How To Use Mind Crystals?

Any magical item that can increase or change the effects of your spells in Dungeons & Dragons is worth taking a look at. Spellcasting is already so versatile that adding anything to enhance, adjust, or extend your spells can change the way you play. Phandelver And Below The Shattered Obelisk has mind crystals that do just that.


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These special magical items can add different effects to your spells in a similar manner to a sorcerer’s Metamagic ability. Other spellcasting classes can finally get a taste of what it’s like to be a sorcerer with a mind crystal. Here’s what they are and what they do.


What Are Mind Crystals

Mind Flayer With Mind Crystal By Isabel Gibney
Mind Flayer With Mind Crystal By Isabel Gibney

Mind crystals are actual crystals imbued with crystallized spellcasting abilities. A magical crystal imbued with the ability to modify your spell in a specific way. The crystallized spellcasting abilities act similarly to a sorcerer’s Metamagic option, adjusting spells in a way that corresponds to the specific crystal.

These crystals are each a single-use item. Once used, they turn into a regular (nonmagical) gem worth 50 gold pieces. Useful both with crystalized spellcasting and for just use as a gem, mind crystals can come in handy for a number of different situations.

The Different Types Of Mind Crystals

DND magic item mind crystal from phandelver and below the shattered obelisk
Mind Crystals by Isabel Gibney

There are seven different types of mind crystals in Phandelver And Below The Shattered Obelisk. Each mind crystal has a different effect. They come in different rarities and have different effects. Here are all he mind crystals, effects, and how to use them.

Crystal

Rarity

Explanation

Careful

Uncommon

Three creatures you choose automatically succeed on saving throws against spells. This is perfect for when a party member is in the way of a spell you’re going to cast, they can automatically save from being hurt by you.

Distant

Uncommon

Spells with a range of touch now have a range of 30 feet. Spells with at least five feet of range now have an additional 100 feet of range. Perfect for a healing spell that doesn’t quite reach or an enemy or party member just out of range.

Empowered

Uncommon

You can take up to three damage dice rolled for a spell and reroll the damage. You have to keep the new rolls despite the outcome. If you’ve got a high-damage spell or think you’re close to finishing off an enemy, it might be best to reroll for a better outcome.

Extended

Uncommon

This allows you to double the duration of a spell to a maximum of 24 hours. The only prerequisite is that the spell have a duration of at least one minute or longer. Great for making trap spells or conditions against other creatures last longer, or increasing the duration of buffs for your party.

Heightened

Rare

Impose disadvantage on the first spell saving throw of one creature of your choice. Perfect against a boss or an enemy that may have a a higher chance at saving against your spells.

Quickened

Rare

The spell takes one bonus action to cast instead of an action. You change the casting time of the spell. This is perfect if you need to use your action for something other than spellcasting but also need to get a spell off in the same turn.

Subtle

Common

You can cast your spell without using any verbal or somatic components. This means you’ll only need the material components to cast. This can be useful if you want to stealth cast a spell or you don’t have the necessary environment or form to cast without these.

How To Use Mind Crystals

QUNBRAXEL, LEADER OF THE GRIMLOCKS IN GIBBET CROSSING, SITS ON A THRONE
Quanbraxel by Lily Abdullina

What makes these items so special is that you are no longer restricted to spells in the sorcerer spell list to use them with. This makes a huge difference and explains just why they’re such a sought-after item. The ability to enhance spells that aren’t restricted to a sorcerer’s spell list can even seem a bit overpowered, hence the drawback of a one-time-use item.

Importantly, you can only use one mind crystal per spell; you cannot use two mind crystals to enhance the same spell in different ways. You also cannot combine a Metamagic option with a mind crystal to essentially attempt to modify the same spell in two different ways.

As long as you’re holding the mind crystal, you only need to cast a spell that has at least a casting time of one action, and you may have the spell be modified by the effect of the mind crystal.

How Player’s Can Use Mind Crystals?

Your best use of mind crystals will be from coordinating with the caster classes in your party to determine which mind crystal type works best for which party member and class. While some may initially seem more valuable than others (and rightfully so), there’s a situation in which every mind crystal can be the most useful item at your disposal. Players and classes with wide AoE range spells, such as wizards can benefit from Careful mind crystals, providing more freedom while casting without having to worry about effects inducing friendly fire.

A quickened mind crystal might work best on a cleric who needs to heal but also needs their action to help; therefore, turning a Cure Wounds into a bonus action to be able to save your action for support is a novel idea. Whether by spell choice for outlandish damage with the assurance of being able to reroll low damage numbers or reaching an enemy with a spell that shouldn’t normally do so, coordinating to specifically take advantage of these with spells that are high level enough to make an impact is the ide. Since these are one-time-use items, make sure their use counts. Selling the leftover gem or keeping it as a spell component is the next step once it’s been used.

How Can DMs Use Mind Crystals?

As a DM, it’s important to note to your group just how many opportunities these mind crystals present. Whether that’s through having an NPC use a spell against them while holding a mind crystal or demonstrating the immense but limited power these crystals have.

Ensure that your players understand that with no restrictions on the types of spells cast, they can truly create some amazing and groundbreaking moments with a simple mind crystal in their pocket. Offer them to players as a reward and it’s easy enough to tie them into the adventure or create one around finding all seven mind crystals, and tempt the player’s with using them to ultimately use the magic within. However you go about it, keep in mind that you want them to be used to their fullest potential and ensure your players understand exactly what they means if they get their hands on one.

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