Expanded 5e Fear: Spells

There are many spells that grant the frightened condition, and since we are expanding the fear rules, we need to clarify how each of these works. Limiting ourselves to the players handbook, we can simply list out how each spell works.

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  • Wrathful Smite: Level 1 Paladin Evocation: This spell does extra damage as normal. In addition, it always impacts a single level of fear each time the creature is struck.
    • This is a concentration spell, and the intent is to let you spread the fear around or build it up against a variety of creatures.
  • Fear: Level 3 Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard Illusion: This is the basic fear spell, and simply grants 3 levels of fear immediately. It is no longer concentration.
    • This is actually a power down, because creatures save each round against a level and can potentially quickly overcome the effect. The exchange for power is that it now stacks, and can’t be completely ended with a single save.
  • Phantasmal Killer: Level 4 Wizard Illusion: This spell grants 4 stacks of fear, and is no longer concentration. Instead, the target takes damage each round, until they have no levels of fear. Additionally, they take 1d10 per stack of fear they have.
    • This is probably a net power up, it has potential to end the frightened condition sooner, but is probably taking damage longer. You can also gang up and keep piling fear effects on, if your party really wants to devote themselves to 4d10 per round.
  • Eyebite: Level 6 Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard Necromancy: The panicked ability now grants 4 stacks of fear.
  • Symbol: Level 7 Bard, Cleric, Wizard Abjuration: The fear effect grants 3 stacks, 1 on a passed save.
    • This is about the same, but the single stack of fear is nice to offset the save or die disappointment when they save. At least something happened.
  • Antipathy: Level 8 Druid and Wizard Enchantment: This aura grants 2 stacks of fear, or 4 on a failed saving throw.
    • This is a power up to a generally underpowered spell.
  • Weird: Level 9 Wizard Illusion: This spell functions identical to the new Phantasmal Killer, but in a 30ft radius.
    • This is actually kind of badass now.

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