Last Updated on January 22, 2023
A stunningly beautiful, fae-like being strides through a hostile room to cup the enemy leader’s chin in their hand. Swords and spells bristle around them, waiting for the word to strike down this otherworldly wizard.
The word never comes. Instead, the leader, lost in those eyes, remembers what it was like to be young, carefree, and in love.
The feared leader gives the order to stand down and then, to everyone’s surprise, takes the seductive spellcaster on a tour of their headquarters.
This is what a wizard who specializes in Enchantment can do. They can enchant. Ensnare the senses, boggle the mind, even inspire devotion unto death.
Enchantment spells allow you to influence the behavior of your enemies and force them to be either your friends or your prey – in either case, your pawns.
In this guide, the experts here at the Citadel will break down the School of Enchantment subclass for Wizard.
We will give you the strengths, the weaknesses, and the fundamental building blocks of how to make the best enchanter you can be.
Finally, we will provide you with a sample enchanter, complete from level 1 to level 20, that you can either model your wizard by or drop into your campaign as an NPC.
What Is an Enchantment Wizard?
An Enchantment Wizard specializes in manipulating others’ emotions. They use their magical abilities to charm, frighten, or otherwise influence NPC’s for the benefit of the party or for their own entertainment.
Wizards in Dungeon and Dragons 5e have gotten a major glow-up since 3rd and 4th editions. No two wizards need to be alike.
(For more on wizards in general, hop over to our wizard class guide.)
Enchantment Wizards specialize in the Enchantment school of magic, of which charm person is the most popular and most easily recognizable spell.
The Enchantment Wizard’s Defining Abilities
- At-will charms
- Improved enchantment spells
- Alter Memories
Like with all specialist wizard schools, Enchantment Wizards become more adept at gaining and retaining spells of that school.
It is their unique enchantment-related abilities that set them apart as Enchanters and make them truly heart-stopping magic users.
Hypnotic Gaze and Instinctive Charm are abilities that take your social niceties to an insane level.
At 2nd level, you can charm 1 target at a time at will. No limit! The only downside is that you need to be within 5 feet of your target.
Imagine what that would be like. A raging battle is going on in the background, but the enemy can’t take their eyes off of you. The rogue in the party will thank you for the free sneak-attack opportunity.
Does the party need to sneak down a hall, but the paladin’s plate mail needs a bit of oil? Walk down there in plain sight and charm the guard.
Does the party need to exchange a hostage? That’s you! Your weapon’s are not of this world. Charm your way out.
At 6th level, this ability to charm becomes reflexive. Whenever you are targeted with an attack, you can charm your way into making the attacker choose a different target. All it costs is a reaction!
With Enchantment Wizard, you can live a charmed life and be granted privileges you have no reason having.
Improved Enchantment Spells
At 10th level, you can have an Enchantment spell that normally targets one creature instead targets two.
While this seems like a simple bonus, the truth is that it effectively doubles your spell slots.
And it isn’t just emotion-bending spells that are doubled; psychic lance and mind whip can target multiple foes as well.
While not as cool as an AoE spell, it does allow you to target multiple foes within range, so you’ll get better distance between victims.
Normally, the downside of charming is that the target knows they were charmed. With this ability, your targets now no longer understand they were manipulated.
Furthermore, they can even forget what happened while they were under your control.
This is a classic archetype in folklore and modern storytelling. The person is essentially sleepwalking with vague recollections afterward of a compelling person.
They may be tormented with dreams and nightmares about their behavior, but in the dark, they will simply shudder, roll over, and go back to their mundane life and pretend it never happened.
But you will know.
Some People Want To Be Charmed
Have you ever been to a job interview in real life? The employer wants you to enter the room, command their attention, and make them feel good about hiring you.
Have you ever been on a date? Has the camera of your mind’s eye ever slowed down time so you can stare at a single person for the eternity it takes to cross a single room? Your potential partner wants you to make them feel good about letting you in their life.
That is enchantment. People want to be charmed, enchanted, and swept off their feet so that they can feel better because you are there.
The world is full of stress, anxiety, and pain. Providing a little charm can temporarily soothe that angst for another person. You’re providing an emotional service if you think about it.
A smile can make someone higher than any substance.
It’s a show, it’s an act, it’s a performance. It is, in a word, magic.
The Enchantment Wizard’s Limitations
- Charm immunities
- Very limited offense
- No defense
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to run into an NPC or a monster that is resistant, or even immune, to being charmed.
