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

M_Natas

Hero
FWIW, I think a proposed change to casters should come along with some additional redesigns to other systems. Sticky front lines should be one of them.

Low-level play in TSR era was built with certain assumptions. In particular dungeons with lots of 10' corridors (you could stick a row or two of 3-abreast front-liners between the enemies and the squishies). There also were (depending on specific game) rules about once you hit melee, you could either stay and fight, flee, or retreat, but not work your way around your opponent and rush their rear line. If you could somehow situate yourself to 'flee' from melee into an enemy rear-line (fleeing so you would get in an attack), IIRC each front liner would get their full attack iteration on you. Obviously everyone didn't play like that, but I also remember that as party sizes shrank (from scads of hirelings) and as we left the narrow corridors, we all did institute some kinds of house rules to address this because otherwise outdoor encounters were murder on the magic users and thieves that enemies could just run up to.

Regardless, my point is of course you can still use those tactics now (minus worse sticky front-line rules), but then you are choosing to stick more to the dungeon structure of old. My impression is that that is a non-starter for a lot of play groups.
My current game where I play a wizard (started at level 3, now level 7) had no real dungeons so far. And there was never a chance to block enemies from coming at you because the spaces were all wider or allowed for multiple ways.
 

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nevin

Hero
FWIW, I think a proposed change to casters should come along with some additional redesigns to other systems. Sticky front lines should be one of them.

Low-level play in TSR era was built with certain assumptions. In particular dungeons with lots of 10' corridors (you could stick a row or two of 3-abreast front-liners between the enemies and the squishies). There also were (depending on specific game) rules about once you hit melee, you could either stay and fight, flee, or retreat, but not work your way around your opponent and rush their rear line. If you could somehow situate yourself to 'flee' from melee into an enemy rear-line (fleeing so you would get in an attack), IIRC each front liner would get their full attack iteration on you. Obviously everyone didn't play like that, but I also remember that as party sizes shrank (from scads of hirelings) and as we left the narrow corridors, we all did institute some kinds of house rules to address this because otherwise outdoor encounters were murder on the magic users and thieves that enemies could just run up to.

Regardless, my point is of course you can still use those tactics now (minus worse sticky front-line rules), but then you are choosing to stick more to the dungeon structure of old. My impression is that that is a non-starter for a lot of play groups.
problem is in modern play with all the spells that exist now clumping up is generally the worst decision you can make tactically, unless you are being attacked by a wave of lower levels. Once you clump up all those feats and spells designed to affect multiple creatures are then effective.
 

M_Natas

Hero
Disagree.

Losing a turn - or sometimes a whole bunch of turns if your character is knocked out, paralyzed, captured, dead, or whatever - is a known fact of D&D play; and that there will be times when your character is ineffective and-or out of action needs to be much more clearly stated in the PH as both a heads-up to players and as a complaints-denier when these times inevitably arise.

Yep - it's a hazard of being a caster.
It is unfun game design and one of the reasons 5e abandoned or nerfed most of those things that deny a player turns.
If the rare occasion happens that a PC gets stunned or something, they can usually repeat the saving throw next turn and the chance to get out of it is usually higher than 50%. I mean, it also works the other way around with monsters, but that is fine, too, be me.
 

M_Natas

Hero
Spells spent for defense are helping you survive, and survival is job one.

If I'm a Wizard who gets stuck in melee my goal changes from "help to win the combat" to "survive long enough (and by so doing, keep my attackers focused on me) that someone can come and bail me out".
If I would have choosen to play my wizard defensively last Monday, where my group was ambushed by some mean undead, the group would have been TPKed.
The main reason is of course party composition.
No martial, our cleric himself was a ghost (killed the session before ...) and couldn't use turn undead, the bardlock can pew pew Eldritch Blast and the Psi Rogue can Psi dagger dagger ... so I'm the main damage dealer when there are several enemies.
I was also blind, because it was dark and my character is a halfling - so I had to fireball us a way out of there (and shatter and whither and bloomed) and to get some light my wizard burned down a library worth of books ... which had hurt more than the bites of these shadow creatures ...
Like literally, if in this fight the enemies could have interrupted my spellcasting, the whole group would have been dead. We wouldn't even had have a chance of survival.
Our Party composition wouldn't be able to survive most encounters if enemies could easily interrupt the casting of spells.
You would force parties to have martials, even though players don't want to (and in another thread we already made the comparison: In Germany, where I play, Fighters are not popular like in the US, the most popular class is the cleric in my survey in the biggest german d&d facebook group, the fighter was in the middle).
Right now you can play D&D with any single class party and have a fun game a chance of success.
With thile proposed change here, that would be impossible.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
If I would have choosen to play my wizard defensively last Monday, where my group was ambushed by some mean undead, the group would have been TPKed.
The main reason is of course party composition.
No martial, our cleric himself was a ghost (killed the session before ...) and couldn't use turn undead, the bardlock can pew pew Eldritch Blast and the Psi Rogue can Psi dagger dagger ... so I'm the main damage dealer when there are several enemies.
Er...if your Cleric was dead then I have to ask why this hadn't been seen to - either by revival or by recruiting a replacement - before continuing to adventure?
I was also blind, because it was dark and my character is a halfling - so I had to fireball us a way out of there (and shatter and whither and bloomed) and to get some light my wizard burned down a library worth of books ... which had hurt more than the bites of these shadow creatures ...
Tocrhes, lanterns, light spells - none of these were in use (or at least quickly available, if you were trying to sneak in the dark)? Seems this party was doomed by a lack of preparation, unless there's more to it we don't yet know of.
Like literally, if in this fight the enemies could have interrupted my spellcasting, the whole group would have been dead. We wouldn't even had have a chance of survival.
Our Party composition wouldn't be able to survive most encounters if enemies could easily interrupt the casting of spells.
You would force parties to have martials, even though players don't want to (and in another thread we already made the comparison: In Germany, where I play, Fighters are not popular like in the US, the most popular class is the cleric in my survey in the biggest german d&d facebook group, the fighter was in the middle).
I'd expect parties to be well-rounded in their capabilities; and to expect things to sometimes go poorly when they are not, and those weaknesses are exposed. Same thing when an all-martial party runs into something that needs magic to solve - they're gonna be stuck.

