D&D 5E Casters should go back to being interruptable like they used to be.

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
You know....I am starting to think all those OSR players need to quit playing overpowered characters and come play a gritty 5e game where killing a troll takes half again more fireballs, magic missile really isn't much more than a nuisance past 5th level, spells don't autoscale, there are few spells with duration you can have running simultaneously , and nobody, I mean nobody, ever gets two wish spells a day. Or even 4 fireballs.

Sure, 5e spells come back faster and its more likely they can be cast in combat...for all the good that does us. You could never drop an uninjured troll to its knees with a 5e magic missile using a 1st level slot. Targets make a save every round. EVERY. ROUND.

What's that? Five fireballs? At 13th level? And they do 13d6? That's playing "God mode", my friend. Might as well turn on "no clip" and walk through walls. Magic users...spoiled brats the lot of 'em.

Given that you have a strong desire not to look at rules in a vacuum, this is a passingly strange comment to make, no matter how jokingly.

Let's look at this!

First, Magic Users in 1e reached "name level" at 11. Again, 11th level. So you're right, in way. 13th level is practically god mode. To even cast a ninth level spell you had to be 18th level, which is practically unheard of in an AD&D campaign.

But let's think about the name-level wizard in AD&D, shall we?

First, they have no combat cantrips. None. Instead, at 11th level, they have proficiency in two weapons. That's okay, because you can only ever get three. Staff, dagger, dart. Pick two. That's your go-to. Not a scaling damage cantrip. But you don't want to be in combat, because you have approximately 23 hit points. Okay, let's assume you got max hit points at first level. You have 27 hit points. And a bad AC, because you can't wear armor. Which means that you can probably get taken out before getting a spell off. But even if you aren't, if you're hit, you still don't get the spell of. And unless you're casting one of a very limited number of spells (Magic Missile, Power Word), you're going to go last in a round.

Next, your spells are 4/4/4/3/3. But are you actually using them all in a day? That could be a problem. Not only do you have to memorize them (and select them ahead of time, VANCIAN FTW!), but you need to get your eight hours of sleep in, and then spend (1+2+3+3+3.75)= 12.75 hours memorizing your spells again! So there goes another day. Sure hope you weren't doing anything important.

Oh, you memorized only fireballs? Gee, that's a shame, given that you are indoors, or in a city, or in a dungeon, or in any inconvenient location that doesn't take into account the size of the explosion. Maybe you wanted a lightning bolt? Of course, if all you took were those spells, you missed out on some of the pretty useful other spells you get there. I mean, I can imagine parties that need Leomund's Tiny Hut sometimes. Or Dispel Magic. Or Fly. There's a lot of useful spells there .... shame you wasted them all on fireball. Maybe you need to take another day off and re-select some spells since you aren't just troll hunting for DPR.

Oh, and the monster you encountered has magic resistance? Shame.

I don't want to oversell this. A name-level MU in 1e was pretty awesome. Just like any name-level character. But they weren't god mode. And it was rough sledding for a long time playing a MU as well. To try and compare casters in any edition in the WoTC era to the TSR era is a laughable exercise. Because magic has become ubiquitous. That's neither good nor bad, but it certainly is.
 

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Given that you have a strong desire not to look at rules in a vacuum, this is a passingly strange comment to make, no matter how jokingly.

Let's look at this!

First, Magic Users in 1e reached "name level" at 11. Again, 11th level. So you're right, in way. 13th level is practically god mode.
No cantrips.... Staff, dagger, dart. Pick two. That's your go-to. Not a scaling damage cantrip. But you don't want to be in combat, because you have approximately 23 hit points.

All true and actually making my point (which was triggered essentially by "5e should use 1e spell interruption")

23 hp is 2/3rd of a 1e troll (33hp).

To get 2/3rd of a 5e troll (84hp) needs 56hp. A 13th level 5e Mage has....~56hp.

And yeah, no scaling cantrips. A d4 ranged attack does 7% of a 1e troll hp. 5e cantrips* at 13th level do 9ish hp which is....10% of a 5e troll. Better but not crazy better.

A 13th level caster throws 13d6 3rd level fireballs doing 45ish damage, essentially troll killers. A 5e caster needs a 24d6 fireball. Even with metamagic, it doesn't exist. They need to go to single target spells like disintegrate to have a chance.

A 5e caster needs to be closer to 18th level to match a 13th level 1e caster in "lay waste to foes". 1e caster will nova soooooo much harder.

