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DnD Prestidigitation 5e spell guide

A Wizards of the Coast cantrip that’s survived many TTRPG editions, DnD Prestidigitation 5e offers a range of roleplaying opportunities

DnD Prestidigitation 5e - a woman with turquoise hair and armour hangs from a mast, surrounded by waves

The DnD cantrip Prestidigitation 5e is truly magical. “Well obviously”, you may be saying to yourself, “all 5e spells are magical, aren’t they?” This is certainly true, but Prestidigitation is perhaps closest to what we imagine magic to be like in our world. This is the cantrip for parlour tricks and illusions. This is the kind of magic that fools parents and delights children.

Prestidigitation 5e might not be a big damage dealer, but it’s got roleplaying options in spades. It’s also as cheap as cantrip chips, so the only real limit here is your creativity. But what if you need some help getting creative? That’s where our handy guide comes in.

Below you’ll find everything you need to know about Prestidigitation 5e. We’ve covered which classes need this in their must-have cantrip list, as well as what you’ll need to cast it. Prestidigitation can make you highly useful, or it can turn you into a charming nuisance. However you want to play, we’ve suggested ideas to help you get started.

So, here’s everything you need to know about DnD Prestidigitation 5e:

DnD Prestidigitation 5e - the witch Tasha casts magic from an open spellbook

Prestidigitation 5e features

Level Cantrip
Casting time One action
Duration One hour
Range / Area 10ft
Attack / Save None
School Transmutation

DnD Prestidigitation 5e - a woman with an afro in leather armour holds up a dagger surrounded by purple smoke

How to cast Prestidigitation 5e

This cantrip requires a verbal and somatic component, so you’ll need some magic words and gestures to cast it. Given this is a minor bit of magic, there’s no need for a material component here.

Once cast, Prestidigitation can do one of the following:

  • Create an instantaneous, harmless sensory effect, such as a smell or sound
  • Light or put out a candle, torch, or small campfire
  • Clean or dirty an object, as long as it’s no bigger than one cubic foot
  • Warm, cool, or flavour up to one cubic foot of nonliving material for an hour
  • Mark an object or surface for an hour, e.g. with a colour or symbol
  • Create a nonmagical trinket or illusion that’s small enough to hold for an hour

You can end any effect with an action. You can also cast up to three of these effects at once if you cast the spell multiple times. 

DnD Prestidigitation 5e - an elf plays a lute to fairies and a magical pink frog in the forest

Who can cast Prestidigitation 5e

Bards, Sorcerers, Warlocks, Wizards, and Artificers can all learn cantrips from first level, so they can pick up Prestidigitation early on. Other classes can learn the cantrip at later levels, depending on what subclass they choose.

An Arcana Domain Cleric can learn Prestidigitation at level one, while Arcane Archer and Eldritch Knight Fighters can learn it at level three. An Arcane Trickster Rogue can also learn Prestidigitation at level three. 

DnD Prestidigitation 5e - a man in a suit smiles malevolently while holding a floating quill surrounded by purple magic

Pros and cons of Prestidigitation 5e

It takes some creative thinking to make Prestidigitation useful in combat, so this isn’t the most appealing cantrip for players looking to deal damage. Sure, you can create flaming arrows or even your world’s equivalent of a Molotov cocktail, but when asked to choose between Eldritch Blast and giving something a funky flavour, we know what most Warlocks will choose.

Prestidigitation does have plenty of uses outside of combat. Here are just a few of the ways you could make the cantrip useful:

  • Distract a guard with a nearby sound or smell
  • Convince a monster not to eat you by making yourself taste and smell terrible
  • Put a party of humans at a disadvantage before combat by snuffing out their light source
  • Clean blood from your face to hide a crime, or clean the party up before meeting an important noble
  • Forge an important seal or symbol to get into exclusive places
  • Embarrass your least favourite NPC by making it seem like they’ve soiled their trousers

Whether you want to be seriously useful or humorously cheerful, Prestidigitation gives you plenty of options – and, given the only cost is an action, there’s no reason not to go the whole hog and try out all your clever and silly ideas.