In the D&D fantasy world, no such things as flashlights exist. Sure, there were torches which you could light up. But what happens if a strong gust of wind or a big splash of water comes to take out the fire?
Well, D&D has the power of magic, and the power of magic has a solution for such an occasion: Produce Flame. What is the best part about it? It is a cantrip, so it does not need spell slots!
Imagine having the wonders of a lighter in the past; that would be mind-boggling and revolutionary! Smokers would not have to carry with them flints and steel with them.
You can also turn it into a weapon by throwing the Flame at an enemy. You may think it is a game-breaking cantrip, but it has flaws. Read on our Produce Flame 5e guide to learn more about Produce Flame, including its best and worst parts.
Bottom Line Up Front: What is Produce Flame in D&D 5e?
Produce Flame is a conjuration cantrip you can find in the Player’s Handbook on page 269. This cantrip is a conjuration spell like Ice Knife and Misty Step because you summon fire instantly at the palm of your hands. Below are the key details about the Produce Flame cantrip.
- Produce Flame
- Conjuration cantrip
- Casting Time: 1 action
- Range: Self
- Components: V, S
- Duration: 10 minutes
How to Use Produce Flame in D&D 5e
Before you can summon fire using Produce Flame, you must first meet the proper conditions for the cantrip to succeed. If not, then no flames for you.
If you want a detailed description of these requirements, I recommend reading my other guides, namely the Fire Bolt and Scorching Ray guides. Fire Bolt, Scorching Ray, and Produce Flame are spells that are identical to each other.
All three require Vocal and Somatic components and cost an action when in combat. Fire Bolt and Produce Flame are both cantrips, which means they do not require spell slots, unlike Scorching Ray.
However, Produce Flame initially has a “self” range, which means you target yourself. Also, it lasts 10 minutes, while the other three are instantaneous.
Let’s say that you aced the checklist, and you can make the sun in the palm of your hands. The moment you cast this cantrip, a flame appears on your hand that lasts for 10 minutes. You can throw the Flame at an enemy, damaging them if you want. To do so, you do the following:
Choose a Target You Can See Within 30 ft. of You
Even though the Produce Flame cantrip has a “self” range, you can use it for ranged attacks. The “self” range means that the Flame starts on your hands, to which you can throw.
If you are in combat, you can make this attack while casting this cantrip or if you already have the fire with you and throw it at a later turn.
Roll a 20-sided Die (or d20)
Note that you are disadvantaged if your target is five ft. near you. When you are at a disadvantage, you need to roll two d20s instead. Then, you pick the lower roll between the two.
Likewise, if you are at an advantage (most likely due to an ally’s spell), you roll two d20s and pick the higher roll between the two.
Add the d20 Roll with Your Spell Attack Modifier
The spell attack modifier consists of your proficiency bonus and spellcasting ability, depending on your class. For example, if you are a Druid class casting this cantrip to attack someone, your spellcasting ability would be Wisdom.
That procedure sends the Flame to your opponent. Remember that you do not need to do all these steps if you just want some light.
Again, the Flame rests in the palm of your hands for 10 minutes, and if there is no immediate threat at the moment, then you can let it sit there until the Flame goes out. The next section explains the technicalities of the Flame, including using it as a weapon.
How Does Produce Flame Work in D&D 5e?
Flame bursts on your hand, giving you light and warmth without burning you through the power of D&D magic. Here are some important reminders about this cantrip if you did not throw the fire at an enemy as an attack.
- The Flame lasts for 10 minutes.
- The Flame produces bright light within a 10-ft. radius from you plus dim light at an additional 10 ft.
- The Flame does not hurt you or your equipment.
- You can dismiss the Flame and cast it again. If you dismiss or cast it during a battle, it will cost you an action.
If you threw the Flame at someone to hurt them and followed the procedure in rolling for a ranged spell attack, then do the following:
- Compare the ranged spell attack roll to your target’s Armor Class. Remember that the attack roll is a d20 plus your proficiency bonus and your spellcasting ability modifier. If the sum is equal to or greater than your target’s AC, then the fire from Produce Flame hits. If not, then it misses.
- If you successfully hit your target, roll an eight-sided dice (or 1d8) for fire damage. This roll determines the fire damage your target will receive. The damage increases to an additional 1d8 every 5th, 11th, and 17th level.
