D&D 5E Desired Spell Changes

Jeff Carlsen

Adventurer
I thought I'd start a thread dedicated to spells in the current packet that you feel should be altered in some way. This includes:

  • Altering the spells level
  • Combining spells
  • Placing additional limitations on a spell
  • Altering the power level of a spell.

An example:


Cure Wounds; Cure Wounds, Mass; Cure Wounds, Improved Mass

These spells should be combined into cure wounds, with the various options being built in either the base spell or the "At Higher Levels" section.
 

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Szatany

First Post
An example:


Cure Wounds; Cure Wounds, Mass; Cure Wounds, Improved Mass

These spells should be combined into cure wounds, with the various options being built in either the base spell or the "At Higher Levels" section.

I'd say simplicity is paramount when grouping spells. In this case it probably would be simpler in play to have one cure wounds spell, and one mass cure wounds spell. Cure Wounds already has level-up mechanic, so adding another one might be unwise.

Then again, perhaps a general rule of advancing spells to mass versions would be desirable, that would get rid of a sizeable number of rather unnecessary spell entries.
 

Szatany

First Post
Thinking about high level spells I also realized that it's very hard for me to "feel" the difference between 6th or 7th level spells, or 7th vs. 8th, and 8th vs. 9th. Maybe those last 3 or 4 levels should be contracted a bit. Make 6th and 7th level the new 6th. Make 8th and 9th the new 7th. It wouldn't cause any problems and would simplify the game a bit at high levels. Of course caster class tables would have to be adjusted.
 

Jeff Carlsen

Adventurer
Thinking about high level spells I also realized that it's very hard for me to "feel" the difference between 6th or 7th level spells, or 7th vs. 8th, and 8th vs. 9th. Maybe those last 3 or 4 levels should be contracted a bit. Make 6th and 7th level the new 6th. Make 8th and 9th the new 7th. It wouldn't cause any problems and would simplify the game a bit at high levels. Of course caster class tables would have to be adjusted.

While a valid point of conversation, I want to keep the scope of this thread to individual spells within the current structure.
 

Szatany

First Post
  • Aid seems totally unimpressive for 2nd level, could be 1st.
  • I would move some transporation spells up a level. Make levitate level 3, fly level 4, air walk level 5 and so on.
  • Healing spells should be of necromancy school. If there's a problem with conotations, just rename damn thing to vitamancy or something.
  • Fire seeds deals pathetic damage. Beyond useless.
  • Harm (and probably other high level spells) tells me to roll 14d6 (!). I don't want to roll that many dice. Make it so I don't have to roll more than 5 or 6. Ever.
 
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Jeff Carlsen

Adventurer
I'd say simplicity is paramount when grouping spells. In this case it probably would be simpler in play to have one cure wounds spell, and one mass cure wounds spell. Cure Wounds already has level-up mechanic, so adding another one might be unwise.

Then again, perhaps a general rule of advancing spells to mass versions would be desirable, that would get rid of a sizeable number of rather unnecessary spell entries.

I think a general rule is good, but still applied to specific spells. (as an option, other metamagic options could be presented this way.)

I would prefer a language change, though. Instead of "When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher...", I would prefer,

Increased Healing: Increase the level of this spell by one. The healing of this spell increases by 2d8 +1. You can do this multiple times.
Mass: Increase the level of this spell by two. Choose a point you can see within 50 feet of you. Any number of living creatures of your choice within 25 feet are affected by this spell.
 

Szatany

First Post
I think a general rule is good, but still applied to specific spells. (as an option, other metamagic options could be presented this way.)
SUre, I already proposed some time ago that spells should have descriptors that work with such rules. Any spell that has mass keyword would be possible to cast as a mass version ,and rules for mass version would be somewhere in spells chapter.
 

hafrogman

Adventurer
Goodberry is a 1st level druid or ranger spell that can create ten tiny berries (assuming we go by the effect entry, not the flavor text) that can heal, grant a poison or disease save . . . and any creature that eats one doesn't need food or water for a day.

Create Food and Water creates enough food and water for 10 people (or only 5 mounts, compare to any creature above) for one day and does nothing else. It is a 3rd level cleric spell.

I get that there's some difference in focus from cleric to druid, but this still seems a little out of whack. One or other of these needs to be adjusted.
 

GX.Sigma

Adventurer
Polymorph needs to be fixed--currently, it's useless to polymorph allies, and it's completely overpowered to polymorph enemies.
 

