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5E New class options in Tasha

Vael

Hero
Of course, this happens, but often the character do know what they are heading into:
  • You are infiltrating X stronghold or dungeon.
  • Lord Y wants you to explore region Z.
  • Army of ABC is heading towards castle D and will be here in a week. You must defend it.
  • Etc.
For every adventure they stumble upon, there are just as many (if not more IME) they have an idea of what they are heading into, and don't need Divination magic to see what most likely lies ahead.

That's still a level of prescience that I don't agree is warranted. Sure, the Sorcerer could change a few spells to make infiltrating said stronghold easier, but they could just as easily "accidently" run into a patrol on the way there and won't that Sorcerer feel silly about trading out his only crowd-control spell for a redundant infiltration spell.

Meanwhile, a 5th level Wizard could also have prepared for this mission, but probably has 9 spells to the Sorcerer's 6 available at any given time.

You know some of the spells on your list are available to other classes (such as Locate Object)

Yes, I did know that. And the reason I didn't bring it up is that it is not relevant. Your argument is that Sorcerers are more versatile casters than Wizards, what's important here is both of our lists contain a suite of spells that Sorcerers do not have access to, which still dismantles your argument. If I specifically need an Arcane Eye to get through this gap in the wall to scout ahead, all the long rests in the world won't let the Sorcerer do that.

But WoTC could distribute those among other classes and kill the Wizard easily enough (maybe in 6E?).

I can only hope this is more baseless hyperbole or tongue in cheek, because it is some true tin-foil hat thinking to believe Wizards of the Coast is out to destroy Wizards. Are there secret cabals of ninjas in the basements of pizzerias planning to go rip the Wizard section out of PHBs too?

Of course, even every spell on this list can be picked by Bards via. Magical Secrets. So, while the Sorcerer alone might not cut it, combined with other factors--Wizards have nothing that is solely theirs. Before, Magical Secrets infringed on things a bit, but was extremely limited.

So now if 2 PCs choose to, they can do the job of 1 PC? Oh horrors.

BRAIN: Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?
PINKY: I think so Brain, if you play a Sorcerer and I play a Bard, neither of us will ever have to play a Wizard. But then again, I could still play a Bard and you can be a Wizard and we can still have fun. NARF!
BRAIN: ... That does sound better than us getting comedically hurt in a quest to take over the world. Come Pinky, let us prepare for tomorrow night.
PINKY: Why Brain, what happens tomorrow night?
BRAIN: We will play DnD, during which we will try to take over the world!
 

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Of course, this happens, but often the character do know what they are heading into:
  • You are infiltrating X stronghold or dungeon.
  • Lord Y wants you to explore region Z.
  • Army of ABC is heading towards castle D and will be here in a week. You must defend it.
  • Etc.
For every adventure they stumble upon, there are just as many (if not more IME) they have an idea of what they are heading into, and don't need Divination magic to see what most likely lies ahead.

Sure, they might have an idea, but again what exactly do you prepare to Explore region Z? Do you know that the secret cult of the Undead Whale is in the Desert? That they have found an underground aquifer and this adventure will find good use for water breathing?

What exactly are the guards like in Stronghold X's secret basement? Will spells that affect humanoids be useful or not?

This is the limit we are talking about. And again, Sorcerers have very few spells available to know. To change one is a big decision.


You know some of the spells on your list are available to other classes (such as Locate Object), so this is a better list IMO:
  • Grease
  • Arcane Lock
  • Melf’s Acid Arrow
  • Nystul’s Magic Aura
  • Rope Trick
  • Tiny Servant
  • Wall of Sand
  • Arcane Eye
  • Evard’s Black Tentacles
  • Fabricate
  • Fire Shield
  • Leomund’s Secret Chest
  • Mordenkainen’s Faithful Hound
  • Mordenkainen’s Private Sanctum
  • Otiluke’s Resilient Sphere
  • Phantasmal Killer
  • Bigby’s Hand
  • Passwall
  • Wall of Force
  • Contingency
  • Create Homunculus
  • Magic Jar
  • Otiluke’s Freezing Sphere
  • Tenser’s Transformation
  • Wall of Ice
  • Sequester
  • Simulacrum
  • Clone
  • Illusory Dragon
  • Maze
  • Mighty Fortress
  • Telepathy
  • Invulnerability
  • Prismatic Wall
  • Weird
Those are the 35 spells that are exclusive to Wizard (at least in the books I have) that aren't rituals. Granted, lots of great spells there! But WoTC could distribute those among other classes and kill the Wizard easily enough (maybe in 6E?).

