Chromatic Orb is a powerful 1st-level spell in Dungeons & Dragons 5e that allows the caster to create a magical orb of energy in one of eight different damage types, including acid, cold, fire, force, lightning, poison, psychic, or thunder.
This versatility allows the caster to exploit their enemies’ specific vulnerabilities or resistances to certain damage types. With its high damage potential and flexibility, Chromatic Orb is a valuable tool in any spellcaster’s arsenal.
Casting the Spell Chromatic Orb
To cast Chromatic Orb, the spellcaster must perform a verbal and somatic incantation, as well as possess a diamond worth at least 50 gold pieces, which is consumed during the spellcasting process.
The caster then selects one of eight damage types, including acid, cold, fire, force, lightning, poison, psychic, or thunder, that will be imbued into the magical orb they create.
Finally, the caster rolls a ranged spell attack against their intended target, adding their spellcasting ability modifier and proficiency bonus to the roll, in order to determine whether the orb strikes its intended mark.
How to Do Damage Calculation
If the caster’s ranged spell attack hits its intended target, Chromatic Orb deals damage based on the damage type that was chosen and the level at which the spell was cast. The damage calculation for Chromatic Orb is as follows:
- At 1st level, the spell deals 3d8 damage of the chosen damage type.
- For each spell level above 1st, the spell deals an additional 1d8 damage, to a maximum of 11d8 damage at the 9th level.
- The caster must have a spell slot of at least the level they wish to cast the spell at.
For example, if a wizard casts Chromatic Orb at the 3rd level and chooses fire damage, the spell would deal 4d8 fire damage to its target if the attack roll is successful. If the wizard cast the spell at the 5th level, it would deal 5d8 damage, and so on.
It’s worth noting that the caster must have a spell slot of at least the level they wish to cast the spell at; they cannot cast Chromatic Orb at a higher level if they do not possess a spell slot of that level.
Chromatic Orb Spell Variants
Chromatic Orb has a few variants in D&D 5e that provide different effects, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. These include:
Prismatic Orb: A higher-level spell that requires a spell slot of at least 4th level. Prismatic Orb creates a multi-colored orb that deals with all eight damage types at once, with the damage type randomly determined for each creature hit by the spell.
Chaos Bolt: A 1st-level spell that deals random damage type and can jump to additional targets on a successful hit. The spell requires a ranged spell attack roll against the initial target, and if it hits, it deals 2d8 damage of a randomly determined damage type.
If the spell hits, it can then jump to a different target within 30 feet of the original target, dealing additional damage if the second target is hit by the spell.
Each of these spell variants provides a unique twist on the basic Chromatic Orb spell in D&D 5e, with different strengths and weaknesses depending on the situation in which they are used.
Pros and Cons of Chromatic Orb in D&D 5e
- Chromatic Orb is a powerful spell that can deal significant damage to a single target.
- The spell is versatile, as the caster can choose the damage type to exploit the vulnerabilities or resistances of their enemies.
- The spell requires a diamond worth at least 50 gold pieces as a material component, which can be expensive and difficult to obtain.
- The need for a successful ranged spell attack roll balances the high damage potential of the spell, potentially causing the caster to miss and waste the spell slot.
By considering these pros and cons, a player can determine whether Chromatic Orb is the right spell to use in a given situation, taking into account both the potential benefits and drawbacks of casting the spell.
How Do I Find a Diamond For the Spell?
There are a few ways to obtain a diamond worth at least 50 gold pieces for the material component of Chromatic Orb in D&D 5e:
- Purchase a diamond from a jeweler or magic item vendor: In most D&D campaigns, there are towns and cities where characters can purchase goods and services, including rare or exotic items like diamonds. Be prepared to pay a hefty price for the diamond, as it is a valuable gemstone.
- Loot a diamond from a treasure hoard or defeated an enemy: Characters may come across diamonds while exploring dungeons or defeating monsters, especially those that are known to hoard treasure. Be aware that finding a diamond in this way is not guaranteed, and characters may need to defeat a challenging foe or solve a difficult puzzle to obtain it.
- Trade or barter for a diamond: Characters may be able to trade goods or services in exchange for a diamond, especially if they have connections with other characters or organizations that have access to rare or valuable items.
Ultimately, the best way to obtain a diamond for Chromatic Orb will depend on the specific campaign and situation in which the spell is being used. Characters should use their creativity and resourcefulness to find a diamond and other necessary components for their spells and abilities.
Why Chromatic Orb is so Powerful
Chromatic Orb is considered a powerful spell in Dungeons & Dragons 5e for several reasons:
Chromatic Orb allows the caster to choose from eight different damage types, giving them the ability to exploit the vulnerabilities or resistances of their enemies. This versatility makes the spell useful in a wide range of situations.
At 1st level, Chromatic Orb deals 3d8 damage of the chosen damage type, and the spell’s damage increases by 1d8 for each level above 1st. This means that a higher-level spell slot can deal significant damage to a single target.
Chromatic Orb scales well with higher-level spell slots. As the spell deals an additional 1d8 damage for each level above 1st, casting the spell at higher levels can result in a substantial increase in damage.
Chromatic Orb has a range of 90 feet, allowing the caster to attack targets from a safe distance.
