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Lightning bolt was an evocation spell that caused arcs of lightning to emanate from the caster's fingertips.


The searing bolt of electricity traveled in a straight line emanating from the caster.[4] Older versions of this spell struck all in its path,[7][8] while newer versions were aimed at a particular creature and then, with skill, could be forked to hit one or two other creatures.[3]

The bolt from the older versions was powerful enough to blast a wooden door to cinders, set fire to combustible materials, splinter a hand-depth of stone, or melt soft metals such as gold, silver, copper, lead, or bronze.[4][7][8][11]

A well-centered lightning bolt blast could interfere with magics of open gates, closing them after rippling through the fabric of the spell with electric feedback.[12]


The pre-Spellplague and post-Second Sundering versions of this spell required verbal, somatic, and material components including a tuft of fur and a small rod made of amber, crystal, or glass.[4][7][8][11][2]

To inscribe this spell on a magic scroll, arcane scribes often used ink made from the horn of a behir.[13]


The spell was attributed to the Netherese arcanist Volhm in −1968 DR and was originally called Volhm's bolt.[1]

Notable uses[]

The wizard Parwyyd Hanifar used a forked version of lightning bolt to blast a number of kenkus and gargoyles in aerial combat in 1357 DR.[14]

The following year, during the Time of Troubles, a false avatar of Selûne cast lightning bolt at Kyriani in the kitchen of Castle Waterdeep, but the bolts were caught and reflected by pots and pans.[15]

In 1362 DR a harper wizard Brenna Graycloak was able to cast a version of a lightning bolt in a fray of battling a darkenbeast using sulfur as a component.[16]


See Also[]


Red MagicPool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth DrannorThe Summoning
Comic Books
The Forbidden Sands of Anauroch (#2)
Video Games
Baldur's Gate seriesPool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth DrannorNeverwinter Nights series
Board Games
Mertwig's Maze
Card Games
Magic: The Gathering (CLB)
Spawn of Dragonspear



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 slade, Jim Butler (October 1996). “The Winds of Netheril”. In Jim Butler ed. Netheril: Empire of Magic (TSR, Inc.), pp. 22, 25. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 68, 209–210, 255. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Rob Heinsoo, Andy Collins, James Wyatt (June 2008). Player's Handbook 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 162. ISBN 0-7869-4867-1.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 248. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
  5. Monte Cook, Jonathan Tweet, Skip Williams (July 2003). Dungeon Master's Guide v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 108. ISBN 0-7869-2889-1.
  6. Wizards of the Coast (2005-12-19). Spell Index (HTML). Consolidated Lists Archive. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2015-08-22. "A consolidated index of spells from the 3.5 Player’s Handbook and Spell Compendium."
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 151. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 David "Zeb" Cook (April 1995). Player's Handbook 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), p. 194. ISBN 0-7869-0329-5.
  9. Jeff Grubb and Andria Hayday (April 1992). Arabian Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 152. ISBN 978-1560763581.
  10. slade, Jim Butler (October 1996). “The Winds of Netheril”. In Jim Butler ed. Netheril: Empire of Magic (TSR, Inc.), p. 121. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Gary Gygax (1978). Players Handbook 1st edition. (TSR, Inc.), p. 74. ISBN 0-9356-9601-6.
  12. Carrie Bebris (2001). Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 11, p. 202. ISBN 0-7869-1387-8.
  13. Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 20. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  14. Dan Mishkin (May 1990). “Day of the Darkening”. In Elliot S. Maggin ed. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #18 (DC Comics), p. 17.
  15. Dan Mishkin (July 1990). “Dark of the Moon”. In Elliot S. Maggin ed. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #20 (DC Comics), p. 17.
  16. Jean Rabe (December 1991). Red Magic. (TSR, Inc.), p. 35. ISBN 1-56076-118-0.