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D&D 5E Removing Concentration From Smite Spells, Including Spells like Ensnaring Strike?

Remove Concentration from Smite Spells?

  • Yes. Bonus Action when you hit.

    Votes: 10 27.0%
  • Yes, but not as described (explain below)

    Votes: 6 16.2%
  • No. Stop it.

    Votes: 15 40.5%
  • Nah, do it this way instead (explain below)

    Votes: 4 10.8%
  • Lemon pepper chicken with yellow curry

    Votes: 2 5.4%
  • Ranger Spells but not Paladin Smite Spells

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    37

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Not just divine favour, but also Holy Weapon, Hunters Mark (Veng), Bless, Elemental weapon and Spirit guardians to name a few.

The Paladin is a top tier damage dealer as is. Letting it stack Smite spells on top of any of those spells AND on top of Divine Smite is a bad idea for mine.
It couldn't stack them, as I said in the OP.

And if your players would never cast them if they exclude the use of Divine Smite, then Divine Smite is too powerful.

Now, IME, most players don't so wildly overvalue a few points of increased average damage that they are reluctant to use the smite spells, so I see no need to nerf DS, but obviously a lot of other tables do need to, by the sounds of it.

But you can already stack two of three. Adding the third increases nova, but nova is often wasted past a certain point, and comes at a cost.
 

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It couldn't stack them, as I said in the OP.

And if your players would never cast them if they exclude the use of Divine Smite, then Divine Smite is too powerful.

But that's too much of a nerf, particularly when extra attack comes online.

And I assure you if given the choice between sticking with Divine Smite (and using your spell list for other spells) or (preparing several smite spells in order to use them INSTEAD of Divine Smite) most Paladin players are going with the former.

You want to give them a reason to prepare those spells, and to use them. Your solution has the opposite effect.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
But that's too much of a nerf, particularly when extra attack comes online.

And I assure you if given the choice between sticking with Divine Smite (and using your spell list for other spells) or (preparing several smite spells in order to use them INSTEAD of Divine Smite) most Paladin players are going with the former.

You want to give them a reason to prepare those spells, and to use them. Your solution has the opposite effect.
I have plenty of experience with paladins, and I completely disagree.
 

I found I got use out of Thunderous Smite or Wrathful Smite playing a paladin. (They both offer very good control options - especially if you're using a grid.

And that the main reason I couldn't use was either because I was concentrating on Bless or Heroism (the latter usually at lower levels to counter a fear effect).
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I found I got use out of Thunderous Smite or Wrathful Smite playing a paladin. (They both offer very good control options - especially if you're using a grid.

And that the main reason I couldn't use was either because I was concentrating on Bless or Heroism (the latter usually at lower levels to counter a fear effect).
Yep, that's my experience as well. Players (myself included) either use them, or don't use them because of concentration. Not using them because of Divine Smite comes up about as often as the wizard choosing scorching ray over hold person. It happens, but not all the time, by any means.

Anyway, I'm fine with restricting the stacking of Smite and these spells for paladins, in some other way, in order to free rangers up to stack hunters mark and ensnaring strike, or run a buff spell while still dishing out solid damage and control.
 




Immoralkickass

Explorer
Which is why I suggested limiting Divine smite to 1/ turn.

I limit Superiority dice to 2/ turn for Battlemasters (1/turn for Martial adepts) and I limit GWM/SS to the same 1/turn limit as well.
If a thing is weak, you don't fix it by nerfing all the other alternatives. For example, even if every single cantrip was nerfed to the ground, it won't make people use True Strike more.

I'm not against nerfing stuff, but as a DM, too many houserule nerfs will make players unhappy, especially on standard subclasses like Battlemaster which is generally considered fine in terms of balance.
 

What does that mean for those smite spells that apply a duration effect though? If the frightened effect from Wrathful Smite (for instance) lasts the full duration of the spell without consuming a concentration slot or risking disruption from a failed concentration check, it's a pretty big power boost. There's not many persistent debuffs in the game that don't require concentration.

I'd like it like this:

If you hit with an attack you can use your reaction to add damage and have an effect until the end of your next turn.
You can use a bonus action on a subsequent turn to prolong the effect for another turn.

