Glyph of Warding 5E Spell

Hello magic casters of all shapes and sizes! Welcome to my spellbook and thank you so much for checking out the 28th episode of our 3rd level spell series. Man do we have a doozy in store for us today, i tell you i have not been looking forward to doing this spell, literally since i started this website, it’s always been an avatar of death i suppose you could say.

Is it particularly difficult to defeat and debatable but is it hard to hit and do properly oh heck yes! And it’s a self-inflicted pain so i can’t even get mad about it. In any case today we are taking a look at glyph of warding dnd 5e spell this spell is usable by the bard, cleric, wizard and the artificer and it is found in the player’s handbook.

Hello Adventurers!! Thank you sooo much for giving me the opportunity to interact with you! Let me just go over a few details with you. Subscribe for updates from our publishing company Labs, and get free adventures, and 5E content along the way.
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Let me tell you oh this spell has been a real pain in my neck for a long time. But before we dive into it i want to let you guys know i do have a youtube channel, social media platforms like pinterest, reddit, medium i strongly suggest you check them out it would mean the world to me if you can subscribe and follow me there. That being said, let’s dive into the mechanics behind a glyph of warding.


  • Casting Time: 1 Hour
  • Range/Area: Touch
  • Components: V, S, M *
  • Duration: Until Dispelled or Triggered
  • School: Abjuration
  • Attack/Save: DEX Save
  • Damage/Effect: Acid (…)

The effect at a glance is as followed: Place a symbol that requires an investigation check to detect, the symbol can be no larger than 10 feet and cannot be moved more than 10 feet from where it was cast. The symbol either explodes or releases a spell when set conditions are met.

The Explosive Runes: deals a 5d8 elemental damage (1/2 as much on a successful dexterity save) and you determine what kind of elemental damage it is.

The spell glyph: The spell must be of 3rd level or lower. Targeting either a creature or area. Which is most spells.

The cast time is one hour and it is not a concentration. This spell actually plays with the term concentration quite a bit and we will get into that a little bit more later on. The range is touch which is really cool because technically it means you’re familiar can cast it as well.

The duration is until dispelled or triggered. At higher levels the explosive runes deals an extra 1d8 per slot level. And the spell glyph store a spell up to the level used. The components are the holy trinity of verbal, material and somatic. If you’re curious about that material component it is incense and powdered diamond worth at least 200 gp, which the spell consumes. And the school is abjuration unsurprisingly.

This spell is super cool from a mechanical angle and i know the effect looks a little bit long but let me tell you it is nothing compared to the ever sprawling hellscape that is this spell’s actual description wizards of the coast…why you gotta do me like this seriously this thing’s a novel.

Once again quick reminder please do follow me on pinterest and subscribe to my youtube channel and the medium platform as well. But in any case let’s now check out the full unbridled, untamed and unrelenting description of this spell. Buckle in guys because it’s going to be a long ride.


When you cast this spell, you inscribe a glyph that later unleashes a magical effect. You inscribe it either on a surface (such as a table or a section of floor or wall) or within an object that can be closed (such as a book, a scroll, or a treasure chest) to conceal the glyph. The glyph can cover an area no larger than 10 feet in diameter. If the surface or object is moved more than 10 feet from where you cast this spell, the glyph is broken, and the spell ends without being triggered.

The glyph is nearly invisible and requires a successful Intelligence (Investigation) check against your spell save DC to be found.

You decide what triggers the glyph when you cast the spell. For glyphs inscribed on a surface, the most typical triggers include touching or standing on the glyph, removing another object covering the glyph, approaching within a certain distance of the glyph, or manipulating the object on which the glyph is inscribed.

For glyphs inscribed within an object, the most common triggers include opening that object, approaching within a certain distance of the object, or seeing or reading the glyph. Once a glyph is triggered, this spell ends.

You can further refine the trigger so the spell activates only under certain circumstances or according to physical characteristics (such as height or weight), creature kind (for example, the ward could be set to affect aberrations or drow), or alignment. You can also set conditions for creatures that don’t trigger the glyph, such as those who say a certain password.

When you inscribe the glyph, choose explosive runes or a spell glyph.

Explosive Runes. When triggered, the glyph erupts with magical energy in a 20-foot-radius sphere centered on the glyph. The sphere spreads around corners. Each creature in the area must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 5d8 acid, cold, fire, lightning, or thunder damage on a failed saving throw (your choice when you create the glyph), or half as much damage on a successful one.

