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

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
And in this case: it is my experience at the table that players start to disengage when their characters turns gets nullified (Except if the PC gets killed). But this is also something I ser other DMs bring up, too: I f you regularly take away players turns it kills the game and even if you could, doing the same overpowered things to the PCs that the PCs are doing to monsters will kill the enjoyment of the game pretty quickly.
It shouldn't. If the PCs can give it out they'd better be prepared to take it right back, especially if their foes are other adventurers (which happens now and then). I don't believe in PCs-are-special design.
 

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M_Natas

Hero
If a GM can create a game in which martials are functional even though they don't have magic, then a GM can also create a game where casters can function even if they can potentially be interrupted.
But thet needs to be accounted for in the game design itself.
Fights would need to be made easier, because your remove a lot of power from the party with such a change.
A hard encounter would become double deadly if the casters are nullified.

Like in my campaign where I play a wizard. We have no martials, but we can still win, even though a more balanced party would probably be more effective.

But the proposed change of being able to easily interrupt spells would kill that party instantly.

At the moment 5e is playable with any class combination. You can play the game with an all caster, all martial or even single class combination and still be fine and the DM doesn't have to rebalanced the challenge-difficulty, because a hard encounter will still be a hard encounter and an easy one an easy one.
An all fighter party is in the same power category as an all wizard party, the differences are in the 10-30% range.

With the proposed change, an all wizard party would loose 80-90% of its power, because all their spells would be interrupted. It is a difference of aa magnitude in power level.

That would be needed to be accounted for.

At the moment in 5e, all classes are equally powerful. The difference between the worst and best class with the worst and best subclass being maybe 50%.

The proposed change would instantly make all casters be 10% as effective because they can't reliable do their thing anymore. Because without spells casters don't have any power at all. Without spells a casters is maybe as effective as a commoner in a fight.

You suddenly have classes that are a magnitude more effective and powerful than other classes. The game balance would be totally utterly destroyed.
In that particular combat, yes. They got ambushed and swarmed, which is always bad news for the backliners and even worse news for this particular party who are, it seems, all backliners.
And in that instance with interruptable spells the my party would have been TPK'ed because the only one being able to do reliable damage than would have been the rogue.
3/4 of the party would have been reduced to be as effective as commoners (a caster without spells is barley better at fighting than a commoner).
And so far all the parties I played in or DMed for a primarily casters/specialists and not martials.
It shouldn't. If the PCs can give it out they'd better be prepared to take it right back, especially if their foes are other adventurers (which happens now and then). I don't believe in PCs-are-special design.
I agree in principle, they shouldn't feel special in the game world. But at the same time, they are special.
Because Non-Special people who get in 1 to 7 combats a day with monsters that will rip you apart would kill any non special person quite quickly.
It is always a balance act. Like the world shouldn't level with the players, but the adventures should be achievable by the characters and not have an ancient red dragon attack a level 1 party because it would be realistic in this world.
 

Hell0W0rld

Explorer
At the moment in 5e, all classes are equally powerful. The difference between the worst and best class with the worst and best subclass being maybe 50%.

This is the core of the disagreement. In D&D 5e the classes are not equally powerful. The moderate difference in damage output between a caster and a martial does not bridge the gap afforded by spells like Spirit Guardians, Pass Without Trace or Force Cage.

A Twilight Cleric is not 50% stronger than a Champion fighter, what each can do belong to entirely different worlds.

You suddenly have classes that are a magnitude more effective and powerful than other classes. The game balance would be totally utterly destroyed.

For a good number of people, this is already the status quo.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
There isn't always going to be terrain that a party can use to block enemy advancement. In fact, since most of the time, you encounter enemies on their home turf, the advantage of terrain is generally theirs.

It doesn't matter how many "front liners" you have if there's no particular way to prevent enemies from running past them. Opportunity attacks simply don't do enough damage as a single attack scales badly against the escalating hit points of foes. If the enemies think the guy in robes is a bigger threat than the guy in armor, they can and will prioritize taking them out.

Since no class gains a particularly good defender package, and the subclasses that do are apparently not that popular, this whole "let's make it harder to cast spells" scenario is just going to end up with casters not being particularly useful in combat. I wouldn't mind this is Fighters had a built-in ability to make it harder to move past them, or something like Sentinel was the default, instead of an optional feature that characters have to build for.

