During the last game I mastered, my party looted a Ring of Spell Storing. With that object came a lot of questions most I could answer, some I was not exactly sure what to say and they were mostly revolving around Hellish Rebuke.

The first thing I was not certain how to answer was: is it possible to cast a reaction spell with strict conditions of casting such as Hellish Rebuke into the ring ?

If it is possible does the original caster of the spell have to take damage (for the example of Hellish Rebuke) to be able to cast the spell into the ring or does it only apply to the character using the ring to cast (or both)? And for any other spell does the casting time has to be respected when the spell goes into the ring, out of the ring or both?


5 Answers 5


Short Answer: Hellish Rebuke can be stored into the ring, but the caster has to be first harmed to store it, and it will only have an effect if the ring bearer is harmed by an attacker when it is used from that ring.

So this is an interesting question. Now on the basics of the ring, a Ring of Spell Storing can store any spell of levels 1 through 5. Casting the spell uses all of the properties of the spellcaster that stored the spell, but otherwise it is activated by the spellcaster.

What is different is that according to Hellish Rebuke, it is only activated as a reaction, and a reaction to being dealt damage by a creature. So it seems that to even cast the spell to begin storing it, the caster would have to be attacked and harmed by someone. The spell can still be stored into the ring instead of the attacker, the only restriction to this spell is what triggers it.

Now when the spell is in the ring, and the ring bearer wishes to activate it, they can only do so if they are damaged by an attacker. The spell still uses the spell save DC, spell Attack bonus, and spellcasting ability of the original caster, but it is the ring bearer that casts it in reaction to the damage, and designates the target (in the case of multiple attackers in the turn).

And now cue funny stories of party members finding creative ways to deal minimal damage to a Warlock to store the Hellish Rebuke into the ring for someone to use. Vicious Mockery is a personal favorite.


Short answer: why not?

While I think the reliance on RAW is cool and all, with the requirement for triggering the spell to take place before storing the spell in the ring, I don't see why it's necessary.

In play, strict reliance on RAW tends to slow games down, and with something as detailed as this, might even slow the game more, especially since this interaction with the ring will, eventually, just be hand-waved by both you and your players if this is a reoccurring thing. Eventually your competent PCs will say "before we take that short/long rest, someone hit me and do damage so I can store hellish rebuke in my ring." Then they'll rest and get back that slot and hp. All of your detailed RAW reliance becomes hand-waved by a single sentence.

The intent of the ring is to give access to a spell that hasn't been prepared (or to not use a spell slot), and the intent of the spell is to harm an entity that harmed the spell caster. I think that as long as the triggering action doesn't change (i.e. the wearer of the ring takes damage), then it doesn't break balance and it doesn't slow down the pacing of the game.

Unless of course you're wanting to bait out that friendly fire crit on your caster.


This works by following the required sequence

Into the Ring

The Ring of Spell Storing only requires

Any creature can cast a spell of 1st through 5th level into the ring by touching the ring as the spell is cast.

And you can cast Hellish Rebuke as long as you use the Casting Time:

1 Reaction*

*which you take in response to being damaged by a creature within 60 feet of you that you can see

Either an enemy or a friend would have to Damage you and be visible within 60' of you in order to get the spell into the ring.

Casting From the Ring

The ring then allows you to:

While wearing this ring, you can cast any spell stored in it.

There is no "object interaction" or "activating a magical item" - the sole requirement is that while wearing the ring, you can cast any spell store in it. As long as the casting requirements are fulfilled, you can use the stored Hellish Rebuke using your Reaction which you take in response to being damaged by a creature within 60 feet of you that you can see.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Otherwise known as the "Ring of Black Eyes". \$\endgroup\$
    – T.J.L.
    Commented May 21, 2018 at 17:28
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you sir, may I have another! is the verbal component for casting this spell into the ring. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 21, 2018 at 19:24

RAW. The trigger must be satisfied in order for a Reaction spell to be cast at all.

In your example the person casting Hellish Rebuke can't even cast it without that trigger being satisfied the same would be true of Feather Fall (someone has to fall) or Shield (someone has to attack you).

Once the spell is in the ring the wearer can cast the spell as a reaction when the trigger is satisfied again.

Example: Warlock has the Barbarian hit her to allow her to cast Hellish Rebuke into the ring. Gives the ring to the Bard. Later that day the Bard gets hit by a Gnoll and is able to cast the spell, as a reaction, from the ring filling the room with the smell of burnt dog hair.

To the related question linked. None of the other rules are changed. Nothing changes the triggers, necessity of them, casting times etc.

In most cases the DM can just gloss over this with a party member punching his friend. The first time might be fun role-play but subsequent castings can be hand waved away, but that is a DM's discretion.


Casting the spell requires taking damage

The PHB section on reactions states (202),

Some spells can be cast as reactions. These spells take a fraction of a second to bring about and are cast in response to some event. If a spell can be cast as a reaction, the spell description tells you exactly when you can do so.

Therefore, you only get to cast the spell when the description says you can. In the case of Hellish Rebuke, that requires you to take damage from a creature within range.

It is possible to store the spell and use it as a reaction later

The Ring of Spell Storing states,

Any creature can cast a spell of 1st through 5th level into the ring by touching the ring as the spell is cast.

It does not specify any other limits on casting the spell, such as duration, so you can choose to put your Hellish Rebuke spell into the ring by touching it as you cast it (right after you take damage).

Later, it states,

While wearing this ring, you can cast any spell stored in it. The spell uses the slot level, spell save DC, spell attack bonus, and spellcasting ability of the original caster, but is otherwise treated as if you cast the spell.

This gives a specific list of which properties of the spell come from the original caster, and which come from you. Since the list does not contain triggering conditions, those triggering conditions are "treated as if you cast the spell"; that is, you can cast the spell as a reaction, as written.

Generally, you must meet the conditions for casting the spell twice: it specifically says you cast the spell both for storing the spell and using the stored spell.


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