5E Just Me, or Are Kobold Press Deep Magic Options Very Unbalanced?

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Seriously, did they even play test Clockwork Magic at all?

There are several spells that are just strictly less or more powerful/useful versions of PHB spells, but with sprockets or whatever.

Is it just me? Are all the Deep Magic books about the same?

Is anyone here backing the Deep Magic Kickstarter? Any idea what sort of play testing process they’re putting the options through?
 

Marc Radle

Explorer
Hey there

The Deep Magic Clockwork PDF was one of the very first 5E installments the Kobolds did. It received very positive feedback at the time, but it certainly has a few things that could stand to be clarified!

The Deep Magic 5E hardcover is a very different beast! Every single spell has been gone over, updated, improved, balanced, and rigorously play tested! The book was developed by industry legend Kim Mohan, and will be the definitive book of 5E magic.

As for your question if anyone is backing the Deep Magic Kickstarter, in just the first few days, there are already 1,564 backers! You can check it out here:

Deep Magic 5E Kickstarter

STORY-ANI-02.gif
 

SkidAce

Adventurer
Seriously, did they even play test Clockwork Magic at all?

There are several spells that are just strictly less or more powerful/useful versions of PHB spells, but with sprockets or whatever.

Is it just me? Are all the Deep Magic books about the same?

Is anyone here backing the Deep Magic Kickstarter? Any idea what sort of play testing process they’re putting the options through?
I backed it, even though I have all the individual pdfs already.

I look forward to the compilation, cleaning up, and the new stuff from stretch goals.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Hey there

The Deep Magic Clockwork PDF was one of the very first 5E installments the Kobolds did. It received very positive feedback at the time, but it certainly has a few things that could stand to be clarified!

The Deep Magic 5E hardcover is a very different beast! Every single spell has been gone over, updated, improved, balanced, and rigorously play tested! The book was developed by industry legend Kim Mohan, and will be the definitive book of 5E magic.

As for your question if anyone is backing the Deep Magic Kickstarter, in just the first few days, there are already 1,564 backers! You can check it out here:

Deep Magic 5E Kickstarter

View attachment 114597
Well played!

I’m probably going to back it, but what I saw in Clockwork and some of the others definitely have me worried I’ll still have to adjust the options for balance.

Knowing that Clockwork was one of the first outings, and that the Deep Magic compilation book is being “rigorously” playtested (and updated based on player feedback) definitely helps.

But I would note that I’m probably more balance-minded than most folks. Even a lot of the DMsguild best sellers, for instance, I find to be quite obviously under or over powered compared to the average phb option.

So, I hope there is no offense when I say that I found a particular 3pp to be well outside the power bandwidth of the phb.
 

DWChancellor

Kobold Enthusiast
I've run a few sessions with NPCs from Demon Cults & Secret Society's which caused me to dig up some of my old Deep Magic pdfs.

Yeah, I don't care about strict "balance." They're incredibly flavorful and cool because they really stand out from using PHB spells. As a DM I can forgive a little of this if it makes the table spark better.

On that note, one of the most "powerful" spells my players use is Mage Hand. YMMV.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Too much balance can negatively affect flavour. Not everything has to be exactly equal; it's more important to be playable and fun.
Agreed, but too little balance can be just as much of a problem. Not everything needs perfect parity, but you want most things to fall within the same ballpark, with a bit of wiggle room. I haven’t read these kobold press options, so I don’t know how balanced they are, but I feel like sometimes the “perfect balance isn’t desirable” argument gets used to defend things that are seriously in need of a balance adjustment.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Agreed, but too little balance can be just as much of a problem. Not everything needs perfect parity, but you want most things to fall within the same ballpark, with a bit of wiggle room. I haven’t read these kobold press options, so I don’t know how balanced they are, but I feel like sometimes the “perfect balance isn’t desirable” argument gets used to defend things that are seriously in need of a balance adjustment.
That’s not what’s happening here.
 

Marc Radle

Explorer
I thought this FAQ answer from the Deep Magic kickstarter might be of interest ...

Is this project doing more than just collecting all of the Deep Magic volumes together?
Yes, we compiling of all the generic Deep Magic volumes (up through Alkemancy). However, that underestimates the scope of this project by a ton.

Here's how the book is being expanded with all-new material and updated work:

1) adding over 110 new spells by Jeff Lee, Wolfgang Baur, Steve Winter, and others, including some from Warlock, from Margreve, and from Empire of the Ghouls.
2) removing the weakest or most niche spells, the ones that rarely or never will see play,
3) correcting language and balance issues,
4) adding entire new spell sets like Infernal Magic (if we hit that stretch goal),
5) adding new sections such as arcane servants and spell variants,
6) adding in all the playtest updates from the past few years, and
7) adding in probably 50 backer spells by the time the Kickstarter is done. We'll see where it ends up on that front, of course; could be higher, could be less.

You can see the provisional table of contents on the Kickstarter page, and it is a downloadable PDF so you can dig into it that way as well.

This project is collecting those Deep Magic PDFs, but it's also making something richer and better on that foundation.
 

dave2008

Hero
Seriously, did they even play test Clockwork Magic at all?

There are several spells that are just strictly less or more powerful/useful versions of PHB spells, but with sprockets or whatever.

Is it just me? Are all the Deep Magic books about the same?

Is anyone here backing the Deep Magic Kickstarter? Any idea what sort of play testing process they’re putting the options through?
I backed it, i'm not overly concerned with balance, but I believe them when they say it has been play tested and updated.
 

Parmandur

Legend
I don't think Kobold Press has the same level of resources for playtesting that WotC has, so I wouldn't expect the same level of final polish. But I've loved their books so far.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I don't think Kobold Press has the same level of resources for playtesting that WotC has, so I wouldn't expect the same level of final polish. But I've loved their books so far.
In general, I also enjoy their work, and I’m excited for this kickstarter (in spite of how I view the top leadership at Kickstarter).

But I was very curious if others saw the same lack of balance or not.

Now I’m more curious how many folks who don’t worry too much about balance in this context, let martial characters stunt pretty freely, vs how many are pretty strict about what skills can accomplish.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
Only familiar with their clockwork domain.

Had a Midgard player tonight connect a 10d8 chromatic orb using leylines. Level 4.
 

Dausuul

Legend
There are several spells that are just strictly less or more powerful/useful versions of PHB spells, but with sprockets or whatever.
That doesn't mean they are unbalanced.

A 3rd-level damage spell that was a superior version of fireball would be unbalanced.
A 3rd-level damage spell that was a superior version of vampiric touch might be almost usable.
 
Last edited:

Zardnaar

Hero
Where do you read this stuff?

My experience with Kobolds stuff is it's mixed. Spells not so much archetypes reasonably good. Spells weak, races mixed.

They have printed to most powerful wizard in 5E though with the Geomancer. Only works on Midgard though and ten in certain locations.
 

Advertisement

Top