But as the game is currently built, each character is generally responsible for their own defense. So making it harder to do your job in combat by forcing you to spend even more resources on defending yourself just sounds like a particularly bad idea.

There's a reason why we've gotten to the point where spells are no longer interruptible, and it's not about "lol Wizard superiority". It's because people rejected roles in the previous edition, so now to actually fill a role, a player has to want to do just that. Given how many people want to play Fighters as damage machines, it's fairly obvious why spells are not interruptible.

As for the Fighter standing around and watching due to a Wizard's spell turning a battle inside out, this is supposed to be a team game. The Wizard is on their side, their contributions make victory more attainable. Removing the Wizard from the equation just puts more burden on the Fighter, who should be happy that half the enemies are webbed, slowed, or otherwise incapacitated, because it makes their job easier.

Plus, people keep telling me that there is no Fighter/Martial disparity, and the game is just fine, so why do spellcasters need a nerf, exactly? Especially when the big draw of spells is the ability to wage war in ways martials cannot.

One shouldn't attempt to balance the game by making it obnoxious to play. If you want to ban casters, just do so, because people who find these kinds of rules annoying will just not play casters.
 

Hell0W0rld

Explorer
As for the Fighter standing around and watching due to a Wizard's spell turning a battle inside out, this is supposed to be a team game. The Wizard is on their side, their contributions make victory more attainable.

Aye, so the wizard should also be reliant on the fighter, correct? It's not a team game if someone is doing all the meaningful work and the other is left on the sidelines to mop up. See also the BMX Bandit and Angel Summoner skits. They're on the same team but not contributing equally.

You are correct that there's very few defensive packages for 5e's martials, but at least making casters interruptible will incentivize them to invest in defensive spells. If a caster invests more in defensive spells, they have less resources to go nova. This gives the non-casters more room to shine, as classes who are supposed to be solid throughout an adventuring day when the casters are out.

Plus, people keep telling me that there is no Fighter/Martial disparity, and the game is just fine, so why do spellcasters need a nerf, exactly? Especially when the big draw of spells is the ability to wage war in ways martials cannot.

The group that wants interruptible casters aren't those who think casters and martials are balanced. In fact, they're probably mutually exclusive...
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
There isn't always going to be terrain that a party can use to block enemy advancement. In fact, since most of the time, you encounter enemies on their home turf, the advantage of terrain is generally theirs.

It doesn't matter how many "front liners" you have if there's no particular way to prevent enemies from running past them.
Another variable is number of enemies. If there's just a few the front-liners should be able to hold them off even in an open field, at least for long enough that the casters can get clear through flight or whatever other escape mechanisms they've got, and then start casting from that position of (relative) safety.
But as the game is currently built, each character is generally responsible for their own defense. So making it harder to do your job in combat by forcing you to spend even more resources on defending yourself just sounds like a particularly bad idea.

There's a reason why we've gotten to the point where spells are no longer interruptible, and it's not about "lol Wizard superiority". It's because people rejected roles in the previous edition, so now to actually fill a role, a player has to want to do just that. Given how many people want to play Fighters as damage machines, it's fairly obvious why spells are not interruptible.
We got most of the way to spells not being interruptible in 3e. 4e and 5e merely finished the process.

