Spell Conversion: Bigby’s Bookworm Bane in 5e

In our Spell Conversion Series we will look at spells from 2nd edition that didn’t make it into the 5th edition of D&D. For a full list of all named spells, go here.


In order to convert a spell we need to look at the guidelines of the Dungeon Master’s Guide, at the original spell in 2nd edition and at the existing spells in 5e. The new spell shouldn’t overshadow an existing spell nor be too complicated.

5th edition’s biggest advantage over older editions is that spells are extremely streamlined and bookkeeping on the Dungeon Master’s side is kept to a minimum.

Also, some spells might be used for a specific situation. This showcases how some mages in Greyhawk invented magic for their own needs. Consider players to get in touch with those unique spells by meeting disciples of these famous mages (or even the mage himself) rather than handing them out freely.

The spell

Today we look at Bigby’s Bookworm Bane. This spell is more of a light-hearted gimmick spell than anything else.

But the spell is still a nice piece to flesh out your Greyhawk campaign and any librarian should know it. Here is what it can do:

  • 1st Level
  • Kill and find all bookworms!

The spell is best compared with a Mage Hand but being an own version of it. It should be a cantrip but that would just make people reluctant of taking it. As a 1st level spell it gives no harm having it in your repertoire

Considering all of this, this is my conversion of Bigby’s Bookworm Bane in 5e:

Bigby’s Bookworm Bane

1st-level evocation
Casting time: 1 action
Range: 120 feet
Components: V, S, M (child sized glove made out of leather)
Duration: Instantaneous

You create small magical hand that starts going through all books in range and finds bookworms and kills then.

The hand is an object with AC 10 and 4 hit points. It is immune to physical damage


As you might have realised, converting spells is never easy and highly subjective. There are many ways to the same goal. Our goal is to make our World of Greyhawk experience unique, different from a homebrew of Forgotten Realms campaign. And with every new spell that used to be a Greyhawk exclusive, we are getting closer to our goal.

Next time we are going to convert Bigby’s Construction Crew.

See you in the Green Dragon Inn,


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