A group of goblins wanders around a decaying dungeon looking for scraps of meat and metal to salvage when they see adventurers in a narrow hallway.
They sneak toward them, but unfortunately, they notice the goblins’ presence; not taken aback, they push through with their plan and rush toward them. The Wizard among the party speaks a bunch of magical words and waves his hands, and his staff glows.
Suddenly, the goblins come to a grinding halt; it seems like the ground beneath them is hard to walk on. They look down and notice an oily substance covering it. They try to balance themselves but fail and fall to the ground.
The adventurers take the opportunity and quickly defeat the immobilized goblins. What the Wizard did is the potential power of the Grease spell, a level one spell.
It can make the ground beneath someone too slippery to stand on, making them slip and fall. Furthermore, it turns the ground into difficult terrain, which means that anyone trying to walk on it moves slower than usual.
Some players say that Grease is their favorite level one spell, and if you want to find out why, this Grease 5e Guide can help enlighten you about its benefits and weaknesses.
Bottom Line Up Front: What is Grease in D&D 5e?
Grease is a level one conjuration spell you can find in the Player’s Handbook on page 246. This spell is a conjuration spell similar to Fog Cloud and Unseen Servant because it conjures a slippery substance on the ground. Below are the crucial details about the Grease spell in D&D 5e.
- Level one conjuration
- Casting Time: one action
- Range: 60 feet
- Components: V, S, M (a bit of pork rind or butter)
- Duration: One minute
How to Use Grease in D&D 5e
Before you can make your enemies slip and fall by casting the Grease spell, you must first meet all of its requirements to cast it. They are as follows:
- You must know this spell or have it prepared. Various classes, like the Bard or Sorcerer, know spells while others, like the Wizard and Cleric, prepare them from their spell book.
- You must have at least a level one spell slot. Grease is a level one spell, so you need at least an available level one spell slot to cast it. You can also use a higher-level spell slot, but it would not change the spell’s effects.
- You must use an action to cast it. This rule especially applies during combat.
- You must be able to talk. The Grease spell needs the verbal component, i.e., you need to say magical words in an audible voice.
- You must be able to use your arms. The Grease spell needs the somatic component, i.e., you need to wave your arms around.
- You must have a bit of pork rind or butter. It is the Grease spell’s material component. However, if you have a spellcasting focus, like a staff, you can use it instead.
If you have looked at all the requirements and everything checks out, you can cast the Grease spell. As you do so, perform the steps below.
- Choose a point within 60 ft. of you. A 10-foot square centered on that point becomes affected by the Grease spell.
After choosing the area where you want the grease to appear, the spell will immediately take effect; the next section details how the Grease spell works.
How Does Grease Work in D&D 5e?
A 10-foot square of slick grease emerges from the point you chose after casting it. The following effects are active for one minute (ten rounds if you cast this spell during combat).
- The 10-foot square of ground becomes difficult terrain. In D&D rules, walking over difficult terrain takes up twice the standard movement speed. For example, walking over ten feet of difficult terrain would need 20 ft. of movement speed.
- Creatures make a Dexterity saving throw when they are:
- Standing within the spell’s area.
- Entering the spell’s area.
- Ending their turn in the spell’s area.
- Compare the Dexterity saving throw and your Spell Save DC. Spell Save DCs depend on your class; for example, an Artificer’s Spell Save DC is 8 + their proficiency bonus + their Intelligence modifier. They succeed if the Dexterity saving throw is equal to or greater than the Spell Save DC. Otherwise, they fail their Dexterity saving throw.
- If the target fails in their Dexterity saving throw, they become prone. Being prone means that they suffer from the “Prone” condition as explained in the D&D rules. The effects below detail the penalties prone creatures get.
- Prone creatures can only crawl until they stand up. Crawling takes up an extra foot of movement. For example, crawling over ten ft. would need 20 ft. of movement speed. However, crawling over ten feet of difficult terrain needs 30 ft. of movement speed.
