A beam of radiant moonlight can sear your enemies and reveal shapeshifting creatures for what they truly are.
This guide covers the mechanics of the Moonbeam spell. We’ll also discuss which classes can cast Moonbeam and provide some tips and strategies for using this spell in your games.
- Casting Time: 1 action
- Range: 120 feet (5 feet)
- Duration: 1 minute
- School: Evocation
- Class: Druid, Twilight Domain, Oath of the Ancients, Oath of the Watchers
- Level: 2nd
- Damage/Effect: Radiant
- Attack/Save: Constitution Save
- Components: V, S, M (several seeds of any moonseed plant and a piece of opalescent feldspar)
- Concentration: Yes
Spell Description: A silvery beam of pale light shines down in a 5-foot-radius, 40-foot-high cylinder centered on a point within range. Until the spell ends, dim light fills the cylinder.
When a creature enters the spell’s area for the first time on a turn or starts its turn there, it is engulfed in ghostly flames that cause searing pain, and it must make a Constitution saving throw. It takes 2d10 radiant damage on a failed save or half as much damage on a successful one.
A shapechanger makes its saving throw with disadvantage. If it fails, it also instantly reverts to its original form and can’t assume a different form until it leaves the spell’s light.
On each of your turns after you cast this spell, you can use an action to move the beam up to 60 feet in any direction.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d10 for each slot level above 2nd.
What Is Moonbeam?
Moonbeam is a spell often overlooked in the 5th edition of Dungeons and Dragons. However, it can be a valuable addition to your Druid’s repertoire if you know how to use it.
When you cast Moonbeam, a beam of silvery light shines down in a cylinder. Any creatures caught in the beam must make a Constitution saving throw or take radiant damage. You can also move the beam of light up to 60 feet on your turn. This gives you a lot of control over the battlefield and allows you to place the beam in strategic locations.
Finally, remember that Moonbeam is a concentration spell. If you take damage or suffer an attack, you must make a concentration check, or the spell will be disrupted. You also can’t cast another spell that requires concentration while maintaining Moonbeam.
How Do You Use Moonbeam?
New players are sometimes confused by the Moonbeam spell because it doesn’t do damage on its own. Instead, it sets up a beam of light that does damage to creatures that enter it.
This can be a bit confusing, so we’ll look at an example. Let’s say you are fighting a group of goblins. You cast Moonbeam and place the beam in between the goblins and yourself. Now, any goblin that tries to move through the beam will take damage. However, if the goblin stays out of the beam, it won’t take any damage.
This can be a great way to keep your enemies at a distance or force them into the position you want. Because the moonbeam only counts as dim light, it’s pretty inconspicuous. It’s easy to set traps with this spell.
Monsters will take damage from Moonbeam when any of the following conditions are met:
- The monster is hurled into the moonbeam with a spell like Thunderwave
- The monster starts its turn in the moonbeam
- The monster enters the moonbeam
In summary, Moonbeam affects a creature when it passes into the spell’s area of effect and when it starts its turn there. You’re creating a hazard on the battlefield that you can relocate with an action.
Who Can Cast Moonbeam in 5e?
Moonbeam unleashes the devastating power of nature. As such, it’s no surprise that Druids are the most common users of this spell.
For Druids that rely on their spellcasting ability, Moonbeam is an excellent option. It allows them to control an area of the map and force their enemies to make difficult choices.
However, there are a few subclasses that can cast Moonbeam. These include:
If you’re planning on making a Cleric or Paladin that uses Moonbeam, be sure to pick the right subclass!
Tips for Using Moonbeam in Combat
You can also use Moonbeam to manage enemy forces. Try placing the beam of light on a square your enemy needs to move through to reach you. They’ll be forced to move around the beam or face the hazardous effects of the spell.
Remember, if a monster moves out of the moonbeam, it will no longer be affected by the spell. However, if the creature moves back into the moonbeam, it must make another saving throw.
There are lots of exciting ways to use Moonbeam in combat. Here are just a few ideas:
- Setting an ambush
- Forcing your enemy to move
- Creating a barrier
Setting an ambush: You can use Moonbeam to create a trap. Place the beam of light in an area where you are hiding.
Forcing your enemy to move: You can use Moonbeam to force your enemy to move around the battlefield. This can be great if you need to buy time or want to control the flow of combat.
Creating a Barrier: You can use Moonbeam to create a barrier. With a moonbeam barrier, you can block off an area and keep your enemies at bay.
With a bit of creativity, Moonbeam can be a strategic tool in your arsenal. So don’t overlook this spell the next time you’re looking to add some flavor to your game. You may be surprised at how useful it can be.
Casting Moonbeam on Shapchangers
Shapechangers are a type of monster that can transform their shape. For example, Werewolves and other Lycanthropes are humanoid shapechangers. They have disadvantage on saves against Moonbeam spells. If they fail the save, they’ll revert to their original form.
You can use Moonbeam to reveal the true form of any shapechanger, which can be very useful. Try casting this spell on a vampire in its bat form; it will be forced to return to its actual shape!
The effect of Moonbeam only works on creatures that are classified as shapechangers in their stat block. Common shapechangers include vampires, succubuses, green slaads, and doppelgangers.
Why You Should Use Moonbeam
The Druid stood before an intricate puzzle, a door sealed by magic. Runes and symbols of the moon adorned the door, and it seemed to be warded against her spells. She considered for a moment before an idea came to her.
She cast Moonbeam and placed the beam of light on the door. As she did, she saw the door begin to warp and change, the magic unraveling under the light of the moon. With a few more minutes of concentration, she was able to dispel the door entirely and enter the room beyond.
Moonbeam is one of the few spells that can create moonlight. This can be useful for a number of reasons. For example, some riddles can only be solved in the moonlight.
Some extra clarifications on Moonbeam:
- If this spell merely passes over you, it will not cause any damage.
- The creature is only counted as being inside the area of effect when it has entered the moonlight. The spell will only damage creatures that are within the light’s radius.
Common Questions About Moonbeam
Moonbeam is a rather complex spell, so it’s no surprise that a few questions come up often. With this in mind, we’ve answered some of the most common questions players have about using Moonbeam.
Does Moonbeam Deal Damage When Cast?
No, Moonbeam only deals damage when a creature enters the spell’s area of effect or starts its turn there. You can move the moonbeam around, so you can target different creatures with it. Also, if you target a creature vulnerable to radiant damage, it will take extra damage.
Can You Use Moonbeam Indoors?
Yes, you can use Moonbeam indoors. However, keep in mind that the spell’s area of effect is only 5 feet wide. This means that you will need to be very precise when aiming the spell. Enemies can be forced into the moonbeam by your allies. This can be a helpful tactic when facing a group of enemies.
How Do You Deal Damage With Moonbeam?
You deal damage with Moonbeam by casting the spell and moving the light beam around. Creatures that enter the beam or start their turn in the beam take damage. The best way to deal damage with this spell is to hurl your foes into its area of effect.
Can Moonbeam Pass Through Walls?
Yes, Moonbeam can pass through walls. However, the spell’s area of effect is only 40 feet high. This means that the spell might not affect creatures on higher floors if you’re in a tall building, but if you get the beam of light on them, you can deal damage from a distance.
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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].