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D&D 5E does it seem lke tcoe Order of scribes wizard is largely solutions in search of a problem dressed up as an archetype?

The archetype's big claim to fame is a fancy spellbook & a magic quill, but the quill comes before the book on tcoe 77 so I'll start there
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That highlighted part about not needing ink does nothing for PHB114(copying a spell into the book) "For each level of the spell, the process takes 2 hours and costs 50 gp. The cost represents material components you expend as you experiment with the spell to master it, as well as the fine inks you need to record it. Once you have spent ". In factthe UA version had a phrase that suggests the tcoe one intentionally does not alter the price as it also had the doesn't require ink in addition to "The gold and time you must spend to copy a spell into your spellbook are halved if you use the quill for the transcription. ".

Before getting to the spellbook you start out with a solution in search of the specific problem where you have the magic inks & such and more importantly a spellbook/scroll/etc you can scribe a new spell from and desperately need to scribe that to your spellbook before you can take a long rest so you can change your prepared spells (phb114 preparing & casting spells). That probably sounds ridiculously contrived, I can't even claim credit for it & you can watch someone trying to talk it up with that exact situation here. Notably the other person in that video was talking about how it costs gold to learn & spells are hard to find immediately before that "hold them off" that forgets a long rest is required to swap prepared spells...

Wizard archetypes usually cut the cost to scribe in half & give a useful ability tied to that school, Order of scribes gets a solution in search of a problem that requires changing how the class prepares spells & no cost reduction so the book needs to be especially nice. It has three different bullet points.. so if we go by bullet points alone it might make up for things
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Point 1 on the spellbook is.... bad. Using your spellbook as a focus is something that literally provides no improvement over any regular focus items so it might as well say "you can wear a hat". I'm going to take the next two points out of order & tackle the simpler third point that allows you to cast a ritual spell as an action once per long rest. Unfortunately, no matter how much wotc desperately wants to believe that ritual spells are a fully fleshed out & powerful tool across the entire level spread, they largely end at 3rd & at their best are little more than a promising proof of concept never completed so we've got a bullet point that amounts to
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Well there we have the erroneous 20 minutes. That contrived situation depends on...
  • Having a spell you don't have scribed to your spellbook in some other spellbook or a scroll you for some reason can't use but can scribe
  • desperately needing to scribe it but not being able to wait 2hr/spell level
  • Having the special inks & such to scribe that spell amounting to 50gp/spell level of that spell with you in the field. Apparently you knew that this would be required so brought them with you instead of just ding it before you left?
  • Scribing the spell you seem to have known you would need to scribe but didn't quickly scribe earlier
  • Having tiny hut in your spellbook
  • spending ten rather than twenty minutes to ritually cast tiny hut
  • taking a long rest
  • hoping that the baddies on the other side of that door he noted can't dispel the hut so you can finish a long rest but not wait for the hut to drop
  • Sometime between 2 & 18 minutes after the hut ends prepare the spell you just scribed.
That just leaves the second point "When you cast a wizard spell with a spell slot, you can temporarily replace its damage type with a type that appears in another spell in your spellbook, which magically alters the spell's formula for this casting only. The latter spell must be of the same level as the spell slot you expend. "sounds a lot like free energy substitution on any spell so must be pretty useful for getting around 5e's excessive use of energy resist/immune tags... Until you look at it in the context of how the wizard class works... In that same video from earlier at a different timestamp Kenreck clearly lays out the first two problems with this trap of an ability. "I wish as a dungeon master I was a little bit more stringent on wizards to give them that feeling of having to study having to work for the spells I think that's kinda part of the buyin of being a wizard & I certainly feel like I have failed in the past to provide that kinda like 'it costs gold to like you know learn a spell and it's hard to find spells". So with the video and rarity of spellboks/lack of sufficient gold to use them in the hardcover adventures cleared up it just leaves the last major flaw in the second trap bullet point.... You can't just have any spell in your spellbook with the desired element, it needs to be of the same level your casting at so prepare to use a lot of those 2 spells/level on damage spells of the same level unless you win the jackpot lottery & find a lot of those "hard to find" spells that "cost gold to learn"

With 5e moving away from & inverting LFQW the 1st/2nd edition targeting of spellbooks is pretty universally seen as "a dick move" on the GM's part so I wont go into the value of easily replacing the book like that if you get disintegrated/fall in lava/etc since those are unusual events for any character & not a something that an archetype should hang its hat on.

