5E Reworking Spell Lists (Reducing "Sameyness")

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
🤷 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.
In my version, Sorcerer and Bards get to select spells from any Sphere, but they have a limtited access the 8 schools.
Sorcerer: Necromancy, Evocation, Transmutation and Abjuration
Bard: Illusion, Enchantment, Conjuration and Divination
 
In my version, Sorcerer and Bards get to select spells from any Sphere, but they have a limtited access the 8 schools.
Sorcerer: Necromancy, Evocation, Transmutation and Abjuration
Bard: Illusion, Enchantment, Conjuration and Divination
I like that.
Conjuration and Transmutation are the only ones I'm a little iffy could go either way...
...well and Abjuration, because Bards did counter-harmony dispels.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
I like that.
Conjuration and Transmutation are the only ones I'm a little iffy could go either way...
...well and Abjuration, because Bards did counter-harmony dispels.
You know what, I'm exactly on the same fence. Maybe set 1 school (Sorc-Evocation, Bard-Enchant) and let the players choose 2 or 3 other schools?

Sorcerer: You manifest the magic from the school of Evocation and your choice of 2 in: Abjuration, Conjuration, Enchantment, Illusion, Necromancy and Transmutation. When you would choose new spells as per your class, you can select the spell from any Sphere of Power, but the spell must be from one of your chosen school.

Bard: You have a wide knowledge on many things magic. You know the spells from the school of Enchantment and your choice of 2 in: Abjuration, Conjuration, Divination, Illusion and Transmutation. When you would choose new spells as per your class, you can select the spell from any Sphere of Power, but the spell must be from one of your chosen school.
 
Last edited:

OB1

Jedi Master
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.
It's how the math works out. Deadlier encounters take more rounds as there are more HP on the board to chew through, easier encounters take fewer rounds. But when you add up the number of rounds based on encounter difficulty, you end up with an average of 20 rounds.

6-8 encounters assumes a mix of Medium and Hard to get to your Adventuring Day XP total. Deadly gets you there in 3 encounters.

Easy 1-2 rounds
Medium 2-3 rounds
Hard 4-5 rounds
Deadly 6-7 rounds

/threadjack
 
It's how the math works out. Deadlier encounters take more rounds as there are more HP on the board to chew through, easier encounters take fewer rounds. But when you add up the number of rounds based on encounter difficulty, you end up with an average of 20 rounds.
Maybe, I kinda doubt it'd work out quite that neatly, but, even so, you could deviate from said budget.
 

dnd4vr

Keeper of the Seven Keys
UPDATE: I have updated the OP with compiled lists for the BIG 3 (as I call them). For other contributors, if you have compiled (roughly completed?) lists, let me know and I will add links in the OP.
 

tetrasodium

Adventurer
I like the old arcane/divine split because it plays into so much other fluff better than $class Spell, so I'm going to use arcane divine & primal

arcane cantrips
  • Spellglobe Robe of patches, deck of many, so many other things dealing with arcane fit this motif and it explains why that pinch of dried flower & fernian dust for spells is not ruined when the party shipwrecks & washes up on shore. It also plays in with the "I've got a ritual for that" aspect of wizard's & some warlocks with their spellbook but with items.
  • pen magically take a pot of ink & start writing?... this is deeply arcane
  • Temporal Beat This neatly solves the tug of war over misty step, it felt more arcane by mucking with timeline manipulation magic though. That and I don't remember what was on the other side of the tug of war
  • Action Image There's no question that this is arcane, also it can fit with lots of shady stuff that fits under AT/Bard/Etc.
Primal Cantrips
  • Dress/Undress You could say this belongs under bard, but if you look at wildshape mechanics this is just a cantrip level component of wildshape's ability to equip theselves as desired when they shift & revert form
  • Hairstyle Might fit under bards, but it also explains why the lady of the forest has beautiful hair & fits with the dress/undress but for hair :D
  • Lion's Maw Bite someone & deal some d8's? this is absolutely fitting under the primal tendwhere druid lay their head