Of course, even every spell on this list can be picked by Bards via. Magical Secrets. So, while the Sorcerer alone might not cut it, combined with other factors--Wizards have nothing that is solely theirs. Before, Magical Secrets infringed on things a bit, but was extremely limited.

So, now it isn't just the sorcerer, but also every other class including the Bard that we have to consider.

You know, if you had a party with a Druid, A Cleric, A Bard, and a Sorcerer.... maybe playing a wizard wasn't the greatest idea anyways. That niche of "has the magical answer" seems like it was kind of crowded.

Oh, and we need to worry that in the 6th Edition of Dungeons and Dragons (which we have no indication is coming any time soon) that the wizard will become even less unique, as clearly the Sorcerer and other classes wouldn't also be changed? That is some stretching to be concerned about a rule in 5e causing ruin in 6e.




Every campaign? Of course not. Given your posts yours probably won't be hurt at all. Neither will @Aldarc I imagine. After all...
  • Some groups have players who never really found Wizards to their liking anyway, so all this rule will do for them is make other casters even more appealing. I feel like a lot of the vocal opposition probably aren't frequent Wizard players anyway.
  • Other groups have DMs which will throw their PCs into adventures all the time--so the periods of prep-time will not exist and known-spell casters won't have the chance to use this--or at least not abuse it.
  • Still more groups might be in highly magical worlds with generous DMs who dish out spells scrolls, enemy spellbooks, and the gold needed to copy them.
But many groups IME have players who enjoy wizards more than other spellcasters, don't force the PCs into adventures and have adequate prep-time, and/or have game worlds where spell scrolls can't be picked up at every corner merchant's store. Such is my group. And so I see this rule as horrible and I believe other DMs will try it out only to discover it is more disruptive than they thought.

Quite simply, there are better ways of achieving the goal WotC set out to achieve by this feature, many of which have been outlined in this thread. Then again, if you also feel other infringing feats, such as the Metamagic UA feat, are good additions--this probably doesn't bother you, either.

"This rule is bad for me, because of my specific set-up" is a far different argument than "Wizards are obsolete from the game, because they have been ruined and all their features given to other classes, sound the death knell!"

If this rule is bad, for you specifically, then that is why it is optional. But, you are trying to argue it is bad in general, that no one should use it. And some of the rest of us are trying to show, that this massive disruption you fear, is not really all that big, considering the actual way we see our games played.
 

6ENow!

The Game Is Over
Meanwhile, a 5th level Wizard could also have prepared for this mission, but probably has 9 spells to the Sorcerer's 6 available at any given time.

And yet the fact remains the Sorcerer has access to DOZENS of spells the Wizard might likely never encounter in the game. They are only guaranteed 44 while the Sorcerer will have access to nearly 200. It does not matter that the Wizard could get access when in actual game play he won't unless you have a DM who throws spell scrolls and gp out like they are candy.

So, continue to fool yourself. Fortunately, it isn't my job to point out your erroneous thinking. I've tried, you simply don't understand and I can't help that. All I can say is that if I played at your table--you would see the issues this can cause easily enough because I would show them to you first hand. Until you witness it actually in game play, just continue to not be bothered by it. I prefer to make rules that are balanced for everyone at the table, not just some, from the get-go instead of having to apply band-aid solutions later.

FWIW, kudos for the Pinky and The Brain reference--always loved that show. :) Cheers.
 

Vael

Hero
And yet the fact remains the Sorcerer has access to DOZENS of spells the Wizard might likely never encounter in the game. They are only guaranteed 44 while the Sorcerer will have access to nearly 200. It does not matter that the Wizard could get access when in actual game play he won't unless you have a DM who throws spell scrolls and gp out like they are candy.

I played a Sorcerer through Curse of Strahd, in a party with a Wizard. And the Wizard player was playing a spellcaster for the first time (and chose to be a bladesinger), in a campaign that wasn't exactly throwing out scrolls and gp "like candy".

And what would have changed had Tasha's been available at the time? Not a darn thing. Sure, I might have swapped a spell or two, but even in an adventure where we could pretty much set our own pace, I am constrained by the spells known column. I do not have "hundreds" of available spells, I have what I know, and when Strahd flys in unannounced whenever he darn well pleased, or we get lightning bolted by a mad wizard for no apparent reason, I'd have to be the Kwisatz Haderach to know what I "needed" for those encounters.

