I’ve had some people asking about what the best spells for spellwrought tattoos are. I think it’s best to make sure we are on the same age about how this wondrous item works before we dig in to suggesting the best ways to use it. Here’s the text of the item from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything:
Produced by a special needle, this magic tattoo contains a single spell of up to 5th level, wrought on your skin by a magic needle. To use the tattoo, you must hold the needle against your skin and speak the command word. The needle turns into ink that becomes the tattoo, which appears on the skin in whatever design you like. Once the tattoo is there, you can cast its spell, requiring no material components. The tattoo glows faintly while you cast the spell and for the spell’s duration. Once the spell ends, the tattoo vanishes from your skin.
The level of the spell in the tattoo determines the spell’s saving throw DC, attack bonus, spellcasting ability modifier, and the tattoo’s rarity, as shown in the Spellwrought Tattoo table.p. 135
So, here are the factors I took into consideration as I selected spells:
- The spell can be from any list, allowing a PC to use spells they would not normally have access to.
- Spell attacks and spell saves are determined by the level of the spell. This makes using spells with attack rolls undesirable. PCs that are alread casters are likely to be worse off than using their own spell slots. Even for non-casters, the bonuses and DCs are likely to be low.
- Spells that rely on the spellcasting modifier are undesirable for the same reason as #2 above. This is true of many healing spells.
- They are single use, which creates tension for the player. They have to decided if a situation is bad enough to warrant use, especially for higher level spells
One word of advice to DMs: Maybe don’t tell your players what the tattoo does? Instead, just give them the needle, and if they use it, make the tattoo illustrative of what the spell does. Let them figure it out (or not) from there.
The Best Spells for Spellwrought Tattoos
Area of attack spells that deal half damage on successful saves are good options, too. These ones don’t require a spell save or attack roll.
- Feeblemind (no save for the psychic damage)
- Magic Missile
- Power Word Kill
- Power Word Pain
- Power Word Stun
Lots of benefits, no concentration!
- Hero’s Feast
- Rary’s Telepathic Bond
- True Seeing
Healing and revival that doesn’t rely on your stats:
- Death Ward
- Life Transference
- Power Word Heal
Good ways to get out of a dangerous situation. Or closer to it…
- Freedom of Movement
- Misty Step
- Vortex Warp
- Time Stop
The best defense is killing, but you might want to protect yourself too.
- Absorb Elements
- Fire Shield
- Invisibility/Greater Invisibility (concentration, but worth it)
- Mirror Image
- Otiluke’s Resilient Sphere (again, concentration, but worth it)
- Silvery Barbs
- Stone Skin
- Wall of Force
Friends to help you, and places to hide you:
- Create Homunculus
- Create Magen
- Create Undead
- Galder’s Tower
- Magnificent Mansion
As I said above, higher level spells, like the power words or time stop are great to give to players in this format as they will constantly struggle with knowing whether or not the situation, they are in is serious enough to warrant the spell.
All done looking at the best spells for spellwrought tattoos? Why not take a look at some of my favorite monsters?