I'm thinking of creating an cantrip called mana bullet, similar in damage to fire bolt, that is made of pure mana - and as such is non-elemental, and can't be affected by elemental resistance. Of course, magic resistance still affects it. I'll lower the damage to balance out the fact that elemental resistance has no effect on it. I just wanted to know if such a thing is possible on a projectile spell of offensive nature.

What I mean by "projectile":

Fire bolt or fireball as well as magic stone are considered projectiles to me. My definition of "projectile" is basically the Skyrim definition. A projectile is simply an object that is launched in any way. Arrows, thrown rocks, fireball, all classify. Something like a summoning spell, vine whip, sprays or beams, are all not "launched".

closed as unclear what you're asking by V2Blast, Szega, Oblivious Sage, Ruse, Mike Q Nov 15 at 3:29

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    What do you mean by projectile spell? A spell that uses a ranged attack? Or a spell that involves an actual projectile (based on the spell description)? – David Coffron Nov 14 at 15:04
  • 1
    Your definition of "Projectile", and how you want to separate it, doesn't quite work in DnD 5th Edition. For example, Ray of Frost (a "laser") and Fire Bolt (a "projectile") are almost identical in DnD5e. Alternatively, Fireball has more in common with the Catapult (throws rocks) and Vine Whip spells than it does with Fire Bolt. While there is a difference between an Attack and a Saving Throw spell, there's nothing in the game that matches your definition of a "Non/Projectile". – Daniel Zastoupil Nov 14 at 22:45
  • @DanielZastoupil don't really see where the logic for fireball being similar to vine which comes in can you explain – Mage in the Barrel Nov 15 at 0:18
  • Just a note regarding your recent edit: It's good to clarify what you mean in the question, but your edit shouldn't be a response to the comment - i.e. it should stand on its own within the question, rather than being reliant on the comment it's "responding" to to make sense. – V2Blast Nov 15 at 0:45
  • Also, fire bolt is not an "object" by the game definition (though you do "hurl" it, per the spell description)... The same is true of fireball (though the only thing "launched" is a "bright streak [that] blossoms with a low roar into an explosion of flame" at the targeted point). ...Also, given your definition, I don't see how fire bolt would qualify but "beams" wouldn't. – V2Blast Nov 15 at 0:48
up vote 8 down vote accepted

There is some precedent

I'll be considering "elemental damage" to be the damage types that show up in place like absorb elements and Elemental Adept. As such, there are 9 cantrips that deal non-elemental damage at range.

Here are the ones that perform ranged attacks (i.e. projectiles):

  • chill touch
  • eldritch blast
  • magic stone

Here's one that performs a melee spell attack at 30 feet away:

  • vine whip

And here are the ones that cause saving throws:

  • infestation
  • poison spray
  • sacred flame
  • toll the dead
  • vicious mockery

How much damage can they do?

It sounds like your proposed mana bolt homebrew would use force damage:

Force is pure magical energy focused into a damaging form.

As such, the most obvious comparison is eldritch blast which deals 1d10. However, eldritch blast is warlock exclusive and is designed to be a bit better than wizard cantrips (consider how it compares to firebolt). As such, mana bullet should be somewhat weaker than eldritch blast.

Another comparison to draw is to chill touch, the only official wizard "projectile" cantrip. Necrotic damage is marginally more resisted compared to force damage. As such, mana bullet should be marginally less effective than chill touch. Removing the secondary benefit would satisfy this.

So mana bullet should probably deal around 1d8 force damage with a long range. (Could probably move up to 1d10 but only if the range was cut back quite a bit).

  • I might also add that a reflex save seems appropriate given the nature of the attack – Iron Gremlin Nov 14 at 18:39
  • 5
    @IronGremlin There are no Reflex saves in 5e and most projectile based concepts are handled as ranged attacks not saving throws – David Coffron Nov 14 at 19:59

Use eldritch blast or magic stone

Eldritch blast is an attack cantrip that deals non-elemental damage that is not often resisted (force).

Magic stone creates projectiles and enables you to make magical attacks that deal bludgeoning damage, which is also rarely resisted (although not as rarely as force).

  • eldritch blast is similar to what im looking for but is a watlock spell and id rather be a wizard or sorcerer and magic stone requires a sling which feels very un wizard like. Are there any wizard spells that don't required an alternate weapon but deal non-elemental damage i wouldn't mind magic stone if i can just throw it – Mage in the Barrel 5 mins ago delete – Mage in the Barrel Nov 14 at 14:57
  • @MageintheBarrel magic stone can be thrown too (but it is also druid/warlock exclusive) – David Coffron Nov 14 at 15:07

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.