Clever Cantrip Uses : Mold Earth (DnD 5E)

Mold Earth
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30ft (5 sq ft)
Components: Somatic
Duration: Instantaneous

You choose a portion of dirt or stone that you can see within range and that fits within a 5-foot cube. You manipulate it in one of the following ways:

If you target an area of loose earth, you can instantaneously excavate it, move it along the ground, and deposit it up to 5 feet away. This movement doesn’t have enough force to cause damage.

You cause shapes, colors, or both to appear on the dirt or stone, spelling out words, creating images, or shaping patterns. The changes last for 1 hour.

If the dirt or stone you target is on the ground, you cause it to become difficult terrain. Alternatively, you can cause the ground to become normal terrain if it is already difficult terrain. This change lasts for 1 hour.

If you cast this spell multiple times, you can have no more than two of its non-instantaneous effects active at a time, and you can dismiss such an effect as an action.

The usual arguments:

  • Loose earth vs anything else: It’s worthwhile to clarify with your DM what counts as “loose earth” for this. Sage advice has said that it includes dirt: https://www.sageadvice.eu/whats-loose-earth-for-the-mold-earth-cantrip/
  • Only moves along the ground. A lot of creative attempts try to move dirt around, but the cantrip does say that it must be along the ground.
  • “These uses aren’t very good” – It’s a cantrip. The limitations are there to help make the later earthen spells more valuable.
  • This movement doesn’t have enough force to cause damage. This doesn’t mean you cannot do this that cannot implicitly or inadvertently cause damage, like creating a pit that people could fall into, causing some damage.
  • “It’s only one portion of dirt” – At a time. You can cast it multiple times.

If you target an area of loose earth, you can instantaneously excavate it, move it along the ground, and deposit it up to 5 feet away. This movement doesn’t have enough force to cause damage.

  • Dig away! Excavate a site, uncover artifacts, create pits, etc.
  • Cover/Hide Bonus – Shift some dirt for you to hide with
  • Create Trap – For example, create a pit or a deadfall trap
  • Climbing Bonus – Modify a surface to help give you hand holds and foot holds
  • Knock Target Prone – Move loose earth around target to try and knock them prone
  • Distort glyphs or trigger traps – Move earth onto magical glyphs or traps to trigger them

You cause shapes, colors, or both to appear on the dirt or stone, spelling out words, creating images, or shaping patterns. The changes last for 1 hour.

  • Stealth Swim – Distort the water you’re in to make it harder for you to be seen by pulling dirt into the water
  • Climbing Bonus – Create handholds and footholds for you to more easily climb a stone surface
  • Survival Tracks – Either cover your tracks to prevent being pursued, or leave tracks so that you can remember where you’ve been
  • Deceptive Signs – Change the wording on a sign, grave, statue, or some other stone structure to fit your needs for deception
  • Create Molds/Templates out of stone. You can shape stone to fit something you want to print or to use in blacksmithing.

If you cast this spell multiple times, you can have no more than two of its non-instantaneous effects active at a time, and you can dismiss such an effect as an action.

  • Block a door – Move dirt and change it’s shape to become a wedge and hold a door closed
  • Stealth Bonus – Cover yourself, ally, or summon with dirt and camouflage their colors to the surroundings
  • Siege – It may take a while, but you could shift and erode dirt and stone foundations to buildings to cause them to lose structural integrity
  • Structural design – Modify dirt and stone to stairs, archways, bridges, vantage points, etc.

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