The spell’s damage is based on the caster’s spellcasting ability modifier, meaning that a high Intelligence or Charisma score can increase the spell’s damage potential.
However, it is worth noting that Chromatic Orb’s power is balanced by its need for a successful ranged spell attack roll, and the requirement of a diamond worth at least 50 gold pieces as a material component.
These limitations ensure that the spell is not overpowered and must be used strategically.
Dealing With the Ability to Miss
Chromatic Orb requires a successful ranged spell attack roll to hit its target, which means that there is always a chance that the spell will miss. Dealing with the possibility of missing can be frustrating, especially if the caster has used a high-level spell slot. Here are some strategies to mitigate the risk of missing with Chromatic Orb:
- Enhance Spellcasting Ability: The caster can increase their spellcasting ability modifier by increasing their Intelligence or Charisma score. This can be done by leveling up, using ability score improvement, or by using magical items that enhance spellcasting.
- Use Advantage: The caster can try to gain advantage on their spell attack roll by using spells or abilities that grant advantage, such as the Bless spell or the Help action.
- Lower Target’s AC: The caster can lower the target’s Armor Class (AC) by using spells or abilities that impose penalties, such as the Bane spell or the Hex spell.
- Choose Vulnerable Targets: The caster can choose targets that are vulnerable to the chosen damage type, increasing the chances of dealing significant damage even if the spell does not hit.
- Save High-Level Spell Slots: The caster can choose to save their high-level spell slots for more guaranteed damage spells or save them for later encounters where the risk of missing is lower.
- Use Other Spells: The caster can use other spells that do not require a ranged spell attack roll, such as area-of-effect spells or spells that impose conditions on the target.
Which Class Can Use the Chromatic Orb?
Chromatic Orb is a spell that can be used by any spellcasting class in D&D 5e, as long as the character has it on their spell list and has a high enough level to cast it. The spell is on the spell list for Sorcerers, Wizards, and Bards.
Players can obtain the Chromatic Orb spell through multiclassing or by using magical items that grant them the ability to cast the spell.
How Does Chromatic Orb Compare to Other 1st Level Spells?
Compared to other 1st-level spells in D&D 5th edition, Chromatic Orb is considered a high-risk, high-reward spell. It has the potential to deal a significant amount of damage to a single target, but also requires a diamond as a material component and a successful ranged spell attack roll, making it a more difficult spell to cast than others.
Some examples of other 1st-level spells that can be used by the same classes as Chromatic Orb are:
- Magic Missile: a guaranteed hit that deals force damage to one or multiple targets
- Burning Hands: an area-of-effect spell that deals fire damage to enemies within a 15-foot cone
- Thunderwave: another area of effect spell that deals thunder damage in a 15-foot cube around the caster
Compared to these spells, Chromatic Orb is more powerful in terms of raw damage potential but also carries a higher risk of wasting a spell slot if the attack misses. It is a spell that requires careful consideration and strategic use but can be very rewarding in the right circumstances.
Example Use of Chromatic Orb
A 5th-level wizard is exploring a dungeon when they come across a group of enemies, including several trolls. The wizard knows that trolls are weak to fire damage and decides to use Chromatic Orb to exploit this vulnerability.
The wizard takes out a diamond worth at least 50 gold pieces and prepares to cast the spell. They speak the verbal component and make the required hand gestures for the somatic component. Then, they focus their magic and create an orb of fire energy.
The wizard takes aim at the trolls and rolls a ranged spell attack. They add their spellcasting ability modifier and proficiency bonus to the roll. Fortunately, the attack hits, and the spell deals 5d8 fire damage to the trolls.
The attack takes out several of them, leaving the wizard with fewer enemies to deal with.
Without Chromatic Orb, the wizard may have struggled to deal enough damage to take out the trolls, making the spell a valuable tool in their arsenal.
By exploiting the trolls’ weakness to fire damage, the wizard was able to dispatch them quickly and efficiently, proving the power and versatility of Chromatic Orb.
What Are the Elements of the Chromatic Orb?
The elements of Chromatic Orb are the eight different damage types that the caster can choose from when casting the spell. These elements are:
The caster can choose any one of these elements when casting Chromatic Orb, allowing them to tailor their attack to the specific vulnerabilities or resistances of their enemies.
Chromatic Orb is a versatile 1st-level spell in Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition that allows the caster to create an orb of energy in one of eight different damage types.
The spell requires a diamond worth at least 50 gold pieces as a material component, and the caster must roll a ranged spell attack against the target, adding their spellcasting ability modifier and proficiency bonus to the roll.
When the attack is successful, Chromatic Orb inflicts damage corresponding to the chosen damage type and the spell’s cast level. Chromatic Orb has variants that provide different effects, such as Prismatic Orb and Chaos Bolt.
The requirement for a successful attack roll and the cost of the diamond material component can balance the power of Chromatic Orb.
What Is the Max Damage for Chromatic Orb?
The maximum damage for Chromatic Orb is 88 damage if cast at the 9th level, using a 9th level spell slot, and rolling the maximum amount on all 11d8 damage dice.
However, this is assuming that the spell hits and that the target does not have any resistance or immunities to the chosen damage type.