- Prone creatures can stand up in exchange for half their movement speed. For example, if the prone creature has 30 ft. of movement, they use 15 ft. of it to stand up.
- Prone creatures have a disadvantage on their attack rolls. Having a disadvantage on the attack rolls means they roll two d20s and pick the lower result.
- If someone five ft. near the prone creature attacks them, the attacker gains an advantage in their attack roll. As opposed to having a disadvantage, an advantage means they roll two d20s and pick the higher result.
- If someone attacks the prone creature but is not within five ft. of them, they gain a disadvantage in their attack roll. For example, someone with a bow gets a disadvantage in their attack roll if that person attacks a prone creature 20 ft. away from them.
The Grease spell is pretty straightforward, but the rules for the “Prone” condition make it difficult to understand for some players. Furthermore, the effects of difficult terrain stacked up with the crawling movement can be a bit of a headscratcher.
Thus, I have prepared a demonstration in the next section to showcase how the spell works during combat.
Example Scenario for Using Grease in D&D 5e
Welcome to Arthur’s Lab, where bandits fall into a slippery slope toward a world of pain and suffering for the sake of science. This time, we will look into the Grease spell, a level one conjuration spell.
In my previous guides, I had recently conducted these experiments on the islands. However, we will return to the lab for this demonstration as it is not too big of a spell.
Marshal the Half-Elf Wizard is with us in this orchestrated combat, and he has the Grease spell prepared. He also has a level one spell slot which he will use to cast the spell. Along with him are a couple of bandits who “willingly” joined us for the cause. Below are crucial details about Marshal and the Bandits in this experiment:
- Marshal the Half-elf Wizard
- Armor Class: 15
- Intelligence modifier: +3
- Proficiency bonus: +4
- Spell Save DC: 8 + Intelligence modifier + proficiency bonus = 8 + 3 + 4 = 15
- Movement speed: 30 ft.
- Dexterity saving throw modifier: +2
- Attack Bonus: +3
Marshal Casts the Grease Spell
It is Marshal’s turn, and he casts the Grease spell using a level one spell slot. He can use a higher-level spell slot, but no matter the level, the spell’s effects will remain the same. He must choose where the spell’s 10-foot square of grease emerges within 60 ft. of him, and he chooses the area as shown below.
The spell immediately takes effect, and the 10-foot square area becomes covered with slippery grease. That slick substance will remain there for one minute (or ten rounds in combat), and it will make that area into difficult terrain.
Bandits 1, 2, and 3 must perform a Dexterity saving throw against Marshal’s Spell Save DC of 15, or else, they will fall and become prone.
The Bandits Do a Dexterity Saving Throw for Grease
Bandits 1, 2, and 3 were inside the Grease spell’s area when Marshal made it, so they must roll a d20 for a Dexterity saving throw, or else they will fall. Everyone has a Dexterity saving throw modifier of +2. Their results are the following:
- Bandit n: d20 + Dexterity saving throw modifier = Dexterity saving throw
- Bandit 1: 12 + 2 = 14
- Bandit 2: 9 + 2 = 11
- Bandit 3: 14 + 2 = 16
Bandits 1 and 2 fail the Dexterity saving throw because their results are lower than Marshal’s Spell Save DC of 15. Therefore, they fall and become prone; i.e., they suffer from the “Prone” condition. Meanwhile, Bandit 3’s result surpasses Marshal’s Spell Save DC, so he remains standing.
Bandit 1 Crawls Forward and Attacks Marshal
Bandit 1 fell due to the Grease spell; he can use his movement speed to stand up or crawl. He chooses to crawl over to Marshal. Crawling costs an extra foot of movement; therefore, crawling five ft. forward would cost him ten ft. of movement speed instead.
Furthermore, moving over also costs an extra foot of movement. Thus, if Bandit 1 moves forward by five feet while on the Grease spell’s area, it will cost him 15 ft. of movement speed.
He is no longer walking over difficult terrain if he moves forward again. However, he is still crawling. Therefore, performing this move will cost him ten ft. of movement.
