Skip to Content

Crown of Madness 5e Spell

Crown of Madness 5e Spell

The DnD 5e sourcebooks are full of different spells. But usually, only a few, like Detect Magic and Fireball, make it on the spell lists of magic users. But what about the hundreds of other spells? There are a lot that are worth checking out. For example, Crown of Madness is a spell that is often overlooked. It might be worth adding it to your spell list.

What is Crown of Madness 5e Spell?

The Crown of Madness spell turns a humanoid target into a temporary puppet of the spell caster. Crown of Madness is a 2nd level Enchantment spell available to Wizards, Warlocks, Bards, Sorcerers, and Oathbreaker Paladins. If the spell’s target fails a WIS saving throw, they are charmed, and a twisted iron crown appears on their head. 

While wearing the Crown of Madness, the target must use their action to make a melee attack before moving. The caster can force the charmed humanoid to make a melee attack on any target within reach. The target acts normally if there is no character in the melee range. However, they are still Charmed. 

The spell lasts for one minute with Concentration. Every turn, the spell caster must use their action to maintain it. The target can also end the spell with a successful WIS saving throw. This spell seems pretty specific, and its use over other spells isn’t outwardly apparent. However, there are some scenarios where this spell is handy.

Crown of Madness 5e Spell Stats

From the Player’s Handbook:

One humanoid of your choice that you can see within range must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or become charmed by you for the duration. While the target is charmed in this way, a twisted crown of jagged iron appears on its head, and a madness glows in its eyes.

The charmed target must use its action before moving on each of its turns to make a melee attack against a creature other than itself that you mentally choose. The target can act normally on its turn if you choose no creature or if none are within its reach.

On your subsequent turns, you must use your action to maintain control over the target, or the spell ends. Also, the target can make a Wisdom saving throw at the end of each of its turns. On a success, the spell ends.

Casting Time: 1 Action
Range/Area: 120 ft.
Duration: 1 Minute (Concentration)
School: Enchantment
Class: Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard, Paladin (Oathbreaker)
Level: 2nd
Damage/Effect: Charmed
Attack/Save: Wisdom Saving Throw
Components: Verbal, Somatic
D&D Player’s Handbook
$49.95 $26.10

Buy on Amazon Buy at Noble Knight
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
06/05/2023 08:30 pm GMT

Why Use Crown of Madness 5e Spell?

The Crown of Madness spell, at first, may seem underwhelming. The target gives their action to the caster, but the caster must also use their action every turn to maintain the spell. The target can also make WIS saving throws each turn, so the caster may end up wasting a level 2 spell slot. 

Compared to the 1st level spell Charm Person, which lasts an hour and doesn’t require as much commitment from the caster, Crown of Madness seems less appealing.

However, Crown of Madness has a few features that make it a good spell in the right situation. Crown of Madness can be used tactically. It could be a great way to work cooperatively with your party or NPCs. You might be surprised by the Crown of Madness spell if you think about the spell’s utility rather than its shortcomings. 

How to Use Crown of Madness 5e Spell

Like most things in DnD 5e, players and DMs must consider various uses for spells and think outside the box. Crown of Madness is a spell that requires a creative mind to unlock its usefulness. 

Target Control

Crown of Madness could be used to distance the caster and the target. If the caster is a squishy character and a martial class character like a Barbarian is heading in their direction, Crown of Madness may be a saving grace. The caster using Crown of Madness could force the Barbarian to stop and make an attack, hopefully allowing the caster to get out of harm’s way. 

Players can also use Crown of Madness to redirect attacks to a more resilient character. The caster could have the target of Crown of Madness attack the party Tank. This will allow for the soft characters to better position themselves. 

The Crown of Madness spell can protect characters other than the spellcaster from incoming attacks. If the Sorcerer wants to protect the Wizard from a Fighter attack, the Sorcerer can limit the movement of the Fighter by casting Crown of Madness and forcing them to attack first instead of move. This could open the FIghter up to reaction attacks or force them to attack one of their allies. The Wizard can then take the opportunity to cast another spell on the target.

The caster could also cast Crown of Madness on a healer. Then force them to fight instead of tending to wounds. This would be a great way to increase the pressure on the battlefield. 

