D&D 5E A Slower Caster Spell Progression and other Suggestions


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Cruentus

Adventurer
Speaking of recharge, I've also seen a system (can't remember which), that used spell points for casting, and then had those spell points regenerate at a rate of like 1 point per hour (or whatever it was). It removes the 5 minute workday, because you can't just call it a "long rest" and get everything back. You have to both pace yourself with casting, and then if you want to save up, it takes time.

For magic, I like that better than just "I sleep and now can cast all my spells".

At the end of the day it's probably easier to just narrow down and tighten up the individual spell lists for each spellcasting class than it is to try and re-work the entire system so that the "too powerful" spells get knocked back.

As has been said, there are "miraculous" types of magic at most spell levels of the game. So if you really want to tone it all down... just make spell lists of like 8 spells per level and hand-select which eight spells are the most acceptable for a lower-powered magic system. I mean after all... that's pretty much how many spells were available to select from in in the B/X boxes... eight rather meh spells.

+snip great suggestions+

Again, you take out the spells that can eliminate injuries received from creatures like Lesser Restoration, the more powerful attack spells like Blindness/Deafness, and ones that are overlapping what other classes are there for like Find Traps and Locate Object (more of a Wizard spell.) You keep doing this for all the classes and you will end up with a much more subtle magic system that isn't just masses of things that go boom.

Just an idea.
I also like this. Adapting the spells to what your game world would "reasonably expect" X class to do makes a lot of sense.

I always think about things like "blasty spells" - magic missile, firebolt, eldritch blast, melf's acid arrow, etc. Why have umpteen different blasty spells? Why not an "Arcane Blast" or whatever, and then have the wizard be able to cast it and "craft it". "I'm casting Arcane Blast, imbuing it with fire." or "I'm casting Arcane Blast and imbuing it with lightning". Maybe the Blast is just "force" at first level, but if you cast it at second level, you can attach a "fire, or lightning, or force, or cold, etc.) to it. Cuts down on a ton of bloat.
 

Personally, I'd rather eliminate 7th through 9th level spells entirely, then bring back 4e style rituals for some magic like resurrections. There's very little content there that really needs saving. 99% of it is nostalgia and spell names. Anything else that people would cry about losing would be cried about because it's broken and abusive. The only effect really worth saving at 9th level is Wish, and that's because that spell in particular reaches sacred cow territory. You can easily make that a capstone ability of one class or it's own special ritual.

Some effects could be pushed down to 6th level (e.g., regenerate), but overall it's not a segment of the game that really benefits the game for existing.
 

HammerMan

Legend
I think just cutting back the spell slots per day would be enough to "nerf" casters. If you're worried about cantrip spamming, you could simply remove all damage cantrips; this would force casters to use an actual weapon for repeated damage.
yeah the problem is if you set back the casters too much (and god knows I think they need to fall out of the nerf tree and hit a bunch of nerf branches on the way down) you end up with an overall less fun game.

I think the warlock got it right (if you balance around it) 1 then2 and at mid high levels 3 but finally 4 spells per short rest from a small amount known but always at peek performance with a good at will set of abilities and mini feat invocations that can give both more options for spells, some leveled spells at will, or just little cool magic things... maybe mix it up with artificer infusions and I think you have a much more balanced spell caster.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
The solution is simple.

Ban full casters.

Feature part casters.
I find this odd coming from someone who said they would never play D&D with the nerfed progression I posted (different thread) where full casters capped at 6th level spells for level 20... :confused:
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
Speaking of recharge, I've also seen a system (can't remember which), that used spell points for casting, and then had those spell points regenerate at a rate of like 1 point per hour (or whatever it was). It removes the 5 minute workday, because you can't just call it a "long rest" and get everything back. You have to both pace yourself with casting, and then if you want to save up, it takes time.

For magic, I like that better than just "I sleep and now can cast all my spells".
This might work for our spell system since we stopped using spell slots at levels and just spell levels overall (basically spell "points").

Maybe a caster can recover 1 spell point per level per long rest? So, if you used the standard RAW progression you would have 89 spell points at level 20, and it would take four+ days to get them all back.

It makes casting a 9th level spell costly, because even if you have "89 points" (effectively) available, those 9 points represent nearly half of what you can recover in a day.

I think me likey. :)
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
I find this odd coming from someone who said they would never play D&D with the nerfed progression I posted (different thread) where full casters capped at 6th level spells for level 20... :confused:
Heh, I wouldnt play a setting that banned full casters. But at least I can continue to play D&D, by choosing a different setting that features full casters.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
Heh, I wouldnt play a setting that banned full casters. But at least I can continue to play D&D, by choosing a different setting that features full casters.
Oh, got it. Okay... just checking. :)

What about a progression where you got cantrips, 1st, and 2nd level spells in tier 1 (as is), then just 3rd and 4th in tier 2, moved 5th to 11th level to match Extra Attack (2), and also got 6th in tier 3, and then reserved 7th-9th for tier 4? Maybe put 7th in tier 3...?

Also, I've been playing around with progression where you get more spells for levels 1-5, but instead of having multiple 6th+ level spells, you only get 1 per long rest, but what you have access to keeps increasing?
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Oh, got it. Okay... just checking. :)

What about a progression where you got cantrips, 1st, and 2nd level spells in tier 1 (as is), then just 3rd and 4th in tier 2, moved 5th to 11th level to match Extra Attack (2), and also got 6th in tier 3, and then reserved 7th-9th for tier 4? Maybe put 7th in tier 3...?

