Project Arcana: Evocation Spell List

As we talked about in this initial take-down of Evocation, this school is all about energy: Adding it, subtracting it, flinging it, sucking it, making it tangible.

Evocation spells magically manipulate energy to produce a desired effect. Some call up blasts of fire or lightning, others affect the weather, and some produce palpable shapes or directly affect physical objects.

The Power form works in lightning, plasma, and visible light.

The Heat form adds and removes heat from objects and the surrounding area.

The Force form creates palpable objects or manipulates existing objects.

There are a lot of spells coming into Evocation, and a whole pile of them leaving. A lot of the spells coming in use fire or lightning, which is confusing. Most ‘fire’ spells were already in Evocation, so someone in 5e must have had an inkling of how this should work. But, clearly, they didn’t adhere to their own concepts and merely lumped the spells in all higgeldy-piggeldy. This is understandable if you’re working hard to achieve game balance, but since the schools are essentially without function in the context of the game, why bother? And, of course, the other option would be to either drop or add spells to the schools to balance them or the leave them as they are and let the market do its thing. Eventually, enough new spells would be created by players that the schools could be balanced.

Evocation Spell List

Call Lightning (*Conjuration)Arcane Lock (*Abjuration)Armor of Agathys (*Abjuration)
Chain LightningBigby's HandBlinding Smite
Chromatic Orb*Blade BarrierBranding Smite
Dancing LightsControl Water*** (*Transmutation)Burning Hands
DarknessCordon of Arrows (*Transmutation)Cone of Cold
DaylightEarthquakeContinual Flame
Eldritch BlastFeather Fall (*Transmutation)Control Weather (*Transmutation)
Faerie FireFly (*Transmutation)Delayed Blast Fireball
Guiding BoltForcecageElemental Weapon* (*Transmutation)
Lightning BoltLeomund's Tiny HutFire Bolt
MoonbeamLevitate (*Transmutation)Fire Sheild
Prismatic Spray**Mage Armor (*Abjuration)Fire Storm
Prismatic Wall **(*Abjuration)Mage Hand (*Conjuration)Fireball
Protection from Energy* (*Abjuration)Magic MissileFlame Blade
Shocking GraspModekainen's SwordFlame Strike
SunbeamMove Earth (*Transmutation)Flaming Sphere (*Conjuration)
SunburstOtiluke's Resilient SphereFog Cloud (*Conjuration)
Witch BoltPass without Trace (*Abjuration)Gust of Wind
Phantom Steed (*Illusion)Heat Metal (*Transmutation)
ShatterHellish Rebuke
Shield (*Abjuration)Ice Storm
Silence (*Illusion)Incendiary Cloud (*Transmutation)
Telekinesis (*Transmutation)Light
Tenser's Floating Disk (*Conjuration)Meteor Swarm
Thunderous SmiteOtiluke's Freezing Sphere
ThunderwaveProduce Flame (*Conjuration)
Unseen Servant (*Conjuration)Ray of Frost
Wall of ForceScorching Ray
Searing Smite
Sleet Storm (*Conjuration)
Storm of Vengence* (*Conjuration)
Wall of Fire
Wall of Ice
Wind Wall
* GM's option, of course, but we don't recommend allowing the 'acid' option on this spell. (Because it's ridiculous.)

** The two 'prismatic' spells are a mess, each having 4 Evocation, 2 Transmutation, 1 Enchantment, and 1 Conjuration effects. We're going to put it here, but GMs may have other equally valid ideas.

*** Control Water has one effect in which water level is raised by 20 feet. This doesn't perfectly fit with Evocation, but it's a nonsensical effect anyway.

Power Form

The Power form includes spells that manipulate electricity (i.e.: Chain Lightning, Eldritch Blast, Lightning Bolt), and visible light (i.e.:Dancing Lights, Fairie Fire, Sunbeam). Coming in are Call Lightning (Conjuration), Prismatic Wall (Abjuration), and Protection from Energy (Abjuration).

Chromatic and Prismatic Spells

Although the various ‘prismatic’ spells are included here, including Chromatic Orb, this isn’t a great fit for this form. This is, frankly, not a comfortable fit for Evocation, even dismissing the ridiculousness of the ‘acid’. Let’s take a look at why:

  • Chromatic Orb: Fire, Acid, Lightning, Poison, Cold, Thunder.
  • Prismatic Spray & Wall: Fire, Acid, Lightning, Poison, Cold, Restraint, Blinded.

