D&D 5E No One Plays High Level?

ECMO3

Hero
As a DM I do not allow players to debate and plan mid fight - what if I cast Moonbeam and then you can grapple him and hold him in, or would it be better to use spike growth and just back up and make them lose hit points to come get us. Or we could flee or .....

When it is your turn decide what you are doing, no asking other players if this or that is a good idea. The players are allowed to say short things to other players in a PCs turn, something like "back up if you can I am going to fireball them" or "do you have that guy [so I can go do something else]" .... but they can't debate and iterate on the best way to take down an enemy.

I remind players this is not 1E any more a turn is 6 seconds so you can't have a 15 minute debate on the best way to tackle the Dragon while he sits there waiting for you to figure it out.
 

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pogre

Legend
That sounds incredible. Do you have any videos of your table playing?
It's funny that you ask, because I brought up this possibility with my group as I have another friend who volunteered to set up sound, video and do the editing. However, I have two players who said absolutely not. So, no video - sorry.
I get that most of you are punctual, which my groups have always been too. And that you are all experienced, as has been almost every long-term group I've played with. And that your players decide prior to their turn, as do most players I know. But, how does it all pan out, say at 16th level, completing a threatening encounter for the PCs, at under an hour? What is your estimate in time for a dangerous 16 th level encounter?

Edit: A+ to fast being a relative term.
Here's what I have found - I cannot predict the time it will take. For example I threw a bunch of custom nasties at the PCs using some CR 17 creatures for the base. Employing some of the paladin's abilities and some spells - the opponent's were locked in place, under the effects of fear, and slowed. What I thought was going to be an awesome fight was quickly over. The whole thing was over in 10 minutes. I am also amazed at how fast they destroy combinations of creatures sometimes.

Now, I will admit, at the higher levels it is not uncommon for me to play some of their opponents at less than their full abilities. This is not intentional - I just plain forget sometimes. I could also be more inventive with spell lists. I learn and do better the next time, but it still happens.

So here's how I prep - I create ten or so encounters. I try to make sure at least half of the encounters have something interesting going on besides the fight - much, like the awesome 12th level fight you described, (which, I am totally stealing!). Moving pieces, magma, pits, verticality, waves of opponents, falling walls, etc. Usually combining a few.

Since it is important to end on time - I will sub in a more straight forward fight if we have twenty minutes or less to play. I never end a session mid-fight. Even though we play weekly, I do not trust my memory to keep track of where the fight was.

I consciously try not trump my players' characters' abilities. I also try not to pull them out of the fight - I avoid banishment as a spell for example. Although, I rudely used a Maze spell on the fighter last session. So, I absolutely could crank up the danger by going after weak spots or using more removal of PCs, but I always try to see things from their perspective. Is being banished as a player fun? Maybe every great once in a while, but not very often. I can tell you my fighter found being Mazed extremely frustrating and I'm not sure I would make the same choice again.

At least once a session, we have a fight that the players have real doubts about whether the going to pull through. They enjoy that style of play - a lot of folks do not.

I really admire Critical Role - they have an unbelievable campaign. The character interaction and the story telling is inspirational. And, my players would absolutely hate it.
 
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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
You said anyone who did it would find that it was a problem. I haven't. (And yes, I know that's anecdotal, but still.)
Many people don't readjust their characters' abilities to their new levels.

Many caster players keep their out of date lower level spells from level 1-4.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I am confused. All wishes are cast in one action and ignore material components. Forbiddance is a 6th level spell that covers a room 200ft x200ft. That'a 40 squares x 40 squares. You can't even shoot a fireball all the way across it.

So....where was the risk of using Wish?
Correct, mis-wrote. The main need for the wish was to have the Forbiddance cover the entire area. The area was roughly 62,500 sq. ft. Casting Forbiddance as written, even ignoring the time and material components requirements would have left 22,500 sq ft uncovered. He wished, specifically (though I don't remember the exact words) to upcase Forbiddance by 75% increasing the floor space that would be covered to cover the entire floor space, increase the height, and increase the damage.

Changing the forbiddance to be more powerful is what required the roll for a chance of not being able to cast it again.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I believe the risk is that Wish duplicates the spell, not the spell's effect, so using Wish to cast Forbiddance without the 10 minute casting time is a modified Forbiddance spell, not a duplicate. Technically that would be correct and would trigger the risk of losing the ability to cast Wish. I personally wouldn't rule that way and would just allow it safely, which I think is the intent, but I can see where a DM would rule that the risk was there.
@kigmatzomat is correct. I miswrote.