Also, I've been playing around with progression where you get more spells for levels 1-5, but instead of having multiple 6th+ level spells, you only get 1 per long rest, but what you have access to keeps increasing?
When playing 4e, my friend wanted to DM a 3e game. I told him I couldnt play 3e because it lacked cantrips. I play a mage to do magic. If I would want to shoot crossbows, I would pick a different class. We negotiated a compromise. But the point is, I have zero interest in playing a subpar game or getting shut out of combat because the DM hates magic.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
But the point is, I have zero interest in playing a subpar game or getting shut out of combat because the DM hates magic.
Ok... :confused:

Nothing I just asked suggested anything of the sort. In fact, my proposal would allow casters more spells per day, allowing them to use actual spells more often instead of relying on cantrips. The only difference is the reduction in the uber-spells (6th+) to one per day...

If that is "a subpar game or getting shut out of combat because the DM hares magic" I won't bother you any more.
 


DND_Reborn

Legend
So what is the difference between only using half-casters and slowing down full casters progression to a more moderate level???

Is it the bells and whistles that half casters have over full casters??
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
So what is the difference between only using half-casters and slowing down full casters progression to a more moderate level???

Is it the bells and whistles that half casters have over full casters??
The difference is, both the halfcasters and their spells participate fully in combat. There are no subpar classes.

So far, your versions of the fullcaster Wizard are significantly underpowered. Lacking balance.
 

HammerMan

Legend
So what is the difference between only using half-casters and slowing down full casters progression to a more moderate level???

Is it the bells and whistles that half casters have over full casters??
I think you need to beef up the other things full casters can do if you are going to cut them down to half caster...

I still think an artificer and a warlock are where we should be starting... some amalgam of them with the ability to keep a spell book do rituals and prep spells could make up a mage, then from there back engineer other classes.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
The difference is, both the halfcasters and their spells participate fully in combat.
They still would.

There are no subpar classes.
There still isn't.

So far, your versions of the fullcaster Wizard are significantly underpowered.
No, casters as the are are currently overpowered.

Lacking balance.
I am restoring the balance.

That might not be to your liking, but all these threads show how many people recognize full casters are way more powerful than other classes and overshadow them, especially in tiers 3 and 4, which is primarily where I am focused on the nerfs...

I think you need to beef up the other things full casters can do if you are going to cut them down to half caster...
Giving them more slots/ spells would seem to compensate them pretty well.

Imaging using a half-caster spell progression, but doubling all the spell slots?
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
Giving them more slots/ spells would seem to compensate them pretty well.

Imaging using a half-caster spell progression, but doubling all the spell slots?
I'd use the Artificer as a base spellcaster, using its features to give actual features to full spellcasters, things like Flash of Genius is perfect for a wizard, spell-storing items could be a high level feature (say lvl 11 or 14 ish) for main spellcaster (wizard, cleric, druid). Replicate magic items would also be a nice feature to compensate for slower spell progression. I'd also remove damaging cantrips in favor of majoring the upcasting of damage spells OR have them use limited spell slots.

levelCantrips1st2nd3rd4th5th
143
244
344
444
5552
6553
7553
8553
96532
106542
116543
126543
1366432
1466533
1566543
1666543
17665442
18666443
19666543
20666544

And there's another solution:

Now, for 6th level spells and higher: did anyone realize that both Limited Wish and Divine Intervention prescribe a high level spell being usable once in 1d4 long rests or even 7 days?

So one could have a somewhat normal spell progression up to 5th level spells, then have 1 x 6th level spell slot per 1d4 long rests, 1 x 7th level spell slot per 1d4 rests, and 1 x 8th level, then have 1x 9th level spell once per 7 days.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
So what is the difference between only using half-casters and slowing down full casters progression to a more moderate level???

Is it the bells and whistles that half casters have over full casters??
Yes, definitely.

Edit: To clarify, I think that full casters are too strong compared to martials around late Tier 2 till endgame. But a class change that lopped down a wizard to 2/3 casting and didn't give anything back would be a little too weak, and honestly is just less fun than giving a different experience.
 

I look forward to seeing all your exciting third party products on the DM's Guild soon. That, or talking about your homebrew, is all this thread can possibly be about.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
I look forward to seeing all your exciting third party products on the DM's Guild soon. That, or talking about your homebrew, is all this thread can possibly be about.
Ok, honestly, I can't tell from the tone of the post if you are being genuine or sarcastic...? :confused:

I could see it going either way, considering a lot of the both positive and negative feedback. :)

As for what this thread is about... well, it can digress to whatever, but since I am the OP (and it got necro'd a bit, the stuff in the OP isn't where I am at anymore...), it makes sense the main gist would be about the homebrew with others offering their versions or input. 🤷‍♂️
 

Ok, honestly, I can't tell from the tone of the post if you are being genuine or sarcastic...? :confused:

I could see it going either way, considering a lot of the both positive and negative feedback. :)

As for what this thread is about... well, it can digress to whatever, but since I am the OP (and it got necro'd a bit, the stuff in the OP isn't where I am at anymore...), it makes sense the main gist would be about the homebrew with others offering their versions or input. 🤷‍♂️
Oh, I'm quite sincere. I just want to make it clear that homebrew and/or third party products are, imo, the only path to this kind of content. WotC is way too corporate to touch any of it.
 

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