[RPG] How much illumination does Create Bonfire provide


Create Bonfire (XGtE p152):

You create a bonfire on ground that you can see within range. Until the spell ends, the bonfire fills a 5-foot cube. Any creature in the bonfire’s space when you cast the spell must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or take 1d8 fire damage. A creature must also make the saving throw when it enters the bonfire’s space for the first time on a turn or ends its turn there.

I am aware that spells only do what they say they do, but usual bonfires do create light. While illumination is not mentioned, it is hard to imagine a bonfire without flames and light, and the spell does not indicate in any way that this is not a usual bonfire.

It should be brighter than a torch for sure, but how much exactly?

Best Answer

Fire makes light

In the basic rules section on vision and light it states:

Bright light lets most creatures see normally. Even gloomy days provide bright light, as do torches, lanterns, fires, and other sources of illumination within a specific radius.

All fires create light. Create Bonfire creates a magical bonfire. In 5e spells do what they say they do; this spell creates a bonfire. You can cook on this bonfire, the fire burns you, you can see by its light, the fire ignites flammable objects, the fire keeps you warm in winter.

There is no mention that this fire would be, for example, a room temperature fire that gives off no light.

Some may argue this is a fake bonfire or an illusion, however, this cantrip is a Conjuration spell:

Conjuration spells involve the transportation of objects and creatures from one location to another. Some spells summon creatures or objects to the caster's side, whereas others allow the caster to teleport to another location. Some conjurations create objects or effects out of nothing.

The object is real, it has been created by magic.

There are no rules for how much light it gives off

A normal torch gives off bright light in a 20ft radius, so we can expect it to be at least this much. How much exactly is up to the DM, but 20ft bright light is a reasonable starting point.