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D&D 5E Cantrip nerf (house rule brainstorm)

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I don't even understand his reasoning. "Because magic." Well, there's alchemy. And why not make an explosive magic powder that can be used to fling a lead ball out of a tube? I can come up with a better reason: In a world with combat magic, the first firearms would be so ineffective that the tech wouldn't be developed any further. In fact, if you have artillery based on spells like Shatter and Fireball, mass formations of conscripts, which are necessary for early firearms to even be particularly useful, would have been abandoned for similar reasons as Europe abandoned them after WW1.
Oh I very much disagree with Keith about firearms, but claiming the whole setting is unbelievable just because it has a somewhat odd take on tech? Lol wut

But yeah no way fireball obviates the value of a cannon.
kinda wrecks the whole "guns were easy to teach someone to use" line that so often comes up trying to justify them :D
Not in the least. Those are vastly more expensive, and becoming a magewright takes years of training. It’s a craft skill, like becoming a blacksmith. You can train someone to operate a cannon in a couple weeks.

Oh, and the cannon could be replicate by a kingdoms own people, no need to be beholden to Cannith for it.

To me, what’s missing is a cheaper, simpler, more mass production, version of those siege weapons. If arcane guns are in the very early days in the starting years of the campaign, that’s great. Because Eberron would likely have guns that run on magical “tech” in some way.

But none of the stuff in Exploring Eberron actually obviates the most important reason guns would develop. Some nations have more magic than others.
 

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DnD Warlord

Adventurer
I will say if wizards are common (or magerights) you may end up with the Alex Luther theory being true...

(Lex believes that if people come to trust and rely on super powered individuals like an alien they will stop being push forward to make bigger better things... people will get lazy)

if I can hire or even train 16 wizards of 5th-11th level to go with my army they are ground support, artillery and more. Maybe when those are common enough no one ever TRIES to produce a working set of cannons.

my own worlds I normally make magi tech guns instead when I want guns... more in common with a blaster from Star Wars of a phaser from Star Trek then a real musket or flint lock
 

Oh I very much disagree with Keith about firearms, but claiming the whole setting is unbelievable just because it has a somewhat odd take on tech? Lol wut

But yeah no way fireball obviates the value of a cannon.

Not in the least. Those are vastly more expensive, and becoming a magewright takes years of training. It’s a craft skill, like becoming a blacksmith. You can train someone to operate a cannon in a couple weeks.
How many weeks do you estimate that it takes to teach an individual to "crush [a small globe] against an engraved brass plate"? I think you are overestimating the level of "training" needed for a magewright. Unlike forgotten realms, eberron has a public education system in khorvaire & likely similar to varying degrees on the other major continents. At times magewright has included lamplighter seamstress launderer & other very low skill positions. As to bombadiers & people wanting to operate the smaller normal staff sized variants mentioned... It's just not a credible claim to suggest that significant training would be required to teach the operator to "crush the breath of siberys against an engraved brass plate" while suggesting that feebleminded individual who needed extensive training to basically crush an egg is going to be someone you can trust around gunpowder.
1617726989411.png
Teaching someone to aim a cannon siege staff or even simple staff like noted in the second highlighted paragraph there is something one could call equivalently difficult for a given level of proficiency. With that said, the results of a siege staff or wand are dramatically more effective than a mere cannonball & in some cases closer to some of what modern artillery can accomplish
Oh, and the cannon could be replicate by a kingdoms own people, no need to be beholden to Cannith for it.

To me, what’s missing is a cheaper, simpler, more mass production, version of those siege weapons. If arcane guns are in the very early days in the starting years of the campaign, that’s great. Because Eberron would likely have guns that run on magical “tech” in some way.