It is clear to me, though, that I do have more diverse experience with this game then you. I sit at tables that contain both hardcore power gamers and players that still need to be reminded what they need to roll to attack. And, much like the Coffeelock build, Pun Pun or that cabal of pizzeria basement ninjas, I don't see a real problem, only theorycrafting jumping at shadows.
 

Again, do not limit yourself to low to mid levels. Check at high levels what this rule does. Try to break and abuse the rule and you will see.

It is a nice retelling of your CoS experience, but this is but one adventure. The higher your PCs are, the stronger their capacity to get information on the task at hand. Not allowing this kind of play is akin to gimping characters and it should never be done.

As soon as you will play at high levels, this rule will become a big problem as it can be abused so easily. It is really a bad rule wrap in a nice ribbon to make it look good.
 

6ENow!

The Game Is Over
It is clear to me, though, that I do have more diverse experience with this game then you. I sit at tables that contain both hardcore power gamers and players that still need to be reminded what they need to roll to attack.
That is a really heavy assumption on your part.

I am sure my experience is just as diverse (if not more so) than yours. I am very fluent in power-gaming, sometimes I play that way and other times I don't. This rule leans heavily towards power-gaming (if you don't see that, you don't power-game). Oh, and we also have a player who has to be reminded to add his numbers properly... Including attack rolls and saves. He still wants to add proficiency to damage rolls, too, after nearly 18 months of playing...

I don't see a real problem, only theorycrafting jumping at shadows.
Nope. I discussed this heavily and at length with two very experienced players today before our online session. They agree this is ridiculously powerful and potentially very broken. All I had to do was show them the four variant known-spell line-ups I did in the other post and they were laughing at how stupidly broken this is--even at 5th level!

You either don't get it or don't appreciate it. Your game style might mean you never see this as an issue. 🤷‍♂️
 

Again, do not limit yourself to low to mid levels. Check at high levels what this rule does. Try to break and abuse the rule and you will see.

It is a nice retelling of your CoS experience, but this is but one adventure. The higher your PCs are, the stronger their capacity to get information on the task at hand. Not allowing this kind of play is akin to gimping characters and it should never be done.

As soon as you will play at high levels, this rule will become a big problem as it can be abused so easily. It is really a bad rule wrap in a nice ribbon to make it look good.

High level barely helps anything, because you have to take into account a few very important details.

Sorcerers have zero scrying ability. They do not have any divination spells that give any information. I even checked my custom list, which I included even more spells that are typically not on the wizard list. Nothing. So, firstly, you need a second caster in the party to gather the kind of precise information you are talking about.

Secondly, there are some pretty strict limits on those types of spells anyways. Commune and Contact Other Plane both are limited to vague answers. Commune is strictly yes or no, while Contact is a little more varied with giving single word answers, like "Never" or "Unlikely" You are probably familiar with the game 20 Questions? Yes, it is possible to turn yes or no answers into a very specific set of information, but it is called "20" questions for a reason, you usually need more than a dozen answers to narrow it down sufficiently. Commune is a Ritual, but it only gives three questions, and has a cumulative 25% fail rate.

If you get at least three sets of the spell off, you still need two days of casting it to narrow down a single piece of information. And that can be very misleading, if the wrong types of conclusions are drawn from the web of questions.

But what about Scrying?

Well, first of all, it is a saving throw, modified by a few factors. Someone you have never met before gets a +5. and if you have no "connection" to them, you can't reduce the save. Additionally, if they succeed, you can't attempt again for 24 hours. And you only get ten minutes of viewing them. So, you could gain very little knowledge of any use. Such as... where are they.


And... that is about it. Clairvoyance needs you to be familiar with the place, and you can't move the sensor. Divinition and Augury are very vague statements of "weal" and "woe" which aren't giving you a lot of information like enemy numbers, like you were suggesting...


In fact, it seems to me, that the most powerful information gathering spells, that put no party members in direct harm and couldn't be casually negated by the types of high level tactics I would expecte from high level foes.... are Wizard abilities. Which would lead to the scenario that the wizard is rendered obsolete... by providing the very information that is being used to render them obsolete.

Which, in certain circles, would be called "doing an excellent job"
 

I played a Sorcerer through Curse of Strahd (...) I don't see a real problem, only theorycrafting jumping at shadows.
While my experience is just as anecdotal as yours, being able to change a spell as a sorcerer (and to a lesser point as a bard) in a 24-hour cycle would have been a game changer in my group.

