D&D General Availability of spell in D&D campaigns


Hi everyone.
Recentely I've seen the D&D HAT movie, and

because we were speaking about resurrections in our D&D group (you know, Easter and so on...) and I noticed one thing: all the story revolvers around a MacGuffin, the "Tablet of reawakening", a way to cast "True Resurrection". For Edgin, it was almost the only way to cast true resurrection for bringing back a dear person. But we, players, we know that there are three spells (Revivify, Resurrection and True Resurections) that could have helped him (altough, the official stats for the Red Wizard Blade allow "true resurrections" only). But no one, no one, ever mentioned that. And that was pivotal for the story.

(for people who jumped the spoiler: a movie plot point could be easily resolved by a high level spell, but no one of the characters tought or speaked about that)

In metagaming, you know that doing enough adventures, you'll get to level up. And levelling up to 18, you get access to that 9th spell just becase you learn it as a procedure for level up.

Question: according to you, would it help to let the players decide what spell to learn until a level, and then leave the master the choice after that level? Like: for Tier 1 and Tier 2, the player choice any spell to learn according to the level. Once hit the 11 wizard level (Tier 3), during the level is the master who give you the spell, naturally according to narrative and player's wishes. Like, "spell until 5th spell level are if not common knoweldge, easy to research and "discover". Spell starting 6th level are difficulty to research, you need to find a spell scroll, a spellbook or master: they can not be auto-learned via level up." Naturally those spell can be discussed with the master a couple of session before the level up, so the player can still acquire a high level spell of his/her choice thanks to some DM narrative explanation. And, if the DM thinks there are no reason to give the wizard a high level spell, the wizard palyer can still take a 5th or below spell to autolearn.

That would help a lot of campaigns, help that martial vs caster disparity, and using a earned high-level spell a really marvelous experince both for characters and players.

What do you think?

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I think a bit of this depends on what level of magic you are running the world and/or campaign at. Has it ever been a meta discussion with the players… or just observed in character yet?

Have the words “low magic” or “high magic” ever been uttered during Session 0 (if you had one) or emails or pizza conversations?

Has the party walked in to multiple villages/towns and folks were in awe of the magic users? Ever walked into a remote village and brooms were sweeping by themselves? Something in between?

I think if the world is low magic, you probably wouldn’t have made the first 5 spell levels even so accessible. If it was high magic, you probably wouldn’t even be asking the question. :) So I guess it is something in between.

I need to ask myself this question as I am running for my kids (and wife) and they just made level 10. Our mage (school of necromancy, but Neutral Good worshipping Ogmha, seeking knowledge of necromancy but not touching spirits/souls unless they are clearly evil… kids, am I right? ;) )… They have big plans to become the first good lich feeding only on evil souls… morality discussions out of game aside… they clearly want to do BIG things and will need big spells.

Fortunately lich transformation is relatively loosey goosey anyway, so they were going to have to make that one up. But access to other high level spells is going to get a bit harder I guess.

I am going to talk about this morning actually so they can start preparing for it. I think I will likely have to look through the spells and see if there are any that I want to make “harder” for them to find, and talk to them about that. Let then know they will have to figure out some compelling story hooks for the whole party if they want to acquire a spell I have restricted, has to make sure we all have fun.

The party does have some level of access to Candlekeep after returning some lost tomes and starting to restore the gate network; but they may not be willing to find many higher level school of necromancy spells without significantly more “help” somehow. Certainly have caught the attention of the Red Wizards after walking through the first ~30 rooms of Doom Vault as well. So opportunity there as well.

But yes, I tend to agree with you, there will start being some limits on spell acquisition and my plan is in incorporate it into my home-brew game.

If it had been low magic, I would dole out exactly what I wanted during adventures, probably even before now.

If it had been high magic, theyvcould just pick as they had been till now.

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