And yes, I see Fighters as (and expect them to be) damage machines; but they're also tanks - they should be able to do both at once.
As for the Fighter standing around and watching due to a Wizard's spell turning a battle inside out, this is supposed to be a team game. The Wizard is on their side, their contributions make victory more attainable. Removing the Wizard from the equation just puts more burden on the Fighter, who should be happy that half the enemies are webbed, slowed, or otherwise incapacitated, because it makes their job easier.
Half is fine. I'm talking about situations (and I've seen many) where no enemies at all make it to the party because the caster(s) blew 'em away en route.
Plus, people keep telling me that there is no Fighter/Martial disparity, and the game is just fine, so why do spellcasters need a nerf, exactly? Especially when the big draw of spells is the ability to wage war in ways martials cannot.
Personally, I'd want to make casting more difficult in order to be able to remove some of the nerfs that have been applied to spells, and thus make casting the high-risk high-reward option.
One shouldn't attempt to balance the game by making it obnoxious to play.
I somewhat disagree. Frustration can be a balance mechanism, but it's not reliable in that some people tolerate (and even embrace) frustration far better than others.
If you want to ban casters, just do so, because people who find these kinds of rules annoying will just not play casters.
Casters in our games have been 1e-style interruptable for decades and people (including me) still keep playing them. My no. 1 character these days is a MU. No. 2 is a Cleric. Nos. 3, 4, 5, and 6 are a War Cleric (vaguely similar to Paladin), another MU, an Illusionist, and a Thief. My Fighter, who used to be no. 1, is mostly retired and trying to build his stronghold.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
Aye, so the wizard should also be reliant on the fighter, correct? It's not a team game if someone is doing all the meaningful work and the other is left on the sidelines to mop up. See also the BMX Bandit and Angel Summoner skits. They're on the same team but not contributing equally.

You are correct that there's very few defensive packages for 5e's martials, but at least making casters interruptible will incentivize them to invest in defensive spells. If a caster invests more in defensive spells, they have less resources to go nova. This gives the non-casters more room to shine, as classes who are supposed to be solid throughout an adventuring day when the casters are out.



The group that wants interruptible casters aren't those who think casters and martials are balanced. In fact, they're probably mutually exclusive...
Any defensive spell used by a caster has to also not require concentration, as not only do your best spells require them, but any interruption of another spell you're casting will just open you up to a Con save to avoid losing the defensive spell in the first place. And some classes don't even have good defensive spell options to begin with.
 

Hell0W0rld

Explorer
None of Mirror Image, Misty Step and Shield require concentration. Wildshaping isn't a spell. All clerics get armor and shield proficiency to bolster their defenses, and have access to Sanctuary.

Besides that, the caster does not start every combat within range of the enemy and without the ability to cast a spell before engaging in combat. Dodging with Spirit Guardians active is an effective tactic for a reason.
 

Andvari

Hero
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.
I think part of it is that turns take much longer now than they did in older versions of the game. Losing a turn isn't a big deal if your turn is coming up again shortly.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
Given the hit points of enemies in 5e, "not being able to get to a caster because they got blown away" is a hard sell. I mean, the 8d6 fireball can fail to kill some CR 1 foes, and it's one of the most efficient damage spells.

Now there are control spells that prevent monsters from getting to you. I try to employ these as much as possible when I play a caster, but generally my group features of bunch of hotheaded melee types who want to go beat up monsters, and get annoyed when I'm like "yeah, I wouldn't go into that ice storm if I were you". Heck, the last time I used Web in a game, my own party started attacking it with torches to get at the bad guys, rather than wait for them to come to us! It was very disturbing.

A savvy caster can usually park themselves in a position where enemies have to work to get at them. I've done it. But if the enemy isn't able to reach you, then it doesn't really matter if their spells are interruptible or not.

What I'm looking at are the times when you're fighting in close quarters, dealing with large numbers of enemies, or high mobility enemies. I've recently had to deal with all three as a Wizard, where I've had no choice but to do nothing but Dodge just to stay alive- the ability of my spells to be interrupted or not didn't really matter much in that scenario either.

But having a pair of undead wolves hanging off my shorts is bad enough when I've got 2/3 the hit points of the other characters. Being told that even if I wanted to cast a "Hail Mary" that I'd get 2 opportunity attacks and lose the spell (or just die outright) for my trouble? Yeah, no thanks.

If every party was built to protect back liners, or had good tactics, sure, you could have rules like this in place. But that's not generally the case- and if it were, the potential to lose spells due to interruption would be a rare event anyways, so I'm not seeing the real advantage.

Sure, you could argue that if casters needed to be protected, then players would have to protect them...but again, it's been my experience that most players don't seem to want to do that, let alone the fact that 5e doesn't give you good tools for it. If we want to go back in time and give Fighters the Defender role again, I'd be happy to see it, but I don't see that happening.

Or even rules like 1e, that once you've engaged in melee, you can't just go wherever you want on the battlefield.

As an aside, shouldn't we also be discussing having ranged attacks be interruptible?
 

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