D&D 5e: Four Spells from Fourth Edition


In last year’s 4e megathread, I listed a bunch of awesome spell names and concepts that hadn’t been officially brought into 5e. In this post, I’m offering one possible way of converting four of them. This is likely to become an ongoing series.

Summons of Khirad
3rd-level conjuration (warlock)

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: V, S
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

You invoke the power of Khirad, the Star of Secrets, and a blue flame appears upon your brow. A creature of your choice that you can see must roll a Wisdom saving throw. On a failure, the target suffers 4d6 psychic damage, and for the spell’s duration. When it ends its turn more than 30 feet from you, it must choose to either be teleported to an unoccupied space of your choice within 30 feet of you, or suffer an additional 4d6 psychic damage. The space you teleport them to must be on the ground or on a floor. On a successful saving throw, the creature suffers half of the initial damage and no further effect.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, you can target one additional creature for each slot level above 3rd.

Summons of Khirad comes from the 4e Player’s Handbook, p. 135.

Feast of Souls
6th-level conjuration (warlock)

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: V, S, M (a larval insect)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

Sulfurous fumes and ghostly claws rise out of the ground in a 20-foot radius centered on a point you can see within range. The point must be on solid ground. Until the spell ends, the area is lightly obscured, and a creature that starts its turn in the area must succeed on a Charisma saving throw or suffer 7d6 necrotic damage. The first time during the spell’s duration that a creature other than a construct, elemental, plant, or undead dies within the spell’s area, you regain one expended Pact Magic spell slot.

Feast of souls appears in Arcane Power, p. 79.

Your Glorious Sacrifice
1st-level necromancy (warlock, wizard)

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 60 feet
Components: V, S, M (a vial of blood taken from a creature you love)
Duration: Instantaneous

A blood-red tendril lashes out to strike one creature within range. Make a melee spell attack against the target. On a hit, the target takes 3d8 necrotic damage. On a miss, you suffer 1d8 necrotic damage that ignores resistance to necrotic damage.

When you cast this spell, you can choose to touch one willing creature and deal 1d8 necrotic damage to it that ignores resistance to necrotic damage. If you do, you roll the melee spell attack with advantage, and on a hit, the target takes 3d8 necrotic damage and an additional 2d8 necrotic damage at the start of its next turn.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the damage you deal on a successful melee spell attack and the damage the target suffers at the start of its turn increase by 1d8 for each slot level above 1st.

Your glorious sacrifice comes from the Forgotten Realms Player’s Guide, p. 36.

Wrath of Acamar
7th-level necromancy (warlock, wizard)

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self
Components: V, S
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour

You invoke the power of Acamar, the Dead Star, offering the souls of your enemies in exchange for aid. When a creature you can see within 90 feet of you that is not a construct or undead dies, you can invoke Acamar as a reaction. If you do, creature of your choice within 90 feet of you rolls a Constitution saving throw. On a failed saving throw, the creature suffers 8d6 radiant damage, as the Dead Star’s baleful light shines upon them.

Wrath of Acamar comes from the 4e Player’s Handbook, p. 138.

Fun fact: Acamar is the name of a real star in the Theta Eridani system, and was previously the name given to that star system.

Design Notes

All of these have had a certain amount of conceptual drift from their 4e versions. 4e spells are tightly contained in their possible effects (but add a ton of detail and different moving parts), while 5e spells are allowed to do all kinds of crazy things, but individual spells want to have fewer internal variables. Wrath of Acamar is one of the biggest conceptual drifts – in 4e it’s a damage + banish (save ends), but that’s a weird idea in 5e with banishment, maze, and similar hard crowd-control effects in the lists.

Feast of souls is the most obviously risky of the spells here, though I don’t think I’ve exactly played it safe with any of them. A Mystic Arcanum that does a thing and can also refresh a Pact Magic slot? Insanity. For that matter, a [class] spell that explicitly keys into the class’s other features is essentially unknown, though I may be forgetting something.

Summons of Khirad is incredibly good for a fairly rare situation: an enemy trying to keep their distance or get away when you don’t want them to. You can force someone to be kited – they follow you, or they take damage/get teleported.

One of my recurring problems is knowing how you’re supposed to use the Spell Damage table (DMG p. 284) for spells that inflict damage repeatedly over two or more rounds. I went with what made sense and seemed to match other spells, but I definitely might have it wrong in one direction or the other.

If there are particular 4e spells/spell names you would like me to move up in the priority list, hie thee to the comments!

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