- The target’s HP goes down by the rolled amount. If your target is vulnerable to fire, then the damage becomes doubled. Although if your target is resistant to fire, the damage becomes halved. If your target is immune to fire, then their HP does not go down at all.
Understandably, some D&D players would find this cantrip confusing. I mean, it can hover on your hand for 10 minutes, and you can throw it whenever you want.
It is a bit weird, I have to admit. Fear not, as I will do a demonstration for this cantrip containing every aspect of it in the next section.
Example Scenario for Using Produce Flame in D&D 5e
Welcome to Arthur’s D&D Lab, where OSHA regulations do not exist because it is a fantasy world and no one can stop us. This time, we are testing out Produce Flame.
Sadly, our favorite Half-elf Wizard Marshal cannot participate today because he is on a well-deserved vacation (the cantrip is also not on his spell list). However, we have a new friend of ours who can substitute: Odin the Half-orc Druid.
Thankfully, Odin has the cantrip in his arsenal, and he is ready to test it out in the lab. Along with him is another participant who we “did not” force at all to come. Below are some important details about this bandit and Odin, which will be relevant for the demonstration.
- Odin the Half-orc Druid
- Level 1
- Wisdom modifier: +3
- Proficiency Bonus: +2
- Every bandit
- Hit Points: 30
- Armor Class: 15
Before we start everything, we need to turn off the lights so that we can show how Produce Flame can brighten up the surroundings. It is Odin’s turn first, and he casts Produce Flame. He can clearly see everything within a 10-ft. radius from him, thanks to the Flame.
He can also slightly see ten ft. further from the radius, but it is not as clear. Below is a visual representation of Odin’s field of view.
He decides to keep the Flame for now and ends his turn. It is now the bandit’s turn, and he moves back 10 feet to turn on the lights because he is afraid of the dark (coincidentally, we approached him to “participate” in this demonstration at night). He returns to his original position and ends his turn.
It is now Odin’s turn. He still has the Flame with him in his hand, and he decides to throw it toward the bandit, making it a ranged spell attack.
I roll a d20 and get a nine. I add this result to Odin’s spell attack modifier (his spellcasting ability modifier plus his proficiency bonus). The equation would be:
- Ranged Spell Attack: D20 + (spellcasting ability modifier + proficiency bonus)
- Odin’s Ranged Spell Attack: 9 + (3 + 2)
Odin’s ranged spell attack equals 14 after you add everything up. Unfortunately, the Flame misses the bandit because his AC is 15.
It is now the bandit’s turn, and he decides not to move at all out of fear. He ends his turn without doing anything, and it is Odin’s turn once again. He casts Produce Flame one more time during this turn and throws it at the bandit.
He rolls a d20 again for the ranged spell attack and gets an 11. If we do the same equation as before, we get a 16 (11 + 3 + 2).
16 is larger than 15, so the Flame penetrates the bandit’s armor. I now roll for damage. Since Odin is only a level 1 Druid, I roll for 1d8 fire damage and get a five. So, the bandit’s HP goes from 30 to 25.
Who Can Cast Produce Flame in D&D 5e?
Produce Flame is an incredibly niche cantrip; only one class (Druid), one subclass (Nature Cleric), one race (Fire Genasi), and two backgrounds (Gruul Anarch and Izzet Engineer) can obtain this spell.
If you are a Wizard, Sorcerer, or someone with a spellcasting feature that follows the Wizard or Sorcerer spell list, Fire Bolt is the closest spell similar to Produce Flame; they are both cantrips that can make fire.
Classes that Can Cast Produce Flame in D&D 5e
Only Druids can cast the Produce Flame cantrip. Druids can have two cantrips at level one and increase to up to four as early as level 10. Below is the source where you can read more about Druids, as well as their spell attack modifier.
- Source: Player’s Handbook, page 64
- Spell attack modifier: Your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier
Subclasses that Can Cast Produce Flame in D&D 5e
Much like classes, only one subclass can have the Produce Flame cantrip in their magical kit, and it is the Cleric in the Nature Domain.
They can have three cantrips at level one and increases to up to five as early as level 10. Below are key details about this subclass, including the originating class, the subclass’s source, the class’s source, and the spell attack modifier.
