How to reign in full casters for 1D&D? Maybe remove 6th to 9th level spells as a Variant rule.


6th to 9th spell should just be treated like Magic Items. You can't learn them unless you find them or someone willing to teach you. You could still 'upcast' your other spells.

Now everybody's dependant on the DM :p

@CreamCloud0 's suggestion is also good. Spellcasters would still have cantrips AND rituals. What I like about Rituals is that they can turn spells into a PARTY resource instead of a single character resource, since you can all pool your money together to buy the components for them. And if you make it so they get stronger effect by having additional people join in with an arcana check? That's even better!

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It's always been that way in our games. Stuff after 5th is expensive and or hard to find. That and spell components have to be enforced for things like Wish etc. High level spells can't just be cast and forget. stick to the descriptions.

for example: last paragraph of wish. doesn't seem so powerful when you can only duplicate an 8th level spell without the risk of this happen. If you do anything more powerful than an 8th level spell you are risking the ability to every cast a wish again. If the wish doesn't suceed imagine finishing combat taking 1d10 necrotic damage for every spell level you cast.... the rules have plenty of things to limit wizards. Some DM's just get lazy.

The stress of casting this spell to produce any effect other than duplicating another spell weakens you. After enduring that stress, each time you cast a spell until you finish a long rest, you take 1d10 necrotic damage per level of that spell. This damage can't be reduced or prevented in any way. In addition, your Strength drops to 3, if it isn't 3 or lower already, for 2d4 days. For each of those days that you spend resting and doing nothing more than light activity, your remaining recovery time decreases by 2 days. Finally, there is a 33 percent chance that you are unable to cast wish ever again if you suffer this stress.


Limit Break Dancing
We can all agree that after 10th level, game breaks down in some places, and main reason is specific spells from 6th to 9th level.
Ah boy, here we go. Any time a thread starts with "We all agree that --", I can almost guarantee that what comes next is going to be a niche case that few people actually agree upon. :)

I don't think that everyone will agree. Even among those who might agree with the part about the game "breaking down" (whatever that means) after 10th level, not all of them will agree that the main reason is certain spells. There are plenty of threads here that blame any breakdown on the Fighter, or the Challenge Rating system, or the prevalence (or absence) of multiclassing, or the golden oldie of "bounded accuracy," or whatever else the hot topic of the week happens to be.

Anyway. Sorry about the tangent; people assuming I'm automatically going to agree with their opinions by default is a pet peeve of mine. Back to the topic at hand...

Low-effort solution:
If high-level spells are causing problems in your game, there is an easy way to remove them. Just inform your players at Session Zero that there are no spells available of Xth Level or higher, where X is defined as the "sweet spot" of spellcasting According To YouTM. Casters still gain spell slots for Level X and above; these higher-level slots are used for upcasting other lower-level spells. Like casting Magic Missile using an 8th level spell slot.

A friend of mine is running a D&D campaign where there are no spells of 2nd level or higher....all magic is either a cantrip or a 1st-level spell, or a ritual. Everything else comes from a scroll or other magic item. I don't have all the details (I'm not sure what she does about high-level warlocks, for example) but her group seems to like it.

Labor-intensive solution:
Rework all spellcasting classes to spread out spell slots more evenly according to your preference and the needs of your campaign, then revise or surgically remove all of the spells that you believe are problematic. Print out these changes, and present them to your players at Session Zero. Let everyone know that these changes are still "open," and that you might need to revise and adjust them as the campaign progresses. Be especially diligent about synergies and loopholes that might develop from certain feats, or from multiclassing...some issues might be hard to spot on paper but become problematic later on in play.
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Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
We can all agree that after 10th level, game breaks down in some places, and main reason is specific spells from 6th to 9th level.
No. We cannot agree on that. It's an odd premise to start from. It's even odder that you want to take an axe to what appears to be a problem with a handful of spells.

Since this thread is up again, I'll reply.
Ideally (for the DM) replacing non caster with casters mean more slots have to spent every encounter since you'll need more magic to replace the abilities of the noncasters. This puts you back in square one of needing to manage spells.
Drop the non-casters, bring more casters. Suddenly you've got loads more spells to solve the extra encounters.


Make all casters work like warlock.

Give them 1 then 2 then 3 slots that upgrade as you level up to 5th then give a single spell per level of 6th and 7th and remove 8th and 9th level spells but follow the old 2e cleric chart for what levels to get spells at (they only went to 7)

Greg K

I have no problem removing 7th-9th spells for PCs as a variant (or even as a default rule).
0D&D spells , originally, went to 6th level (I think Clerics originally went to 5th). Higher level spells were added in later supplements. However, some of Gary's own players have stated that his players never acquired 7th-9th level spells and, one player stated that those spells were not meant for PCs- being intended for NPCs and included for completion sake.*

*According to DM David, Gary wrote that he designed the game for PCs to stop at 16th level and never for them to acquire 9th level spells.
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