What is Sending?

Sending is a 3rd-level evocation spell found in the Player’s Handbook. It allows the caster to send a short message of up to 25 words to a creature they have met before, regardless of distance. The recipient instantly receives the message, hearing it in their mind as if the caster was speaking directly to them.

Mechanics of Sending

To cast Sending, you need to know the creature you wish to contact. You don’t need to see them, but you must have met them before. This means you can’t send a message to a creature you’ve only heard about or seen in a vision. The spell also requires verbal and somatic components, meaning you need to speak the incantation and perform a specific gesture.

The message you send is limited to 25 words, which might seem restricting, but with careful wording, you can convey a lot of information. Remember that the message is received telepathically, so tone and inflection are lost. Be clear and concise to avoid misunderstandings.

Advantages of Sending

Sending offers several advantages over other forms of communication in DnD:

  • Instantaneous Communication: Sending eliminates the delays inherent in conventional methods like sending messengers or using magical mouths. This immediacy can be crucial in time-sensitive situations, allowing for rapid coordination and response.
  • Unlimited Range: Distance is no obstacle for Sending. It transcends planar boundaries, enabling communication with creatures on other planes of existence. This makes Sending invaluable for adventurers operating across vast distances or dealing with extraplanar entities.
  • Direct and Discreet: The message is delivered directly to the recipient’s mind, ensuring privacy and minimizing the risk of interception. Unlike written messages or shouted commands, Sending remains hidden from prying eyes and ears, perfect for covert operations or delivering sensitive information.

Limitations of Sending

While potent, Sending does come with limitations:

  • One-Way Communication: Sending is a one-way street. It only allows you to send a message, not receive a reply. This means you can’t engage in a back-and-forth conversation or ask for clarification.
  • Creature Knowledge: You need to have met the recipient before to use Sending. This prevents you from contacting unknown entities or those you’ve only heard rumors about.
  • Word Limit: The 25-word limit can be restrictive, requiring you to be concise and carefully choose your words. Complex concepts or detailed instructions might be difficult to convey within this constraint.
  • No Guarantees: While Sending delivers the message directly to the target’s mind, there’s no guarantee they will heed it. The recipient is free to ignore or act against your message, especially if it goes against their interests or goals.

Creative Uses of Sending in DnD

Sending’s flexibility makes it a versatile tool with applications beyond simple communication. Creative players and Dungeon Masters can utilize Sending in various innovative ways:

Tactical Communication and Coordination

Sending allows for real-time communication on the battlefield, granting your party a significant tactical advantage. Coordinate flanking maneuvers, warn allies of impending danger, or relay crucial information without alerting enemies. For instance, a cleric could use Sending to inform the party’s rogue, hidden in the shadows, about the enemy spellcaster’s vulnerabilities.

Maintaining Contact over Long Distances

Keep in touch with allies separated by vast distances or planar boundaries. A wizard venturing into the Abyss can use Sending to report back to their guild, or a paladin on a quest can seek counsel from their order’s leader. This constant line of communication fosters a sense of connection and shared purpose, even when party members are scattered.

Gathering Intelligence and Delivering Warnings

Discreetly gather information or deliver warnings to NPCs without raising suspicion. A bard infiltrating a noble’s court could use Sending to report their findings to the party without blowing their cover. Similarly, a druid might warn a village of an approaching horde of goblins without causing widespread panic.

Negotiating with Distant Entities

Initiate contact with powerful beings or extraplanar entities residing in remote locations. A warlock could use Sending to bargain with their patron, or a group of adventurers could reach out to a celestial for guidance. This allows for interaction with entities that might be otherwise inaccessible, opening up exciting new avenues for roleplaying and storytelling.

Tricking and Misdirecting Enemies

A cunning player can use Sending to deceive or manipulate their foes. Send a false message to lure enemies into a trap, sow discord among their ranks, or impersonate an ally to create confusion. The telepathic nature of Sending makes it difficult to verify the message’s authenticity, making it an effective tool for deception.

Roleplaying Applications

Sending enhances roleplaying opportunities by adding a new layer of depth and complexity to character interactions. Express heartfelt sentiments to loved ones separated by distance, deliver cryptic messages to rivals, or offer apologies without needing to meet face-to-face.

Tips for Using Sending Effectively

To maximize the impact of Sending in your DnD games, consider these tips:

  • Word Economy: With only 25 words, choose them carefully. Prioritize crucial information and use concise language. Abbreviations and code words can help convey more within the limit.
  • Context is King: The recipient will only hear your words, not the surrounding circumstances. Provide enough context for the message to be understood. Mention locations, names, or relevant events.
  • Anticipate Misinterpretations: Without tone of voice or body language, messages can be misinterpreted. Phrase your words carefully to avoid unintended meanings or ambiguities.
  • Consider the Recipient: Tailor your message to the recipient’s personality and understanding. A message for a stoic knight will differ from one sent to a mischievous sprite.
  • Combine with Other Spells: Amplify the effects of Sending by combining it with other spells. Use Locate Creature to find your target, or cast Disguise Self to impersonate someone else while sending a message.


Sending is a versatile and powerful spell in DnD, bridging vast distances and enabling instantaneous communication. Its ability to transcend physical and planar boundaries opens a realm of possibilities, from tactical coordination to intricate roleplaying scenarios. By understanding the spell’s mechanics, advantages, and limitations, and employing creative strategies, players and Dungeon Masters can fully utilize Sending to enhance their gameplay and weave engaging narratives within their DnD worlds.

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