Manifest mind seem like an interesting ability shure... but is it?.. Proficiency bonus times per long rest you can manifest it as
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That sounds familiar.... Maybe someone could find a spell that does similar, I can't imagine what such a familiar sounding spell would be called if someone were to find it though. It has 3x the range of find familiar, isn't limited to touch range spells but restricted to prof bonus/long rest uses, is harder to kill than a familiar, & doesn't cost ten gold to cast like find familiar does... which is critical for you as "it costs gold to learn spellls" as kenrick explained in the video.


At level 10 you basically get a couple low level warlock slots that recharge on long rest & require you to prepare spells into beforehand with the ability to scribe two (and only two) s1st or 2nd level spells that cast as 2nd & 3rd level spells respectively. Luckily you get this when there is like a 90% chance that the game has already ended or is about to end rather than at a lwer level when a couple extra second or third level spells might really shine.

Finally at 14 when gentle repose, revivify, reincarnation, raise dead, & resurrection along with god knows how many healing spells & abilities are all available you gain an ability to burn up those expensive hard to find spells for a few long rests instead of taking damage on an attack.
 

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Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Wow you totally missed the power and utility of so many of these features. So many to cover I feel like it would be better for you to view TreantMonk's video on this (where he describes why this is a contender for most powerful Wizard subclass) rather than go over them all. I think you will find it enlightening.

 

Wow you totally missed the power and utility of so many of these features. So many to cover I feel like it would be better for you to view TreantMonk's video on this (where he describes why this is a contender for most powerful Wizard subclass) rather than go over them all. I think you will find it enlightening.

His points don't hold up well because they all assume that gold is far more plentiful than any of the 5e HCs allow or that the quill allows free scribing & plentiful spellbooks. Take the spellbook he brings up that would need 62 hours to transcribe. He didn't pull it from any of the HC adventures, he generated it randomly online.. which is critical because it's dramatically more filled out than those. 4 1s, 6 2nd, 5 3rd level spells... those 62 hours of scribing cost 1,550gp. Not only that, scribing is light activity & can be done 2 hours during a long rest, a full 8 if they don't need the rest, plus an hour of it during each of the no more no less two short rests wotc demands the campaign conform to for so warlock isn't unbalanced. Back in 3.5 you had a wealth by level system in place that would easily fit that within the expected budget with some squeezing even if you are including the value of the book itself in that level (as RAW should iirc). In 5e.. not so much & I don't believe any of the WotC hardcover adventures have a gold budget allocated to the party so a wizard could expect to have that much gold by level 5(especially after you factor in the split across 4-6 players)... "Hey guys" I need some time to scribe this" is usually doable with a party nod in agreement handwave... not so much with large amounts of gold. Wotc needs to design classes for the content they make & vice versa not the whims of a gm who is using guidelines that no longer exist.

He went on to talk about downtime. It's an AL construct with zero downtime by level guidelines akin to the old wealth by level guidelines

He continued talking about just scribing one spell to the spellbook while the party is drinking potions, but again that example with the alarm spell literally only works because it's a ritual spell & can be cast from the book without needing a long rest to prep a new spell list per phb114.

"The quill doesn't need ink. weather that's going to have any effect on the cost is up to your gm because the book certainly doesn't specify that the cost is reduced in any way"... That right there is key, you could take any ranger subclass & make it amazing once the gm starts adding to their abilities.

His cloudkill example talking about the spellbook is a good example & the sort of thing that order of the scribes should be great with... except literally every problem I raised in getting there is ignored in order to make it. Yes it should be a good or great ability, but the high cost of scribing compared to available gold & scarcity of spellbooks/spell scrolls completely cripples the ability

He talks up the ritual thing & he's not wrong that there are situations where it would be useful, but ritual spells are too underdeveloped & rarely the sort of thing you can't just wait ten minutes for.

"the party doesn't want to wait around for you to do the detect magic to checkout the hoard of the creatures you just defeated because there's more creatures in the next room"... "hey guys lets check for magic items with detect magic" > "o I don't want to wait for that" said no party ever. The waterbreathing example he came up with is quite possibly one of if not the only case where recasting it could be an emergency, but the 1/long rest is overly restrictive for such a niche as either of those for the archetype t hang its hat on.


He talks up the ability to cast spells through manifest mind. Yes there are situations where it could be useful... but as I said before...
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Yes all of his examples of asymmetrical warfare are valid, but the odds of the deadly encounters he talks up bieng trivilized by proficiency bonus number of spells is not very high
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master scrivner in his own words "It's ok. I don't think this is a standout for the scribes wizard" and "mechanically I don't think it's going to have a big impact".. an ok not a standout ability after the assumption of free scribing or large amounts of gold needed to make a good number of prior abilities stand up.