And the controls are different. 1e casters were controlled by opportunity cost. Time to recover, possibility of failure.

5e capped spells and reduced the most powerful slots and in return the casters get more reliable casting and faster recovery.

1e were unreliable nukes with massive magazines but resupply was rare. 5e is reliable hand grenades, you can't carry many but you can resupply easily.

 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
All true and actually making my point (which was triggered essentially by "5e should use 1e spell interruption")

No, it isn't. Because you're trying to DPR white-room theory it, which isn't going to work.

The actual thesis of the OP, if you're trying to understand the premise, is that casters are overpowered in 5e. Period. This is a proposed solution to the problem.

Now, you can argue that casters aren't overpowered. Which, I mean, sure. You can argue that there are other solutions (just make martials better, or nerf casters in other ways, or other stuff). But it's not really responsive to try and argue the differences between the prior editions, given that under any contextual understanding, 1e casters were a lot weaker in comparison.

And DPR examinations of the perfect situation involving trolls without taking into account any other factors isn't really going to illuminate that.

Again, I assume you've played 1e or OD&D, and if you have, you intuitively understand that it wasn't a game of "line up trolls, and cast fireball without repercussion."
 


You're a 2nd level caster. Let's say Wizard, for funsies. Note that Wizard is my least favorite class in 5E.

You play in a biweekly game. Sometimes its monthly due to schedules.

You picked the Sorcerer because delving into magic and spell really entices you. One of your favorite spells is the simple but effective burning hands.

Game night starts. You've been waiting for this for a while. It's time to get lost in some magic, combat, and RP.

You go to cast burning hands but the CR 1/8 guard hits you with an interrupt attack. You lose the spell slot.

You go to cast burning hands but the CR 1/8 kobold hits you with an interrupt attack. You lose the spell slot.

You go to cast burning hands but there are three CR 1/4 goblin around you. Because there are three around you, you have to choose to either make a DC 15 Arcana check with disadvantage (because there's three goblins around you) or you provoke at least one, maybe 2-3 opportunity attacks that will interrupt you. So instead you disengage and its the second turn but they follow you because you're fighting a bunch of goblins and 5E (nor other versions of the game) has very limited "Stay off my friends!" features.

All you want to do is cast burning hands to deal 3d6 fire damage. It isn't crazy. It isn't OP. It isn't wild. But because magic has to be super limited, you just can't do it. What fun this is. What amazing joy you're having as a wizard. You have some simple spells that you like but because apparently casting burning hands in melee is equivalent to jumping up and down and screaming like a fool, you just can't do it.

Ok, you could use the environment more. You could play hide and seek, or knock things over to make cover. But even with those options, all you're doing is spending more turns to set up your very measely 3d6 burning hands. And if other players sacrifice their turns to help make you cover or whatever, all they're doing is buying time for you to deal maybe 11 fire damage (unless they save, in which cases its around 6 fire damage) in a cone.

The juice isn't worth the squeeze. The main reason interrupts are gone is because the spells that need to be interrupted either take longer than 1 action to cast or have a concentration requirement. And when I look across Fantasy fiction, even Fantasy-adjacent fiction, or any media, or even video games, or even other TTRPGs, I just don't see this ever being a trope people wanted to keep.

The whole point of class Fantasy is to give people an easily-bundled set of mechanics with rather interesting flavor. In contemporary 5E, all the magic classes are magic specifically because they cast spells. If there was a lot less weight in spells and more weight in other things, like Arcane tricks I could pull off with ability checks or runes I could reliably gain and invoke, it'd be whatever. But if my only thing is casting spells, and I can't cast those spells, then I waited two weeks to get into this game just to get walked on.

It just doesn't make sense. Crawford said most people these days play just for a few months and either weekly or biweekly. A lot of players are also adults with jobs or in university. This specific nerf, the request to make spells interruptable, doesn't make the game any more enjoyable for the spellcaster. It doesn't make the game feel more tactical. It makes the game feel punishing, and it encourages me to play another cast.

Not to mention that this completely erases the idea of the spellblade classes (Artificer/Paladin/Ranger/EK/Bladesinger/Sword Bard etc etc). If I can't cast a spell in melee without provoking opportunity attacks or taking other penalties, then why do I even have spells on a martial in the first place?

