll against each creature. On a hit, the creature suffers 4d12 force damage, cannot turn invisible, and has disadvantage on Dexterity (Stealth) ability checks until the end of its next turn. Regardless of if you hit or miss with your initial attack, you may repeat this action each turn whenever the creatures are within range. Once you have selected creatures as targets for this spell, you may not change targets without casting the spell again.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the damage increases by 1d12 for each slot level above 3rd.

v1.1 (January 19, 2018) – added some language to further clarify targeting. 

Brilliant Beacon
“We chant the words shared with us by Nadya Vamse and invite her to gaze upon us. Her luminous radiance fills us as we sustain her presence. Her shield becomes a glowing embrace, wrapping us in the light of her belief in us. Her rod is a torch – driving away the creatures of deepest darkness, while cloaking us in its gloaming flickers. Nadya Vamse, the Red Knight, we welcome you within.”
-a common Speaker of the Southern Sky prayer

4th-level Abjuration
Class: Invoker
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: Self (15-foot Radius)
Components: V, S, M (a black pearl worth at least 500gp)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
You become a conduit for the stars, bathing your allies in starlight and radiant brilliance. When you cast this spell, you can designate any number of creatures you can see as your allies. You and your allies who remain in the area gain your spellcasting modifier in temporary hit points at the beginning of your turn. Creatures attacking you or your allies within the area must succeed at a Constitution saving throw or suffer disadvantage on their attacks. Creatures who are immune to the blinded condition do not suffer this disadvantage.

If you are immune to detect thoughts, or are in a location that prevents clairvoyance, this spell fails and the spell slot is not expended.

3 comments

  1. Some quick thoughts:

    – The cantrip looks good. Maybe bump the damage down to 1d6 instead because you’re imposing a condition. I like it.
    – Astral Protector is good. I like how you can choose 2 actions and how it requires concentration and a monetary cost (which seems worth it). Compared to other spells that grant resistance like warding bond, this looks good. The limitation of 1 reaction/round is interesting and reasonable. However, I think the damage dice reduction might be a bit much. Maybe spin that off into a cantrip or spell of its own, and make the retaliation more like “2d6 radiant damage + your ability score modifier, save for half” to guarantee some damage.
    – Whispers of Defeat feels like it affects too many people for a 2nd level spell. I would maybe bump it down to spellcasting mod (radius is fine) and add one more person affected/per higher level Whispers is cast at. Also maybe limit the amount of times the psychic damage can be dealt in one turn if you’re not going to have damage trigger another save, otherwise this gets a bit too sweet against creatures with Multiattack. Disadvantage is very powerful, let alone damage.
    These spells are nice, and I don’t want them to be irrelevant after a couple levels, so I love the scaling mechanics for the level 1, 2, and 3 spells.
    – Knives of the Soul is spot fucking on in terms of flavor and effects. It feels like it might need some clarification on how exactly the two targets part works (can you switch targets?) but the damage seems reasonable and the debuffs are noice.
    – Brilliant Beacon is dope. Good but allows a save. No problem there.

    I can see two invokers really fucking everything up. Maybe consider what happens when Whispers and Brilliant overlap?

    GREAT WORK!

  2. Thanks for the feedback. I really appreciate it.

    1) Ray of Frost is a spell attack that deals a d8 and has a speed reduction that stacks with other speed reductions. On the d6 side you have spells like Frostbite, which imposes disadvantage – probably consistently better than prone. With those in mind, it’s hard to know exactly what die size is right. I think d8 feels right, but playtesting could result in a need to lower it to d6, for sure.

    2) I think this spell needs a second look in general. I’m not happy with the retaliation part.

    3) Disadvantage on weapon attacks is acknowledged as less powerful than just plain disadvantage, AND if you are immune to frightened, it doesn’t work. Further, it both requires concentration and allows continual saving throw attempts. In short, it has a lot of potential points of failure and meaningful limitations. With that in mind, I think the number of targets is fine. However, I agree I should limit the times it can trigger per round on a creature.

    4) Sure, I can add another line or two to further clarify.

    Again, I really appreciate the feedback and discussion.

  3. What about Astral Guardian pushing a target back with its retaliation, in addition to any other retaliation stuff? That’d make sense, especially against melee combatants. Also, does the target of Astral Guardian gain temp hp before or after they take damage?

    I like the defend/attack mode of Astral Guardian. If you bumped it up a level or two AG could maybe even attack/defend without requiring a bonus action to switch modes or only being able to access one mode at a time.

    Also: “if the attacking creature hits your target with the triggering attack”? Do you mean “if the attacking creature hit your target with the triggering attack.”?

    The thing about prone for me is that it imposes disadvantage as well as a move penalty (half movement to stand). I was also thinking of Sacred Flame and how it does absolutely no damage on a successful save while having the same damage dice and the same range as Sun Strike.

    However, not all creatures can be knocked prone, and the disadvantage only lasts until the creature stands up. I agree with you on the playtest part (I’ll make the cantrip available to a player’s war cleric).

    Also, clerics aren’t going to be outputting control/damage spells like the invoker will, so I do feel that it is appropriate for the invoker to have more control-y cantrips. I’m using Sacred Flame as an imperfect divine spell comparison.

    Thanks for the clarification on the spells. I like how the retaliation attack on AG deals extra punishment if the attacker hit. Vengeance!

    The two target thing is also nice and clear on Knives of the Soul.

    I haven’t said this before, but I love the flavor text on all of your spells (including the ones you wrote in your spell book a while back). That’s something I miss from 4th edition.

    I also like the conditions that have to be met to cast certain spells and how you account for creatures that would reasonably be immune to the spells effects.

    I enjoy talking about this stuff!

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