D&D 5E Mage the General Caster and Spells

Joshy

Explorer
Recently I have seen a few post about merging some of the caster classes and I originally didn't really like the idea. But I am interested in giving it a try. I know at least one of my players that would be interested.

The biggest problem I am seeing is the class spell lists. I'm thinking of dividing the spells into groups, kind of like the spells are divided into schools. A spell will either be general/universal or it will be on one or more specialised lists. Arcane and Divine will definitely be categories but maybe a Nature/Primal category as well. The categories could also just be the role of the spell as well attack, buff, debuff, heal, summon, utility, and so on. I could just keep the wizard and the cleric spell lists the way the way they are but the druid's spell list feels weak in comparison.

I was hoping to get everyone's opinions on the spell category ideas.

1
Arms of Hadar
Burning Hands
Catapult
Chaos Bolt
Chromatic Orb
Dissonant Whispers
Earth Tremor
Guiding Bolt
Hellish Rebuke
Ice Knife
Inflict Wounds
Magic Missile
Tasha's Caustic Brew
Thunderwave
Witch Bolt

2
Aganazzar's Scorcher
Flaming Sphere
Heat Metal
Maximilian's Earthen Grasp
Melf's Acid Arrow
Mind Spike
Moonbeam
Phantasmal Force
Scorching Ray
Shatter
Snilloc's Snowball Swarm
Spike Growth
Tasha's Mind Whip

3
Call Lightning
Erupting Earth
Fireball
Flame Arrows
Hunger of Hadar
Lightning Arrow
Lightning Bolt
Melf's Minute Meteors
Sleet Storm
Tidal Wave

4
Ice Storm
Phantasmal Killer
Sickening Radiance
Storm Sphere
Vitriolic Sphere

5
Cloudkill
Cone of Cold
Destructive Wave
Enervation
Flame Strike
Immolation
Synaptic Static

6
Chain Lightning
Circle of Death
Disintegrate
Harm
Mental Prison
Otiluke's Freezing Sphere
Sunbeam

7
Crown of Stars
Delayed Blast Fireball
Fire Storm
Prismatic Spray
Whirlwind

8
Abi-Dalzim's Horrid Wilting
Incendiary Cloud
Sunburst
Maddening Darkness

9
Meteor Swarm
Power Word Kill
Storm of Vengeance

1
Armor of Agathys
Bless
Cure Wounds
Expeditious Retreat
False Life
Healing Word
Heroism
Jump
Longstrider
Mage Armor
Protection from Evil and Good
Sanctuary
Shield of Faith

2
Aid
Barkskin
Blur
Calm Emotions
Darkvision
Detect Thoughts
Dragon's Breath
Enhance Ability
Enlarge/Reduce
Healing Spirit
Invisibility
Lesser Restoration
Levitate
Mirror Image
Prayer of Healing
Protection from Poison
See Invisibility
Spider Climb
Warding Bond
Warding Wind

3
Aura of Vitality
Beacon of Hope
Blink
Fly
Gaseous Form
Haste
Intellect Fortress
Life Transference
Mass Healing Word
Meld into Stone
Nondetection
Protection from Energy
Remove Curse
Revivify

4
Aura of Life
Aura of Purity
Death Ward
Fire Shield
Freedom of Movement
Greater Invisibility
Shadow of Moil
Stoneskin

5
Antilife Shell
Dispel Evil and Good
Greater Restoration
Mass Cure Wounds
Reincarnate
Rary's Telepathic Bond
Skill Empowerment

6
Heal
Heroes' Feast
Investiture of Flame
Investiture of Ice
Investiture of Stone
Investiture of Wind
Primordial Ward
True Seeing

7
Etherealness
Regenerate
Resurrection

8
Animal Shapes
Glibness
Holy Aura
Mind Blank
Telepathy

9
Foresight
Mass Heal
Power Word Heal
True Resurrection

1
Bane
Charm Person
Color Spray
Command
Cause Fear
Faerie Fire
Hex
Hunter's Mark
Ray of Sickness
Sleep
Tasha's Hideous Laughter

