D&D General The Elemental cantrips mimicking powerful spells

greg kaye

Explorer
No need to make flying levitating shapes. Ice Floats on WATER. Which I can shape. So I just pull the water underneath the ice and it goes up on it's own.

And I since am the DM, I would certainly allow it, since it's RAW, and I don't feel the compulsion to nerf interesting cantrips.
Me neither. I'm just looking at what they say per my statements. (y)
 

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greg kaye

Explorer
... as move earth - there is no limit to how deep you can dig or how high a pile you can make so long as you have loose earth.
I suspect that RAI would likely to allow the spell work in a Minecraft-like way with two of its instantaneous effects, though I don't see that this is directly supported by RAW. I similarly suspect it may be badly written in any number of other ways.
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jgsugden

Legend
These cantrips are as powerful as a DM allows. I have played in games where DMs put creativity above balance, and I had a blast using these cantrips to do really cool things.
... So, YMMV. Talk to your DM before you take them so that you can decide if they are a good fit for you.
And thank y'all for demonstrating why players should discuss these, and other spells, with their DMs before selecting them as there is a wide spectrum on how they might be interpreted, and a wide approach on how useful they are allowed to be.

I am amongst the most permissive DMs I have ever met, and I've never regreted it - both from a perspective of my enjoyment, and from the perspective of creating a great game that is fun for my players. New players in my game rarely take these cantrips - but when they see an experienced player using these, or other cantrips, creatively, they tend to rework their PCs to stop taking just the offensive cantrips.

Edit: One more bonus restriction on shape water that caught me off guard - a DM ruling that you couldn't use it to freeze water from natural sources because, "There are microscopic creatures living in all natural water.... it is intended to freeze clean water you use for drinks and stuff." I was not a fan of that ruling...
 

Edit: One more bonus restriction on shape water that caught me off guard - a DM ruling that you couldn't use it to freeze water from natural sources because, "There are microscopic creatures living in all natural water.... it is intended to freeze clean water you use for drinks and stuff." I was not a fan of that ruling...
how clean is the drinking water in his world... does some artificer sell a filtered pitcher?
 

Brainwatch

Explorer
No need to make flying levitating shapes. Ice Floats on WATER. Which I can shape. So I just pull the water underneath the ice and it goes up on it's own.

And I since am the DM, I would certainly allow it, since it's RAW, and I don't feel the compulsion to nerf interesting cantrips.

<Bold added for emphasis>
Not to be that guy, but ice floats IN water, not on it. Put an ice cube in a glass of water and you'll see most of the ice cube under the water. A Quick back-of-the-envelope estimation shows about 10% of the total volume of the ice will be above the water. For a 5x5x5 ft cube, that is around 6 in of the cube above the water.
 

<Bold added for emphasis>
Not to be that guy, but ice floats IN water, not on it. Put an ice cube in a glass of water and you'll see most of the ice cube under the water. A Quick back-of-the-envelope estimation shows about 10% of the total volume of the ice will be above the water. For a 5x5x5 ft cube, that is around 6 in of the cube above the water.
Doesn't matter. There will be upthrust on the ice when it displaces sufficient water. To make it go higher just keep displacing more water underneath.

Or you could shape the ice into a boat or other hollow shape.
 



EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Cool, I was asking the question:
Except that your answer does a great deal more than that.

Because of how you worded your answer, which is NOT how the spell is written, you cannot make ANY shape with the spell and then freeze it. You cannot, for example, shape the water into letters and then freeze those letters to leave a temporary message. Your interpretation forbids ice knives (as @AmandaBarbarian describes) unless the player already has knife molds to hold the ice in a knife shape. It forbids bowls unless the player makes bowl molds or actually carves the ice herself. Etc., etc. In your effort to forbid a single feature unlikely to be particularly useful in most cases, you have neutered the spell.

Which, as I said, is pretty typical of the DM "rulings" I see regarding tools (especially mundane tools, but magical ones too) that actually do have creative potential. Fear of exploitation drives shutting down almost all avenues of creativity, and then the DMs in question scratch their heads and wonder why players (who are usually quite smart and can quickly figure out the message these "rulings" send) avoid creative solutions and stick with dull standard operating procedures and boring (but reliable) solutions to their problems.
 

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