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

Warpiglet-7

Cry havoc! And let slip the pigs of war!
I have fun with 5e as is BUT have long advocated this if:

1. You want wizards to be less powerful

2. You want more team based play with role definition

All of that said, you must realize they have nerfed many spells. Many get repeated and beatable saves. The save vs death/not participate for the whole combat stuff is weaker/gone.

I have only played to 11/12 level in 5e; I have not seen Wizards dominate the way some claim.
 
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ECMO3

Hero
I think that's the point. You cast these spells before combat starts, not after.

Casting while in melee being flat-out impossible should be the default.

This will dramatically change the game and how casters and half casters can be played.

This will pretty mich eliminate the half caster Gish Paladin/Ranger type builds, those characters would need to play like Martials. It would also severely weaken Melee Clerics and Wizards.

You are taking viable build options away from players, I don't think they will like that and I don't see why this is necessary or helpful.
 

This is a lot of history and comparative analysis. Tl:dr the editions use an array of different mechanics for balance that cannot be evaluated individually, you must consider the whole of the system.

As a gorgnard who played a lot of ADD, 2e, 3e and 5e I can tell you confidently that through 3e non-casters could screw up casters. Nothing like an angry mob of halflings throwing rocks at a trouble making PC wizard to make them realize their frailty and that they should utter their threats from out of range. To be honest, lots of DMs skipped chunks of those rules (especially the parts where you lost Dex bonus for the segments you were casting) because it made wizard players whine and it nerfed their favorite BBEG.

5e took a different tact. Casters get fewer big spells. Go look at the 3e SRD. A 20th level wizard or druid got four (4) 9th level spells, a cleric got 5 (including domain) and a sorcerer got 6. (https://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/3e_SRD:Classes). They had as many lower level spells. Well, more really, because they got bonus castings per day based on stat. An 18 stat was good for an extra 1st-4th. At 20 stat you got 2x 1st and an extra 2nd-5th.

5e casters only get 4 spells for 1st level, cap at 3/day for 2nd-5th, 2/day 6th-7th and they never get more than 1x 8th or 9th level spell. On top of that, spells had fixed durations so you could layer on spells. The invisible/silent thief was possible. As was the flying, invisible, silent, stone-skinned, telepathic tenser's transformed wizard.

What's different is that in <=3.5e (and maybe 4e, I only played like 4 times) a caster would lose the action, the spell slot and some hit points and had to hope they lived to try again. 5e casters are pretty well guaranteed to succeed or at the very least they are draining another caster of a fireball-worthy spell slot, which is itself a partial success.

However those <=3.5e casters burned a lot of slots to have flight, invis, AC so they had a chance of getting spells off so they didn't have all those slots for blasting fireball. There were also restraints in some editions on spell recovery, where you got so many spell levels per hour of prep back and you were capped at 8 hours of prep.

The tactics & balance change based on the parameters: # spells/day, ease of disruption, spell duration, need for concentration.

If you took 2e casting times+disruption plus 5e spell slots & concentration and casters would wind up with six hirelings carrying a mobile barricade to provide full cover and/or the 2-minute game day.

Go the other way with 3e spells except 5e disruption and casters become the tiny gods they were usually accused of being because they wouldn't need to use slots spells on defense from muggles.

I am not sure which I prefer. As a non-caster, I liked whomping a caster and seeing a spell fizzle. Likewise it appeals to my tactical gamer side.

As a 5e caster, having my one and only high level spell slot get nerfed by a spell 4 levels lower is exasperating. If it could be done by a halfling child with a bag of pebbles I would chew on the table.

As a GM the time it took for a <=3.5e party to "go super saiyan" could be irritating, as was tracking a whole matrix of spell duration. Throwing dispel magic at them and listening to the wails was fun but then it was a mess of recalculating bonuses.

(Edited autocorrect and some formatting)
 

ECMO3

Hero
I have fun with 5e as is BUT have long advocated this if:

1. You want wizards to be less powerful

2. You want more team based play with role definition

All of that said, you must realize they have nerfed many spells. Many get repeated and beatable saves. The save vs death/not participate for the whole combat stuff is weaker/gone.

I have only played to 11/12 level in 5e; I have not seen Wizards dominate the way some claim.