Alternately a single bonus action could change the duration to "concentration up to 1min".
 

Man I just don't understand why folks are valuing ~1d8 damage so highly. From experience, frightened, blinded, even ongoing damage sometimes (though that one is too easy for the target to get out of early), are well worth doing 1d6 or 2d8 or 2d6 instead of 2d8 damage.
I mean, Branding Smite deals a meaningless shortage of damage, effectively the same damage, as Divine Smite, and the target sheds light and can't become invisible. IDK about you, but I face and use creatures that use invisibility often enough that it's worth it. I also can't imagine how a creature could ever become or stay hidden, while under the effect, since they're shedding bright light, I at least give them disadvantage if they try, as does every DM I know, and in a dark enviroment, a PC with darkvision might have advantage to hit them, since they're a beacon in the darkness.
The issue with Branding Smite is the the risk/reward ratio. Either the target you want to hit is already invisible, in which case you cast the spell and hold it until you can make the hit with disadvantage, or you assume they're going to become invisible/hidden, in which case you might be giving up the extra damage for nothing.

Searing Smite is hot garbage. You deal 1d6 extra damage instead of 2d8 (as a first level spell), and if the target fails a save you get to do an extra 1d6 damage, leaving you still on average 2 points of damage behind. If you're lucky, they'll fail a second save, bringing your damage up to 1 point above the divine smite. If you're super lucky, and the target isn't dead already, it'll fail a third save bringing your damage to about 5 points above divine smite. Casting it at higher levels just puts you further and further behind divine smite, since the only extra damage is on the initial hit... which would be a d8 on divine smite.

Wrathful Smite can be pretty good, I'll admit. Frightened is a great effect to put on your enemies, especially if you're already up in melee with them. I guess players just don't like the loss of 5.5 damage for it, which I'd kinda disagree with. A conquest paladin should always have this one up their sleeve once they hit 7th level, since it combos with Aura of Conquest.
 

Quartz

Adventurer
It removes the temptation for Paladins to nova (rendering them sub par Fighters for the rest of the Adventuring day) which also helps with balancing encounters.

Paladins can be better fighters than the Fighter from 11th level, as long as the target isn't Resistant to Radiant damage. Remember that PCs don't just get their base attacks but also possibly attacks on their Reaction and Bonus Action. That's four extra dice of damage over all four attacks. The Fighter's Action Surge compensates somewhat, but not nearly enough. And we haven't considered Smites.
 

I'd say just plain remove the concentration from most Smite and similar spells. Oddly enough, that is option 2.

The character that got the greatest use out of smite spells that I've seen was actually a Stone Sorceror from the UA: mostly combining Thunderous Smite with Booming Blade.

Man I just don't understand why folks are valuing ~1d8 damage so highly. From experience, frightened, blinded, even ongoing damage sometimes (though that one is too easy for the target to get out of early), are well worth doing 1d6 or 2d8 or 2d6 instead of 2d8 damage.
I mean, Branding Smite deals a meaningless shortage of damage, effectively the same damage, as Divine Smite, and the target sheds light and can't become invisible. IDK about you, but I face and use creatures that use invisibility often enough that it's worth it. I also can't imagine how a creature could ever become or stay hidden, while under the effect, since they're shedding bright light, I at least give them disadvantage if they try, as does every DM I know, and in a dark enviroment, a PC with darkvision might have advantage to hit them, since they're a beacon in the darkness.
Divine smite is generally considerably more effective damage than a Smite spell since it is immediate (doesn't require set-up), allows better nova (can be put on every attack). It also combines no-risk with high reward and little opportunity cost. (Never risk losing the spell slot without getting it off, can take advantage of critical hits, and you can maintain your defensive spells on you and your allies.)

That is why Divine Smite outshadows the smite spells in most situations.
It is also worth noting that unlike Battle Smiths and Hexblades, a paladin's casting stat is secondary or even tertiary, so their saves DCs for smites are lower, as well as having less prepared spells that smite spells would require slots to occupy.
 

