D&D (2024) How to balance the shield spell?

Clint_L

Hero
Making something into a strategy game is a good thing IMO.

Still don't want level 1 Shield to block ancient dragons attacks as easily as goblin ones.
On the contrary.

Shield might only block a goblin rolls of 17, 18, or 19. Effectively only giving a +3 AC.
And only blocking 5 damage.
No, he's right, though it's true that the value of shield goes down the closer you get to the mob's maximum to hit roll. Yet even in that situation, the goblin is now four times less likely to hit...though why you would even bother with casting shield against a goblin when your AC is 17 is a bit confusing, unless there are a ton of goblins. (It goes from hitting on4/20=1 in 5 attacks, to only hitting on 1 in twenty attacks).

That ancient red dragon has +17 to hit. So let's say that paladin now has a base AC of 23, since it looks like he's using a 2-hand weapon, but he's got some magical gear and such. Normally, the dragon would need a 6+ to hit, so now it needs an 11 - it's hitting half the time instead of three quarters.

Edit: or let's use that wizard.

At level 1 they're probably AC 11, so a goblin hits them on an 8+, 13+ with shield. Pretty good improvement. The ancient red dragon hits them on a 2+, shield or not.

I think what you were actually suggesting was that shield should not be as useful on a level 1 wizard vs. a goblin as it is on a level 20 wizard vs. an ancient red dragon. But that doesn't work either. Shield is much better in the first scenario unless your level 20 wizard is incredibly geared out for AC (i.e. has an AC of 25 before shield). However, shield is about as good on a level 1 wizard vs. a young blue dragon as it is on a level 20 wizard vs. an ancient red dragon...which doesn't seem terribly out of line.

+5 doesn't mean anything out of context.

Going back to the paladin taking a multi-class just to get shield spell, if this is so amazing, then why isn't everyone doing it? I argue that there are better things you can multi-class for with a paladin, and of course multi-classing is itself not without cost. Using a shield spell costs the paladin offence and potential opportunity attacks. It could be great in the right situation but it's not a no-brainer, and that's why folks are not rushing out to build paladins that can do it.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
It also costs half the wizards spells at level 1.

Relative numbers matter.

Then it should cost a percentage of your spell slots.
Oof. No, it shouldn’t. Characters increase in power. Their level 1 spells should not lose power relative to the challenges they face.
If everyone had scaling slots like the 2014 warlock, then it would make a lot more sense to do it that way.

But you get both level 1 and level 9 spells.
There is something here that seems obvious to you, but isn’t remotely sensible to me, here, that isn’t being stated. You seem to be jumping from a premise to a completely unrelated conclusion, from my perspective.
 

mellored

Legend
Oof. No, it shouldn’t. Characters increase in power. Their level 1 spells should not lose power relative to the challenges they face.
If cure wound healed 25%.

Then a level 1 divine sorcerer would have 50% more HP.

And a level 20 sorcerer who converted everything into level 1 slots would have 1115% more HP. (And the conversion rate is terrible).

It would be like the fighter scaling with both multi-attack and sneak attack at the same time. Since each attack should deal relative damage, and you get more attacks.
There is something here that seems obvious to you, but isn’t remotely sensible to me, here, that isn’t being stated.
the assumption i am making is that higher level spells are more powerful than lower level ones, and that you get more spell slots.
 

Going back to the paladin taking a multi-class just to get shield spell, if this is so amazing, then why isn't everyone doing it? I argue that there are better things you can multi-class for with a paladin, and of course multi-classing is itself not without cost. Using a shield spell costs the paladin offence and potential opportunity attacks. It could be great in the right situation but it's not a no-brainer, and that's why folks are not rushing out to build paladins that can do it.

I mean, the Pally gets plenty of multiclassing normally (at least, the builds I've seen), and Sorcerer is one of the more common picks as far as I know because it syncs up almost as well as the Warlock. Multiclassing isn't without cost, but if you only need one level to get what you need, it's not really that much. Honestly at this point in the game multiclassing feels incredibly common, especially by level 6-7.

Still really feel like Shield would be cooler as a Temp Hitpoint buffer that you can upcast as well as spread out.
 

Oof. No, it shouldn’t. Characters increase in power. Their level 1 spells should not lose power relative to the challenges they face.
Yes they should. Keeping low level utility/debuff/buff spells relevant is part of the quadratic wizard problem. Spellcasters have too many spell slots period, and reaction spells like shield/silvery barbs allow them to nova even faster on low encounter days.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Spell slot accrual is akin to fighters getting more and more action surges of differing strength.

Spells getting better AND accruing would be akin to a fighter getting action surges every single round.

And they'd still be behind wizards.
The fighter should get more action surges. They don’t need to vary in strength, though, because classes don’t need to run on the same model.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Yes they should. Keeping low level utility/debuff/buff spells relevant is part of the quadratic wizard problem. Spellcasters have too many spell slots period, and reaction spells like shield/silvery barbs allow them to nova even faster on low encounter days.
The only way it makes sense to make 1st level spells useless at high levels is if you lose low level slots and replace low level spells with higher level spells.

PCs should not have stuff that has become useless on thier character sheet.
 

Incenjucar

Legend
If, instead of getting an absurd number of free slots at high levels, wizards could convert those low level slots into the previous freebies, it would solve a number of issues.
 

mellored

Legend
The only way it makes sense to make 1st level spells useless at high levels is if you lose low level slots and replace low level spells with higher level spells.
Wizards do replace low level spells with high level ones.

Burning hands gets replaced by fireball, which gets replaced by meteor swam.
PCs should not have stuff that has become useless on thier character sheet.
That I can agree with.
But tradition...
 

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