Divine Cantrips
  • Sweet Dreams The cleric blesses the worried refugees at night to soothe their soul & they sleep happily through the night without reliving the nightmares of the carnage they fled from!
  • Mirror This was tough because thematically it fits arcane magic well, but mechanically the effect is to make someone else awesome & I wanted to include something to prevent healbotism being enforced.
Arcane First Level
  • Ironbinds Fits well with arcane tropes with it conjuring chains to bash & restrain someone
  • Aerosphere A more interesting Chromatic orb that has some duration, definitely arcane
  • Boomerang Sigil Two chances to connect with this works well for arcane types who aren't likely to have the kind of melee/ranged fallback options that primal & divine classes have.
  • Snapstar Pretty much a flashbang that has con save or blind & some radiant damage, seems to fit well with acane casters.
Primal First Level
  • Chips & salsa Yea it's a bit whimsical in tone, but it fits great with the trope of fey food & fey tended fruit being an irresistible thing that comes at a price.
  • Belmont Smite Obviously the name is a bit problematic, but it fits well with the in your face stuff loading up in here.
  • Mark the Spot Kinda fits well with the fey-type mind manipulation.
Divine First Level
  • Enchanting Gaze channel an aura into your eyes to incapacitate someone fits well with how divine casters keep the party up, there's nothing more demoralizing than knowing you & your buds can go all out & this caster could simply erase your work. Plus it meshes well with the make others awesome functionality of Mirror
  • Doubleblade Sure this could be self target, but this nicely fits with the ake others awesome role I'm rolling with here so far.
  • Medusa's Glare, This one hasn't been posted to reddit yet but swrdmeow said it was probably a mistake he'd fix later. Glare at a creature & it's petrified till the end of your next turn & it turns to stone if killed in that state. Fits well with making others awesome too.
  • Pool of Fate lay out 5d6 & your allies can take a d6 on their attacks to help, continues thatmake others awesome theme & the "creatures you choose within range" gives the cleric who doesn't want to be a healbot from stupidity to withhold them from leroy jenkins when he charges in after being told no.


Arcane second Level
  • Transposition At first glance this might seem like a fit for the fey aspects of primal, but you can transpose creatures and objects, Move that rock in front of your squishy friend where the mageslayer barbarian is standing & tada the barbarian is destroying the exposed bbeg next round.
  • Underside Second level spells aren't something to be careless bout on a whim as early as first it's not getting used "just because" but this is something that can really involve the arcane types in scouting and exploration in ways other than just waiting behind without stepping on toes & primal/divine already has a lot of ways to do so or exert serious leverage over it.
  • Weapon's Kairos Divine types (often) have heavy armor, Primal have misty step, arcane types have blur & temporal beat, now they have this too. I would improve it by making it ritual next attack in # hours though as it short circuits some of the "well obvious arcane casters are always soft targets" while playing into their preparedness tropes
  • Electric Nails While this fits with the make others awesome theme for divine types, they already have a lot going there & this is definitely more fitting with an artificer style infusion handed over than the more direct & short range enhancement type things of divines.
  • Dark SphereLow powered necrotic fireball that keeps with the odd lack of ranged aoe's before fireball
  • What's yours is mine
  • What's mine is yours Both of these fit nicely with the idea of arcane casters being masters of manipulating the fine details of "magic" rather than just masters of arcane magic & unable to even grasp the fundamentals of other types
  • Hide or reveal Entrance This fits with the kind of sneaky stuff you might stereotypically expect to see in a mad wizard's sanctum of power, change it to be ritual & you also improve the state of things there
  • Freezing Feet I like things that force the battle to move sometimes & the method does a great job of fitting the arcane blasting theme while playing into the more ends justify means associated with black magic to impose restrained condition on a target who doesn't move
  • Bareilles Armor I was torn on this one because it feels like it might be OP for heavy armor divine types who already have paladin's +cha to saves plus healing & such. it notablyconflicts with barkskin(which is a crap spell in 5e & should be changed) but the save bonus & better as you need it more aspects seems to fit well with the kind of magical manipulation arcane casters have going un fluff & spells ike yours is mine/mine is yours.
Primal second Level
  • Healing Smite Divine has cure wounds, beating the life into someone seems good
  • nock nock I think this does not fit arcane because arcane should be more magical but it's a nice fitting twist for rangers & druids in need of a DD nuke with an interesting twist that makes it not just "scorching ray but nature".
  • Voidhands Fits with the force multiplier make others awesome even if the flavor is maybe wrong
Divine Second Level
  • Sunlight Strike Primal has daylight already & divine classes are known for using weapons so this fits well & gives them a unique way to invoke the sun's light.
  • Fist of Justice a smitelike punch/slap that includes a knockback to let the party's healer/force multiplier make some space if someone is in their face. Plus justice fits with divine
third level arcane spells
  • Load the Smoking Gun I don't really like the "smoking gun" name since there are worlds where they don't exist & worlds where they wouldn't exist because of the role of magic... but this fits nicely with the kind of visibly charging up massive amounts of power into a spell & fits the ranged aoe inclusions already present. Plus it's not fire... tbh I hate the way fire dominates spells.
  • Monkey See Plunder someone's mind for a spell & swap it into your spells known or scribe to spellbook fits nowhere else.
third level primal spells
  • Implant Phobia This goes nicely with the fey stuff that @TwoSix suggested here & helps involve the druid types in subtle ways when in places that might not really have much of anything in the toolbox beyond awkwardly being the party's third wheel in settings like FR where druids are tree hugging hermits & nothing else.
  • Stunning Stomp While it might conflict with thunderstep, it also gives a different option for primal types where one might value step's ability to teleport away while another might prefer the utility of damage+maybe stun.
third level divine spells
  • Entomb This was a tough one but in the end I decided that the ability to protect allies like that & religious ties to burials beat out the traditional arcane necromantic ties
  • Saving Hand Not only is this a nice improvement on healing word, but it also lends weight to the divine caster/force multiplier's claim to shepherd & have their guidance be given significant weight among the party because it heals someone, stands them up in needed, & blasts the mob of baddies away some so escape is possible.
  • Rose Gate This unquestionably fits into the force multiplier theme for divine casters.

