5E Inflict Wounds and other melee spell attacks.

Nickolaidas

Explorer
Inflict Wounds: "Make a melee spell attack against a creature you can reach. On a hit, the target takes 3d10 of necrotic damage."

So what happens on a miss? Does the spell dissipate (that is, it's lost and the spell slot is wasted), or it remains 'active' until you dissipate it yourself or it finally hits an enemy on a successful attack?

And another thing: Casting the spell costs an action - does this mean that the melee spell attack must be done in the next round, or it happens automatically (a bonus action, if you will)?
 

Dausuul

Legend
Inflict Wounds: "Make a melee spell attack against a creature you can reach. On a hit, the target takes 3d10 of necrotic damage."

So what happens on a miss? Does the spell dissipate (that is, it's lost and the spell slot is wasted), or it remains 'active' until you dissipate it yourself or it finally hits an enemy on a successful attack?
The spell slot is wasted. Inflict wounds is all-or-nothing. (It's also kind of a sucky spell IMO.)

And another thing: Casting the spell costs an action - does this mean that the melee spell attack must be done in the next round, or it happens automatically (a bonus action, if you will)?
If the attack required a separate action or bonus action, it would specify that in the spell description. Since it doesn't, the attack happens as part of the spell itself.

(Edited to call out a point: "Bonus action" has a specific meaning in 5E, and this ain't it. The spell attack is not any kind of action, bonus or otherwise.)
 
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Nickolaidas

Explorer
Sucky spell? I don't know ... having the ability to do a 3d10 damage roll as a 1st level spellcaster isn't bad at all, imo.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
Sucky spell? I don't know ... having the ability to do a 3d10 damage roll as a 1st level spellcaster isn't bad at all, imo.
Also great? When you can sneak it in during a non-combat situation.

"We should shake hands on this deal!"

"Okay. Say, are you casting a spell?"

"Naw. It's, um, a cultural thing I do. For, you know, shaking hands on a deal."

"Sounds good to me!"
 

jgsugden

Adventurer
Compare to Scorching Ray: Level 1: Average damage: 16.5 for Inflict, N/A for Scorching. Level 2: 22 Damage for Inflict, 21 for Scorching. Level 3: 27.5 for Inflict, 28 for Scorch. Level 4: Inflict: 33; Scorch: 35. Level 9: You have better options.

Scorch is more versatile (can be divided amongst more targets) and gets to be more reliable at higher level due to multiple attacks rolls - but Scorch is ranged (which has advantages and disadvantages). However, inflict is all or nothing which has its own advantages as well ... I'd say that both have their place and are of similar total value, although they're valuable for slightly different reasons.
 

MechaTarrasque

Adventurer
It is good for the "bad touch" clerics (although I always thought "bad touch" monks or evil paladins would make more sense: I will "lay hands" on you. Evil laugh!).
 
It's a Light domain spell.

Making cleric the only class that has access to both scorching ray and inflict wounds, if I recall correctly.
Assuming no feats, Magical Secrets, or maybe~Favored Soul? I believe you are correct. Although, that would seem like a waste of Magical Secrets.
 

Caliban

Rules Monkey
As a Melee Attack spell, you can choose to knock someone out with the Inflict spell. Not an option with ranged attacks. (Plus for me Scorching Ray has always felt sub-par. Mainly because dice hate me and I usually miss at with at least 2 of the rays).
 

Nickolaidas

Explorer
As a Melee Attack spell, you can choose to knock someone out with the Inflict spell. Not an option with ranged attacks. (Plus for me Scorching Ray has always felt sub-par. Mainly because dice hate me and I usually miss at with at least 2 of the rays).
I can't even imagine how necrotic damage can be used to 'knock someone out', but the rules are rules. :D
 

Nickolaidas

Explorer
As a Melee Attack spell, you can choose to knock someone out with the Inflict spell. Not an option with ranged attacks. (Plus for me Scorching Ray has always felt sub-par. Mainly because dice hate me and I usually miss at with at least 2 of the rays).
I can't even imagine how necrotic damage can be used to 'knock someone out', but the rules are rules. :D
 

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