If nobody wants a martial as a PC there's always recruited NPC adventurers, henches, and various other ways to fill that gap. If the players, in-character, decide not to fill it then IMO there's no avenue for complaint if that missing element leads to a TPK.
Right now you can play D&D with any single class party and have a fun game a chance of success.
With thile proposed change here, that would be impossible.
The game is designed around a well-rounded party including casters and martials. A party that eschews one of these elements is putting itself at a permanent disadvantage.
 

Players are smart, after a while Caster and the rest of the party will adopt build and play to minimize spell interrupt. They will even have online guide and video to help them up.
In some case the DM will manage some nasty situation, then the party will retreat.
on the long run it will force a standard play as the 4ed. No improvisation, everyone has to keep his role and place in combat.
 

M_Natas

Hero
Er...if your Cleric was dead then I have to ask why this hadn't been seen to - either by revival or by recruiting a replacement - before continuing to adventure?
Because we are in a place where we can't get reinforcement right now. We are trapped in a city of death, where the ghosts there think it is like a 1000 years ago.
Tocrhes, lanterns, light spells - none of these were in use (or at least quickly available, if you were trying to sneak in the dark)? Seems this party was doomed by a lack of preparation, unless there's more to it we don't yet know of.
No, in this city of death we were warned about things coming out of and coming for your shadows. So when something started to crawl out of our Rogues shadow, I dropped my dancing lights in the hopes to stop the process (I was wrong).
So I started the fight blind and with disadvantage.
So in my first round I used fireball and was lucky to not hurt my allies and could make a small fire to see a little bite. In my second round I emptied my bag of holding as a bonus action (DM allowed that) and spilled out like a 1000 books I have put in to safe from the library we we found in this city of dead. With a shatter (turned to Firefox damage by my scribe ability) I lit those books on fire and could finally see what I was attacking ... (but it really hurt my Wizard to destroy those books just for a minute of light ... also the shatter was centered on her to get as many enemies and books in it as possible).
And I wouldn't have wanted to waste a round to light a torch or cast dancing lights again. And by the end of the fight I was right, because except for the rogue we had combined less than 10 HP left.
I'd expect parties to be well-rounded in their capabilities; and to expect things to sometimes go poorly when they are not, and those weaknesses are exposed. Same thing when an all-martial party runs into something that needs magic to solve - they're gonna be stuck.
That is realistic, but also ... as a DM I wouldn't design an adventure I know the party can't solve because rhey did pick the right class ... that would just be mean.
If nobody wants a martial as a PC there's always recruited NPC adventurers, henches, and various other ways to fill that gap. If the players, in-character, decide not to fill it then IMO there's no avenue for complaint if that missing element leads to a TPK.
So far everything worked out for our No-Martial Party. Butnif we ever get out of the city if dead, I will definitely trt ro recruit some meat shields for my wizard.
The game is designed around a well-rounded party including casters and martials. A party that eschews one of these elements is putting itself at a permanent disadvantage.
Maybe the previous editions. 5E Raw works mostly fine with any single-clads party.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
Because the DM usually has more than one monster he controlls so he has still stuff to do, while a player usually has his one turn.
Also a DM can create stun immune monsters from scratch if it bothers him. Something players can't really do.
What if he doesn't? Plenty of fights are party vs. Big monster, and just deciding that your monster is immune to stun is asking for a table flip.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
It is unfun game design and one of the reasons 5e abandoned or nerfed most of those things that deny a player turns.
If the rare occasion happens that a PC gets stunned or something, they can usually repeat the saving throw next turn and the chance to get out of it is usually higher than 50%. I mean, it also works the other way around with monsters, but that is fine, too, be me.
You can't speak for the community though. None of us can. All you can say is that you find it to be unfun game design, and are happy that it has largely been removed from modern versions of the official game.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
Spells spent for defense are helping you survive, and survival is job one.

If I'm a Wizard who gets stuck in melee my goal changes from "help to win the combat" to "survive long enough (and by so doing, keep my attackers focused on me) that someone can come and bail me out".
Ok consider this.

If a guy plays a Fighter, and all they do is Dodge every turn, how are they helping the party?

This is exactly the position you're saying the Wizard should be in. Unable to do anything but focus on their survival, using up their valuable resources to do so. You might as well not even have them there (or, if you see value in them distracting enemies from the other players, you'd be better off with the Fighter Who Dodges wearing a floppy hat and a shirt that has "WIZZARD" scrawled across it).
 

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