Crown Of Madness 5E – A Comprehensive Guide

The crown of madness is one of the most intriguing and dangerous magical items in Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition. This legendary wondrous item allows you to charm a humanoid creature and control its actions, turning it against its former allies.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about using the crown of madness effectively in your D&D 5e campaigns.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The crown of madness is a cursed legendary item that allows you to charm one humanoid creature within 60 ft of you that you can see. The charmed creature must make a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or be charmed by you for 1 hour or until you or your companions do anything harmful to it.

What is the Crown of Madness 5e?

The Crown of Madness is a powerful magical item in Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition (5e) that can be a game-changer in battles. This cursed crown holds a dark secret, granting the wearer the ability to control the minds of others.

However, this power comes at a price, as it can also drive the wearer to the brink of madness.

The item’s rarity, type, and description

The Crown of Madness is classified as a rare magical item in 5e. It is categorized as a wondrous item, specifically a headgear or crown. The crown itself appears to be made of twisted iron, adorned with spikes and a single large gemstone at its center.

According to legends, the crown was created by a powerful sorcerer who sought to dominate his enemies. It is said that the crown was imbued with dark magic and infused with the essence of madness.

How to attune to the Crown of Madness

Attuning to the Crown of Madness requires a willing creature to wear the crown for a period of 1 hour. During this time, the wearer must concentrate on the crown and willingly accept its dark power. Once attuned, the wearer gains control over the Crown of Madness’ abilities.

It is important to note that only one creature can be attuned to the crown at a time. If another creature attempts to attune to the crown while it is already attuned, the attunement is broken, and the previous wearer loses control over the crown.

The range, duration, and other mechanics of the item

The Crown of Madness has a range of 120 feet, allowing the wearer to target a creature within that range and attempt to dominate its mind. The crown’s effect lasts for up to 1 minute, during which the controlled creature must obey the wearer’s commands to the best of its ability.

It is worth noting that the controlled creature can make a Wisdom saving throw at the end of each of its turns to break free from the crown’s control. Additionally, if the wearer loses concentration or the controlled creature takes damage, the effect of the crown is also broken.

For more detailed information on the Crown of Madness 5e, you can visit the D&D Beyond website, a reputable source for Dungeons and Dragons content.

Using Crown of Madness in Combat

When it comes to controlling the battlefield, the Crown of Madness spell can be a powerful tool in a spellcaster’s arsenal. This enchantment allows the caster to bend the will of a target creature, forcing them to turn against their allies and become a puppet in the hands of the caster.

However, it’s important to understand the mechanics and limitations of using Crown of Madness in combat.

Casting Crown of Madness on an enemy

To cast Crown of Madness on an enemy, the spellcaster must make a successful ranged spell attack against the target. Once the target is hit, they must make a Wisdom saving throw or be affected by the spell.

It’s important to choose the right target for this spell, as creatures with high Wisdom saving throws are more likely to resist its effects.

When selecting a target, it’s also essential to consider their role in combat. Controlling a high-damage dealer or a spellcaster can be extremely beneficial, as it turns their own abilities against their allies.

However, keep in mind that creatures with lower intelligence may be less effective in combat, as their tactics and decision-making abilities may be limited.

Controlling the charmed creature’s actions

Once the target creature is charmed by Crown of Madness, the caster can use their bonus action on subsequent turns to maintain control over the charmed creature. The caster can then command the creature to make a melee attack against a target of their choice.

It’s important to note that the charmed creature will still have access to its own abilities and spells, so it’s wise to consider how these can be used strategically in combat.

Breaking the charm early

While Crown of Madness can be a powerful tool, it’s essential to be aware of the risks involved. The charmed creature has the opportunity to break free from the charm at the end of each of its turns, provided it succeeds on a Wisdom saving throw.

This means that the charmed creature may not remain under the caster’s control for long, especially if it has a high Wisdom score.

It’s also worth noting that allies of the charmed creature may attempt to break the charm by targeting the caster or using spells and abilities that specifically target charms or enchantments. This can be a significant risk, as losing control of the charmed creature can quickly turn the tide of battle against the caster and their allies.