That is a bigger cost, and counterintuitive.
No, it's much lower cost. Reaction spells can be cast on the same turn as a regular spell. You could cast HM, take the attack action, and then cast a smite as a reaction in the same turn.

There's only 8 spells in the entire game that cast as a reaction, and 3 of them are ubiquitous: shield, counterspell, and absorb elements. That's not by accident.
 

a paladin's casting stat is secondary or even tertiary, so their saves DCs for smites are lower, as well as having less prepared spells that smite spells would require slots to occupy.

Agree on the save DC thing, but not so much that there's a big spell slot bottleneck for paladins. After all, if you're planning to use most of your spell slots smiting anyway, then it's not such a big deal if you don't have quite as comprehensive a selection of spells memorised. I've only played a paladin to level 7 so far in 5th, but from my experience as long as you've got Bless, maybe Command (if your spell DC is high enough to bother), perhaps Shield of Faith and a few utilities like Lesser Restoration, you're pretty much ok, and most of your memorised spells will never get cast anyway (and if you're playing Oath of Devotion, you get Lesser Restoration and Protection From Evil as oath spells, which covers your bases even more). Maybe it changes once you get access to higher-level spells, I suppose, but I've very rarely suffered from not having the spell i needed memorised. The action economy of actually casting your spells, and your concentration slot, are much more impactful limitations on the spells my PC casts.
 

Immoralkickass

Explorer
Now, IME, most players don't so wildly overvalue a few points of increased average damage that they are reluctant to use the smite spells, so I see no need to nerf DS, but obviously a lot of other tables do need to, by the sounds of it.
Actually they do. More damage is more damage, it stacks with other damage, but conditions don't stack, or don't even benefit more (hitting a blinded + restrained target is the same). Divine Smite is highly rated for its reliability, something smite spells are not. Smite spells don't compete with each other or Divine Smite, they compete with every other spell that has concentration. It also competes with every other ability/spell that uses a Bonus action. They are not even better than Bless, so why are people voting NO to remove their concentration? Those who vote NO, i can tell you with full confidence that you don't know a thing about balance.

I considered doing this before i started running a campaign. But i wanted to know if this would mean my paladin player would be using Smite Spells more. So i asked him. He is a min-maxer, a tactical player, who always weighs his options and uses the most optimal spell/ability. His answer was a straight 'no', without hesitation. Smite spells still suck even without concentration.

For some reason, even though all the DMs i play with never reveal monsters HP, they always tell you when the monster have 1 HP left. And its that time when you regret not dealing more damage, because its that time when the monster will: A) Cast a big facking spell B) Use a powerful ability C) Teleport away
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Actually they do. More damage is more damage, it stacks with other damage, but conditions don't stack, or don't even benefit more (hitting a blinded + restrained target is the same). Divine Smite is highly rated for its reliability, something smite spells are not. Smite spells don't compete with each other or Divine Smite, they compete with every other spell that has concentration. It also competes with every other ability/spell that uses a Bonus action. They are not even better than Bless, so why are people voting NO to remove their concentration? Those who vote NO, i can tell you with full confidence that you don't know a thing about balance.

I considered doing this before i started running a campaign. But i wanted to know if this would mean my paladin player would be using Smite Spells more. So i asked him. He is a min-maxer, a tactical player, who always weighs his options and uses the most optimal spell/ability. His answer was a straight 'no', without hesitation. Smite spells still suck even without concentration.

For some reason, even though all the DMs i play with never reveal monsters HP, they always tell you when the monster have 1 HP left. And its that time when you regret not dealing more damage, because its that time when the monster will: A) Cast a big facking spell B) Use a powerful ability C) Teleport away
Your min-maxer is wrong. Dealing a little more damage isn’t actually better than nerfing an opponent for a round or more, a very high percentage of the time.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
No, it's much lower cost. Reaction spells can be cast on the same turn as a regular spell. You could cast HM, take the attack action, and then cast a smite as a reaction in the same turn.

There's only 8 spells in the entire game that cast as a reaction, and 3 of them are ubiquitous: shield, counterspell, and absorb elements. That's not by accident.
I’ve never met a Paladin that only had spells vying for their reaction.
 



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