At high levels Wizards and Sorcerers definitely become the most powerful classes and outrun the others in combat by quite a bit with the right spell selection.

I have played a lot to level 15 and three times to/at level 20, and while those two classes are the most powerful in combat at those levels, this has never been a problem for the players in games I have played and the other players at the table, myself included, would rather not see their most powerful team member nerfed.

The save every round, or every time you are damaged is a huge nerf to a lot of spells, and by comparison a huge boon to others.
 

So just a recent example from my last game session. I have a 15th level 5e full caster (lore bard) and we are clearing out an evil temple. There have been 10 battles as we have moved through the temple at speed and due to thr construction and background noise it is hard for the NPCs to call reinforcements.

I have lobbed 8 fireballs. I hit on average 8 NPCs with a DC20 save and have inflicted probably 1,200hp in total. I have used ALL my 3rd-5th spell slots plus a 1st & 2nd. I now need to hoard my last 3 high level spells (6, 7, 8) and the warriors will have to carry the brunt of the battles as we move forward to the inner sanctum.

The plus side of my earlier castings is that everyone else is in good shape. The cultists died quickly and the others casters didn't need to use much of their resources: cleric13/paladin2 has 2/3rds of their spells remaining, the Paladin15 has half, and the warlock 12/bard3 is only down a few 1sts. The monk is at full ki and the champion has their surges.

If I were a <=3.5e caster, I would still have at least 4 spell slots from 3-5th and would have 3x6th, 2x 7th and 1x 8th. Mwahahahah! However.....would I have been able to successfully cast any of those spells outside of the surprise rounds when every dart, dagger, javelin and arrow was sent my way? How many slots would I have expended as a defense?

And that earlier caster would have been throwing darts or using a crossbow while I can throw 3d8 cantrip damage or give disadvantage from vicious Mockery. (I actually nat20d Produce Flame and did 33 damage to an enemy! Woot! Mini-fireball ftw!)

So in short, game balance is hard and complex.
 
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I don't think these rules really make the game any better. At higher levels, interrupting spells makes a lot more sense. But being interrupted because I cast Burning Hands, or Magic Missile, or Bless? Where's the fun in that? I can't even cast Burning Hands without some small pebble messing me up?

Casters aren't a problem in lower levels due to their spell selections, spell slots, and how low level spells are really, really basic. Casters don't start being a serious problem until they achieve 5th level spells, and really for spells of 6th-level or higher. Maybe if spells of High Magic (6-9th) could be interrupted, that'd be interesting. But I really don't think anything below that is worth it.

On top of this, it isn't fun for the player. This isn't because it's a Weakness, but because it just isn't fun. If I lose my spell slot, my spell, and my action/turn, I'm basically just sitting there doing nothing until the next round. It'd be way more interesting if interrupting a spell caused it go go out of control and effect someone randomly, or to be cast on both me and my target, etc etc. But just saying "Sucks to suck, sit there and do nothing and like it" is pretty lame. There's a reason these kinds of mechanics have, by and large, died out.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
I don't think these rules really make the game any better. At higher levels, interrupting spells makes a lot more sense. But being interrupted because I cast Burning Hands, or Magic Missile, or Bless? Where's the fun in that? I can't even cast Burning Hands without some small pebble messing me up?

Casters aren't a problem in lower levels due to their spell selections, spell slots, and how low level spells are really, really basic. Casters don't start being a serious problem until they achieve 5th level spells, and really for spells of 6th-level or higher. Maybe if spells of High Magic (6-9th) could be interrupted, that'd be interesting. But I really don't think anything below that is worth it.

On top of this, it isn't fun for the player. This isn't because it's a Weakness, but because it just isn't fun. If I lose my spell slot, my spell, and my action/turn, I'm basically just sitting there doing nothing until the next round. It'd be way more interesting if interrupting a spell caused it go go out of control and effect someone randomly, or to be cast on both me and my target, etc etc. But just saying "Sucks to suck, sit there and do nothing and like it" is pretty lame. There's a reason these kinds of mechanics have, by and large, died out.
That line of reasoning also contributes to both the unstoppability and indispensability of spellcasters. While a martial character may be stopped or significantly hampered by an obstacle that requires magic to easily overcome, spellcasters end up being the key to getting around or through them. While 5e is better at handling that sort of thing than 3e and AD&D (and I’m not at all convinced 4e is any better at it than 5e), I can at least see the argument that people complaining about the imbalance make.
I don’t think incorporating potential for a little frustration to enter the lives of casters if they cast with poor planning/tactics is necessarily bad.
 

nevin

Hero
In the older days of dnd, casters were kinda artillery units, they were powerful but slow, vulnerable, and cumbersome, how they enforced this was with the rules for a spellcaster, making it so you had to declare spellcasting at the beginning of the round and it was cast when your turn would come up(it was side based and initative would change every round.), and if you were hit, you lost the spell.

This kept casting a bit more in check during these days, and is the actual reason for the whole "frontline martial, backline caster" thing, the original intent was casters were artillery and martials were the soldiers. But come 3e Wizards kinda removed all of this for the most part due to streamlining and ended up buffing these classes far, while also putting all of the fighters features into feats, and the game has simply never quite recovered from this. It turned casters from Artillery to just heavy hitting as long as they had ammo, and kinda invalidated the other classes right then and there without that limit, with the only downside is ammo, they are just heavy soldiers now, just better but...limited..sometimes...if you play that way.

I feel this should return, casting being interruptable in some form, but i feel there is a better and more modern way to do this.

And if you wanna bring back the old rules of getting hit in the round before your turn loses you your spell cast, but in a modern way, you can just do this.

This is a simple way, and it isn't even new design, this is a sacred cow, this is how they used to work, but modernized a bit.

Im not saying this 100% solves the martial caster gap, but it gives martials at least a gives martial classes a raison d'etre, in a traditional way, plus i think it fits the fantasy of these classes and idea of them way more, and while it isnt for everyone, i feel you can at least make this a variant rule, or something, or make it a core rule and make the old way a variant for those who dont care for it.

I feel this is a better starting point a limit that brings back the original intent of these classes in a way that makes a lot of the design make more sense, like for example, mage slayer becomes better, it makes the defensive abilities make sense more(because they were based on spell where that was the intent and why they had them), and even frontline casters like bladelock and bladesinger still work well since that's why they use cantrips and weapon attacks, with higher defenses, it makes the design kinda come to life more.

Its not perfect but i feel it is a better starting point, and its not uncommon in a lot of dnd-like design(i got this from Worlds without Number lol)

What do you think?

TLDR: Casters should go back to being interruptable like they used to be, it was the thing that made them unique and limited, and made them the artillery units compared to the "soldier" units that were the martials, and i feel it enforces the modern fantasy of the classes better then what we have now, where they are kinda just super soldiers, with only some resource limitations holding them back.
well 3rd edition and pathfinder did do that but they turned it into a complicated mini game within the game that actually makes playing a wizard unfun. You've got to make a caster check if hit, but if you declare your casting defensively most of the time you don't, unless x then y and so on. The attempt to add mitigations to spells to fix niche issues or to make it harder to kill certain kinds of martial have turned the entire act of spell casting in pathfinder and 3rd edition into something akin to reading a set of Law and regulations and attempting to figure out what will happen when you cast the spell. There is no congruent, simple set of rules that would allow a caster to understand when and where a certain spell should or shouldn't work. And some of the rules are down right stupid if you believe in continuity and want a world where things make sense. For instance, I can cast a wall of fire in front of a ship but since it's not anchored to the ship, it could hurt some of the sailors but the ship won't take any damage. But I can cast a wall of force in front of a ship and it will take ramming damage. I can cast a permanant wall of stone or Iron but I can't make gold or silver or lead, originally because they were valuable, now after years of complaining , the spell states that the iron in the wall of iron while permanant is useless for making weapons. Think about that, it will stop giants, and armies but you can't melt it and make a sword with it.

This illustrates the biggest problem with magic in D&D. It is arbitrary, has no real rules and no logic or reason. Sometimes the rules and rulings by developers to fix things create Alice in Wonderland catch 22's that a seasoned DM has to stop and consider, I can only imagine what happens to some poor new DM trying to make sense out of the mess of what they've done with Magic. Magic in D&D needs a complete overhaul.
 

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