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Burning hands

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Burning hands was a spell of the alteration[5][6][9] or evocation[4][10] school of magic.


Learned by some wizards of relatively low experience, burning hands momentarily engulfed the wizard's hands in a burst of magical flames and then expelled them rapidly into an adjacent area of roughly twenty-five feet in diameter.[3] Earlier versions projected a cone of flame from the fingertips of the caster's outstretched hands,[4] thumbs touching.[5][6][9] These flames did no harm to the wizard but could scorch the flesh of others caught nearby during the fiery blast. The effect was instantaneous but damaging and the wizard required only a short, momentary rest to refocus in order to cast the spell again.[3]

The post Second Sundering version cast flames in a 15 feet cone and had the older spell casting method of having ones thumbs together with outstretched hands. This ignited any flammable object that wasn't worn or carried.[10]


This spell required only verbal and somatic components to cast.[4][5][6][9]


Before the Spellplague, burning hands was also used by sorcerers[4] and could only be cast a number of times equal to how many times the wizard had prepared the spell[5][6][9] or the sorcerer had energy for. After the Spellplague burning hands became easier to access, though as a consequence it no longer grew in power with its caster.[3]


  1. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 207–211, 220. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  2. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 61, 109. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Rob Heinsoo, Andy Collins, James Wyatt (June 2008). Player's Handbook 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 159. ISBN 0-7869-4867-1.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 207. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 131. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 David "Zeb" Cook (April 1995). Player's Handbook 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), p. 170. ISBN 0-7869-0329-5.
  7. Richard Baker (1996). Player's Option: Spells & Magic. (TSR, Inc), p. 183. ISBN 0-7869-0394-5.
  8. Jeff Grubb and Andria Hayday (April 1992). Arabian Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 152. ISBN 978-1560763581.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Gary Gygax (1978). Players Handbook 1st edition. (TSR, Inc.), p. 64. ISBN 0-9356-9601-6.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 220. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.

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