Anything with a fey-like background, be it elves, warlocks of the Archfey, or monsters of that type, is more difficult for you to face.
Constructs are even worse! They don’t have a mind to manipulate at all.
Luckily, you are still fairly adept at dealing out psychic damage; however, you’ll want to make sure to prepare a few spells to fall back on.
This leads us to the next topic.
Very Limited Offense
To deal with this issue, all of your non-enchantment spells should be focused on trickery or movement. The best way to make up for a limited offense is to change the nature of the fight.
You can do just that with summoning spells very easily.
“I may not be able to make you fight for me, but I have a friendly neighborhood earth elemental in my pocket!” says the enchanter.
A good friend from another plane can always make a difference or at least provide time for you to run away. (So make sure to prepare misty step).
In case you do have to blow something up, you should pack up on scrolls and wands. A Wand of magic missile, a necklace of fireballs, and a dependable crossbow can get you far in life.
Don’t turn your nose up at the possibility of being like every stereotypical wizard. It happens.
There’s a reason fireball is everyone’s favorite spell, and even if it isn’t a favorite spell, everyone still considers preparing it.
Sometimes, the bad guys just need to burn. I don’t make the rules. Look it up!
At 3rd level, you can cast blur and mirror image.
That’s it, really.
The best thing you can do is find the biggest, dumbest meat shield and convince him to join your cause by making him fail a saving throw.
To this end, you should at least prepare shield. As far as magic items go, get yourself a cloak of displacement as soon as possible.
Bolster that with bracers of defense or the Lightly Armored feat.
Black Citadel’s Ranking and Tier System
Color and Tier ranking is very helpful when you’re trying to digest a lot of information. In our ongoing series of 5e class guides, we use the following color-rating scheme:
Red – C Tier. Red options can sometimes be situationally useful and might make for an interesting narrative choice but are largely less effective than other tiers.
Green – B Tier. Solid but nothing that is absolutely critical for a build, or Green can be very good but only in very specific situations.
Blue – A Tier. An excellent choice. Widely regarded as powerful in some way, useful, highly effective.
Purple – S Tier. The top of our rankings. Objectively powerful or transformative in some way. No choice in D&D is essential, but these options are worth strongly considering when you create your character.
Our goal here is to provide scannable but comprehensive guides for you as you develop your character.
While we might sometimes make reference to unofficial or homebrew content to illustrate a point (or just because it’s too cool not to talk about), every option we suggest is legal in the official rules for D&D 5e as published by Wizards of the Coast.
The Nitty-Gritty, Step-by-Step Guide To Building Your Enchanter
We already know which abilities are the most and least important for wizards. That being said, there are four others to consider. When playing an Enchanter, you’ll want to decide what your actual role in the party is.
Check this page for more information on party roles. As an Enchanter, you’ll probably want to be the Face.
Intelligence – Intelligence fuels your spells, and without spells you are very limited. Obviously this needs to be your highest stat.
Charisma – We highly recommend Charisma as your fallback stat. As an enchanter, you will more than likely be the Face for your party, which means you will be doing all of the talking. The right words can be more effective than any lockpicks.
As the Face, you’ll be more likely to use persuasion, deception, intimidation, and the like to get your party into the swanky soiree and out of the jailhouse afterwards.
Wisdom – Wisdom is a good third choice because perception and insight can give you a better angle on your mark. You are trying to manipulate people, after all – it is what you do. The more you observe them, the better you will be at it.
Dexterity – Dexterity is a good third choice because it boosts your AC while making you not completely useless with a crossbow in case you have to shoot someone’s pants off instead of charming their pants off.
Playing an Enchanter and charming enemies is all about using their own expectations against them. Mechanically speaking, you’ll want a race that gives you a bonus to Charisma. Beyond that, anything that will help you socially or with your spellcasting is the way to go.
Changeling – Changelings are the best of both worlds. You gain the bonus to Charisma that you will need as a social character. In addition, their shapechanger ability allows them to play to their enemies’ expectations when engaging socially or magically.
You can always place that extra stat bonus into Intelligence, and the bonus skill proficiencies will grant you free access to Charisma-based skills, thus allowing you to use your background to give you more options for stealth, subterfuge, or infiltration.
