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Toll The Dead 5E 2024 [Is Toll The Dead Overpowered?]

Toll The Dead 5E
  Written By: Ashish Arya
Updated On: 10/15/2023
Est. Reading: 9 minutes

You’ve probably heard whispers in the wind about Toll The Dead 5E. If you’re a dedicated game enthusiast or a fledgling adventurer, this necromancy cantrip might have piqued your curiosity more than once.

But rest assured, you’re not alone among the players and dungeon masters who find its twists and turns intriguing.

Whether you’re asking yourself if it’s worth adding to your spellbook or wondering exactly how it stacks up against other damage-dealing options, this blog post is right up your alley.

We’re going to break down everything you need to know – from casting mechanics to strategic implications. Just keep reading – adventure awaits!

Toll The Dead 5E Attributes

Casting Time1 action
Range60 feet
ComponentsV, S
At Higher Levels– 5th level: 2d8 or 2d12
– 11th level: 3d8 or 3d12
– 17th level: 4d8 or 4d12
Spell ListsCleric, Warlock, Wizard

What is Toll The Dead 5E?

Toll the Dead 5E is a spell found in the game Dungeons & Dragons (DnD) 5th Edition. As a necromancy cantrip, it utilizes the power of sound to inflict harm upon its targets.

The target must be within 60 feet and able to hear the caster. A successful hit sees the target inflict 1d8 necrotic damage. If the target is already missing any of its hit points, then damage increases to 1d12.

The spell’s damage output increases as you level up, making “Toll The Dead” a powerful option for weakening foes in long battles.

How can you get the Toll the Dead 5E spell?

How can you get the Toll the Dead 5E spell?

Wondering how to get your hands on “Toll the Dead 5E”? Well, in Dungeons & Dragons, spells aren’t simply picked up like weapons. They’re inherent to specific character classes.

This means choosing the correct class is a crucial strategic decision when aiming to add specific spells to your arsenal.

Three of these classes are particularly relevant for acquiring “Toll the Dead”: Clerics, Warlocks, and Wizards.

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With a knack for healing and support, Clerics may not initially strike you as a necromancy-appropriate candidate. Yet, Toll the Dead belongs in their repertoire by default if they worship a god of death or follow the Death Domain subclass.

In fact, under a subclass called ‘Death Domain,’ available in the Dungeon Master’s Guide (DMG), Toll The Dead is given as a bonus necromancy cantrip option at 1st level.

Clerics that choose this subclass have an inherent predisposition towards death and will find that Toll The Dead fits perfectly within their spiritual inclinations and battle strategy.


If you’re after some necrotic juice through the means of Warlock — behold! This class also provides access to Toll The Dead spell since it’s been introduced as part of Xanathar’s Guide to Everything expansion pack for DnD.

Relying heavily on their pacts with otherworldly entities for their magical ability, Warlocks epitomize darkness and manipulation – making them perfectly suited for necromantic spells like Toll The Dead.


Now, if you’ve chosen Wizard as your character class, worry not because you have access too! Perceived as scholarly magic practitioners who keep rigorous notes about spells and magical research, Wizards can choose from a vast array of spells–Toll The Dead being one of them.

It’s obtainable by High Elves as well; as part of their racial trait, they have access to one wizard cantrip of their choice, and that can be Toll The Dead.

Arcane Trickster

Arcane Tricksters, as the name suggests, are all about tricks up their sleeves. But did you know they could incorporate Toll the Dead into their bag of tricks? Arcane Tricksters get their spells from the Wizard spell list, and that includes Toll the Dead.

With it, these Roguish sub-classes can deal with more than just tricky illusions and enchantments – they also get a punch of necromantic damage to complement their stealthy stabbings.

Eldritch Knight

Next up on our list is the Eldritch Knight. Playing as an Eldritch Knight Fighter allows you a dose of magic alongside martial prowess.

Though this subclass primarily focuses on Evocation and Abjuration schools of magic, they can pick spells outside these schools at certain levels.

When they reach their 3rd level or any level after that, they could choose to learn Toll the Dead, adding a dash of necrotic force to go hand-in-hand with their advanced weaponry skills.

Divine Soul

Embodying a special connection to divinity, Divine Souls harbor powers derived from deities themselves. Fascinatingly enough, Divine Souls possess the unique ability to select spells from both Sorcerer and Cleric spell lists!

