Prestidigitation 5E — DnD spell explained 2024

Master the versatile Prestidigitation 5E spell in DnD. Perform minor magical feats and create sensory illusions with finesse.

Prestidigitation 5E: Tiefling in vibrant eccentric robes flicks his fingers, sparking tiny fireworks, colorful illusory images, and conjuring various trinkets that float around him
© Dice Cove

What is Prestidigitation 5E?

Prestidigitation 5E (PHB, p. 267) is a transmutation cantrip available to Artificers, Bards, Sorcerers, Warlocks, and Wizards, however, there are plenty of alternative ways to pick this spell up. It takes an action to cast with vocal and somatic components, when you do so you create an effect within 10 feet. You can have up to three non-instant effects from this spell active at once, recasting for each effect. The effects this spell can create are:

  • You instantly snuff or light a small campfire, torch, or candle.
  • You instantly create a sensory effect, such as a puff of wind, faint music, an odd odor, or a shower of sparks. These effects are harmless.
  • You instantly clean or soil an object up to 1 cubic foot in size.
  • For 1 hour, you warm, chill, or flavor up to 1 cubic foot of nonliving material.
  • For 1 hour, you create a mark or make a  symbol appear on an object or surface.
  • Until the end of your next turn, you can create an illusory image or nonmagical trinket that fits in your hand.

Is Prestidigitation 5E a good spell?

Prestidigitation is a good spell because it provides you with a relatively wide array of effects for a single cantrip. The value of this spell is mostly flavor for character interaction and roleplay, however, there is potential to use it to solve out-of-combat problems. For example, in downtime, your character may sell services lighting lamps, or chilling drinks on a hot day to make some extra coin. Or you might create a sensory effect to distract or lure a guard away from their post to make infiltrating an area easier.

How can you get Prestidigitation 5E spell?

Being a cantrip on the Wizard’s spell list there are plenty of different methods to grab this set of magic tricks, so take your pick of:

  • Artificer, Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard – All of these classes get access to Prestidigitation on their spell lists.
  • Arcane Trickster (Rogue Subclass) – This subclass gets access to the Wizard spell list and with Prestidigitation being one of the cantrips they can learn. 
  • Eldritch Knight (Fighter Subclass) – Similar to above, this Fighter can choose from the Wizard list for their cantrips.
  • Arcana Domain (Cleric Subclass) – This Cleric can choose two Wizard cantrips and make them Cleric spells, this allows them to pick up Prestidigitation. 
  • High Elf (Subrace) – To represent this subrace’s mastery of the basics of magic, they can choose a Wizard cantrip of their choice.
  • Sun or Moon Half-Elf (Race Variant) – This half-elf variant can trade their Skill Versatility feature for the High Elf’s Cantrip feature.
  • Kobold (Race) – The MotM version of the kobold’s Kobold Legacy feature allows you to choose a Sorcerer cantrip if you choose the Draconic Sorcery option.
  • Mark of Hospitality (Race Variant) – From Eberron, these halflings get Prestidigitation from their Innkeeper’s Magic feature, along with once-per-long rest castings of Purify Food and Drink and Unseen Servant.
  • Aberrant Dragonmark (Feat) – This feat allows you to choose a cantrip from the Sorcerer’s list.
  • Artificer Initiate (Feat) – You may have guessed it, this feat allows you to choose a cantrip of your choice from the Artificer spell list.
  • Initiate of High Sorcery (Feat) – This feat allows you to choose one Wizard cantrip of your choice, as well as two 1st level spells based on which moon you choose.
  • Magic Initiate (Feat) – By choosing Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, or Wizard as the class you choose Prestidigitation as one of your two cantrips, in addition to a 1st level spell.
  • Strixhaven Initiate (Feat) – The Prismari option allows you to choose Prestidigitation, as well as either Fire Bolt or Ray of Frost, and either a Bard or Sorcerer 1st level spell.

How to roleplay the Prestidigitation 5E spell

Need some help roleplaying the Prestidigitation? Here are some examples to help you out:

  • At the royal banquet, the gnome Wizard wants to make a memorable impression. He uses Prestidigitation to make his simple dish of roasted boar burst with exotic flavors and colors, much to the delight and surprise of the surrounding nobles, his magical culinary talents ensuring he becomes the talk of the evening.
  • After a long journey, Sorcerer and her companions find themselves covered in mud and grime. With a snap of her fingers and a murmur of ancient words, the dirt and dust lift away from their clothing, leaving them clean and presentable once more, much to the relief of her companions.
  • In the crowded town square, Bard pulls out a small, ordinary stone. She whispers the words to a simple spell, making the stone glow and sparkle like a precious gem. She tosses it high into the air, creating a spectacle that catches the eyes of the passersby, a perfect diversion as her companions conduct their clandestine operations.

We hope this article gave you plenty of tricks to keep yourself entertained or pass for a qualified street magician. Check out our Sorcerer 5E guide, or if you just like learning about 5E spells, check out our DnD 5E spells section. Good luck out there adventurers, and until next time, have you considered selling flavored water?

Expert Editor-in-Chief