Whether or not it would have changed the game to a better experience is hard to say. It would alleviate the weight of having to choose which precious few spells you learn as you gain levels and not fall into a trap. But being able to effectuate a change you do once per level in one night, that is a change that can alter the game significantly. It would change the ranger significantly too but somehow, versatility bothers me less with divine spell casters.

[edit] I wouldn't be opposed to a spell change after a longer rest however, like a 2-week downtime or an off-season.
 
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cbwjm

Hero
And... that is about it. Clairvoyance needs you to be familiar with the place, and you can't move the sensor.
You don't need to be familiar with the place to use clairvoyance, but it isn't going to be a spell you cast from the comfort of your living room. It can be a place which is obvious and unfamiliar to you. You could cast it targeting a castle that you can see to get a look in. The book mentions the other side of a door, around a corner, or a in a grove of trees. Since casting divinations so that you know how to swap your spells out means you have time anyway, you should be able to have multiple castings in a day to better prepare you for the time ahead. The real limiter is, as you've mentioned, that you can't move the sensor.
 

6ENow!

The Game Is Over
[edit] I wouldn't be opposed to a spell change after a longer rest however, like a 2-week downtime or an off-season.
I lot of people (myself included) have voiced options such as this. My favorite is 1 workweek per spell level for the newly known spell during downtime.

Another thing would be to remove the spell you want to swap out from your known spells for a time, even until your next long rest, after which you can put in a new spell; I still think this would be too quick a turnaround--but at least you would have to have some cost associated with using the feature.
 

cbwjm

Hero
You could grant a limited form of spell versatility. Every time you gain a spell known, you add 2 spells, one to your spells known and one to a spell pool. After a long rest, swap out any known spell for any spell in your spell pool. This could then interact with sorcery points granting an ability to swap out a spell known for a spell pool spell instantly by spending a couple of spell points. This would grant a 1st level sorcerer 4 spells in their spell pool, two of which are locked in.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
Another thing would be to remove the spell you want to swap out from your known spells for a time, even until your next long rest, after which you can put in a new spell; I still think this would be too quick a turnaround--but at least you would have to have some cost associated with using the feature.
That is quite a steep cost.
 

6ENow!

The Game Is Over
You could grant a limited form of spell versatility. Every time you gain a spell known, you add 2 spells, one to your spells known and one to a spell pool. After a long rest, swap out any known spell for any spell in your spell pool. This could then interact with sorcery points granting an ability to swap out a spell known for a spell pool spell instantly by spending a couple of spell points. This would grant a 1st level sorcerer 4 spells in their spell pool, two of which are locked in.
This would have been a better feature IMO. It effectively doubles the number of known spells a caster can have.
 


You don't need to be familiar with the place to use clairvoyance, but it isn't going to be a spell you cast from the comfort of your living room. It can be a place which is obvious and unfamiliar to you. You could cast it targeting a castle that you can see to get a look in. The book mentions the other side of a door, around a corner, or a in a grove of trees. Since casting divinations so that you know how to swap your spells out means you have time anyway, you should be able to have multiple castings in a day to better prepare you for the time ahead. The real limiter is, as you've mentioned, that you can't move the sensor.

I saw that, but I figure the problem is distance and LOS.

If I am level 15, and I am within a mile of the enemy castle, then I'm already in the danger zone. And, while I can cast it in an obvious place (such as past the gates) I would say casting it in a more specific place like "in the throne room" is impossible. You don't know where that is and so you can't place the sensor there.

If your high level threat doesn't have counter measures for people casting this spell, such as having more serious defenses within the castle, where they won't be seen by the spell, or having a few look outs with the ability to see invisible things, then they aren't taking advantage of those high level resources.

But, it is slightly more versatile than I stated.
 

Why do every body want to scry an enemy?
Pick a mouse, a familliar or whatever small creature you can find and send it in. Scry it as it invisibly scurry around the castle, fort, cave or whatever and as you see enemies, you now have seen them (and scry them later). You can even now teleport into the place as you now have seen it.

You can learn about some of the dead inhabitants and use contact other plane and question them about the strength and weaknesses of the place. After a few days you almost know the place as good as the inhabitants. Teleport into an empty (or unused or not often entered) store room. Use Arcane eye, and finish the scrying and get the info you need.

Hell, a high level rogue with expertise in sneaking can do this on his own without getting caught. Getting info is not something that hard to do.

Once you know what you're up against, change your spell list as you wish since now you can do it. Before the wizard disappeared, you only needed a wizard, now you need either a bard with the right secret or a warlock. But this is hardly a problem now isn't it? Since most groups that I am aware of are usually 5 or 4 with an NPC...
 