This means our deceptively potent necrotic cantrip – Toll The Dead – falls within their reach. Having this spell in their repertoire gives them an edge by offering variety – healing one moment and dealing damage in another.

Blessed Warrior

Blessed Warriors are Paladin subclasses who follow religious vocations rather than knightly orders–a path that surprisingly leads us back to the Toll The Dead spell.

Since they have access to two cleric cantrips at 3rd level via ‘Blessed Warrior Fighting Style,’ it means your Paladin could take on a darker tone with access to our favorite necromantic sound-based damaging tool.

Magic Initiate

As a Magic Initiate, you’re dipping your toes into arcane waters. Choose to lean toward the Cleric, Warlock, or Wizard spell list, and Toll the Dead becomes an option for your chosen cantrip.

The Magic Initiate feat allows characters of any class to expand their magical abilities, making it possible for even a Fighter or Rogue to get in on this necrotic action.

High Elf

Your race choice also influences your access to Toll The Dead spell. High elves have something unique – they start their journey with one wizard cantrip of their choice.

And yes, that does mean you could initiate your adventures by ringing the bell of death using Toll The Dead.

Half-Elf Sun/Moon Descent

One particular type of Half-Elf lineage is crucial when considering Toll The Dead – specifically standing out are those of Sun or Moon Elf descent.

These characters inherit one wizard cantrip due to their elf parentage, and yes – make room High Elves because these half-elves could make some noise with Toll the Dead, too.

Is Toll The Dead 5E a good spell?

Yes, “Toll The Dead 5E” is an excellent spell in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. Its strength lies in being a cantrip, so it doesn’t consume any spell slots and can be used at any time. It deals more damage to targets who are already hurt, making it an effective way to finish off foes.

As you level up, its damage output also increases, contributing significantly to the game’s battle dynamics. Given that it only requires a verbal component, it offers considerable flexibility to casters.

How to use Toll The Dead 5E in a D&D game?

How to use Toll The Dead 5E in a D&D game?

When it comes to using Toll The Dead effectively in your 5E D&D game, there are a few routes you can go down.

We’re going to explore some of the best strategies that are commonly employed, which will enable you to make the most out of this necromancy cantrip.

From focusing on classes like the Death Domain Cleric or Evocation Wizard to picking out weakened enemies on the battlefield – let’s dive deeper into these tips and tricks.

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Be a Death Domain Cleric

If you choose to run a character who follows the divine path of the Death Domain cleric, Toll The Dead 5E becomes an interesting option.

Being a cleric of this subclass revolves around controlling, creating, and harnessing the power of death and unlife – making “Toll The Dead” a perfect fit.

It can be especially potent if you opt for ‘Reaper’ at 6th level as it allows you to target two creatures at once within 5 feet of each other.

An Evocation Wizard

Similarly, an Evocation Wizard can extract tremendous benefits from using Toll The Dead. While this subclass primarily specializes in dealing elemental damage types with their offensive spells, including “Toll The Dead” in their spell book provides them an edge over foes resistant or immune to elemental damage types.

Pairing up “Toll The Dead” with their Sculpt Spells ability also helps them avoid injuring teammates during battles involving close-quarters combat.

Target Injured Enemies

Targeting injured enemies should always be kept in mind when employing Toll The Dead. No matter what your class is, maximizing Toll the Dead’s damage output is all about strategic timing.

Aim for those foes who’ve already lost some hit points; doing so bumps up your necrotic damage from d8s to more hearty d12s!

As with most things in D&D, your understanding of the battlefield and insight into tactical opportunities can turn the tide in your favor.

Use on creatures with low Wisdom

Toll The Dead 5E is a wisdom saving throw spell. To really exploit its potency, consider using it on monstrosities, beasts, or machines with meager wisdom scores.

The lower the wisdom score, the less likely they are to pass the saving throw. By picking your targets wisely (pun intended), you’ll be rolling those sweet d12s more often than not!

Pair with Bane

Adding another layer of strategic depth to your gameplay, consider pairing Toll The Dead 5E with a Bane spell if you can.

Casting Bane on your enemies reduces their ability to succeed at saving throws by rolling a d4 and subtracting it from their roll, which makes Toll The Dead even more likely to hit and take effect.

Cleverly combining these spells can help tilt battles in your favor by ensuring that your adversaries feel every toll’s dreadful peal.

