D&D (2024) Memorize Spell is one of the most obnoxious abilities I've ever seen, despite being perfectly on-theme (Packet 7)

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
That's not experience varying - that's similar to mine, but illustrates my point.

I agree that Wizards don't prepare those spells that often - because in 5E, you can't memorize/prepare that many spells. Thus narrow-usage utility spells tend not to get memorized unless there's a specific perceived need for them.

That's a feature not a bug. It reduces how dominant Wizards can be in the exploration and social pillars.

What Memorize Spell as per UA Packet 7 would do is make so you never needed to memorize any of these spells, but had relatively quick access to all of them (that were in your spellbook, anyway). Suddenly all these narrow-usage spells that can negate entire other characters or skillsets or abilities even needing to exist (particularly but not exclusively Rogues) would be available for use, particularly because most 2nd level combat spells kind of suck (sorry Chromatic Orb etc., but you do).
Yeah! it would, effectively every spell becomes a ritual. The world builder side of me want it, to be honest I would prefer the Modify -create - Scribe approach. I am aware of the issue with it as presented but I think that could have been worked around easily.
I think I am more in favour of it than not, but that is because I have never been in a game where spells were easy to come by and I have never seen a caster spend a slot on something that could be done with an ability check.
 

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I have never seen a caster spend a slot on something that could be done with an ability check.
I feel like this is a red herring.

Casters rarely - though not never - use spells on things that are one easy skill check - but on stuff that's multiple skill/stat checks, or a hard check with consequences, or part of a plan, they do.

(Additionally, as you pointed out, Wizards rarely even prepare those spells, which makes this seem rarer than it would be with this version of Memorize Spell in the game - infinite uses, 1 minute time as the only cost.)

And if you look back at just even those 2nd level spells, unless you've just seen very few Wizards, you will have seen some of those replace skill/tool/ability checks - like Alter Self - why on earth does disguising yourself weakly with a Disguise Kit require a whole tool proficiency (which 5E treats approximately equal to a skill proficiency, or 0.75 skill proficiencies, certainly more than half of one), when a Wizard can just casually cast one spell, and with no skills or knowledge about disguise at all, perhaps even faceblind, which will magically create a perfect disguise.

If it was up to me, thinks like Alter Self would require a skill check from the caster to see if they did a good job - it seems like something a caster could easily screw up.

But D&D just doesn't do that. Almost everything casters do always succeeds out of combat.
 
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Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
I mean, most the utility spells I've mentioned do. It's not just skill-based characters either - they tend to do the same to like druids, people with animals that can do stuff, people with non-skill-based special abilities, even other spellcasters who have lesser utility abilities (and still have to prep them, whilst the Wizard can just the forehead L at them)!

I mean just look at level 2 Wizard spells as someone else pointed out:
  • Knock/Arcane Lock - Less bad because the boom is a problem
  • Alter Self - Totally invalidates all disguise-related skills and tool proficiencies, which is pretty wild for a single level 2 spell
  • Borrowed Knowledge - Literally choose any skill, you now have it - unlikely to invalidate a skill-based character who has the same because they likely have the stat too, but worth mentioning
  • Detect Thoughts - Like Insight but a thousand times more powerful even on surface scan mode - going deeper does have drawback, at least, but still very strong, especially with a smart player and a realistic DM
  • Enlarge/Reduce - Incredible utility spell - doesn't typically replace skills directly but does become the crux of plans pretty easily
  • Invisibility - Stealth, in many cases, particularly out of combat. Let's not get into the full Invisibility debate but it's undeniable that this is an issue. Often cast on PCs who have good Stealth, to be fair.
  • Levitate - Climbing skills, typically, again can easily allows the PCs in general to skip over something challenging by levitating a heavy object.
  • Locate object - Rarely replaces specific singular skills, often replaces entire plans - absolutely huge potential and I've seen it used well
  • Misty Step - Can replace entire plans, climbing, athletics, acrobatics, lockpicking, strength checks and so on. Mitigated by it and relatives being increasingly common so it's probably not only the Wizard.
  • Phantasmal Force - I mean, where to start lol.
  • Rope trick - Again can form entire plans around it, can make climbing trivial and so on by giving you a perfectly anchored rope etc.
  • Spider Climb - I hopefully don't have to explain this one, which invalidates entire character builds trivially.
That's just level 2 spells.

dont forget Pass Without Trace the everybody has +10 Stealth spell
 



It is damn, sorry, wow, I assumed it was level 3 hence I'd missed it.

(What's really sad is I cast Pass Without Trace on my Druid like, uhhh, well a few months ago, so I should know that.)
 

Many players don't want to have to work or plan for their success, and they definitely don't want to be frustrated at any point. They just want everything they do to succeed, in lieu of being able to immediately try again when you fail (like in a video game). WotC has been accommodating this type of player more and more, to the real detriment of the game IMO.

Sadly I can understand a corporation's desire to cater to the bottom line by attempting to coddle and Pavlovian train an entire new generation of players spoiled by instant gratification and subliminally convince them that D&D is more like a video game the sake of lulling them into a state of complacency and thus make them less resistant to spending money on micro-transactions in the new vtt.

....oh...Sorry, left my socialist-doomer-anticorporate tin foil hat on there for a minute. Let's see, um...

At the risk of sounding like an out of touch boomer (the mindset, not the actual age), perhaps that is objectively a bad thing for the industry? Considering ya know, the one thing that makes tabletop unique as a medium is that it can't be save-scummed and your actions and words have actual consequences (in the game at least)? Maybe ya know, all of that is a good thing? Something something builds character?

...gods, I really have become my father. Oh well, least I tried. shrugs

I think a good design would be to keep the feature, but build on Arcane Recovery.

- At 10th level, when you use Arcane Recovery, you can also switch spells for another one in you spellbook. The spell must be of the same level as your regained spellslots.

This was something myself and one of my players discussed. We like the idea of it being tied to Arcane Recovery. Not necessarily used at the same time but as an "upgrade" to the ability. I'm actually okay with it being as low as 5th level, but given the suggestion from someone else at granting players signature spells earlier I'd actually prefer we somehow figure out how to grant them signature spells at 5th level and this should be a thing somewhere between 7th and 13th level. 10th level might work.
 


Vaalingrade

Legend
So here's the thing. I get that it's frustrating to have the wrong spells prepared, or to on occasion forget to prepare a spell or two that could be situationally useful. But guess what? That's the trade off for having the best spell list in the game.
If there's not other way to balance the spell list besides being annoying, it's time for the spell list to go.

But the designers seem to feel that the wizard is the spell list.

Therefore it's time for the wizard to go.
 


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