Mastering the Mind: A Guide to Dissonant Whispers 5E

Written by: Staff



Time to read 12 min

Come with me into the world of magic and mystery with Mastering the Mind: A Guide to Dissonant Whispers 5E. Wizards and sorcerers, prepare to unlock the secrets of this powerful spell and harness its chilling potential. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the depths of Dissonant Whispers 5e in the context of Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. From understanding its mechanics to optimizing its use in combat, we explore every aspect of this enchantment. Discover the hidden intricacies of dissonant whispers and learn how to manipulate the minds of your foes. Whether you're a seasoned spellcaster or a curious novice, this guide equips you with the knowledge needed to effectively utilize this spell. Unleash the dissonance within your enemies' minds and witness their sanity shatter. With our expert tips and strategies, you'll be able to unlock the true potential of dissonant whispers and become a master of mind manipulation. Are you ready to embrace the power of dissonance? Join us as we unravel the mysteries of 'Mastering the Mind: A Guide to Dissonant Whispers 5E'. Let the whispers guide you into a world where the mind takes center stage.

Overview of Dissonant Whispers in Dungeons and Dragons 5E

Dissonant Whispers is a powerful enchantment spell available to spellcasters in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. This spell allows you to tap into the fears and anxieties of your enemies, sending them into a state of mental turmoil. When cast, the target creature must make a Wisdom saving throw or take psychic damage and use their reaction to move as far away from you as possible.

The range of Dissonant Whispers is 60 feet, making it an effective spell for both ranged and melee combat situations. Additionally, the spell's damage increases as you cast it using higher spell slots, making it even more potent as you level up.

To successfully utilize Dissonant Whispers, it's important to understand its mechanics and how it interacts with other spells and abilities. By mastering this spell, you gain a powerful tool for controlling the battlefield and manipulating the minds of your foes.

Dissonant Whispers 5e
is a spell in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition (D&D 5E) that manipulates psychic terror to unsettle and harm a target. Here are the core rules and description of the spell:

Spell Details

  • Level : 1st
  • School : Enchantment
  • Casting Time : 1 action
  • Range : 60 feet
  • Components : Verbal (V)
  • Duration : Instantaneous


When you cast Dissonant Whispers , you whisper a discordant melody that only one creature of your choice within range can hear, wracking it with terrible pain. The target must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, it takes 3d6 psychic damage and must immediately use its reaction, if available, to move as far as its speed allows away from you. The creature doesn’t move into obviously dangerous ground, such as a fire or a pit. On a successful save, the target takes half as much damage and doesn’t have to move away.

A deafened creature automatically succeeds on the save.

Dissonant Whispers Damage 5e Chart

Spell Slot Level Psychic Damage (3d6 base)
1st Level 3d6
2nd Level 4d6
3rd Level 5d6
4th Level 6d6
5th Level 7d6
6th Level 8d6
7th Level 9d6
8th Level 10d6
9th Level 11d6

Each "d6" represents a six-sided die. The number of dice rolled increases by one for each level above the first that the spell is cast with.

How to use Dissonant Whispers 5e effectively in combat

In combat scenarios, Dissonant Whispers can be a game-changer if used strategically. Here are some tips to help you make the most of this spell:

Choose your targets wisely: Dissonant Whispers is most effective against creatures with low Wisdom saving throws. Identify enemies with weaker mental defenses, such as heavily armored foes or creatures with low Wisdom scores, and prioritize casting the spell on them.

Create opportunities for your allies: Dissonant Whispers forces the target to move away from you, provoking opportunity attacks from your allies. Coordinate with your party members to maximize the damage dealt to the target as it flees.

Combine with crowd control spells: Dissonant Whispers pairs well with spells that restrain or incapacitate targets. Use spells like Hold Person or Web to immobilize enemies, then cast Dissonant Whispers to force them to move, triggering opportunity attacks and potentially breaking their concentration.

Remember, timing and positioning are crucial when using Dissonant Whispers in combat. Wait for the opportune moment to cast the spell, and position yourself in a way that maximizes its effectiveness. Your enemies' minds will tremble with fear as you unleash the dissonance upon them.

dissonant whispers 5e exploding head

Strengths & Weaknesses of Dissonant Whispers in D&D 5E


  1. Forced Movement : One of the unique features of Dissonant Whispers is that it can force an affected target to use its reaction to move away from the caster. This can disrupt enemy formations and provoke opportunity attacks from allies, potentially increasing overall party damage.

  1. Psychic Damage : Dissonant Whispers deals psychic damage, which is a type of damage that few creatures have resistance to or immunity against. This makes it highly effective against a wide range of enemies.

  1. Single Target Control : This spell is excellent for targeting a single powerful enemy, making it particularly useful in encounters with a significant enemy that needs to be kited or isolated from the rest of the group.

  1. Casting Flexibility : Dissonant Whispers is a first-level spell, making it accessible early on and usable with higher-level spell slots for increased damage. This flexibility allows it to scale as characters gain levels.

  1. Mental Disruption : Beyond the damage and forced movement, the thematic element of whispering a discordant melody that only the target can hear plays into psychological warfare, potentially unsettling opponents and adding a role-playing aspect to combat.