Spell Glyph. You can store a prepared spell of 3rd level or lower in the glyph by casting it as part of creating the glyph. The spell must target a single creature or an area. The spell being stored has no immediate effect when cast in this way. When the glyph is triggered, the stored spell is cast.

If the spell has a target, it targets the creature that triggered the glyph. If the spell affects an area, the area is centered on that creature. If the spell summons hostile creatures or creates harmful objects or traps, they appear as close as possible to the intruder and attack it. If the spell requires concentration, it lasts until the end of its full duration.

At Higher Levels:

When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the damage of an explosive runes glyph increases by 1d8 for each slot level above 3rd. If you create a spell glyph, you can store any spell of up to the same level as the slot you use for the glyph of warding.

* – (incense and powdered diamond worth at least 200 gp, which the spell consumes)

My goodness! We are done more or less officially. So in general you put a symbol somewhere or in something. You set the trigger to what happens when that would basically whatever activates it. You pick whether or not it’s an explosive ruin or a spell glyph and if someone else wants to spot it it’s investigation verus their spell save dc.

The symbol can’t be any larger than 10 feet honestly i don’t know why you’d want to make it super large to begin with it seems like smaller is the better in this case but whatever and it can’t be moved more than 10 feet away from the initial area in which it was cast.

Now a couple interesting things worth going over. This is one of the only spells in the game that outright says it can detect alignment in one way or another. It’s very interesting i really do like it when people use it in that way. However is it worth a third level spell slot just to figure out someone’s alignment you know depends on the campaign.

However another really interesting thing about this spell is it basically circumvents the need for concentration and because of that there’s an argument to be made that if it was used for something like oh i don’t know a sphere of flames for example. You could still control the sphere around without needing to concentrate on it.

It really is an interesting, bit of wordplay and you do have to do some mental gymnastics to kind of justify it but based on the way it’s worded it certainly seems to imply that.

Actually maybe sphere flames was a bad example just because you can’t the spell has to affect a single target or an area so maybe something like crown of madness might be a better example but still it really does play interestingly into the whole concentration realm, once again is it really worth using that kind of a spell slot, you know it depends on the campaign, another thing that is certainly worth noting is the fact that this costs 200gp every time you want to cast it so if you’re in a more kind of financially tight campaign for lack of a better term this is not going to be a spell you’re going to want to pop out all the time.

That being said, between the fact that it is a touch spell so you’re familiar can use it between the fact that it can circumvent concentration and also factoring in the fact that it can detect alignment. This is arguably the best multi-purpose spell in the entire game because of that this next part is going to be really tricky, that being said, let’s check out some alternative uses here.

Glyph of Warding 5E Uses

So in doing research for this particular article which was exhausting and of itself. There have been a couple people who’ve theorized you can actually use this spell in conjunction with magic mouth and a couple illusionary magics to create a literal computer.

The biggest problem with this as far as i’ve been able to tell is the duration is until dispelled or triggered. However what happens if you set up a glyph of warding to create another glyph of warding that creates a glyph of warding and then you set a magic mouth to respond to the glyph of warding which in terms something else.

It’s very difficult lots of mental gymnastics involved if you plan on pulling any nonsense like that, run it past your DM, because holy heck i can barely understand it and i went down a pretty deep rabbit hole to try to figure it out for you guys but just know that some people think it’s possible.

A great use however is to booby trap a spell book with this. This is especially useful against higher level magic casters, great way of catching them off guard or even liches hop into their phylactery or their arcanum or any place like that walk up to their favorite book, spam glyph of warding into it, make it a explosion ruin or whatever and just walk way and play the waiting game odds are they’re gonna open it and when they do bam you’re looking at potentially double digits of d8s coming straight their way.

I think that’d be pretty awesome and a third way to use this is to use it as more of a triggering mechanism for a greater plan. Once again kind of stitching together triggering components. I think this makes a lot more sense is it worth investment who knows but i think like a land mine field would be a kind of a cool setup not just for players but for DMs as well.


That being said, let me know what you think of glyph of warding down beneath in the comment section, be sure to mention any thoughts, questions, comments or concerns you have about this spell, i’m expecting you guys are gonna have a lot of questions about it, i do as well to be honest, i don’t think there’s a cap on the amount of ways the spell can be used so let me know what your most convenient or most creative uses rather down beneath in the comment section. That being said, i hope you all have a great day and as always happy casting everyone.

Leave a Comment