The role of the dragonmarked houses in eberron is so extensive that the idea of a kingdom taking such a massive leap backwards to sever ties with cannith would be like the US military going back to ww2 era "fighterplanes" & swords to not be beholden to lockheed & boeing. Cannith has a genetic monopoly, short of house cannith splitting in two as phiarlin kinda did it's literally impossible for someone else to do what they do at the speed & cost they do it. That arcane artillery can be mass produced because of cannith's capabilities & those capabilities could be turned to dangerous barely effective curiosities like the ones you suggest if not for them being dangerous & ineffective curiosities

Wotc's focus on the needs of equipment FR first last & only when making the weapons & armor systems in 5e so overlysimplified may have prevented someone from throwing a shadowrun style "weapons of eberron" book up on dmsguild or something, but that failure doesn't suddenly solve all of the gunpowder & firearm development problems.
But none of the stuff in Exploring Eberron actually obviates the most important reason guns would develop. Some nations have more magic than others.
Not as much as you are suggesting
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1617729236817.png
That's one of the key differences of some nations (aundair/zil/droaam) & there are reasons for that just like breland's farmland, karrnath's undead, & the wealth & resulting mass of warforged held by pre-mourning Cyre all have or had reasons that predate the last war. Every nation had a similar level of magic prior to the last war, they just developed it differently during the war due to what resources were at their disposal through the war. Any nation in khorvaire developing guns because they somehow have "less" magic than a different nation would be like starfleet investing in gunpowder based cannons rather than phaser arrays because it worked great for kirk here.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
How many weeks do you estimate that it takes to teach an individual to "crush [a small globe] against an engraved brass plate"? I think you are overestimating the level of "training" needed for a magewright.
I think you’ve read one book about Eberron and are getting the wrong idea, if you think magewrights can be trained very quickly.
Unlike forgotten realms, eberron has a public education system in khorvaire & likely similar to varying degrees on the other major continents. At times magewright has included lamplighter seamstress launderer & other very low skill positions.
You think seamstresses are low skill workers? LOL
As to bombadiers & people wanting to operate the smaller normal staff sized variants mentioned... It's just not a credible claim to suggest that significant training would be required to teach the operator to "crush the breath of siberys against an engraved brass plate" while suggesting that feebleminded individual who needed extensive training to basically crush an egg is going to be someone you can trust around gunpowder.
You don’t get it. You can’t just take a random person and teach them to operate the device. They have to be a spellcaster. The requisite training is not just to operate the siege engine. It requires a fully trained magewright, ie one who can at least ritually cast spells, which takes usually years of training. Even the lamplighter in Sharn isn’t a low skill laborer, because they spent a few years in apprenticeship learning to ritually cast the spell that lights the lamps.
Teaching someone to aim a cannon siege staff or even simple staff like noted in the second highlighted paragraph there is something one could call equivalently difficult for a given level of proficiency.
No, it isn’t. It takes a couple weeks.
With that said, the results of a siege staff or wand are dramatically more effective than a mere cannonball & in some cases closer to some of what modern artillery can accomplish.
Which of those is gonna take a wall down?
The role of the dragonmarked houses in eberron is so extensive that the idea of a kingdom taking such a massive leap backwards to sever ties with cannith would be like .
Who said anything about them breaking ties with Cannith?
Not as much as you are suggesting
That's one of the key differences of some nations (aundair/zil/droaam) & there are reasons for that just like breland's farmland, karrnath's undead, & the wealth & resulting mass of warforged held by pre-mourning Cyre all have or had reasons that predate the last war. Every nation had a similar level of magic prior to the last war, they just developed it differently during the war due to what resources were at their disposal through the war. Any nation in khorvaire developing guns because they somehow have "less" magic than a different nation would be like starfleet investing in gunpowder based cannons rather than phaser arrays because it worked great for kirk here.
You completely misunderstand the state of the Five Nations. Exactly the point is that Aundair has a lot more magic than Karrnath, and Karrnath has the best and oldest military academies and martial traditions. You keep quoting Exploring Eberron, but you really don’t seem to understand the setting, especially if you think that having once been Galifar means that some nations don’t have more magic than others, when in fact it means exactly that they do.
 

DnD Warlord

Adventurer
You don’t get it. You can’t just take a random person and teach them to operate the device. They have to be a spellcaster. The requisite training is not just to operate the siege engine. It requires a fully trained magewright, ie one who can at least ritually cast spells, which takes usually years of training. Even the lamplighter in Sharn isn’t a low skill laborer, because they spent a few years in apprenticeship learning to ritually cast the spell that light
okay I have not followed Ebberon through the editions and I really only steal stuff for my homebrew... so forgive me but...

is it any harder to train a magewright then it is to train a battlefield engineer? I was under the impression (and I may be wrong) anyone CAN learn magic since at least 4e, if not 3e... the inborn spark went to sorcerer and now wizards and artificers (and magewrights) could be anyone with a 12+ intelligence.
 

