D&D 5E Tasha's Mind Whip vs Charm Person vs Disguise Self for spell selection on an 10th level character

ECMO3

Hero
I am playing a Custom Lineage Undying Chain Warlock/Shadow Sorcerer. At level 6/3 she gains a level in sorcerer and gets to pick a spell which must be 1st or 2nd level Sorcerer spell, I am debating Tasha's Mind Whip or Charm Person. After this she will go remainder of levels as Warlock

Is Tasha's mind Whip worth it here? I love Tasha's Mind whip, and it is a great spell to upcast if you are multiclassed with spell casting slots. But by this time it is not that powerful in terms of damage and she can't really upcast it that well because she has great spells already for her warlock slots. It is an intelligence save, but the damage is weak and I could use catapult on a net to do as much damage with a better condition on a lower level slot (albeit on a less effective dex save). Charm Person would be situational and useful out of combat but I think that may be better. I also thought about possibly Disguise Self.

Here are some details on the character:

ASIs/Feats: Fey touched with Hex and Misty Step, Metamagic Adept with Careful Spell and Twin Spell. (Charisma ASI at 10th level for a 20 Charisma)

Warlock:
Invocations: Agonizing Blast, Investment of the Chain Master (Sprite), Tomb of Levistus
Cantrips: Eldritch Blast, Minor Illusion, Prestigitation, Spare the Dying
Spells (two 3rd level pact slots): Protection from Evil and Good, Silence, Invisibility, Fear, Remove Curse, Counterspell, Fly

Sorcerer:
Metamagic: Quicken Spell, Extend Spell (6 sorc points including feat)
Cantrips: Shocking Grasp, Message, Chill Touch, Mending (plus Toll the Dead at 10th level)
Spells (4-1st, 3-2nd): Absorb Elements, Cause Fear, Feather Fall, Catapult, Darkness
 

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In terms of power - none of them. Hex would do more for your targeted damage, and what your character seems to lack is an AoE "grenade" type spell for clearing rooms of weak foes.

Charm Person and Disguise Self are out of combat utility, so how much mileage you get from them would depend on the type of game you are playing. You could swap Tomb of Levistus (rubbish) for Mask of Many Faces if you are in the type of game where Disguise Self is useful.

You seem to have made a lot of choices I wouldn't though: Absorb Elements but not Shield? Darkness and Invisibility (but no Devil's Sight)? And RAW, a catapulted net just does damage, it doesn't grapple.
 
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ECMO3

Hero
In terms of power - none of them. Hex would do more for your targeted damage, and what your character seems to lack is an AoE "grenade" type spell for clearing rooms of weak foes.

Charm Person and Disguise Self are out of combat utility, so how much mileage you get from them would depend on the type of game you are playing. You could swap Tomb of Levistus (rubbish) for Mask of Many Faces if you are in the type of game where Disguise Self is useful.

You seem to have made a lot of choices I wouldn't though: Absorb Elements but not Shield? Darkness and Invisibility (but no Devil's Sight)? And RAW, a catapulted net just does damage, it doesn't grapple.

Hex is not a sorcerer spell so I can't get it on a Sorcerer level up, also I already have it through the Fey touched feat anyway. I will add though that I can use a bonus action to have my Sprite fire a poison arrow with a 16DC (17DC at 10th level) and the Sprite poisoned condition lasts for a minute without another save (and occasionally puts enemies unconscious). So taking up a bonus action to cast or move Hex is usually not a good way to go unless the enemies are immune to the poisoned condition.

I did not select darkness, it comes free as a shadow sorcerer. Also since I am shadow sorcerer I can already see through the darkness spell. Devil's sight would only help if I found myself in darkness cast by someone else which is not that common.

I don't have shield because her AC is 14. Shield is most effective on characters with a high AC, it is not very useful on characters with a low AC, they are typically better served by other things that make them harder to kill and she has a lot of that:

She tries to stay out of melee and uses cause fear a lot to keep enemies from closing with her and her Sprite's arrows to give the enemies disadvantage.

The character is an undying warlock. TOL is one of three ways she currently has to avoid being put out of combat (4 once she gains another Warlock level). This is part of the undying theme, she is very hard to kill in combat. If she goes to 0 she has gets to make a charisma save to go to 1 instead with Strength of the Grave, if she actually goes to 0 she gets to make a death save at the BEGINING of her turn and if she succeeds she gains 1d8+1 hps through Defy Death which puts her back in the fight that turn. Next Warlock Level she will have death ward which she can cast before a short rest and get the slot back or use extended spell and cast it before a long rest and it will cover her 8 hours into the next day. TOL is just a 4th way to avoid dying from taking damage.

