First, see 3.5/5e: Should I allow Prestidigitation to ignite Grease (the game allows the Grease to be flammable)?

My plucky halfling likes the toke of a good pipe. I mostly use it for story fluff purposes only.

Can I use Prestidigitation to spark up in Pathfinder?


2 Answers 2



It specifically states in the prestidigitation spell:

It can chill, warm, or flavor 1 pound of nonliving material.

So within the Rules as written for the Prestidigitation spell, no. It is unable to ignite tobacco. The spell you're looking for is Spark.

Spark states:

You can make an unattended Fine flammable object catch on fire. This works as if you were using flint and steel except that you can use spark in any sort of weather and it takes much less time to actually ignite an object.

  • \$\begingroup\$ "unattended" - so technically you have to set the pipe down first? \$\endgroup\$
    – aschepler
    Oct 12, 2017 at 23:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Technically the tobacco is unattended.. inside the pipe. :P \$\endgroup\$
    – Sandwich
    Oct 13, 2017 at 0:05
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ I can't find a citation for Pathfinder, but at least in D&D, strictly speaking, "unattended" means it can't be held by (or in the space of) another creature. rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/32225/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Random832
    Oct 13, 2017 at 0:19
  • 9
    \$\begingroup\$ The intent of requiring unattended is that, one assumes, any attended item would be moved or have the spark swatted out before the ignition point - that is, to stop it being used as an attack. You wouldn't be attacking your pipe, tobacco, or self, so this should be OK, though that is of course a GM call. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 13, 2017 at 4:06
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @DewiMorgan "you wouldn't be attacking yourself.... " depends if its that wacky brain melting stuff from across the inner sea \$\endgroup\$ Oct 14, 2017 at 3:19

The spell prestidigitation can light a pipe if one's willing to look to Pathfinder's antecedent

Pathfinder is unable to use material from Tome and Blood (July 2001), one of the earliest Dungeons & Dragons, Third Edition supplements that was authored by Third Edition co-designer Skip Williams. In Tome and Blood in the section Fun with Prestidigitation, many common uses of the spell are detailed, including firefinger:

You cause a jet of flame up to 1/2 foot long to shoot forth from your finger. The flame is hot and ignites combustible materials. Lighting a torch with this effect is a standard action (rather than a full-round action), but lighting any other fire with it takes at least a standard action (DM's discretion). (80)

(Emphasis mine.) One-and-a-half inches, I think, should be just about right for pipe-lighting.

The Wizards of the Coast Excerpts Web column "Tome and Blood: A Guidebook to Wizards and Sorcerers" includes the section Fun with Prestidigitation. (Readers can compare the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 spell prestidigitation here with the Pathfinder version here; they're nearly identical.)

Note: The Pathfinder spell spark has a significant advantage over the firefinger use of the prestidigitation spell: the spark spell's range is 25 ft. +5 ft./2 levels compared to the prestidigitation spell's unchanging 10 ft.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I think that Pathfinder created Spark to remove that feature from prestidigitation. Mainly, i think, that became a 0th level spell that everyone had to have memorized. Thus it was too powerful for its level. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadoCat
    Oct 13, 2017 at 19:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ShadoCat The spell prestidigitation is sometimes called least wish because the variety of tricks a caster can pull using it is limited only by the GM. Seriously, I think lighting a pipe should be among those tricks. The spell spark is — as discussed in the other question's comments — technically unable to even light a pipe! Also, jealous folks can get constant prestidigitation with the pretty-darn-cheap cloak of the hedge wizard anyway. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 13, 2017 at 19:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Since I knew a pipe smoker (my Dad finally gave up smoking), I realize that lighting a pipe requires a continuous flame for a couple of seconds but I'd still rather add that to Spark than let prestidigitation (I really hate typing that word) do everything. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadoCat
    Oct 13, 2017 at 19:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ShadoCat …And that's totally fair. I answered this question really only to add that the designers of the game from which Pathfinder stems did, in fact, intend the spell prestidigitation to be used to create fire capable of igniting a pipe. Like the answer says, Pathfinder doesn't (in fact, couldn't) say exactly what its earlier iteration said, so now any Pathfinder GM is welcome to run the ol' p-dig any way he or she wants. Personally, I'd totally let a dude light his pipe with p-dig, but I wouldn't flip the table and storm out if you told me my PC couldn't. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 13, 2017 at 20:00

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