- Originating Class: Cleric
- Subclass’s source: Player’s Handbook, page 61
- Class’s source: Player’s Handbook, page 56
- Spell attack modifier: Your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier
Races that Can Cast Produce Flame in D&D 5e
One race knows the Produce Flame cantrip automatically, and that race is the Fire Genasi. Thanks to their “Reach to the Blaze” racial feature, they know the spell along with the Burning Hands spells upon reaching level three.
Produce Flame through this racial feature will not count towards the cantrip count for spellcasting classes like Druids or Nature Clerics. Below are some crucial details about the race.
- Source: Elemental Evil Player’s Companion, page 9
- Racial Feature: Reach to the Blaze
- Spell attack modifier: Your proficiency bonus + your Constitution modifier
Backgrounds that Can Cast Produce Flame in D&D 5e
Two backgrounds grant players the opportunity to grab Produce Flame into their magic arsenal: Gruul Anarch and Izzet Engineer. Both backgrounds come from the Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica; thus, they make sense if you are playing a campaign with the Ravnica setting.
If your campaign takes place in the Forgotten Realms, then your DM would possibly not allow you to pick either of the two unless you have a good explanation as to how you shifted planes.
Players with these backgrounds gain access to Produce Flame thanks to their “Guild Spells” background feature. However, the players must have a spellcasting or Pact Magic class feature.
For instance, a Gruul Anarch Barbarian would not gain the Produce Flame cantrip from the “Guild Spells” background feature because they cannot cast spells in the first place.
So, your spell attack modifier would still depend on your class, not the background. Below is a list of the background sources.
- Gruul Anarch: Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica, page 60
- Izzet Engineer: Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica, page 66
Creative and Useful Ways to Use Produce Flame in D&D 5e
Produce Flame is great for a cantrip; you can make a flame that stays for 10 minutes without needing concentration or spell slots.
However, players often find the cantrip confusing; some do not know how to use the cantrip at all. So, I have made a list of potential uses for Produce Flame in hopes of educating as many readers as I can. Hopefully, with my efforts, I can convince you can be a worthy cantrip to get.
- Distracting the enemy.
- Signaling your allies.
- Lighting up while concentrating on other spells.
- Having a ranged attack ready.
- Igniting a campfire.
Note that the last one may or may not be technically possible; the Produce Flame cantrip only specifies you can target creatures with it.
Furthermore, other spells involving fire specify that they can ignite flammable objects; Produce Flame does not have this specification. Still, many DMs can be forgiving. After all, igniting a campfire with Produce Flame would not break the game at all. So, ask your DM first.
Distracting the Enemy Using Produce Flame in D&D 5e
You are in a dark cave, and the enemy is hunting your party down. Thankfully, the enemy cannot see through the darkness to see that your friends are just a few feet away from them.
They are relying on a torch to see, and you are a fair distance away from them. You become worried for your friends; at a single turn, the enemy will see them. Well, you can be the hero of the day using Produce Flame.
In these scenarios, you can cast Produce Flame to get the enemy’s attention. They will turn their heads towards you and chase you instead.
Of course, you have to think of an exit plan for these situations; however, if you did this strategy in the spur of the moment, then good for you! You are the hero. You just have to be quick-witted to find your way out of the dangerous chase. Good luck!
Signaling Your Allies Using Produce Flame in D&D 5e
You and your party are investigating a camp belonging to the evil boss dominating the land. Their minions are throwing a party, completely oblivious to what is about to happen.
In the distance, a large army from the neighboring kingdom who was kind enough to lend us a helping hand, waits for our signal. Finally, after a few hours, the guards put their swords down and celebrated with their group.
It’s time to attack, but how would you signal the army? There are multiple ways, and Produce Flame is one of them. You can summon fire to your hands and raise it up.
The moment they see the flicker of fire from a distance belonging to you, they will know what to do. Fires are great tools to signal someone and Produce Flame can provide that benefit for you, especially if you are out of spell slots or options.
Lighting Up While Concentrating on Other Spells Using Produce Flame in D&D 5e
Many spells require concentration. As how D&D works, you cannot concentrate on two spells at once, or else the game will break, and the spellcasters would be the mightiest creatures in the fantasy world. Thankfully, Produce Flame is not a spell that needs concentration.
Some spells that can light up the surroundings (Create Bonfire and Dancing Lights) need it, which is a good ego bonus for Produce Flame.
