Until the spell ends, any attack you make deals 1d8 extra damage when you hit a creature within 10 feet of you. This damage is radiant, necrotic, or cold (your choice when you cast the spell). Any creature that takes this damage can’t regain hit points until the start of your next turn.

Emphasis mine, if the attack deals extra damage, and the attack is made with a sword, would an effect on weapon damage apply to the extra damage dice granted by Spirit Shroud? Say for example, the tripling effect of a Potion of Giant Size.

What if the potion in question was one of Maximum Power instead, drank after casting Spirit Shroud, and then hitting someone with a Scorching Ray from ten feet away? Is only the Scorching Ray base damage maximized, or are the extra dice from Spirit Shroud also maximized in this case?

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    \$\begingroup\$ It might be better to ask the Potion of Maximization question as a separate question, as that is mostly a question of how that potion in particular interacts and works, not how spirit shroud works \$\endgroup\$ Feb 25 at 7:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NobodytheHobgoblin I considered it, but for purposes of the spell it's directly applicable to the original nature of the question as a contrasting example of how "ownership" of damage might or not be transferred by the wording in the spell for other effects that manipulate that attack's damage. Rather than two questions I chose to think of it as two halves of the same question. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 25 at 13:30

1 Answer 1


"You" refers to the caster, and it's your attack that deals the extra damage

Spirit Shroud is a spell with a range of self. Like with other spells, "you" refers to the spells caster. It does not matter if the caster deals damage with a weapon attack, or a spell attack, a melee attack or a ranged attack. It does not matter if they use their bare hands or a weapon, or how many damage dice the weapon has, or if they enhanced their damage dealing capacity magically with a potion or spell like enlarge or a magic item like gauntlets of ogre power: it is still the caster's attack that deals damage. The only requirement is that the target is within 10 feet of the caster.

Consider for comparison a spell like wrathful smite that says:

The next time you hit with a melee weapon attack during this spell’s duration, your attack deals an extra 1d6 psychic damage.

Here, the attack types that receive extra damage are limited to melee weapon attacks. There is no such limitation to attack types for spirit shroud.

However you always only deal an extra 1d8 damage with spirit shroud (unless you upcast it to deal more). Your attack deals the extra damage, not the instrument of your attack. Spirit shroud does not change the damage of the weapon making the weapon deal an extra 1d8, and if you would have an effect that doubles the weapon‘s damage dice, that effect would not double the spirit shroud's dice.

This also makes sense narratively. Spirit shrouds effect is described in the first sentence as:

You call forth spirits of the dead, which flit around you for the spell’s duration.

Narratively, it‘s those spirits that deal the extra damage to whomever you attack. They do not care how large your sword is, they just also damage whatever you attack in the area they flit around in.

For your extra question: potion of maximum power says:

The first time you cast a damage-dealing spell of 4th level or lower within 1 minute after drinking the potion, instead of rolling dice to determine the damage dealt, you can instead use the highest number possible for each die.

If you cast spirit shroud, drink the potion, then cast scorching ray, I think only scorching ray damage would be maximized, because the maximization applies to the spell, not an attack. Fir example, if you cast flaming sphere instead, the sphere‘s damage would be maximized for its duration. However, the wording here is slightly ambiguous, as it does not say "for the spell". I think that is meant by the context of "the first time you cast a damage dealing spell", but maybe a DM could decide that for attack spells it means "for the attack" — I think it's unlikely, but check with your DM.

If you drink the potion, then cast spirit shroud, then scorching ray, the shroud's d8 would be maximized to 8, but not the ray damage.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree that fluff says the spell causes the damage, but I don't see how "your attack causes" doesn't mean the damage is done by the attack, and thus benefits from buffs to thr attack. And frankly this awful spell needs all the help a generous interpretation can give it. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Feb 25 at 11:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ Do we have an in-game definition of what is a damage-dealing spell? It's not clear to me that spirit shroud deals damage, as opposed to it adding extra damage to an attack that you make but it being the attack that deals damage. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Feb 25 at 20:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kirt, I don‘t think there is an explicit one. Probably you either go with the one that a spell that says it deals damage in some way is one, or that would be its own question. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 25 at 21:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just for completeness, and so I understand this better, would a crit double spirit shroud damage? \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Feb 25 at 23:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast it's more of a clarifying question to understand what the answer is saying, although normally it would be a separate question \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Feb 26 at 7:15

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