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Modify Memory 5e D&D Guide

Modify Memory 5e D&D Guide

You reach out with your mind, delving into the memories of your target, and with a whispered incantation, you twist and bend those memories to your will, erasing what you wish and implanting false ones in their place.

The target blinks in confusion, unaware that their mind has been tampered with by your powerful magic.

Modify Memory 5e

5th-level Enchantment

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: 30 feet

Components: V, S

Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

You try to alter the memory of another creature.

One visible creature must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw. The creature will have advantage on the saving throw if you are engaged in combat with it.

The target is charmed by you for the duration if the save is unsuccessful. The charmed target can still hear you but is incapacitated and unaware of its surroundings.

Note: The memory modifying time is stopped if the target suffers any damage or is the target of another spell, meaning none of the target’s memories are altered.

While Charmed

You can alter the target’s memory of an incident that occurred within the last 24 hours and lasted no longer than 10 minutes while this charm is active.

You have the option of completely wiping off the target’s memory of the incident, enabling them to recall it with perfect clarity and minute detail, altering their recollection of the incident’s specifics, or invoking a memory of a different incident.

Affecting a Target’s Memories

You must communicate with the target in order to specify how its memories are altered. For the modified memories to stick, they must be able to understand the language you speak.

Note: Its mind fills in any holes in the specifics of your description.

The creature’s memory is unaffected if the spell expires before you have completed detailing the altered recollections. Otherwise, after the spell expires, the altered memories take hold.

Target Behavior

A modified memory doesn’t always change how a creature acts, especially if the memory conflicts with the creature’s inherent tendencies, alignment, or beliefs.

An illogically altered memory is ignored, possibly as a nightmare, such as implanting a memory of how much the creature loved dousing itself in acid.

The DM can deem a modified memory too absurd to impact a target significantly.

Note: The target’s true memory is recovered when a Greater Restoration or Remove Curse spell is cast on it.

At Higher Levels: If you cast Modify Memory using a 6th-level spell slot or higher, you can alter the memories of an event that had taken place 7 days ago (6th-level), 30 days ago (7th-level), 1 year ago (8th-level), or at any time in the target’s past (9th-level).

Which Classes Can Pick Modify Memory 5e?

Traditional classes like the Bard and Wizard can unlock and use Modify Memory at level 9.

The subclass Trickery Domain (Cleric) can unlock this spell at level 9.

Is Modify Memory Good in 5e?

Modify Memory is a good spell; even with its high spell slot level, altering someone’s memories is compelling.

A bonus is that the spell is permanent if the memory has been altered before the time limit runs out.

Advantages – Modify Memory

Memory Overhaul

Changing the memory of a creature can be enough to change an entire interaction with them, leading to many positive outcomes, an easy escape, or a slight overhaul of the campaign if that creature plays a big part in it.

Material Component

Modify Memory only uses a Verbal and Somatic component, meaning you don’t have to go through the hassle of obtaining a Material component. 

Disadvantages – Modify Memory

Concentration Spell

If you take damage or try casting another Concentration spell, the creature will no longer have its memory changed, and you’ll also be forfeiting a 5th-level spell slot which could’ve been used for a more helpful spell.

High Spell Slot Level

Modify Memory can be canceled in many ways or nullified; therefore, it might be better to invest in another spell or try to make Modify Memory work no matter what.

Spells Similar to Modify Memory 5e

Spells similar to Modify Memory are; Charm Person (1st-level), Suggestion (2nd-level), Geas (5th-level), and Dominate Person (5th-level).

When or How Should You Use Modify Memory?

Utter Confusion

Gambling usually includes a lot of alcohol and confusion, but what if you upped it by a few levels?

Having a friend confuse the opponent you’re up against or wipe their memory of what happened can make you win a large sum of money.

They also won’t be able to blame you since they’re already drunk, meaning it’s undoubtedly the alcohol’s fault!

Memory Wipe

If you’ve upset someone quite powerful, like a noble or king, simply wiping their memory of whatever happened seems like an excellent way to keep relations from being spoiled any further.

You can also use this at a tavern, on the streets, or when you come across a bandit; wiping the mind of the aggressor usually ends the interaction and lets the two parties go their separate ways.

Soothing Tales

Inexperienced party members can quickly become overwhelmed by horrific sights, so to decrease the chance of it negatively affecting them, simply soothe them by changing their memories.

The easiest solution would be to alter the memories of their first impression, changing how they react and overcome the scene.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Modify Memory Wear Off?

No, and yes. The changes made by Magic Memory are permanent, but the time you have to modify those memories only lasts 1 minute.

Note: Upcasting Modify Memory lets you target more profound memories, allowing for a more intense memory modification making the spell increasingly powerful.

Are Creatures Immune to Charm Also Immune To Modify Memory?

Yes, Modify Memory does say it “charms” the target in its description.

It also means creatures with resistance against charms get advantage on saving throws, while creatures immune to charms aren’t affected.

Final Thoughts

Modifying a target’s memories can be very powerful, even in situations where it doesn’t make sense.

Players who pick up Modify Memory should be careful not to abuse its power, as in the right circumstances, it has the power to change the outcomes of an entire campaign.

Zone of Truth 5e D&D Guide

Tuesday 2nd of January 2024

[…] your lies, having an ally use Modify Memory on you, not alerting the caster you are unaffected, […]


Sunday 3rd of September 2023

For clarity, the spell may last a minute, but the memory modification is permanent.

"You can permanently eliminate all memory of the event, allow the target to recall the event with perfect clarity and exacting detail, change its memory of the details of the event, or create a memory of some other event."