Falling Icicle

Adventurer
Cloudkill: This spell needs to have its damage drastically reduced. Right now it's as powerful as cone of cold, which is the same level, but keeps repeating that damage each and every round.

Cure Wounds, Improved Mass: This spell shouldn't exist. Instead, mass cure wounds should be able to scale with higher level slots, just as cure wounds does.

Earthquake: I might be reading this wrong, but it seems like you can open fissures in the ground and then cease concentrating on the spell, causing instant death with no saving throw for every being in the area. The automatic death part needs to be removed.

Faerie Fire: This spell seems a bit too powerful for a cantrip. I think it should be 1st level. Granting your entire party advantage against someone for a turn is a pretty big deal.

Finger of Death: Is there no limit to how many zombies a caster can create with this spell? I suppose if they're ordinary, 1st level zombies, then it's not a huge deal, but they should clarify this. And what happens if you kill non-humanoid creatures? Does finger-of-deathing a dragon give you an ordinary, humanoid zombie? That would be... odd.

Fireball: The 50 ft. range is just too short. I think the range should be at least 100 ft.

Fire Seeds: the damage on this spell seems way too low.

Fly: This should be higher level, at least 4th, maybe 5th. I'd also like to see it be able to affect multiple people with higher level slots, like Air Walk does.

Guidance: this spell is just... annoying. On one hand, the bonus is so small that it hardly matters. On the other, since it can be cast at-will, there's no reason not to constantly use it when out of combat. Having the player cast guidance before almost every check is really annoying. I'd prefer that they increased the bonus, but made it so a single person cant benefit from the spell more than once per day, or something like that.

Lance of Faith: This spell is flat out inferior to Ray of Frost. Same damage, half the range, and no slowing. I understand that clerics shouldn't be as good as blasting things as wizards, but I also feel that spells of the same level should be balanced with each other, regardless of what class gets them. I think it would also be cool if the damage type of this spell was determined by the cleric's deity (i.e. a cleric of a fire god would deal fire damage).

Mage Armor: I think this should be a 1st level spell that lasts for 24 hours, or until you next prepare spells.

Mage Hand: I think it would be neat if this spell could also be used to make minor telekinetic attacks, inflicting 1d4 damage (scaling like other cantrips).

Meteor Swarm: This spell needs to specify that the damage from overlapping meteors don't stack. That, or the meteor damage needs to be reduced. 48d6 damage is beyond insane, even for a 9th level spell.

Polymorph: This spell should work like druid wildshape, with a set of defined forms with stats included in the spell's text. It's extremely overpowered to just let a player look through the monster manual and turn into almost any creature he wants. It also makes it more convenient to have the stats of what you can turn into listed under the spell.

Power Word Kill: This spell is pitifully weak for a 9th level spell. The HP threshold mechanic is terrible and needs to go. The problem is, if the target has the right number of hp, it dies with no save, and I hate things that kill instantly without a save. On the other hand, if the target has too many HP (which is very likely at that level), the spell does absolutely nothing. They should just make the spell do a lot of necrotic damage.

Read Magic: Why is this even a spell? Shouldn't wizards be able to read magical texts as part of their training? And requiring this spell to decipher scrolls makes it a cantrip tax. They should either remove this spell entirely (letting people decipher magical texts with Int checks), or they should at the very least make it a 1st level ritual, so that wizards don't have to spend a precious cantrip known on it.

Resistance: This spell is pathetic. I can't imagine ever wasting my turn casting this.

Shield: I think this spell should last 1 minute.

Stinking Cloud: This spell is ridiculously overpowered. It's like a fireball that keeps going off round after round after round, for the same damage! And it's the same level! Either the damage needs to be drastically reduced, or it needs to go back to being a non-damaging debuff spell, as it was in the past.

Wish: The option to make magic items and other wealth needs to be changed. Right now, a wizard can sit in his tower and mass produce wealth and magic items, not caring about the fatigue drawback of the spell. Creating permanent wealth should require some kind of sacrifice, like expensive material components or some significant cost. On the other hand, I think that the other listed options don't really deserve the severe drawback of the spell. Making the wizard suck for days because he used a get out of jail free card is a bit harsh.
 

Harm (and probably other high level spells) tells me to roll 14d6 (!). I don't want to roll that many dice. Make it so I don't have to roll more than 5 or 6. Ever.

Rolling tons of dice, if done sparingly, can be really damned fun. I miss blasting enemies with fireballs in 2nd and 3rd edition, then racing with my friends to see who could sum them first.

Yes, we are nerds.
 

