D&D 5E Q&A: Mage Cantrips, Multiclass req., and the Psion


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Falling Icicle

Adventurer
1. I think this makes it far too easy to learn new cantrips. The feat that gives you 2 bonus cantrips, not to mention the elf and gnome racial abilities, are practically worthless now (at least for mages). Since cantrips aren't limited by either spell slots or preparation, I don't think mages should be able to learn an unlimited number of them. They should either make them spells that you prepare, or they should only let you learn a fixed number of them, IMO.

2. I still think the multiclass ability score requirements create more problems than they solve. If I can play a very effective single class fighter that has only a 10 str and focuses on finesse weapons or archery, why can I not do that as a multiclass fighter? I also dislike the requirements for the same reason I disliked requirements for feats and prestige class in 3.x - they make you plan your character out in advance. I'd like for people to be able to spontaneously multiclass their character. Maybe something happens to your rogue during the story that he finds religion and decides to become a cleric. It would be, IMO, unfortunate if you couldn't do that just because you didn't have the foresight when you made the character to put enough points into Wisdom.
 

GX.Sigma

Adventurer
Aw, I thought the first question was going to be about whether you could have a mage without at-will magic. Because a lot of OSR people are still refusing to even take D&DN seriously until that happens.

I agree that the multiclass restrictions suck. It's up to each DM how much they want to limit it in their game (in other words, DMs will add restrictions), so why have any restrictions as default? Just say "here's how you multiclass; your DM might want to restrict it somehow," and have some ideas in the DMG for how to restrict it.
 

FreeTheSlaves

Adventurer
Spells don't necessarily come so easy for Mages. 2 spells per level, that's like every 4-5 game sessions, and at the expense of higher level spells. And still limited in # of cantrips that can be cast in a round. Worth learning a Cantrip? Yeah sure, it can be a good investment, but hardly a no-brainer.

Copying from scrolls & spell books are an in-character activity, no problem with this route for a resourceful character. Makes sense for a game-within-a-game reward that can be worked towards.

I'm in favour of ability requirements, the reasons given are convincing to me. Mind you I like the 1E/2E implied setting and soft limits which guide towards that get my approval.

I suspect the Dex-fighter example above also ran afoul of Dex being a super stat.
 

Yes, dex right now is too good... so i think a little str investment for your fighter is not that bad.

I also believe strength requirements for weapons and armor would be appropriate. So if you have strength 10 or less, you should not be able to wear armor more heavy than light armor. Seems like a good idea. I think 13 Str for medium armor and 15 Str for heavy armor seems like a good start.
 

1of3

Explorer
Come on guys, you don't need to explain your reasoning behind ability score requirements. Give us the poll and we will gladly vote them to hell.
 

OK, they punted the psionics question. I probably should have seen that coming. It isn't a deal breaker to me, either way.

Attribute requirements seem all over the place to me. It definitely works for some things and not for others. I would probably prefer it without. It seems easy enough to ignore. I won't be using it for my campaigns.
 

FreeTheSlaves

Adventurer
Was thinking the same thing UngeheuerLich. Not sure the fighter class package is what the 10 Str character is actually after. That comes with heavy armour prof & prof in a whole heap of heavy weapons. Seems like an option before full blown multi-classing, i.e. feats, is what's required.

There will be a poll soon 1of3. I'm pretty certain Wizards will pay it attention. Forum polls otoh are typically a waste of time imo - the extremist voice is over-represented.
 

vagabundo

Adventurer
Make the ability score requirements as a little optional sidebar. As most people will ignore them anyway.

Unlimited cantrip: I like the idea of a 1st level wizard obsessed with minor magics and wanders around collecting them, kinda like Pokemon.
 

Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
1. I think this makes it far too easy to learn new cantrips. The feat that gives you 2 bonus cantrips, not to mention the elf and gnome racial abilities, are practically worthless now (at least for mages). Since cantrips aren't limited by either spell slots or preparation, I don't think mages should be able to learn an unlimited number of them. They should either make them spells that you prepare, or they should only let you learn a fixed number of them, IMO.

Exactly. In addition:

There has always been a weird mini-game for mages (wizards, M-Us) involving the spellbook. Clerics (e.g.) can draw from their list freely, but Mages need to have a spell in their spellbook. And so there is a mini-game of the wizard building the spellbook (assuming the DM cares) and making and hiding a backup; the DM maybe threatening the book, whatever. Mages need to look for spells, invest gold and time copying things out. If played RAW, it means levelling up on a long campaign is tougher for mages uniquely.

It may be some for some players, but it always marks the wizard as "other" -- and so the minigame often (IME) does not get played; it's a distraction for one, and not fun for the table.

What is the justification for its existence? Only the superior strength and versatility of the spells on the spellcaster's list (which some would question): it's a balancing mechanism, one that is often ignored. (Additional problems emerge with classes like the 3.x sorcerer, which lacks the book but casts arcane spells, and therefore has a hard limit on spells absent from wizards).

So, this answer has a number of undesirable effects:
a. undermines race and feat powers
b. gives mages access to all cantrips without mechanical cost (there may be an in-game cost for those playing the minigame), something that's not available to other zero-level-spell-users.
c. removes one aspect of the balancing mechanism without a commensurate decrease in effectiveness of other spells in the list.
 

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