I'm new to this website, and new to D&D as a whole, but have gotten very into it since I started. My question comes from this: While I was rolling to attack for my Warlock's Eldritch Blast, I said I don't think it gets my Spell Attack Bonus because I didn't see it say such anywhere, and the DM (Also new to D&D)agreed, said it sounded correct as cantrips don't get the bonus. As I have been reading however it seems that they do get the bonus to attack rolls, it just certainly doesn't carry over to damage save rare exceptions. Can anyone verify this to me? And if so, show a source so I could let my DM know?

  • \$\begingroup\$ @PurpleMonkey I interpreted the OP to be asking does their bonus to attacking with spells apply also to cantrips. \$\endgroup\$ – Ian Miller May 24 '17 at 11:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ A variety of questions have already covered the spell attack modifier, to include these two 1 , 2. As you are new, no worries. You asked an in scope question and got an answer. The SE sites generally do not benefit from duplicates of the same basic question. Welcome to RPG.SE. Please take the tour and visit the help center to get a feel for how this Q&A site works. We are glad you have joined us, and Happy Gaming! \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast May 24 '17 at 13:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast Thank you! Sorry for any duplicates, I was just having issues finding the answer. I already knew how it was calculated and their purpose, me and my DM were just under the impression for some reason that cantrips like Eldritch Blast didn't benefit from the Spell Attack Modifier, not sure why. xD Thanks for the welcome, this is a lovely site! \$\endgroup\$ – Genix May 24 '17 at 19:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast I see no mention of cantrips in any of the answers you have indicated. \$\endgroup\$ – Ian Miller May 24 '17 at 23:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ On further review I've reopened this. The proposed duplicate (Does your spell modifier add to your spell damage?) is about whether damage is affected by the spell modifier, which is unrelated to this question about whether attack rolls are affected by the spell modifier. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie May 25 '17 at 0:30

Yes, Cantrips get a bonus to attack.

From page 205 in the PHB we have that all spells benefit:

Some spells require the caster to make an attack roll to determine whether the spell effect hits the intended target. Your attack bonus with a spell attack equals your spellcasting ability modifier + your proficiency bonus.

And from page 201 in the PHB we can see that cantrips are considered spells:

Every spell has a level from 0 to 9. A spell’s level is a general indicator of how powerful it is, with the lowly (but still impressive) magic missile at 1st level and the earth-shaking wish at 9th. Cantrips—simple but powerful spells that characters can cast almost by rote — are level 0.

You are correct that there is no mention of all spells getting a bonus to damage based on your proficency or your spellcasting ability.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you very much! Very helpful answer, and quick response. \$\endgroup\$ – Genix May 24 '17 at 19:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ You can add your charisma modifier to Eldritch Blast by taking the Agonizing Blast invocation though. \$\endgroup\$ – Rob Rose May 25 '17 at 6:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Robrose I and the OP are aware of that. They said "[Spell Attack Modifer] just certainly doesn't carry over to damage save rare exceptions." They weren't asking for a list of the rare exceptions. \$\endgroup\$ – Ian Miller May 26 '17 at 1:01

Yes, cantrips do benefit from spell attack modifiers - d20 + Proficiency Bonus + Spellcasting stat modifier, but only for attack.

Cantrips are treated as any other spells, just think of them like 0 circle of magic.

Although you add modifier to damage only if a spell or certain effect description says so - for example, Agonizing Blast invocation adds your Cha mod to any EB blast.


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