D&D 5E Disarming a caster's component pouch to prevent him from casting spells

5ekyu

Hero
I'd basically agree about disarm, and I'd stand by my statements about it. Not sure I'd say the same about grapple or shove. You don't grapple a particular body part, and the grappled condition is (like regular attacks) quite abstract.

Using a grapple mechanic to disarm someone (or to break their arm, for that matter) would be more akin to a called shot.
You seem really hung up on that label... Called shot. Lets call them flugazxi instead.

A flugazxi is an attack action where you give up hp loss to inflict a condition on the target or deprive them of needed capability.
Grappled, prone, weapon, components for the spell, etc.

Key is in each case you are trading in action and damage done for the affliction.

Any one of them can be a. "if we can this... Then.." Springboard to another condition affliction, so that not a big platform for discounting one over the other.

The arguments need IMO to be framed from setting and balance not from leapfroggers.

BTW imo the issue is with "how crazy it is to have major class featires tied to easy to disrupt components requirements."

Fix that, as it makes sense would have bern done aeons ago" and you are set.

Arcanist Rings: Common for spellcasters these rings are tied to stashes of mystical components and bring them to you during casting.

Ie the arcane focus direction.

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jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
By called shot, I mean increasing the level of detail of your attack to achieve a desired effect. The book rules are rather abstract about what constitutes an attack and what constitutes damage. Things like called shots and disarms are much more specific about what you're trying to do and what effect that will have.

I would say that, generically, the ability to make that kind of called shot effect is powerful, because it lets you attack your opponent's weakness more directly. Shoot out the beholder's eye, sunder the death knight's sword, disarm the mage's wand.

That's not quite the same as your flugazxi. I would not call a fighter's Distracting Strike or Menacing Attack called shots.
 

Satyrn

First Post
So if i had advantage that washes and i get a pretty straight shot at removing a lot of the spellcaster's power in one shot?
Yes. And when it's successful, it'll likely wind up as a fun, memorable story.

And this has been going on forever in your campaign an no spellcaster came up with a less "gonna get got" way around that? How in the world do they get to 4th level for the feats to try and mitigate the need for materials? Multiple spell pouches in every belt loop. Guano scattered thru all my pocketses?
It's actually never happened at my table. None of us have ever thought to try it. So I don't know how spellcasters would react. On top of that, I don't use very many spellcasters as a DM, either, so this would affect very few encounters.

Can i shoot an arrow and take away the fighter's heavy armor too?
If you describe how you might do so when taking the shot, then yes. I suggest telling me you aim for a buckle or strap.
 

Saeviomagy

Adventurer
It's basically a variant on called shots. If you can aim to disrupt their spell casting, why couldn't you aim for their eyes to blind them?
I'd be ok with this - readying an action means you've given up your entire attack routine for a chance to interfere with the target's action. That could be screwing up his material components, temporarily blinding him (a la sand in the eyes) or whatever. Overall it's going to be a net loss most of the time.
 


5ekyu

Hero
Yes. And when it's successful, it'll likely wind up as a fun, memorable story.


It's actually never happened at my table. None of us have ever thought to try it. So I don't know how spellcasters would react. On top of that, I don't use very many spellcasters as a DM, either, so this would affect very few encounters.



If you describe how you might do so when taking the shot, then yes. I suggest telling me you aim for a buckle or strap.

Something i often try to keep in mind, uses of common capabilities are not "invented" the first time a player at my table happens to do them.

The first time one of your PCs used a magic missile to damage a foe was not the first time that happened in the verse. the first time one of you guys used invisibility to sneak behind a set of guards was not the first time it had been done.

Same for "disarm spell pouch" since that is just using a "assuming you allow it" standard combat maneuver against an obvious target.

Not talking "we invented new spell" or "we discovered new item" or anything like that.

So when it comes up you should, well IMO always should - i do, look at it in context to "what does this mean to my world as it stands and has existed" and then rule on how that works.

As for the armor and stuff, maybe you have quick release armor in your world, but in DND5e taking off armor willingly takes a while, so that is a fine setting element to add with the expected consequences. But one should keep in mind this approach also sets you up for "stranger danger" where less obvious "how does this work" kinds of stuff can tend to get rather oddly imbalanced results.

