I've been creating a few Spells for D&D 5E recently and wanted to fill the gap of lacking Acid spells for one of my Black Dragonborn players.

I wanted to compose a spell that involved the caster pulling a corrosive substance from the ground and causing it to shatter earth in an area, causing clumsy stepping creatures to receive acid damage.

I expected that this spell would be a Transmutation spell as it physically draws corrosive substances from under the earth, as it was my understanding that Transmutation involved in the transforming, transferring or translocating of substances. Rather than creating them, which is my impression of what Evocation is.

Before I introduce it I'd like to have certainty of what School it realistically is most suitable for, Transmutation or Evocation?

If anyone would like the spell's full details or if you'd like to use it for yourself, it's fully detailed and formatted below:


2nd-Level, ????

Shaman, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard

Casting Time: 1 Action

Range: self

Components: S

Duration: 1 Minute

The ground around you in a 30ft area cracks and twists; an acidic compound bubbles up between the gaps and burns all of those foolish enough to misstep. This area also becomes difficult terrain. Each creature within the spell’s area of effect must make a Dexterity saving throw or step in the acid and take 1d4 Acid damage on a failed save. If a creature in this area moves from its space, it must make the saving throw again or be subjected to the damage. Any creature that goes prone in this area takes 2d4 acid damage and must make the save again when attempting to stand up. When this spell ends the acid soaks back into the ground, however that ground remains difficult terrain.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I have not played 5E but the range self seems wrong. \$\endgroup\$
    – rom016
    Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 4:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @rom016: IIRC, range: self means centred on the caster. range:30ft would mean you could place the center of the 30ft circle anywhere up to 30ft from yourself. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 13:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ What if, at the end of the duration "the acid will be used up from reacting with the ground"? That would leave a loophole for using it in special cases on non-reactive ground, but you do want it to physically produce real acid, not just evocate magic acid, right? It can be acid that attacks metal, glass, quartz, and pretty much anything else, to limit the possibility of using a glass floor to exploit this property. If you want it to be a specific chemical, it could be one that doesn't react with some kinds of plastic, because that won't come up in D&D. (cf. Breaking Bad: Hydrofluoric acid) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 13:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Remember to only cast this spell after putting on your acid-proof boots - nothing in the spell description indicates that the caster is immue to the effects! \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 0:28

1 Answer 1


The spell you describe sounds like a transmutation effect. Other spells that modify terrain in this way are transmutations; an acid-based evocation would involve producing a bolt or jet of acid (see Melf's acid arrow).

In fact, your spell sounds very close to spike growth, which is also a transmutation spell. Instead of making a new spell, try slightly modifying the effects of an existing spell. For the effect you describe, you could modify spike growth by changing it to do acid damage (instead of piercing), changing the effects to always be obvious (instead of hidden), changing the material component to be acid-themed, and perhaps changing the damage to be 1d10 per 5' of movement (instead of 2d4).

Working from an existing spell gives you good guidelines for the appropriate damage, area of effect, and components for a given spell level.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks! I had no idea how similar it was. Spike growth is clearly a much stronger spell, I feared that mine was too strong. I was using the Damage recommendations in the DMs guide and It was d6s before. Thanks Again! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 11:03

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