Last Updated on January 22, 2023
Thaumaturgy derives from Greek θαῦμα (thaûma), meaning “miracle” and ἔργον (érgon), meaning “work”.
Thaumaturgy 5e is a neat spell that is part of the Cleric spell list. It is the divine equivalent of Prestidigitation (although Prestidigitation has more possible effects at its disposal) and gives the caster the ability to temporarily express the wonder of their chosen deity. It is a cantrip, meaning you can cast it as many times as you like each day, but the spell isn’t very powerful.
So, why would you ever want to use this spell? It doesn’t inflict any damage and the effects can only last for up to a minute. DnD is a role-playing game, and Thaumaturgy’s effects enhance that role-playing. They are most helpful in social encounters where a well-placed intimidation tactic or cunning distraction might be enough to help your party make it through unscathed.
Upon casting Thaumaturgy, a character can manifest one so-called minor wonder for up to a minute. You can choose just one of the possibilities below or rapidly cast the spell multiple times to have up to three effects happening simultaneously. Regardless of how many effects are going on at once, they still only last a minute.
The first possible effect allows you to increase the volume of your voice up to three times whatever your character is ordinarily capable of. Whether trying to shout above the chaos of a stampeding crowd or be heard over the music at a party, Thaumaturgy provides the magical equivalent of a megaphone.
Playing with Fire
The next option is to cause flames to flicker, brighten, dim, or change color. This can be a fun way to enhance the atmosphere around your character. Maybe you’re attending a festival for your gods, whose theme is blue. Wouldn’t it be nice to make the central bonfire glow with blue flames for the apex of your ceremony?
It’s important to note that the spell’s text specifies that you cause harmless tremors around yourself. The range of the spell is 30ft, so you can spread the small earthquakes out around yourself in a circle with a radius of 30ft. However, this isn’t enough of a quake to cause anyone to fall over or take damage.
This may be Thaumaturgy’s most frequently used effect: creating a sound. You get to decide what the sound is and where it comes from. The sound can be as quiet or as loud as you need it to be. This is a fantastic way to distract the group of guards coming near where your party is hiding or to signal an ally without alerting anyone else.
There are very few practical uses for this effect, but it certainly makes a statement. Causing all of the unlocked doors and windows in a room to fly open suddenly is a comical way to enter a room, but sometimes we all need to lighten the mood.
The Eyes Have It
This is a nice effect for people going for a subtler type of intimidation. Simply altering the appearance of your eyes isn’t enough to truly freak out everyone around you, but it might be enough to silence that annoying person who has been bugging you all night.