Thaumaturgy spell in DnD 5E explained

Our hero marched towards the bandit before him, who now lay sprawled on the ground after foolishly accosting the party in a dark alley. Arsuun, with his eyes burning with searing red light, and the ground shaking with every step he took, the dragonborn grabbed the bandit by the collar and raised him up. No one else in the party knew what Arsuun said to the poor guy, but within seconds he strode back towards them, leaving the bandit showing newfound faith as he thanked the gods for his life.

What is Thaumaturgy?

Thaumaturgy is a transmutation cantrip available to Clerics (don’t worry, we’ll cover other ways to get it below!) that takes an action to cast, with a range of 30 feet, and only requires a vocal component. Like many other utility cantrips it has multiple options to choose from when you cast it:

  • Your voice booms up to three times as loud as normal for 1 minute.
  • You cause flames to flicker, brighten, dim, or change color for 1 minute.
  • You cause harmless tremors in the ground for 1 minute.
  • You create an instantaneous sound that originates from a point of your choice within range, such as a rumble of thunder, the cry of a raven, or ominous whispers.
  • You instantaneously cause an unlocked door or window to fly open or slam shut.
  • You alter the appearance of your eyes for 1 minute.

You can even have up to three of the effects that last for 1 minute at the same time if you recast the spell, and you can dismiss any of those effects as an action.

Is Thaumaturgy a good spell?

It’s okay, this is more of a fun or roleplaying cantrip and the divine equivalent of the infamously hard to pronounce Prestidigitation. As a result of this, the usefulness of Thaumaturgy is down to your own creativity and the permissiveness of your DM. That said it can be a fantastic way to distract guards with a slamming door, or to intimidate the criminal you need information out of with a combination of glowing eyes, booming voice, and the very ground he’s cowering on shaking beneath him. 

How can you get Thaumaturgy?

As you might expect from a cantrip that is iconically Cleric spell, it’s only available on the Cleric spell list, but fear not we have dug up all of the options for you:

  • Cleric – The path of least resistance and obvious choice.
  • Divine Soul (Sorcerer Subclass) – This Sorcerer can choose spells from the Cleric list, letting you grab Thaumaturgy along with other great spells like Cure Wounds and Spiritual Weapon.
  • Blessed Warrior (Tasha’s Optional Fighting Style for Paladins) – This Fighting Style will allow you to choose two Cleric cantrips of your choice.
  • Pact of the Tome (Warlock feature) – This pact allows you to choose three cantrips from any spell list and make them Warlock spells for you.
  • Magic Initiate (Feat) – By choosing Cleric as the class for this feat you can grab Thaumaturgy, in addition to one other cantrip, and a 1st level spell that you can cast once per day without a spell slot.
  • Strixhaven Initiate (Feat) – Both the Lorehold and Silverquill colleges will allow you to grab Thaumaturgy, with a choice between two other cantrips, and a 1st level spell from one of two spell lists.
  • Tiefling: Asmodeus, Baalzebul, Dispater, and Zariel (Race Variants) – All of these Tiefling variants from MToF get Thaumaturgy as a racial spell, along with two leveled spells.

Whilst it may not be as impressive as shaking the earth beneath your feet, we hope you’ve found this article informative and helpful. If you are new to the game then check out our how to play section, or if you’re looking for interesting cantrips then check out our Booming Blade article. Good luck out there adventurers, and remember, everyone loves a good entrance.

Editor-in-Chief