• Justin Handlin

Bigby's Handbook of Creative Spell Use

Updated: Oct 5, 2020

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Crit Academy discusses Bigby's Handbook of Creative Spell Use! A Dungeons and Dragons supplement designed to provide DM's and Players with powerful spell combinations that will allow you to terrorize your enemies. The handbook includes annotations from the one and only Bigby (character creation of D&D great, Rob Kuntz, and founding member of Greyhawk’s ‘Circle of Eight’). It offers a host of amazing, super creative, and RAW adhering spell and caster combos to help optimize and get the most out of your spellcasting.

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Main Topic: Bigby's Handbook of Creative Spell Use

Inside this 70 page tome of masterful spell tips are 50 creative techniques for spell uses and caster team-ups. More importantly, they are all 100% Rules As Written (RAW) compatible.

Orbital Bombardment


This technique makes the most of the overlooked range of meteor swarm - 1 mile - and the

technical wording of a ‘point you can see’ as the spell’s target. By using the scrying spell to locate a creature or view a location you have seen before, you can effectively target this spell at a far greater range than sight might allow, even inside a dungeon or enemy stronghold. It is most effective against enemies that you have seen before and against enemies that you know well, or that you possess something of theirs; such things as a garment, body

part, lock of hair, bit of nail, or the like.


  1. Cast scrying to locate the target creature or to view a previously seen location.

  2. Cast meteor swarm using a spot you can see through the scrying spell to a 1-mile range.



This technique offers the perfect way to force up to 21 saves (per round) on your enemy and an obscene amount of damage and secondary effects. Throw them around like a ragdoll and watch them succumb to your magical might.

This technique deals massive amounts of damage and useful secondary effects on your enemies. Use it to; remove an enemy spellcaster from combat, destroy the enemy ‘tank’. wipeout an entire enemy party one round at a time.


  1. On the 1st round, cast prismatic wall between you and your enemies, and as close to your enemies as possible, so that they are forced to make a Constitution saving throw or become blinded for 1 minute. Designate all of your allies as immune to the effects of the wall.

  2. Step through the wall, select an enemy and cast telekinesis. Restrained targets have disadvantage on Dexterity saving throws.

  3. Move your opponent through the 1-inch thick wall onto another square adjacent to, and on the other side of, the wall, before moving them back through the wall and into a square adjacent to the wall on the side they started. A successful opposed ability check will be required.

  4. Each time the target passes through the wall, they will need to succeed on seven Dexterity saving throws or be affected by the properties of each relevant layer as described. Additional saving throws may be required if the target fails the initial saving throw for a particular layer of the wall.

  5. Repeat step 3 until the 30 feet of maximum movement criteria for telekinesis has been reached.

  6. Step back through to the opposite side of the wall to your enemies.

  7. Repeat steps 2 through to 6 on your next turn.

Red Rum


Using the dream spell to break the game will never bode well with the DM. However, there are some wonderfully entertaining scenarios that could play out from this spell technique. This combination could help players (and DMs) manipulate ideas, decisions, or attitudes while enhancing roleplay opportunity. Extra points for creativity!

This spell technique can be used in good fun or for darker intentions. It is quite versa􀀯le and can be used in non-violent or hostile ways.


  1. Obtain a body part, lock of hair, clipping from a nail, or similar portion of the target's body. If unable to complete this step, merely knowing the target will suffice.

  2. Cast dream and choose a creature (known to you) as the target, preferably when sleeping.

  3. Have the messenger of the dream spell manipulate the environment of the dream, or deliver a message to the dreamer.

  4. Throughout the next day, when the target is awake, cast thaumaturgy to create sounds consistent with the dream to further bring it ‘to life’.

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Unearthed Tips and Tricks! We bring you new and creative content for you to bring with you on your next adventure.

Character Concept:

Accidental Pact - Patron RobotsVsDinosaurs

A dwarf miner who sings while working, and unwittingly formed a pact with a demon residing deep underground when he sang the lyrics to an old folk tune that turns out to be a summoning ritual. His pickaxe is imbued with unholy strength, and he has no idea why.

