Create Bonfire 5e D&D Guide

You build a fire on the ground that you can see from where you are. The magic fire takes up a 5-foot square until the spell is over.

When you cast the spell, any creature in the bonfire’s space must make a Dexterity save or take 1d8 fire damage.

A creature must also make the saving throw when it moves into the bonfire’s place for the first time on its turn or when it ends its turn there.

The bonfire lights up things around it that are flammable but aren’t being worn or moved.

When you reach 5th level, the spell does 2d8 damage. At 11th level, it does 3d8 damage, and at 17th level, it does 4d8 damage.

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 60 feet
Components: V, S
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
School: Conjuration cantrip

CREATE BONFIRE 5E

Players love the Create Bonfire cantrip for 101 different reasons. We’ll talk about some of the ways it can be used, the most common questions about the rules, and why it’s a good spell.

WHO CAN CAST CREATE BONFIRE IN 5E?

The following classes have Create Bonfire on their spell list:

No subclasses get Create Bonfire for free.

WHAT DOES CREATE BONFIRE DO IN 5E?

Create Bonfire makes a fire that fills a cube that is 5 feet on a side. A check for dexterity is done by:

  • Any living thing on the spot, when the spell is cast, will die.
  • Any monster that moves into the space for the first time on a turn is put to sleep.
  • The turn of any creature ends on the spot.
  • If the monster fails its Dexterity check, it takes 1d8 (on average 4.5) fire damage. If they succeed, nothing will happen.

The bonfire lights up flammable things that aren’t being worn or carried (though most DMs will let you light a torch from your hand if you want to).

Lastly, Create Bonfire does 1d8 more damage at 5th, 11th, and 17th level, the same as most damaging cantrips.

WHAT ARE THE RULES FOR CREATE BONFIRE IN 5E?

Create Bonfire 5e D&D Guide
  • Create Bonfire still works when it’s wet. Spells do what they say, and this Sage Advice thread proves that Create Bonfire works “regardless of the environment.”

This is true for all extreme conditions, like wind, rain, snow, etc. Yo, this fire is magical.

  • You can’t use the Control Flames spell to spread the fire from the Create Bonfire magic. This is the first time I’ve had to directly disagree with a Sage Advice thread. In it, Chris Perkins says he’d let the Control Flames spell work on Create Bonfire, even though it can’t be used on magic fire.
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But in the Sage Advice thread we talked about above (from about 6 months later), Jeremy Crawford disagrees with a player’s claim that Create Bonfire calls “non-magical fire” by saying, “That’s not how it was meant to work.”

If that’s true, then Create Bonfire is a magic fire. The spell itself calls it a “magic bonfire,” so what else could it be? and, because of that, the Control Flames spell can’t change them.

Even so, a DM can choose to ignore all of this because it’s not a game-breaking exchange or anything.

  • Create Bonfire can hurt a creature twice or more in a single combat round. The Sage Advice Compendium answered a lot of rules questions about cards like Moonbeam and Cloud of Daggers that do damage at the beginning of a creature’s turn, but it left out Create Bonfire, which does damage at the end of a creature’s turn (SAC 19).

And most importantly, Create Bonfire does damage right away, while the other spells don’t do anything until later.

But the other important part of that rule, that a creature could be forced into a dangerous area more than once in the same combat round, is also true for Create Bonfire, which says “moves into the bonfire’s space for the first time on a turn.”

So, if you grappled an enemy and pulled them off the fire space and back onto it, they would have to make another Dex save. And if the next player did the same thing on their turn, they would roll another save… and so on.

  • Create Bonfire can hurt a creature more than once in one round of battle. A lot of rules questions about cards like Moonbeam and Cloud of Daggers that do damage at the start of a creature’s turn were explained in the Sage Advice Compendium, but Create Bonfire, which does damage at the end of a creature’s turn, was left out (SAC 19).

And most importantly, Create Bonfire does damage right away, while the other spells don’t do anything until much later.

But the other important part of that rule, that a creature can be forced into a dangerous area more than once in the same battle round, is also true for Create Bonfire, which says “moves into the bonfire’s space for the first time on a turn.”

So, if you grabbed an enemy and pulled them off the fire space and back onto it, they would have to make another Dex save. And if the next person did the same thing on their turn, they would have to roll another save… and so on.

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HOW DO I USE CREATE BONFIRE IN 5E?

