Crown of Madness 5e: Crown of Madness is a 2nd level spell available on the Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard spell lists that we will examine here. One could argue that this spell is the worst of its kind in the game.
As usual, I’ll start by explaining the mechanics of the spell itself, but instead of suggesting improvements, I’ll go into detail on why this is such a terrible spell. Crown of Madness can be played according to the rules laid out on page 229 of the Player’s Handbook.
Table of Contents
The Crown of Madness 5e
Crown of Madness is an enchantment spell that not only prohibits a powerful enemy from assaulting you or your allies, but also increases the likelihood that they will be able to successfully attack their own team and cause some damage to them.
Let’s begin with the fundamentals of the spell and dissect them so we know precisely what we’re working with. The rules for the crown of madness spell may be found on page 229 of the Player’s Handbook.
This is how the Crown of Madness spell is described in the fifth edition:
- A 2nd-level enchantment
- A spell with a 1 action casting time
- A range of 120 feet
- The components used are V, S
- This is a concentration spell and lasts up to 1 minute.
- Classes: Bard, Warlock, Sorcerer, Wizard
This spell is a potent disruption tool, capable of scattering a tightly packed group of foes, causing a powerful boss monster to multiattack one of its minions to death, and otherwise causing a bad situation for the player.
If your opponents are too close together, they’ll end up tearing each other to pieces. Compared to other 2nd-level spells that also control, disrupt, and otherwise mess with enemies, such as Suggestion and Hold Person, Crown of Madness has a rather high opportunity cost because it requires you to burn a 2nd-level spell slot and effectively exchange your action for an enemy’s (not to mention the enemy can use their movement to effectively negate this spell on subsequent turns).
It is fair, however, to infect an enemy’s mind with temporary madness and bloodlust, so enabling you to command them to cut down an ally (evoking images of the Greek gods condemning Hercules to slaughter his family in a drunken rage). So. Freaking. Metal.
Many people have differing opinions on whether or not this spell is effective. Thematically, it’s so interesting that I’m not sure I care. In the name of solid research, however, we will examine its limitations in order to better understand how to use them.
Crown of Madness: Does it work on the Undead?
It is explicitly stated that this spell has no effect on Undead because they are fundamentally different from humanoids. This occurs frequently with enchanting spells.
Humanoids are the realistic humans who live in a fictional universe. It is expected that these beings will have the same capacity for language and culture as humans, dwarves, elves, and half-elves, and that they will not possess any demonic power or other forms of innate magical skills.
There are many ‘evil’ humanoid variants, such as goblinoids (goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears), orcs, gnolls, lizardfolk, and kobolds.
Frequently Asked Questions
Crown of Madness is a spell that, if cast on a single humanoid, causes an iron crown to appear on their head and a crazy light to flash in their eyes unless they succeed on a Wisdom saving throw. Until the spell finishes (up to a minute), they are charmed and can’t move or do anything else besides launch a melee attack against a creature the caster chooses.
As a hint to the Crown of Madness spell from Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, Roblox released a similar item in 2020 (along with matching Robes and Pants). This item is still obtainable via the Piggy game.
The opposite is true. The enchanted target can’t move until it uses its action to make a melee attack against another creature. “Your mind has the power to make a decision for you,” the Crown of Madness says. The target may proceed with its turn as usual if you don’t select a creature or if no creatures are within range.
Crown of Madness 5e Considering these drawbacks collectively, it’s easy to see why the crown of lunacy is among the worst spells available. In the end, I think you should just ignore that spell altogether.
If you want the charming condition, the spells charm person and charm monster are your best bet. They both require concentration and Wisdom saving throws, but they don’t force you to expend effort every round and they don’t let the target creature retry its saving throw every turn.