Even in the D&D world, illnesses and plagues exist, and they can affect even the strongest fighters. It can be the driving force for the party to set out on an adventure; perhaps they need to collect the ingredients for a cure to end a plague that has been infesting a kingdom. Or maybe they need to defeat the big bad evil guy (commonly abbreviated as the BBEG) to stop a disease from ruining the land.
Even certain spells can inflict devastating diseases on their target. For example, the Contagion spell inflicts several diseases such as Blinding Sickness, Filth Fever, Flesh Rot, and more. When the party gets afflicted by a disease, it might get particularly difficult to carry on with the adventure. This might be a disadvantage during travel and combat.
If your campaign focuses around a certain plague, if you feel like there is a lurking danger from diseases around your party, or even if you just want to roleplay an extremely germophobic character, you need something that lets you cure up diseases right away. There are only a few spells that are capable of doing so, and one of those rare spells is the Lesser Restoration spell.
It is a nifty tool for clerics when having diseases and illnesses is not uncommon. It is a second-level spell, so it is not too late in the game. Even if diseases are not uncommon in your game, this spell can still cure certain conditions that players suffer from, such as poison. If you have stumbled upon this spell and are considering putting this in your spell list, keep on reading our Lesser Restoration 5e Guide.
What is Lesser Restoration?
Lesser Restoration is a level two abjuration spell that can be found in the Player’s Handbook on page 255. Abjuration spells are spells that have defensive and saving effects. It can be spells that can cast magical shields, magical armor that blocks projectiles or even healing spells. Below is the key information of the said spell.
- Lesser Restoration
- 2nd-level abjuration
- Casting Time: 1 action
- Range: Touch
- Components: V, S
- Duration: Instantaneous
To understand more on how to use this spell and how it works, read on further.
How to use Lesser Restoration
Lesser Restoration is a second-level spell, and there are certain requirements a caster must meet to use it successfully. Listed below are the said requirements.
- You must be able to use this spell (e.g. have this spell in your spell list, have this spell as a racial feature, etc.).
- You must have at least a level two spell slot available that you can expand.
- You must be able to speak (e.g. your mouth must not be covered; you must be able to speak words out of your mouth)
- You must be able to move your hands freely (e.g. they must not be bound by shackles, ropes, etc.)
- You must be able to touch your opponent
First, you must be capable of casting this spell in the first place. There are certain classes, subclasses, and races that give the character access to such a spell (note that this topic will be talked about in a later section). Second, since Lesser Restoration is a second-level spell, you would need at least one level two spell slot available that you can expand. Level one spell slots would not work on this spell at all. Third, you need to fulfill the “vocal” and “somatic” component requirements of the spell.
The “vocal” component requirement means that you need to have the capability of speech to make this spell work. The “somatic” component requirement means that you need to have the capability of moving your hands freely in gestures. When both of these cannot be fulfilled, then the spell will not work.
Fourth, you must be able to touch your target so that the spell will take effect. When this spell is used during combat, your target must be 5 ft. near you. If your target is too far away, you must find a way to get near them. This is a spell more suited to be cast during breaks and rests between adventures, but when your ally is in a pinch during the heat of the battle, you can still use it.
How does Lesser Restoration work?
When you touch your target, healing magic would begin to fester up inside their body and eliminate one disease they have. You can also cure one condition of the target. However, do note that there are only four conditions that can be cured with this spell, which are listed in the “Curing a condition” section.
Curing a disease
There are a lot of diseases that can be added to a game. When your party member is suffering from a disease, you can use Lesser Restoration to cure them. It is not explicitly stated which diseases are curable and non-curable, so it is entirely up to the DM’s judgment if a disease is curable or not through Lesser Restoration.
Some DMs have a rule that you can only cure a disease if the disease was not present from birth until now. In other words, Lesser Restoration cannot cure congenital diseases. However, other DMs are more passive and allow any disease to be cured through Lesser Restoration. Again, it is up to the DM’s judgment on whether a certain disease should be easily cured in the game. As a note to DMs, at least be lenient enough to allow Lesser Restoration to cure diseases from spells such as Contagion.