Vael

Hero
You either don't get it or don't appreciate it.

I just reject the premises of your argument. To recap: This rule breaks Sorcerers if they can meet both of the following criteria:
1. Perfect knowledge of what the next encounter will be.
AND
2. Effectively unlimited number of extended rests with which to sculpt their spell list.

Let's start with the second premise. The fifth level example you throw around requires 6 days, so about a week with zero encounters in the interim. Apparently, we've gone past the 15-minute work day, and are now into a 15 minute work week!

(This is also why I haven't bothered to discuss your proposed downtime house rule, if your tables are under such little time pressure that taking a week off before the next adventure is trivial, then why not just make it 6 weeks?)

As for the first premise, that has been pretty thoroughly gone through in this whole thread. Sorcerers lack most of the scrying and divination spells that would give the player in game knowledge of the spells they need, and as much as it'd be really cool, I am not currently gaming with Paul Atreides and Cassandra.

So, no, I don't see this as a broken rule, I see two primary use cases:

1. I've made a huge mistake, ie, the player has picked a spell that does not work the way they thought. Key example, the number of players that continue to pick Crown of Madness and keep casting it on the solo monster.

2. Adapting to the environment. Sure, if the campaign has lead the party out of the wilds and will be in a city for the next few days, the Sorcerer might say, "Well, not gonna need Alter Self for awhile, but Enhance Ability would be more helpful here".

(A third niche case as well, is for Wild Sorcerers in particular. I've had players discuss building a "random slot" where one of the Wild Sorcerer's spells is assumed to be retrained after every rest and they roll randomly on a table at the beginning of the day to find out what spell they actually have that day.)

These do not strike me as game breaking changes. They give the Sorcerer an advantage, for sure, but then, this is the same rule being given to all casters with a "Spells Known" column. Rangers, Warlocks and Bards are also getting this boon, and I don't see the same level of "Oh no, the sky is falling" with regards to them. Prepared casters have been customizing their spell selection since day 1 and it hasn't broken the game either.
 

But, do not restrict to one type of campaign. That is why you do not see the whole picture. Here are a few example of campaign types I have had in the last few years.
The short adventure campaign: this kind of campaign is the most or one of the most affected by the rule. Many weeks can pass between adventures. Sometimes whole seasons. Tales from the Yawning Portal is such an example.

The long run campaign : This campaign is pure adventure non stop. The characters must go from point to the other with almost or no down time at all. Curse of Strhad is a good example. This is the least impacted by the new rule. This is probably the kind of game you are playing.

The Generation campaign: In this one, many years can pass between adventure. Players are building kingdoms and empire. Very often, the players will even play different groups with some 9f them the direct heirs of their characters. I even had a game with only elves (in 1ed) that spawned 2000 years, starting about 500 years before the invoked devastations in Greyhawk. Such a game would have been greatly impacted by the rule.

There are so many ways to play and there are campaign types that blend the previous three above. The AP like CoS are the least impacted by the rule, but as soon as the long run type is left, the rule starts to show its ugly side very fast.

Again, the higher you play, the more the potential for abuse this rule becomes. If you stick to long run adventures where down time is amost non existant, you'll probably never have any problems. But if you play an other style... you're done.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
You can now learn a new spell in place of another of the same level whenever you finish a long rest.

I still think that people are generally underestimating the potential impact of Spell Versatility.

This is definitely not a "retraining rule", because of the fact that you can swap one spell every single long rest.

This is a challenge-bypass rule. Just because it is limited to ONE spell and requires at least one long rest of waiting, it doesn't make it trivial. You are not really going to exploit this rule much if you just change one combat spell into another (which is what 90% of the people seem to think about), but you ARE going to exploit it when you know tomorrow you have a long trip ahead that you can bypass by flying or teleporting, and next day you need to breathe underwater, and next day you need to telepathically contact someone very far away, and next day you need party invisibility to sneak into the castle, and next day you need to reveal a key clue with a clairvoyance and so on... Sure if you need ALL of these tomorrow, maybe Spell Versatility won't help you.

The game already has too many spells designed to bypass specific non-combat challenges. Those spells are designed for people who dislike non-combat challenges or having to come up with creative ways to solve problems, where "creative" means at least not just press-a-button spells. Those spells DO get in the way of other players who maybe want to have some fun thinking about how to beat a challenge instead of pressing a button, even if it requires to wait until tomorrow, and it can actually spoil other player's character builds.
 


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