I looked for any duplicates and didn't find any, but if there is please let me know.

The spell creation states:

You pull wisps of shadow material from the Shadowfell to create a nonliving object of vegetable matter within range: soft goods, rope, wood, or something similar. You can also use this spell to create mineral objects such as stone, crystal, or metal. The object created must be no larger than a 5-foot cube, and the object must be of a form and material that you have seen before.

Can food be considered a "soft goods" object made from vegetable matter?

(I realize the create food and water spell exists; I just want to know if creation can create food.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ I realize there is the Create Food and Water spell, i just want to know if Creation can create food \$\endgroup\$
    – Deus
    Jan 30, 2020 at 14:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe a separate follow-up question, assuming you can: the object would disappear after 1 day if it's plant material. If it's consumed, would whatever benefits you got from eating disappear afterwards, somehow? \$\endgroup\$ Jan 30, 2020 at 15:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Possibly Related: Minor Creation and food (3.5e) \$\endgroup\$
    – gabbo1092
    Jan 30, 2020 at 16:40

4 Answers 4


Yes, no, maybe

I think a DM will need to rule this for you, but I would say that create a nonliving object of vegetable matter suggests that it could be of plants origin. For instance a chunk of a tree that you could use as a foot stool, would be a perfectly acceptable use of the spell. It's not alive.

So it could be plant-based, but the nonliving part of the spell is what needs a ruling on. Let's suppose you create a large a fruit: a watermelon. That is alive still even when it is separated from the original plant. It has living seeds that will grow into new plants. Many fruits and vegetables are still alive in this respect.

I guess at a push, you could create prunes or raisins with no seeds in them - just the pulp. They are vegetable matter, do not contain a living thing (the seed) and are also food. The question then is, does it have nutrients if it is created from shadow material from Shadowfell? If so, that's fine, but will these nutrients also vanish from your PC's body when the spell ends? Quite possibly!

I think the spell at best could create Ersatz-Food, which could seem like food for intents and purposes but but not serve as food when it comes to surviving. Those who eat it will feel full and satisfied for a day's time and after 24 hours they might suddenly find themselves ravenously hungry.

It is a clever twist on the Creation spell though, so I might be tempted to allow it for "rule of cool" - if it came up all of a sudden in my campaign.

As a general rule though, I would say: NO. Mainly, because it steps on the toes of the class-specific 3rd-level spell Create Food and Water which is only available to a Cleric and Paladin (or an Artificer).

Creation is 5th-level spell and you don't want to be wasting this on creating Ersatz-food. Why not create some gold instead to buy a feast and make sure you do a runner and are nowhere to be found when the 1 hour is up and the gold vanishes into thin air.

As an alternative, take 1 level as a Druid or the Magic Initiate feat and get Goodberry. You and your party will never need to worry about where your next meal is going to come from! :)

Hope this helps.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Erstaz-Food sounds like CHOW from the show Good Omens. \$\endgroup\$
    – Q Paul
    Jan 30, 2020 at 23:53
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @QPaul I had the same thought. "No matter how much you eat, you lose weight. And hair, and skin tone, and if you eat it for long enough, vital signs." \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Wells
    Jan 31, 2020 at 2:20

There are a lot of moving parts to this, but I think RAW the answer is "Yes, with restrictions."

Other users have pointed out that, per the text of Creation, the food conjured must be unambiguously vegetable matter and not alive; that's easy enough. Most people seem to be hung up on whether or not any of the nutrition sticks with you, though, and that's the tricky part. There's no part in the spell that says "any benefit gained from the material is lost when the spell ends," or anything to that effect, so the core question (by my reckoning,) then becomes "What distinguishes this food from normal food?" As far as I can tell: nothing.

The spell specifically states that it uses wisps of Shadowfell material to "Create" an object. Not to mimic an object's properties; to create one. Now in the real world, we clearly understand conservation of mass: when the object disappears it should disappear from everywhere, even on the smallest level, no matter where it is. But DnD isn't the real world, conservation of mass clearly doesn't apply or half the spells in this game would be impossible: and as a game governed by rules the only relevant rule is that you must consume one pound of food a day. Doesn't matter if it's mundane, magical, meaty, vegetarian, vegan, preserved, organic, or even made of shadowstuff, you just need a pound a day (PHB, pg 185.)

This (barely,) edges into "Create Food and Water"'s territory, but a spell somewhat mimicking the effects of a lower level spell of a different class is hardly newsworthy in 5e. I don't see why you couldn't describe "a crate of lettuce," as an object, but a ration is specifically listed as an object in the PHB; so that should be the absolute smallest unit of food you're able to create per casting.

The real answer, as ever, is to consult with your DM and discuss expectations beforehand, but RAW I can't see anything that expressly forbids it or incurs consequences.


Yes, but...

Creation allows you to create a wide array of items made out of vegetable matters. Many types of food are vegetable matter that are plainly non-living. Thus the direct answer to the question is yes.

However, there are both limitations and caveats. Limitations include that creation requires you to specify what you are conjuring and many raw vegetable foods are arguably alive. The way around that is to conjure ones that are plainly not alive. For instance, while a fresh potato is arguably alive, a cooked mashed potatoes are plainly not alive. But cooked mashed potatoes are an "object of vegetable matter" and require considerably less processing than rope which is explicitly listed as an example. You could similarly conjure cooked vegetable soup.

The larger caveat is that the spell has a duration of 1 day for vegetable matter (this is in contrast with create food and water which has a duration of instantaneous). The material should disappear when the spell ends.

I'm not aware of any official rules regarding what happens when consumed material disappears at the end of a spell duration so that is entirely DM call. As a DM, my call would be that the portion absorbed by the body still disappears and the character is effectively not nourished by the food. Though of course if the goal was just to make them think they had eaten effectively for some reason the character probably would not realize why they were suddenly hungry unless the character had direct knowledge of the provenance of their prior meal.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ In regards to nutrition, the food is still made of 'wisps of shadow' and only has the 'form and material' of food. I doubt shadow has any nutritional value, but I'm sure it will make you feel full. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 30, 2020 at 23:43

Realistically this question likely deserves a similar answer to this one asking about minor creation making food in 3.5e. But that being said this is a possible conclusion based off of other questions and answers.

To determine if this allowable, there are two things to consider.
1) Is food an object?
2) Does food (or at least some food), fall under one of the material types listed under the spell?

The main problem with this ruling is deciding whether food counts as an object. Based off the answer to a previous question about whether minor conjuration can make food, food could count as an object. With the use of Creation you wont even run into the problem that minor conjuration had of damage destroying it. So based off the wording of this accepted answer, food can count as an object that magic can create.

Unlikely that all food would fall under the categories, but at the very least the material category of vegetable matter could likely be used to create fruits and vegetables. (Note I say likely because ultimately a question like this will depend on your DM and their ruling)

So it seems likely that you could use creation to create food, but the real question is if you should. As you've said in the comments there are lower level spells that already accomplish this, and if it does work it brings up more questions of if you ate the food, would a day later you lose the benefit somehow? As it is an illusory spell with no designated weight for the object, does the food have an assigned weight (I mention this as the requirements for food eating is given in weight)? If the food does have mass does the DM decide arbitrarily or should there be a standardized way? This is why question like these often must be answered in the way the one I linked at the beginning of this answer are, because in the end there will be a lot left up to your DM in circumstances such as these.


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