Drawbacks and risks of using the item in combat

While Crown of Madness can be a powerful asset in combat, it does come with its fair share of drawbacks and risks. One of the main drawbacks is the concentration required to maintain the spell. If the caster loses concentration, the spell ends, and the charmed creature is free from its control.

This means that the caster must be mindful of taking damage and avoiding spells or abilities that require concentration.

Additionally, using Crown of Madness in combat can be a double-edged sword. The charmed creature may turn its attacks against the caster and their allies, potentially causing unintended harm. Therefore, it’s crucial to have a solid plan in place and communicate effectively with your allies to minimize the risks involved in using this spell.

Out of Combat Uses

While the Crown of Madness spell in Dungeons and Dragons 5e is primarily known for its combat applications, it also has various out-of-combat uses that can greatly benefit players. These uses can range from social encounters and infiltration to creative applications for puzzles and exploration.

Utility for social encounters and infiltration

The Crown of Madness spell can be a valuable tool in social encounters and infiltration missions. By charming an enemy and making them believe that they are under your control, you can extract valuable information or manipulate them into doing your bidding.

This can be particularly useful when dealing with NPCs who may not be easily persuaded or intimidated.

For example, imagine you are trying to gain access to a forbidden underground lair. Instead of resorting to force or persuasion, you could use the Crown of Madness spell on a guard, making them believe that you are their trusted ally.

This would allow you to bypass security measures and move freely within the lair, gathering vital information or completing your quest without raising suspicion.

Ethical considerations of charming NPCs

While the Crown of Madness spell can be a powerful tool, it is important to consider the ethical implications of charming NPCs. Manipulating someone’s mind and taking control of their actions can be seen as a violation of their autonomy and personal freedom.

Players should carefully consider the consequences of their actions and the potential harm they may cause to the charmed individual or others around them. It is essential to use this spell responsibly and only when absolutely necessary.

Remember, just because you can charm someone doesn’t mean you should.

Creative applications for puzzles and exploration

The Crown of Madness spell can also be creatively used in puzzles and exploration scenarios. For example, if you encounter a series of magical doors that can only be opened by solving riddles or puzzles, you can charm one of your party members to temporarily gain control over their actions and have them solve the puzzle for you.

Additionally, in exploration scenarios where there may be hidden passages or traps, charming an enemy and making them your unwitting guide can help you navigate safely through dangerous areas. This can add an interesting twist to your gameplay and make for memorable moments.

DM Rulings

As a Dungeon Master (DM), it is important to make fair and informed rulings for your players in the game. This section will explore some key considerations when it comes to DM rulings for the Crown of Madness 5e.

Allowing players to attune to cursed items

One interesting aspect of Crown of Madness 5e is the presence of cursed items. These items can add a thrilling twist to the game, but as a DM, you may wonder if you should allow players to attune to them. Ultimately, this decision depends on your campaign’s tone and the player’s preferences.

If your group enjoys challenges and unexpected twists, allowing attunement to cursed items can create memorable moments. However, if your campaign focuses more on storytelling and character development, you may want to limit or remove the option to attune to cursed items.

Adjudicating the item’s behavior and charm effects

When a player attunes to the Crown of Madness, they gain the ability to charm and control another creature. As a DM, you will need to adjudicate how the item’s behavior and charm effects work in the game. It is important to establish clear guidelines and communicate them to your players.

You can consider using the rules as written in the Crown of Madness 5e module, or you can modify them to fit the dynamics of your campaign. Remember to be consistent and fair in your rulings, ensuring that the item’s effects do not overpower the game or overshadow other players’ abilities.

Balancing potential abuse in gameplay

Like any powerful item, the Crown of Madness has the potential for abuse if not properly balanced. As a DM, it is your responsibility to maintain game balance and ensure that no player becomes overpowered.

You can achieve this by closely monitoring the item’s usage and adjusting its effects if necessary. Additionally, encourage open communication with your players to address any concerns or issues that may arise.

By actively addressing potential abuse, you can create a balanced and enjoyable gaming experience for everyone at the table.


The crown of madness opens up a wealth of intriguing gameplay opportunities, but it does come with some significant risks. Use this guide to make the most of this powerful item in your Dungeons & Dragons adventures, while avoiding potential pitfalls for both DMs and players.

Just beware the madness that awaits those who would wear such a cursed crown of control and chaos!

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