Yuan-ti – Yuan-ti make for excellent spellcasters of any type, but their bonus to Charisma lends itself to the social capabilities of the Enchanter. The bonus to Intelligence will help fuel your spells.
In addition, you gain the poison spray cantrip and suggestion once per long rest. This suggestion spell will be enhanced by your Enchanter abilities.
Yuan-ti also have advantage against all spells and magical effects. All of them. Rarely will you find a better race for a wizard.
Orc/Hobgoblin/Bugbear/Shifter – It would be very fun and interesting to play an Enchanter who uses Intimidation and fear to keep their targets in line.
Actually, it would be terrifying. This is why we love the idea here at the Black Citadel!
It would be difficult to play such a character as the Face role would not be your first choice.
After intimidation, you would want to have insight as a proficient skill, allowing you to pick a target most likely to be intimidated or charmed (in a scary way) by you.
For Enchanters, the best backgrounds will be those that grant you social skills and background abilities.
After that, you may consider subterfuge skills and abilities, allowing you to rely on your charming abilities to get you out of the awkward moment when you get caught with your hand in the cookie jar.
Charlatan – This background gives you deception and sleight of hand as proficiencies. With these, you can use your magic and your quick wit to influence how and when you use your magic.
The disguise kit and the forgery kit will be good props for you. If an NPC is charmed by you, they won’t look too closely at your disguise or your documents. Your magic will make those things more likely to work.
The False Identity feature will give you a social backdrop in which to maneuver socially. That way, if you do get caught in a bind, you can charm your way out and then change personas to get away completely.
Entertainer – This background gives you acrobatics and performance. While the acrobatics is useful in the field, performance will pair well with your charm abilities.
You can perform for a crowd, but charm the authority figure or wealthy mark to give them special treatment and gain an invitation somewhere.
Again, you’ll get a disguise kit you can use to maneuver through situations without drawing too much attention and making you recognizable.
The By Popular Demand feature will get your foot in the door to many lodging and entertainment venues. While so employed, you can use abilities on stage and add a bit of celebrity to your enchanting mystique.
Soldier – This background gives you Athletics and intimidation. Athletics is useful in some situations, but Intimidation is another route to charming that often goes ignored.
Charmed does not have to mean that the target is enamored with you. They can be terrified and still eager to please. Like when your mother-in-law comes to visit.
The proficiency in Land Vehicles makes you the driver of the party, which means you default to talking to the authorities when you get stopped on the road.
Go ahead and charm the local guard with a grim smile and a hand on your arcane focus.
The Military Rank feature gives you an organization to maneuver in socially. You can charm your way into positions of rank and privilege, or charm your subordinates into action.
You can sweet talk, lie, or scare the requisitions officer into giving you 25 healing potions for “training purposes.”
Wizards gain access to Arcana, History, Insight, Investigation, Medicine, and Religion.
As an Enchanter, you will want to focus on those skills that grant you social skills. Yet, there are no wizard skills for that. Therefore, your best bets are Arcana and Insight.
Arcana – This skill will be your first move. If you are faced with a creature or person you may need to charm or enchant, arcana will tell you if they are a humanoid, a fey, a construct, etc.
A successful arcana check will let you know if you even can charm them, or if they will be immune to psychic damage, or if you are better off using that wand of magic missile you so expertly packed.
Insight – The most important part of enchanting is picking your mark. You have to choose your target. Who is the most susceptible to your power?
An insight check will help you determine that. Of course, most monsters are all identical, so if your DM is willing, you could ask to make such a check as a bonus action in order to get a +2 to your DC for that one check.
However, if the monsters are all identical, then you should get to use this check for free at the start of combat.
As a condition, charmed states that the victim can’t attack the charmer and that the charmer has advantage on social interaction.
Since charming is an entire 1/3rd of what Enchanters do, you will need to choose which type of social interaction you want to use most often.
Persuasion – Like Grandma says, you’ll get more flies with honey than with vinegar.
As to why you would want flies, I don’t know. That’s between you and Grandma.
Persuasion is less likely to get you in trouble if you fail, unlike deception and intimidation.
The worst that can happen is they say no, right? Nothing worse could happen?
Deception – If you are the type who likes running short cons and quick disguises, deception may be your best bet.
However, if you get caught lying, that could lead you into some serious trouble. Keep a notebook. Keep it secret, and keep it safe.
Intimidation – Often overlooked, intimidation is absolutely one path of charming others. The condition says you get advantage on social interactions, and Intimidation is such an action.
