I'm attempting to design a spell. I think I have the base mechanics mostly covered, I just need to determine what level this spell might be to be balanced.

Primary Question: What level should this homebrew spell be, and why? If you can reference other spells or rules from official source books to back up your answer, that would be helpful.

Commentary: The idea is that this spell can get you a weak, less-stable summon. The fact that it is concentration lets the caster break the spell early if things go south (eg. the insects start attacking the caster's allies).

Conjure Insect Swarm

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: 60 feet

Components: V, S

Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour


You summon a Swarm of Insects. The swarm is unnaturally hostile to all creatures, and has no sense of self-preservation.

The DM takes control of the Swarm of Insects. They roll initiative for the summoned insects, which has its own turns. The DM has the swarm's statistics.

The swarm dissipates and the insects become uninterested when the spell ends.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Can I suggest that rather than loading the DM with more stuff to do, you make the swarm move towards the nearest creature and attack if possible, choosing randomly if any are equidistant. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Dec 8, 2019 at 23:03
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Could you summon a variant swarm or just the standard one? \$\endgroup\$
    – MrHiTech
    Dec 8, 2019 at 23:27
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @MrHiTech No, I just put the standard insect swarm since it was the weakest and most generic. The others from the MM don't seem too much stronger, though... Maybe it'd be viable to change. \$\endgroup\$
    – noltron000
    Dec 8, 2019 at 23:45

1 Answer 1


Level 2

The most similar spell in the game is Summon Lesser Demons from Xanathar's Guide to Everything, which is a third level spell that summons hostile creatures for 1 hour, and requires concentration. However, Summon Lesser Demons can summon 4 CR 1/2 demons, compared to the one CR 1/2 creature of this spell. However, a swarm of insects has effectively 44 hitpoints due to its resistances, compared to an 11 HP Nupperibo, though it is a much more "plain" monster, with only a bite attack. Lesser Demons is also considered by some to be an under powered spell already, as it is a concentration spell that can potentially do damage to you. So, I think it should be a level 2 spell.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, those are some good points. Summons are already a damage sponge, but I didn't actually notice the resistances that the swarm has. It makes sense for it to be 2nd-level. \$\endgroup\$
    – noltron000
    Dec 8, 2019 at 22:33

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