For the net it is not grappled, it is restrained, which is far more debilitating. RAW a creature "hit" by a net is restrained. Nothing in the rules states it needs to be an attack. If I catapult a net and the enemy fails the save he is hit by it. This may not be RAI, but it is how it has been played at every table I have played and it is recommended in optimization videos on you tube. It is not just nets that are great with catapult; alchemists fire, holy water and acid are all pretty awesome to use too to buff damage and a jar of ball bearings or caltrops are situationally useful, putting down a terrain effect near the target. Also this works well with careful spell. If there is an ally in front of me between me and one or more bad guys I can cast it with careful spell and my ally is missed completely as he automatically makes the save, but the bad guy needs to save. I usually try to line up 2 bad guys in a line so if one save it flys past him into the second guy and the second guy must save.
 
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I feel like Charm Person is a good tool at low levels, but a Sorlock's basic skill at social interactions should be high enough by your level that casting charm person is just an unnecessary risk and expense most of the time. It's by no means useless, as it convinces people you are somehow a "friendly acquaintance" in situations where that would be highly unlikely or impossible, and many delightful shenanigans ensue, but unless it is a very social campaign it seems like something that won't get much use unless your character isn't proficient in social skills. You'd get more mileage in a comparable vein at most tables with Suggestion, but perhaps yours is a DM who makes that spell hard to get much use out of.

Disguise Self I'd pick up for almost any character almost any day, but if you're going to be spending the rest of the game as a Warlock, there is a pretty narrow sweet spot of use frequency where it really makes sense to take as your last Sorcerer spell pick, but not go all in and get Mask of Many Faces as a Warlock invocation.
 

RAW anyone "hit" by a net is restrained. It does not have to be an attack according to the rules. If I catapult a net and the enemy fails the save he is hit by it. This may not be RAI, but it is how it has been played at every table I have played and it is recommended in optimization videos on you tube.
So... not to be rude, but to my ear that sounds like a particularly sophomoric streak of rules lawyering. Clearly "hit" is a specific term of art in 5e for the thing that happens at the conclusion of a successful attack roll. And Catapult does not even use the word "hit" it uses "strike", presumably to avoid the exact confusion you and your YouTube optimizers are perpetrating. By RAW someone who has a net catapulted into them is merely "struck" by it, not "hit" by it, thus not triggering the language about getting hit by nets. As for RAI, while I doubt WotC were thinking about nets when they wrote the spell, I think they bent over backwards to avoid the word "hit" specifically to not bring in all the rules baggage that term has.

I can imagine some people I know agreeing to be agreeable with someone wanting to catapult a net, and I can imagine plenty being overwhelmed by rules citations or your confidence in the matter and just figuring you had the right of it but I can't imagine anyone sincerely buying the argument that it is RAW upon actually reading the relevant rules. I'd allow it as a one off rule of cool thing if a player had the idea themself. But as a canned, go-to strategy borrowed from YouTube videos; not a chance. More importantly if one of my early impressions of a player were them making the argument you've made for it I'd most likely stereotype them as a rules lawyer and a kind of terrible one at that.

So enjoy catapulting nets at your current tables but beware trying to export the practice to others. It sounds like you've been lucky so far.
 
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ECMO3

Hero
I feel like Charm Person is a good tool at low levels, but a Sorlock's basic skill at social interactions should be high enough by your level that casting charm person is just an unnecessary risk and expense most of the time. It's by no means useless, as it convinces people you are somehow a "friendly acquaintance" in situations where that would be highly unlikely or impossible, and many delightful shenanigans ensue, but unless it is a very social campaign it seems like something that won't get much use unless your character isn't proficient in social skills. You'd get more mileage in a comparable vein at most tables with Suggestion, but perhaps yours is a DM who makes that spell hard to get much use out of.

Disguise Self I'd pick up for almost any character almost any day, but if you're going to be spending the rest of the game as a Warlock, there is a pretty narrow sweet spot of use frequency where it really makes sense to take as your last Sorcerer spell pick, but not go all in and get Mask of Many Faces as a Warlock invocation.

Thanks. Suggestion works well but it is concentration and I am really looking for non-concentration spells as I have a ton of them already.
 

ECMO3

Hero
So... not to be rude, but to my ear that sounds like a particularly sophomoric streak of rules lawyering. Clearly "hit" is a specific term of art in 5e for the thing that happens at the conclusion of a successful attack roll. And Catapult does not even use the word "hit" it uses "strike", presumably to avoid the exact confusion you and your YouTube optimizers are perpetrating. By RAW someone who has a net catapulted into them is merely "struck" by it, not "hit" by it, thus not triggering the language about getting hit by nets. As for RAI, while I doubt WotC were thinking about nets when they wrote the spell, I think they bent over backwards to avoid the word "hit" specifically to not bring in all the rules baggage that term has.