Indeed, you can cast a concentration spell while having the fire from Produce Flame because it lasts for 10 minutes. Plus, it is better to concentrate on a more powerful spell rather than a cantrip.
Concentration is a limited source during battle, so put it to good use. Having light could be very useful, especially if you do not have dark vision; many spells require the spell caster to see their target.
Having a Ranged Attack Ready Using Produce Flame in D&D 5e
You are with your party walking towards your destination when suddenly, you have the urge to prepare for something. Your instincts tell you that a fight is about to happen or an ambush is likely to happen.
Produce Flame can be helpful in these scenarios simply due to how it works: you can hold a flame that you can throw for 10 minutes. At any point, you can throw it whenever you want.
After casting Produce Flame, you have a flame with you for ten whole minutes. Because it does not need concentration, you can have the Flame with you even during an entire battle; note that a round equates to six seconds, so Produce Flame can last for a hundred rounds.
You can cast Produce Flame and do your other spells and attacks. If you are out of options, you can throw the fire as a last-minute option.
Igniting a Campfire Using Produce Flame in D&D 5e
Warning: this method of igniting a campfire may not work due to the spell’s technicalities. The world of D&D obeys the rules according to the books, and in the books, most spells involving fire always have a footnote that it will ignite anything flammable.
However, Produce Flame does not have this footnote. Plus, the spell description says that you can only target a creature with the Flame.
Usually, fire spells would say that you can target objects with it too, so, it’s a bit strange. Due to how weird it is for fire not to act like fire, it’s up to your DM as to how they would interpret this spell.
Some DMs would not allow Produce Flame to ignite a campfire, some would, and some would even allow it to burn any flammable objects. As for me, I am a kind enough DM to allow players to light campfires with it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Can Produce Flame Light a Fire in D&D 5e?
Answer: Technically, no, you cannot light a campfire using the Produce Flame cantrip in D&D 5e. Produce Flame’s spell description only says that you can target creatures with the fire when you throw it without mentioning objects.
However, many DMs (including me) allow players to ignite a campfire with it. However, I would not allow my players to ignite other flammable objects easily with this cantrip.
Question: Which is Better, Produce Flame vs Fire Bolt in D&D 5e?
Answer: I think Produce Flame is the better option between the two. Despite Fire Bolt being more powerful (Produce Flame’s damage is 1d8 while Fire Bolt’s damage is 1d10), Produce Flame is more versatile when it comes to utility.
However, a big downside for Produce Flame is that it cannot ignite flammable objects. If you want something to ignite stuff with, then I think Fire Bolt is better.
Question: Which is Better, Produce Flame vs Create Bonfire in D&D 5e?
Answer: I think it depends on how Produce Flame works in your game. Produce Flame is better because Create Bonfire requires concentration, while Produce Flame does not. However, Produce Flame cannot ignite flammable objects if your game follows the technical rules.
If your DM is forgiving enough that Produce Flame can make campfires, then Produce Flame would be leagues better.
Question: Can I Use Control Flames on Produce Flame in D&D 5e?
Answer: No, you cannot use Control Flames on a flame you made through Produce Flame in D&D 5e. It clearly states in the Control Flames’ spell description that you can only control flames that are not magical.
Making fire using Produce Flame would be magical, so you cannot control it. I am usually a forgiving DM for letting my players do many things, but I would not allow Control Flames on Produce Flame.
Conclusion: Is Produce Flame a Good Spell in D&D 5e?
Produce Flame is a good utility spell that you can use to attack. While it is weaker than Fire Bolt, the difference is not that large.
Plus, Produce Flame is a better utility spell compared to Fire Bolt; if you have nothing flammable with you, you cannot see through the darkness if you use the latter. With Produce Flame, you can brighten up your surroundings without the need for a torch.
Another good thing about Produce Flame is that it does not require concentration. If you are a spellcaster, you know how it feels to feel vulnerable when casting concentration spells.
Plus, they are generally more powerful compared to spells not requiring concentration. With Produce Flame, you can have a torch while casting spells needing your focus. It is great because it does not interfere with other spells.
However, Produce Flame has its downsides. For one, you cannot ignite flammable objects with it, although that depends on your DM.
For me, I would let my players light a campfire using Produce Flame, but they cannot ignite flammable objects with it. Second, it is a bit weak.
Third, many races have the dark vision, so torches might not even be useful. Still, I think Produce Flame has more perks than weaknesses.