Improvised Cantrips

Written by Candice Rigby.

Also found on House Velo'vasse.


Improvised Cantrips allows a spellcaster to create cantrip-like spells on the fly. These spells cannot cause damage, or directly mimic a “normal” cantrip.


Improvised Cantrips (Adventure Tier Feat)
Prerequisite: Must have the ability to cast Cantrips.

To cast an Improvised Cantrip, discus what you’d like to accomplish with your GM. Once given the ok, you roll a d20 and add your Caster ability mod to the roll. DC is based on either your level or the level of the environment you’re casting the spell in.

Example: Tessa, a Wizard, wants to get through a reinforced wooden door that has been enchanted to resist the Knock Cantrip. She asks the DM if she can age the wood the door is made of, thereby making it easier to bust down.

The GM consents and sets the DC at 20. Tessa rolls her d20- an 18! She adds her +3 Intelligence modifier for a total of 21. She beats the DC set by her GM, and ages the door. The party is able to knock the door down and continue on their way.

Improvised Cantrips (Champion Tier Feat)
Prerequisite: Must have the Adventurer Tier version of this feat.

The Champion tier version of this feat allows players to add a background bonus to their roll. We recommend the spell be flavored by the background, as seen in the example below.

Example: Let’s say Tessa is faced with the above challenge, but instead during Champion Tier. She asks to add her background as ships wizard to her roll, as her experience on the high seas has taught her a thing or two about wood and how it reacts to the environment. Her GM agrees.

When she succeeds on her roll to weaken the door, it becomes waterlogged and damaged by salt, as if it had been floating in the ocean. When the party breaks the door down, the smell of sea water fills the air for a moment, and chunks of soggy wood lay strewn on the floor.



Requiring the background to flavor the spell isn’t necessary, per se, but so far we’ve enjoyed the flavor it has. I’m sure at some point, the flavor might have consequences (good or bad) unforseen to the players. If that happens, I’d love to hear about it!

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