D&D 5E How common are "petty" spell casters?

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I used to think this was viable, but now with racial magic...
I don't view racial magic as "spellcasting." Yes in 5e it's the ability to cast spells, but I still view it as a spell like ability, rather than formal spellcasting.
A lot of people are saying "oh 1% that's pretty rare" but that means that a small hamlet of 80 people is more likely than not to have a someone that can cast some magic.
Again, I don't consider racials to be spellcasting, and random villager in a hamlet isn't going to spontaneously develop magic more than once in a blue moon, unless it's a PC sorcerer.
 

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
That never seems to be how they write adventures, though.
Yeah. I mentioned either earlier in this thread or another one of the caster threads floating around, that they need to write their official adventures with too much of things in them. Too many magic items. Too many casters. And so on. It's much easier for DMs to just yank out the extra casters and items to fit their game preferences, than it would be for a DM who likes more magic than the defaults provide to add in a bunch of items and casters. Doing it this way allows WotC to do the best they can for the widest number of playstyles.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
Working as intended, at least for my purposes.
You mean nobody can cast 9th level spells? (I suppose no one has in any of my games, but I guess I assume that there's still someone out there who can.) Unless you're leaving spells of that high level to gods/celestials/immortals/etc. Actually, I'd be on board with that.

I guess the thing that surprises me about your list is the implication of vast populations. Ten billion is a lot of people, in particular if you're only talking about the humans.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
Yeah. I mentioned either earlier in this thread or another one of the caster threads floating around, that they need to write their official adventures with too much of things in them. Too many magic items. Too many casters. And so on. It's much easier for DMs to just yank out the extra casters and items to fit their game preferences, than it would be for a DM who likes more magic than the defaults provide to add in a bunch of items and casters. Doing it this way allows WotC to do the best they can for the widest number of playstyles.
I severely doubt that WotC is intentionally going against their supposed defaults in their adventure writing so as to better support different DMs. It's far more likely that they write what they want to write, and ignore the defaults.
 

In my campaign the standard spell progression only applies to people who learned or at least practiced their spells via the School of Hard Knocks (a.k.a. adventuring). For other groups there are other progressions - for example the Transportation Guild is full of people who make a nice living and they only need to have a single spell (Teleportation Circle) to qualify. Which means that your average member of the transportation guild can cast Teleportation Circle (which they practiced for a few years' straight), a couple of cantrips and probably a first level spell like Unseen Servant although a number do a sideline in Identify.

To use another example Plant Growth is a 3rd level spell with an 8 hour ritual variant. There are literally dozens of other ritual variants that do not in fact require someone who can cast third level spells - but they require anything from seven village elders to the best part of the entire village throwing a twenty four hour party (and not all of them work).
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I severely doubt that WotC is intentionally going against their supposed defaults in their adventure writing so as to better support different DMs. It's far more likely that they write what they want to write, and ignore the defaults.
Why would a company whose goal is to make the most money possible not build adventures to reach the widest audience?
 

cbwjm

Seb-wejem
To use another example Plant Growth is a 3rd level spell with an 8 hour ritual variant. There are literally dozens of other ritual variants that do not in fact require someone who can cast third level spells - but they require anything from seven village elders to the best part of the entire village throwing a twenty four hour party (and not all of them work).
I like to do this with rituals as well, I have a number of rituals that aren't typical spells but anyone with the right preparation and know how can cast them. Usually there are components that are prohibitive, which is why there aren't a ridiculous number of portals to the shadowfell spewing undead into the world.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
Why would a company whose goal is to make the most money possible not build adventures to reach the widest audience?
Because I feel at some point they would have mentioned their intentions. It's been over 8 years and there's been no indication of what you're saying.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Because I feel at some point they would have mentioned their intentions. It's been over 8 years and there's been no indication of what you're saying.
I strongly doubt that they would have mentioned it. WotC has not been very forthcoming about things in the past, including the recent past. They only really come out and say stuff when things go wrong, they're going to release something new, or for sage advice.
 

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