V, S, M
, up to 1 hour
You touch a willing creature. Until the spell ends, the target's skin has a rough, bark-like appearance, and the target's AC can't be less than 16, regardless of what kind of armor it is wearing.
a handful of oak bark
Corpus Armatus di Sylvaticus
Verbal Component (Alternative):
With natures blessing from tree-kin, I armour my body with barkskin. Classes:
Buff, WardingSource: Player's Handbook [5th Edition] (page 217)
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Below are commonly asked questions about this spell. Some of the information is pulled official D&D sources (such as books and the twitter feeds of D&D officials), but other information is derived from forums and online discussions. As always, it is up to the DM to decide how they wish to spell questions. If you have a FAQ about this spell that you feel other DM's may wish to know, please send us the message!
How does barkskin work with shields, cover, and other modifiers to AC?
Barkskin specifies that your AC can't be lower than 16 while you are affected by the spell. This means you effectively ignore any modifiers to your AC—including your Dexterity modifier, your armor, a shield, and cover—unless your AC is higher than 16.
For example, if your AC is normally 14, it's 16 while barkskin is on you. If your AC is normally 15 and you have half cover, your AC is 17; barkskin isn't relevant in this case. [source: Sage Advice Compendium]
Other Planes and Effects
Below is information about this spell as it relates to other planes and area of effects (i.e. underwater). Some of the information is pulled official D&D sources (such as books and the twitter feeds of D&D officials), but other information is derived from forums and online discussions. As always, it is up to the DM to decide how they wish to handle spell effects.
Underwater - Verbal Component
Official rules have been verified by Jeremy Crawford - "No rule prohibits verbal components from working underwater. Keep in mind that if you're talking, you're not holding your breath." Hence, while submerged underwater and holding its breath, a creature can cast a spell that requires a verbal component. After casting the spell, if the creature can't breathe underwater, it immediately runs out of breath. The creature can survive for a number of rounds equal to its Constitution modifier (minimum of 1 round).