Sending is a 3rd-level spell belonging to the Bard, Cleric, and Wizard spell lists.
Sending is D&D’s way of allowing players to communicate with their party members or important people while being great distances away from them.
The Player’s Handbook states the following:
- Sending 5e
- Classes Able To Use Sending
- Is Sending Good?
- Advantages of Sending
- Drawbacks of Sending
- Optimizing Sending
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
Casting Time: 1 action
Components: V, S, M (a short piece of fine copper wire)
Duration: 1 round
The caster can send a message containing twenty-five words or less to a target they are familiar with.
This target hears the message in its mind, recognizing who sent it (if they know the caster), and may answer in the same manner immediately.
Note: Targets with Intelligence scores of at least 1 can understand the meaning of the caster’s message.
These messages can be sent across any distance, even to other planes of existence. However, sending a message to a target in another plane of existence has a five percent chance of not arriving.
Classes Able To Use Sending
Traditionally the Bard, Cleric, and Wizard classes can access Sending.
Subclasses like the Divine Soul (Sorcerer) and Arcane Trickster (Rogue) can also access the Sending spell.
Is Sending Good?
Comparing Sending’s usefulness regarding communication, we can say it is a mediocre spell at best.
Since sending must directly compete with other spells like Fireball, Call Lightning, and Revivify, which are all 3rd-level spells. These are some of the best spells in D&D and make Sending look rather bland.
Advantages of Sending
Due to Sending being a messaging spell, its range has been set to unlimited. No matter where the message’s target is, they will receive it.
Note: There is a 5% chance of failure over different planes of existence.
Sending is a 3rd-level spell, meaning most players unlock this spell at the 5th-level. This is well past the early game, and a party might have contacts to whom to send messages.
Even though many great alternatives are also unlocked, having Sending around can be helpful.
However, just make sure that a supportive player takes it because the alternative attack spells are too good for a Wizard to give up.
Crosses Different Planes of Existence
Sending has the potential to send messages across any plane of existence. It might not be helpful in the early game; however, when entering the Feywild or Shadowfell planes Sending might turn out useful.
It’s up to the player to contact anyone outside the plane or to communicate with someone they met in this new plane of existence.
Maybe players can even threaten a high-ranking demon if they want to.
Drawbacks of Sending
Sending is cast using Verbal, Somatic, and Material components. Not only does this provide more chances for the spell to fail, but it also requires players to collect particular materials.
Luckily a piece of fine copper wire isn’t as challenging to obtain as diamonds.
Low Word Count
Messages are usually seen as long letters or written documents. However, since Sending has a limit of twenty-five words, any greeting, threat, or question asked must be kept short.
Not only might this accidentally limit a message’s full scope of information, but it might also have certain receivers misunderstanding the message.
Sending the incorrect message in a time of need could cost a party dearly.
Sending isn’t a spell that needs many optimizations but requires imagination and creativity. Without it, players will be stuck merely sending messages without knowing its full potential.
In the late game, the DM might have players scouring the Material Plane in search of magical items, civilizations, or old scholars.
Having one player in the party who can use Sending will make communication between two or even three groups much more convenient.
The member able to use Sending can communicate freely between the groups, giving them orders and relaying information they find along the way.
They can even provide clues to the groups if the DM has created some sort of riddle.
The possibilities are endless.
If a player has ever met a person or creature that turns evil, they can use this connection to their advantage.
D&D games can go on for a very long game; in that time, many people and creatures can change their alignment completely.
If a player keeps track of this, they can return to the creature and use their connection to send them a threat.
It can cause many reactions, such as the creature becoming scared, angry, confused, etc.
However, what the player usually aims to do after this alignment shift is up to them. Usually, it happens for a roleplay purpose or becomes part of the DMs campaign.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Reply To Sending?
Yes, as the spell description says, they can reply if the caster sends a message to a target.
The only problem is that the spell doesn’t tell you if the person you are contacting is dead.
Must You Speak To Use Sending?
Yes. to cast Sending successfully, the caster must make a Verbal chant. However, to physically send a message, the caster need not speak.
Can Sending Be Cast to a God?
Without knowing a God, no. Even searching for a God is nearly impossible, so trying to send one a message is merely a dream. However, some spells like Divination and Communion allow players to question a God.
Can Sending Be Intercepted?
There are no rules which state that Sending can be intercepted. Players who wish to have spells like this would create homebrewed spells to fulfill this desire for communication blocking.
Sending is a spell unlocked at a susceptible spot in a player’s journey. They must either take Sending or some of the best spells D&D has to offer.
However, in the end, I believe it comes down to a simple conclusion, the campaign.
Whether Sending will be needed relies solely on the type of campaign players are playing.
If it stretches thousands of miles and often has players traveling through different planes of existence, then Sending would be a great option.
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