The target would still have their move and bonus actions but would need clarification about where to go and what to do. The Crown of Madness spell is an excellent disorientation weapon. 

Bombarding the Enemy

Attacking the target doesn’t end the Crown of Madness spell. This is a significant mechanic of this spell. The rest of the party could do some damage while allowing the caster to control the actions of the target. 

According to the spell text, the target of Crown of Madness is limited to one attack. Fighters at level 2 get a second attack. Crown of Madness would restrict this Fighter feature. The spell forces the target to use one action. The target is no longer in control of their action for that turn. The spell would only allow the Fighter to make one attack at the target of the caster’s choosing. 

This spell is perfect for teamwork. Once cast, players could stack other spells like Ensnaring Strike. Ensnaring Strike would keep the target in melee range. The target will be subjected to the melee attacks of the martial members of the party while unable to control their attacks or move. In this example, the target would have the opportunity to make saving throws. However, if they fail, the party would make short work of them. 

Enhancing Role Play

Crown of Madness can increase the quality of role-play. The range and distinct characteristics of Crown of Madness, crown of twisted metal, and eyes that glow with madness, are excellent out-of-battle tools. If a caster wants to single out a specific target in a crowd, they could cast Crown of Madness. Other characters could clearly identify the target. The caster would be able to control the target’s action while the rest of the part moves in.  

From a balcony, the party Ranger looks out into a crowded square. The Ranger signals to the Wizard they’ve located the target. The Wizard would then cast Crown of Madness on the target from a range of 120ft. The target would freeze in place and strike out at the nearest NPC. Chaos would erupt around them, and the party martial classes would enter the fray, keeping an eye on the target with the crown of thorns. 

The DM could use Crown of Madness to increase the difficulty of an encounter. The spell could switch up the dynamic in a fight and increase tension.

Should I use Crown of Madness 5e Spell?

There are a dizzying amount of spells to choose from in 5e DnD. In the three main source books (The Player’s Handbook, Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, and Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything), there are 477 spells listed. So what makes Crown of Madness worth choosing? 

The best aspect of this spell is that it doesn’t end when the target takes a hit. The caster can make an enemy waste an attack, and then the other party members can continue to attack the target. This is pretty good, especially at a low level. If the caster plans on staying on the sidelines, the party can whittle away at the target while keeping their caster safe.

Additionally, Crown of Madness has a longer range than similar spells like Charm Person. Charm Person has a range of 30ft, while Crown of Madness has a range of 120ft. Both spells have similar mechanics, except Charm Person has a longer duration. In a role-play scenario, they could have similar results. Crown of Madness allows the target to be identified by people besides the caster. The target of Crown of Madness also does not know who Charmed them. This mechanic gives more flexibility to the spell. 

However, Crown of Madness requires the caster to use their action to maintain the spell. This is a bit clunky and impractical for meaningful use in battle. 

Overall, this spell is best as a DM tool. For players, it is best used with other spells or in specific role-play situations. There are better choices for spells for players, like Charm Person, Dominate Person, or Hold Person

DMs, however, can use Crown of Madness to build exciting encounters. Since Crown of Madness is an underused spell, the players will not expect an enemy to use it, especially at low levels. The DM can always increase the tension at the table by asking a player to roll a WIS save. 

If the DM has great creative skills Crown of Madness can be a great tool. However, players may be better off choosing a different spell.

D&D Player’s Handbook
$49.95 $26.10

Buy on Amazon Buy at Noble Knight
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
06/05/2023 08:30 pm GMT

Crown of Madness 5e Spell FAQs

What school of magic is Crown of Madness 5e DnD?

The Crown of Madness spell is in the Enchantment School of Magic

Is Crown of Madness 5e DnD spell good?

Crown of Madness is an ok spell. It lacks versatility and power but does have some practical use in campaigns. At lower levels, Crown of Madness is a good choice because it allows players to control the action of a potential threat. However, depending on the situation spells like Charm Person or Hold Person may be more appropriate. 

Can you move the target with Crown of Madness 5e DnD?

No, you cannot move a target with Crown of Madness. This spell only controls the action of the target.