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D&D 5E Changes to D&D's Spellcasting Monsters: Streamlining Your Way To Bliss

WotC's Jeremy Crawford talks about the way they are changing spellcasting monsters in D&D. Making the game more fun, easier to learn, shorting "the pathway to getting to your bliss". Making monsters easier to run. "Rumors of the death of spellcasting [in monsters] are not true". Innate spellcasting has been streamlined with spellcasting into a single trait. Spellcasting options are...

WotC's Jeremy Crawford talks about the way they are changing spellcasting monsters in D&D.
  • Making the game more fun, easier to learn, shorting "the pathway to getting to your bliss".
  • Making monsters easier to run.
  • "Rumors of the death of spellcasting [in monsters] are not true". Innate spellcasting has been streamlined with spellcasting into a single trait.
  • Spellcasting options are consolidated whenever possible.
  • Removing options that a DM is unlikely ever to use.
  • In some cases, new magical abilities in the monster statblock which exist alongside a list of spells they can cast.
  • For example, the mind flayer's mind blast is not a spell, and other abilities are magical but not spells and aren't as easy to interact with with things like counterspell.
  • Things which make archmages say "How is this functioning, and why can't I stop it?"

 

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It just seems internally inconsistent for a wizard to do magic in a way other wizards can't.

A Necromancer or Abjurer can already do things an Enchanter cant and vice versa. Simply adding on a Metamagic or ability to punch through resistance with Elemental Adept lets you do things other casters cant.

To be honest, Counterspell battles are pretty boring. It's just a huge anti-climatic resource drain for casters, blatting reactions and 3rd level slots to say 'nope'.

Even with these changes, Counterspell is still a Gold tier choice for all casters, and will still feature on 99 percent of the spell lists you'll come across, so that's probably telling you the slight nerf to Counterspell by reducing it's relative potency, is more than fair (and arguably needed)
 

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Disclosure: My players and I agreed (mostly) to ban Counterspell years ago. It's not fun for either side.
It's funny, but myself and the groups I play with/DM for just don't use it. There's been no agreement, stated, tacit, or otherwise, just that no one ever picks it. It might be more logical to choose it, but there's just so many more fun and exciting 3rd level spells to prepare...
 

If a good number of viable reaction spells are added to a campaign (homebrew and 3rd party necessary for this), counterspell might not become annoyingly overused.

I also like a home rule of not allowing reactions to be used in chain with other reactions, unless the reactions after the first are readied actions. It helps prevent weirdly long reaction chains that potentially break immersion.
 

HaroldTheHobbit

Adventurer
In principle I'm all for 4e style monsterblocks. But since I use Beyond and AboveVTT spell slots is no bother to use, and my players enjoy the odd lifesaving counterspell at heroic moments. So I will not buy the book and will keep using classic 5e style blocks, at least until anniversary cores/5.5.

As to streamlining, I wish WotC don't just simplify/dumb down stat blocks for 5.5. Go full 4e style and give monsters new and interesting abilities, to get away from bag of hp syndrome.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
It's funny, but myself and the groups I play with/DM for just don't use it. There's been no agreement, stated, tacit, or otherwise, just that no one ever picks it. It might be more logical to choose it, but there's just so many more fun and exciting 3rd level spells to prepare...
Counterspell should be reworked. It's not a great mechanic and in many ways it goes against the grain of the spellcasting system.

If it has to be kept, I'd almost prefer it to be that you cast Counterspell and the target makes a saving throw using their relevant spellcasting ability (Int, Wis or Cha) against your spell save DC. The level of the spell mattering more than the proficiency of the caster feels like a throw back to older editions of D&D where there was really no such thing as "caster proficiency" and spell level was the only marker of power.
 


I treat NPC exactly like PC with all the advantages they have.

Players: we got him surrounded his minions dead and he is stuck in the anti-aging cone of the beholder we bribed.

Me as DM: he doesn't appear to be reacting on his initiative. Hold on.

Players: he is scared

Me as DM: hey sorry guys looks like Rexnar Shadowlord's kid fell of his bike and he needs to deal with it.

Player: huh?

Me: yeah kids not hurt just having a melt down. So he's out the rest of the session.

Players: what the F man?

Me: well last week Steve had that family, just after he got knocked down to one hit point.....so fair is fair. Rexnar will just pop back next week with no consequences. Anyway we got three more hours what do you want to do.
 

BookTenTiger

He / Him
I treat NPC exactly like PC with all the advantages they have.

Players: we got him surrounded his minions dead and he is stuck in the anti-aging cone of the beholder we bribed.

Me as DM: he doesn't appear to be reacting on his initiative. Hold on.

Players: he is scared

Me as DM: hey sorry guys looks like Rexnar Shadowlord's kid fell of his bike and he needs to deal with it.

Player: huh?

Me: yeah kids not hurt just having a melt down. So he's out the rest of the session.

Players: what the F man?

Me: well last week Steve had that family, just after he got knocked down to one hit point.....so fair is fair. Rexnar will just pop back next week with no consequences. Anyway we got three more hours what do you want to do.
We make this joke all the time at the table about the BBEGs!

"Uh, let's end the session here... And by the way, Strahd is out next week so we'll continue the fight without him."
 

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