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5E Reworking Spell Lists (Reducing "Sameyness")

Simulacrum
Surely, Wizard. It's a construct of ice & illusion, a mockery of life.

Crown of Stars (C/W)
Between the two, Wizard.

Glibness
Power Word Stun
I'd say both Wizard.

Power Word Kill
Weird
Both been Wizard spells, but Weird could go any way.

Foresight
As usual, any could claim divination.

Shapechange
True Polymorph
Druids already change their own shape, and Shapechanging duels are a classic wizard bit (OK, there was on Disney movie scene, but I'd still like to think it's a classic bit).

Storm of Vengeance
Originally Cleric. I'd rather see Clerics get Storm of Vengeance and Druids get Firestorm.
 

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Yeah, I got confused between Firestorm and Incendiary CLoud. Earthquake could go to Divine and Incendiary Cloud to Primal.
Incendiary Cloud was originally MU8, the thing about it was that it started out acting exactly like the smoke version of Pyrotechnics, then burned for several rounds. In retrospect, you can see how Gygax probably originally conceived of it as something for a high-level evil wizard/lich/whatever to surprise his players with.
 


dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
For 7th, compared to your list:

I like Symbol in Arcane.
I like Mirage Arcana in Primal.
Crown of Stars should be Arcane.
I can see Symbol being Arcane, but do you think Illusion spells (by and large so far mostly Arcane) should be Primal? Also, not a major point, but Crown of Stars deals radiant damage, normally given to Divine.

Thoughts?
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
I can see Symbol being Arcane, but do you think Illusion spells (by and large so far mostly Arcane) should be Primal? Also, not a major point, but Crown of Stars deals radiant damage, normally given to Divine.

Thoughts?
Mirage Arcane is a long lasting, wide-ranging illusion of a landscape. It kind of screams "enchanted faerie glade" to me. I personally like leaning into the Fey theme with Primal, so that's where I'd prefer it.

Good point of Crown of Stars being radiant, forgot about that. That would definitely make me think Divine.
 

OB1

Jedi Master
Awesome thread and fantastic work!

Just a few observations from someone who's been lurking in the thread.

While I know the goal is no overlap, I think Wish needs to be the exception.

I know it's late for this, but with the later spell levels leaning so heavy into Nature=Fey, sleep should go to Druid/Primordial.

Finally, I'd argue that Sorcerer and Bard are the best option for classes that can pick from any of the three pillars. Doing so, I think you could then keep the classes as they are in the PHB, changing nothing but the spell list as presented in this thread (and perhaps giving Warlocks an Eldritch Blast invocation that works as the cantrip does now).
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
My current 8th, for comparison:

Arcane
Abi-Dalzim's Horrid Wilting
Antimagic Field
Clone
Demiplane
Illusory Dragon
Maddening Darkness
Maze
Mighty Fortress

Divine
Antipathy/Sympathy
Dominate Monster
Glibness
Holy Aura
Mind Blank
Power Word Stun
Telepathy

Primal

Animal Shapes
Control Weather
Earthquake
Feeblemind
Incendiary Cloud
Sunburst
Tsunami
 

tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
Awesome thread and fantastic work!

Just a few observations from someone who's been lurking in the thread.

While I know the goal is no overlap, I think Wish needs to be the exception.

I know it's late for this, but with the later spell levels leaning so heavy into Nature=Fey, sleep should go to Druid/Primordial.

Finally, I'd argue that Sorcerer and Bard are the best option for classes that can pick from any of the three pillars. Doing so, I think you could then keep the classes as they are in the PHB, changing nothing but the spell list as presented in this thread (and perhaps giving Warlocks an Eldritch Blast invocation that works as the cantrip does now).
Why? In the dmg alone there is ring of three wishes, deck of many things moon card, 1d3 wishes, efreeti bottle 91-100 3 wishes, luck blade 1d4-1 wishes,9th level spell scroll, & no doubt more when you start looking outside the dmg itself. There's also the more interesting quest for a mcguffin that accomplishes the specific thing you need that wish spell for
 

tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
@TwoSix @dnd4vr I keep seeing primal/divine/arcane breakdown but I got to the thread late & trying to catch up resulted in wading through a lot of back & forth fleshing out discussion. is there a summary somewhere of wha themes(?) those groupings encompass?
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
@TwoSix @dnd4vr I keep seeing primal/divine/arcane breakdown but I got to the thread late & trying to catch up resulted in wading through a lot of back & forth fleshing out discussion. is there a summary somewhere of wha themes(?) those groupings encompass?
Arcane is mostly wizard/bard magic with a focus on reality bending and AoE

Primal is druid + ranger, with a small hint of fey magic theme and (maybe) shadowfell magic. Also some anti-life spell, for your dark druids in Eberron games :p

Divine is a mix of human-targeting subtle enchantment, buffs and divination. With a space for ''dark'' spell for all your evil cleric needs.
 