2
Blindness/Deafness
Calm Emotions
Crown of Madness
Earthbind
Enthrall
Hold Person
Ray of Enfeeblement
Suggestion

3
Bestow Curse
Dispel Magic
Enemies Abound
Fear
Hypnotic Pattern
Slow
Stinking Cloud

4
Banishment
Blight
Charm Monster
Compulsion
Confusion
Dominate Beast
Elemental Bane

5
Contagion
Dominate Person
Geas
Hold Monster
Modify Memory

6
Eyebite
Flesh to Stone
Mass Suggestion
Otto's Irresistible Dance

7
Divine Word
Power Word Pain
Symbol

8
Antipathy/Sympathy
Dominate Monster
Feeblemind
Maze
Power Word Stun

9
Imprisonment

1
Find Familiar

2
Find Steed
Spiritual Weapon
Summon Beast

3
Animate Dead
Conjure Animals
Phantom Steed
Summon Fey
Summon Lesser Demons
Summon Shadowspawn
Summon Undead
Tiny Servant

4
Conjure Minor Elementals
Conjure Woodland Beings
Find Greater Steed
Giant Insect
Mordenkainen's Faithful Hound
Summon Aberration
Summon Construct
Summon Elemental
Summon Greater Demon

5
Animate Objects
Conjure Elemental
Danse Macabre
Infernal Calling
Raise Dead
Summon Celestial

6
Conjure Fey
Create Homunculus
Create Undead
Planar Ally
Summon Fiend

7
Conjure Celestial
Mordenkainen's Sword
Simulacrum

8
Illusory Dragon

9
Blade of Disaster
Gate

1
Entangle
Grease
Snare

2
Darkness
Dust Devil
Silence
Web
Warding Wind
Zone of Truth

3
Daylight
Plant Growth
Wall of Sand
Wall of Water
Wind Wall

4
Control Water
Evard's Black Tentacles
Grasping Vine
Hallucinatory Terrain
Otiluke's Resilient Sphere
Stone Shape
Wall of Fire
Watery Sphere

5
Control Winds
Dawn
Hallow
Transmute Rock
Wall of Force
Wall of Light
Wall of Stone
Wrath of Nature

6
Bones of the Earth
Druid Grove
Forbiddance
Globe of Invulnerability
Guards and Wards
Move Earth
Scatter
Wall of Ice
Wall of Thorns

7
Forcecage
Mirage Arcane
Reverse Gravity

8
Antimagic Field
Control Weather
Earthquake
Tsunami

9
Prismatic Wall

1
Alarm
Animal Friendship
Beast Bond
Ceremony
Comprehend Languages
Create or Destroy Water
Detect Evil and Good
Detect Magic
Detect Poison and Disease
Disguise Self
Feather Fall
Fog Cloud
Identify
Illusory Script
Purify Food and Drink
Silent Image
Speak with Animals
Tenser's Floating Disk
Unseen Servant

2
Alter Self
Animal Messenger
Arcane Lock
Augury
Beast Sense
Continual Flame
Find Traps
Gentle Repose
Gust of Wind
Knock
Locate Animals or Plants
Locate Object
Magic Mouth
Misty Step
Nystul's Magic Aura
Pass without Trace
Pyrotechnics
Rope Trick
Skywrite

3
Catnap
Clairvoyance
Counterspell
Create Food and Water
Feign Death
Glyph of Warding
Leomund's Tiny Hut
Magic Circle
Major Image
Sending
Speak with Dead
Speak with Plants
Tongues
Water Breathing
Water Walk

4
Arcane Eye
Dimension Door
Divination
Fabricate
Leomund's Secret Chest
Locate Creature
Mordenkainen's Private Sanctum

5
Awaken
Circle of Power
Commune
Commune with Nature
Contact Other Plane
Creation
Dream
Far Step
Legend Lore
Mislead
Passwall
Planar Binding
Scrying
Seeming
Telekinesis
Teleportation Circle
Tree Stride

6
Arcane Gate
Contingency
Drawmij's Instant Summons
Find the Path
Programmed Illusion
Transport via Plants
Wind Walk
Word of Recall

7
Dream of the Blue Veil
Mordenkainen's Magnificent Mansion
Plane Shift
Project Image
Sequester
Teleport
Temple of the Gods

8
Clone
Demiplane
Mighty Fortress

9
Astral Projection
Time Stop
Wish

1
Absorb Elements
Compelled Duel
Divine Favor
Ensnaring Strike
Hail of Thorns
Searing Smite
Shield
Thunderous Smite
Wrathful Smite
Zephyr Strike

