As a D&D player, I’ve developed a reputation for making combat use of non-combat spells. Sure, dealing out massive amounts of damage with Fireball or Lightening Strike is a lot of fun — there’s no denying that — but I get even more enjoyment out of find ways to use other spells in a fight. Whether it’s casting Nystul’s Magic Aura on all the party’s weapons (great for intimidating opponents in low-level games) or using Animate Rope to trip an opponent, I love watching the DM’s face whenever I come up with an idea he’s never seen before.
When I started playing 3.5 ed., I discovered that familiars can carry touch spells to a target and a whole new world opened up to me. My biggest success to date is the Touch of Idiocy spell. While our opponents were camping in the woods, I sent my weasel familiar to deliver Touch of Idiocy to the group’s sorcerer while he was tending to a “call of nature”. Since we were in a wooded area, I guessed he wouldn’t notice the presence of a normal woodland creature.
He didn’t. After removing 4 pts (each) of intelligence and wisdom and 6 pts of charisma, our opponents were without their spellcaster for the entire combat, allowing us to defeat them more easily than we would otherwise. Unfortunately, this trick now only works once in awhile, as word got around and our opponents have started killing every small creature than came near them.
Other “creative” spell uses I’ve come up with:
- “Blanking out” written mission orders using Erase
- Researching a new version of Reduce Person that only shrinks the actual person — not anything they’re wearing or carrying — and using that in combat. It’s really fun to watch your opponent get tangled up in their own clothes.
- Using Detect Thoughts to determine if there were any invisible opponents around us. Granted, it doesn’t tell me where the invisible critters are, but it can at least warn me that I need to start looking for them.
- Luring an opponent into a room with a single small doorway, then casting Enlarge Person on him, effectively trapping him until the spell wears off.
- Using Levitate on a dropped or thrown weapon to put it up out of an opponent’s reach, keeping them from retrieving it.
- Hiding an ambush using Rope Trick
- Mending an opponent’s sheath opening. This traps their dagger or sword inside the sheath, making it take longer for your opponent to draw their weapon (thereby — sometimes — creating attacks of opportunity for our side).
- Casting Grease on an opponent’s weapon handle (preferably before they draw it, thereby avoiding the need for a saving throw).