He has a movement speed of 30 ft., which was reduced by 15 ft. due to crawling over difficult terrain, and another ten ft. from crawling forward. He only has five ft. of movement speed left. He needs 15 ft. of movement to stand up, so he remains.
Bandit 1 then tries to attack Marshal, but since he is prone, his attack roll is at a disadvantage. Therefore, he rolls two d20s, gets 17 and 5, and picks the lower number. Their attack roll has an attack bonus of +3; thus, we calculate their attack roll as follows:
- Attack roll = d20 + attack bonus
- Attack roll = 5 + 3
- Attack roll = 8
Marshal’s Armor Class is 15, meaning Bandit 1’s attack misses.
Bandit 2 Stands Up While on the Grease
Bandit 1 ends his turn, and now, it is Bandit 2’s turn. Since he is prone, he decides to stand up. Standing up from being prone costs half the creature’s movement speed; Bandit 2 has a movement speed of 30. Therefore, standing up would cost 15 ft. of movement.
After standing up, he still has 15 ft. of movement speed left. He moves toward Marshal’s left side, which costs him ten ft. of movement speed. He ends his turn with five ft. of movement speed left.
Bandit 3 Ends His Turn on the Grease
It is Bandit 3’s turn, and he moves behind Bandit 1. He does not need to stand up because he succeeded in the Dexterity saving throw beforehand, which means he did not fall prone.
However, the Grease spell makes the area into difficult terrain, and since Bandit 3 is moving over it, he uses twice the standard movement speed to travel over it. So, it costs him ten ft. of movement speed instead of five.
He then decides to end his turn there. According to the Grease spell’s rules, anyone ending their turn while on the Grease spell’s area must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw, or else they will fall prone. Thus, he rolls for it and gets an eight. We calculate his Dexterity saving throw as follows:
- Dexterity saving throw = d20 + Dexterity saving throw modifier
- Dexterity saving throw = 8 + 2
- Dexterity saving throw = 10
Ten is lower than Marshal’s Spell Save DC of 15; therefore, Bandit 3 falls prone.
Bandit 4 Enters the Grease
It is Bandit 4’s turn, and he decides to enter the Grease spell’s area. Like Bandit 3, he moves toward difficult terrain, meaning his movement takes up twice the usual movement speed. So, instead of using five ft. of movement speed to move five ft., they use ten ft. instead.
According to the spell’s rules, anyone entering the area must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw. If not, they will fall prone. Thus, he rolls a d20 and gets a ten. Bandit 4 also has a Dexterity saving throw modifier of +2, and so we calculate his result as follows:
- Dexterity saving throw = d20 + Dexterity saving throw modifier
- Dexterity saving throw = 10 + 2
- Dexterity saving throw = 12
Like Bandit 3, Bandit 4’s Dexterity saving throw of 12 does not reach Marshal’s Spell Save DC of 15. Therefore, he falls prone.
Marshal Attacks Bandit 1
It is Marshal’s turn once more. To recap, Bandits 1, 3, and 4 are prone, while on his left is Bandit 2. In front of him is Bandit 1; Marshal decides to attack him using his quarterstaff.
Since Bandit 1 is prone, and Marshal is five ft. near Bandit 1, he gets an advantage on his attack roll, which means that he rolls two d20s and picks the higher number.
He rolls 4 and 14; he picks the 14 for his attack roll. After applying the appropriate modifiers, Marshal’s attack roll surpasses Bandit 1’s Armor Class, which means his attack hits.
Marshal then rolls a d6 for the quarterstaff’s damage and gets a 4. Bandit 1’s HP then goes down by 4. If Marshal was not within five ft. of Bandit 1, he would receive a disadvantage on his attack roll instead.
Who Can Cast Grease in D&D 5e?
Two classes (Artificer and Wizard) and two subclasses (Arcane Trickster Rogue and Eldritch Knight Fighter) have access to the Grease spell. Sorcerers can access the Grease spell if they abide by the class’s Extended Spell List, as detailed in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything.