This isn't to say that I think the game is perfect right now, nor do I think casters should be immune to nerfs. But mechanics for a game are only good if the mechanics increase the fun of the game, either directly or indirectly. And any nerf to spellcasting is going to lead to me wanting something else I can rely on other then cantrips. Most cantrips are not interesting. If I just wanted to focus on damage, I'd have no problem because I can fire bolt or Eldritch Blast or whatever. But if I want to do cool things, and if those cool things can't be reliable, then I need another cool thing that is reliable.

Sorcerers in the Next Playtest solved this problem, even if it was walked backwards. The closer to empty they were, the more their class changed. This is how spellcasters should be. The Wizard who can't cast burning hands anymore should be able to open their spellbook or reach into their component pouch and do something else instead. Maybe my components have a separate usage die that I can decrease by throwing a handful of them at someone and rolling on the Wild Surge table. Maybe my Cleric, once out of spell slots, gains two additional uses of Channel Divinity. Maybe my Druid, once out of spell slots, gains an elemental buff to their wild shape. Not things that are out of this world crazy, but just opens that unlock once out of spell slots that let me do some more cool things.

For what it's worth, I think most classes should be like this. Barbarians, when out of rage, should be able to hurt themselves (dealing real damage) to fly into a bonus rage. Fighters, once out of second wins or maneuver dice or action surges, should be able to exert HD (losing them) to push themselves beyond their limits. This paradigm rewards resource management by making it costly to do bonus things, but also doesn't punish you by removing your classes entire appeal because you're out of resources. And these are the things that would be necessary to prevent the 5MWD problem everyone is always talking about.
 

nevin

Hero
Given that you have a strong desire not to look at rules in a vacuum, this is a passingly strange comment to make, no matter how jokingly.

Let's look at this!

First, Magic Users in 1e reached "name level" at 11. Again, 11th level. So you're right, in way. 13th level is practically god mode. To even cast a ninth level spell you had to be 18th level, which is practically unheard of in an AD&D campaign.

But let's think about the name-level wizard in AD&D, shall we?

First, they have no combat cantrips. None. Instead, at 11th level, they have proficiency in two weapons. That's okay, because you can only ever get three. Staff, dagger, dart. Pick two. That's your go-to. Not a scaling damage cantrip. But you don't want to be in combat, because you have approximately 23 hit points. Okay, let's assume you got max hit points at first level. You have 27 hit points. And a bad AC, because you can't wear armor. Which means that you can probably get taken out before getting a spell off. But even if you aren't, if you're hit, you still don't get the spell of. And unless you're casting one of a very limited number of spells (Magic Missile, Power Word), you're going to go last in a round.

Next, your spells are 4/4/4/3/3. But are you actually using them all in a day? That could be a problem. Not only do you have to memorize them (and select them ahead of time, VANCIAN FTW!), but you need to get your eight hours of sleep in, and then spend (1+2+3+3+3.75)= 12.75 hours memorizing your spells again! So there goes another day. Sure hope you weren't doing anything important.

Oh, you memorized only fireballs? Gee, that's a shame, given that you are indoors, or in a city, or in a dungeon, or in any inconvenient location that doesn't take into account the size of the explosion. Maybe you wanted a lightning bolt? Of course, if all you took were those spells, you missed out on some of the pretty useful other spells you get there. I mean, I can imagine parties that need Leomund's Tiny Hut sometimes. Or Dispel Magic. Or Fly. There's a lot of useful spells there .... shame you wasted them all on fireball. Maybe you need to take another day off and re-select some spells since you aren't just troll hunting for DPR.

Oh, and the monster you encountered has magic resistance? Shame.

I don't want to oversell this. A name-level MU in 1e was pretty awesome. Just like any name-level character. But they weren't god mode. And it was rough sledding for a long time playing a MU as well. To try and compare casters in any edition in the WoTC era to the TSR era is a laughable exercise. Because magic has become ubiquitous. That's neither good nor bad, but it certainly is.
NO no. it's one hour per spell level to memorize those spells. 18 hours for your name level wizard if he memorizes every spell slot.
 

Before people continue down the line of questioning whether others ever really played oD&D/1E (given deliberately uncharitable reading of the others' points), please remember exactly how swayed you were/how much respect you had for the last person who deployed the same argument structure on you.