OB1

Jedi Master
Why? In the dmg alone there is ring of three wishes, deck of many things moon card, 1d3 wishes, efreeti bottle 91-100 3 wishes, luck blade 1d4-1 wishes,9th level spell scroll, & no doubt more when you start looking outside the dmg itself. There's also the more interesting quest for a mcguffin that accomplishes the specific thing you need that wish spell for
Because it feels like it is the pinnacle of each of the three types of magic, so if one type should get it, they all should. Also because of the numerous examples of this power coming from Primoridal and Divine sources.

But I do get your point, in fact, I would make adding Wish to your spells known a 20th level capstone for Wizards, Clerics, and Druids only, then restrict the replicate any 8th level spell or lower potion of it to only replicate spells on your list.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
@TwoSix @dnd4vr I keep seeing primal/divine/arcane breakdown but I got to the thread late & trying to catch up resulted in wading through a lot of back & forth fleshing out discussion. is there a summary somewhere of wha themes(?) those groupings encompass?
Not really, a lot of the discussion about individual spells has really doubled as a discussion as to what the boundaries are between each of the spell themes. I think all of us have a general agreement as to the core of what each spell list is, which is why most decision about spells aren't that controversial.

For myself, I generally think about it like this:

Primal - Nature magic, drawing power from the Feywild, the Shadowfell, and the Elemental planes. Cycles of life and death, decay and rebirth, contagion and cursing. Less focus on instantaneous effects, more on longer duration or permanent changes.

Divine - Transcendent and Soul magic. Enhancement and perfection of the form. Control over the environment and of others. Power over souls, both to return it (revivify, raise dead) or to capture it (animate dead).

Arcane - Classic "Black Mage" blow stuff up magic, space and time warping, extra-dimensional magic, force magic. If Primal draws from the Inner Planes, and Divine the Outer, Arcane pulls from the Transitive planes, controlling the connections.
 

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
@TwoSix @dnd4vr I keep seeing primal/divine/arcane breakdown but I got to the thread late & trying to catch up resulted in wading through a lot of back & forth fleshing out discussion. is there a summary somewhere of wha themes(?) those groupings encompass?
The primal/divine/arcane was a distinction (I believe) TwoSix started using first. I am still doing Cleric, Druid, Wizard, focusing more on the classes myself.

The basic premise was Cleric (i.e. Divine) was a full-caster, along with Druid (Primal) and Wizard (Arcane). To separate the established spell lists for all existing spellcasters into those three lists with minimum to no overlap or sameyness.

It was natural from 5E structure that Paladin, Ranger, and Warlock are in essence half-casters of those three. Bard and Sorcerer were meant to be more "free" in the beginning in their spell selection.

Since then, one shift (that I have been pursuing) has been to make Sorcerer the full-caster for Arcane, with Warlock the half-caster class. This would free up Wizard to become the "universal" caster--selecting from any list, with Bard the universal half-caster. Changes would then be made to the classes to reflect differences (more inspiration and uses for Bard to make up for becoming a half-caster, for instance).
 

OB1

Jedi Master
@TwoSix some additional food for thought on how the work done here can correct the sameyness issue with minimal disruption to the classes as per the PHB. Here is how I would break down the full caster classes with just one or two small changes each. Hope this isn't too threadjacky...

Wizard - Arcane Spell List for memorization, any non opposed list for rituals, Spell Save DC increases to 10+Prof+Int, arcane recovery every short rest
Cleric - Divine Spell list for prepared, Spell Save DC increases to 10+Prof+Wis
Druid - Primordial Spell List for prepared, Spell Spell Save DC increases to 10+Prof+Wis
Sorcerer - Any one Spell List for Known at 1st, Spell Save DC increases to 10+Prof+Cha, Sorcery points recharge on short rest, double known metamagics and remove restriction regarding using more than one metamagic per spell cast.
Bard - Any Spell List for Known, Lore bard magical secrets becomes extra known spells.
Warlock - Arcane Spell List for known, add Eldrich blast as Invocation

My thought with the increased Spell Save DC is that without cantrips, Wizards, Clerics, Druids and Sorcerers need a bit of a boost to ensure their limited slots actually do something. It may only be Wizards and Sorcerers that need this bump.

Allowing Wizards to use any list for ritual allows them to expand their utility, and allows a spell like Alarm to go into Primal for the ranger while still giving the Wizard access to it.

