This post, DnD 5e Schools of Magic Explained will tell you everything you need to know about how fundamentals of the magic system in 5e.
This is what we’ll learn through the post:
- How Magic fits into DnD
- How Magic breaks into different categories, called Schools
- What each of those schools are
- Examples of each different school
Magic is one of the cornerstones of D&D, it plays a huge role in the mythos of the game. One doesn’t think about D&D without thinking about Magic, Wizards, and Magical Creatures. Of course, how big a part it plays in your game and world, is of course up to DM discretion.
However, the way its weaved through descriptions of Creatures, Items, and Spells would indicate is has as much of a role to play in the world as any naturally occurring force does in our own worlds such as time or gravity. It would seem with the way the game is written, that it is intended to be seen this way. While Magic is powerful in the world in the scope of what it can do and be used for, it has rules.
Like anything in our world that has observable effects, it is studied, and categorized. This categorization is known as The Schools of Magic.
There are 8 schools into which a spell can be placed, the school a spell is in gives a good idea of mainly the effects of a spell, but depending on the DM, it may also inform what a spell could look like when cast. These schools are as follows:
DnD 5e Schools of Magic Explained
This school of magic focuses on spells that protect against magical or physical effects. Dispel or even banish magical effects or creatures, and block magical effects or creatures from affecting the caster.
We have a post that goes a little deeper into the school of abjuration magic if you click right here.
- Mage Armor – Increases the casters natural armor to protect against attacks.
- Dispel Magic – Allows the caster to remove a magical effect on an object or creature.
- Antimagic Field– This allows the caster to create a zone where no magic can take place within that zone.
This school of magic focuses on spells that bring fourth physical objects, creatures, or effects.
For a more information on the school of conjuration, check out this post here.
- Call Lightning – Creates a storm cloud which the caster can bring down a bolt of lightning from to hit their target.
- Planar Ally – Summons a power entity from another plane of existence to aid the caster.
- Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Masion – The caster creates a magical doorway/entrance to a custom build invisible mansion filled with food and staff.
This school of magic focuses on spells that focuses on acquiring information on creatures, objects, and events.
Read our deeper dive into the school of divination in this post.
- Detect Magic – Allows the caster to see if there is any magic in a small area around them. This could be a magical creature, object or effect.
- Scrying – Allows the caster to view and listen to the target of the spell, success is based on how well the caster knows the target and if they have a physical connection to the target, like a lock of hair.
- True Seeing – This allows the caster to see anything that may be hidden from them. It allows them to see invisible creatures, magically hidden doors, a creature’s natural form and even into the ethereal plane.
This school of magic focuses on spells that allow the caster to imbue itself or others with beneficial effects, or allows them power over another creature.
We take a bit of a deeper look into the school of enchantment in this post here.
- Animal Friendship – Allows the caster to manipulate a beast into thinking the caster means it no harm.
- Modify Memory – Allows the caster to reshape or create a memory within another creature.
- Feeblemind – Allows the caster to attack a creature and upon success the creatures Charisma and Intelligence are set to 1.
This school of magic focuses on spells that allow the caster to create magical energy how this energy manifests, depends on the spell being cast. Though the spells are typically used to inflict damage.
For a fuller rundown of the school of evocation, check out this link here.
- Eldritch Blast – Allows the caster to shoot a beam of energy which will damage the target.
- Mass Cure Wounds – Allows the caster to send healing energy to a small group of creatures around it, healing their wounds.
- Mordenkainen’s Sword – Allows the caster to bring forth a floating sword made of energy capable of attacking the casters targets on its own.
This school of magic focuses on spells that allow the caster to alter perceptions or create fake creatures/objects/effects
More on the school of illusion is available to check out here.
- Minor Illusion – Allows the caster to create a simple sound such as a roaring fire, or a false image of an object such as a stool or small box.
- Greater Invisibility – Allows the caster to become hidden from normal sight, as well as attack while still invisible.
- Simulacrum – Allows the caster to create a duplicate of a creature that has all the same stats as the original but is unable to learn or become more powerful in its own right.
This school of magic focuses on spells that allow the caster control over life energy, either to create or harm life energy.
We dig a little deeper in the school of necromancy in a later post, find out more here.
- Inflict Wounds – Allows the caster to do direct damage to a creature by manipulating its life energy.
- Speak with Dead – Allows the caster to manipulate the energy of a corpse and ask it up to 5 questions.
- True Resurrection – Allows the caster to manipulate the life energy of a creature that has been dead for up to 200 years and bring it back to life.
This school of magic focuses on spells that allow the caster control over the physical aspects of the world as well as the creatures that reside within it.
We take a more in-depth look at the school of transmutation in a future post.
- Create or Destroy Water – Allows the caster to create a limit amount of safe water or destroy the same amount of water.
- Polymorph – Allows the caster to change a creature into another creature, changing it physical attributes to the new form.
- Time Stop – Allows the caster to manipulate time itself for everyone except the caster for a small while, allowing them to take actions while the spell is active.
So that’s Magic 101 in DnD 5e, this should serve as a base understanding for further discussion on the subject in later posts.
Thanks for taking the time to have a read through this post and until next time, may your day be a critical success!