Monster Variant:


(Need short 4-6 sentences of lore about this creature)

Origin Monster: Werebear

Lost Features: Shapechanger, hybrid form, greataxe, multiattack

New Features:

Roar (3/day). The creature emits a magical roar. Each time it roars before finishing a long rest, the roar is louder and the effect is different. Each creature within 500 feet of the creature and able to hear the roar must make a saving throw.

First Roar. Each creature that fails a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw is frightened for 1 minute. A frightened creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Second Roar. Each creature that fails a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw is deafened and frightened for 1 minute. A frightened creature is paralyzed and can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Third Roar. Each creature makes a DC 14 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes 18(4d8) thunder damage and is knocked prone. On a successful save, the creature takes half as much damage and isn't knocked prone.

Legendary Actions

The Grungar can take 2 Legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The Scorpion regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

Roar. The grungar can use its roar.

Attack(Costs 2 Actions). The Grungar makes one attack with its bite or claws.


Imprisoned Spirit - Submitted by Charles Koontz

The characters struggle to get through an ancient passage trap, door or other obstacle. Due to the nature of the challenge, they must seek out help to traversing the lost pathway. This forces the characters to seek out the aid of one who was around when the pathway was created. Rumor has it that there is an ancient spirit bound to an ironwood tree by an iron rod. The spell only allows the spirit free at dusk, vanishing at the first rays of light.

The spirit is Timon Aneristos (LN, M, banshee), a ghostly translucent human with a long face, tangled silver hair and large, wide eyes. He wears plain clothing and a clan medallion hangs around his chest. He knows the secrets of the pathway, but will only part with them if the characters will aid him in attaining his freedom by removing the rod that seals him. He is found near the crossroads near an old iron cage used to retain thieves and bandits. The rod has been placed into the ironwood by something with immense strength and requires a successful DC 23 Strength (Athletics) check to pull free. The characters are likely to approach this one of three ways.

  • If the characters attempt to intimidate Timon in any way, succeed or not, he chooses to attack the party for their rude behavior.

  • Should the party be neutral or indifferent in their support, he freely gives them the information they seek, then leaves to seek revenge on those who wronged him.

  • If the characters choose to be friendly and take interest in his story, learning of his forced binding to the tree by his foul family and ruining his afterlife, then he shares a secret alternative to deal with the obstacle, one that leads to additional treasure along the way.

Magic Item:

Debate Club

Weapon (club), uncommon (requires attunement)

This thick wooden club is cracked, battered and altogether not much to look at, but it is the most persuasive line of reasoning in your arsenal.

You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon. When you fail a Charisma (Persuasion) check, while holding this weapon you use an action to attempt to frighten someone with the debate club’s menacing presence within 30 feet of you. If the creature can see or hear you, it must succeed on a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw or be frightened of you until the end of your next turn. On subsequent turns, you can use your aaction to extend the duration of this effect on the frightened creature until the end of your next turn. This effect ends if the creature ends its turn out of line of sight or more than 60 feet away from you.

If the creature succeeds on its saving throw, you can’t use this feature against that creature again for 24 hours. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier (a minimum of once). When you finish a long rest, you regain all expended uses.

Dungeon Master Tip:

Player Character Rumors - Pink Dice GM on Twitter

In recent games, I require players to write five rumors related to their character’s reputation: two good, 2 bad, one false. I later pass these out to the other players as things their PCs would have overheard. It spawns great roleplay.

Player Tip: Don’t be a Dick

Take their focus!

Many casters need some sort of arcane focus to channel their power through. A great way to weaken a caster is to attempt to snatch their arcane focus, druidic or holy symbol right out of their hands. The battlemaster fighter excels at this, as they have access to the Disarming Attack, allowing you to force the target to drop one item of your choice that it’s holding.

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