Below is a table of sample diseases that can be added to the game and can be cured by Lesser Restoration. Along with the table is the source of where the disease comes from so that you can read more on how it works if you plan to add it to your game. However, a short description of the disease is also added to the spell.
|Blinding Sickness||Player’s Handbook, page 277 (can be inflicted through the Contagion spell)||The target’s eyes turn milky white; they are blinded and gain a disadvantage on Wisdom checks and Wisdom saving throws.|
|Bluerot||Ghosts of Saltmarsh, page 234||Only targeting humanoids, disgusting blue boils grows on their victim’s face and back. Its victim also becomes vulnerable to radiant damage and gains underwater breathing capability.|
|Cackle Fever||Dungeon Master’s Guide, page 257||Only targeting humanoids (except for gnomes), victims often suffer from fits of mad laughter. The disease can inflict exhaustion and psychic damage to its victim.|
|Filth Fever||Player’s Handbook, page 277 (can be inflicted through the Contagion spell)||Its victim suffers from a terrible fever; they have a disadvantage on Strength checks, Strength saving throws, and attack rolls using Strength.|
|Flesh Rot||Player’s Handbook, page 277 (can be inflicted through the Contagion spell)||Its victim’s flesh starts to decay; they gain a disadvantage on Charisma checks as well as vulnerability to all types of damage.|
|Mad Monkey Fever||Tome of Annihilation, page 40||Originating from the thin, blue, odorless mist that creeps through the jungles of Chult, its victims suffer from long-term madness.|
|Mindfire||Player’s Handbook, page 277 (can be inflicted through the Contagion spell)||Its victim’s mind suffers from a fever; they gain a disadvantage on Intelligence checks and Intelligence saving throws. Also, its victim behaves as if the Confusion spell was cast on them.|
|Seizure||Player’s Handbook, page 277 (can be inflicted through the Contagion spell)||Its victim suffers from fits of bodily shaking; they have a disadvantage on Dexterity checks, Dexterity saving throws, and attack rolls using Dexterity.|
|Sewer Plague||Dungeon Master’s Guide, page 257||Originating from the sewers, stagnant swamps, and other similar sources, a humanoid creature inflicted by this can suffer from exhaustion.|
|Shivering Sickness||Tome of Annihilation, page 40||Originating from insects living in the jungles and marshes of Chult, its victims can suffer from blurred vision, disorientation, and even lesser HP regained during rests.|
|Sight Rot||Dungeon Master’s Guide, page 257||Its victim’s eyes start to bleed and eventually blind them; they can suffer from penalties to attack rolls and ability checks that rely on sight.|
|Slimy Doom||Player’s Handbook, page 277 (can be inflicted through the Contagion spell)||Its victim starts to uncontrollably bleed; they gain a disadvantage on Constitution checks and Constitution saving throws. Furthermore, when they take damage, they become stunned until the end of their next turn.|
|Throat Leeches||Tome of Annihilation, page 40||Originating from parasitic leeches living in the forests, swamps, and rivers of Chult, its victim can suffer from throat inflammation, shortness of breath, and exhaustion.|
Curing a condition
The Lesser Restoration spell can also cure a condition that the target is suffering from instead of a disease. The conditions that can be cured by Lesser Restoration are in the table below. The “Capable creatures in MM” column is the number of creatures in the Monster Manual that can inflict the said condition through their traits, actions, lair actions, regional effects, or spells. The following column “Sample creatures” are examples of creatures with various difficulties in the Monster Manual that can inflict the condition.
The other column, “Capable creatures from other sources” is the number of creatures that can still inflict the said condition through the same method, but come from other supplementary sources as well such as Volo’s Guide to Monsters and the Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes.
|Capable creatures in MM||Sample creatures||
Capable creatures from other sources
|Blinded||28 out of 450||Behir; Demilich; Giant Frog; Shambling Mound||120+|
|Deafened||5 out of 450||Adult Bronze Dragon; Androsphinx; Deep Gnome; Mummy Lord||24+|
|Paralyzed||36 out of 450||Beholder; Ghast; Ghoul; Mummy; Spectator||112+|
|Poisoned||39 out of 450||Chuul; Giant Spider; Night Hag; Sprite||120+|
Who can use Lesser Restoration?
Even though Lesser Restoration is a second-level spell, it is still widely accessible because a lot of classes have access to this spell. Listed below are the classes as well as their source.
- Artificer (Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, page 9)
- Bard (Player’s Handbook, page 51)
- Cleric (Player’s Handbook, page 56)
- Druid (Player’s Handbook, page 64)
- Paladin (Player’s Handbook, page 82)
- Ranger (Player’s Handbook, page 89)
Do note that each class has access to level two spell slots during different class levels. For example, the Bard class first obtains level two spell slots at level three while the Paladin class obtains them at level five.
Several subclasses can gain access to this spell. They are listed down below and along with them are their sources as well as their originating class.
