Skip to Content

Prestidigitation 5e D&D Guide

Prestidigitation 5e D&D Guide

Prestidigitation is a cantrip belonging to the Artificer, Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard spell lists.

Players who want a straightforward, low-cost spell to practice casting abilities or to simply use as a tool will find prestidigitation quite helpful.

The Player’s Handbook specifics are as follows:

Prestidigitation 5e

Transmutation cantrip

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: 10 feet

Components: V, S

Duration: Up to 1 hour

This spell is a novice magical trick that beginner spellcasters use to practice. You create one of the below-mentioned magical effects within a range of 10 feet:

  • You create a single instantaneous, yet harmless sensorial effect, such as a shower of sparks, puff of wind, faint musical notes, or odd odor.
  • You instantly light or extinguish a candle, torch, or small campfire.
  • You instantaneously clean or soil one object no larger than a cubic foot.
  • You use chill, warm, or flavor to change 1 cubic foot of nonliving material for a maximum of 1 hour.
  • You either make a color, small mark, or symbol appear on the surface of an object or a surface for 1 hour.
  • You can create a nonmagical trinket or illusory image that is able to fit in your hand. Which lasts until the end of your next turn.

Casting the spell multiple times makes it so that you can have a maximum of three non-instantaneous effects active at the same time.

Simply dismiss the effect you choose as an action.

How Does Prestidigitation Work 5e?

Unlike many cantrip spells, Prestidigitation has six main actions able to be expanded upon even further.

Even being able to cast six different actions is already extreme for a cantrip spell.

Within range (10 feet), you can choose and use one of the magical effects in whatever way you please.

No extra material components are needed. Verbal and Somatic components are all that is necessary to cast this spell.

Understanding the Spell

Since Prestidigitation is a cantrip, players who know it can endlessly cast it.

The casting time is 1 action, meaning players can quickly cast all the different actions provided (if used in battle, players won’t be able to use an action afterward).

Its range is 10 feet, which is short; however, it is perfect for what players can accomplish.

Some effects last up to one hour, while others provide parties with something permanent, like lighting a small campfire for warmth.

What Can Prestidigitation Do?

Before wanting to start using Prestidigitation for various unintentional means, players must know the full potential and drawbacks of the spell.

Players will have six instantaneous castable actions to choose from when using Prestidigitation.

1Harmless sensory effect (shower of sparks, a gust of wind, faint musical notes, or strange odor.
2Light or extinguish (a candle, torch, or small campfire)
3Clean or soil one object no larger than 1 cubic foot
4Chill, warm, or flavor up to a single cubic foot of nonliving material (lasts 1 hour)
5Make a color, mark, or symbol appear on an object or surface (lasts 1 hour)
6Create a single non-magical trinket or an illusory image that fits in your hand (lasts until the end of your next turn)

None are eligible for effective combat (but can be used in it), and some are more useful than others.

What Are the Limits of Prestidigitation

Players must understand that Prestidigitation is a unique spell with clever uses and problematic drawbacks. Most limits will be given to players by their DM.

Prestidigitations Uses

Sensory effects are great ways to draw the attention of enemies (rustling of grass, footsteps, or voices).

Lighting a fire can be used as a substitute for flint and steel, or players can extinguish the torches of nearby enemies.

Players can clean their bloody clothes or even get rid of the filth on treasures when entering a city.

Cheap rations can be made delicious by adding flavor, and players can make poison taste great; targets won’t even know they are being poisoned.

Changing the symbols on cards while gambling can land players a lot of early GP, marking a trail while on a confusing path helps players find their way back, and a document can have the seal of approval from a King.

Threatening someone with a magical illusionary dagger can easily scare them, even if players cannot use it to deal damage.

Prestidigitations Drawbacks,

The most daunting drawback of this spell will be the DM. Since this spell contains endless possible effects, some DMs will revert to straight-up nerfing the spell’s effects.

Be sure to ask the DM their limits for spells like prestidigitation.

Prestidigitation doesn’t include a damaging effect. Even though players can use this spell in combat, sacrificing one action to confuse the enemy isn’t beneficial.

Dealing damage or supporting a low-hit point party member is always more valuable.

The biggest drawback, however, is personal imagination. Being able to come up with the most elaborate ways of using Prestidigitation is what makes the spell so great.

Players who only stick to the given functional effects will find it entirely fruitless.

Is Prestidigitation Better Than Thaumaturgy?

Both spells are cantrips, with Thaumaturgy having a twenty-foot range; however, three of its effects last only one minute (whereas three Prestidigitation effects last one hour).

Prestidigitation comes out on top when comparing the usefulness of both spells.

Even though Thaumaturgy is described as a ‘mind wonder,’ it is more valuable as a street-performing spell than an all-rounder.

When comparing combat, the only downside of Prestidigitation is its decreased range; however, most of its effects still outperform Thaumaturgy in effect duration and practicality.

Final Thoughts

Prestidigitation is a solid cantrip for newer and experienced players to try out.

The possibilities are nearly endless when this spell is given to someone extremely witty. Yet, even newer players can find plenty of ways to use Prestidigitation effectively.

Players looking for a spell housing endless utility and a trickster playstyle will need to analyze this spell.

Whether in combat, gambling, adventuring, or conversing, prestidigitation always provides players with a little trick that can change their journey!

Top 20 Best Rogue Spells in D&D 5e [Ranked]

Tuesday 5th of September 2023

[…] Prestidigitation is a lot like Shape Water, just for a lot of minor spells that can be used in their own creative ways. […]

Top 20 Best Cantrips in D&D 5e [Ranked]

Thursday 6th of April 2023

[…] magicians use Prestidigitation for simple tricks, yet it can be used for much […]

Top Best 20 Druid Spells in D&D 5e [Ranked]

Saturday 18th of March 2023

[…] It is the nature version of Prestidigitation. […]

The 8 Schools of Magic in D&D 5e Explained

Thursday 16th of March 2023

[…] Prestidigitation, Goodberry, Heat Metal, […]

Thaumaturgy 5e D&D Guide [2023]

Saturday 21st of January 2023

[…] has a range of 30 feet, which can seem relatively low. However, compared to its alternative Prestidigitation, it’s quite […]