Here are some ways to use the DnD 5e spell Create Bonfire:

  • Use with anything that keeps a critter from moving. If a creature is held back by a spell or effect, it is almost certain that it will stay in Create Bonfire for multiple rounds of battle, where it could do damage more than once.

If you have a grappler in your party, this is even better. Not only can they help make sure the enemy is sitting in fire at the end of their turn, but they can also pull them out of the fire and put them back in on their turn, twice the damage per round.

  • Pair with effects that push and pull. This is a good way to boost the damage that Create Bonfire does over the course of a fight. Some things you can pair with Create Bonfire, either on your own or with other party members, are:
    • Warlock’s Eldritch Blast invocations: Using Grasp of Hadar and/or Repelling Blast can pretty much guarantee that you can trigger Create Bonfire damage on multiple rounds of combat as long as the spell and your allies are strategically placed. And it’s a cantrip, so it’s easily replicable.
    • Thornwhip
    • Thunderwave
    • Lightning Lure
  • Close off bottlenecks. Create Bonfire is sometimes called the tiny Wall of Fire, which is a cute name for it. Even though 5 feet isn’t a very big distance, it is the size of many doors and passages in Dungeons & Dragons’ many forts and dungeons.

If you make a bonfire in such a place, an enemy has to decide if chasing you is worth the extra damage from the fire. Even better if you actively shoot at them from a distance.

  • Keep warm and eat well. From a storytelling point of view, always having a bonfire on hand is pretty handy. Even if the wind is howling in the cold tundras, you have nothing to worry about. Based on what was said above, the weather doesn’t affect the fire that Create Bonfire makes.
  • Booming Blade goes well with it. This one isn’t as common, but if you or a friend use Booming Blade on an enemy, creating a bonfire right after can put them in a tough spot.

No matter what they do, they’re going to get hurt.

WHEN AND WHERE SHOULD I CAST CREATE BONFIRE 5E?

Create Bonfire is a low-level control spell that is pretty good. When you are low level and spell spots are hard to come by, you can use Create Bonfire to control space on the battlefield without using any long-term resources.

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If the person wants to cast a different concentration spell, they can’t keep it up as a concentration spell. At lower levels, this doesn’t have a very high price tag.

Still, at higher levels, players may want to use more powerful focus spells, which may make Create Bonfire less useful.

WHO CAN I TARGET WITH CREATE BONFIRE 5E?

With the DnD 5e spell Create Bonfire, you can aim at “ground you can see” within 60 feet. Some DMs take this to mean that you can’t use Create Bonfire to quickly clear thick underbrush if you cast it at the bottom of it.

But the important point is that you can’t make a fire appear out of thin air. Even so, this does make me wonder if you can only use Create Bonfire on the bottom of a body of water while you are underwater.

IS CREATE BONFIRE 5E A GOOD SPELL?

Yes, the Create Bonfire spell is good. A cantrip with 1d8 fire damage and a 60-foot range is good, and that’s before we talk about its utility and (small) power over the battlefield.

Create Bonfire can be very dangerous if it is used with good grappling moves or push/pull effects, but it does take teamwork and a few failed saving throws. Speaking of which, the average physical ability factor for monsters in DND 5e is the lowest for Dexterity saves, so they are pretty good.

The only bad thing about Create Bonfire is that you have to concentrate. This is a bigger problem at higher levels, when many strong spells want to use this slot. This can make Create Bonfire (sometimes) useless.

Still, its damage scales well, and its usefulness is always useful, no matter how high your level is. And if you really hate having to concentrate, Tasha’s gave most spellcasters a way to switch out cantrips as they leveled up.

CREATE BONFIRE 5E COMPARED TO FIRE BOLT

Fire Bolt is another cantrip that gives 1d8 fire damage. It has twice the range of Create Bonfire and also sets things on fire, which makes some players wonder why Fire Bolt isn’t the clearly better choice.

There are two reasons for this: 1) Create Bonfire also gives you power over the battlefield and the chance to do damage more than once in one round, and 2) Create Bonfire is a Dexterity saving throw instead of an attack roll.

The second point isn’t always a plus, but it’s usually a good idea to have one damaging cantrip that is based on an attack roll and another that is based on a saving throw.

Just don’t choose both Fire Bolt and Create Bonfire, or you’ll have trouble when you run into enemies that are immune to fire.