2
Branding Smite
Cloud of Daggers
Cordon of Arrows
Flame Blade
Magic Weapon
Shadow Blade

3
Blinding Smite
Conjure Barrage
Counterspell
Crusader's Mantle
Elemental Weapon
Spirit Shroud
Thunder Step
Vampiric Touch

4
Staggering Smite

5
Banishing Smite
Conjure Volley
Holy Weapon
Steel Wind Strike
Swift Quiver

6
Tasha's Otherworldly Guise
Tenser's Transformation

7

8

9

Invulnerability
Shapechange

4
Polymorph

5
Insect Plague
Maelstrom
Negative Energy Flood
Bigby's Hand

6
Blade Barrier
Magic Jar
Soul Cage

7
Finger of Death

9
True Polymorph
Mass Polymorph
Weird


I combined the heal and buff spell list into a support spell list because there are only a few heal/restoration spells.

Martial is limited because Paladins and Rangers only get 5th level spells. It might work to combine summon/minion spell list but I think that would make a spell list that is just to much.

Utility is basically a grab bag but if anyone sees enough spells that go together to make its own spell list please let me know.
 
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Joshy

Explorer
I'd say if you're going to go with a singular class, don't bother splitting up the spells. Let the player pick what spells they like to be what kind of caster they like.
That's why I was thinking of spell categories. When you select the class you can choose from set spell lists. If we split them up with arcane, divine, ect then they will get the general list automatically and a spell list of thier choosing. If instead we go with catagoising the spell lists by the spells role then the caster chooses two maybe three spell lists.
 

There is some vestigial trace of a firm Arcane and Divine magic division in 5e D&D. Whether it was ever an explicit part of some early version of this edition or is just de facto there by virtue of inheriting so much from prior editions I can not say, but the rudiments are there. At some point the 5e designers decided not to make any explicit division on this point and just assign spells ad hoc, albeit with some general guidelines (to my knowledge the statement on 283 of the DMG that it is not keeping with class identities to give Sorcerers or Wizards healing magic is the only guideline that has been made explicit).

But yes, I think one could fairly coherently divide the 5e spells into Universal, Arcane, Divine, and Primal by designating existing Wizard, Sorcerer, and Warlock spells as Arcane, existing Cleric spells as Divine, and existing Druid Spells as Primal, and anything in both the Arcane and the other two categories as Universal. I wouldn't call overlapping Druid and Cleric spells "Universal" because keeping proper healing magic (the main place of overlap) away from the arcanists (with exceptions being rare and special) seems to have been a design intent. I'd recommend a further "martial" category for the unique Paladin and Ranger spells if those are in the mix, as despite the divine and natural theming of those classes, their unique spells are mostly about providing martial combat buffs. Or don't, but be wary of trying to put their unique spells on any list some sort of full caster may have access to, as they aren't balanced for when full casters would get them (and yes Bards currently get to poach them, but getting to do this is a major class feature of Bards with a major opportunity cost).

The Bard list does not factor in since a core gimmick of that class is being transgressive between the boundaries of Arcane and other (usually druidic) magic. Bards are the exception that proves the rule of there being different catagories of magic. More problematic in this sort of scheme is the Artificer, who is also a hodgepodge of different spells, but was designed when they already had a fully developed spell system and (I would posit) had gotten further away from any strong ideas of dividing "arcane" and "divine" spells.
 
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Joshy

Explorer
There is some vestigial trace of a firm Arcane and Divine magic division in 5e D&D. Whether it was ever an explicit part of some early version of this edition or is just de facto there by virtue of inheriting so much from prior editions I can not say, but the rudiments are there. At some point the 5e designers decided not to make any explicit division on this point and just assign spells ad hoc, albeit with some general guidelines (to my knowledge the statement on 283 of the DMG that it is not keeping with class identities to give Sorcerers or Wizards healing magic is the only guideline that has been made explicit).