Oh I very much disagree with Keith about firearms, but claiming the whole setting is unbelievable just because it has a somewhat odd take on tech? Lol wut

But yeah no way fireball obviates the value of a cannon.

For infantry combat, yes, not for defeating fortifications. For that, you've Passwall. But seriously, though, if you've got "everyday magic," you've certainly got exploding powder of some kind. Call it what you will. I'm sure they'll find some use for it.
 

okay I have not followed Ebberon through the editions and I really only steal stuff for my homebrew... so forgive me but...

is it any harder to train a magewright then it is to train a battlefield engineer? I was under the impression (and I may be wrong) anyone CAN learn magic since at least 4e, if not 3e... the inborn spark went to sorcerer and now wizards and artificers (and magewrights) could be anyone with a 12+ intelligence.
it depends on what kind of magewright. Think of it like the arcane equivalent of "tradesman" & doesn't by itself mandate an extreme level of skill. While @doctorbadwolf is doing his best to make it sound as if every single magewright has a multiyear degree from the arcanix or something, but that is very much not the case in eberron & it includes a good number of jobs we would consider low skill or barely skilled like lamplighter & launderer as keith has written about before. Elsewhere he's written things like "In Aundair, a farm might have a floating disk that serves some of the same purposes as a tractor. In the Eldeen, you might have gleaners – the druidic equivalent of magewrights, with farmers knowing a simple druidic ritual or two to help with the crop.".

I'm not sure if there is significant difference between "battlefield engineer" & "combat engineer" but I think they are probably just different terms for the same general thing & will assume as much. A magewright who joins the military might be assigned to a unit with a similar role nto those & receive specialized training for the role that particular unit exists for (ie bridgemakers rarely have much to do with building irrigation systems & power grids). Using that bridgemakers/irrigation system/power grid split where different units might be specialized for those specific things they all likely have enough combined skills to put a temporary solution in place till some specialist could be assigned or hired to do it right. That's not to say every magewright would be assigned to a unit where their skills as a magewright are all that relevant to what they do, only so many lamplighters seamstresses masons launderers & anything else are needed in those roles. Some of the artificer archtypes are basically extremely skilled & ihighly trained combat magewrights too but those aren't the norm.

@doctorbadwolf yes aundair has much more magic than most of the other nations, but they have that because the queen of aundair invested in the local resource at her nation's disposal known as the arcanix/the arcane congress. Karrnath has a lot more undead than anyone else because having a local resource known as the mabar manifest zone made that sort of investment a good one for them. It's not a situation like FR where you have an advanced mageocracy next to a bunch of leaderless dirt farmers beside a technologically advanced hermit nation overlooking maurading bands of savage raiders who do nothing but go around plundering.

You also miss the point of why "the cannon could be replicate by a kingdoms own people, no need to be beholden to Cannith for it." would be equivalent of severing ties with Cannith. Nobody is physically capable of engaging in the sort of manufacturing cannith is at a similar cost & scale because doing that requires one to bear a mark of making just to use the dragonmark focus items that make it possible. Cannith has facilities all over & are thrilled to take their cut from selling things that enable people lacking a dragonmark. Those people are thrilled to give that cut too because it's either not possible or too expensive to do it in a way that cuts cannith out
 

okay I have not followed Ebberon through the editions and I really only steal stuff for my homebrew... so forgive me but...