With one with the word he finally acknowledges cost & brings up that it would take 5,400gp worth of suseless spells in the spellbook (remember the HC trend & what Kenreck said about finding those spellsthose spells are"hard to find") to use it 1/day without losing spells you use but he goes on "I think for most wizards it would really hurt".
 


Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
His points don't hold up well because they all assume that gold is far more plentiful than any of the 5e HCs allow or that the quill allows free scribing & plentiful spellbooks. Take the spellbook he brings up that would need 62 hours to transcribe. He didn't pull it from any of the HC adventures, he generated it randomly online.. which is critical because it's dramatically more filled out than those. 4 1s, 6 2nd, 5 3rd level spells... those 62 hours of scribing cost 1,550gp. Not only that, scribing is light activity & can be done 2 hours during a long rest, a full 8 if they don't need the rest, plus an hour of it during each of the no more no less two short rests wotc demands the campaign conform to for so warlock isn't unbalanced. Back in 3.5 you had a wealth by level system in place that would easily fit that within the expected budget with some squeezing even if you are including the value of the book itself in that level (as RAW should iirc). In 5e.. not so much & I don't believe any of the WotC hardcover adventures have a gold budget allocated to the party so a wizard could expect to have that much gold by level 5(especially after you factor in the split across 4-6 players)... "Hey guys" I need some time to scribe this" is usually doable with a party nod in agreement handwave... not so much with large amounts of gold. Wotc needs to design classes for the content they make & vice versa not the whims of a gm who is using guidelines that no longer exist.

This is not accurate in my experience. We're playing through Yawning Portal, and in a different campaign Mad Mage, and in both there is 1) not enough downtime at all to scribe during the adventures, 2) plenty of spellbooks and scrolls to scribe which are fairly similar to the random one he generated, and 3) plenty of gold with which to buy supplies to have on hand to do scribing, if only you had the time. Right now in Yawning Portal I have had an enemy scrollbook and 6 scrolls I have been completely unable to scribe for all of Doomvault. I so wish I had the time but it's impossible. This class would have let me do it in 2 hours or less.

Your experience might vary but the claim this set of class abilities is not designed for the content they have made is false.


He went on to talk about downtime. It's an AL construct with zero downtime by level guidelines akin to the old wealth by level guidelines

Downtime is not just an AL construct it's right out of the DMG.
He continued talking about just scribing one spell to the spellbook while the party is drinking potions, but again that example with the alarm spell literally only works because it's a ritual spell & can be cast from the book without needing a long rest to prep a new spell list per phb114.
So?
"The quill doesn't need ink. weather that's going to have any effect on the cost is up to your gm because the book certainly doesn't specify that the cost is reduced in any way"... That right there is key, you could take any ranger subclass & make it amazing once the gm starts adding to their abilities.
He's being thorough. Some DMs will rule it is zero cost with the quill, others will not. Most of his video assumes you do have to pay for the expensive inks. Most people complain 5e has nothing to spend gold on, and here you are pretending everyone's short handed on gold. Funny that.

His cloudkill example talking about the spellbook is a good example & the sort of thing that order of the scribes should be great with... except literally every problem I raised in getting there is ignored in order to make it. Yes it should be a good or great ability, but the high cost of scribing compared to available gold & scarcity of spellbooks/spell scrolls completely cripples the ability
It does not. Your worry is not something reflected by most players. Why are your PCs so poor by midlevels when most complain that the lack of magic shops as a generalization in 5e makes it so that everyone is looking for ways to spend gold? Why are you having trouble finding spellbooks when I have yet to play a 5e adventure (6 years now of two games a week) that DIDN'T have one. We even found one in Strahd I think.
He talks up the ritual thing & he's not wrong that there are situations where it would be useful, but ritual spells are too underdeveloped & rarely the sort of thing you can't just wait ten minutes for.
Comprehend Languages comes up fairly often for my wizard where they need to cast it quickly and not wait 10 minutes. Detect Magic has definitely come up where we could use it cast right away, and it's one reason Warlocks sometimes take it as an instant-on ability. Breath Water can be pretty handy when you find yourself suddenly about to be dumped into water.

He talks up the ability to cast spells through manifest mind. Yes there are situations where it could be useful... but as I said before...
Yes, we are all aware it's proficiency bonus times a day. A LOT of good powers work this way. It comes out, over all 20 levels, to be roughly around 2 times per short rest. It's a good ability.

