D&D spells that can actually break the game

There are many spells in Dungeons & Dragonssome of which are very powerful, and some of which have the potential to actually break the game. Some spells listed in J&D sourcebooks have very clear wording about their use, while others are a bit more open. Most of what could be considered groundbreaking comes from how players interpret and use the spells at their disposal.

Game Breaking is a subjective term in J&D because what one player or DM might consider game breaking, another might have no problem with. Some J&D spells offer many possibilities to immediately end encounters or temporarily derail campaigns. Some spells can even break game economies; for example, the ninth level transmutation spell true polymorph brought many DMs to tears as players simply create gold for themselves.

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Higher level spells are designed to have a big impact on gameplay, so for this reason no ninth level spells will be included here. Using spells here could break a J&D game without cheating but might cause a touch of chaos. None of them J&D the spells are particularly mastered; what makes them revolutionary is the potential chaos they can unleash in the hands of a highly imaginative player.

D&D: Obtain Illusionary Aid with Phantasmal Force Spell


Dungeons & Dragons Tasha's Cauldron of Everything Psychic Battle

Phantasmal strength is a second-tier illusion spell available to bards, warlocks, and warlocks. The target must make an Intelligence saving throw; on a failed save, the target will believe whatever illusion the player invented. The target will see this illusion and will be the only one able to do so, as the spell takes root in the target’s mind. The affected target would rationalize any inconsistencies between reality and illusion. To end the J&D spell, the target must use its action to perform an Intelligence test.


The magic J&D example given in Player’s Handbook is that of a bridge. Players trick the target into believing there is a bridge spanning a chasm, and the target will attempt to cross it and fall. This is a good use of this spell; however, fantasy force can have more creative uses, like putting a pool of lava between the party and the attackers. The group could trick a guard into believing that his fellow guard has come to relieve him and leave his post. An enemy chasing the party through a castle might believe that a wall is preventing them from accessing players. The game-changing element comes from how players could use this simple spell, and the only limit is their imagination.


Suggestion is D&D’s Jedi Mind Trick


Obi-Wan uses the Jedi spirit trick in Star Wars

Suggestion is a second-tier enchantment available to Bards, Warlocks, Warlocks, Sorcerers, and J&D Knowledge domain clerics. With this spell, the player can suggest something to a target, which must make a Wisdom saving throw; if unsuccessful, the target must execute the suggestion. The suggestion cannot cause the target to do anything against their nature or harm themselves, but if it seems reasonable, they will follow the order to the best of their ability.

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Suggestion is a focus spell that can last for eight hours, which opens up some interesting and game-changing options for players. Players could use suggestion in battle to suggest an enemy choose a random direction and move away. For the next eight hours, this enemy would continue to march, ending the fight. Another suggestion might be to have an enemy sit or stand under a cliff where a creator J&D the group of players might drop a rock on them.


Suggestion becomes potentially revolutionary if used in social situations. If thrown on a prisoner, suggestion makes an incredibly effective query tool, and if combined with zone of truth, players could get anything they wanted from a suspect. Something to keep in mind is that the suggestion itself is not the verbal component of the spell, so others around the target would see the player casting the spell. However, if a wizard uses the magic meta ability subtle spellthey could cast it without the verbal component.

Using a slight metagame with banishment in D&D can break a game


The most dangerous planes in Dungeons & Dragons

Banishment is a fourth level abjuration spell that can end a campaign if players know different types of enemies and this J&D material plane from which they arise. This requires some metagaming from players, so whether or not their characters know how to use banishment would be at the DM. However, players can still use banishment wisely without metagaming.


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Banishment sends the target to another plane of existence on a failed Charisma saving throw. If the target is from a different plane of existence than the one the players are on, they are returned to their original plane. If the target is from the same plane the players are on, they are sent to a harmless demi-plane for one minute. A lot of planning could happen in that minute; the party could prepare actions, reposition itself or even flee from a powerful enemy.

