D&D 5E Artificers, Paladins, and Rangers, oh, MY! (Concerning Cantrips)

DND_Reborn

Legend
Since we started playing 5E about 4 years ago, we have always house-ruled that Paladins got cantrips equal to Clerics of equal level and Rangers got cantrips equal to Druids of equal level.

Never a fan of Artificers, who are (in many ways) the "arcane" half-caster, I did notice in looking at their class table in TCoE that they receive both cantrips and spellcasting at level 1, despite being obvious half-casters.

So, will Paladins and Rangers ever see the same?

Personally, I like the idea of half-casting classes gaining cantrips at level 1, but no 1st-level spells until level 2. This is what we do for Paladins and Rangers, as I mentioned above, and since Bards became our "arcane" half-caster, it is what they get as well.
 

log in or register to remove this ad


DND_Reborn

Legend
I think there’s a fighting style for Paladin and Ranger in Tasha’s that gives cantrips.
Yes, there is, but even if it gives them cantrips, IIRC they never gain any more. As where normal spell progression grants additional cantrips at higher levels.

And, frankly, I would hate for those classes to sacrifice one of their key lower level features for something Artificers get for free... 🤷‍♂️
 

ECMO3

Hero
Yes, there is, but even if it gives them cantrips, IIRC they never gain any more. As where normal spell progression grants additional cantrips at higher levels.

And, frankly, I would hate for those classes to sacrifice one of their key lower level features for something Artificers get for free... 🤷‍♂️
I think the fighting style is the right way to do it and they get a lot Artificers don't get including martial weapons, extra attack and other abilities which can be pretty powerful. You can switch them out too, so you don't have to keep the same ones. Usually I get the Druidic Warrior Fighting Style on most Rangers I play. I don't play Paladins that much, and probably would not get the cantrip fighting style with them because the Cleric Cantrips are not as good/necessary.

Not to say Artificers dont get their own stuff, but Rangers with a good subclass are arguably the most powerful half caster in the game and Paladins are not far behind.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
I think the fighting style is the right way to do it and they get a lot Artificers don't get including martial weapons, extra attack and other abilities which can be pretty powerful. You can switch them out too, so you don't have to keep the same ones. Usually I get the Druidic Warrior Fighting Style on most Rangers I play. I don't play Paladins that much, and probably would not get the cantrip fighting style with them because the Cleric Cantrips are not as good/necessary.

Not to say Artificers dont get their own stuff, but Rangers with a good subclass are arguably the most powerful half caster in the game and Paladins are not far behind.
I could understand this if two things happened:

1. Paladins and Rangers got their fighting style at 1st level, allowing them to learn cantrips at the same point Artificers do, and
2. They gained additional cantrips at 10th and 14th levels (as they gave Artificers).

But, personally, I'll just stick to our house-rule. :)

Still, it will be interesting to see if things get updated for these classes in the next few years...
 

I personally very much prefer Paladins and Rangers to not actually be spellcasters at all, and instead use other forms of supernatural power to achieve their ends. E.g. Paladins having Litanies (ritual/aura effects) and Decrees (stuff that targets specific things). I haven't thought as much about the Ranger side of things, but I've no doubt there are things one could use.

But no, I don't really expect cantrips to get officially baked into either class. Spells are supplementary to their identity, not core, whereas spells are core to the Artificer's identity, not supplementary. The fighting style solution is IMO inelegant, but it gets the job done.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
I personally very much prefer Paladins and Rangers to not actually be spellcasters at all, and instead use other forms of supernatural power to achieve their ends.
I would be all for this line as well, if spellcasting was removed entirely... but as it is part of the current classes, it just seems odd to me that cantrips are not part of these half-casters by default.
 

The artificer receives cantrips because it will never get as much attacks as a ranger or a paladin and most of its spells are on the utility side. Paladins got smites and rangers got hunter's mark to boost their damage. Thw artificer needed something and cantrips were an easy solution.

I don't think that adding cantrips to paladins and rangers is a bad idea, but it is not a good idea either. Unless these cantrips are more of a utility nature, an attack cantrip... well, a paladin and ranger lack the ability of an eldritch knight to make an additional attack on casting a spell so it limits them to one and only one attack. Is it really worth it?
 

cbwjm

Legend
Cantrips do add a lot to the flavour of the paladin and ranger. My biggest gripe with half-casters is that now we have two separate versions, the artificer and the others. I much prefer the artificer version with spells at 1st level and that's what I use for my arcknight and enhancement shaman subclass.