Yes all of his examples of asymmetrical warfare are valid, but the odds of the deadly encounters he talks up bieng trivilized by proficiency bonus number of spells is not very high

It can severely soften up foes. I'd love to be able for my wizard to have this ability. I think it will be a real game changer. Maybe you have not played many mid to high level wizards?
 

@DemoMonkey the lack of wealth by level & addition of the HC adventures being so hostile to wizards makes it a wotc problem not a table problem as the only guidance is a failure.
@Mistwell regarding your TyP play through....
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Wealth by level tables were a thing back then, but sure..
  • TSC is an adventure intended for "four or five five first level characters": 125gp/signet ring (3 total), 23sp 4gp, 1d10gp 2d10sp & a +1 arrow, 125gp dagger 45gp from ring/ring/amulet, 72gp, 3 cleric scrolls, 50gp in gems, 4x15gp figurines, 35gp, 60gp in jewels, 2d6-2sp 1d6-1gp, 1d4-1 5gp gems, 68gp & 75gp in gems, 17gp, 10gp, 50gp flask, 25gp ring, 26gp assorted trinkets, 100gp case, 30gp & medium chain shirt, 40gp earings, 50gp necklace, 231gp & 60gp in gems, 78gp, 100gp in gems, 5gp, 100gp in gems, 2 wizard scrolls & a tome of lore worth 150gp, 34go & 2 alchemist flasks, 2 druid scrolls 150gp 150go 365gp & 80gp in gems... That is more scrolls than you find in most entire HC campaigns & dramatically more than other 5e HCs for 1st levels. Your swimming in gold from running TYP stuff because that WBL stuff applies to the treasure .
As to Domm, given that one of the starting quests is literally to hunt down spellbooks for pay, even you need to admit that it's an unusual situation.
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While yes both the DMG & XgE both have downtime activities, there are no guidelines or even vague suggestions on how much downtime the system expects the GM toa award & more importantly the phb114 scribing spells sidebar does not mention it whatsoever. a half finished ruleset is not a solution.

Bringing up people complaining about there being nothing to spend gp on is a naked attempt to avoid the problem & actually draws attention to it being a severe problem. Having one an only one class that has a massive goldsink it requires to use a class ability while designing hardcover adventures that generally fail miserably at meeting the needs of that class is a severe proble on wotc's part.
 


Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Wealth by level tables were a thing back then, but sure..

I am glad we the agree the adventure path, which is a really good one and relatively popular, does have lots of spellbooks, scrolls, and gold.

As to Domm, given that one of the starting quests is literally to hunt down spellbooks for pay, even you need to admit that it's an unusual situation.

Apparently not, as this is now the second adventure path (a relatively new one) which also has lots of spellbooks, scrolls, and gold.


Bringing up people complaining about there being nothing to spend gp on is a naked attempt to avoid the problem & actually draws attention to it being a severe problem. Having one an only one class that has a massive goldsink it requires to use a class ability while designing hardcover adventures that generally fail miserably at meeting the needs of that class is a severe proble on wotc's part.
It's not this massive gold sink. It's actually a relatively modest one. The Fighter trying to buy plate armor was hurting for gold a whole heck of a lot more than my wizard paying to scribe some found items into his spellbook.

Hardcover adventures do not, in fact, fail at all to meet the needs of that class. We've already established that in this conversation, and you've raised no contrary set of examples.

I think at this point you seem to be just looking for people to validate your opinion. Well, if that's all you wanted, why post asking for people's opinions. I think you're wrong. I've linked to a video of a prominent optimizer who thinks you're wrong. I've given many examples of published adventures demonstrating many of your points are wrong. At some point, during a conversation, you probably should grapple with the possibility you got a valid contrary opinion to your first impression.
 

I think at this point you seem to be just looking for people to validate your opinion. Well, if that's all you wanted, why post asking for people's opinions. I think you're wrong. I've linked to a video of a prominent optimizer who thinks you're wrong. I've given many examples of published adventures demonstrating many of your points are wrong. At some point, during a conversation, you probably should grapple with the possibility you got a valid contrary opinion to your first impression.
I explained the bad assumptions that his "it's really good" video makes & even he admits that it depends largely on houserling extra stuff into the class to make the quill negate the cost of scribing. By the logic being used for your argument ranger is a stupendous class once you add sneak attack & a third/fourth attack.... sure it doesn't say they get those things, but you could talk to your gm.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
I explained the bad assumptions that his "it's really good" video makes & even he admits that it depends largely on houserling extra stuff into the class to make the quill negate the cost of scribing. By the logic being used for your argument ranger is a stupendous class once you add sneak attack & a third/fourth attack.... sure it doesn't say they get those things, but you could talk to your gm.
No now you're fibbing. He mentioned a single side note about how it's possible some DMs will interpret that rule (which is subject to interpretation, this is not a clear house rule) in an even more beneficial way. But, on the whole he is presenting it as very good WITH the cost included and not without the cost.

