The description of each spell:

Hail of Thorns (concentration): The next time you hit a creature with a ranged weapon attack before the spell ends, this spell creates a rain of thorns that sprouts from your ranged weapon or ammunition. In addition to the normal effect of the attack, the target of the attack and each creature within 5 feet of it must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 1d10 piercing damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Conjure Barrage (Instant):You throw a nonmagical weapon or fire a piece of nonmagical ammunition into the air to create a cone of identical weapons that shoot forward and then disappear. Each creature in a 60-foot cone must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 3d8 damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. The damage type is the same as that of the weapon or ammunition used as a component.

What I want to do is cast hail of thorns as a bonus action and then cast conjure barrage. Each creature that I'm firing on must make two dexterity saves — the first save for conjure barrage, the second for hail of thorns.

To me the only way this would work is if conjure barrage is a ranged weapon attack. To me it seems as though it is, because I'm firing a piece of nonmagical ammunition. And hail of thorns doesn't make my ammunition magical, it just causes thorns to explode out from them on a hit. What I picture happening in game is my character shooting an arrow, the arrow flies out and then multiplies as it goes in a cone, and then each arrow in the cone hits a target and then sends thorns going everywhere.

Can the spells stack that way?


1 Answer 1


Conjure Barrage is not a ranged weapon attack.

This does not work because "ranged weapon attack" in D&D 5e is a term of art--it refers to a specific piece of the rules, and not necessarily the underlying fiction. While the effect of conjure barrage may intuitively seem like a ranged weapon attack, it is not a "ranged weapon attack" as far as the rules are considered.

A "ranged weapon attack" is partially defined on PHB 194:

When you make an attack, your attack roll determines whether the attack hits or misses. To make an attack roll, roll a d20 and add the appropriate modifiers.

On the other hand, conjure barrage asks for a saving throw—it is the target that rolls the dice in that situation. Because it calls for a saving throw, and you don't make the attack, it doesn't work.

Compare this situation to a spell like fire bolt, which asks you to make a ranged spell attack. In this case, you're making an attack, so you roll the d20, but it's still not a "ranged weapon attack" because it's a "ranged spell attack".

Essentially, you need to fulfill all three words of the phrase. You must make an attack (you roll the attack roll), at range, using a weapon.

Note that you can't cast those spells in one turn.

The wording in your question is a bit ambiguous, but it's important to note that you can't cast both of those spells in one turn, because that would require a bonus action spell and a 3rd level spell. PHB 202 states, (emphasis added)

A spell cast with a bonus action is especially swift. You must use a bonus action on your turn to cast the spell, provided that you haven’t already taken a bonus action this turn. You can’t cast another spell during the same turn, except for a cantrip with a casting time of 1 action.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Additionally, even without those two issues, it still wouldn't work like the initial questioner intends, as Hail of Thorns only applies to the "next time you hit". You have to hit someone in order for it to trigger at all, and it only triggers once per casting. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben Barden
    Apr 17, 2017 at 15:51

You must log in to answer this question.

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