is it any harder to train a magewright then it is to train a battlefield engineer? I was under the impression (and I may be wrong) anyone CAN learn magic since at least 4e, if not 3e... the inborn spark went to sorcerer and now wizards and artificers (and magewrights) could be anyone with a 12+ intelligence.
Kinda depends on what you mean by combat engineer. A bombardier isn't just a soldier with some magical training. They're a professional spellcaster operating in a battlefield role.
As the article Tetrasodium linked states, magewrights take years to master their rituals. That is why lamplighters are a respected profession: They're not just any yahoo with a ladder and a tinderbox; they're a graduate of a Cannith-accredited trade school.
Eberron hasn't directly answered the question of whether everyone can learn magic. However, it is very clear than PC-type magic is very rare. A magewright will probably spend a few years learning to cast one or two spells as a ritual for example. - They don't have spell slots as such.
Likewise cantrips are actually a fairly recent development, and many nations have been able to train up small units of Wandslingers. - But they can't cast spells without their focus wands.
While magewrights mean that many more people in Eberron have access to magic, actual PC classes are really rare.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
While @doctorbadwolf is doing his best to make it sound as if every single magewright has a multiyear degree from the arcanix or something, but that is very much not the case
Don’t lie about me, please.

I never said or implied any such thing. Hell, what I said directly precludes such a thing, as I mentioned apprenticeships and the like.

On the other hand, it very much is the case in Eberron that magewrights are not unskilled laborers. You can run it however you want, but in the actual canon Eberron, a magewright is someone who has attained professional rank in a magical trade skill. They are not entry level workers.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
with farmers knowing a simple druidic ritual or two to help with the crop.".
Some of the disconnect might be that...you’re simply wrong about the skill level of pre-modern occupations.

Farmers are not unskilled laborers, by any stretch of the imagination. Nothing written by Keith suggests that such rituals could be learned in a few weeks, or even a few months, by most people.
 

Don’t lie about me, please.

I never said or implied any such thing. Hell, what I said directly precludes such a thing, as I mentioned apprenticeships and the like.
you might want to doublecheck your post here.
On the other hand, it very much is the case in Eberron that magewrights are not unskilled laborers. You can run it however you want, but in the actual canon Eberron, a magewright is someone who has attained professional rank in a magical trade skill. They are not entry level workers.



It's not saying that magewrights are unskilled laborers to say that magewright includes lower skilled trades. A farmer doesn't need to be "unskilled" to to have a lower skill barrier of entry into the job of being a farmer than transplant surgeon rocket scientist or even a nuclear power technician.

More relevant to your original claim about training someone to "operate" a cannon in a couple weeks compared to not being able to do the same with a siege staff or similar because "Those are vastly more expensive, and becoming a magewright takes years of training." (yes those are both things you said and by saying them in the context you said them responding to other posts you implied things). You are comparing two wildly different levels of skill to make room for gunpowder cannons in advanced worlds like eberron. A soldier doesn't need to be a fully fledged bombardier magewright with years of training to smash a globe on a plate & do the things you spent a couple weeks learning to fire a siege staff in the right general direction any more than it's required for a similar level of proficiency with cannon operation.... both are likely to be a bad shot & maybe even maim the wrong people, but both are similarly skilled. A soldier might not even need a couple weeks to simply fire one of those if they've seen it done up close & feel like the risk of blowing themselves up is justified.

It's not reasonable to justify the existence of a cannon alongside things like siege staffs by comparing someone who can load it point it in the general direction & light the fuse after a couple weeks of training with a person who spends years of highly specialized training to operate arcane artillery with reliable precision. That's like comparing someone who completes a CPR course in a couple weeks to a lung transplant surgeon.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
A soldier doesn't need to be a fully fledged bombardier magewright with years of training to smash a globe on a plate & do the things you spent a couple weeks learning to fire a siege staff in the right general direction any more than it's required for a similar level of proficiency with cannon operation.... both are likely to be a bad shot & maybe even maim the wrong people, but both are similarly skilled.
Unless Keith made an enormously transformative departure from official lore in Exploring Eberron, yes they do. Because they literally cannot activate the weapon, regardless of whether the weapon is charged or not, or how, without being a spellcaster.

So, the item used to charge a weapon is useful because it allows a magewright, who is a spellcaster with few if any spell slots and mastery of a couple useful rituals and maybe a cantrip, all of which took years to learn like any trade skill, to recharge the weapon without a more powerful spellcaster around.

