You can’t use all the magic in 5e D&D to deal damage. There are many ways to defeat a monster. Sometimes, it can be helpful to play on the dumbness of most monsters . Spells like minor illusion or psychic spells can help to outthink monsters instead of having to outfight them.
One of these spells, Phantomtasmal Force, allows you to enter a monster’s mind and display your trickster skills. Why would you use phantasmal power when a combat spell could do the same? When is it best to use it? Can you use it outside of combat?
You will find all the answers to your questions in our Phantasmal Force 5e Guide.
What is Phantasmal Force?
- Illusion 2nd Level
- Casting time: 1 action
- Range 60 feet
- Components – V, S, and M (a bit of fleece).
- Duration – Concentration up to 1 minute
- Spell list: Bards and Sorcerers. Wizards
You can create an illusion that is rooted in the mind of any creature within your range. The target must make an Intelligence saving Throw. A failed save results in a phantasmal creature, object, or other visible phenomenon that is no bigger than a 10-foot cube. This is only perceivable to the target for the duration. This spell does NOT affect undead and constructs.
The phantasm can include sound, temperature and other stimuli that are only visible to the target creature. Your spell save DC can be used to check the target’s action for intelligence (investigation). The spell ends if the check succeeds.
The spell affects a target, but the target does not treat the phantasm like it is real. Any illogical consequences of interfacing with the phantasm are rationalized by the target. A target trying to cross a phantasmal bridge across a chasm might fall if it steps on the bridge. If the target survives, it believes the bridge is still there and will come up with another explanation. It might be pushed, slipped or even blown off by strong winds.
The phantasm can convince an affected target that the illusion is real. It can even inflict damage to the illusion. The phantasmthath appears as an attackable creature and can be used to harm the target. A phantasm can also appear as fire, acid, or lava, and may be used to burn the target.
The phantasm may deal psychic damage to the target each round if it is within the phantasm’s range or within 5 feet of it. This condition is met if the illusion is one that is a creature or hazard that could logically cause damage such as attacking. The damage is perceived by the target as being of a type that corresponds to the illusion .
Let’s take a look at this spell. This is an illusion spell of 2nd level and can be cast either by a Bard or Wizard. You need to take an action to cast it and the target can be affected from 60 feet away. The spell requires a vocal, somatic and material component. The material component is a piece or fleece. It takes concentration to cast the spell and can last up to one minute. Here’s the fun part.
How Phantasmal Force works
After the spell has been cast, you can choose a target. The target must make an intelligence save against your spell-saving DC. If your target fails, you can create an illusion that will fill your target’s head. The illusion should not exceed a 10 foot cube. It should be approximately two squares by two squares. You can use this illusion to create an object, a creature or any other phenomenon. To make your phantasm feel real to the target creature, you can add sound, temperature, or other stimuli.
The creature can take an action to investigate or make an intelligence check against the spell save DC. This will allow them to verify the truth of the illusion. They will realize that the spell is a lie if they succeed. They will treat your phantasm like a real target if they fail.
They rationalize every encounter with the phantasm they have as a real encounter and can even take damage from it.
If the enemy is less than 5 feet from the phantasm at the end of your turn, the illusion can deal 1d6 physical damage to the enemy. You must make sure that the illusion can be used to attack a target. The illusion would make the enemy see the damage as logical.
If you make a phantom acid pool and the enemy steps in it, they will suffer acid damage. The enemy can be attacked by the ogre if you create the illusion of an ogre. They will believe that the psychic damage is actually caused by the ogre biting or punching them.
Why would you use this ability?
This ability can be used to create a hazard or an object, or an illusionary creature. Let’s begin with the hazard. Imagine you and your friends are fleeing from kobolds in their cave. You’ve managed to jump over or wade through a nearby river.
Your bard notices that the water is very deep and a rushing stream, and decides to have some fun. He creates the phantasmal force picture of a bridge for the kobold leader. After the bridge image is created and the intelligence save failed, the kobold leader darts across or at least attempts to. Instead, he plummets into the water and fails to make a strength save. He is then thrown against rocks.
The conflict is ended when the leader of the kobolds has died. A hazard that is smaller than ten feet can be used to control the battlefield and/or play tricks on your enemy. The enemy will not be able to control their movements if you don’t make it real enough.
Creating a Creature
It is possible to create an image of a creature that fits within the 10-foot area. You can make it a bugbear or goblin as long as you meet the required size.
Some DMs state that the target must have seen the creature in person or through a book or drawing in order to successfully cast the illusion. The target must be afraid of this creature. And the more realistic it appears, the better. This is just a house rule, so talk to your DM to confirm.
The creature appears so real that the target is scared by it. It also believes it can be hurt by it, and interprets the 1d6 physical damage as it attacking it. This is a great way to scare the dumb and large creature and get it out of your way.
Where can you get the fleece?
To cast the spell, you will need a little fleece or sheepskin. It should not be consumed during the casting of the spell. If you have a component pouch, it will usually come with it. If you don’t have one, sheepskin is available at butcher shops and wherever sheep congregate. Fleece can also be purchased at cloth-making shops or enterprises.
It is not difficult to find and can even be looted in certain places and by certain enemies. Except if you’re looking for the Golden Fleece which would likely require an epic quest!
What about Phantasmal Killer
If you search for Phantasmal Force you’ll find Phantasmal killer right next to it. Phantasmal Killer adopts the idea of your target becoming so scared they can take damage from it and then runs with it. The spell’s effects are not fully explained here.
Tap into the fears of any creature within your range to create an illusion of their deepest fears. The target must make Wisdom saves. The target will become frightened for the duration of any failed save. The target must make a Wisdom saving throw at the end of each target’s turn before the spell ends. Or, they will take 4d10 psychic injury. The spell ends when the target makes a successful save.
Phantasmal killer is a spell that attempts to scare your target to death. It can also be useful for Wizards who want to become illusionists. Both spells require concentration. However, you can cast both spells if the situation requires it. Phantasmal Force is more useful, while Phantasmal Killer does more damage.
Phantasmal Force FAQ Guide
Question: Can Phantasmal Force Restrain A Target?
Answer: There is a crucial difference between what the spell target knows and what you know. The target may not realize that the snake rising up to bite them is a trick, but you do. Although the target may imagine themselves being bitten by the snake, in reality they are simply standing still in fear. Your allies will not act as though the target were being restrained by the snake.
Similar applies to any other conditions, such as blinded, deafened or prone. Your target may be one of these things because they fear the condition, but they are not really affected.
Question – Can Phantasmal Force be used outside of combat?
Answer: You don’t need to do any damage to the spell. You can use the spell to intimate someone or project an illusion into their minds without causing any harm. You can make it appear that there is a dark space in front or around the target to blind it.
Although these illusions may not be dangerous, if the target believes that they are real, they will likely react accordingly and tell you what they want to learn. Illusion spells can also be used in combat, so it’s fun to see what your party does with them. Do not underestimate the creativity of other players.
Question – What about the Other Phantasmal Spells.
Answer: The game has a few other phantasmal magic spells, such as Phantasmal Thief, Phantsamal Injury and Phantasmal Strangler. These spells are all from previous editions of D&D, and they have not been updated to reflect the 5e rules. There is nothing to stop you, the DM, from updating them or creating new phantasmal magic. You can make your own spells as long as they focus on illusion magic.
These spells will allow you to become an illusion master wizard or sorcerer and get inside your enemy’s mind. You will have lots of fun and great learning. Once you are comfortable with the illusion spells, you can expand your arsenal and test the limits of their capabilities.
This way, you may be able kill your enemies without ever touching them. That’s a lot more fun!