Spell Archive: Maximilian’s Earthen Grasp

If you’re looking for a spell that provides a bit more tactics while still packing some decent damage? Then we might have the spell for you.

Today we are looking at at a generally underappreciated spell; one that can be very useful in combat against those pesky mages. The spell is none other than

Maximilian’s Earthen Grasp

2nd-level transmutation

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: 30 feet

Components: V, S, M (a miniature hand sculpted from clay)

Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

You choose a 5-foot-square unoccupied space on the ground that you can see within range. A Medium hand made from compacted soil rises there and reaches for one creature you can see within 5 feet of it. The target must make a Strength saving throw. On a failed save, the target takes 2d6 bludgeoning damage and is restrained for the spell’s duration.

As an action, you can cause the hand to crush the restrained target, which must make a Strength saving throw. The target takes 2d6 bludgeoning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

To break out, the restrained target can use its action to make a Strength check against your spell save DC. On a success, the target escapes and is no longer restrained by the hand.

As an action, you can cause the hand to reach for a different creature or to move to a different unoccupied space within range. The hand releases a restrained target if you do either.

Spell Talk

Here we have another one of my favorite spells! I’ve seen this spell prevent not 1 but 2 separate Hags from wreaking certain havok on a party. I don’t know if it is because no one expects anything out of this spell or if it just always gets lucky but this one has never seemed worthless to me. I think part of that is due to the fact that it sticks around even after the initial casting. As long as you concentrate for the next minute on the spell then you have yourself a hand of earth to crush key targets on & off the battlefield.

Tips & Tricks

This spell is costly in that it takes your action to control on subsequent turns; however, if you manage to grab someone in it, on other turns you can still use your action to do other arcane arts and just leave the person restrained in the grasp so your allies can beat on them. Also, as long as you remain concentrated on the spell you can keep using the hand to snatch up new targets for the next minute. Make sure to target high value enemies who aren’t too terribly strong, which makes it perfect for pesky casters. And even if the target is strong, sometimes the dice rolls can be on your side. Another useful usage is to catch a quick but weak rogue like npc that has snatched important documents from you and is running away.


I’ve seen this spell take on the form of a giant bone claw, five separate skeleton arms that capture and hold a person in place, and a massive clay earthen hand. You can make the hand be any element honestly. If you are a spiritual character then it can be a spectral or holy hand. If you are a nature based character then it can be the very vines of a tree instead. If you are supposed to be a powerful but weird supreme caster then maybe you put your hand through a portal and the hand that comes out of the ground is actually yours, only much bigger now.

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