But yes, I think one could fairly coherently divide the 5e spells into Universal, Arcane, Divine, and Primal by designating existing Wizard, Sorcerer, and Warlock spells as Arcane, existing Cleric spells as Divine, and existing Druid Spells as Primal, and anything in both the Arcane and the other two categories as Universal. I wouldn't call overlapping Druid and Cleric spells "Universal" because keeping proper healing magic (the main place of overlap) away from the arcanists (with exceptions being rare and special) seems to have been a design intent. I'd recommend a further "martial" category for the unique Paladin and Ranger spells if those are in the mix, as despite the divine and natural theming of those classes, their unique spells are mostly about providing martial combat buffs. Or don't, but be wary of trying to put their unique spells on any list some sort of full caster may have access to, as they aren't balanced for when full casters would get them (and yes Bards currently get to poach them, but getting to do this is a major class feature of Bards with a major opportunity cost).

The Bard list does not factor in since a core gimmick of that class is being transgressive between the boundaries of Arcane and other (usually druidic) magic. Bards are the exception that proves the rule of there being different catagories of magic. More problematic in this sort of scheme is the Artificer, who is also a hodgepodge of different spells, but was designed when they already had a fully developed spell system and (I would posit) had gotten further away from any strong ideas of dividing "arcane" and "divine" spells.
I agree with everything and was just going to limit the healing to both divine and primal. But I have started just putting each spell in its own role category just to start and see what it is like and so far I like it.

By picking two or three roles it seems like it will work well. You can build the type of caster you want. I plan to give multi choice features later and one being the ability to grab an additional spell list or two.

I already started on a combat category I just haven't thought of a name yet. Blade Magic, Combat Magic, Weaponized Arcana. Just random ideas for now.

I am having trouble deciding which categories some of the spells will go in.
Arms of Hadar and Dissonant Whispers for example, do they go in the damage or debuff categories maybe both.
Does Snare go into the utility or the combat/martial category?
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
The biggest problem I am seeing is the class spell lists.
You might want to check out my thread here:


Where I redid the spell lists according to Arcane, Divine, and Primal.
 

Joshy

Explorer
You might want to check out my thread here:


Where I redid the spell lists according to Arcane, Divine, and Primal.
I just checked it out and I like it. But I wouldn't mind a universal list for the spells all three share.
How did you make those drop down spoilers?
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
How did you make those drop down spoilers?
Just wrap the spoiler text in:

Use [ and then spoiler="SPOILER NAME" followed by ]

and

finish with [ followed by "/spoiler" with a closing ].

If you don't want a spoiler name, just omit it and start it without the =SPOILER NAME part.
 


steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
My spells are all worked into four core groups.

Arcane, Divine, Nature, and Psychic (mental powers, not "spells," but that's a different thread)

Then the main 'general" Arcane list branches into individual lists for certain specialists whose archetypes are strong enough to warrant their own classes. These are lists that are, roughly, half spells that appear on the "general" list, and then half(ish) that are their own. I begin Arcane lists with 15 spells per level, reducing at to 12 at 4th and 5th, and, I think, 10 at 6th.

The original specialist, Illusionist, gets its own list. Abjurers (I call "Abjurists." Just sounds better.) get their own list. Conjurers get their own list.

Necromancers get their own list -though I fluctuate between wanting Necro's to be a specialist mage class all its own vs. a prestige class that just about any caster could be tempted/corrupted/"fall into." I an easily see clerics corrupted/fooled by wicked powers, warlocks who willingly dive in the deep end, even druids who lose their minds and think they're "balancing" things by using the "dead/decay" side of things... Illusionists might become addicted to summoning shadows and next thing you know... Any kind of mage could seek out the powers of necromancy (to pursue lichdom, if nothing else). So I do tend to lean into the Necromancer as "prestige-style class." But even then, that would give them access to a "specialist spell list."

Divine magics are fairly standardized. I like to bring back in the ole "Clerical spheres" of spells so different clerics of different deities feel different. First, second, and third levels spells are a standardized list. The clerical "basics" that all clerics have access to. The 4th+ would be divided up into thematic spheres that the cleric has access depending on their deity's portfolio. These may include some magics that appear on other spell lists or grant access, wholesale, to "choose from the Nature spell list" or "may select 1st-3rd level Illusion spells," and so on.

Nature is kinda just a clump. Plants spells, animal spells, elements spells, weather spells with some minor illusions, some minor healings, a few high level "deal with the spirit world" things, and general protection. I try to make sure these thematic bases are hit at just about every level.

I also have no problem with changing spell levels for different classes. "Phantasmal Force" is a 2nd level illusion spell for mages . But a 1st level spell for Illusionists (with, then, improving versions at higher spell levels, that appear on the illusionist list but a general mage will never have). Clerics of the god of trickery or goddess of the moon might receive it as a bonus spell at a higher level.

