Spell of the Day 01 – Acid Splash

For our very first Spell of the Day we have one of the few Cantrips capable of hitting more than one target. Naturally this means it isn’t exactly the most deadly of spells, dealing only d6 acid damage at early levels, but if you can make both hits land you can really tear through crowds of weak foes.

Beyond the raw damage Acid Splash has the advantage of rarely running into resistances and immunities. It can actually be a real lifesaver when dealing with trolls or other regenerating monsters, as acid damage turns off their healing for a period.

Outside of combat it’s not the most useful of spells unless your DM is feeling generous and allows you to melt through locks and other potentially troublesome items. If you don’t mind being rather gruesome it’s also a pretty incredible way to dispose of dead bodies.

This brings us to the roleplaying side of things, where Acid Splash has a couple of interesting quirks. The biggest of these is that it’s hard not to feel that firing globules of acid across the battlefield may well hint that you’re a little bit evil – or at least not particularly opposed to it.

It may sound odd, but toasting guards with a Fire Bolt or zapping them with Shocking Grasp seems positively wholesome compared to melting them alive. Maybe this feeling is caused by the near-universal hatred for the closest real-world analogue to the spell, namely chemical weapons. While as a society we’re strangely okay with blowing one another to pieces with bullets and bombs, poisons and caustic acids remain taboo.

Perhaps a character with a strong link to nature or who dwelled in a swamp could get away with it, but otherwise I would hesitate to make it the signature offensive Cantrip for a good-aligned Wizard or Sorcerer.

Acid Splash

School: Conjuration
Level: Cantrip
Casting time: 1 Action
Range: 60 feet
Components: V, S
Duration: Instantaneous

You hurl a bubble of acid.

Choose one creature within range, or choose two creatures within range that are within 5 feet of each other. A target must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or take 1d6 acid damage.

At higher levels

This spell’s damage increases by 1d6 when you reach 5th level (2d6), 11th level (3d6), and 17th level (4d6).

Rating: B+

A solid combat Cantrip that cuts through crowds and can shut down regenerating monsters with ease. Marred by low single-target damage and the difficulty of melting people alive while maintaining your heroic façade.

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