Lightning Bolt Spell DnD 5E

Hello spellcasters of all shapes and sizes! Welcome to my spellbook and thank you so much for checking out the 35th episode of our third level spell series. Today we’re taking a look at the best lightning bolt spell dnd 5e. Makes it feel kind of like palpatine, super cool! If you’re going for a lightning based build which is super super easy to do in 5e. This is going to be one of your bread and butters. Really great spell, fantastic spell.

It is found on the sorcerer and wizards spell list and it is found in the good old players handbook, as it should be. Because you know what lightning bolt 5e i don’t care what you think should be just as iconic as fireball 5e. Just better than, i know a lot of you are gonna disagree on that in one way or another because the meme war is so strong.

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.

But if you factor that out, lightning bolts really been around just as long as fireball has. So i think it deserves some recognition for being an OG spell. But that of course is my humblest of opinions, but i wish it was…i don’t know whatever. Let’s dive into it mechanics before i dig myself into a pit.


It’s damage is 8d6 plus an additional d6 per slot level above 3rd. The effect at a glance is as followed: Create a bolt of lightning. That is capable of igniting flammable objects that aren’t being worn or carried. Don’t miss this light crossbow 5e.

  • Level: 3rd
  • Casting Time: 1 Action
  • Range/Area: Self (100 ft Line)
  • Components: V, S, M *
  • Duration: Instantaneous
  • School: Transmutation
  • Attack/Save: DEX Save
  • Damage/Effect: Lightning

The cast time is one action, the range is focused on self but it does create a 100 foot line. The duration is instantaneous, the components are somatic, material and verbal so the holy trinity. And if you’re curious about the material component it is a bit of fur and a rod of amber, crystal, or glass.

They’re not consumed so it’s not as though you need to have those things on you…an arcane focus or component pouch should work just as well. But let’s carry on. It’s saving throw is dexterity and on a success they only take half damage. The school is evocation and the damage type is lightning which should be a little surprise. Pretty cool stuff! Let’s take a look at its full description now.


A stroke of lightning forming a line 100 feet long and 5 feet wide blasts out from you in a direction you choose. Each creature in the line must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 8d6 lightning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. The lightning ignites flammable objects in the area that aren’t being worn or carried.

At Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the damage increases by 1d6 for each slot level above 3rd. * – (a bit of fur and a rod of amber, crystal, or glass)

Very cool stuff! Kind of what you’d expect however from it. I have seen some interesting ideas regarding them having disadvantage on the saving throw if they’re wearing metal and to be fair shocking grasp has a similar attachment to it. However it’s not by raw…if rule of cool you want to implement it as a dungeon master, you’re certainly allowed to i would encourage it as a matter of fact i think it makes sense logically, thematically and i think it would give this spell a slight advantage over fireball perhaps.

In terms of damage it’s never going to be there and in terms of AOE it’s probably never going to be there as well. But you know if they’re more likely to fail to save that might help balance out the damage component of it. However that of course is completely optional and up to the dungeon master.

Another thing that i’ve had some slight questions about is the ignition part of it. So usually it’s implied that the spell has to make direct contact with something in order to ignite it, right! However the wording here is the lightning ignites flammable objects in the area. So what is the area right! I would say five feet in either direction of the lightning bolt like it might arc and spark something blaze that to me makes sense.

However feel free to implement it as if you see fit. Because as far as i’ve been able to tell there haven’t been any direct comments on it yet. And i doubt there’s going to be it’s one of those ambiguous things that doesn’t usually affect the play of game but i feel like someone’s gonna ask me about it at some point or another so.

Yeah i might as well address it in the article right! Now with all of that out of the way let’s get to work on some alternative uses here.

Alternative Uses

The first use and i feel bad including this is an alternative use all the time. Because it’s really the intended purpose of the spell itself is to just affect multiple opponents. The fact that it’s a line with the lunacres range when you really think about it. A hundred feet is great range for a spell that targets a single person.

But this isn’t like that…right like it’s you create a 100 foot bolt of lightning from your palm essentially so it’s quite thematically it’s almost overwhelming to really conceptualize, it’s really cool though so targeting multiple people is one and in terms of planning this spell is super awesome, whether you’re trying to reactivate a long since dormant construct and you need to recharge it or whether you’re trying to make a trap for other enemies to fall into and you’re trying to get them into a narrow corridor and just blast them.

This spell certainly does have a thematic flare and a decent amount of utility to it. I suppose you could also use it to signal as well…although if you’re gonna burn a third level spell slot to do that i’d probably caution you against it, there are spells of lower level and even some cantrips that would probably be just as good.

However you know might as well mention it. Something else i do want to point out for those dungeon masters out there this spell has pretty good synergy with glyph of warding if you’re gonna be making traps in a dungeon this is a really good way to do it. It does a pretty decent amount of damage however most party members will be able to tank it and it’s i don’t know it’s just cool even from a thematic standpoint right!

So you could very easily incorporate this into making dungeons which is nice and you know you got like old palpatine vibe so if you want to give it to the bveg i would certainly encourage that as well. However with all that out of the way that’s kind of all i got for it. It’s really hard to do alternative uses for spells that are meant to do purely damage. You can also check out our other spells like light 5e.

However you could just use this to burn a place down to the ground as well. Especially if you follow my five feet and other directions rule because that’s essentially 300 feet of area that’s gonna be burnt right and that would be pretty dang sizable if you consider it. So if you’re running from people and you happen to be in a barn or a warehouse or something of that nature you just shoot this out from behind you send the whole thing ablaze and keep powering through.

So i suppose that is something else you could use with or you could use it for. However yeah i mean outside of that i’m kind of at a loss. You could get more creative and kind of bend, the rules of raw so you could have it affect weapons and stuff. But i will leave that up to dungeon masters in their discretion.


1Q: What Are DnD Lightning Spells 5E?

A: From this particular list: chain lightning, chaos bolt, chromatic orb, dragon’s breath, lightning bolt, lightning lure, prismatic spray, shocking grasp, storm sphere, and witch bolt. There are five with lightning in the name and nineteen that do lightning damage.

2Q: Is lightning bolt a warlock spell?

A: No!


However with all that being said! Let me know what you think of a dnd lightning bolt spell / thunder bolt dnd down beneath in the comment section. Be sure to mention any thoughts, questions, comments, concerns or stories of your own involving the spell. Now with all that out of the way thank you so much for checking out guys. I really do appreciate it. I hope you all have a wonderful day and as always happy spellcasting everyone.

Don’t miss these articles call lightning 5e | lich 5e | lizardfolk 5e | light cleric 5e | light armor 5e |

Leave a Comment