Classes that Can Cast Grease in D&D 5e
Only two classes, the Artificer and the Wizard can make the ground slippery through the Grease spell. Both classes have two level one spell slots at level one; therefore, they can pick this spell up as early as level one. Below are the crucial facts about these classes, along with their Spell Save DC.
Classes that can cast Grease
Spell Save DC
|Artificer||Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, page 9||8 + your Intelligence modifier + your proficiency bonus|
|Wizard||Player’s Handbook, page 56||8 + your Intelligence modifier + your proficiency bonus|
According to Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, the Grease spell is also included in the Sorcerer’s Extended Spell List. However, it is up to your table if they allow this rule. Therefore, ask your DM beforehand. The Sorcerer’s Spell Save DC is 8 + their Charisma modifier + their proficiency bonus.
Subclasses that Can Cast Grease in D&D 5e
Only two subclasses gain access to the Grease Spell: The Arcane Trickster Rogue and the Eldritch Knight Fighter. Below is info about their subclass source, subclass feature that grants them access to the Grease spell, Spell Save DC, and more.
Subclasses that can cast Grease
|Originating Class||Subclass Feature for Grease||Subclass Source||Class Source||
Spell Save DC
|Arcane Trickster||Rogue||Spellcasting||Player’s Handbook, page 97||Player’s Handbook, page 94||8 + your Intelligence modifier + your proficiency bonus|
|Eldritch Knight||Fighter||Spellcasting||Player’s Handbook, page 74||Player’s Handbook, page 70||8 + your Intelligence modifier + your proficiency bonus|
Both subclasses have access to this spell because it is part of the Wizard spell list; their Spellcasting subclass feature grants them access to the spells within it.
However, the Arcane Trickster Rogue only gains knowledge about enchantment and illusion Wizard spells. Meanwhile, the Eldritch Knight Fighter gains knowledge about the evocation and abjuration Wizard spells.
Still, they can learn one spell from other schools of magic when they reach levels 3, 8, 14, and 20. Therefore, they can only get the Grease spell when they reach these levels.
Creative and Useful Ways to Use Grease in D&D 5e
The Grease spell is incredibly helpful in multiple cases; you can cast it to make your enemies fall and waste their movement speed. Unlike many spells, it is not situational since you can cast them in many ways during combat.
Still, if you are looking for creative and innovative ways to cast the Grease spell, below are some great reasons I have come up with to use it in D&D 5e.
- Avoiding a flank
- Buying yourself time
- Amplifying traps
- Creating a chokepoint
Avoiding a Flank Using Grease in D&D 5e
Flanks can be incredibly deadly, yet it is something easily overseen by many players. If you do not know what a flank is, it is when enemies are in front and behind you at the same time.
Therefore, you cannot retreat to safety since an enemy is behind you, waiting for your moves. This tactic has real-life applications during wars and even in video games like Valorant or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
It sounds scary, right? If you want to avoid a flank, a great way to do it would be via the Grease spell. You can cover an entry point with Grease if you think enemies entering it would become potential hazards during battle.
It does not alert you about an enemy presence, though. Instead, it makes their movement slower and harder. So, you should still set your eyes on the door.
Buying Yourself Time Using Grease in D&D 5e
You are escaping from a group of guards alerted by your presence inside a wealthy aristocrat’s mansion. You find a room and enter it, only to discover that it is a dead end.
The guards are closing in soon, but the rogue in your party can make an escape route. However, he needs some time to prepare it. How do you buy yourselves time so that the guards will not catch up to you before all of you can escape?
The Grease spell would be handy in such scenarios; you can simply cast and place it on the room’s entryway. Therefore, if the guards try to come in, they are subjected to difficult terrain.
There is a chance they will fall, which is good because standing up takes half the creature’s movement speed. Difficult terrain also costs an extra foot of movement; your rogue will have plenty of time by then.