The guy operating the siege weapon is a professional. Training someone how to use the weapon is useless if they don’t also have training in how magic works and how to direct magical energy to activate these types of magic items.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
you might want to doublecheck your post here.
I know exactly what I said. It implies nothing like what you claim.
It's not saying that magewrights are unskilled laborers to say that magewright includes lower skilled trades. A farmer doesn't need to be "unskilled" to to have a lower skill barrier of entry into the job of being a farmer than transplant surgeon rocket scientist or even a nuclear power technician.
Stop making disingenuous comparisons unrelated to what I’ve actually said. I compared farmers to trades professionals, and successful farming very much does require a similar level of skill and knowledge. I’m still blown away by your laughable earlier inclusion of seamstresses as low skill workers.

perhaps more importantly, even “lower skilled” trades take years to master, and in official lore and from Keith’s words Lamplighters take years to learn their trade well enough to do it professionally. Because most people who can learn magic need that sort of time do so. I personally dislike this vision of PC exceptionalism, but it’s the official take in Eberron.
More relevant to your original claim about training someone to "operate" a cannon in a couple weeks compared to not being able to do the same with a siege staff or similar because "Those are vastly more expensive, and becoming a magewright takes years of training." (yes those are both things you said and by saying them in the context you said them responding to other posts you implied things). You are comparing two wildly different levels of skill to make room for gunpowder cannons in advanced worlds like eberron.
Nothing I said implies what you claim. And no, again you’re ignoring that becoming a magewright is required to be able to activate arcane siege engines. This is exactly the point. A weapon that requires specialized training equivalent to a trade skill is inherently not directly equivalent to a basic cannon, which does not require anything like that to operate.
It's not reasonable to justify the existence of a cannon alongside things like siege staffs by comparing someone who can load it point it in the general direction & light the fuse after a couple weeks of training with a person who spends years of highly specialized training to operate arcane artillery with reliable precision.
Yes, it is. Anyone can be trained to do one. The other, very much not so.
That's like comparing someone who completes a CPR course in a couple weeks to a lung transplant surgeon.
No, it isn’t. A trades professional is not comparable to a surgeon. You’re inventing absurd comparisons and then pretending I made them, when I didn’t.
 

Unless Keith made an enormously transformative departure from official lore in Exploring Eberron, yes they do. Because they literally cannot activate the weapon, regardless of whether the weapon is charged or not, or how, without being a spellcaster.

So, the item used to charge a weapon is useful because it allows a magewright, who is a spellcaster with few if any spell slots and mastery of a couple useful rituals and maybe a cantrip, all of which took years to learn like any trade skill, to recharge the weapon without a more powerful spellcaster around.

The guy operating the siege weapon is a professional. Training someone how to use the weapon is useless if they don’t also have training in how magic works and how to direct magical energy to activate these types of magic items.
I've talked about the "small globes" known as breath of siberys that an operator crushes against a brass plate repeatedly & even included screencaps on relevant sections from EE in this thred. You have absolutely no excuse to continue denying that it says they charge the weapon without a spell slot.
Comparing a "master" bombadier with some guy who got "a couple of weeks" in order to claim that it takes years to operate a siege staff at all is an extremely unreasonable position that you are trying to use as a justification for cannons having a role in a setting like eberron alongside siege staffs.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I've talked about the "small globes" known as breath of siberys that an operator crushes against a brass plate repeatedly & even included screencaps on relevant sections from EE in this thred. You have absolutely no excuse to continue denying that it says they charge the weapon without a spell slot.
I can’t tell if you’re skimming my posts and missing it, or intentionally misrepresenting my arguments. Either way, please stop.

I never commented on the charging of the weapon, other than in passing in my last post. I am talking about the fact that the weapon requires a spellcaster to activate it. Unless Keith made a huge departure from previous lore, in which case EE contradicts official lore, and we need to disclaim the distinction before making EE part of a discussion about how things work in Eberron.
Comparing a "master" bombadier with some guy who got "a couple of weeks" in order to claim that it takes years to operate a siege staff at all is an extremely unreasonable position that you are trying to use as a justification for cannons having a role in a setting like eberron alongside siege staffs.
No. You don’t get it. These weapons require a spellcaster to activate. Not to recharge, to activate. That means that the operators of a siege weapon in Eberron are equivalent to trades professionals.

I really don’t know how to make it clearer.

