Ray of Sickness
- Casting Time: 1 action
- Range: 60 feet
- Duration: Instantaneous
- School: Necromancy
- Class: Sorcerer, wizard, death domain, the undying, alchemist
- Level: 1st
- Damage/Effect: Poisoned
- Attack/Save: Constitution
- Components: V, S
- Ritual/Concentration: None
Spell Description: A ray of sickening greenish energy lashes out toward a creature within range. Make a ranged spell attack against the target. On a hit, the target takes 2d8 poison damage and must make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, it is also poisoned until the end of your next turn.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d8 for each slot level above 1st.
Ray of Sickness Damage Table
Ray of Sickness starts off at a very impressive 2d8 damage for a first-level spell. Every level after that grants it an additional 1d8.
We have calculated the minimum, average and max damage for this spell at each level:
Ray of Sickness Compared to Other First Level Spells
First-level attack spells have a bit of variance to them outside of simply dealing damage.
If all you want is to deal damage, go with Magic Missile. Sure, the damage output is not as great as Ray of Sickness, but you will consistently deal more average damage over time with Magic Missile.
Even Chromatic Orb or Guiding bolt will do more damage than Ray of Sickness in a single go.
But remember, Ray of Sickness has the nifty ability of potentially poisoning your target.
From the Player’s Handbook: A poisoned creature has disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks.
So, poisoning a creature will stop your target from being able to fight back or do anything useful like make perception, investigation, or athletics checks.
In short, Ray of Sickness isn’t the heaviest damage-dealing spell at first level, but it will add versatility to your castings.
Common Questions About Ray of Sickness
To find an FAQ list for this particular spell, I had to go down to the crypts underneath the Black Citadel, and I want you to know I wouldn’t do that for just anybody.
Can You Use Ray of Sickness To Poison Food or Drink?
According to the RAW, no. Ray of Sickness targets creatures only. However, as a rule of cool variation, I would allow Ray of Sickness to be cast on food or drink and make the damage be a part of the saving throw. I would grant half damage on success.
At that point, though, we might as well just create a homebrew spell.
Can You Use Ray of Sickness as a Component for Creating a Poison?
There are no rules for this. I would allow it as a DM, provided the player used the spell slot to make the poison and had proficiency in alchemist tools. I would then also make them pay at least 25 gp in material components per level of the spell slot used to make the poison.
After that, the poison would deal damage and bestow the poisoned effect on a failed save and half as much damage on a successful save with no poison effect.
Can You Use a Metamagic With Ray of Sickness?
You can! Twin Spell, Silent Spell, Transmute Spell, Quick Spell, and Empower Spell are all valid options for Ray of Sickness.
Have you ever seen one of those movies where one person gets sick and then blows chunks all over another person who in turn gets sick, and they projectile vomit all over another person who gets sick and so on in a violent expulsion of chain regurgitation?
Twin spell would be like that.
If a Target Is Immune To Poison and the Poisoned Condition, Are They Immune To Ray of Sickness?
Yes. Just because this is a spell does not mean it overcomes that immunity.
That’s all for now, folks. May your adventures be rewarding, your loot boxes be full, and your enemies be at a disadvantage.
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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].