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

Mort

Legend
Supporter
From the three:

Charm Person: Not a fan, mostly because, IME this spell seems to contribute to things going pear shaped more than it helps avoid things going pear shaped! Also it's REALLY campaign and DM dependent as to how useful/good the spell is.

Disguise Self: Like the spell a lot and with a high charisma and skills to back it up it can truly be a gamechanger. BUT by 10th level you start running into things that can see right through it, plus like Charm Person (though to a lesser degree) it's campaign and DM dependent as to how good the spell is in play.

Tasha's mind whip: Lousy damage for 10th level, BUT some great control options. If the game is combat heavy, particularly "big monster" combat heavy this is a decent spell.
 

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ECMO3

Hero
From the three:

Charm Person: Not a fan, mostly because, IME this spell seems to contribute to things going pear shaped more than it helps avoid things going pear shaped! Also it's REALLY campaign and DM dependent as to how useful/good the spell is.

Disguise Self: Like the spell a lot and with a high charisma and skills to back it up it can truly be a gamechanger. BUT by 10th level you start running into things that can see right through it, plus like Charm Person (though to a lesser degree) it's campaign and DM dependent as to how good the spell is in play.

Tasha's mind whip: Lousy damage for 10th level, BUT some great control options. If the game is combat heavy, particularly "big monster" combat heavy this is a decent spell.
Thanks, I also just thought about this - I can twin Tasha's on a 2nd level slot and get 2 enemies. That I think gives it an edge.
 

BookTenTiger

He / Him
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.
Very cool! I love reading about the stories that are created by multiclassing and other custom options.
 

there is really no reason it shouldn't work.
Sure there is. For the net to travel 90 feet then strike with enough force to do significant bludgeoning damage it would have to be bundled up into a tight ball.

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:
Whilst technically correct, in my experience, I have only seen Absorb Elements cast once, and then it wasn't really neaded. Whereas I have seen Shield save the life of low AC melee-avoiders on numerous occasions. And will your AC always be 14? Studded Leather +1 is a thing (in D&D at least). I our last game by level 20 the wizard (divination) had the highest AC out of anyone.


You could get Enlarge/Reduce to make your sprite halfling sized for 1 minute so they could use regular weapons and armor. Okay, maybe not a brilliant plan...

Blur? Mirror Image? Shatter?

I'm assuming Stryxhaven spells are disallowed.
 
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ECMO3

Hero
Sure there is. For the net to travel 90 feet then strike with enough force to do significant bludgeoning damage it would have to be bundled up into a tight ball.

Why? Especially when you consider it is magic. It is an object with a weight of 1 to 5 lbs it should work no matter how it is configured.

Whilst technically correct, in my experience, I have only seen Absorb Elements cast once, and then it wasn't really neaded. Whereas I have seen Shield save the life of low AC melee-avoiders on numerous occasions. And will your AC always be 14? Studded Leather +1 is a thing (in D&D at least). I our last game by level 20 the wizard (divination) had the highest AC out of anyone.

She cast absorb elements twice times in one battle last week. I don't think she is ever going to have a high AC. She tries to avoid getting attacked and is mostly successful at that. I also don't have enough low level slots to spam shield.

You could get Enlarge/Reduce to make your sprite halfling sized for 1 minute so they could use regular weapons and armor. Okay, maybe not a brilliant plan..

Yes, but normal weapons would not be better I don't think. Her big thing with attacking is the persistent poisioned condition that lasts for a minute and occasionally putting enemies to sleep. She would not be proficienct in most weapons and her DPR would be around 7 which is not a lot.


Blur? Mirror Image? Shatter?
Mirror Image is certainly an idea, especially since I have quicken spell. Thanks!. Blur is a more effective spell generally, but it is concentration and a lot of enemies are already getting disadvantage a lot from being frightened or poisioned. If it is a big enough fight to throw concentration spells I am usually concentrating on something else.

Shatter is worth thinking about. I am not a fan of damaging spells generally.

I'm assuming Stryxhaven spells are disallowed.
Yes. If they were allowes I would have Silvery Barbs already and I would get Vortex Warp.
 

Ever tried throwing a handkerchief at someone? It doesn't hurt. Throw it really hard. It still doesn't hurt.
She cast absorb elements twice times in one battle last week. I don't think she is ever going to have a high AC. She tries to avoid getting attacked and is mostly successful at that. I also don't have enough low level slots to spam shield.
The point though, isn't to spam Shield. But it will occasionally save your life. Whereas Absorb Elements (in my experience) is worthless. If someone fireballs you, you have Counterspell.
Shatter is worth thinking about. I am not a fan of damaging spells generally.
If it's not something you tend to do then maybe its something different to try. I find players tend to look to sorcerers for room clearance, and shatter has a conveniently shaped AoE for that. But it's also on the bard, druid and artificer spell lists, so another party member may have it.

Personally, I like to blow stuff up, even if there are better ways to use magic!
 
