Level Up (A5E) #1 Origins Playtest Document - (Heritage) Nitty Gritty Feedback

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Fun fact: Shadow of the Demon Lord, a D&D adjacent game, indeed give the equivalent of of Guidance to 1) the Priest (aka the Cleric), and 2) to the Witch (warlock/druid mix) as a class feature called ''Prayer'' for the Priest and ''Guidance'' for the Witch. It works more like the improved Helpful feature of the Expert sidekick class in 5e, where you add a bonus 1d6 to the Help action, and later can add it instead to the damage if the Help action was used for an attack. It allows such characters to lean in on the support role turn after turn without needing spells should they want to do it.

I'd suggest giving ''must have spells'' as features for such classes: guidance for clerics, hex for warlocks and mark for rangers. Making those spells was a mistake, IMHO, because they become poachable by many other ways for other classes that can benefit even more from said bonus.
I agree incompletely but would extend it to fluff spells like druidcraft magehand thaumaturgy & prestidigitation as well unless they can somehow make those good enough to stand alongside firebolt toll the dead guidance chilltouch ray of frost frostbite etc or even a questionable one like the currently awful truestrike.

In my campaigns, our cleric had it, our druid had it, all bar one of our four warlocks had it, one of our three bards had it, and a character who gained it through Magic Initiate had it. Thus, in my experience, the fact that it is only on the cleric and druid lists has not been much of a restriction.
it's not much of a restriction no, but being on a list where you pick 2-3 from a larger list containing 2-3 worthwhile options pretty much makes it a class feature they need to buy at the cost of cutting off access to fluff spells. If guidance were on the wizard cantrip list where you have a large number of solid options it would be rather different even if it didn't get copied to the wizard's kid brothers warlock & sorcerer alongside the scorlock class features
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
I agree incompletely but would extend it to fluff spells like druidcraft magehand thaumaturgy & prestidigitation as well unless they can somehow make those good enough to stand alongside firebolt toll the dead guidance chilltouch ray of frost frostbite etc or even a questionable one like the currently awful truestrike.

Agreed. I actually added a damage boost to Truestrike myself, giving advantage and dealing +1d6 per tier makes it easier to justify the Action + concentration + only one attack restrictions.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Agreed. I actually added a damage boost to Truestrike myself, giving advantage and dealing +1d6 per tier makes it easier to justify the Action + concentration + only one attack restrictions.
yea "spend an action casting a cantrip instead of rolling 1d20+mods to make an attack this round so you can roll 2d20k1+thoseSameMods on an attack next round" should have never escaped even the most basic sanity checking. I get that a +20 insight bonus might have been too much for an at will cantrip, but it's not advanced math to see that you were probably better off trying to attack both times
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
yea "spend an action casting a cantrip instead of rolling 1d20+mods to make an attack this round so you can roll 2d20k1+thoseSameMods on an attack next round" should have never escaped even the most basic sanity checking. I get that a +20 insight bonus might have been too much for an at will cantrip, but it's not advanced math to see that you were probably better off trying to attack both times

Same with Blade Ward. You could instead Dodge or Hide!

I added a push+prone to Blade Ward, but I still hesitate to make it triggered on Cast or if hit by an attack.
 

Stalker0

Legend
Sure, but I'm arguing power, flavor and mechanics is still trees, not forest. :)

The "forest question" would be "should this feature or mechanic be in the game at all?"

Here are a bunch of good evaluation questions to ask:
  • What is the specific problem or weakness with 5th Edition it is trying to solve?
  • Is that problem or weakness really one that needs fixing?
  • Is the Level Up feature or mechanic focused on solving the problem, and only solving the problem?

Thank you, I better understand your argument now.

So going back to something you said earlier, its important for LevelUp to design a product that people want to buy. So I'm going to use that argument to counters a bit of yours at the moment.

  • What is the specific problem or weakness with 5th Edition it is trying to solve?
  • Is that problem or weakness really one that needs fixing?
I think the greater question really is: What options do players want more of?

I don't think LevelUp is necessarily going for the "this is the proper 5e". Its more about "this is 5e with a lot more crunch and options". Ergo, its not about fixing issues as much as it is providing customizations that players desire. Will there be fixes... of course there will, but I don't feel that is the primary objective.

