The School of Evocation wizard's 2nd-level Sculpt Spells feature says:

The chosen creatures automatically succeed on their saving throws against the spell, and they take no damage if they would normally take half damage on a successful save.

My English isn't that good and I'm a beginner, so I think that's the problem. Beginning at 2nd level, you can create "pockets of relative safety" - what does that mean?

So what is it for if it takes no damage? I understand it this way: If you choose more than 1 creature, then you take no damage.

I couldn't find anything and no one seems to have this kind of problem. I hope you understand it.

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    I made some edits for spelling, grammar, and formatting, please make sure I didn't change your intent. – Pyrotechnical Nov 9 at 14:08
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    Your English may be a barrier to answering, but is your question regarding whether there is a difference if the target of the spell would normally not take any damage vs half damage on a save? For example, a Rogue with Evasion in the middle of a fireball making their save? – Pyrotechnical Nov 9 at 14:10
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    @Pyrotechnical I think the question is why anyone would use Sculpt Spell, rather than the exact mechanics of how it works. – Oblivious Sage Nov 9 at 14:29
up vote 82 down vote accepted

Sculpt Spells exists so you do not hurt your friends

When you cast a spell with an area of effect, everyone in the area is affected, including your friends / allies. Sculpt Spells lets you create "holes"(="pockets of relative safety") in the spell to keep your friends safe.

So an example use is:

  1. You cast an area spell, say, thunderwave in an area where friends and enemies are.
  2. You have Sculpt Spells so you can choose 1 + 3 (spell level) friends in the area
  3. The friends you chose are safe from your thunderwave and take no damage
  4. Everyone else takes the spell's effect as normal

Visual Example

These drawings may also help visually understand Sculpt Spell:

1. Normal situation: without sculpt spell

2. With Sculpt Spell: enter image description here

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    +1, love the ridiculous drawings to overcome the language barrier. – Pyrotechnical Nov 9 at 15:59
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    -1, those circles don't look freehand. (I kid) – Yakk Nov 9 at 16:01
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    +1 freehand stick limbs – SevenSidedDie Nov 9 at 16:42
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    -1 for triggering my "fireball explodes in a square!?!?!" OCD. I had just gotten over it with years of therapy. – Jake Nov 9 at 18:50
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    @KorvinStarmast I hate when creators are wrong. – Jake Nov 10 at 2:40

There are several spells which target all creatures within a given area (such as Fireball), regardless of whether they are friendly to you or not. Sculpt Spell allows you to modify the area of such a spell so that certain creatures within are protected against the spell's effects. The most common usage for this would be to throw a Fireball into the middle of a combat without also damaging your melee teammates.

Sculpt Spell is a feature that lets you shape a spell's area effect so that it does not hit the chosen creatures. The chosen creatures automatically succeed on the save and take no damage.

For Example:

The party is fighting monsters in a small room. The Wizard decides to use Fireball. Fireball will fill the entire room, so the Wizard uses Sculpt Spell while casting the Fireball. Now with Sculpt Spell affecting Fireball, the Wizard can make the ball of fire go around himself and his allies so only the monsters are hit.

  • Sculpt Spells is not metamagic in 5E. – T.J.L. Nov 9 at 14:28
  • @T.J.L. -- well I use the term Metamagic to mean an ability that effects a spell which this obviously does. Am I missing some official game definition of metamagic? – ravery Nov 9 at 14:31
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    Yes, @Ravery... It's the specific name of a Sorcerer ability. – T.J.L. Nov 9 at 14:33
  • @T.J.L. -- ah noted, and edited by doppelgreener. It's worth also noting the the Sorceres Careful spell metamagic is identical to Sculpt Spell – ravery Nov 9 at 14:42
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    They're very different, actually. Careful Spell costs sorcery points, has no school restriction, target count is based on a stat, and grants automatic saves. Sculpt Spells has no cost, only works on evocations, target count is based on spell level, grants an automatic save and inflicts no damage when used with a save-for-half spell. – T.J.L. Nov 9 at 14:46

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