Bringing your foes low through massive damage or mind-warping illusions is always enjoyable, but few things are as satisfying as the countless petty annoyances that come with a well-applied Bane.
Have you ever wished your game world was a little more like Narnia?
There are a handful of spells listed in the Player’s Handbook that are actually more likely to be used by the DM than any self-respecting hero, and few crop as commonly as the good old Arcane Lock.
There are plenty of spells that require you to think creatively if you’re going to make the most of them, but only one of them makes you think with portals.
In the same way that Dr. Who’s Daleks are an unstoppable race of space-murderers that can be thwarted by a flight of stairs, Arcane Eye would be a game-breaking spell if it wasn’t so bad at dealing with doors.
Magic is both the glue that holds the D&D universe together and the grease that lets some of it’s weirder aspects spin without getting gummed up by the grit of reality. Being able to just turn it off – even in a limited area – is therefore incredibly, unbelievably powerful.
Antilife Shell is one of the few spells that sounds much cooler than it is in practise. From its name you may expect it to be a tool of necromantic terror and destruction, but in reality it’s not much more than a rather niche magical barrier. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with magical barriers, especially…
Who knew that those broomsticks from The Sorcerer’s Apprentice could be so incredibly deadly? Going by the rules of Animate Objects one of them should have been able to beat Mickey to death within a couple of turns.
Is there a more iconic example of Necromancy than the humble Animate Dead? After all, what kind of mad re-animator would you be without a coterie of shambling minions to do your bidding?
Also known as ‘I wish the entire party were Druids’, Animal Shapes is an immensely enjoyable spell that is as useful and powerful as you want it to be.