Now the fact you responded immediately with a misrepresentation like that tells me you are not, in fact, looking for a conversation here. OK then, have fun talking to other people and seeking some sort of validation for your opinion I guess?
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
The level 14 feature, One with the word, is a step further in the 5 minutes workday.
A long rest won’t be enough! 1d6 days, but even the gritty realistic wont be satisfied!
It's true, but as it's just spells in your book and not spells you have prepared, it's pretty easy to have some spells in your book you never had any intention of preparing. It's a good emergency ability.
 



ardoughter

Hero
Supporter
I would like Crawford to provide an official ruling on the ink cost. The cost of scribing a spell is from the special ink needed which this class says your magic quill provides.
At second level one can copy ones entire spell book into another spell book at no cost, So I would say that scribing is also at no cost.
 

G

Guest User

Guest
There is always a "catch" to a Treantmono video. There is always some presumption,
Chris makes, that is not universal, and hurts the case he is making.

Treantmonk's error in this video regarding Order of the Scribes is assuming that no DM ever alters the statblocks of monsters and NPC's, and therefore Dispel Magic is not going to be a commonly encountered spell.

Drow elves, Wizard's in Undermountain, Red Wizard's of Thay, spellcasting dragons, all of these creatures are likely to have access to a Dispel Magic effect.

A CR 12 Archmage can cast Time Stop and then Dispel Magic the OoS' Manifest Mind.
One might as well use your 14th level ability, One with the Word early, and prevent that damage..because if the BBEG is Halaster, Acererak, or someone with lots of acolytes with Dispel Magic your subclass capstone is getting negated.

Order of the Scribes is a good adventuring Wizard. The design intent, for the subclass strikes me as similar to the Champion. The abilities are rather straight forward and easy to use.
 


Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
There is always a "catch" to a Treantmono video. There is always some presumption,
Chris makes, that is not universal, and hurts the case he is making.

Treantmonk's error in this video regarding Order of the Scribes is assuming that no DM ever alters the statblocks of monsters and NPC's, and therefore Dispel Magic is not going to be a commonly encountered spell.

Drow elves, Wizard's in Undermountain, Red Wizard's of Thay, spellcasting dragons, all of these creatures are likely to have access to a Dispel Magic effect.

A CR 12 Archmage can cast Time Stop and then Dispel Magic the OoS' Manifest Mind.
One might as well use your 14th level ability, One with the Word early, and prevent that damage..because if the BBEG is Halaster, Acererak, or someone with lots of acolytes with Dispel Magic your subclass capstone is getting negated.

Order of the Scribes is a good adventuring Wizard. The design intent, for the subclass strikes me as similar to the Champion. The abilities are rather straight forward and easy to use.
Dude it costs a first level spell slot to re-summon it, vs. a 3rd level spell to dispel it. I don't think there is a "catch" there.
 


1. The magical quill doesn't require ink. It's still a pen, though, so if you have your own ink then there's nothing stopping you from using it. Such as the special, magical inks required to copy a spell.

2. The magical quill requires less time when copying a spell. It doesn't say anything about costing less, just that it takes 1/60th the time. It seems intended that they don't mention a cost reduction.

3. The spellbook rules say, "The cost represents material components you expend as you experiment with the spell to master it, as well as the fine inks you need to record it." That's quite explicit that you're not just buying ink! Even if the ink were free, you still have to expend the cost on other materials.
[/QUOTE
Yes... and?

It sounds like you are trying to explain unknown things by pointing out things explicit ly quoted in the OP without the reasons why those things make for a problematic situation.
 

G

Guest User

Guest
Dude it costs a first level spell slot to re-summon it, vs. a 3rd level spell to dispel it. I don't think there is a "catch" there.
Assuming that you will never encounter a Dispel Magic spell, because of the default spell selection in the MM is a huge catch in my book.

The subclass was introduced in the book that has as it's raison d'etre is Player Customization. DMs could always modify monsters, but Tasha's should further reinforce that. If a sorcerer farmer can cast Magic Chicken Missiles...then a DM can swap spells from the pre-made lists.

I play defensively....the Manifest Mind ability is easily negated. Failure to recognize this in a very difficult game is going to lead to a poor ending.

But hey, man if you and TM never encounter Dispel Magic...cool. 🖖
 

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