Lots of overlap there, clearly they’re related. Let’s run through the effects and where they might should go:

  • Fire: Evocation (Heat)
  • Acid: Transmutation
  • Lightning: Evocation (Power)
  • Poison: Transmutation
  • Cold: Evocation (Heat)
  • Thunder: Evocation (Force)
  • Restraint: Evocation (Force)
  • Blinded: Evocation (Power)

So, this family of spells includes 6 Evocation effects and 2 Transmutation effects (we’re calling the blinding an effect of a LOT of bright light produced rather than a mental problem a la Enchantment). Perhaps, in the grand scheme of things, there is Neutrum magic gluing all this together so that Evocation can execute spell effects that belong to the other school. Whatever; this is not how LP would have constructed this spell. So in the end, this is one of the those times when we’re just going to shrug our shoulders and leave it up to the DMs to do one of two things:

  1. Break up or gut the spell so that the effects are in correct school.
  2. Ignore it and drive on.

Force Form

This form has spells like Bigby’s Hand, Blade Barrier, and Phantom Steed, where magical energy is made tangible, and can manipulate real objects. Also included are spells where magical force is used to create walls or barriers, such as Forcecage, and Leomund’s Tiny Hut, or where percussive force is manipulated, such as Seismic Disturbance and Thunderwave.

Coming in we have Arcane Lock (Abjuration), which is a clear use of force. Cordon of Arrows (Transmutation) caused untold amounts of grief while we figured out how we wanted to assign it, but one thing we were damn sure of: It didn’t belong in Transmutation. Mage Armor (Abjuration) increases AC with magic force. Mage Hand (Conjuration) is obviously a cantrip for Bigby’s Hand. Who the hell thought it should be in Conjuration? What exactly is being conjured? Pass Without Trace (Abjuration), Shield (Abjuration), Tenser’s Floating Disk (Conjuration), and Unseen Servant (Conjuration) all use force effects.

Heat Form

This is pretty easy stuff, here: Anywhere heat is added to or removed from something or somewhere. So this gives us both Cone of Cold and Continual Flame. It also provides the various weather-related effects, such as Gust of Wind and Control Weather.

Coming in are Elemental Weapon (Transmutation), Flaming Sphere (Conjuration), Produce Flame (Conjuration), Storm of Vengeance (Conjuration), Sleet Storm (Conjuration), Fog Cloud (Conjuration), and Control Weather (Transmutation). Armor of Agathys, arriving from Abjuration, is kind of weird, since it gives you hit points and deals damage. However, the spell clearly outlines that the target is coated in frost, which is an Evocation effect. We’re willing to bet that the temporary HP is merely supposed to represent the sturdiness of the ice, a claim that’s supported by the fact that the damage component goes away when the temporary HP do.

Leaving Evocation

Contingency is going to Neutrum. For those who have been following along and have made any sense of our dithering, Contingency is literally nothing more than the mechanism of every triggered effect in 5e made into its own spell. Magic affecting magic is Neutrum.

Melf’s Acid Arrow and Wall of Stone will be going to Transmutation. I’m not sure what the hell anyone though was being evoked here.

Sending, Staggering Smite, Suggestion, Wrathful Smite: Enchantment. Sending and Suggestion both manipulate the mind, which is an Enchantment effect through and through. The two Smite spells cause psychic damage, also an Enchantment effect (though they will likely end up in Divinus).

Telepathy is moving to the Mind Meld form in Divination.

Cure Wounds, Heal, Healing Word, Mass Cure Wounds, Mass Heal, Mass Healing Word, Power Word Heal, Prayer of Healing: Vitae, for reals.

Aura of Vitality, Crusader’s Mantle, Destructive Wave, Divine Favor, Divine Word, Hallow: Divinius. Here’s a hint: If you’re ‘evoking’ a god’s power, then the spell is Divinus. While ‘the Weave’ was an interesting idea, including god-magic into it was stupid.

Suggested Spells

Ball Lightning
1st-level Evocation (Power)
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self
Duration: 1 minute
A crackling ball of lightning 1 foot across forms in the caster’s hand. With a gesture, he releases it in a specified direction. The ball will move along the nearest surface at 10 feet per round. Any creature within 5 feet of the ball at the end of its movement each round must make a Dexterity saving throw or take 3d6 lightning damage. At the beginning of subsequent rounds, the ball will move 10 feet in a random direction. The ball will move up walls and across ceilings, but it will randomly turn rather than cross the surface of water or a surface completely covered by ice or snow.

Roebling’s Amazing Bridge
5th-level Evocation (Force)
Casting Time: 5 rounds
Range: 500 feet
Duration: 10 minutes (renewable)
The caster creates a flat, shimmering sheet of magical force up to (but no more than) 15 feet wide and 500 feet long. The ends of the bridge must be anchored to solid objects or surfaces, rather than ending in insubstantial substances like water or air. The surface of the bridge surrounds any objects in its path, leaving them unharmed. Once emplaced, the bridge is absolutely immobile, but it can be dispelled at any time of the caster’s choosing. There is no limit to the amount of weight it can hold.

Comfortable Spot
1st-level Evocation (Heat)
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 5 feet
Duration: 1 hour
With this spell, the caster causes a 1 foot softly glowing ball to appear at any point within range. Any creature within 5 feet of the ball feels a completely comfortable temperature, regardless of the temperature of the surroundings.

At higher levels. Using a spell slot higher than first level adds either 1 hour or increases the comfort range by 5 feet for each level of the slot above 1st level.