I guess I understand why paladins and rangers don't gain cantrips or spells at 1st level while the artificer does, the first 2 are meant to be focus on martial combat while the last is focused more on magic, but still, it irks me a little. Paladin and ranger have been getting spells earlier as the editions have moved on, so who knows what the future will bring.
 


Lycurgon

Adventurer
There is a big difference between Artificers and Paladins and Rangers, and there is a good reason that there is a difference in their access to cantrips.

Paladins and Rangers are martials that have a lot of other powers that boost their combat abilities. Paladins are very powerful and Rangers, with the changes in Tasha's and some of the better subclasses, can be quite powerful in combat too. Artificer on the other hand are not as good at combat and are more a support class. Even the combat oriented subclasses are less damage focused and more support/defensive.

Paladins and Rangers do not need the boost of having cantrips added to what they can already do, they are already powerful enough.
Artificers are not all that powerful. There are some builds that can do quite well in combat but paladins will outshine them in combat.

So no, I don't think WotC will ever give paladins and Rangers cantrips (without using their fighting style to get them) without a major rebalancing of all the classes. Fighters, Rogues, Monks, and barbarians, at the least, would need a boost to compensate, as would Artificers too.
 

I think a lot of the reasoning for not giving cantrips to rangers/paladins by default is that WotC would prefer that the best ranged option for the more martial classes remains weapon attacks rather than spell attacks.

If I'm a stereotypical heavy-armour-and-GWM paladin, I've likely got a low Dex, so my best ranged option is a thrown weapon like a javelin - which has fairly significant limitations around range and (if your GM strictly enforces object handling rules) getting the most out of Extra Attack. On the other hand, if i have access to Sacred Flame or similar, then it's based on Cha (which I've most likely got a decent score in) and while its damage is pretty meh up to 5th level, it rapidly outpaces javelins after that. And carrying around the weight of 15-20 javelins is no joke even for a very high-Str PC, especially if you're already wearing heavy armour.
 


The whole point of cantrips is to give casters a basic attack that isn't poking the monsters with a tiny dagger.

If a character has a sword, they don't need a cantrip.

If you really want a cantrip it's easy enough for anyone to pick one up in 5e.
What about non-offense cantrips? There are plenty of those and some are quite fun (prestidigitation or thaumaturgy, for example.)
 

Yes, there is, but even if it gives them cantrips, IIRC they never gain any more. As where normal spell progression grants additional cantrips at higher levels.

And, frankly, I would hate for those classes to sacrifice one of their key lower level features for something Artificers get for free... 🤷‍♂️
Artificers sacrifice quite a bit of power compared to Rangers, and very much so compared to Paladins. Why do you believe that their access to cantrips was not takin into account for the class power budget?

I mean if you take into account the way Lay on Hands covers healing that would otherwise require spell slots to perform, Paladins are considerably better spellcasters than Artificers already.

Granting cantrips to Rangers and Paladins is certainly do-able, but it is quite a boost to Ranger and Paladin capability compared to Artificers.
What have Artificers been getting up to in your games, that you think they were too much better than those other classes?
 


What about non-offense cantrips? There are plenty of those and some are quite fun (prestidigitation or thaumaturgy, for example.)
Flavour fluff. And easy enough to pick up if you think your character concept requires it.

I don't see many ranger players thinking "what my character really needs to fit my idea of a ranger is glowing eyes".
 

Granting cantrips to Rangers and Paladins is certainly do-able, but it is quite a boost to Ranger and Paladin capability
Eh?

Unless you are talking about shillelagh wisdom rangers, they are pretty much always better using a weapon.

Artificers get a cantrip at first level because throwing a flask of oil fits the concept better than using a weapon.
 
Last edited:

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Eh?

Unless you are talking about shillelagh wisdom rangers, they are pretty much always better using a weapon.

Artificers get a cantrip at first level because throwing a flask of oil fits the concept better than using a weapon.
Cantrips are weaker than a paladin or ranger's normal attack. Cantrips would be mostly useful for utility and support. The exceptions are
  1. Wisdom Rangers using magic stone or shillelagh
  2. Paladins who want a ranged attack via sacred flame
  3. Los Dexerity High Wisdom Rangers who want a ranged attack and cannot multiclass out ranger

Artificers has spells as their MO over weapons.
 


Dungeon Delver's Guide

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top