Arcane Eye is a powerful D&D spell for scouting


Dungeons and Dragons caster faces a dragon

Available to Sorcerers, Artificers, and Clerics in the Lore of Lore or Arcana, arcane eye is a J&D fourth level divination spell. The spell creates a small invisible eye with darkvision, which can move in any direction up to 30 feet with each turn. the arcane eye functions the same as a wizard’s pet; however, unlike the Familiar, there is no limit to the distance the eye can travel.

The eye is an excellent scout because it is invisible, and the eye can safely travel to most areas invisible to enemies. The eye cannot open doors or pass through solid objects, but can pass through gaps as small as an inch. So, with enough patience, players can wait for guards or other enemies to open doors and then get a good map and guard models. Players can map an entire dungeon this way, changing how a party and DM approach an encounter and potentially breaking a J&D Game.

Polymorph is a classic D&D game breaker


polymorph is a fourth level transmutation spell in J&D available for bards, druids, warlocks, sorcerers, and clerics of the Trickery domain. With such a wide range of classes having polymorph, there is a chance that a member of an adventuring party will have access to this highly accessible spell. With polymorph, creatures can be transformed into another form if a Wisdom save fails. The beast the target becomes must have the same challenge rating (CR) or less than its original form or level in the case of player characters. Thus, a level 8 character could be polymorphed into a creature with a CR of eight or less.

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polymorph is a very versatile spell and can be used in combat or out of combat. Unlike a Druid wild forma polymorphic target J&D stats like Dexterity are completely replaced with new form stats, including mental scores. The target’s personality remains the same and they remain aware of who their enemies and allies are. Thus, an enemy lich will remain an enemy even if it becomes a fluffy bunny. polymorph can be a great way to nullify an enemy for an hour as long as the caster maintains focus.

Conjur Woodland Beings Means Having Fun With Fairy Creatures In D&D


Dungeons & Dragons Pixie Cover

Summon Woodland Creatures is a fourth level conjuration spell for druids and rangers where the player can summon a bunch of faerie creatures. The player chooses the CR and chooses one CR 2 or less faerie creature, two CR 1 or less faerie creatures, four CR 1/2 or less faerie creatures, or eight CR 1/4 or less faerie creatures. The spell text does not specify whether the J&D the player or DM chooses the forms; however, Wizards of the Coast clarified in the Compendium of expert advice let the DM decide what is conjured.

These summoned creatures will stick around for an hour and help the party in battle if needed. Examples of creatures are flash dogs, dryads, and sea hags, all of which have great abilities. However, it’s entirely possible to summon eight sprites, and when that happens, things can get crazy real quick. Pixies have both fly and polymorphwhich can turn a party into a team of giant flying monkeys, one of the most groundbreaking examples here.

No initial save against Power Word Stun


Dungeons & Dragons Charisma Casting Ravinica

Stunning Power Word is a J&D 8th-level enchantment spell with no saving throw to resist effects when the spell is initially cast. The effect of the spell is that a target with 150 hit points or less is immediately stunned, although it can make a Constitution saving throw at the end of its turn to end the effect. Bards, Warlocks, Sorcerers, and Warlocks can cast power word stun as well as any subclass that can choose from these spell lists.


Stunning Power Word has the potential to be game-breaking because the target has no initial save against the effects of this spell. As long as they have less than 150 hit points, they are stunned. So, for example, if a powerful J&D the caster used it on the enemy immediately after the enemies went into battle, then that enemy would be stunned for the entire combat round. Each player would gain an advantage on their attacks when the target is stunned, there would be no attacks of opportunity on players coming out of melee, and the target would have no reaction. It would be simple to take down a powerful enemy by strategically using power word stun.

Game breaking does not mean they should be removed from play or banned. This really means that when used creatively, these spells can derail a Dungeons & Dragons game for a while. A good DM will always find a way to work with and around their player’s shenanigans.

Next: Dungeons & Dragons: How DMs Can Make Intelligence Matter


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Raymond I. Langston