Third level spells I'm not sure where to stick
  • Spiteful Swing not really sure, perhaps because it's an oddballbut maybe the fey reap what you sow aspects lean towards primal?


Life calls
 
Last edited:

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
UPDATE: I have updated the OP with compiled lists for the BIG 3 (as I call them). For other contributors, if you have compiled (roughly completed?) lists, let me know and I will add links in the OP.
Wow, it looks really good when it's all laid out like that! I think the themes of the different lists come across really well now.

I know pretty much everyone will have different opinions as to the best way to modify classes to fit into the new paradigm, so I'll just throw my hat into the ring. Maybe provide some inspiration.

Cleric - Spells from Divine list, modify domains to only provide spells from the Divine list.

Druid - Spells from Primal list, modify any CIrcle spells to only be Primal spells.

Sorcerer - Spells from Arcane list. Divine Soul allows spells to be picked from Divine List instead of, not in addition to. Sorcerer points recharge on a short rest.

Wizard - Can learn spells from any spell list into their spell book. At 1st level, must pick 3 oppositional schools (necromancy, abjuration, etc.) that they cannot put into their spellbook.

Paladin - Spells from Divine list. Changed to spells known caster, progression as ranger.

Ranger - Spells from Primal list.

Warlock - Spells from Arcane list. Change to standard half-caster progression, spells known from Arcane list. Eldritch blast as class feature, 1 beam for 1d10+Cha at 1st, 2 beams at 5th, 3 beams at 11th. (I never liked how the 4th beam stepped on fighter's toes, and there isn't any damage cantrip progression anymore to compare with.) Invocations increased (1 extra at 3th, 7th, 10th, 13th, so 12 total at 20th level). Invocations that grant spells 1/long rest do not require a slot.

Bard - I'm struggling with bard. I like the "all list half-caster" symmetry, but it would also be in a good spot as a full caster with access to all Divination, Enchantment, Illusion only. Maybe extra magical secrets as well.
 
When in doubt, change the least right? So leave the Bard as a full caster with Divination/Enchantment/Illusion. Seems like the right flavor country to me.
 

dnd4vr

Keeper of the Seven Keys
Wow, it looks really good when it's all laid out like that! I think the themes of the different lists come across really well now.

I know pretty much everyone will have different opinions as to the best way to modify classes to fit into the new paradigm, so I'll just throw my hat into the ring. Maybe provide some inspiration.

Cleric - Spells from Divine list, modify domains to only provide spells from the Divine list.

Druid - Spells from Primal list, modify any CIrcle spells to only be Primal spells.

Sorcerer - Spells from Arcane list. Divine Soul allows spells to be picked from Divine List instead of, not in addition to. Sorcerer points recharge on a short rest.

Wizard - Can learn spells from any spell list into their spell book. At 1st level, must pick 3 oppositional schools (necromancy, abjuration, etc.) that they cannot put into their spellbook.

Paladin - Spells from Divine list. Changed to spells known caster, progression as ranger.

Ranger - Spells from Primal list.

Warlock - Spells from Arcane list. Change to standard half-caster progression, spells known from Arcane list. Eldritch blast as class feature, 1 beam for 1d10+Cha at 1st, 2 beams at 5th, 3 beams at 11th. (I never liked how the 4th beam stepped on fighter's toes, and there isn't any damage cantrip progression anymore to compare with.) Invocations increased (1 extra at 3th, 7th, 10th, 13th, so 12 total at 20th level). Invocations that grant spells 1/long rest do not require a slot.