Applying this to the current packet. I don't think there is anything wrong with the 5e races, for the most part they are all fine and suitable. We could argue the variant human as probably the one outlier of possible racial problems, but I think that's more a rough spot than a true issue. So from your questions earlier, is there a problem here that needs fixing...I think the answer would be no.

But that's not the point. The point is, a lot of people like racial customization (or at least we believe they do, and the initial surveys seem to point to that). Therefore, offering some nice crunchy racial options with good flavor....will help make the book a one customers will buy.

So taking that argument back to my examination of the packet...I think "looking at the forest" would be asking the question: "Are these options covering the core of the customizations that players want?" That's a good and fine question, its just not the one I am asking at the moment, I was doing a more mechanical review of what has been presented, both of the power balance of the mechanics, and there tie in to the flavor they present. I think such a thread discussing whether these are the "right" flavor packets and covering the archetypes people want to see would be a fine addition to the conversation, and I would encourage someone to start such as conversation if they wish.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
I suppose if the caster very weirdly with odd and specific pitches and resonance, says, "You got this, Ezekial!" it might work, but it would also let anyone nearby know that a spell was being cast.
I ask you the same question I did previously. How would an Arcane Trickster in a sleepy common room use their Mage Hand/Pickpocket ability if "anyone nearby knows that a spell is being cast"?

How would the Message cantrip work if you were using it to be sneaky?

There are certain spells and certain applications of spells where being somewhat subtle in the casting of them is important for them to work at all. Even your quote from the PHB says "Most spells require the chanting of mystic words." What if Guidance is one of those that do not?

At the end of the day this is all up to GM interpretation, however I don't believe that ruling "Not everyone necessarily notices when you cast a spell" ventures into House Rule territory.

This is what a wizard casting suggestion in my campaign looks like....
ntd.gif
 

I ask you the same question I did previously. How would an Arcane Trickster in a sleepy common room use their Mage Hand/Pickpocket ability if "anyone nearby knows that a spell is being cast"?

How would the Message cantrip work if you were using it to be sneaky?

There are certain spells and certain applications of spells where being somewhat subtle in the casting of them is important for them to work at all. Even your quote from the PHB says "Most spells require the chanting of mystic words." What if Guidance is one of those that do not?

At the end of the day this is all up to GM interpretation, however I don't believe that ruling "Not everyone necessarily notices when you cast a spell" ventures into House Rule territory.

This is what a wizard casting suggestion in my campaign looks like....
View attachment 125966
This issue may be too much up to DM interpretation. I can easily see an argument starting at the table over how subtle Mage Hand/pickpocket actually is. IMO, the Mage Hand Arcane Tricksters shouldn't have a verbal component at all.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I ask you the same question I did previously. How would an Arcane Trickster in a sleepy common room use their Mage Hand/Pickpocket ability if "anyone nearby knows that a spell is being cast"?

How would the Message cantrip work if you were using it to be sneaky?

There are certain spells and certain applications of spells where being somewhat subtle in the casting of them is important for them to work at all. Even your quote from the PHB says "Most spells require the chanting of mystic words." What if Guidance is one of those that do not?

At the end of the day this is all up to GM interpretation, however I don't believe that ruling "Not everyone necessarily notices when you cast a spell" ventures into House Rule territory.

This is what a wizard casting suggestion in my campaign looks like....
View attachment 125966
It's almost like 5e's overuse of vsm on nearly everything & concentration in way to many things causes problems by forcing the gm to finish that design of where it should & should not apply by fiat ;) We can say how we houserule this and that as myself & many others have over the course of this thread, but it's important not to argue (im)balance of things when those houserules are applied & acknowledge when your houserules make the critical distinction.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
I ask you the same question I did previously. How would an Arcane Trickster in a sleepy common room use their Mage Hand/Pickpocket ability if "anyone nearby knows that a spell is being cast"?

How would the Message cantrip work if you were using it to be sneaky?

There are certain spells and certain applications of spells where being somewhat subtle in the casting of them is important for them to work at all. Even your quote from the PHB says "Most spells require the chanting of mystic words." What if Guidance is one of those that do not?

At the end of the day this is all up to GM interpretation, however I don't believe that ruling "Not everyone necessarily notices when you cast a spell" ventures into House Rule territory.

