The spell Green-Flame Blade states:

As part of the action used to cast this spell, you must make a melee attack with a weapon against one creature within the spell’s range, otherwise the spell fails.

since the spell's range is 5-feet and a caster is within 5-feet of themselves they should then be able to proc the second half of the spell which is:

On a hit, the target suffers the attack’s normal effects, and green fire leaps from the target to a different creature of your choice that you can see within 5 feet of it. The second creature takes fire damage equal to your spellcasting modifier.

Therefor the question is: can a caster nick their finger with a dagger (since an attack recipient can choose to get hit without having their attacker roll (depending on your table's reading of the rules)) and then deal 100% certain damage to a creature within 5-feet of them?

  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ You might want to cite what you are basing the statement “since an attack recipient can choose to get hit without having their attacker roll” on, since that's likely to draw objections/argument. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 31, 2016 at 3:55
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie it seems like a house rule, or perhaps a rule from a previous version that is no longer relevant in 5th Edition. I've looked through all my sources but can't find this particular exception. \$\endgroup\$
    – Airatome
    Mar 31, 2016 at 4:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Airatome I couldn't find the exact ruling in the PHB so I think we probably house ruled it off of the passage where it says a character can choose to fail their saving throw. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 31, 2016 at 19:54
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @namemoniker I'm 99% certain that there is no such passage. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    May 26, 2016 at 2:55

2 Answers 2


Considering the below pages from the handbook sources I have, I have to say this sounds possible; though I didn't believe it at first.

Making an Attack: PHB pg 194

Choose a target: Pick a target from within your attack's range: A creature, an object, or location...

Resolve the Attack: You make an Attack Roll

First and foremost, you MUST make an attack roll. There are no sources to cite from either the PHB or the DMG that make exceptions to this rule. The recipient of any attack; melee weapon, ranged weapon, or spell attacks; does not have the option of getting hit without making the attacker roll first to get past armor class.

Now that we've dealt with that ... to make a melee attack you must choose 'A Creature within range' and since you are within your own range and count as a creature, you are a legal target for your own melee attack, unless the ability or spell says that you must target a HOSTILE creature. Making a general weapon attack does not carry that stipulation with it.

Green-Flame Blade is actually a spell with a range of 5ft that includes a melee weapon attack as part of the spell, and that it must be "A melee attack with a weapon against one creature within the spell's range.."

PHB page 204:

Targeting Yourself: If a spell targets a creature of your choice, you can choose yourself, unless the creature must be hostile or specifically a creature other than you.

So it seems that this cantrip can be targeted on yourself, AND the melee weapon attack that you must make as part of casting it can also target yourself, all under cited RAW.

The only two things you must overcome to successfully do this is first beating your own AC (Armor Class) with an attack roll as per PHB pg 194: 'Resolve the Attack', and second; surviving whatever damage your melee weapon attack roll does to yourself (and the damage of this melee attack get's stronger as your cantrip scales in power with your character level). So it's not an effective way to get an automatic, no-roll hit on an enemy.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I appreciate the addition on the end SSD :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Airatome
    Mar 31, 2016 at 4:29
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Would there be any reason not to get advantage to the attack on yourself if you are intentionally trying to hit yourself with, say, a dagger attack? If you have piercing damage resistance, this would be a fine case of "this hurts me more than it hurts you ... wait, no it doesn't!" \$\endgroup\$ Mar 31, 2016 at 14:30
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast I didn't even know this was possible until I answered this question and all the rules correlated the answer of 'YES IT IS!' . I can't see any situation where you could grant yourself Advantage on attacking yourself without the use of an ability, a spell, or a Spell-Like Ability. Many things grant advantage against a hostile target; few things grant Advantage on any attack against any target. \$\endgroup\$
    – Airatome
    Apr 1, 2016 at 4:35
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Granting advantage is not constrained to that; if you look at advantage's description, it is often a DM judgment call. IMO, if you are trying to hurt yourself on purpose, it makes sense to give advantage. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 1, 2016 at 10:59
  • 9
    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast Actually, considering we have built-in inhibitors for hurting ourselves it would be equally reasonable to rule that it's done with disadvantage. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 1, 2016 at 16:21

there is an argument that it is a guaranteed outcome, since

"In cases where the outcome of an action is uncertain, the Dungeons & Dragons game relies on rolls of a 20-sided die, a d20, to determine success or failure. (5e PHB 7; emphasis added)"

So a deliberate attack on yourself could be a non uncertain outcome, so it would be an auto hit of green flame blade's bounce. probably inadvisable after level 5 though.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center. \$\endgroup\$
    – Community Bot
    Aug 16, 2022 at 20:16
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Humans have pretty strong instinct against hurting themselves. Plus, cutting your hands and actually making a full blown attacks are totally different things. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Aug 16, 2022 at 20:16

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .