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

ECMO3

Hero
FWIW...

View attachment 338991

An opportunity attack is only when an creature moves out of your reach.

In 5E, other actions which might "expose yourself" don't provoke an opportunity attack unless explicitly specified by a rule.

But anyway, that is neither here nor there, as this thread really isn't about RAW but about the OP's thought on a house-rule concept.

I agree totally. My argument is from the perspective that casting a spell exposes one and therefore should cause an AOO (just like fleeing).
 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

ECMO3

Hero
Opening yourself up with a maul backswing.. let's say it's true. The flipside of it is that an attacker has to wager on how long you are going to be open for before inflict bodily injury upon them. Somatic components pose no such threat and are also frequently performed by people wearing ornate bathrobes..

What????? Bathrobes???? 7 of 9 spellcaster classes have armor proficiency as a base class feature and that is before you add in Eldritch Knight and Arcane Trickster. After this 78%, of the TWO classes remaining that don't offer armor proficiency as part of the class, a substantial number of them either have armor proficiency through a race, multiclass or subclass, and there are races with natural armor on top of that.

At the end of the day maybe 1 in 20 casters in 5E is in a bathrobe .... and I think that is being generous.

That point aside, we are talking about "opportunity", not the same as risk management. The swing on the maul offers an "opportunity" you might not take it because you want to save it for counterspell, or shield or maybe you are a PAM and you are waiting for that other enemy to enter your reach. At the end of the day swinging a Maul offers more "opportunity" to attack someone than casting a spell RAW logically should.


Also, if it takes 6 seconds to cast a spell vs. 6 seconds to attack somewhere between 1 and 8 times, then the opening related to the backswing should be considerably shorter.

The opening may be shorter but it is also bigger and that is what I am talking about.

..and yet the "most immersive" expression of this illogical phenomenon is to have a bunch of prepackaged effects with prepackaged inputs, and no process variation and no risk of execution failure..

5E is the most immersive version of the rules I have played, and I have significant experience with all of them except 4E. I think AOOs against people casting spells will make the game less immersive. Perhaps it will make it more "balanced" at medium and high level, but immersiveness is the price you will pay for that.

I think letting spells go automatically is absolutely the most immersive, no contest.

As an aside AOOs for swinging a Maul would be less immersive too.

This feels like a joke justification?

Like if we were seeking to design a trickster class and decided that the best version would be an a paragon of unflinching honesty and forthrightness..because what could be trickier...Is that what we're doing?

I don't understand what you are saying here.
 

ECMO3

Hero
You're assuming you have to swing it. Thrusting such a heavy weapon forward is effective as well, especially with weapons wielded by both hands.

I dopn't think a thrust sword or Glaive would do slashing damage. And I think that does open you up more than a spell would (although less than swinging)/

You chose Maul, but specified HEAVY WEAPON, which allows me to choose any heavy weapon, several of which are thrusting weapons.

Only 1 I know of, the Pike

I highly doubt this. Have you ever seen how quickly the end of a claymore moves when swung? The motion is often just in the wrists and forearms. You aren't winding up like some brute all the time; such moves are extremely telegraphed and easily avoided.

YEs I have watched videos. I will link one below, and I can touch my thumbs and make a fan with my fingers much, much faster. Not just a little faster, but in like less than half of the time. It is not even close, andI can do it while contorting my body in many more ways. I can do it hanging upside down or on my back or lying on my shoulder or in a head lock or while driving a car, or any time both of my hands are free (and I realize only one needs to be free RAW but this is a case where the description would require both hands specifically to be free).



Finally, while performing a somatic component can you dodge an attack? Wouldn't such a movement disrupt the somatic component? I would say yes, but there is no "rule" as far as 5E is concerned.

No absolutletly not and certainly more effectively than while swinging a Claymore. I could put my hands behind my head and touch my thumbs and fan them, I could bend over and put them between my legs and do this.

Sigh... because you don't know most of the time what somatic components entail. Few spells actually describe what they are. Meanwhile, we do know that weapons were used effectively for thousands of years without leaving the attacker open most of the time. True, weapon speeds do matter, which is why I brought it up. The spell level could be used as a basis of comparison if someone wanted that level of complexity as well.

But a few spells do describe it, and those would indicate it is not very much. Further with action surge you can cast two spells in 6 seconds, so it can't be a whole lot.

I disagree. Most weapons when the attack actually comes are blindingly fast. And as we agree, most of the time we don't know what somatics are involved in those sets of gestures. shrug.

I have never seen a weapon, other than a bullet, move so fast that I could not see it. We don't have rules explaining what somatics are involved for most spells.

We do have rules for Fireball though, and it is pointing a finger.

Yes, really. Have you realized this thread is about house-rules??? WotC has judged it one way for simplicity and ease of play. They removed a lot of rules and complexity from prior editions to achieve this goal.

House rules and homebrew are the same thing. I think WOTC judged it the way they did to enable the most immersion and fun for the largest number of players. It is not the most fun for all players, but I think it is the most fun for most players.

I don't think it was for ease of play. Eliminating spells entirely would be a lot easier in terms of play. Putting spells in the game at all makes the game more complex and difficult to play.

Some things are more complex than previous versions, some things are less complex, but overall it is more complex than early versions of the gam. 1E was far less complex overall than 5E is. It was less complex when it came to skills, character creation, ability scores (strength not withstanding), hit dice, resting and a host of other mechanics. Combat was awash - 5E has a more complex basic rules for what you can do in combat, but 1E had more complicated weapons and differences between fighting monsters or NPCs and a byzantine order of combat system. Spells in 1E were also simpler in how they worked, but more deadly and more swingy.

Also, althoug you could argue that some aspects of combat were more complex in 1E, there was a lot less going on in combat, and combat itself was a lot quicker.
 
Last edited:


The Sigil

Mr. 3000 (Words per post)
That point aside, we are talking about "opportunity", not the same as risk management. The swing on the maul offers an "opportunity" you might not take it because you want to save it for counterspell, or shield or maybe you are a PAM and you are waiting for that other enemy to enter your reach. At the end of the day swinging a Maul offers more "opportunity" to attack someone than casting a spell RAW logically should.
I'm going to have to offer a point of disagreement here.

Let me point out that the following applies only to wizard spells (I'll explain why shortly). Wizard spells are the result of study, and in order to tap into the magic that powers them, Wizards need to follow a certain formula/recipe/rote execution that allows them to unleash and direct magic energies (sorcerers have an innate "feel" for magic, clerics spells are minor divine intervention, and otherwise do not seem like they would be dependent on executing the formulaic actions a wizard must do to trigger a spell).

Verbal components might not be subject to disruption by an attack - but a silence spell should put a halt to them and of course if I am grappling with a wizard and he starts chanting esoteric words, I should think holding his jaw closed or jamming my fingers in his mouth would be sufficient to spoil the proper pronunciation of the syllables he needs to pronounce in order to trigger the magic.

Similarly, swinging a weapon at a wizard using somatic components to cast a spell forces him to either dodge my attack, thus spoiling the careful pattern his body must move in to trigger the magic, or allows me to hit him, and the force of that blow will itself spoil the careful pattern his body must move in (e.g., if he needs to sweep an arm up and my sword's downstroke catches that arm at belly level, that arm is not going to be able to complete the upward sweep).

A material component or a focus could be fumbled when trying to dodge a blow or knocked away on a successful hit.

Finally, it is a long-established fantasy trope that the archvillian is trying to complete a ritual to cast a powerful spell. It strains verisimilitude for me to think that a "regular spell" is anything other than something exactly the same as a ritual in all ways except scope (taking fewer words, motions, components, and/or time to cast).

I think letting spells go automatically is absolutely the most immersive, no contest.
So, IMO, letting spells go automatically absolutely breaks my immersion every single time, no contest.

HOWEVER - as I mentioned before, a sorcerer (who derives magic from an inward source and does not necessarily rely on a rote execution of words/actions) does make sense as an "automatic caster" to me. A warlock or a cleric, whose spells are minor interventions from greater powers rather than triggered by the character's learning, is also something where I can see magic not requiring them to do things (though I would submit that this sort of spellcasting could also be viewed as triggered by a minor verbal prayer for intervention, or the execution of rituals of devotion with the body and/or items such as burning incense and thus would be subject to disruption the same as above).

Also, all spells relying on concentration to maintain? It makes it immersive to me to think that such concentration can be broken.

So now the question becomes not one of verisimilitude, but rather of game balance - it is not balanced for some casters to be "automatic" and others to be "subject to disruption." Some editions of D&D have elected to make "all casters subject to disruption." The design choice for 5E was to "make all casters automatic" - that DOES have the virtue of allowing the characters to use their fun abilities instead of having the buzzkill of watching a character lose their fun abilities just because they got hit.

To me, it's on the same level as "Counterspell" and I have this discussion with my players in Session 0. "Counterspell" (or whacking an opponent and disrupting a spell) feels AMAZING as a player when you do it to the big bad. It feels much less amazing when some toady does it to your character. And in my campaigns, what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. I discuss this in Session 0 with my players, making sure to note "let us decide now whether or not Counterspell and Disrupting a Caster are a thing, but be aware that if they're going to be a thing for you, they will be a thing for the bad guys too." So far, none of my groups has wanted either one to be a thing because they don't want to risk their cool stuff being countered (my personal preference is that they both ARE a thing, but this is a choice to make as a group, not by DM fiat).

So there's my two silvers (I wrote way to many words for it to be coppers).
 

Sure. I wasn't saying there was no wisdom in getting behind cover. My point was that defensive casting wasn't really an issue. :)

Past a certain level with the relevant investment in feats - which makes sense; you'd expect this kind of focus to obviate the risk. But a 3rd level character casting a 2nd level spell without Skill Focus (Concentration) and/or Combat Casting is going to need to roll a 9 - which isn't great odds. Conversely, by 10th level, a wizard is almost guaranteed to be able to avoid AoOs regardless of feat choices or spell level: this assumes a maxed Concentration and 14+ Con - because, well, as you point out, who wouldn't? Narratively this makes a certain kind of sense - a 10th level wizard has seen enough action to be able to reliably cast in combat without exposing themselves.

I think that the feat investment is a reasonable payoff, as the other demands on the wizard's feat pool are not insignificant (Spell Focus, Improved Initiative, item creation feats etc.). In practice, I didn't see Combat Casting; I did see a fair bit of Skill Focus (Concentration), which has more utility. Combat Casting strikes me as more suited to clerics, bards and gishes, who are more likely to intentionally place themselves in harm's way than wizards and sorcerers. But a lot is admittedly dependent on the individual game.

Plus you had to consider circumstances. If somehow that giant got up on you, you were likely to go down if you got hit anyway. That hill giant did 2d8+10 damage and a 7th level wizard with a 14 con would average around 33 hit points. If the wizard was hurt at all, he'd be within take down range for that AOO. Provoking an attack to get behind said meat shield was often not really an option. You just had to pray the spell you did get off would be effective enough.
I was thinking more of not leaving the meat shield to begin with, but yes. And the extra reach for a large creature can really mess up everything, regardless.
 

What????? Bathrobes???? 7 of 9 spellcaster classes have armor proficiency as a base class feature and that is before you add in Eldritch Knight and Arcane Trickster. After this 78%, of the TWO classes remaining that don't offer armor proficiency as part of the class, a substantial number of them either have armor proficiency through a race, multiclass or subclass, and there are races with natural armor on top of that.

At the end of the day maybe 1 in 20 casters in 5E is in a bathrobe .... and I think that is being generous.

That point aside, we are talking about "opportunity", not the same as risk management. The swing on the maul offers an "opportunity" you might not take it because you want to save it for counterspell, or shield or maybe you are a PAM and you are waiting for that other enemy to enter your reach. At the end of the day swinging a Maul offers more "opportunity" to attack someone than casting a spell RAW logically should.




The opening may be shorter but it is also bigger and that is what I am talking about.



5E is the most immersive version of the rules I have played, and I have significant experience with all of them except 4E. I think AOOs against people casting spells will make the game less immersive. Perhaps it will make it more "balanced" at medium and high level, but immersiveness is the price you will pay for that.

I think letting spells go automatically is absolutely the most immersive, no contest.

As an aside AOOs for swinging a Maul would be less immersive too.



I don't understand what you are saying here.
As it turns out, even if I accept your argument that 5% of casters are out wandering the battlefield in bathrobes, it still means that you'd see it frequently. Around as often as you might see a natural redhead, or a little more. And that robed wanderer is just out there amongst the grizzled warriors, hand-jiving to their hearts' content, perfectly safe from any potential reactions.

I have no idea what you are trying to say with respect to the maul. Near as I can tell you are concluding without either evidence or an argument. And I guess I could do that too, but at that point, we're just going "nuh uh".."yes huh" at each other over something imaginary.

The same seems to be the case with respect to general immersiveness as well. It's genuinely interesting to me that you have not referred to a single fantasy spellcaster in this discussion. The only thing I really know about what you think of casters is that you seem to think they shouldn't have any limitations.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
So one thing of note is that there are a lot of fantasy spellcasters who wield what D&D would call "martial weapons" (with Gandalf likely being the ur-example, but there are others, such as Lythande, Rand al'Thor, Belgarion, Richard Cypher, Corwin of Amber, Merle Corey/Merlin, Harry Dresden...a .44 magnum counts, right?...et. al.).

Most of them don't wear armor, but that often has less to do with the limitations of their magic, and more to do with the fact that people don't, generally, wear armor all the time for various reasons. That not wearing armor is considered a weakness in battle is a D&D-ism- different types of battles require different types of gear. D'artagnan and Miyamoto Mushashi have little use for armor in the battles they typically face, but if faced with heavy cavalry, they might consider it!

But they can and do use magic in combat conditions, and are trained (to varying degrees) combatants. So regardless of how you feel about casting in battlefield conditions, there are fantasy precedents for doing so aplenty.

So let's not make any bones about "realism" here. We're talking about wielding magical forces, something there is no real-world analogue to, and is beholden only to it's own rules. This is a discussion about making a balance houserule, and one that might not actually favor martials as much as it purports to.

What I've mostly heard feels more like "casters focus on defense more and less on using their spells to help the party" and "give martials more work to do babysitting their casters". You could accomplish both tasks by cutting caster hit points just as readily.
 

ezo

Hero
I dopn't think a thrust sword or Glaive would do slashing damage. And I think that does open you up more than a spell would (although less than swinging)/
No, a thrusting sword, pole-arm, etc. would do piercing, of course, but then again people thrusted with swords and the vast majority of pole-arms for ages. I can't help what WotC (again), designed the game around simplicity instead of authenticity, such as listing weapons with more than one damage type possible.

Only 1 I know of, the Pike
As far as game mechanics, true. But we know most pole-arms also has spikes on their tips as well as blades.

YEs I have watched videos. I will link one below, and I can touch my thumbs and make a fan with my fingers much, much faster. Not just a little faster, but in like less than half of the time. It is not even close, andI can do it while contorting my body in many more ways. I can do it hanging upside down or on my back or lying on my shoulder or in a head lock or while driving a car, or any time both of my hands are free (and I realize only one needs to be free RAW but this is a case where the description would require both hands specifically to be free).

You should do more research then and inform yourself.

No absolutletly not and certainly more effectively than while swinging a Claymore. I could put my hands behind my head and touch my thumbs and fan them, I could bend over and put them between my legs and do this.
If you don't think such actions would disrupt the somatic component, that is your perrogative. I think most players would disagree.

But a few spells do describe it, and those would indicate it is not very much. Further with action surge you can cast two spells in 6 seconds, so it can't be a whole lot.
You're assuming the actions described in the spell are the only part of the somatic component. I believe such descriptions are for flare and such more than "this is all it takes, isn't magic easy!!!".

I have never seen a weapon, other than a bullet, move so fast that I could not see it.
Of course not. How could you see it if it is moving so fast you could not see it?? ;)

Seriously, though, while you might "see" the weapon, blindingly fast is an expression, but other than the "flash of the blade in the light" there are many very fast weapons, including a claymore. Holding it and moving only your wrists and forearms allow the blade tip to move much quicker.

We don't have rules explaining what somatics are involved for most spells.

We do have rules for Fireball though, and it is pointing a finger.
Exactly, we don't know, and you're assuming the pointing finger is the somatic component, instead of simply the final gesture. It's fine if you want to assume that, but since the vast majority of spells with somatics aren't described, I assume there is generally more (reaction spells being an exception).

House rules and homebrew are the same thing.
So... what? You keep arguing about RAW when the thread is about a house-rule.

I think WOTC judged it the way they did to enable the most immersion and fun for the largest number of players. It is not the most fun for all players, but I think it is the most fun for most players.

I don't think it was for ease of play. Eliminating spells entirely would be a lot easier in terms of play. Putting spells in the game at all makes the game more complex and difficult to play.
Sure, but now you are just getting silly with the idea of eliminating spells entirely.

Some things are more complex than previous versions, some things are less complex, but overall it is more complex than early versions of the gam. 1E was far less complex overall than 5E is. It was less complex when it came to skills, character creation, ability scores (strength not withstanding), hit dice, resting and a host of other mechanics. Combat was awash - 5E has a more complex basic rules for what you can do in combat, but 1E had more complicated weapons and differences between fighting monsters or NPCs and a byzantine order of combat system. Spells in 1E were also simpler in how they worked, but more deadly and more swingy.

Also, althoug you could argue that some aspects of combat were more complex in 1E, there was a lot less going on in combat, and combat itself was a lot quicker.
All true, which is why I have always found the claim that 5E is supposed to be easy to learn etc. a bit off. But that is their claim.

The big difference between 1E and 5E, is 1E was DM-rules heavy, but simple for PCs; while 5E is basically the reverse: PCs have a lot of stuff they can do via features and such, but there is not nearly as much "rules" (more ruling-centric) for DMs.
 

So one thing of note is that there are a lot of fantasy spellcasters who wield what D&D would call "martial weapons" (with Gandalf likely being the ur-example, but there are others, such as Lythande, Rand al'Thor, Belgarion, Richard Cypher, Corwin of Amber, Merle Corey/Merlin, Harry Dresden...a .44 magnum counts, right?...et. al.).

Most of them don't wear armor, but that often has less to do with the limitations of their magic, and more to do with the fact that people don't, generally, wear armor all the time for various reasons. That not wearing armor is considered a weakness in battle is a D&D-ism- different types of battles require different types of gear. D'artagnan and Miyamoto Mushashi have little use for armor in the battles they typically face, but if faced with heavy cavalry, they might consider it!

But they can and do use magic in combat conditions, and are trained (to varying degrees) combatants. So regardless of how you feel about casting in battlefield conditions, there are fantasy precedents for doing so aplenty.

So let's not make any bones about "realism" here. We're talking about wielding magical forces, something there is no real-world analogue to, and is beholden only to it's own rules. This is a discussion about making a balance houserule, and one that might not actually favor martials as much as it purports to.

What I've mostly heard feels more like "casters focus on defense more and less on using their spells to help the party" and "give martials more work to do babysitting their casters". You could accomplish both tasks by cutting caster hit points just as readily.
So to be clear, my primary focus has been trying to achieve, if not parity, at least some version of symmetry of "threats to character effectiveness".

For me, these concerns are partly about mechanical balance and partly about the presentation of magic and hazards in D&D.

I can't say that I am a keen student of all fantasy spellcasting everywhere, but in every place I've seen it, when faced with a superior melee opponent, the question is almost always "will they be able to cast a spell to turn the tide?"

And in D&D, the only times where that is in question are when the melee opponent can stun (monk only), paralyze (impossible), or render the caster unconscious/dead, before the caster's turn comes. I think we can do better.

Edit: note that I'm speaking in generalities. I think that it'd be fine for certain casters to be more comfortable casting in melee than others. I think it'd be good even to showcase soma additional variety between the classes/subclasses.
 
Last edited:

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top