Jeff Carlsen

Adventurer
Prayer, Bless, Divine Favor, and Shield of Faith should all be combined. Prayer is a third level spell that targets multiple people and grants +1 to AC, attack rolls, damage rolls, ability checks, and saving throws. All the others are lesser forms thereof.

Instead, Prayer should be a level 1 spell. When cast, you choose to grant +1 to one of the following to you and your allies: AC, attack rolls, damage rolls, ability checks, or saving throws. At each level above first, you may choose two additional effects.

This way, it gets rid of a bunch of spells that would otherwise stack, but require concentration anyway.

Similarly, Guidance and Divine Power could be combined into a single spell for increasing a target's ability scores. Choose an ability score. At first level, it increases by +1. At higher levels, in increases by +1 for each level above 1st, with a maximum of +4.
 

1of3

Explorer
Feather Fall and maybe Levitate should have at Higher Level for additional targets.

Silent Image etc. should all be combined into one spell with additional senses, animation and duration At Higher Level.
 

JamesonCourage

Adventurer
I'm all for combining spells, but something to note is that if this is the case, then the number of spells known should probably be lowered, and that learning new spells might need to be hard / harder. As always, play what you like :)
 

Li Shenron

Legend
Antimagic Field: a small clarification is needed on whether you can cast spells from inside the field, provided your target is outside of it (the text only implies that no spells can have effects inside)

Astral Projection: drop the costly requirements, change casting time to 1 hour instead of the unnecessarily complicated "spend 1 hour in meditation + 1 action casting time"

Augury: the casting time difference between casting this spell from a slot vs casting as a ritual is too small to make any difference... either drop the casting time to 1 action or increase the ritual time to something longer for the decision to make sense (otherwise it will always be cast as a ritual)

Blink: minor adjustment needed to the rolls, rolling 11 or more brings you to the Ethereal Plane but it is rolling 1 that may make you lost there, shouldn't it then be slightly better to change 1 to 20 or change 11-20 to 1-10? Also, make the character reappear in the same spot rather than 10ft away (which increases your speed rate in the round)

Color Spray: roll the effect randomly for each target (like Prismatic Spray already does)

Command: change the ST from Wis to Cha

Comprehend Languages: drop the duration to 10 minutes or less, otherwise this 1st level spell devalues the benefits of knowing additional languages

Creeping Doom/Insect Plague: should have some additional effect beside damage, e.g. making spellcasters lose concentration, giving disadvantage on some checks because of the distraction caused by the insects etc.

Detect Magic/Poison/Undead: make them last longer, e.g. 10 minutes, so that they can actually be used while exploring a reasonable area and not just for a single specific room/locale

Dominate Monster: change the ST from Wis to Cha (like Dominate Person already has)

Flesh to Stone:change the ST from Con to Str

Fly: increase the spell level to 5th or more

Freedom of Movement: the 5ft movement cost is pointless, either drop it or increase it to one entire move action so that it makes sense as a cost

Heal: make it heal the target to full HP (but optionally subject to a limit such as max 10x caster level)

Hold Person/Monster: change the ST from Wis to "Str or Cha (target's choice)"

Minor Illusion: change the ST from Wis to Int

Polymorph: decrease the duration for an unwilling target to 1d6 rounds

Raise Dead/Resurrection: simplify casting time to 1 hour instead of "pray 1 hour + 1 action casting time"

Rope Trick: increase spell level to 4th or higher

Sanctuary: change the ST from Wis to Cha with disadvantage (or no ST at all)

Silence: allow spellcasters to cast from inside the area if they succeed at a saving throw (Wis/Int/Cha based on what is their casting stat)

Sleep: automatically and immediately (before the trigger completes) end the effect on a target if the something harmful is done against the target (ie attacking it, CdG, casting a harmful spell on it, forcing it to move etc.)

Mass Suggestion: change the ST from Wis to Cha

Thunderwave: change the ST from Dex (seriously... dodging thunder?) to Con (like Sound Burst already has)

True Seeing: drop the duration to 10 minutes

Wish: change the text from "The DM has a lot of latitude in ruling what occurs in such an instance" (referred to achieving something beyond the examples) to "The DM has a lot of latitude in ruling what occurse in EVERY instance of using this spell"
 

Raith5

Adventurer
I agree with many of these suggestions. I just wish that Detect Magic/Poison/Undead were skills rather than automatic spells. I quite like the idea that that the PC are /mostly/ sure sure that a crypt doesnt have any undead around.
 

Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
These are great suggestions, and the lists by [MENTION=17077]Falling Icicle[/MENTION] and [MENTION=1465]Li Shenron[/MENTION] all offer many improvements. At a first read, about 3/4 seem like no-brainers.

