Spell of the Week – Antipathy/Sympathy

It may not have the flashiest consequences out there, but enchantment magic can be incredibly fun and highly effective. However, it can also be an utter nightmare for DM’s to adjudicate, and there are few spells that make this more apparent than Antipathy/Sympathy.

As you may have guessed, this 8th level spell has two possible effects, though they both work in a similar way.

It allows you to pick an object or creature and make a type of intelligent creature (goblins, dragons, vampires, etc.) be either repulsed by it or attracted to it. This is a purely mental effect, so it’s not literally flinging goblins into the air or sucking them off cliffs, but rather giving them an intense urge to either snuggle up to it or run the hell away.

Like so many spells (Phantasmal Force, I’m looking at you) the power of Antipathy/Sympathy depends on both the circumstances you find yourself in and how inventive you are with it.

With an hour-long cast time and rather unusual effects it isn’t a combat ability by any means, but with a bit of cunning it can be an utterly game-changing utility spell.

The object you cast the spell on can be up to 200 ft. a side and affects everybody able to see it. With an hour to cast the spell you can make it almost impossible for the Orc army to assault your stronghold, or you can lure half a Drow city into the kind of enclosed area that’s just calling out for a few Fireballs.

The enchantment lasts ten days so you don’t need to worry about constantly burning through slots to keep it up for an extended period. Likewise, it doesn’t require either concentration or an expensive material component.

If you play your cards right and have a generous DM, you could practically wipe out an entire army by casting it on yourself and flying to the far side of a gushing river or hovering in the air just beyond a cliff. Unless the folk you’re trying to deal with are uncommonly wise, by the time you’re casting 8th level spells you’re probably looking at a high enough DC that less than 10% of those able to see you will resist the lure.

The phrasing makes it ambiguous as to whether a creature under your spell will put itself in danger, but even if the DM rules against that it still has some major uses. If you need to fight your way through a demonic fortress you can make it impossible for them to mount an effective defence.

Ultimately this is a spell with huge potential but it’s certainly not one that you’re going to be using every day, and it requires specific circumstances or a very generous DM if you’re going to get the most out of it.

Rating: B-

A truly fascinating spell that can help render entire dungeons near-trivial. It’s rather niche and requires an 8th level spellslot, but this is balanced out by the ten-day duration and lack of concentration or expensive material components.


School: Enchantment

Level: 8

Casting time: 1 Hour

Range: 60 feet

Components: V, S, M (either a lump of alum soaked in vinegar for the antipathy effect or a drop of honey for the sympathy effect)

Duration: 10 days

This spell attracts or repels creatures of your choice.

You target something within range, either a Huge or smaller object or creature or an area that is no larger than a 200-foot cube. Then specify a kind of intelligent creature, such as red dragons, goblins, or vampires. You invest the target with an aura that either attracts or repels the specified creatures for the duration. Choose antipathy or sympathy as the aura’s effect.


The enchantment causes creatures of the kind you designated to feel an intense urge to leave the area and avoid the target. When such a creature can see the target or comes within 60 feet of it, the creature must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or become frightened. The creature remains frightened while it can see the target or is within 60 feet of it. While frightened by the target, the creature must use its movement to move to the nearest safe spot from which it can’t see the target. If the creature moves more than 60 feet from the target and can’t see it, the creature is no longer frightened, but the creature becomes frightened again if it regains sight of the target or moves within 60 feet of it.


The enchantment causes the specified creatures to feel an intense urge to approach the target while within 60 feet of it or able to see it. When such a creature can see the target or comes within 60 feet o fit, the creature must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or use its movement on each of its turns to enter the area or move within reach of the target. When the creature has done so, it can’t willingly move away from the target. If the target damages or otherwise harms an affected creature, the affected creature can make a Wisdom saving throw to end the effect, as described below.

Ending the Effect.

If an affected creature ends its turn while not within 60 feet of the target or able to see it, the creature makes a Wisdom saving throw. On a successful save, the creature is no longer affected by the target and recognizes the feeling of repugnance or attraction as magical. In addition, a creature affected by the spell is allowed another Wisdom saving throw every 24 hours while the spell persists.

A creature that successfully saves against this effect is immune to it for 1 minute, after which time it can be affected again.


One Comment Add yours

  1. DM says:

    If you cast Sympathy on an object and attract a type of creature to it that is not your own type, Spiders/Dwarves/Wolves for example, you can just keep casting it and they will all starve to death if they can’t cast goodberry, or they will die of old age because they only get a save when the enchanted object hurts them, which will be never. Their allies may be able to block line of sight or destroy the enchanted object. However, if they all fail the DC, they should all die eventually.


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