Think of the intimidating enchanter as a large and scary predator growling and roaring to scare a threat as opposed to a seductive tempter or temptress.
Like a drill sergeant with colorful aphorisms and a clear shouting voice.
Enchanters rely on intelligence and charisma. Also, you will be most effective in role-playing situations where more is required than a club as dull as the person wielding it.
You’ll want to choose feats that increase either your Intelligence or Charisma scores and give you abilities that allow you to gain social ammunition.
Actor – This feat gives you a free advantage to impersonate another person. While this may seem redundant, charming typically only works on one individual. This feat can work on a crowd.
Telepathic – This feat gives you detect thoughts once per long rest and allows you to telepathically communicate with anyone in range.
With this telepathic ability, you can now silently cast your enchantment spells so they don’t even know from where the charm is originating.
Think of the mischief you could cause!
As an enchanter, you will have to decide what your secondary purpose is. Your primary purpose is to manage social situations, but where will you be on the battlefield?
Unless you want to be in the back waiting for everyone else to finish yelling numbers at each other while you psychically cripple specific targets, you may need to multiclass.
These three options will put in different tactical locations and help you fill a party need.
Rogue – This is the best choice for an Enchanter multiclass. You will have enough versatility to put your charms behind enemy lines without the redundancy of the Bard class.
In addition, you can smooth talk your way into places no one else can go and deliver a sneak attack, steal information, or sabotage an enemy strategy.
Consider the Soulknife subclass to fit with the psychic theme and grant you the amazing 1d6 bonus to any skill check a number of times per long rest.
Artificer – Artificer is an intelligence-based caster like the wizard, so you won’t need to spread your ability scores too thin here. In addition, you’ll gain a few extra hit points and some armor proficiencies.
The most profitable position for an enchanter artificer, however, will be in your ability to make magical trinkets and sell them for far more than they are worth. Consider the Alchemist subclass here, and play a traveling snake-oil salesman.
Warlock – As a Charisma-based caster, your spell slots will benefit, and you will be sure to have a high-enough Charisma to boost your social skills. The Archfey subclass will flavor nicely with your fae-like enchantment powers.
Build Progression From 1st to 4th Tier
Mx. Kitteh is a Tabaxi Enchanter. Fascinated by books and people in equal measure, Mx. Kitteh makes their living by traveling around the world and charming their way into scientific, noble, or literary circles.
Mx. Kitteh has very little ambition in life, content to find wealthier and wealthier cushions on which to indulge themselves and their love of books.
At any level, you can find Mx. Kitteh in some noble person’s study, wizard’s tower, or arcane library living rent free until they’ve read every book available.
If, on the rare occasion, some wealthy book owner is immune to Mx. Kitteh’s charm, Mx. Kitteh will work for their room and board by copying texts. However, as soon as they find the work tedious, they will move on to easier prey.
Mx. Kitteh prefers enchantment and social spells; however they keep a select few combat spells if they wear out their welcome if some lord takes offense at being used.
In general, Mx. Kitteh will escape rather than stay in a prolonged fight.
At tier 1, Mx. Kitteh was just discovering how luxurious humanoid dwellings could be. Not quite talented enough to work their way past a nobleman’s defenses, Kitteh spent the majority of their time charming librarians and wizards.
Rarely would Mx. Kitteh travel with an adventuring party during this phase of their career and only if there was a literary reward at the end of a journey.
They would be more inclined to travel if the party is going toward a reputable location where Mx. Kitteh can take up residence again in a larger (or simply newer) location.
They have prepared tiny hut because they only travel in style.
At tier 2, the party is likely to find Mx. Kitteh housed in an arcane guild or with a minor noble. Here, they can use their arcane abilities to get in the door without having to charm everyone.
At least, not until it comes time to pay the monthly guild dues.
Should they be lounging in the private library of a minor noble, they can use their dominate person or modify memory to secure food and lodging until they get bored and need to move on.
Again, they always have tiny hut prepared so they can travel in ease, and greater invisibility or summon fey will allow them to avoid trouble should they find it.
Mx. Kitteh would be willing to work or travel with an adventuring party at this tier if the adventurer could serve as escort to another manor or guild house or if the party is looking for some lost book or tome that aligns with Mx. Kitteh’s current special interest or research project.
