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D&D 5E New D&D Basic Rules DM v0.2 and Cantrip Scrolls

Joe Liker

First Post
Sounds like an area for a good feat.

Cantrip Master

Your primary spellcasting ability score increases by 1. This cannot make the score exceed 20.

You may learn an additional cantrip from your spell list.

You no longer need to use material components for cantrips you cast. You must still use a focus if one is required.

Not needing components is such a trivial ability, I would just remove that part and add two cantrips.
Actually, compared to Magic Initiate and Spell Sniper, the whole thing is pretty weak. Since you're not letting them stray outside their class, I'd just go ahead and give them the whole list of cantrips available to their class.
 

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Henrix

Explorer
I can't see how it could unbalance things if wizards prepared cantrips just like spells.
A little extra flexibility, a little extra flavour - sounds good to me.


And what is the in-world excuse for wizards not being able to learn more simple cantrips?

"Oh, sorry, you can write any 7th level spell in your book, but, uh, there's no place for Prestidigitation in there."
 

RCanine

First Post
I can't see how it could unbalance things if wizards prepared cantrips just like spells.
A little extra flexibility, a little extra flavour - sounds good to me.


And what is the in-world excuse for wizards not being able to learn more simple cantrips?

"Oh, sorry, you can write any 7th level spell in your book, but, uh, there's no place for Prestidigitation in there."

Cantrips provide a lot of utility, and at high levels are much stronger than first level spells. The requirement to choose only a few is what keeps them balanced.
 

Henrix

Explorer
If the wizard only has so few to prepare I can't see the problem.
They still compete with the higher level spells in the action economy.

It makes the wizard a little more powerful, but hardly 'what keeps them unbalancing'. The limited wizard has presumably already chosen the 'best'.
Varying what cantrip that makes the most damage from day to day is more fun than just using the same all the time.

And in-world it makes no sense whatsoever. It is just a boring and weird mechanic.
 


Gargoyle

Adventurer
I though about this during the playtest. Why wouldn't every wizard know every cantrip?

Based on the final rules, I'm not sure it's a problem. Cantrips aren't written down in the spellbook, they're just permanently memorized. So maybe a cantrip is a magical talent you can just do, that you can't learn by reading it off a page.

I agree that they shouldn't be in spellbooks. But I think the reason not to have wizards know them all is to make each wizard a bit more unique, and also to avoid the "cleric" problem. What I mean by that is that it's annoying and potentially unbalancing for wizards to get so many more options when you add lots of new cantrips to the game if it means they can cast them all at will. DM's don't have to allow more spells from other sources, but some like to; they don't want to spend their time poring over new stuff to make sure it's unbalancing, that's the game designers' job. As far as why they don't treat divine spells the same way, IMO it's because those spells are traditionally more defensive or utility than offense, but it's also just "how it's always been done".

Personally, I think learning new cantrips should be easier. Perhaps letting them learn new ones during their downtime like a language or tool proficiency, as well as giving them a few more as they level up. I could easily envision a high level wizard knowing dozens, but I like the idea of a low level one having to choose.
 

KarinsDad

Adventurer
Personally, I think learning new cantrips should be easier. Perhaps letting them learn new ones during their downtime like a language or tool proficiency, as well as giving them a few more as they level up. I could easily envision a high level wizard knowing dozens, but I like the idea of a low level one having to choose.

This.
 

evilbob

Explorer
Aside from the whole cantrip discussion, this is nice to see. Seems like scrolls don't have set prices but are instead the "rarity" thing that still makes no sense, other than the general idea of how often you see it. Was there a "rough" price list per rarity somewhere?

Also nice that scrolls can explicitly be copied into spellbooks - which, I mean, duh - but the whole idea that you have to make a check to succeed or the scroll is wasted?!?! BLEH! I could also see making a wizard make a check to copy a scroll that was a higher level than they could cast - but on the other hand, who would do that? Once in your book you can't cast it anyway, and the obvious solution is to just wait until you can and then copy it. But still forcing a roll to copy a scroll when you can copy another spellbook for no roll? That's definitely getting ignored.

Also it doesn't specifically say that copying a scroll costs anything, although it implies it by the comparison to copying spellbooks.

Overall this could be more clear and less punishing to wizards.
 


Aside from the whole cantrip discussion, this is nice to see. Seems like scrolls don't have set prices but are instead the "rarity" thing that still makes no sense, other than the general idea of how often you see it. Was there a "rough" price list per rarity somewhere?

Also nice that scrolls can explicitly be copied into spellbooks - which, I mean, duh - but the whole idea that you have to make a check to succeed or the scroll is wasted?!?! BLEH! I could also see making a wizard make a check to copy a scroll that was a higher level than they could cast - but on the other hand, who would do that? Once in your book you can't cast it anyway, and the obvious solution is to just wait until you can and then copy it. But still forcing a roll to copy a scroll when you can copy another spellbook for no roll? That's definitely getting ignored.

Also it doesn't specifically say that copying a scroll costs anything, although it implies it by the comparison to copying spellbooks.

Overall this could be more clear and less punishing to wizards.

It seems to me that they've gotten rid of the inherent ability to buy magic items. No prices anywhere, a comprehensive rarity system, lower max bonuses, more powerful abilities on magic items. These all point to me that in RAW there likely isn't a way to buy magic items, and that to actually do so would be exorbitant and up to the DM at the time.
 

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