I think it is fine to break down spell types: attack, defense, etc... But I don't know if teasing all of that out is necessary or if just making sure, when you're forming your lists, that you include some of each. It is/can be useful just for balancing out your options, but I don't know if the game needs a "This class selects X attack spells, Y defense, Z utility. While this class gets K attack spells, L utility, but no defense." or that kind of thing.

Just not sure I see the/a "value add," as people say nowadays.
 

Horwath

Hero
I'd say if you're going to go with a singular class, don't bother splitting up the spells. Let the player pick what spells they like to be what kind of caster they like.
this.

make all spells available.

have the spells know mechanics of sorcerer with that amount.

add subclasses that give 2 fixed spells known(maybe with small ability to customize, see: abberant mind and clockwork soul) from spell levels 1-5 and 1 spell known for spell levels 6-9.
have players pick primary ability for spellcasting from int, wis or cha. with saving throws in all 3 mental abilities.

No armor.
simple weapons.
2 skills.
no tools.
 

le Redoutable

I mean you no harm
I personally would use
Bards =========> Enchantment / Charm
Clerics =======> Abjuration, Necromancy, Divination
Druids ========> Conjuration / Summoning
Elementalists => Invocation/ Evocation, Transmutation ( or Alteration )
Illusionists ==> Illusion/Phantasm


:)

( they would all exist by the means of the Spell Casting Ability, or Energy, which would tamper with five abilities that I have not sorted out,

Warrior - Might <===== Cha
Acrobat - Ossature <== Dex
Yoghi --- Energy <==== Con
Creator - Intuition <= Int
Orator -- Toughness <==Str
Thinker - Empathy <=== Wis

)

:)
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
make all spells available.
I've thought about this as well.

Typically, if you have a concept in mind, your class selection will allow the spells you want. But since you have the concept in mind, your going to select the same spells for the most part.

So, really, just get rid of class lists. Casters will only be "samey" if players keep selecting the same spells--which should tell us something else. :)
 

Joshy

Explorer
Sorry I have been gone a couple days. I mostly have the list done now they just need a bit of tweaking.'

My idea is that at level one of the mage class you select two spell lists.
You may prepare your spells from the chosen lists and can change them out daily.

I prefer the spells to be of the role the caster wishes to play rather than a predetermined theme such as Arcane or Divine. That way it makes it simpler for the player to refluff all the spells to whatever they want.

I'm editing the original post now with the spell lists I have.
 

I've thought about this as well.

Typically, if you have a concept in mind, your class selection will allow the spells you want. But since you have the concept in mind, your going to select the same spells for the most part.

So, really, just get rid of class lists. Casters will only be "samey" if players keep selecting the same spells--which should tell us something else. :)
The problem is you see the same spells over and over again, regardless of class.

Counterspell, Shield, Wish, Magic Missile, Healing Word, Bless etc...

Not all the time. People will have 'Themes' but I'm sure a little reskinning of spells can easily net you any of those spells, regardless of the Theme.

@Joshy

This is something I've been wanting to do for a while. I will peruse and try to give some constructive feedback
 

Joshy

Explorer
The problem is you see the same spells over and over again, regardless of class.

Counterspell, Shield, Wish, Magic Missile, Healing Word, Bless etc...

Not all the time. People will have 'Themes' but I'm sure a little reskinning of spells can easily net you any of those spells, regardless of the Theme.
That's the first thought to come to mind when I thought of an unrestricted spell list.
 

Joshy

Explorer
I have most of the Mage class written. I just started it because a few people wanted a caster that would replace all the other full casters.
 


Joshy

Explorer
Then is the problem those spells, or all the rest? ;)
I feel that it is a lot like the weapons. All are usable but some are just outright better. I use to see way to many rapiers in my initial games. Medium armor is used way less often compared to the other options, especially after the first few levels. Some skills and tools are chosen way more often then others as well.

I don't see it as much of a problem because I consider them secondary aspects but I do think that there needs to be more balance to the base stats.
 

Then is the problem those spells, or all the rest? ;)
I don’t disagree. Some have combat utility that outshines most others but, If you want to start redesigning spells, that could be a fun project too. I just think that dividing some of those spells up between lists would go a long way to help.
 

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