I love threads like this with real, solid suggestions for improvement. Thanks!
 
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zoroaster100

First Post
I agree with Falling Icicle's suggestion for spell changes, except I'm ok with Lance of Faith doing slightly less damage than Ray of Frost since it is a cleric spell, and I'm ok with Mage Armor as is.

Cloudkill: This spell needs to have its damage drastically reduced. Right now it's as powerful as cone of cold, which is the same level, but keeps repeating that damage each and every round.

Cure Wounds, Improved Mass: This spell shouldn't exist. Instead, mass cure wounds should be able to scale with higher level slots, just as cure wounds does.

Earthquake: I might be reading this wrong, but it seems like you can open fissures in the ground and then cease concentrating on the spell, causing instant death with no saving throw for every being in the area. The automatic death part needs to be removed.

Faerie Fire: This spell seems a bit too powerful for a cantrip. I think it should be 1st level. Granting your entire party advantage against someone for a turn is a pretty big deal.

Finger of Death: Is there no limit to how many zombies a caster can create with this spell? I suppose if they're ordinary, 1st level zombies, then it's not a huge deal, but they should clarify this. And what happens if you kill non-humanoid creatures? Does finger-of-deathing a dragon give you an ordinary, humanoid zombie? That would be... odd.

Fireball: The 50 ft. range is just too short. I think the range should be at least 100 ft.

Fire Seeds: the damage on this spell seems way too low.

Fly: This should be higher level, at least 4th, maybe 5th. I'd also like to see it be able to affect multiple people with higher level slots, like Air Walk does.

Guidance: this spell is just... annoying. On one hand, the bonus is so small that it hardly matters. On the other, since it can be cast at-will, there's no reason not to constantly use it when out of combat. Having the player cast guidance before almost every check is really annoying. I'd prefer that they increased the bonus, but made it so a single person cant benefit from the spell more than once per day, or something like that.

Lance of Faith: This spell is flat out inferior to Ray of Frost. Same damage, half the range, and no slowing. I understand that clerics shouldn't be as good as blasting things as wizards, but I also feel that spells of the same level should be balanced with each other, regardless of what class gets them. I think it would also be cool if the damage type of this spell was determined by the cleric's deity (i.e. a cleric of a fire god would deal fire damage).

Mage Armor: I think this should be a 1st level spell that lasts for 24 hours, or until you next prepare spells.

Mage Hand: I think it would be neat if this spell could also be used to make minor telekinetic attacks, inflicting 1d4 damage (scaling like other cantrips).

Meteor Swarm: This spell needs to specify that the damage from overlapping meteors don't stack. That, or the meteor damage needs to be reduced. 48d6 damage is beyond insane, even for a 9th level spell.

Polymorph: This spell should work like druid wildshape, with a set of defined forms with stats included in the spell's text. It's extremely overpowered to just let a player look through the monster manual and turn into almost any creature he wants. It also makes it more convenient to have the stats of what you can turn into listed under the spell.

Power Word Kill: This spell is pitifully weak for a 9th level spell. The HP threshold mechanic is terrible and needs to go. The problem is, if the target has the right number of hp, it dies with no save, and I hate things that kill instantly without a save. On the other hand, if the target has too many HP (which is very likely at that level), the spell does absolutely nothing. They should just make the spell do a lot of necrotic damage.

Read Magic: Why is this even a spell? Shouldn't wizards be able to read magical texts as part of their training? And requiring this spell to decipher scrolls makes it a cantrip tax. They should either remove this spell entirely (letting people decipher magical texts with Int checks), or they should at the very least make it a 1st level ritual, so that wizards don't have to spend a precious cantrip known on it.

Resistance: This spell is pathetic. I can't imagine ever wasting my turn casting this.

Shield: I think this spell should last 1 minute.

Stinking Cloud: This spell is ridiculously overpowered. It's like a fireball that keeps going off round after round after round, for the same damage! And it's the same level! Either the damage needs to be drastically reduced, or it needs to go back to being a non-damaging debuff spell, as it was in the past.

Wish: The option to make magic items and other wealth needs to be changed. Right now, a wizard can sit in his tower and mass produce wealth and magic items, not caring about the fatigue drawback of the spell. Creating permanent wealth should require some kind of sacrifice, like expensive material components or some significant cost. On the other hand, I think that the other listed options don't really deserve the severe drawback of the spell. Making the wizard suck for days because he used a get out of jail free card is a bit harsh.
 

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