Have you ever worried that you, the Wizard, haven’t messed with the course of time enough? Well, don’t you worry, the Explorer’s Guide to Wildemont has you covered! This spell, offered only to Chronurgy mages capable of casting 9th level spells, is designed as a pseudo-death effect. A massively powerful tool for removing people from the timeline, Time Ravage is… Actually somewhat underwhelming. It does have some use, so let’s dig into a spell that lets you redefine the concept of life expectancy. As written, this spell is only available to those who take the Chronurgy subclass. Talk with your GM if you’re interested in learning this spell as a different Wizard Tradition. Now let’s dig into the Time Ravage 5E Guide.
Time Ravage 5E Guide
- Spell Level: 9th
- School: Necromancy
- Casting Time: 1 Action
- Range: 90 ft
- Components: V, S, M (An hourglass filled with 5,000 gp of diamond dust; consumed)
- Duration: Instantaneous
- Class: Wizard
A single creature you can see makes a Constitution save or take 10d12 Necrotic damage – half on a success. In addition, if the save fails, the target ages until it has 30 days to live. Because they’re so old, they have disadvantage on attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws, and have half walking speed. Only Wish or a 9th Level Greater Restoration can end these effects.
A rather brutal way to decimate your opponents. Let’s explore what this can do.
Let’s talk about one of the most evil ways this spell affects your enemies; Resurrection is a spell that only brings back people who didn’t die of old age. That means that, unless your enemy has access to a cleric that they can get to in a month, they are completely killed. No means of coming back.
Wish can only negate the aging or bring someone to life, not both. That means that, in order to return to life after this spell causes death, the creature would need some level of divine intervention. Or GM fiat, which is basically divine intervention. That’s gigantic. You can literally eliminate the BBEG from existence, with no way of returning, if you can keep them away from clerics for 30 days.
In a situation where you want them dead immediately, this spell is a rather deadly debuff. Halving the walking speed of your now elderly foe can be a death sentence in it of itself. But, it also can’t hit anything, has trouble rolling saving throws, and can’t roll a skill check to save its life. This is a massive single target debuff to be sure.
But, let’s be realistic. You’re a 9th level spellcaster at this point. That means most enemies you’re going to use this on are either 9th level spellcasters, or probably know one.
This spell takes 5,000 gp to cast. The Greater Restoration needed to negate this effect costs 100 gp. Wish doesn’t technically cost anything. You’re spending a lot of resources on the gamble that this person can’t find an ally to heal them within 30 days. That’s not a very profitable gamble.
That’s not to mention that, if you do land this spell on a caster, it only affects their attack roll spells. Their DC-based – or personal – spells are just fine. That means they can still teleport, use Mass Suggestion, Hold Monster, etc. This spell is most likely to land on a caster – being a Constitution saving throw – and yet, it’s debuff is most useful on a martial – debuffing movement speed and attack rolls. If only being so old gave them the chance to forget spells, but… It doesn’t.
The aging effect is useful for living creatures, since it bypasses death effect immunity… But, this is useless on undead, or creatures that don’t age, like Constructs. That means that the Lich, the standard endgame threat, doesn’t really care about this.
This is a very costly way to eventually kill someone. Very cool flavor, but… Wow, is it expensive.
When Should You Use Time Ravage?
Time Ravage is best used on a threat that you want to keep alive. There might be no better torture method than aging someone to the point right before they die and then taking them hostage; You guarantee that they can never come back. This does mean that you’ll need to be able to cast Wish or have a character that can cast a 9th level Greater Restoration, so you can potentially turn them back if they give you information, but that’s rarely an issue in 5e parties.
This can also be useful against enemies that don’t have resources, and that you want to put away for good. If your opponent is a loner, without good cleric help, then their chances of dying within 30 days is high. And good luck trying to intimidate a 17th level Cleric into helping you while your dentures are falling out.
When Better Options are Available
This is a rather niche spell. It is not the most useful debuff that you can cast; Hold Monster costs 0 gold, doesn’t use a 9th level spell slot, guarantees crits, renders their ability to roll useless, and lowers their movement speed to 0. It’ll likely end up doing more damage, too.
Of 9th level spells that almost guarantee death, Disintegrate comes to mind. Weird also comes to mind. Consider True Polymorph or Power Word: Kill as well. If your goal is to put someone away without them being able to simply Resurrect, try Imprisonment.
This is a strange, almost out-of-combat way to get rid of a threat. Don’t use your 9th level spell slot on this during a fight. There are much, much better solutions to rid yourself of enemies.
But… If that one goblin miniboss just keeps coming back to haunt you… Then this might be the solution you need.