Pick up a spell attack cantrip as well

While Toll The Dead is a fabulous necromancy cantrip famed for its tactical versatility and damage potential – diversifying is rarely a bad idea.

Picking up another spell attack cantrip like Fire Bolt or Eldritch Blast would offer more options during combat encounters when saving throws are not in your favor. Diversifying your magical arsenal means you’re prepared for anything.

That way, even if you’re against enemies who might resist or be immune to necrotic damage from Toll The Dead—you’ve always got another ace up your sleeve!

What are the rules of Toll The Dead 5E?

What are the rules of Toll The Dead 5E?

Before diving into the world of DnD, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the rules surrounding specific elements – such as spells like Toll The Dead 5E. This cantrip is drenched in mystery and intrigue, so let’s unravel some of its secrets.

Toll the Dead’s sound travels like a regular bell

Ringing bells isn’t just for weddings! The sound that reverberates from Toll The Dead acts like a regular bell – that means the range and volume are akin to what you would expect from a standard tolling bell.

Despite carrying a grim undercurrent, this beautiful, resonant tone echoes across your game’s landscape, reaching far and wide within its 60-foot radius.

This means your target must stay within this specified range for you to cast and effectively land a hit. It’s an important piece of information that helps understand how ‘reach’ works in D&D cantrips.

Injured foes need to fail a saving throw for damage

When casting Toll The Dead on an enemy already missing hit points, they’re required to pass a Wisdom saving throw or take 1d12 necrotic damage instead of the usual 1d8.

The spell sets the creature’s Wisdom stats as its foe, failing, which means they’re closer to their demise. Judgment day comes earlier for wounded enemies on the battlefield trying to evade your necrotic curse.

The scaling of Toll the Dead is based on the character level

Here’s where even more excitement starts brewing. Unlike many other spells or abilities where the damage scales with class level, the spell’s power scales up with character level; it allows you multi-class characters to keep this powerful cantrip relevant throughout battle progressions.

When you reach higher levels (5th, 11th, and 17th), damage output increases by one die size, hitting harder as you grow stronger. It’s a smart move indeed for players seeking to maximize their necrotic damage!

It still affects Deafened creatures

Despite harnessing the power of sound, Toll the Dead doesn’t lose efficacy against deafened foes – a fascinating twist in its application! Its necromantic bell breaches beyond normal auditory senses, reaching the spiritual ears of creatures.

Even if a target can’t physically hear the ominous toll, they won’t be immune to its dreadful effects. Harness this rule wisely and decimate your enemies in silence!

Evocation Wizard’s Overchannel doesn’t boost Toll the Dead

If you’re thinking about pairing Toll the Dead with an Evocation Wizard’s Overchannel, take note that this combination is a no-go.

Although an Overchannel could potentially maximize damage dealt by your spells, it fails to boost Toll The Dead’s performance.

This is because Overchannel works on wizard spells of 5th level or less, while Toll The Dead is classified as a cantrip and essentially exists outside this scope.

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FAQs about Toll The Dead 5E

Is the Toll The Dead spell unique to a specific class in D&D 5E?

No, Toll Several classes, including Clerics, Warlocks, and Wizards, can use the Dead.

Can a target resist or avoid the damage from Toll the Dead?

Yes, if the target passes a Wisdom saving throw, they will avoid taking damage from this spell.

How does the level of a character affect the power of Toll The Dead?

The damage of Toll The Dead increases at higher levels (5th, 11th, and 17th) regardless of your class.

Can I double up on necrotic damage by using both Toll The Dead and an Evocation Wizard’s Overchannel spell?

No, Overchannel only works on wizard spells of 5th level or below and does not apply to cantrips like Toll The Dead.

If a creature in D&D is deafened, will it still be affected by the tolling bell sound from Toll The Dead?

Yes! Despite being a sound-based spell, Deafened creatures will still experience the effects of Toll The Dead.


  • Ashish Arya

    I'm a tech enthusiast and lifelong gamer, hailing from the beautiful city of Chandigarh. My passions range from immersing myself in worlds like GTA V, COD, SIMS, Roblox and Minecraft to exploring the latest innovations in laptops and technology. Armed with a Bachelors Degree in Computer Application, I love sharing my insights through writing and engaging with fellow enthusiasts. Join me on my journey through the ever-evolving realms of gaming and tech!