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General Spell Adjudication Style, What is yours ? Or your Preference?

By inclination I tend to run spells as written. I aspire, however, to consider the spell to be representative of the power level, and allow an alteration based off player request, and not quote rules and say no.

If a paladin wants to cast Magic Weapon, on Spike his trusty War Mastiff ( only 25 gp), specifically asks his Divine Power giver to bless his trusty canine companion, for the battle ahead:
What do you say?

-No
-Yes
-Make an Arcana Check
- Spend Inspiration

As a player do people want RAW, or a little creative freedom, now and then?

Their is no right or wrong answers. So if reading someone describe and advocate a play style you hate, and you can’t resist saying so, maybe not the right thread for you. Let’s keep it respectful.
 
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Unwise

Adventurer
If it were something his patron would be cool with, then make a religion role to find a relevant scripture to quote as the verbal component. "..and lo did the prophet cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war"

If his patron had a special affinity for dogs, then it would just work. E.g. Guardian deity in a Chinese setting, their lion-dog-things are pretty on-brand.

I use arcana for traditional magics, religion for clerics and paladins and nature/religion for rangers and druids.

I make attempts to change a spell dangerous, there is a reason it is normally cast in the standard way. If you mess with it you might not like the results, especially if you fail your roll.

I also let people design the spell when they first get it. For instance the mage in my game has Featherfall, that does not slow your fall at all. It just hardens you against the impact. So you land doing a 3 point super hero landing and can shatter the pavement under you. It is good when you don't want to float slowly because you are in a rush or there are archers around. Not so good if you are sneaking.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
We generally run games using RAW, but I'm not a stickler and try to find ways to say yes. Creating spells from whole cloth, creating new feats, new subclasses, etc. I'm more careful with as those could affect balance more. But in situations like you mentioned I'd generally support a player trying to find creative uses of spells.

I make it clear to players that I reserve the right to not allow something in the future that I may have allowed on the fly if I find it create problems, but 5e is pretty darn resilient. It is very rare that saying "yes" has created an issues in a game.

In your case, I'm don't see it creating a balance issue, but if I did, there are still option to allow it with some restrictions, one option is to let them use Magic Weapon on a natural attack, like a dog's bite with a point of inspiration, or just let the character do it but then say going forward it is a separate spell that they would have to prepare.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
I like to allow the players some leeway, although I think you need to be careful about spells. For small changes (like the mastiff above) I might just let them do it, or maybe make a roll if they were trying to do it in a hurry. Significant changes though will require research and cash expenditures with potentially uncertain results. Not because I want to be a jerk, but because playing dice with the universe shouldn't be easy.

Also, I'm very much with MN above in reserving the right to change my mind should it become an issue.
 

I’d allow this without hesitation. I like when players come up with new ways to use spells. As long as the new use is in line with the intended use, I don’t see a problem at all.
 

My inclination when interpreting or ruling on the effects of spells is to err on the side of my memory/version of the spell as I ran it for many years under AD&D.
Obviously, that's not always a good idea, so I do try to follow the intent of clearer mechanics, and actively rule in favor of fun.
But, ceteris paribus, if one way makes the spell feel more like it did...
 

Gadget

Adventurer
Well, I tend to look at the restrictions on the spell, power level, and intention of the player. A one time 'shoot the McGuffin out of the BBEG's hands' might be okay; but I've found that once you set the precedent, that tends to become the de facto standard for the spell from that point on. Which is not always a good thing, rule of cool notwithstanding.

For instance, I've seen some use heat metal cast on an arrow head and shot into a haystack cause a fire and create a distraction. All well and good, but then I've seen the further argument that doing so should cause the arrows to do more damage to targets when used in combat. That's where I draw the line, even though the logical arguments may make a certain amount of sense, as the spell is powerful enough and flexible enough on its own without add that in.

As for the example given above, I would be tempted to allow a special modification or spell based on magic weapon specific to the paladin's faith as an option.
 

My inclination when interpreting or ruling on the effects of spells is to err on the side of my memory/version of the spell as I ran it for many years under AD&D.
Obviously, that's not always a good idea, so I do try to follow the intent of clearer mechanics, and actively rule in favor of fun.
As I have trouble remembering exactly how certain spells have evolved over the years this is exactly what I do. Its most likely not RAW but it works for us and we keep the game moving. Not worth spending the time to look it up fiddly mechanics. Spells like read magic, detect magic, identify I consider those any arcane magic using class should know and have ready access too, within reason so I tend to just hand wave them. From a game world/roleplaying perspective when a wizard, etc. get to higher levels they should have some leeway to reshape lower level spells in subtle & minor from the RAW in the PHB, so thats how I justify if we are somewhat inconsistent in how spells function from time to time.
 

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