Bards get any known because they are the jack of all trades, don't get a Save DC bump due to other abilities.

Sorcerer now get's to pick any 1 spell list at 1st level. Increased Spell DC, short rest sorcery points and doubling known metamagic makes this the doing a few things really really well class.
 
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TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
My current 9th level, for comparison:

Arcane
Astral Projection
Imprisonment
Invulnerability
Prismatic Wall
Time Stop
Wish

Divine
Foresight
Gate
Mass Heal
Power Word Heal
Power Word Kill
Psychic Scream
True Resurrection

Primal
Mass Polymorph
Meteor Swarm
Shapechange
Storm of Vengeance
True Polymorph
Weird
 

My thought with the increased Spell Save DC is that without cantrips, Wizards, Clerics, Druids and Sorcerers need a bit of a boost to ensure their limited slots actually do something.
Not really. It's not like all spells take saves, anyway, so it'd be an uneven boost. Thing is, if there is an issue with the reduced at-will baseline making casters under-contribute at the prescribed 5e 6-8 encounter day, you could just pull it in 6 encounters, 5, 3-5, until it evened out. Heck, 3-5 is a more plausible day length, anyway.

Allowing Wizards to use any list for ritual allows them to expand their utility, and allows a spell like Alarm to go into Primal for the ranger while still giving the Wizard access to it.
There are some pretty Clericky rituals that might not feel right on the Wizard.
Wizards do already get a pretty huge list, and this variant does reduce differentiation within the Arcane sphere, so the idea, above, of bringing back opposition Schools could really help that out. Opposition schools for preparation - but not for rituals.

Bards get any known because they are the jack of all trades
Or they could choose from a sub-set of arcane & primal, because that reflects their concept and their history in the game, going from Druid-lite casting in 1e to oddball, to Arcane. Like Primal, less all the fiery Evocation/Conjuration, plus Arcane Enchantment/Charm & Illusion/Phantasm, to start, perhaps?

Sorcerer now get's to pick any 1 spell list at 1st level. Increased Spell DC, short rest sorcery points and doubling known metamagic makes this the doing a few things really really well class.
While the Sorcerer should be primarily Arcane, I could see it getting a thematic set of spells that could pull from other lists - and a thematic opposition, as well.
 


OB1

Jedi Master
Not really. It's not like all spells take saves, anyway, so it'd be an uneven boost. Thing is, if there is an issue with the reduced at-will baseline making casters under-contribute at the prescribed 5e 6-8 encounter day, you could just pull it in 6 encounters, 5, 3-5, until it evened out. Heck, 3-5 is a more plausible day length, anyway.
Whether it's 2, 3 or 8 encounters in a day, it's still 20 rounds, meaning a full caster can't do something magical every round until 10th level. At level 1 that's 1 in 10 rounds that you get to use your primary class feature, at level 5 it's 1 in 2 rounds. If that's the case, giving casters a 10% better chance that what they are doing will actually work seems essential.

There are some pretty Clericky rituals that might not feel right on the Wizard.
Wizards do already get a pretty huge list, and this variant does reduce differentiation within the Arcane sphere, so the idea, above, of bringing back opposition Schools could really help that out. Opposition schools for preparation - but not for rituals.
Perhaps then not allow opposition school rituals as a limit to this?

Or they could choose from a sub-set of arcane & primal, because that reflects their concept and their history in the game, going from Druid-lite casting in 1e to oddball, to Arcane. Like Primal, less all the fiery Evocation/Conjuration, plus Arcane Enchantment/Charm & Illusion/Phantasm, to start, perhaps?
Here, my thought is that sameyness is minimized because of the very limited number of known spells by the Bard.

While the Sorcerer should be primarily Arcane, I could see it getting a thematic set of spells that could pull from other lists - and a thematic opposition, as well.
Why shouldn't there be Arcane, Primal and Divine versions of the I was born this way class? And again, very limited number of known spells protects against sameyness when comparing to Wizard, Druid or Cleric.
 

Whether it's 2, 3 or 8 encounters in a day, it's still 20 rounds
IDK why you'd assume that.
Point is, simply reducing casters' baseline would pull in the balance point from the professed 6-8encounter/2-3short-rests/day (and I'd guess, something north of 20 or even 30 rounds). It's a simple matter to run a 'shorter' day.

Why shouldn't there be Arcane, Primal and Divine versions of the I was born this way class?
🤷 No reason there shouldn't. Right now, WotC has already gone ahead and done the divine version as just a Sorcerer sub-class, though. And it might be cool if the sorcerer were "just magic," without the strong Divine/Arcane/Primal divied.
 

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