Clever Cantrip Uses : Prestidigitation (DnD 5E)

Huh? What is this word? “Presto!” like from a magical demonstration, which means to be quick. Mix this with “digit” as in your fingers. Together they mean a fancy illusion made with your hands, usually done close to the audience, who was often just a few people met on the street.

So to help you remember what this spell does, think to what the street magicians can do, but treat it like it’s actual magic. You’ll see that all the abilities of this spell are inspired by these performers.

Harmless sensory effects:

  • Make it feel like something is vibrating in their pocket. You know, like when you swear you just got a phone notification?
  • Torture someone with the non-stop sensory effect of harmless itching
  • For every step taken, a lovely piano note
  • Reduce stress of situation with a well timed fart or orgasmic sound
  • Announce your dramatic entrance with a choir or applause
  • A bell is ringing nearby. You should go check it out

Light/snuff candle, torch, or campfire:

  • Need a light for your cigar?
  • No longer any need for flint and tinder
  • Extinguish the light source of your enemies
  • Light the string of a bow on fire
  • Sneak a bottle of high proof alcohol, grab a piece of cloth (or tear a piece off of your own clothing), stuff it into the bottle, and light it up! What are the rules for molotov cocktails?

Clean/soil object of 1 cubic foot:

  • That guard might be inclined to leave if their uniform was suddenly soiled
  • Remove dirt or blood from your clothing. Be sure to also remove any blood stains on the ground too
  • Get rid of all the spilled ink or liquid on your documents
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Chill/warm/flavor 1 cubic foot of nonliving material:

  • Alter the flavour of that deadly poison to a delicious cocktail
  • Those dry rations of yours can now be a delicacy
  • Maybe the monster won’t bite down on you if your armor/clothing tastes bad?
  • Keep yourself (or another) warm or cool in extreme temperature environments

Color/Mark/Symbol on object:

  • Your poker hand can suddenly be a royal flush!
  • Seal of approval from the King on a letter confirms your right of entry
  • Mark someone to make it easier to track them
  • Leave a trail behind you in case you need to back track
  • Make a coin appear like another: copper appear platinum or vice versa
  • Change the colors of your outfit to better fit your needs

Nonmagical trinket or illusory image, hand sized:

  • Check the Trinket table in the Player’s Handbook, pg. 160
  • A few of note: Coins, Lock picks, Someone’s Underwear, Key, a flower
  • Create a wind-up mouse/teeth for a distraction

Combinations:

  • Create an ice cube, make it extra cold, and drop it down someone’s shirt. Follow up soiling their clothing
  • Smack the table, where sparks emit, and remove your hand to reveal a colored hand print. Added bonus to make that hand print a scratch and sniff… or taste
  • Enhanced farts: The disgusting smell and taste of the fart is matched only by the pants that have been soiled
  • That guard might especially be inclined to leave if their uniform was suddenly soiled and smelled rancid
  • Make dramatic entrances like a WWE wrestler: applause, your logo on a sign, and sparks!
  • Drop a smelly, soiled, gross pair of socks or underwear
  • Ye old classic of street magic to try and give yourself advantage on sleight of hand to check their pockets

7 Replies to “Clever Cantrip Uses : Prestidigitation (DnD 5E)”

  1. I like the creativity, but there is a caveat: Spells with verbal components can be heard for 120ft. So many of the contexts, like soiling a guard’s uniform or picking pockets or any other context that requires a “mark” will be exceedingly difficult since they know you’re casting.

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    1. If you do it right they would not know. For example you could be in a conversaion to a party member next to the guard and be like “and then I said to him *enter verbal component here* to him” Boom. The guard has no Idea why his pants are wet.

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  2. Can i cast the ice cube you mentioned in order to “drink” it?

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  3. There are some great ideas here, but also some things that are reaching a bit.

    Itching: There is a fine line between harmless and not. None of these effects can do anything mechanically to an enemy, so if the goal is to try and get some advantage or disadvantage it is technically impossible. This seems like a way to try and trick the DM into letting this cantrip act like other cantrips. On the other hand if you just want the flavor of constantly annoying your enemy, then this is perfect.

    Light a bow string on fire: This is not a candle, torch, or campfire. Snapping someone’s bowstring is basically trying to destroy their weapon, which I think is reserved for battle masters.

    Clean/Soil: Nothing wrong here, but I’d love to try and convince a DM that the written words on a page are not ‘dirty’ but all paint it’s covered in is. Then you clean off all the paint/ink and reveal your secret message.

    Cards: For a modern card you wouldn’t be able to do more than leave secret symbols; for the primitive cards in a medieval style which have only a single symbol for suit and number its a different story. For each cast of this spell you can only make a single mark/symbol. So, you could change a heart to a diamond, or a K to an A. So, you can make a little switch to fix your hand, but you can’t just up and have a full royal flush out of nowhere unless you have just the right cards. Then again, very up to the DM on the scope of effect. Also, you’re waving your hands around and saying magic words at the card table? That or 10 ft away and fixing the cards for someone else, still hard not to get caught.

    Nonmagical trinket: For this one, it might be a stretch to get lock picks. Those are technically part of ‘thieves tools’, so summoning them up with a cantrip not be kosher. What’s to stop you from just summoning up all the other tools and negating other people’s class effects(like a conjuration wizard for example)?

    Lastly: Where does the ice cube come from? You can chill something, but that doesn’t mean making ice appear.

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