Regardless, I don't have much of a dog in this fight*. I like both 5e and AD&D, while recognizing the flaws and/or simple design-consequences each have. One thing to mention is that spell interruption -- if it be used as a balancing mechanism for spells -- creates issues for when spell interruption can't happen. The evil enemy wizard hidden in their fortress can cast devastating spells, as can the one in combat who is flying/invisible/behind 90% cover. Yes, in theory that means that the game then becomes an interesting strategic/tactical engagement where a party tries to keep their casters thus shielded while making the opponent casters no-longer shielded. However, where that breaks down you end up with scry&fry, TPK from the unlocatable invisiboss, or heck just the really impactful Geass/Earthquake/Raise-army spell that wrecks havoc because the balancing factor was not applicable. Both versions of the games have strengths and weaknesses, but I'd be really hesitant to say one or the other had an overall net effect of casters being more 'kept in check' as the OP indicates.
*other than saying that some spells and classes should really be re-thought-out if one were to do it, else you run into situations like Shardstone raises with Burning Hands
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
NO no. it's one hour per spell level to memorize those spells. 18 hours for your name level wizard if he memorizes every spell slot.

Spells of any sort must therefore be selected prior to setting out on an adventure, for memorization requires considerable time. (Your Dungeon Master will inform you fully as to what state of refreshment the mind of a spell caster must be in, as well as the time required to memorize a given spell.) As a rule of thumb, allow 15 minutes of game time for memorization of one spell level, i.e. a 1st level spell or half of a 2nd level spell. Such activity requires a mind rested by a good sleep and nourished by the body.

-PHB, p. 40
See also, DMG p. 40 (love the parallel!)-

Spell recovery, whether cleric/druid or magic-user/illusionist, requires about the same period of time. In order to pray and meditate for a new spell to replace one used, or in order to study and memorize such a spell, it is necessary that the spell-user rest and revitalize his or her mental faculties. Whether one or more spells are to be regained, the minimum time required for complete rest (usually sleep) is that required for the highest spell to be recovered. Minimum rest periods are shown below:

SPELL LEVEL (Rest Time) 1 - 2 (4 hours) 3-4 (6 hours) 5 - 6 (8 hours) 7-8 (10 hours) 9 (12 hours)

Thus, if a cleric or magic-user needs only memorize first or second level spells, he or she need only sleep for 4 hours and will then be able to memorize or regain as many such spells as he or she is normally entitled to. On the other hand, if the character in question also wished to include a seventh level spell, rest time would be 10 full hours, even though but o single seventh level spell were to be thus regained, while half a dozen second level spells were also to be regained. Once rested, an additional one-quarter hour per level of spell must be spent in study/prayer and meditation in order to memorize/acquire the ability to cast each spell.
 

nevin

Hero
I would love to see caster's go back to interrupts if all the special abilities martials have that can interupt them had to make saving throw type mechanics when they attempt to intterupt. I think a lot of people who play martials would begin to understand what it's like to play a character who has to allow someone else to roll to determine if thier ability works. that would be a fair compromise.
 

nevin

Hero
Spells of any sort must therefore be selected prior to setting out on an adventure, for memorization requires considerable time. (Your Dungeon Master will inform you fully as to what state of refreshment the mind of a spell caster must be in, as well as the time required to memorize a given spell.) As a rule of thumb, allow 15 minutes of game time for memorization of one spell level, i.e. a 1st level spell or half of a 2nd level spell. Such activity requires a mind rested by a good sleep and nourished by the body.

-PHB, p. 40
See also, DMG p. 40 (love the parallel!)-

Spell recovery, whether cleric/druid or magic-user/illusionist, requires about the same period of time. In order to pray and meditate for a new spell to replace one used, or in order to study and memorize such a spell, it is necessary that the spell-user rest and revitalize his or her mental faculties. Whether one or more spells are to be regained, the minimum time required for complete rest (usually sleep) is that required for the highest spell to be recovered. Minimum rest periods are shown below:

SPELL LEVEL (Rest Time) 1 - 2 (4 hours) 3-4 (6 hours) 5 - 6 (8 hours) 7-8 (10 hours) 9 (12 hours)

Thus, if a cleric or magic-user needs only memorize first or second level spells, he or she need only sleep for 4 hours and will then be able to memorize or regain as many such spells as he or she is normally entitled to. On the other hand, if the character in question also wished to include a seventh level spell, rest time would be 10 full hours, even though but o single seventh level spell were to be thus regained, while half a dozen second level spells were also to be regained. Once rested, an additional one-quarter hour per level of spell must be spent in study/prayer and meditation in order to memorize/acquire the ability to cast each spell.
thanks I was way off.
 

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