  1. Wisdom Saving Throw : The spell requires the target to fail a Wisdom saving throw, which can be a significant drawback when dealing with creatures that have high Wisdom or excellent saving throws, such as clerics or druids.

  1. Single Target Limitation : Unlike area of effect spells that can impact multiple enemies, Dissonant Whispers targets only one creature, which can be less efficient in situations where groups of enemies are engaged in combat.

  1. Consumption of Reaction : While the forced movement is a benefit, it uses up the caster’s reaction if they choose to make an opportunity attack, which might limit defensive options like using Shield or Counterspell during the same round.

  1. Ineffectiveness Against Deaf Creatures : The spell has no effect on creatures that are deaf or immune to being frightened, which can limit its utility in diverse combat scenarios.

  1. Potential for Self-Endangerment : If not strategically cast, the spell could potentially force an enemy to move in an undesirable direction, such as closer to vulnerable party members or key defensive positions, complicating the battle for the caster's allies.

Dissonant Whispers is a first level spell!?!?!

Alternative uses for Dissonant Whispers outside of combat

While Dissonant Whispers is primarily a spell used in combat, it can also be utilized outside of battle for a variety of purposes. Here are some alternative uses for Dissonant Whispers:

Interrogation: Dissonant Whispers can be a powerful tool for extracting information from unwilling subjects. By casting the spell on an NPC, you can induce fear and confusion, potentially making them more susceptible to revealing secrets or cooperating.

Infiltration: When navigating dangerous areas or infiltrating enemy strongholds, Dissonant Whispers can be used to create distractions or lure guards away from their posts. By targeting a guard or sentry with the spell, you can make them believe they are hearing unsettling voices, causing them to investigate the source and providing you with an opportunity to slip by unnoticed.

Roleplaying and storytelling: Dissonant Whispers can add depth and intrigue to your roleplaying interactions. Use the spell to create eerie moments or to enhance the atmosphere of a scene. By weaving the whispers into your character's narrative, you can captivate your fellow players and immerse them in the world of your campaign.

Tactical Retreats : Use the spell to force a key enemy to move away during a strategic retreat, allowing your party to escape or regroup without sustaining too much damage.

Separate Enemies : In a fight against multiple enemies, "Dissonant Whispers" can be used to isolate a particularly strong enemy from its allies, making it easier for the party to focus on and eliminate one target at a time.

Environmental Advantage : If you are aware of traps or hazardous terrain in the battle area, you can use "Dissonant Whispers" to force an enemy to unwittingly move into these dangers, using the environment to your advantage.

Opportunity Attacks : Since the spell causes the target to use its reaction to move away, it can provoke opportunity attacks from allies positioned strategically around the target. This can be coordinated to maximize melee damage.

Best classes and subclasses for utilizing Dissonant Whispers

While Dissonant Whispers can be used by any spellcasting class, certain classes and subclasses are particularly adept at utilizing the spell's potential. Here are some notable options:

Bards: As masters of manipulation and enchantment, bards excel at using Dissonant Whispers. Their Bardic Inspiration feature allows them to enhance the spell's effectiveness even further, granting additional damage or utility to the spell. Access : Direct access through their class spell list.

Warlocks: Warlocks, especially those who follow the Great Old One pact, have a natural affinity for mind-altering spells. By combining Dissonant Whispers with their Eldritch Invocations and other class features, warlocks can become formidable manipulators of the mind. Access: Through the Pact of the Tome or certain patrons.

Sorcerers: Sorcerers possess innate magical abilities, making them versatile spellcasters. With their Metamagic options, sorcerers can modify Dissonant Whispers to suit their playstyle, such as extending its range or enhancing its damage. Access: Through the "Divine Soul" subclass.

Whispers Bard (College of Whispers) This bard subclass from Xanathar's Guide to Everything is specifically designed around manipulation and psychological warfare. The combination of the Dissonant Whispers spell and the subclass features amplifies the character's ability to sow fear and chaos among their enemies.

Ultimately, the best class or subclass for utilizing Dissonant Whispers depends on your playstyle and character concept. Experiment with different options and find the combination that suits you best.


dissonant whispers 5e cartoon holding his head

Combining Dissonant Whispers 5e with other spells and abilities

To truly master Dissonant Whispers, consider combining it with other spells and abilities to create powerful synergies. Here are some examples:

1. Hold Person: Cast Hold Person on an enemy, immobilizing them, and then follow up with Dissonant Whispers. The forced movement caused by Dissonant Whispers will break their concentration on the Hold Person spell, potentially freeing other party members from its effects.

2. Silence: By casting Silence on a target area, you can prevent enemies from hearing the whispers of Dissonant Whispers, negating the forced movement effect. This can be particularly useful when dealing with spellcasters or enemies who heavily rely on verbal components for their spells.

3. Hex: Combine Dissonant Whispers with the Hex spell to deal additional damage. The psychic damage from Dissonant Whispers and the extra damage from Hex can quickly dismantle even the toughest opponents.