Bard - I'm struggling with bard. I like the "all list half-caster" symmetry, but it would also be in a good spot as a full caster with access to all Divination, Enchantment, Illusion only. Maybe extra magical secrets as well.
Yea, I agree at this point people will probably handle things a bit differently. As laid out in the OP, I like the full-caster/half-caster dynamic for the four pairs and will stick with it.

However, I do like the idea of bumping the bard a bit, and I am thinking of a Mystic Arcanum-style feature to bards. They can choose one spell for levels 6-9 each, and use that spell once per short rest. I am also thinking of making bardic inspiration dice number equal to proficiency bonus plus CHA modifier. This would increase the number of uses, which in my (limited) experience has been a problem with bards.

Another adjustments will be made, of course, but by and large I think most of the classes can remain the same, gaining the same additional spells via subclasses, etc.
 
I'd go

  1. Wizard- Full Arcane
  2. Cleric- Full caster Divine
    1. Life- ???
    2. Light- Some Arcane
    3. Knowldge- Some Primal
    4. Nature- Some Primal
    5. Tempest- Some Primal
  3. Druid- Full Primal
  4. Sorcerer- Full
    1. Dragon-Arcane
    2. Wild-Arcane
    3. Divine Soul- Divine
    4. Storm- Divine
  5. Paladin- Half Divine
  6. Ranger- Half Primal
  7. Warlock- Half Arcane
But something feels off.
 

dnd4vr

Keeper of the Seven Keys
I'd go

  1. Wizard- Full Arcane
  2. Cleric- Full caster Divine
    1. Life- ???
    2. Light- Some Arcane
    3. Knowldge- Some Primal
    4. Nature- Some Primal
    5. Tempest- Some Primal
  3. Druid- Full Primal
  4. Sorcerer- Full
    1. Dragon-Arcane
    2. Wild-Arcane
    3. Divine Soul- Divine
    4. Storm- Divine
  5. Paladin- Half Divine
  6. Ranger- Half Primal
  7. Warlock- Half Arcane
But something feels off.
LOL, maybe that you forgot Bard? ;)
 

dnd4vr

Keeper of the Seven Keys
No
No
That's not it
It's sumthin else

Bacause I already know I have no idea what to do with Bards without invalidating Paladin, Ranger, and Warlock.
Well, for one thing I see that sort of bugs me personally is that Sorcerer is all over the place depending on bloodline choice.

For bard, I would maybe make it a universal caster, but reduce known spells or limit something else to make up for the huge versatility boost. My choice was to make them a half-caster more like in 3E IIRC.
 
Well, for one thing I see that sort of bugs me personally is that Sorcerer is all over the place depending on bloodline choice.

For bard, I would maybe make it a universal caster, but reduce known spells or limit something else to make up for the huge versatility boost. My choice was to make them a half-caster more like in 3E IIRC.
Yeah those both bother me

  1. How to handle the various bloodlines of Sorcerers if Wizards are Arcane full casters
  2. How to handle Bards to not make Warlocks look terrible.
  3. How to handle Bards to not make Paladins and Rangers look terrible.
The full casters aren't samey but now the half casters are.
 

dnd4vr

Keeper of the Seven Keys
Yeah those both bother me
  1. How to handle the various bloodlines of Sorcerers if Wizards are Arcane full casters
  2. How to handle Bards to not make Warlocks look terrible.
  3. How to handle Bards to not make Paladins and Rangers look terrible.
The full casters aren't samey but now the half casters are.
Striking the balance that makes you happy really is a matter of preference. I am very pleased with my distribution as presented in the OP, but I understand for many people that won't make them happy.

For the various bloodlines, domains, patrons, colleges, or whatever, I am just allowing those to remain unchanged. It allows from some overlap and a bit of sameyness, but not nearly enough to concern me personally.
 

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
Striking the balance that makes you happy really is a matter of preference. I am very pleased with my distribution as presented in the OP, but I understand for many people that won't make them happy.

For the various bloodlines, domains, patrons, colleges, or whatever, I am just allowing those to remain unchanged. It allows from some overlap and a bit of sameyness, but not nearly enough to concern me personally.
After some more thought, I'm OK with leaving the domains as is. I think the spell lists and the lack of cantrips is already providing a good amount of differentiation.
 

dnd4vr

Keeper of the Seven Keys
After some more thought, I'm OK with leaving the domains as is. I think the spell lists and the lack of cantrips is already providing a good amount of differentiation.
That was pretty much might thought as well. I am going to revamp Bard slightly, more akin to Warlock as a "semi"-half-caster. Otherwise, the classes will largely remain unchanged. I have also made up a new spell slot progression chart for Wizards, but that in conjunction with being the "universal" caster now is probably too much a boost.
 

Advertisement

Top