In Tiers 3 and 4, Mx. Kitteh is now firmly ensconced in several manors and guild houses in the land, and they will often spend months at a time reading and lounging.
When encountering Mx. Kitteh, the PCs will either be their escort or Mx. Kitteh will employ them to go and fetch a book from another location. Money is trivial to Mx. Kitteh, and they are more than willing to pay with a wish spell.
A Beginner’s Guide To Playing an Enchantment Wizard
Wizards can fit any archetype. You can have the Gandalf type, the Harry Potter type, the Yoda, or the Harry Dresden.
With all of the spells, feats, and background options, you can add a little magic to any literary, cinematic, or gaming archetype.
An Enchanter, however, is a very specific type of wizard. This wizard manipulates the thoughts and emotions of their targets. The foundation of which is the charmed mechanic.
While charmed, the target can not attack the wizard, and any social interactions the wizard has with the target are at an advantage.
There are many, many ways to roleplay this mechanic.
You could play as:
Lara from The Dresden Files, Dr. Frankenfurter from the Rocky Horror Picture Show, Angelina Jolie’s presentation of Grendel’s mother from the animated Beowulf, or any of the Lady Macbeth’s of film and literature that tempt people into taking risks with the dual promise of sex and power are all examples of this type of Enchanter.
For this literary archetype to work, you’ll want to get up close and personal with your Hypnotic Gaze ability – preferably in the same square as your target and command their attention with whatever beauty standards your game holds.
You wouldn’t hit a child, would you? All big and teary eyed or otherwise smiling and happy? By roleplaying your Enchanter as an innocent, you can work the magic into your character’s personality.
Dot from Animaniacs (but I’m cute!), the artful dodger, or the archetypal daddy’s little girl are all ways to play your enchanter.
For this to work, you’ll want to be ready with your Instinctive charm ability. A big, sad-eyed look (and a wisdom save) can make even the most hateful monster pull their attack at the last moment.
The Drill Sergeant
Charming does not need to be a positive thing. The condition grants you advantage on all ability checks in a social situation. This includes intimidation!
Pepper your language with colorful profanity, raise your voice a decibel or two, and don’t be afraid to dress your enemy down! Insult their mother!
Guilt and lust aren’t the only emotions you can use on your enemy. Fear and anger work just as well.
Like the seducer, you’ll want to get up in the enemy’s space for your Hypnotic Gaze ability, but instead of being an empty promise of forbidden pleasure, you are trying to stare them down in an alpha-predator challenge.
Enchanting From Tier to Tier
At tier 1, you probably won’t be wearing much in the way of armor or magic items, so make sure to prepare mage armor and mirror image as soon as you can. Naturally, you’ll want to keep charm person and mind sliver close at hand.
Mind Sliver should be your default combat cantrip. As you wear them down with a perpetual -1d4 to their next saving throw, you can set them up to fail when you decide to hit them with a charm, dominate, or suggestion spell.
Crown of Madness and Enemies Abound will be your best spells. These allow you to change the paradigm of the battle (or any situation, really) very quickly by getting the enemy on your side.
At tier 2, you will have more access to defensive items like cloak of displacement or bracers of defense, both of which can be worn fashionably and suggestively to meet your particular flavor of enchanter.
Keep suggestion and charm monster prepared. That way you can convince King Kong to keep you safe from the dinosaurs.
At tiers 3 and 4, your offensive capability will be slightly better, and psychic damage will be your go-to offense.
Synaptic Static works like a psychic fireball, and mind spike will absolutely ruin someone’s day.
But to maintain your seducer, innocent, or drill sergeant persona, you’ll want to get your hands on a staff of charming and use summon spells to fill the board with friendly minions just dying to please or protect you.
There is no one way to play an Enchanter. Don’t get stuck in the boring old archetypes. Spice it up, and play something original!
Remember, the first rule of DnD is to have fun, so don’t go around charming your fellow players. You wouldn’t like a fireball in your space, so keep your soulful gaze on the enemy.
Be good. Roll well. And above all, Enchanter, be fabulous.
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Rich is an avid D&D player and DM. He has been playing since the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st and 2nd editions. He has run campaigns of various editions with family and friends for over 20 years. Playing DnD 5th Edition in person at local game stores and online with VTT’s over the past 10 years has provided a consistent connection to how the game has grown. He strongly believes in understanding the source material, but catering the games to your individual players. Feel free to ask anything in the comments or drop him an email: [email protected].