V, S, M
, up to 10 minutes
You call forth spirits to protect you. They flit around you to a distance of 15 feet for the duration. If you are good or neutral, their spectral form appears angelic or fey (your choice). If you are evil, they appear fiendish.
When you cast this spell, you can designate any number of creatures you can see to be unaffected by it. An affected creature's speed is halved in the area, and when the creature enters the area for the first time on a turn or starts its turn there, it must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature takes 3d8 radiant damage (if you are good or neutral) or 3d8 necrotic damage (if you are evil). On a successful save, the creature takes half as much damage.
When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the damage increases by 1d8 for each slot level above 3rd.
a holy symbol
Invito Custos Spiritus
Verbal Component (Alternative):
Spirits aid me, my foes detect, if they come near me, my form protect. Class:
DamageSource: Player's Handbook [5th Edition] (page 278)
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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!
Does spirit guardians deal damage when you cast it? What about when its effect moves onto a creature?
No, to both questions. The spell clearly states:
when the creature enters the area for the first time on a turn or starts its turn there
In addition, the Sage Advice Compendium verifies:
Some spells and other game features create an area of effect that does something when a creature enters that area for the first time on a turn or when a creature starts its turn in that area. On the turn when you cast such a spell, you're primarily setting up hurt for your foes on later turns.
Can you throw a creature into spirit guardians' area of effect to cause damage?
Yes, if you are capable of doing do. However that a creature is subjected to such an area of effect only the first time
it enters the area on a turn.
The official Sage Advice Compendium verifies:
Entering such an area of effect needn't be voluntary, unless a spell says otherwise. You can, therefore, hurl a creature into the area ... We consider that clever play, not an imbalance, so hurl away! Keep in mind, however, that a creature is subjected to such an area of effect only the first time it enters the area on a turn. You can't move a creature in and out of it to damage it over and over again on the same turn.
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).