The pouch is described as a small pouch etc... does not list any sort of protections and this and that but has lots of in game impact. Well, just like armor was not described as "held on with one big vulnerable buckle" but we have ourselves a fairly strong idea of what armor was like to varying degrees so we have a foundation to rule on "how hard is it to get out of" or specifically "how hard is it to knock it off someone with an arrow."

i view practically every depiction in the rules as "in general" and "shorthand" especially for the arcane/divine/otherworldy types of stuff.

they dont talk about how many buildings or strongholds have wards and what they are in the DMG and PHB but i assume many have them in a magical world. i never assume the spells in the PHB or DMG are the sum total and that there are likely lots of other "deterrents" lying around to make certain things chancy... and a little research from the party can start to shown that.

heck a trip into a "bank" in a sizable town or city will likely find it in a temple or such and see the big glowing orb in the main room with swirling shadows in the glow. A sure sign that trying something is going to be a lot less dull than say jumping our IRL mobile home bank on wheels or ATM in the boondocks.

So, net result, as you determine what the rules and results are... if it were me i would be looking at it from "how the world has been dealing with it.

As i have said, might be worth considering if mage armor and other similar spells have an "protective cover" effect for arcanely related items - like spell pouches. Maybe even something special for attuned items as well. giving everybody a bit of the ole witchery switchery to protect a bit of their more significant character defining investments. it wasn't like Elric and Stormbringer (or Arthur and Excalibur) or most of the other heroic figures spent their combat scenes getting disarm shots aimed at them by every tom, dick and ruffian with a bow, right?



For me, especially for attuned items and spell pouches and that kind of "critical to function" gear, i will not use the same "disarm" capabilities as i do for routine normal every day stuff cuz i don't see the combat and world we are trying to play in as what amounts to big games of "tag you're it" or "keepaway". Likely also a number of other mostly mundane options for solving the issues in other ways.
 

Uchawi

First Post
Overall, I think you should be playing a different game if you start getting into the concept of disarming or called shots, including targeting spell components.

It is ok as a unique one time event to thwart an evil litch, prevent the death knight from using their vorpal blade of death, or as a special attack by an ethereal marauder. I can imagine it may eventually lead to two rangers trying to counter arrow each other.
 


Satyrn

First Post
So when it comes up you should, well IMO always should - i do, look at it in context to "what does this mean to my world as it stands and has existed" and then rule on how that works.
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Okay, I get what you're saying, but you didn't mention how this would help what I aim for when making a ruling.

If I do what you suggest instead of what I'm doing now, what's the added fun for the players?
 

5ekyu

Hero
Okay, I get what you're saying, but you didn't mention how this would help what I aim for when making a ruling.

If I do what you suggest instead of what I'm doing now, what's the added fun for the players?

Ok so, i cannot tell you what you should do in your game with your players, just what my experience says.

In my experience, it should not be possible to so easily exploit that "pouch" simplification. just as IMO it should not be able to knock off armor easily either. just as it should not be able to do that to "thieve tools pouch" etc.

The reason is the game world i like to portray would be seriously smacked upside the head. i think in the long term this "high payoff easy todo" move would become very very common place and very effective and like i said turning most combats against intelligent foes into a series of "keepaway" where the focus becomes the "easy stop" to prevent the other guy from getting his stuff off is the way to play. Especially frustrating for players, i would imagine, to keep running around trying to regrab their toys rather than doing the stuff they built their characters to do.

So, IMO, its not "a cool moment" you are losing but a "serious long term addition of un-fun" to the combats.

So in my game, the "spell casting pouch" is a metaphorical description, not a dead spot locked in physical description just like saber can be any number of blades with similar properties. In my games, your attuned items have a degree of protection from such efforts, if it comes up a lowered chance of success like say advantage on the keep it roll **and** disadvantage on the attack it roll at a minimum.

Now, some Gms are fine with "super-agathas" where they allow a one time thing to occur because it makes a scene play out in a certain way but then nod-nod-win-wink "we wont do that again" but i prefer for my players and their characters to see the world as living and consistent and know that ABC today will be ABC tomorrow and 2 weeks from now and likely has been ABC for millennia.

i expect them to exploit things they have tried and seen work. Not wink it away as a "one shot funny".

that said, like i pointed out, ready action to "disarm" the individual ingredient being drawn... trade an action to thwart an action *if it works* makes a lot of sense to me as a balanced possible option where the risk and gain are in keeping with the other options in play.
it also allows the caster to decide "i am casting a verbal spell but lets use my interaction to pull a marble out..." and get the shot fired from the "material shooter" so that his fellow caster later in the round gets a shot.
 

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