What is Quickened Spell in Dungeons & Dragons 5e?
The Sorcerer Class in Dungeons and Dragons 5e has not only the ability to cast magical spells but also the power to control and manipulate them. This is accomplished through the Sorcery Points system which is acquired through reaching the 2nd Level in the Sorcerer Class and obtaining the Font of Magic class feature. This represents a pool of the magical power possessed by the Sorcerer and at 2nd Level they receive two Sorcery Points to help quantify this pool mechanically.
A Sorcerer can then expend these Sorcery Points to create additional Spell Slots. Conversely, a Sorcerer can sacrifice their Spell Slots to create additional Sorcery Points. This allows the Sorcerer to have much more flexibility and utility in comparison to fellow spellcasters such as Wizards and Warlocks. All three could potentially learn the same spell but only the Sorcerer can manipulate the spell further.
At the 3rd Level, the Sorcerer class feature Metamagic allows Characters of that Class to shape the spells they cast in order to achieve a greater effect beyond increasing the Level of the Spell Slot. Metamagic allows the Sorcerer to choose two Metamagic Abilities at 3rd Level and another at the 10th and 17th Levels. One of the most popular and often used of these Metamagic Abilities is Quickened Spell.
How Does Quickened Spell Work?
Quickened Spell allows a Sorcerer to cast a spell at a reduced amount of time, so spells that would normally take a Full Action to complete can instead be cast as a Bonus Action. For example, the Sorceress Merga is engaged with a group of attacking Zombies. Merga perceives that although a majority of the Zombies are grouped in front of her, a single Zombie is moving towards her flank.
Sensing time is of the essence, Merga expends the Sorcery Points needed to Quicken her Shatter Spell, allowing Merga to cast it as a Bonus Action. Shatter decimates the approaching group of Zombies, breaking bones and slowing their progress toward her in the subterranean crypts. Merga can now shift her attention towards the approaching foe on her flank. With her Action still available, Merga casts the Acid Splash Cantrip at the remaining Zombie, dispatching it and transforming it into a bubbling and noxious ichor. Quickened Spell allows for greater utilization and control over spellcasting in the Class that has the greatest ability to not only cast magic but shape it on the fly.
A common misconception is that Quickened Spell will allow a character to cast two non-Contrip spells in a single turn and this is sadly not true. In 5e a spell casting Character, regardless of their Class, may cast a spell requiring either a Full Action or a Bonus Action and then that character may cast a Cantrip only if the casting time required is a Bonus Action.
No class in the game is able to cast two Full Action spells in a single turn and Quickened Spell doesn’t change that. However, it allows greater control on the part of the Player, giving them the option to cast a powerful spell as a Bonus Action and then still having their Full Action available to them to use an item, attack an enemy with a weapon or as shown previously, cast a much needed Cantrip and magically double tap your enemy.
It is important to remember that Magic in Dungeons and Dragons 5e is often considered to be less powerful or more mundane than in previous editions of the game and honestly, that is a fair assessment. Magic in 5e is what you might expect from Fantasy, it is more explosive and less subtle than the magic of Middle Earth and The Lord of The Rings but Characters are not able to reach ludicrous levels of power when compared to their world as was the case in 3.5.
Keep this in mind in regards to Quickened Spell – sure it would be more flashy and arguably more effective to cast two Fireballs in a single round at a locked door within a dungeon but the system is not designed to allow that. Instead, Merga, our sorceress, decides to cast Fireball as a Bonus Action using Quickened Spell.
The Fireball roars from her pale and ghastly outstretched fingers and slams into the locked wooden door, causing some immediate damage and setting the door aflame. Merga then casts Mage Hand using a Full Action, grabbing a nearby lantern with the spell and dashing it against the burning door – turning the entire frame into a raging conflagration – all within a single turn. Sure it isn’t as showy as shooting fireballs from your hands on full auto but it gets the job done!
Have You Used Quickened Spell In D&D 5e?
We hope you enjoyed this article and found our explanation helpful. What combinations have Sorcerers in your games come up with? Do you feel that Quickened Spell is over or underpowered? As always, be sure to subscribe to Phasr Media and Tabletop Totality for all of your TTRPG needs!