Experiment with different spell combinations and consider the strengths and weaknesses of your party members. By coordinating your abilities, you can create devastating effects that will leave your enemies reeling.

5e dissonant whispers

Tips for roleplaying a character who uses Dissonant Whispers

When playing a character who uses Dissonant Whispers 5e, consider the following tips to enhance your roleplaying experience:

Embrace the eerie: Tap into the unsettling nature of Dissonant Whispers 5e and let it shape your character's demeanor and mannerisms. Speak softly or with an eerie tone when casting the spell, and describe the unsettling whispers that surround your enemies.

Explore the psychological impact: Consider the psychological impact Dissonant Whispers 5e has on your character. How does it affect their mental state? Do they wrestle with guilt or enjoy the power it gives them? Use these internal struggles to deepen your character's personality and backstory.

Incorporate gestures and body language: Enhance your roleplaying by incorporating gestures or body language when casting Dissonant Whispers 5e. This can help create a visual representation of the spell's effects and further immerse yourself and your fellow players in the game.

Remember, roleplaying is a collaborative experience. Communicate with your DM and fellow players to ensure everyone is comfortable with the tone and themes of your character's use of Dissonant Whispers 5e.

Common mistakes to avoid when using Dissonant Whispers 5e

To ensure you make the most of Dissonant Whispers 5e, here are some common mistakes to avoid:

Forgetting about the range: Dissonant Whispers 5e has a range of 60 feet, so make sure you position yourself properly to reach your intended targets. Being out of range can waste a valuable spell slot and potentially put you in harm's way.

Overusing the spell:Dissonant Whispers 5e is a powerful spell, but using it too frequently can lead to predictability and diminishing returns. Save it for crucial moments or when the situation calls for it, rather than relying on it as your go-to spell.

Ignoring saving throws: Dissonant Whispers 5e relies on the target failing their Wisdom saving throw. Be mindful of the target's saving throw modifier and adjust your strategy accordingly. If the enemy has a high Wisdom score, consider using other spells or abilities instead.

Neglecting party coordination: Dissonant Whispers 5e can create opportunities for your allies, so make sure you communicate and coordinate with them. Inform them of your intentions and ensure they are ready to take advantage of the forced movement or opportunity attacks the spell can create.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can maximize the effectiveness of Dissonant Whispers 5e and become a formidable force on the battlefield.

dissonant whispers 5e

Conclusion and final thoughts on mastering Dissonant Whispers

Congratulations! You have reached the end of 'Mastering the Mind: A Guide to Dissonant Whispers 5E'. With this comprehensive guide, you now possess the knowledge and strategies needed to effectively utilize this powerful enchantment spell.

Dissonant Whispers 5e grants you the ability to tap into the fears and anxieties of your enemies, making their minds tremble with dissonance. By combining it with other spells, coordinating with your party members, and roleplaying your character's use of the spell, you become a master of mind manipulation.

Remember, Dissonant Whispers 5e is just one tool in your arsenal. As you continue your journey through the world of Dungeons & Dragons, explore other spells and abilities to further enhance your spellcasting prowess.

Now, go forth and unleash the dissonance within the minds of your foes. Let the whispers guide you to victory, where the power of the mind reigns supreme.

FAQ Dissonant Whispers 5e

What is Dissonant Whispers 5e used for in D&D 5E?

Dissonant Whispers 5e is primarily used to deal psychic damage and force a target to move away from the caster, disrupting enemy formations and triggering opportunity attacks from allies.

Can Dissonant Whispers 5e target multiple creatures?

No, Dissonant Whispers 5e targets only a single creature within a range of 60 feet.

What happens if the target of 5e Dissonant Whispers succeeds on their saving throw?

If the target succeeds on their Wisdom saving throw, they take half the psychic damage and do not have to move away from the caster.

Does Dissonant Whispers 5e work on creatures that are immune to being frightened?

Yes, Dissonant Whispers 5e still affects creatures immune to being frightened, unless they are deaf. The frightened condition is not a component of this spell's effect.

Can Dissonant Whispers 5e force a creature to move into dangerous terrain?

No, the spell causes the creature to move using its reaction, but it will not move into obviously dangerous ground like fire or a pit.

How does increasing the spell slot affect Dissonant Whispers?

Casting Dissonant Whispers 5e using a spell slot higher than the first increases the psychic damage by 1d6 for each slot level above the first.

Are there any notable strategies or combos with Dissonant Whispers?

Dissonant Whispers 5e pairs well with melee fighters and other characters who can exploit opportunity attacks. It's also effective in combination with spells or abilities that restrict movement or create hazards that the enemy might inadvertently move towards when fleeing.

What kind of components are required for Dissonant Whispers?

Dissonant Whispers 5e only requires a verbal component, meaning the caster must be able to speak to cast it.

Can Dissonant Whispers 5e be used defensively?

While primarily offensive, Dissonant Whispers 5e can be used defensively to create distance between the caster and a threatening enemy, especially when retreat or regrouping is necessary.

What are the limitations of Dissonant Whispers 5e regarding creature immunity?

The primary limitation is that the spell has no effect on deaf creatures, as they cannot hear the discordant melody required to trigger the spell's effects.