This is what a wizard casting suggestion in my campaign looks like....
View attachment 125966
I think it must be a house rule, on the grounds that if it is not, then Subtle Spell has no meaning. That is, if you can be not noticed anyway, it is meaningless to have a specific metamagic that allows you to not be noticed.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
it's not much of a restriction no, but being on a list where you pick 2-3 from a larger list containing 2-3 worthwhile options pretty much makes it a class feature they need to buy at the cost of cutting off access to fluff spells. If guidance were on the wizard cantrip list where you have a large number of solid options it would be rather different even if it didn't get copied to the wizard's kid brothers warlock & sorcerer alongside the scorlock class features
Oh right, I mistook your meaning. Yes, if it's an autopick then it should just be built in. Agonising Blast is another example.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
I think it must be a house rule, on the grounds that if it is not, then Subtle Spell has no meaning. That is, if you can be not noticed anyway, it is meaningless to have a specific metamagic that allows you to not be noticed.
It has been laid out earlier in this thread how Subtle Spell differs from just speaking at a low volume and slightly gesturing (like Obi-Wan Kenobi in my post).

Subtle Spell lets you cast a spell without any speaking at all, and without any hand gestures at all. This is very different and can be used for many benefits, only some of which intersect with being able to Obi-Wan Kenobi cast.

It let you do the following...

Cast a spell when gagged.
Cast a spell when your hands are tied.
Cast a spell when submerged.
Cast a spell when Silenced.
Cast a spell when polymorphed into a form that has no mouth or hands.
Cast a spell when even the slightest bit of noise is too much (when hiding 3 feet away from someone alone in a room).
Cast a spell unnoticed when being directly observed by someone watching for your to cast a spell.

....none of which you can do without Subtle Spell or some other special ability.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I ask you the same question I did previously. How would an Arcane Trickster in a sleepy common room use their Mage Hand/Pickpocket ability if "anyone nearby knows that a spell is being cast"?

So...

1. Cast it before you walk in. You then have 54 seconds to do what you like.

2. It's invisible, so even if the people know you did something, they won't know what. It could be Detect Magic, Cure Wounds or anything else. You can still use it to your heart's content.

The ability only keeps what you're doing with the hand a secret. It doesn't say that it keeps the spellcasting secret.

How would the Message cantrip work if you were using it to be sneaky

Not well. Maybe don't try to be sneaky with the casting of it. Maybe go somewhere that you won't be overheard.

There are certain spells and certain applications of spells where being somewhat subtle in the casting of them is important for them to work at all.

Like what? Message and Mage hand aren't in that category. Being sneaky is extra useful, yes. Talk your DM into allowing rolls to be sneaky when casting a spell.

Even your quote from the PHB says "Most spells require the chanting of mystic words." What if Guidance is one of those that do not?

Then it still requires certain pitch and resonance, which is the part you quoted when you replied here. What spells are not, is normal talk.

At the end of the day this is all up to GM interpretation, however I don't believe that ruling "Not everyone necessarily notices when you cast a spell" ventures into House Rule territory.

Up to DM ruling for sure. However, if you take the PHB at its word and spells are the chanting of mystic words, using specific pitch and resonance or both, then the interpretation won't include sneaky without such a house rule.

This is what a wizard casting suggestion in my campaign looks like....
View attachment 125966

So, psionics. ;)
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
It has been laid out earlier in this thread how Subtle Spell differs from just speaking at a low volume and slightly gesturing (like Obi-Wan Kenobi in my post).

Subtle Spell lets you cast a spell without any speaking at all, and without any hand gestures at all. This is very different and can be used for many benefits, only some of which intersect with being able to Obi-Wan Kenobi cast.

It let you do the following...

Cast a spell when gagged.
Cast a spell when your hands are tied.
Cast a spell when submerged.
Cast a spell when Silenced.
Cast a spell when polymorphed into a form that has no mouth or hands.
Cast a spell when even the slightest bit of noise is too much (when hiding 3 feet away from someone alone in a room).
Cast a spell unnoticed when being directly observed by someone watching for your to cast a spell.

....none of which you can do without Subtle Spell or some other special ability.
I think that is a defensible view point, on the grounds that titles of mechanics shouldn't be considered part of the mechanic. Meaning one might ignore the implications of "subtle" and allow subtlety in other ways. I'm influenced by the history of the metamagic as the feats Silent Spell and Still Spell. With the same caveat, those feats made me think that a spell could not be effectively silent, without use of the metamagic.
 

Dungeon Delver's Guide

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top