Edit: Read the siege staff again. It requires attunement by a spellcaster. Someday it may not, and maybe mundane weapons will be fully obsolete in Eberron’s future, but for now powerful magical weapons require skill and training to operate, whether they are magical versions of normal weapons, or siege weapons and wands andthe like, which only work for spellcasters. They get to be more common in Eberron because you can go to trade school and basically get the Ritual Caster or Magic Initiate feat by the time you’re a journeyman, but every wandslinger and artillerist in Eberron has some manner of spellcasting, and if they aren’t someone special, that took years to gain. Period. That is factually the canon take in Eberron.
 
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CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
So...how ’bout them cantrips? Pretty nutty, eh?
I almost forgot what we were talking about here. :) Anyway, @Esbee has a pretty good idea, I think.

I'm going to do an exercise on Friday's game. Our party of adventurers consists of a Bard, a Cleric, and a Wizard, and we're all 9th level adventurers in the World of Eberron. I'm going to keep track of the number of cantrips that each of them casts through the course of our 5-hour gaming session, and report back.
I decided not to let the other players know that I'm counting the number of times they use cantrips. I feel like I'd get better results if they didn't know I was watching.
 

I can’t tell if you’re skimming my posts and missing it, or intentionally misrepresenting my arguments. Either way, please stop.

I never commented on the charging of the weapon, other than in passing in my last post. I am talking about the fact that the weapon requires a spellcaster to activate it. Unless Keith made a huge departure from previous lore, in which case EE contradicts official lore, and we need to disclaim the distinction before making EE part of a discussion about how things work in Eberron.

No. You don’t get it. These weapons require a spellcaster to activate. Not to recharge, to activate. That means that the operators of a siege weapon in Eberron are equivalent to trades professionals.

I really don’t know how to make it clearer.


It also takes a specially trained baker to bake a cake, said training can often be summarized as reading the recipe on the box & basic familiarity with kitchen tools. That level of familiarity with the arcane equivalent of kitchen tools is common in Eberron, Sigil, possibly pre-cleansing war Athas, parts of Thay, much of silverymoon based entirely on the high % of elves, & many others making it perfectly reasonable that a period as long as "a couple weeks" could train someone up to metaphorically push the button. At your table you are welcome to declare that the level of "specially trained" needed is more like grandmaster cakewars champion, but the setting & RAW for the artillery weapons themselves do not require that

Your arguments depend on conflating two wildly different levels of training with the weapon as being equivalent.

You also seem to be confusing the section on players activating them
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with the section about npcs doing so immediately before that
1617750751664.png

Casting cantrips as an action or ritually including the racial cantrips makes one "a spellcaster". Adding "specially trained" from there only requires some amount of special training not X level artificer. Despite your claims otherwise nothing about the level of training or the required time investment is detailed. When talking about a setting where a lamplighter, seamstress, launderer, chef, & possibly even the farmer you talked up earlier are spellcasters there is not a very high barrier in place by needing a "spellcaster" to operate a siege staff with the same "couple of weeks" you put forward as good for operating a gunpowder cannon for the "specially trained" part to be met.
 

not-so-newguy

Explorer
I almost forgot what we were talking about here. :) Anyway, @Esbee has a pretty good idea, I think.


I decided not to let the other players know that I'm counting the number of times they use cantrips. I feel like I'd get better results if they didn't know I was watching.
Just thought it was a little bit humorous how far off topic this heated tangent has gone and felt a need to comment😉

It does bug me that PCs get unlimited cantrips (the verisimilitude thing), but limiting them seems to create more problems than it solves. So I just leave it as is. Unlimited cantrips aren’t unbalanced or OP, although there are cantrips that need to be policed (e.g. Guidance... maybe others?) in order to avoid spammination.
 

cbwjm

Hero
The only cantrip that I think is, maybe, problematic is eldritch blast. It makes many people playing a warlock feel shoe-horned into taking it. I can't recall if I mentioned this on ENworld or Reddit, but I'm thinking of making it scale like other cantrips, and therefore remove the extra attacks, and allow the warlock invocations that formerly affected only eldritch blast to instead affect all warlock cantrips.
 

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