I can imagine some people I know agreeing to be agreeable with someone wanting to catapult a net, and I can imagine plenty being overwhelmed by rules citations or your confidence in the matter and just figuring you had the right of it but I can't imagine anyone sincerely buying the argument that it is RAW upon actually reading the relevant rules. I'd allow it as a one off rule of cool thing if a player had the idea themself. But as a canned, go-to strategy borrowed from YouTube videos; not a chance. More importantly if one of my early impressions of a player were them making the argument you've made for it I'd most likely stereotype them as a rules lawyer and a kind of terrible one at that.

So enjoy catapulting nets at your current tables but beware trying to export the practice to others. It sounds like you've been lucky so far.

No offense taken. None of the DMs I played with had problems with it. Some had seen or heard of it before and those that didn't went with the rule of cool. It is fun, it is cool, it is not OP and there is really no reason it shouldn't work.

It creates a lot of variety in combat, if my familiar is not attacking I can have her pull the net off my belt and put it somewhere on the battlefield and catapult it from that location on my turn if I need it to come in from a different angle. It is pretty fun and brings some variety to combat. In terms of power it gives a boost to Catapult, but it is far from OP and I would say catapulting a net is generally comparable in power to Command or Dissonant Whispers as far as 1st level spells go. It imposes a condition more powerful than DW but does no damage on a successful save. It is less disruptive than Command which generally steals an entire action,but it does damage where command doesn't.

I don't think WOTC was thinking about a net specifically when they wrote the spell, but I think this kind of creative use is exactly what they were thinking of. I think that is why as a spell goes it is weaker than other spells, doing no damage on a save and why they had it act on an existing object instead of just magically creating a rock that flies at an opponent.
 
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BookTenTiger

He / Him
I don't have any spell suggestions, but I would love to know more about your character's backstory. What led to them becoming an Undying Warlock / Shadow Sorcerer? What is the description of your custom lineage?
 


ECMO3

Hero
I don't have any spell suggestions, but I would love to know more about your character's backstory. What led to them becoming an Undying Warlock / Shadow Sorcerer? What is the description of your custom lineage?

To start with VGTR is not allowed as a source in this game, which is one reason she is Undying Warlock instead of Undead Warlock and why she is custom lineage instead of Dhampir.

She is a Dhampir/half-Vampire originally of Half-Elven ancestory. I had to use custom lineage for that because of the limited sourcebooks allowed in this campaign, so she has none of the Dampir mechanics from VGTR, it is just custom lineage with the Dhampir in name and looks. She has fangs, but they are like half-orc fangs; they don't do anything in game and she does not have a bite attack.

She was bitten several hundred years ago by the Vampire Manshoon who is also her Warlock Patron. Being bitten is both what turned her into a Dhampir and created her pact. He won't fully turn her as long as she keeps working for him, that is the deal. She started the campaign as a 1st-level Undying Warlack and is a Lieutenant in the Zhentarim (faction agent background). She has been in the Zhentatim long enough that she was witness to the civil war and the downfall of Zhentil Keep and all of that. In terms of attitude and relationship she is neutral over the whole Warlock-Patron thing. In her backstory, several hundred years ago she did not like the pact and was looking for a way out, but she got used to it over time and she now sees it has benefits (aside from not being turned into a full Vampire). She has lived with it for hundreds of years now, so she is just "content" to go on with life ..... or unlife. She is not fanatically loyal to Manshoon, but she is not against him and trying to get out of the pact either.

Her sprite familiar is a shadow-looking sprite and is a fiend, not a fey (as you choose whether it is a Fiend or Fey with the Find Familiar spell). She is silver with black wings and has tiny fangs. Mechanically she is exactly like a normal sprite.

Shadow Sorcerer she picked up at 2nd level. Shadow Sorcerer has an undead theme to it in the Quirks you get and also through Strength of the Grave, which is really just Undead Fortitude from the Zombie in the MM. During the 1st level when she was still only Warlock; as I introduced her to the party, part of the story was she was having eye problems and difficulty seeing right that day. This explained her lack of darkvision despite being a part vampire. I knew 1st level would only last a day or two and then she would pick up darkvision through Shadow Sorcerer. Thematically in her story she had darkvision the whole time leading up to session 1 but just had some kind of bug or pink eye or something so she could not see in the dark on session 1. She kept complaining about this and saying she did not know what was wrong with her eyes. That worked really well and the other players and DM got a laugh out of it.
 
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