Gain Hidden Knowledge With a Crystal Ball in DnD 5e

Last Updated on January 30, 2023

What Is a Crystal Ball in DnD 5e?

A Crystal Ball is a wondrous item that allows you to see and hear a particular creature that is on the same plane of existence as you. This basic effect results from a Scrying spell, and other rare crystal balls may be used to activate more influential abilities.

Crystal Ball

Wondrous Item, very rare (requires attunement)

The typical crystal ball, a very rare item, is about 6 inches in diameter. While touching it, you can cast the scrying spell (save DC 17) with it.

The following crystal ball variants are legendary items and have additional properties.

Crystal Ball of Mind Reading. You can use an action to cast the Detect Thoughts spell (save DC 17) while you are scrying with the crystal ball, targeting creatures you can see within 30 feet of the spell’s sensor. You don’t need to concentrate on this Detect Thoughts to maintain it during its duration, but it ends if scrying ends.

Crystal Ball of Telepathy. While scrying with the crystal ball, you can communicate telepathically with creatures you can see within 30 feet of the spell’s sensor. You can also use an action to cast the Suggestion spell (save DC 17) through the sensor on one of those creatures. You don’t need to concentrate on this Suggestion to maintain it during its duration, but it ends if scrying ends. Once used, the Suggestion power of the crystal ball can’t be used again until the next dawn.

Crystal Ball of True Seeing. While scrying with the crystal ball, you have true sight with a radius of 120 feet centered on the spell’s sensor.

Crystal balls are used for peering into the lives of others, which is why it gives you uninhibited access to the 5e Scrying spell. This spell can have a wide variety of uses but, in general, is used for obtaining information. 

The spell allows you to choose a creature to scry on. The target unknowingly makes a Wisdom saving throw, and if they fail, you create an invisible sensor within 10 feet of them that you can see and hear out of. The sensor moves with your target, allowing you to follow them around for up to 10 minutes, the duration of this concentration spell.

You can also choose to place the sensor at a location you have seen before, which eliminates the need for any sort of saving throw.

Speaking of saving throws, the crystal ball uses a DC 17 saving throw, but this is going to be modified by your knowledge of the target and by any physical connection you have to them. We’ve placed a table below that shows the adjusted Spell Save DC of a crystal ball in accordance with the Scrying spell’s description.

Crystal Ball Variants

The normal crystal ball allows you only to see and hear your target. Rarer crystal balls allow you to add extra abilities to the mix.

Both the Crystal Ball of Mind Reading and the Crystal Ball of Telepathy allow you to cast additional spells while you are scrying. Interestingly, while their respective spells, Detect Thoughts and Suggestion, are both concentration spells, you don’t have to concentrate on them. 

Instead, the duration of these spells is now linked to scrying, so they end if you lose your concentration on scrying. 

The Crystal Ball of Mind Reading allows you to hear what is going on within someone’s mind as you scry on them. Interestingly, you can cast Detect Thoughts on any creature within 30 feet of the sensor, not just the one you targeted with scrying, allowing you to swap around and gain a full perspective on the situation.

The Crystal Ball of Telepathy is even more impressive, allowing you to actually communicate telepathically with creatures near the sensor. This might allow you to sit back while you communicate with far-away allies, safely communicate with enemies, or talk with someone when it would be otherwise difficult to do so.

On top of that, the telepathy crystal ball allows you to cast Suggestion, a spell that allows you to assert your influence over the actions of a creature. You can use this in so many ways, and it’s undoubtedly helpful.

Lastly, the Crystal Ball of True Seeing gives you true sight within 120 feet of the sensor. True sight notably allows you to see invisible creatures, creatures on the astral plane, and the true forms of creatures. There’s no telling just how useful this can be while trying to perform recon.

While it isn’t clearly defined anywhere in 5e literature, a fifth variety of crystal ball hypothetically exists. This missing crystal ball could use all of these abilities simultaneously, making it the ultimate magical recon device.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Times Can You Use a Crystal Ball in 5e?

You can use a crystal ball an unlimited amount of times. There are no charges, and this item doesn’t require you to use your own spell slots. So, you can use a crystal ball as much as you want, although each use has a 10-minute limit due to the scrying spell.

How Much Does a Crystal Ball Cost?

A normal crystal ball would cost about 20,000 GP while a legendary variant might cost well over 50,000 GP. Check out our Magic Item Price Guide for more information on pricing.

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