Amplifying Traps Using Grease in D&D 5e
Traps are efficient tools to deal with enemies. However, a common problem these traps have is that enemies can easily escape them sometimes. For example, people can easily get out of a room modified to spew fire from all sides through the door.
A swinging ax through a passageway like the ones in Skyrim can be maneuvered easily with the appropriate flexibility. Well, the Grease spell changes everything.
With the Grease spell, moving away from a trap becomes more difficult. You can make your enemies stay in a particular spot for a long time because of the “Prone” condition. Then, the trap handles the damage to those people.
Moving away is also hard because of the difficult terrain costing an extra foot of movement. You can hamper the agility of your enemies by making the ground beneath them slippery.
Creating a Chokepoint Using Grease in D&D 5e
Sometimes, on the battlefield, you want your enemies to move to a particular spot. Perhaps on the cobblestone pathway, a trap lies dormant, waiting for the enemy’s foot. However, you cannot simply tell them to do so.
Imagine telling someone you are fighting against that they should go to this spot; it sounds incredibly suspicious. Instead, you must force them to move through various methods.
The Grease spell can handle that problem for you. By casting it, you intimidate your enemies from walking over it because of the difficult terrain.
If you find two entrances, and one is covered with slippery goo, you would want to go to the seemingly safe one. However, if your enemies try to get over the Grease spell’s area, you can simply take care of them, especially if they are prone.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Is Grease Flammable in D&D 5e?
ANSWER: No, the slick grease that the grease spell conjures is not flammable in d&d 5e. Spells in d&d explicitly state how their effects behave; in the case of the grease spell, it does not indicate that it is flammable.
However, some dms allow it to become flammable since it seems logical. You can alter the rules, but I would advise against it because I think it makes the spell too powerful for a level one spell.
QUESTION: IS GREASE A SORCERER SPELL IN D&D 5E?
ANSWER: Yes, the grease spell can be a part of the sorcerer spell list in d&d 5e, although it depends if you abide by the rules of tasha’s cauldron of everything.
The book provides players with optional rules to play with in their games, and one of them is the extended spell list. It is a list of spells that the class can learn even if it was not a part of its spell list in the player’s handbook.
QUESTION: CAN YOU DISPEL GREASE IN D&D 5E?
ANSWER: Yes, you can dispel the grease spell’s effects in d&d 5e by using dispel magic, a level three abjuration spell. According to the spell’s rules, its caster can choose a magical effect and make it automatically disappear if the spell causing it is level three or lower.
Since grease is a level one spell, dispel magic can dispel the slippery substance on the ground.
QUESTION: WHAT ITEM CASTS GREASE IN D&D 5E?
Answer: The oil of slipperiness, as detailed in the dungeon master’s guide on page 184, is an uncommon potion the players can use to make the ground slippery.
To do so, you pour the contents of the potion onto the ground to cover a 10-foot square of it with grease. Thus, you effectively duplicated the effects of the grease spell. What’s better is that the grease from the oil of slipperiness can last for eight hours.:
Conclusion: Is Grease a Good Spell in D&D 5e?
I think that the Grease spell is an effective spell to make your enemies’ lives more difficult. It is a great tool to splice up crowds through the use of difficult terrain. It can make your enemies slip and fall, costing them much of their movement.
Furthermore, it is not too situational because you can cast it whenever you think enemies need to fall. The “Prone” condition’s effects are incredibly helpful.
Plus, the Grease spell does not need concentration. Therefore, you can cast concentration spells after casting this spell. A spell that does an area of effect but does not require concentration is rare, and Grease is one of them.
The one downside of Grease is that flying creatures would not be affected by it. Casting it using a higher-level spell slot will not make it more powerful or effective either.
Still, for a level one spell, it is a great one. If I were to play a Wizard, I would try this spell out. It is good for creating a chokepoint, and chokepoints are great for ambushes and crowd control.
While there is an item that replicates the effects of the Grease spell, it is an uncommon magical item. Many players highly rate this spell as one of their favorites, and I can understand why.