Subclasses that can use Lesser Restoration
|Originating Class||Subclass Source||
|The Celestial||Warlock||Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, page 54||Player’s Handbook, page 105|
|Clockwork Soul||Sorcerer||Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, page 68||Player’s Handbook, page 99|
|Oath of Devotion||Paladin||Player’s Handbook, page 85||Player’s Handbook, page 82|
|Divine Soul||Sorcerer||Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, page 50||Player’s Handbook, page 99|
|Life Domain||Cleric||Player’s Handbook, page 60||Player’s Handbook, page 56|
Warlocks who have The Celestial as their otherworldly patron have Lesser Restoration as part of their expanded spell list. Sorcerers who have Clockwork Soul as their sorcerous origin gain the spell through their Clockwork Magic subclass feature, while those who have the Divine Soul instead can gain the spell by replacing an existing spell to it, as described in the Divine Magic subclass feature.
Paladins who have sworn by the Oath of Devotion gain this spell as their oath spell by level five. Finally, the clerics in the Life Domain add the Lesser Restoration spell by the time they level up to three, as described in the Life Domain subclass feature.
There are a couple of races out there that can cast Lesser Restoration just by being themselves. This ability is written in their DNA. These races are listed down below.
Races that can use Lesser Restoration
|Racial feature allowing the ability||
|Aasimar||Celestial Legacy||Dungeon Master’s Guide, page 286|
|Halfling (Mark of Healing)||Spells of the Mark (needs to have the Spellcasting or the Pact Magic class feature)||Eberron: Rising from the Last War, page 43|
Is Lesser Restoration good?
It depends. Lesser Restoration is very useful when your campaign or your adventure is focused on plagues, illnesses, and diseases. It is also a very useful spell when you are up against enemies who you think can inflict you with the Blinded, Deafened, Paralyzed, and Poisoned conditions. For example, there are 15 creatures in the Underdark that can inflict the Poisoned condition, so bringing in Lesser Restoration would be ideal. In the arctic, there are no such creatures, so the spell might get sidelined.
If you know that you are going in an area or a region that is infected with a certain disease, it would be best to have Lesser Restoration with you. Still, the best thing about Lesser Restoration is that it is not a rare spell in the sense that there are a lot of classes that have access to it. However, if you plan on bringing a spell with you that can regain hit points to you or your allies, Lesser Restoration is not your spell.
Question: What level is the Lesser Restoration spell?
Answer: Lesser Restoration is a 2nd-level abjuration spell. You need to use at least a level two spell slot to cast it
Question: What can Lesser Restoration cure?
Answer: This spell can cure any disease since it is not explicitly stated which ones are curable and non-curable. Ultimately, it is up to your DM to decide. Lesser Restoration also cures certain conditions i.e. the Blinded, Deafened, Paralyzed, and Poisoned conditions.
Question: What is the difference between Lesser Restoration vs Greater Restoration?
Answer: They are both abjuration spells, but Greater Restoration is a 5th-level spell while Lesser Restoration is a 2nd-level spell. As such, Greater Restoration has much more powerful effects that can lift curses, lift effects that charm or petrify the target, reduce an exhaustion level, and more. Greater Restoration does not cure diseases as well unless the disease falls under the category of effects that the spell can end.
Question: Can Lesser Restoration cure vampirism?
Answer: No, it cannot. According to the Monster Manual on page 295, vampirism can only be cured by either a wish spell or by killing the vampire and bringing them back to life with magic such as Reincarnation or Resurrection.
Question: Can Lesser Restoration cure lycanthropy?
Answer: No, it cannot. Lycanthropy is a curse, not a disease; therefore, Lesser Restoration cannot cure it. Greater Restoration, Remove Curse, or Wish can be used to cure people who have been cursed with lycanthropy, but only Wish is effective if the person in question is a werewolf from birth.
Question: Can Lesser Restoration cure charm?
Answer: Normally, no. Being charmed is another condition that unfortunately is not part of the conditions that Lesser Restoration can cure. However, if a disease is present that causes people to be under the Charmed condition, then Lesser Restoration can end that disease which in turn ends the condition.
Question: Can Lesser Restoration cure petrification?
Answer: Normally, no. Again, it is a condition that does not fall under the conditions that Lesser Restoration can cure. Still, if a disease is causing petrification, then the disease may be lifted through Lesser Restoration.
Question: Can Lesser Restoration cure blindness?
Answer: No, unless it was caused by a disease. Also, many DMs have a home rule that Lesser Restoration cannot cure diseases that have been present since birth; so if a person has been blind because of a disease their parents have and passed that disease to him during birth, then it cannot be cured. Still, it is up to your DM to decide.