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.
Method for Spell Conversion in 5e
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.
Today we look at Bigby’s Feeling Fingers. This spell is used to fine the smallest cracks on surfaces, mostly to find traps. At the moment there is only one spell with a similar effect, Find Traps.
But the spell works a bit different and unique enough to use it in 5th edition. Here is what it can do:
- 1st Level spell
- Spawns a magical hand
- Hand has a 50% chance to find a trap
This spell needs some time to check a bigger area for traps and might not even be successful. Find Traps has the drawback that you don’t know where the trap is, while with Bigby’s Feeling Fingers you can never be really sure if there is not actually a trap.
So is this spell more useful than Find Traps? I think it depends on the circumstances. To be honest I find Find Traps should be a 1st level spell as well.
Considering all of this, this is my conversion of Bigby’s Feeling Fingers in 5e:
Bigby’s Feeling Fingers
Casting time: 1 action
Range: 180 feet
Components: V, S, M (child-sized silk glove and a swan’s feather)
Duration: 1 hour
You create a hand under your command. The hand can’t grasp, hold or carry anything but has a sensible touch.
You can use the hand to check a 10 by 10 feet square for traps needing 1 minute. The same area can only checked once with a success rate of 50%. Any nonmagical trap cqn be triggered by the hand if you choose to do so.
The hand has an AC of 10, 4 hit points and 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 Force Sculpture.
See you in the Green Dragon Inn,