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Mort

Legend
Supporter
Ever tried throwing a handkerchief at someone? It doesn't hurt. Throw it really hard. It still doesn't hurt.

The point though, isn't to spam Shield.
I've seen Shield be useful for low and high ACs. It's saved the AC 13 wizard from dropping want number of times.

Usefulness can vary based on table though. If the DM reveals the AC hit, shield is A LOT more reliable than if the DM simply reveals that the attack hit and the caster has to guess if shield will be effective or not.

But it will occasionally save your life. Whereas Absorb Elements (in my experience) is worthless.
IME Absorb Elements is situational but very nice to have when needed. And I've seen it be a lifesaver on enough occasions to never call it useless.


If someone fireballs you, you have Counterspell.

Counterspell is nice and all, but there are just too many situations where it won't work, and IME DMs LOVE to exploit those - especially after counterspell has worked a few times.
 

ECMO3

Hero
Ever tried throwing a handkerchief at someone? It doesn't hurt. Throw it really hard. It still doesn't hurt.

Except that it is magically altered to hurt. If you had a huge handkerchief that weighed a pound and used the catapult spell to shoot it at someone it would do damage.

A handkerchief that weighs a pound is a bit unrealistic, but to take this analogy further; what if you catapulted a feather pillow or blanket off of a bed in the room? Those are both soft and weigh a pound or more.

If you apply this logic to the spell you are really altering the spell itself and putting further stipulations on what can be catapulted aside from just being an object between 1 and 5 pounds.


The point though, isn't to spam Shield. But it will occasionally save your life. Whereas Absorb Elements (in my experience) is worthless. If someone fireballs you, you have Counterspell.

I am not always close enough to use counterspell. Actually, I got fireballed 3 times when I used AE last week. I only got hit with an attack once on those battles. In fairness we started the fight and I started far away with our Ranger and one of our fighters as we were not expecting them to be casters at all. If I knew they were casters I might have been closer and used counterspell.

I don't remember if shield would have worked, but I would not have used it as I was out of 1st level slots by that time (I had already used AEx3 and twinned PGE). I really try to avoid being attacked and if I stay out of melee range I can impose disadvantage on ranged attackers at will just by dropping prone. Usually if I do that they attack someone else. In the fight I talked about they targeted me specifically with fireballs repeatedly (the first time they got 3 of us but then we spread out). After I got fireballed 3 times I was near dead even having used AE (2 failed saves, 1 success). I should have dropped PEG and cast silence on them after the first fireball but I did not want to do that at the time because our Artificer was in melee and that would kill shield, in hindsight I should have done it.

Historically Absorb Elements is a spell I like to have on any build if I can get it easily, shield on any build that is going to have a free hand and not be purposely staying back like this character. I usually run a 10 or 12 constitution and that is part of this, because a lot of the stuff that will trigger AE will also down you in one shot as they are higher damage than attacks are.

My familiar got wasted in that fight too. She was invisible at the time and carrying a healing potion, intending to administer it to our downed Paladin but she got caught in a breath weapon from a hell hound.


If it's not something you tend to do then maybe its something different to try. I find players tend to look to sorcerers for room clearance, and shatter has a conveniently shaped AoE for that. But it's also on the bard, druid and artificer spell lists, so another party member may have it.

Personally, I like to blow stuff up, even if there are better ways to use magic!
I get it. It is totally play style. I like to limit enemy options, so as far as leveled spells go things that cause frightened are most of what I use for offense. Other than that I am usually blasting.

I am the only "real" caster in the party. It is a large party of mostly martials. We have an Artificer but he is more of a melee tank type build and he is going with protection spells mostly. The other characters are two XBE Fighter multiclass builds, a Paladin and a Gloomstalker Ranger archer.
 
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ECMO3

Hero
Catapult doesn't alter the object, it just moves it.

But if you prefer, "magically altering it to hurt" means turning it into a projectile. Which means it is no longer a net, so it can't grapple.

Magic does not change the object into something else but it alters it to cause the bludgeoning damage if hit by it. If you catapult a scimitar, it is still a scimitar, but it does bludgeoning damage, not slashing damage and it does 3d8 instead of the 1d6 that would normally be dealt by a Scimitar. After you catapult it you go and pick it up off the ground and can use it like any other scimitar assuming it did not break from the damage.

Consider the magnitude of damage - An improvised weapon does 1d4 when used by a character, you catapult that same chair or broom or pot and it does 3d8.

In game you don't take 3d8 bludgeoning damage from a flying scimitar or broom or pot or small chair unless that scimitar, broom, pot or chair was flung by the catapult spell.

What about my examples in the last post - you catapult a bed sheet or you catapult a pillow? Does it no longer do damage in your games because these are soft and would not hurt you if you were hit by them?

Summary: Catapult is a magic spell, the wording in the spell bypasses the physical constraints to implement the effect noted and only the effect noted. It does 3d8 bludgeoning because the spell says it does 3d8 bludgeoning and it is still a net, pillow, bedsheet, pot, broom, chair or scimitar because the spell does not say it turns into something else.
 
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