A warlock's pact magic spell slot levels power up by character level in DnD 5e.

Must I burn the whole warehouse by using Burning Hands or can I limit range and power? Essential question if wood and straw are surrounding me.

Some cantrips power up by character level too. But when I want to weaken a target and spare it for later interrogation, can I limit my use of cantrips or warlock spell slot power to a lower degree, or decide to use only one of up to four eldritch blast beams? Any official rules for this?

P.S: I don't wanted to kill the kobold, I just struggled…with the dagger in my hand!

  • \$\begingroup\$ There are questions elsewhere about whether one can reduce cantrip damage, but I don't think they address how it works with the multiple attacks granted by Eldritch Blast. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 17, 2021 at 10:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ There are several questions there actually — can the range of Burning Hands be limited, can a leveled up cantrip damage be limited, is there any differences for warlocks, do warlocks always upcast their spells. To get better answers, you should focus on a single question (we also has the policy "one question — one post"). Describe the particular problem you've encountered. \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Feb 17, 2021 at 11:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Partial duplicate of: Can a warlock willingly limit the use of its magic power? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 17, 2021 at 13:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov Isn't that this question? \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Feb 17, 2021 at 13:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Someone_Evil Why yes it is, so my statement is technically correct. Here is the right partial dupe: Can a Warlock cast a spell at a lower level than their spell slot? I say partial dupe because this question is several questions. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 17, 2021 at 13:37

1 Answer 1


Yes and No

While you cannot reduce the level of a spell you cast, you can however aim your eldritch blast at different creatures. RAW you have to target creatures and it doesn't say that you CAN create additional beams which means that you would have to hit your allies or another enemy to avoid killing a target. As user BBeast stated you can even aim eldritch blast at empty spaces to either miss on purpose or hit a creature that you assume to be in that space.

If you want to avoid setting everything on fire with burning hands it is probably the best to not cast burning hands in the first place. Especially because the spell level doesn't matter when setting objects on fire.

However this still doesn't allow you to reduce the damage of leveled spells. A spell cast with a 3rd level spell slot will always be cast at 3rd level. It goes hand in hand with becoming more powerful that you might kill weaker creatures on accident but remember that you can knock a creature out if you hit them with a melee attack meaning that if you want to make sure a creature doesn't die it might be a better idea to cast a spell that uses a melee spell attack or a melee weapon.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Re: Eldritch Blast. Inferring from the rules for Unseen Attackers and Targets: You can target spaces in the hope of hitting a creature you cannot see which may or may not be in that space. The fact that eldritch blast can only target creatures means that you can't hit/damage/effect an object with it, but shouldn't prevent trying to shoot hypothetical invisible creatures which probably aren't there. \$\endgroup\$
    – BBeast
    Feb 17, 2021 at 10:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ In the case to catch a bat familiar (1 HP) which is spying on me, I could throw a stone with STR 8 to do 1d4–1 bludgeoning damage. Rolling a four would do 3 points damage and exceeds into the negative numbers enough to kill the bat instantaneous. But I wanted to ask the bat with "Speak with Animals" or maybe "Sylvan" who send it after me. Which leads to the question: if a "Sleep" spell would help here or if "Fey" familiars can't be turned into sleep like elves? There is a lot I can not find in rules or discussion about DnD. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 17, 2021 at 11:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you referring to a Familiar created with the find familiar spell? If so that might be worth a seperate question to find out if you can affect it with a sleep spell or talk to it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Soulstreak
    Feb 17, 2021 at 11:17

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