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D&D 5E Apprentice Wizard- Arcane Burst power

TwoSix

Dirty, realism-hating munchkin powergamer
I see people saying that players have come to them asking about this ability. Has this ever happened without the player reading the stat block?

Because, in actual play, seeing 1d10+2 damage is going to be really hard to notice it isn't just a bog standard cantrip (either 1d10 or 2d6 or whatever).
I mean, if I see a ranged cantrip do 1d10+some mod of force damage, my first thought is going to be "Eldritch Blast + Agonizing Blast" unless I'm explicitly told otherwise. Cantrips don't get pluses to damage in most cases.

(And to be clear, we typically roll in the open in my games, so the damage calculation used would be obvious.)
 

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bedir than

Full Moon Storyteller
This is a convenient abbreviation of the stats for a level 2 Wizard.
It's a 2nd level wizard only by ignoring HP, HD, skills and ability scores.

It's simultaneously a more powerful than 3rd level wizard and weaker than a 1st level wizard. Overlooking that power imbalance enables the conversation to focus on this supposed cantrip.
 

Distracted DM

Distracted DM
Supporter
Arcane Blast: 120' ranged spell or 5' reach melee, 1d6 force damage. At level 5, 11 and 17 this increases to 2d6, 3d6 and 4d6.

Feat Intense Cantrip Practice: You can add your intelligence modifier to the damage rolls of wizard cantrips.

Feat Force Specialist: You learn Mage Armor and Arcane Blast. You can cast Mage Armor as a ritual on yourself, and Arcane Blast deals d10s instead of d6s for you. As a bonus action you can expend a spell slot of 3rd or higher level; for every 3 slot levels for the next minute (or until you use this ability again) your Arcane Blast can target an additional foe.

I think that emulates all of the wizard monsters mentioned? Arcane Blast isn't a great cantrip, but is ok. Intense Cantrip Practice gives you a damage buff on cantrips. Force Specialist gives you some random utility, gives a baseline boost to Arcane Blast, and lets you burn spell slots to get extra attacks with it. (I restricted it from multi-attacking the same target, but I'd have done the same with the monsters honestly).

They look good enough to burn feats on, but I don't think they are top-tier options. 4d10+5 (27) damage to 4 targets for 1 minute is a poor use of a 9th level slot; and even using a 3rd level slot and an action to do up to 27 to 2 targets isn't a great option at high levels usually.
I think you're trying to make rules for a system that isn't accommodating you.
 

Yaarel

🇮🇱He-Mage
To remind myself, here are the "best" damage types from best to worst.
• Force, Radiant, Psychic
• Necrotic, Thunder, Lightning, Acid
• Cold, Fire, Poison


Force (= Magic Weapon = Arcane Energy)
Radiant
Psychic*
Necrotic
Thunder
Lightning
Acid*
Cold*
Fire*
Poison*

* More frequent immunity against it. There is some arbitrary fluidity in the order when both Resistance and Immunity are taken into account.
 
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Meech17

Adventurer
I very much do believe they should be shared. That ArcaneBurst power should have a path to PC use, in the DMs mind if not immediately obvious to the PCs.
At the end of the day I feel like if I threw an enemy wizard at my party, and they shot off some cool spell, and my wizard player said

"Hey, that's really cool. I'd love to learn how to do that"

Me telling them 'Tough crackers, maybe you should have made a monster instead of a player character, neener neener boo boo' feels like letting them down. It doesn't have to be something they can do next round, or even next level.. But if they(Their character) is serious about it, they should have a path towards learning it.
 

nevin

Hero
My understanding is: "generic arcane damage" = Force
not sure on the details in the rules, but we've always made arcane damage more like "magical energy" and Force as a seperate effect. Think fire, electrical, cold, radiation, arcane with force being more physical. the benefit of doing it that way is you can have magical raw energy attacks that bypass the multitude of energy resistances that have proliferated. With just force DR vs physical attacks would apply. May not be accurate but that's the way our tables have always done it.
 

Yaarel

🇮🇱He-Mage
It's a 2nd level wizard only by ignoring HP, HD, skills and ability scores.

It's simultaneously a more powerful than 3rd level wizard and weaker than a 1st level wizard. Overlooking that power imbalance enables the conversation to focus on this supposed cantrip.
I think the Hit Die is a typo, and should say 3d6 instead of 3d8. In any case, the Hit Points are correct.

Level 3 Wizard: 13 Hit Points (= 6 + 3.5 + 3.5). Perhaps it should be 14 Hit Points, but is fine.

Ability Scores are: 14, 11, 10, 10, 10, 10
I suspect the 14 is somehow "costing" higher scores elsewhere.
I think I like as a default array for a "typical" level zero: 13, 12, 12, 11, 11, 10
In any case, player characters can be above average.


Statblocks dont need to conform to player characters, but things like spells and cantrips do, especially if something bog standard the players are themselves, such as an Apprentice Wizard, which every lowest tier Wizard is.

That said, the statblock in fact is a simplified version of a level 2 Wizard.
 

bedir than

Full Moon Storyteller
That said, the statblock in fact is a simplified version of a level 2 Wizard.
Level two wizards don't get 3 HD.
They don't have only two skills.
Your assumptions about what a zero level wizard is aren't supported by the rules.
Wizards have an ability to regain a spell slot on a short rest, this doesn't

There's no way to insist this is a second level wizards based on the evidence. Just like there's no way to insist this is a standard cantrip based on the evidence. It is more powerful because this NPC needs its imbalance to be made up for by the spell.

Characters that want a superpowerful cantrip like this just need to give up multiple skills, ability scores and several other wizard abilities.
 

Distracted DM

Distracted DM
Supporter
At the end of the day I feel like if I threw an enemy wizard at my party, and they shot off some cool spell, and my wizard player said

"Hey, that's really cool. I'd love to learn how to do that"

Me telling them 'Tough crackers, maybe you should have made a monster instead of a player character, neener neener boo boo' feels like letting them down. It doesn't have to be something they can do next round, or even next level.. But if they(Their character) is serious about it, they should have a path towards learning it.
A good point. There isn't AFAIK a way to do this in core 5e- there are supplements like the Tower in Strongholds & Followers or a5e's Spellcrafting downtime activity. On the other hand, I don't think it should be an expected requirement of the system to provide a path for it... and I'm usually critical of what WotC doesn't cover :'D
 

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