OneDnD December 1st UA Spell changes

You're going to have to do some fast talking to convince anyone of that...
I don't particularly care if I convince anyone. Some people prefer having some spells just be "the good spells" and don't really care about balance all that much. Other people worship at the church of balance. I fall into the first category, and despite your implication that I'm the only one who does I don't think I am.

But I am not terribly doctrinaire about the preference. I think if all the spells are more strictly balanced they'll be less interesting (as will the game on the whole), but on my list of complaints about the playtest it hardly merits mention.
 

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I mean, there's no "fact of the matter" here, but I don't think there's anything remotely "solid" about it. A 1d8+mod bonus action attack for a 2nd level slot and concentration is bad. You're never casting this if you're trying to even vaguely optimize spellcasting.
Well no, I will casting this, because I want to make use of my bonus action, and it's one of the better uses of concentration for a first tier Cleric, and after I lose concentration on whatever you consider optimal I don't necessarily want to spend an action mid-to-late fight starting up a new concentration demanding buff, when I can use a bonus action to cast a spell with immediate and ongoing results. All forms of bonus action attack are worthwhile options at low levels when attacks are scarce. Clearly you won't cast it, which is a perfectly sensible approach as well, because it is now just an average quality spell balanced to it's arcane cousin Flaming Sphere, there are other things to do with concentration, and you clearly resent it's new status as an average spell of its level. But it's not some sort of trap option, it's just now ordinary rather than exceptional.

Maybe your dictionary has a different definition of "bad" than mine, or maybe by the lofty standards of your table I'm a terrible player, but a second level concentration spell for bonus action 1d8+mod force attacks seems fine to me. It's just anemic compared to it's too-good-to-skip 5e version.
 
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Well no, I will casting this, because I want to make use of my bonus action, and it's one of the better uses of concentration for a first tier Cleric, and after I lose concentration on whatever you consider optimal I don't necessarily want to spend an action mid-to-late fight starting up a new concentration demanding buff, when I can use a bonus action to cast a spell with immediate and ongoing results. Clearly you won't cast it, which is a perfectly sensible approach as well, because it is now just an average quality spell balanced to it's arcane cousin Flaming Sphere, there are other things to do with concentration, and you clearly resent it's new status as an average spell of its level. But it's not some sort of trap option, it's just now ordinary rather than exceptional.
Okay, so...
1. Can you think of anything else that clerics frequently do in combat that requires a bonus action? I can think of a big one, and it's the reason my cleric often didn't get to make spiritual weapon attacks even when it didn't require concentration.
2. If you think a 1d8+mod bonus action attack is one of the better uses of concentration for a first tier cleric, I don't really know what to say about that. It's not better than bless, right? Like, even if you're alone, it probably still isn't better than bless in most scenarios, but presumably you won't be alone very often.
3. Yeah, it's balanced against flaming sphere, except it has no area denial, doesn't deal any damage on a "miss," has a third less mobility, and can't set anything on fire. I mean, if flaming sphere dealt damage only on a failed save and did nothing else, would you consider it a "solid" spell?

ETA: Also, what's the deal with the "resent" nonsense? I promise I don't "resent" any changes in the new rules, and certainly not a nerf to a 2nd-level cleric spell. It's not as if D&D will be ruined if spiritual weapon is a bad spell.
 

Okay, so...
1. Can you think of anything else that clerics frequently do in combat that requires a bonus action? I can think of a big one, and it's the reason my cleric often didn't get to make spiritual weapon attacks even when it didn't require concentration.
2. If you think a 1d8+mod bonus action attack is one of the better uses of concentration for a first tier cleric, I don't really know what to say about that. It's not better than bless, right? Like, even if you're alone, it probably still isn't better than bless in most scenarios, but presumably you won't be alone very often.
3. Yeah, it's balanced against flaming sphere, except it has no area denial, doesn't deal any damage on a "miss," has a third less mobility, and can't set anything on fire. I mean, if flaming sphere dealt damage only on a failed save and did nothing else, would you consider it a "solid" spell?
So if a spell isn't the best in all situations it is bad. Glad you could clarify your definition.

1. Spiritual weapon is useful on any combat turn, whereas Healing Word is only a good use of your bonus action and (the spell slot) on turns where there is an ally whom it will keep in the fight or save from death.
2. Yeah, Bless is a use of concentration than this formulation of Spiritual Weapon. But I already explained that sometimes I don't want to spend my action casting a spell, and you clearly recognize that sometimes a character's allies are out of range. If I have a prep round for the combat I'd cast Bless. If the enemies are already upon me I'd often (not necessarily always, because I don't consider always a prerequisite for spells not being bad) rather attack them and use my bonus action to cast Spiritual Weapon and have it attack them as well, and hopefully rinse and repeat next round, rather than invest in a spell that won't pay any dividends turn of and then have nothing to do with my bonus action. If it seems like a saving throw intensive fight or there are high AC enemies the balance shifts back more Bless-ward.
3. On a hit this spell does more average damage of a less resisted type than Flaming Sphere, at the cost of not doing a fairly piddling amount of damage on a miss (half of 2d6 rounded down is 3 damage); it is reliant on attacks rather than saving throws, which makes it compatible with a different set of other features and abilities and makes it more or less effective depending on the target; and while it lacks the battlefield control aspects of Flaming Sphere it also is not a danger or nuissance to allies in tight spaces. So I'd call them on par with each other, and both good spells for the right situation, which is what spells are supposed to be.
 

So if a spell isn't the best in all situations it is bad. Glad you could clarify your definition.
Did I say that? If I didn't, why are you suggesting I did?