From the spell description for with:

The basic use of this spell is to duplicate any other spell of 8th level or lower. You don't need to meet any requirements in that spell, including costly components. The spell simply takes effect.
Emphasis mine. I think that would have to clearly include casting time.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Thinking about it, I'm not so sure. I mean, if the 10 minute casting time is a requirement, then so are range, duration and the need to see the target. You could use a wish to drop a fireball that lasts an hour on a king 10,000 miles away. That seems like a special use of wish to me, not copying fireball as an 8th level or less spell.

I can see it being ruled either way, but I'd personally rule that it happens without the risk of loss.
Huh, range is interesting. I think AOE is certainly an effect and not a requirement. Generally, I would rule range is an effect and not a requirement. But I could see a DM judging otherwise.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Out of curiosity, has anyone done high-level play where Wish was simply not a thing? If so, how did it go?
No, but I would like to make wish something that is granted by a powerful entity and not just a spell you can take at high levels. Instead, I would use a system that would allow players to develop their own spells. In my current campaign, I used the rules in Strongholds and Followers for this, but it didn't quite hit the mark for us as it is basically tweaking existing spells to given additional effects and flavor. The DMG rules for creating spells are mainly useful for spells that cause damage or grant healing. I would like to have more robust spell creation rules that were balanced for 5e.
 

It's funny that you ask, because I brought up this possibility with my group as I have another friend who volunteered to set up sound, video and do the editing. However, I have two players who said absolutely not. So, no video - sorry.
That's ok. I appreciate both sides of the coin and get it. But, thank you for the attempt. If anything changes, I would really like to see the playstyle (speed).
Here's what I have found - I cannot predict the time it will take. For example I threw a bunch of custom nasties at the PCs using some CR 17 creatures for the base. Employing some of the paladin's abilities and some spells - the opponent's were locked in place, under the effects of fear, and slowed. What I thought was going to be an awesome fight was quickly over. The whole thing was over in 10 minutes. I am also amazed at how fast they destroy combinations of creatures sometimes.

Now, I will admit, at the higher levels it is not uncommon for me to play some of their opponents at less than their full abilities. This is not intentional - I just plain forget sometimes. I could also be more inventive with spell lists. I learn and do better the next time, but it still happens.

So here's how I prep - I create ten or so encounters. I try to make sure at least half of the encounters have something interesting going on besides the fight - much, like the awesome 12th level fight you described, (which, I am totally stealing!). Moving pieces, magma, pits, verticality, waves of opponents, falling walls, etc. Usually combining a few.

Since it is important to end on time - I will sub in a more straight forward fight if we have twenty minutes or less to play. I never end a session mid-fight. Even though we play weekly, I do not trust my memory to keep track of where the fight was.

I consciously try not trump my players' characters' abilities. I also try not to pull them out of the fight - I avoid banishment as a spell for example. Although, I rudely used a Maze spell on the fighter last session. So, I absolutely could crank up the danger by going after weak spots or using more removal of PCs, but I always try to see things from their perspective. Is being banished as a player fun? Maybe every great once in a while, but not very often. I can tell you my fighter found being Mazed extremely frustrating and I'm not sure I would make the same choice again.

At least once a session, we have a fight that the players have real doubts about whether the going to pull through. They enjoy that style of play - a lot of folks do not.

I really admire Critical Role - they have an unbelievable campaign. The character interaction and the story telling is inspirational. And, my players would absolutely hate it.
I appreciate all of your dynamics. IMO, you are doing an incredible job. The not pushing the pace and just coming in unable to estimate, to forgetting abilities (so common), to not always trumping the PC's abilities, etc. Great job.

On a side note, the maze does allow the PC o heal. ;)
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Huh, range is interesting. I think AOE is certainly an effect and not a requirement. Generally, I would rule range is an effect and not a requirement. But I could see a DM judging otherwise.
I my opinion the requirements are things like needing to be a cleric or druid to cast certain spells and needing to have a spell slot open to cast the spell. Once you pick the spell, the parameters of the spell are set. If you are mimicking fireball, it takes effect in 1 action, has a range of 150 feet, a duration of instantaneous and fills a 20 foot radius area. Components are a bit of a conundrum for me. I'm not sure if they would be requirements or not. I'm leaning yes.

If you take away range, duration, etc., it's no longer a fireball. It's some other fire explody spell. I would rule duration is not a requirement. That said, using wish to make it faster is such a minor difference that I would not make the player roll to see if the wizard loses the ability to cast wish.
 

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