D&D 5E Build Your Own Spell Progression Table (+)

DND_Reborn

Legend
A thought that appeals to me (because I find mid and high level casters too powerful because they get strong spells and a lot of them IMO) is to allow players to build their spell progression for their PC, allowing them to focus on getting powerful spells at the RAW rate or more spell slots of lower spell level.

CONCEPT: when you gain a new level in your caster class, you gain a number of spell levels equal to the highest spell level you can cast to spend on spell slots (limited by your maximum spell level). You must spend all of your gained spell levels on spell slots when you gain them. (No holding onto them.) ADDED: You cannot have more slots of a higher level spell than the number of spell slots of the preceding spell level.

ADDED: You cannot have more than one spell slot of each spell level 6th and higher.


Here is a couple examples.

First is the "I want powerful spells and less of them" example. Here, we see the player buying the highest level spells they can afford with each new level, but it keeps their lower level spells less plentiful, limiting them to fewer spells over all, but allowing them the strongest ones.

1644954398549.png


Here is an example of a player who "wants more lower level spells and isn't as eager for higher level spells", allowing them to use magic more often, even if their spells aren't as powerful:

1644954358135.png


So, while the second build has no 5th level spells, and only one 4th level spell, they have more 1st and 2nd level spells, allowing them to do buffs, utility, etc. more often instead of a "big" spell.

Again, I know this is nothing compared to the normal 4, 3, 3, 3, 1 RAW progression, but that is the point.

If you don't like the idea, feel free to say so, but please don't argue the premise that a reduction in spell casters power is warranted or not. Thank you!

My concern: is the concept too complex for most players? I could create a powerful only, mixed, and lower abundant options instead of allowing players to build their own?
 
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Stormonu

Legend
Not a concept I’ve thought of before; I think I’d tie it to a subclass first to experiment with before making it game-wide.

Also, to point out, you could end up with some weird holes - say, a caster with 1st, 2nd and 4th level spells but no 3rd. Or someone who has, say 2,2,5,1,1 for spells or some strange list like that.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
Not a concept I’ve thought of before; I think I’d tie it to a subclass first to experiment with before making it game-wide.

Also, to point out, you could end up with some weird holes - say, a caster with 1st, 2nd and 4th level spells but no 3rd. Or someone who has, say 2,2,5,1,1 for spells or some strange list like that.
Sorry, I'll update the OP, but you can never have a higher number of slots for higher spell levels than the spell level below it. That's the way I intended it.

Thanks for pointing that out, though, as I want to avoid confusion.
 


Stormonu

Legend
Sorry, I'll update the OP, but you can never have a higher number of slots for higher spell levels than the spell level below it. That's the way I intended it.

Thanks for pointing that out, though, as I want to avoid confusion.
Well, that may be a feature, not a bug. I think I’d leave that option open if you’re going to allow this sort of customization, but address it in case the question comes up.

As for “too complex” - I don’t think it’s an issue. If someone wants a “simple” spellcaster, there’s always the warlock.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
Well, that may be a feature, not a bug. I think I’d leave that option open if you’re going to allow this sort of customization, but address it in case the question comes up.
Well, I could I suppose, but IMO you can't master using a higher level slot until you have the one before it... that was my thought anyway.

An option I considered but would be too much probably is allow the caster to change up the progression when they level? So, your focus from powerful magic to plentiful magic or something in between might fluctuate.
 

Stormonu

Legend
I think a small change when you level would be okay. Circumstances might change where you need to rearrange things a bit (more boss or elite monsters, less mooks for example), or after some play just aren’t working like you hoped will happen, and being stuck with a bad/poor choice is painful.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
Originally I was thinking of allowing the change in progression after a long rest, but I think when you level it would be okay. Perhaps link some downtime to it...

Anyway thanks for your thoughts!
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
This is a + thread, I'm unsure if raising a concern so that we can improve the whole is okay. If this isn't let me know and I'll remove this.

Half casters are never going for high level spells anyhow, having access to larger amounts of low level spells may be a big boon to them. Especially a class like the Paladin, where divine smite is "most efficient" with 1st level slots in terms of total damage output over a day.

Similar with multiclassing. If the goal is just to be able to throw out a bunch of Shield spells, or Bless, Silvery Barbs, Absorb Elements or other lwo level spell that scales well, this seems like it could give an unwanted amount of bonus.

Perhaps still having a cap of 4 slots per level would prevent this while still giving what you are looking for in terms of more spells vs. higher level spells. I do love Faustian choices and that fits.
 

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