Let me try to put it this way: If I'm a "first tier cleric" in a tough fight, I'm not going to spend my bonus actions and concentration on a 1d8+mod attack. If I'm a first tier cleric in an easier fight, I'm not spending a 2nd-level spell slot on a 1d8+mod attack. And after Tier 1, forget about it.

This is why I said "you're never going to cast this spell if you're even remotely trying to optimize spellcasting." I should have said "one" rather than "you're" -- I'm obviously not trying to tell you what you, personally, are going to do. And I use the term "optimize" extremely loosely, here -- this is kind of rudimentary spellcasting. In this respect, it's worse than a situational spell. I mean, we haven't even talked about the preparation opportunity cost. I literally can't even imagine a case where I'd regret not having this spell prepared. That sounds like a bad spell.

By the way...

If it seems like a saving throw intensive fight or there are high AC enemies the balance shifts back more Bless-ward.

They're all very likely to be "saving throw intensive" now that it's a concentration spell! That's why I suggested bless is likely a better choice for your concentration even if you're alone. At least you're less likely to lose it the first time you get hit by something. On the other hand, that would free you up to do something more useful with your concentration. ;)
 

Clint_L

Hero
I mean, there's no "fact of the matter" here, but I don't think there's anything remotely "solid" about it. A 1d8+mod bonus action attack for a 2nd level slot and concentration is bad. You're never casting this if you're trying to even vaguely optimize spellcasting.
Disagree. It is currently too good at low levels - I define "too good" as spells which are an automatic choice. Using concentration makes it an actual choice, and the attack is still just as strong; in a game where action economy is king, making sure that you have something that you can do with your bonus action is always useful. People will still take it, but now they might put some thought into it and choose it situationally.
 

Lojaan

Adventurer
I think this Guidance and Resistance are bad.

They feel like if you play a cleric you gotta give up 2 of your cantrips or your party is going to be mad at you.

May as well just reduce the number of cantrips clerics can have by 2 and give everyone in their party +d4 on all skill tests and saving throws 'cause why not. Ugh.

I dont like either of these spells as cantrips and I think they should either be removed or seriously reworked.
 

Dausuul

Legend
Constantly muttering prayers while holding a rosary is absolutely not suspect. Having a religious friend besides you isn't either. In both these cases we don't mind in real life. The only thing that might give it is if your religious friend is knotted to you by a 10' rope.
In real life, muttering prayers while holding a rosary is not known to be a means of resurrecting the dead, summoning warrior angels, or creating an earthquake.

In D&D-world, the rosary might as well be a machine gun, and holding it while muttering prayers is like putting your finger on the trigger. It is one hundred percent suspicious to anyone who has seen a spellcaster in action.
 

mellored

Adventurer
I mean, there's no "fact of the matter" here, but I don't think there's anything remotely "solid" about it. A 1d8+mod bonus action attack for a 2nd level slot and concentration is bad. You're never casting this if you're trying to even vaguely optimize spellcasting.
It's still the best damaging level 2 cleric spell. Especially since you can still shoot a cantrip with it.

I mean, what else are you going to do? Become a wizard and get flaming sphere?
 

Disagree. It is currently too good at low levels - I define "too good" as spells which are an automatic choice.
I mean, a lot of optimizers already didn't take it, so I don't think it was automatic. It's just a bit of incremental DPR. I think it ended up being automatic for a lot of tables that have one or two combats per long rest, which, granted, is unfortunately probably a significant percentage of tables. If you're in a low-level game where 2nd-level slots aren't particularly precious and the one or two fights tend to go longer, it's quite good.

In my experience, it only became automatic at higher levels, because why not, but then the little bit of incremental DPR wasn't making much difference, either.

Like I said, though, I don't think it matters very much in the grand scheme of things. I think it's a bad spell. The cleric list will hardly notice the addition of another one. ;)
 

mellored

Adventurer
3. Yeah, it's balanced against flaming sphere, except it has no area denial, doesn't deal any damage on a "miss," has a third less mobility, and can't set anything on fire. I mean, if flaming sphere dealt damage only on a failed save and did nothing else, would you consider it a "solid" spell?
Do you think clerics should deal more damage than a wizard or sorcerer?
 

It's still the best damaging level 2 cleric spell.

That's a bloody low bar. Isn't it the only damaging level 2 cleric spell? :D

I mean, what else are you going to do? Become a wizard and get flaming sphere?

In my perfect world, you'd be a fire cleric and cast flaming sphere (or some other cool, thematic spell) because Wizards bothered to design good domain spell lists 1-17. In the real world of 5.5e, I'm not sure what I'll be doing, but I know I won't be casting spiritual weapon!

ETA: Really bad example because I forgot about the light cleric. :D
 





Uh...no? Certainly not in OD&D, B/X, AD&D or 3.x. Maybe all the others, I'm not sure.

Oh sorry. Did you mean real single target damage, or dealing more damage with area spells than the cleric did single target?

Then we had power word kill or just finget of death...
Cleric had harm. So wizards always did one more damage than clerics... At least in the editions I remember...
 
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Stalker0

Legend
In D&D-world, the rosary might as well be a machine gun, and holding it while muttering prayers is like putting your finger on the trigger. It is one hundred percent suspicious to anyone who has seen a spellcaster in action.
Something actually very interesting that the playtest packet highlights.

Most people in the world don't have classes. Most priests in the world aren't clerics and don't have divine magic. So 99 times out of a 100 you see some guy with the rosary muttering a prayer, its just a guy muttering a prayer. It is the very rare case to see a person with actual connection to divine magic going to work.
 

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