D&D (2024) Abilities as Spells: splitting your abilities between class section and spell section

Larrin

Entropic Good
This is not a serious issue, but I think it will annoy me, so I'm curious what thoughts people have on it as well.

Regardless of whether abilities being turned into spells is a good idea or not, a minor annoyance/concern of mine that will certainly come up if handled the way its been done in the past is that you will no longer see your class abilities in the class section of the book instead you'll see:

"You gain the cantrip Pact Blade"

and no other information and so then you have to find that spell in the spell section to see if that is an ability you want. That's annoying.

This does happen now, there are class features now that read "You can cast etherealness once per day" and it bugs me, just enough, now when it happens, but it doesn't happen that often.

But when it's a key, class-defining, feature and you want to A) look up an ability B) compare abilities (e.g. the three pact styles for the warlock), C) quickly learn what a class does - not having the FULL information centralized in the Class write up is going to bug me, and I suspect others. Its a step backwards in quality of life. Its not game breaking, world ending, despair inducing, agony; its just the sort of thing that's going to be a "!@#$% it, that's in the spell section not the warlock section" moment at the table.

There is an easy fix for this, of course, put the "spell" abilities in the class write-up and this concern evaporates [though then you can split hairs over which spells this should apply to etc.], so this is not an argument against spellitization of abilities, its just a concern that I think may be worth mentioning to people so it can be part of the conversation with survey feedbacks and such.
 

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my opinion is that being a spell is only a good idea if it is pick able in general

having said that eldritch blast as a free warlock cantrip only warlocks can take feels right
 



Horwath

Legend
I hate it that it's a spell.

Why does it need to be a spell?


Here it is simple.

Pact of the blade.

As a Bonus action you conjure a weapon in your hand.
It counts as magical weapon and a spell focus for your spells.
You are proficient with that weapon and can use Cha for attack and damage bonuses.
If it has thrown property it returns to your hand after attack resolves.
Weapon disappears if its more than 5ft away from your for more than a minute or you use this feature again.
 

Here it is simple.

Pact of the blade.

As a Bonus action you conjure a weapon in your hand.
It counts as magical weapon and a spell focus for your spells.
You are proficient with that weapon and can use Cha for attack and damage bonuses.
If it has thrown property it returns to your hand after attack resolves.
Weapon disappears if its more than 5ft away from your for more than a minute or you use this feature again.
just add "At 5th level if you use this pact blade as part of an attack action you can attack twice instead of once"

then it also isn't a question on if warlock cantrips can be picked by warlocks at level up
 

Horwath

Legend
just add "At 5th level if you use this pact blade as part of an attack action you can attack twice instead of once"

then it also isn't a question on if warlock cantrips can be picked by warlocks at level up
That can be an invocation, then 5th level warlock can decide is the 3rd level Arcanum is more important than Extra attack.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
I'm from the other school of thought, which is that all features and abilities are pretty much all the same and the only differences are who can use them, the methods for acquiring them, the number of times they can be used before needing the number reset, the type of action needed to use it, and how they are organized.

Spells are just class features that you get a lot of options to choose from and have a set pattern of numbers of times they can be used and when they refresh. How is that different than say something like Channel Divinity? Isn't CD merely just a Spell Slot chart of one slot per long rest (or eventually short rest) with a Spell List of two spells? Or like the three Hunter Ranger's 'Hunter's Prey' abilities at 3rd level which are essentially just three at-will attack cantrips who effects occur on whatever the timing of the ability says, that you choose to "Know" one of, and they can't be countered by Counterspell or Dispel Magic.

Mechanics are mechanics. Just piles of game rules. It really only ends up how we assign their functionality in the narrative of the game that makes them SEEM like they are different things. The Cure Wounds spell, or a "poultice" ability a Ranger might get? Could very well have the exact same mechanics and it's only because we narratively assign one the description of "Magic Spell" and the other "Herbs used to create a salve" that makes them different. And this is why it doesn't bother me when something is "made a Spell"... because I have no issue refluffing the narrative of a mechanic. If a feature has been made into a "Spell" by the book and I want it instead to read as a class feature? Then I just do it.

I mean, that's how I've had Warlord-type characters in my games for a while now... by just using Clerics with specific spells and refluffing them as no longer divine or magical and instead the Spells are just martial class features. Rules are changed, added, and removed from the game all the time, so why get hung up on them? After all... that game rule you think is unmalleable? The next book WotC makes could easily change it. So if WotC's going to not hold to these rules hard and fast... why should you? Make the rules and mechanics into how you want them to be to help your story.
 
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TwoSix

Uncomfortably diegetic
Mechanics are mechanics. Just piles of game rules. It really only ends up how we assign their functionality in the narrative of the game that makes them SEEM like they are different things. The Cure Wounds spell, or a "poultice" ability a Ranger might get? Could very well have the exact same mechanics and it's only because we narratively assign one the description of "Magic Spell" and the other "Herbs used to create a salve" that makes them different. And this is why it doesn't bother me when something is "made a Spell"... because I have no issue refluffing the narrative of a mechanic. If a feature has been made into a "Spell" by the book and I want it instead to read as a class feature? Then I just do it.
I agree with all of this. I would say the only problem is the long-standing assumption of assumed narratives about certain mechanical presentations by the community at large, particularly spells. But that groove is so broad and well-worn at this point that it's pretty much impossible to dislodge the game from it.
 

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