The Mold Earth cantrip from 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons. Alongside its other elemental cousin cantrips, Mold Earth is some things of an odd-ball. This comes right down to many factors:
- Cantrips are often cast repeatedly without spell slots. The important limitation of cantrips is time and opportunity.
- Some effects of Mold Earth are permanent.
- Move Earth’s targets are common in most game settings; loose earth and stone (for some effects).
If you target a section of loose earth (5′ cube per 1 action / 6 seconds), you’ll instantaneously excavate it, move it along the bottom, and deposit it up to five feet away. This movement doesn’t involve enough force to cause damage.
Mold Earth 5e
- Casting Time: 1 action
- Range: 30
- Components: S
- Duration: Instantaneous or 1 hour (see text)
- Scales: No
- Casters: Arcane Trickster, Eldritch Knight, Sorcerer, Wizard
Mold Earth is pretty darn sneaky. The only component is Somatic, making its casting silent. However, the results of lifting and dumping 125 cubic feet and dumping it 5′ feet away are probably not. Still sneakier than a crew of laborers, though. Transmute Rock to Mud, shape with Mold Earth and after 1 hour your creations become permanent stone.
You choose some dirt or stone that you just can see within a range which fits within a 5-foot cube. You manipulate it in one among the subsequent ways:
- If you target a section of loose earth, you’ll instantaneously excavate it, move it along the bottom, and deposit it up to five feet away. This movement doesn’t have enough force to cause damage.
- You cause shapes, colors, or both to seem on the dirt or stone, spelling out words, creating images, or shaping patterns. The changes last for 1 hour.
- If the dirt or stone you target is on the ground, you cause it to become difficult terrain. Alternatively, you’ll cause the ground to become normal terrain if it’s already difficult terrain. This modification lasts for 1 hour.
- If you cast this spell multiple times, you’ll have any over two of its non-instantaneous effects active at a time, and you’ll dismiss such an impact as an action.
Mold Earth‘s excavation effect can only move a 5′ cube of earth, 5′ in any distance. As long as your dirt cube remains, at least somewhat, in touch with the bottom, this limits you to laterally and diagonally squares (including adjacent up/down), and straight-up just the once. This implies that when digging a shaft downwards, after the first 5′, the cube is simply lifted up 5’ (into the empty, previously excavated space) before falling back off. So as to dig further straight down you’d got to do some ramping/terracing (think Minecraft). You’ll back-fill that area afterward but that brings up another issue…
Often gotten tagged as a “power gamer” and even a “mix maxer” but in my defense, my goal is often to form a significant effect or character concept in games. We believe there’s a very important and sometimes underappreciated distinction that applies to many like-minded players. If the goal is just to “break” or dominate a game to exclusion of the fun of the Gamemaster and other players, then you’re just being a jerk. No further labels or distinctions are necessary. But conversely, slapping broad, derisive labels on players that play differently is style shaming.